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What is unique about Analog Synths ?

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2016, 11:58:24 AM »
Although I have to say that you contradict yourself to the degree that you utilize rather dynamic sounds yourself that lend themselves to naturally evolving timbres. (Again, to be clear about the terminology, when I mention perfection, I mean it in a somehow static sense, like the mathematically "perfect square wave" for example that might look great on an oscilloscope, but doesn't necessarily need to sound good, just like not everybody who's good at musical architecture will resemble Bach. - One could be a genius at the latter, but it wouldn't really matter if it would sound awful: Yes, I'm looking at you 12-tone music.)

It's not a contradiction.  I admitted that this is how such evolving sounds affect me.  It's not a matter of volition, but of unwanted influence.  In other words, speaking for myself, not only is there a difference in character, but also in affect on the musician.

I meant contradiction in the sense that I don't perceive your sounds to be perfect in my understanding.

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2016, 11:58:42 AM »
!. From the comments so far I have realized that I just don't trust the digital market.

2. I seem to sleep better when I play an analog ...really ...maybe its just me...anyone else notice this effect?

3. DSI could have presented a non analog flagship to eclipse the PolyE/ VS, & choose to continue the Prophet legacy.
4. Other manufacturers could have offered a complete analog keyboard  for years now.

So  I am still wondering why Dave himself choose this route. He has kept it simple, if I understand correctly, he just likes analog better, it was the better choice.

I'm very interested to read your comments, SpaceVoice, because the rest of us have had this conversation many times before, so that it seems as if we're following an old script.  On the other hand, you're new to the discussion (as far as I know) and could bring some fresh insights.
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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2016, 12:10:27 PM »
!. From the comments so far I have realized that I just don't trust the digital market.

How is the digital market less trustworthy?

2. I seem to sleep better when I play an analog ...really ...maybe its just me...anyone else notice this effect?

Not really.

3. DSI could have presented a non analog flagship to eclipse the PolyE/ VS, & choose to continue the Prophet legacy.

They did so by designing the Prophet 12 and the Pro 2.

4. Other manufacturers could have offered a complete analog keyboard  for years now.

It doesn't pay off though. The analog market is still very small compared to all the rest. So if you wanna make money, you simply don't go there - at least not exclusively.

So  I am still wondering why Dave himself choose this route. He has kept it simple, if I understand correctly, he just likes analog better, it was the better choice.

As far as I understand him, the interface is the most important aspect, not necessarily having a 100% analog signal path. He developed far too many hybrids for that.

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2016, 12:12:47 PM »
Seriously though, I still do think that the appeal for the majority of analog users lies in some sort of imperfection - at least if you take into account all the statements that are posted on various forums but also documentaries like "I Dream of Wires." So call that my empirical reference point with regard to how signals that are created by voltages are typically perceived.

Yes, I've read many of those statements, and I find a strange almost cut-and-paste redundancy about them.  Is this consistency or simple repetition?  I have to wonder if enough reflection has been put into those statements.  I may be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that the analog revival is primarily due to a quest for imperfection in sound.  I believe it comes down to a sonic character apart from sonic imperfections.
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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2016, 12:15:52 PM »
Seriously though, I still do think that the appeal for the majority of analog users lies in some sort of imperfection - at least if you take into account all the statements that are posted on various forums but also documentaries like "I Dream of Wires." So call that my empirical reference point with regard to how signals that are created by voltages are typically perceived.

Yes, I've read many of those statements, and I find a strange almost cut-and-paste redundancy about them.  Is this consistency or simple repetition?  I have to wonder if enough reflection has been put into those statements.  I may be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that the analog revival is primarily due to a quest for imperfection in sound.  I believe it comes down to a sonic character apart from sonic imperfections.

I would argue that a particular character is dependend on imperfections rather than perfection. The Moog filter is a perfect historic example. In that sense I would call streamlined perfection rather boring and immediately replacable.

