The Prophet '08 Among Prophets

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #100 on: April 18, 2016, 12:52:46 PM »
To state the obvious, string sections do not move back and forth while they're playing!

Hm, what about Stockhausen's "Helicopter String Quartet" for example?

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #101 on: April 18, 2016, 01:20:12 PM »
I'm sure if we looked through the loony bin, we could find a piece of music written for a string section dressed in grass skirts and hanging from the ceiling, but you'll have to excuse me for never thinking in such terms.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:04:31 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #102 on: April 18, 2016, 01:21:40 PM »
I'm sure if we looked through the loony bin we could find a piece written for a string section dressed in grass skirts and hanging from the ceiling, but you'll have to excuse me for never thinking in such terms.

Isn't the orchestra pit the loony bin?

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #103 on: April 18, 2016, 01:22:46 PM »
It depends who's in it.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #104 on: April 18, 2016, 01:27:24 PM »

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #105 on: April 18, 2016, 01:50:15 PM »
Classical musicians, who tend to be a tad less loony.    ;D
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 01:52:43 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #106 on: April 18, 2016, 04:06:29 PM »
Classical musicians, who tend to be a tad less loony.    ;D

Based on my opera experiences I have to say: I beg to differ.

dswo

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #107 on: April 18, 2016, 05:13:00 PM »
This thread continues to be fun and practical (dulce et utile).
David Wilson-Okamura
English professor

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #108 on: April 18, 2016, 06:08:42 PM »
Very practical with wonderful sound design advice from Sacred Synthesis. Thank you for the inspiration. You definitely have succeeded in making the Prophet 08 expressive like an acoustic instrument, even if it's not exactly like any acoustic instrument I know of.

Dslsynth, here's a deal for you: how about I trade the Ambika and cash for your Prophet 08?  ;) That solves both your problem of not having an Ambika and not having money. Of course it creates a new problem for you, one I'm trying to solve myself!

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #109 on: April 18, 2016, 11:06:05 PM »
Classical musicians, who tend to be a tad less loony.    ;D

Based on my opera experiences I have to say: I beg to differ.

Oh, opera singers.  Now those people are loony!  ;D
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #110 on: April 18, 2016, 11:26:51 PM »
My point was that, chorus and flanger can sound great when you want your synthesizer to really sound like a synthesizer.  But I prefer to use other forms of modulation.

I think there are good points here when it comes to chorus/flange versus building it into the sound. One of them is what the LFO in a chorus/flange effect really are up as its essentially an approximation to multiple players being ever so slightly different in pitch and timing. One delay line and an LFO will add some movement to the sound but not be a multi-player substitute.

One additional reason I don't care for chorus or flanger as a substitute for LFO modulation is that each sounds unnaturally regulated.  You can actually hear the rate of the effect, which screams, "electronic!"  LFOs obviously are regulated as well, but when you use multiple LFOs - as I described above - then the rate of each becomes immersed and lost in the complex modulation of the patch as a whole.  The end result is that you don't especially notice the modulation...unless you turn it all off.  I would say that's the right type and level of modulation for strings - that which goes unnoticed until it's removed, at which point the patch sounds unnaturally static and lifeless.

When I first bought a Prophet '08, I tried several choruses with it - an MXR, Fishman, and Electro-Harmonix.  I liked the EH the best, but regardless, I just didn't like the finished sound.  Plus, when I switched off the effect, I had a hard time adjusting to the stale sound of the instrument by itself; I wanted the chorus on all the time, as if the synthesizer was a Hammond organ that cried out for a Leslie rotating speaker.  It struck me that using a chorus was not the right way to design sounds, but more of a cover for poorly made patches.  Again, a stereo chorus can sound fabulous, if that's the sound you're after.  But it can also keep you from finishing your patch, from striving to create the very best sound without the effect - one that is so good that it doesn't need the effect. 

The end result of my eliminating all choruses was the forced exploration of the modulation potential within the Prophet '08.  Since then, I've never felt the need for a chorus or flanger.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 11:42:17 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #111 on: April 19, 2016, 12:01:11 AM »
Very practical with wonderful sound design advice from Sacred Synthesis. Thank you for the inspiration. You definitely have succeeded in making the Prophet 08 expressive like an acoustic instrument, even if it's not exactly like any acoustic instrument I know of.