Razmo

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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2016, 12:20:02 PM »
Honestly... I find these debates... well... "funny"... it's incredible how people end up being at each others throats in this type of debate taking every answer against what THEY like, to be personal attacks. There is no clear facit you can end up with, no right or wrong. It's of no use taking other people's opinions personal, simply because they are OPINIONS.

Do any of you make bad music using digital, just because somebody else think digital is inferior to him/her? (or the other way around for that matter) ... Are my music not intellectual because Sacret Synthesis find his music not to be intellectually satisfying when he touch on the Ambient site of music? .. Some could find such a statement arrogant, but honestly I just see it as for what it is... SS's own opinion on Ambient music in relation to HIS view on HIS music...

And by the way... I also feel that even though the topic was why digital is worse than analog, that the opposite belongs in this thread... if someone feel that Digital is superior, then I want to know why they think so, not bar them from the debate... i hate "politically correct" debates that bar out counter opinions... especialy when the question in this thread is so obviously provoking as it is  8)

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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2016, 12:21:00 PM »
I'm also referring to the numerous threads on the old forum about how to make the Prophet '08 sound more alive and dynamic, since the slop parameter did barely have an influence. All those tips about assigning a random wave LFO to each oscillator's frequency at very slow rates and with very low amounts (rarely beyond 1). That, plus adding subtle filter frequency movements and so on.

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2016, 12:28:19 PM »
I have Moog Voyager here and to be quite honest it isn't that great a synth, it is limited and it doesn't even sound that good, the oscillators produce more "digital" noise then most digital synths. It has a pair of nice filters and that's about it. Digital filter technology is now up there with analog filters, the filters in Monark and Diva are as good as the voyager ones. Basically Diva and Monark sound better than the voyager!

My switch from soft synths to physical instruments was actually triggered by the fact that the likes of Diva would bring my computer to its knees. I hated using such CPU-intensive software and it took all the joy out of making music when I spent all the time worrying and waiting for the sound to drop out. Music making as a pleasurable experience meant far more to me than pure sound quality.

The cost of a computer that can run 8 instances of diva at the highest quality is less than the cost of say a P6!

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2016, 12:29:27 PM »
Honestly... I find these debates... well... "funny"... it's incredible how people end up being at each others throats in this type of debate taking every answer against what THEY like, to be personal attacks. There is no clear facit you can end up with, no right or wrong. It's of no use taking other people's opinions personal, simply because they are OPINIONS.

I agree. And I hope you didn't think of me. Like I said, it's no matter of better or worse to me at all. That would be ridiculous and ignorant. The only case in which I wanted to make a case against opinions is that there is a verifiable qualitative difference between analog and digital, and by "qualitative" I don't mean categories like "better" or "worse," but only the aspects that make both approaches unique.

Do any of you make bad music using digital, just because somebody else think digital is inferior to him/her? (or the other way around for that matter) ... Are my music not intellectual because Sacret Synthesis find his music not to be intellectually satisfying when he touch on the Ambient site of music? .. Some could find such a statement arrogant, but honestly I just see it as for what it is... SS's own opinion on Ambient music in relation to HIS view on HIS music...

Well, he only said that it's not his goal to make ambient music in the first place but that certain sounds drive him into that direction. If he would be a sound tweaker in the first place, he wouldn't care, but he happens to put the musical form first, so that's what makes a difference. I didn't read that as a way to diss digitally created sounds at all.

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2016, 12:32:59 PM »
The cost of a computer that can run 8 instances of diva at the highest quality is less than the cost of say a P6!

Which is another practical reason why digital technology is more widespread and successful, and - reversely - why analog devices only become big sellers when they're affordable.

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2016, 12:33:34 PM »
Honestly... I find these debates... well... "funny"... it's incredible how people end up being at each others throats in this type of debate taking every answer against what THEY like, to be personal attacks. There is no clear facit you can end up with, no right or wrong. It's of no use taking other people's opinions personal, simply because they are OPINIONS.