Thanks, Tumble2k.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

dslsynth

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #112 on: April 19, 2016, 08:56:23 AM »
It struck me that using a chorus was not the right way to design sounds, but more of a cover for poorly made patches.  Again, a stereo chorus can sound fabulous, if that's the sound you're after.  But it can also keep you from finishing your patch, from striving to create the very best sound without the effect - one that is so good that it doesn't need the effect.

Good point, Sacred Synthesis! Making the sound come alive without effects are surely an interesting design approach we all can learn from!
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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #113 on: April 19, 2016, 01:10:17 PM »
I was thinking about why I am interested in synthesis in the first place, and I think it all starts when I was a kid taking piano lessons and listening to Beethoven's Sixth Symphony on my dad's hi-fi system. A few years later Switched on Bach came out and I realized that a single person could create the sound of an entire orchestra. I think I've been hoping to do that ever since.

I'm a little sad the in the intervening years I contributed very little to the digital music revolution (I'm a software developer that works close to the hardware). I've owned a bunch of synthesizers that came close to scratching the itch but not quite doing so. The closest was a Ensoniq MR-76, which made it super easy to lay down tracks. But its interface was not so conducive to sound design. The Prophet 08 interface seems perfect for that.

Now I listen more to Tchaikowsky, who uses a lot of brass and woodwinds with strings. I'm going to take my time and build up these instruments slowly. I'd also like to make a nice harp sound and a choir although I suspect the latter may never be convincing on the Prophet 08 because I would need three resonance peaks to handle the three formants, and I'd have at most two using two layers.

I guess the goal is not to create perfect facsimiles of these instruments. But I know from experience that good instruments can fill the soul just playing simple notes. That's what I'm trying to accomplish here.

Anyway, this thread has a lot of great hints for string, reed, and brass sounds, so many thanks for the hints!

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #114 on: April 19, 2016, 02:01:35 PM »
Similar to yourself, I was drawn to the immense and dramatic intensity of the brass sections found in the third and fourth symphonies of Robert Schumann.  It's been my desire to re-create that sort of expressive musical power on the synthesizer.  Hence, I think very much in terms of pipe organs and symphonies whenever I sit at my synthesizers, such that one of the main obstacles for me is the synthesizer's comparable smallness of tone.  The gradations from delicate to massive are all necessary in producing great music, but the synthesizer is naturally capable of the former, but not so much of the latter.  So, my mind is forever pondering ways of overcoming this inherent smallness. 
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #115 on: April 19, 2016, 02:33:47 PM »
Classical musicians, who tend to be a tad less loony.    ;D

You can't fool me. I've seen Mozart in the Jungle.
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Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #116 on: April 19, 2016, 02:55:59 PM »
Oh no, Mozart wasn't loony; he was "colorful."  Surely you see the differences.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #117 on: April 19, 2016, 03:40:36 PM »
Similar to yourself, I was drawn to the immense and dramatic intensity of the brass sections found in the third and fourth symphonies of Robert Schumann.  It's been my desire to re-create that sort of expressive musical power on the synthesizer.  Hence, I think very much in terms of pipe organs and symphonies whenever I sit at my synthesizers, such that one of the main obstacles for me is the synthesizer's comparable smallness of tone.  The gradations from delicate to massive are all necessary in producing great music, but the synthesizer is naturally capable of the former, but not so much of the latter.  So, my mind is forever pondering ways of overcoming this inherent smallness.

I'm looking forward to listening to the Schumann symphonies you mentioned. I find your comments about big and small very interesting. Looks like I have much to learn about sound design.

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #118 on: April 19, 2016, 03:50:53 PM »
So, my mind is forever pondering ways of overcoming this inherent smallness.

You can start off with 12 SEM modules.  ;D

Re: Prophet '08 Among Prophets
« Reply #119 on: April 19, 2016, 08:22:11 PM »
So, my mind is forever pondering ways of overcoming this inherent smallness.

You can start off with 12 SEM modules.  ;D

That would definitely do it!  I only wish my wallet could afford my imagination.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com