Do any of you make bad music using digital, just because somebody else think digital is inferior to him/her? (or the other way around for that matter) ... Are my music not intellectual because Sacret Synthesis find his music not to be intellectually satisfying when he touch on the Ambient site of music? .. Some could find such a statement arrogant, but honestly I just see it as for what it is... SS's own opinion on Ambient music in relation to HIS view on HIS music...

And by the way... I also feel that even though the topic was why digital is worse than analog, that the opposite belongs in this thread... if someone feel that Digital is superior, then I want to know why they think so, not bar them from the debate... i hate "politically correct" debates that bar out counter opinions... especialy when the question in this thread is so obviously provoking as it is  8)

As a guitar player it can be really funny. Guitar players are obsessed with certain Amps with certain tubes and certain cabinets, certain pickups, certain guitars certain fx pedals. They believe these things can get them nearer the "tone" of their favourite guitar player. The reality of the matter is that they never will but if you gave their favourite guitar player a digital line 6 pod and a so so guitar they would still sound fantastic.

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2016, 12:34:31 PM »
The cost of a computer that can run 8 instances of diva at the highest quality is less than the cost of say a P6!

Which is another practical reason why digital technology is more widespread and successful, and - reversely - why analog devices only become big sellers when they're affordable.

Exactly.

Razmo

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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2016, 12:34:36 PM »
There is ONE more reason analog is seen as "better" than digital... it's called HYPE... and for some people (my self included) ther eis also the thing called "Placebo effect"... because I will not rule out, that some people find analog better, because most people have that view on it... it's part of human culture, to "mingle with the rest"... and then placebo start to seep into the equation... we start to THINK we hear something better, because we KNOW we are playing an analog synth, and not a digital one. I'm not saying that all fall for this, but some certainly do.

Speaking for myself, I often find the digital synths uninspiring, even though their flexibility clearly outperform any analog synth... simply because I like that every synth has it's own little niche, being EXTREMELY GOOD at what it does... I often find that the digital ones are more focused on being bread and butter, master of none, but very very flexible... but this just does not pull my strings for it.... sometimes I see a digital synth where the synthesis is so special, I love it just as much as my analog synths, and find it equally inspiring. I think I'll call this my "spiritual side" of my preferences.
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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2016, 12:36:29 PM »
As a guitar player it can be really funny. Guitar players are obsessed with certain Amps with certain tubes and certain cabinets, certain pickups, certain guitars certain fx pedals. They believe these things can get them nearer the "tone" of their favourite guitar player. The reality of the matter is that they never will but if you gave their favourite guitar player a digital line 6 pod and a so so guitar they would still sound fantastic.

This! - We should also not forget that we're a small somehow privileged group here that happens to be able to afford certain stuff. If I wouldn't have the cash I would be just as happy to use only Volcas if it had to be analog or plug-ins.

Razmo

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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2016, 12:38:53 PM »
Honestly... I find these debates... well... "funny"... it's incredible how people end up being at each others throats in this type of debate taking every answer against what THEY like, to be personal attacks. There is no clear facit you can end up with, no right or wrong. It's of no use taking other people's opinions personal, simply because they are OPINIONS.

I agree. And I hope you didn't think of me. Like I said, it's no matter of better or worse to me at all. That would be ridiculous and ignorant. The only case in which I wanted to make a case against opinions is that there is a verifiable qualitative difference between analog and digital, and by "qualitative" I don't mean categories like "better" or "worse," but only the aspects that make both approaches unique.

Do any of you make bad music using digital, just because somebody else think digital is inferior to him/her? (or the other way around for that matter) ... Are my music not intellectual because Sacret Synthesis find his music not to be intellectually satisfying when he touch on the Ambient site of music? .. Some could find such a statement arrogant, but honestly I just see it as for what it is... SS's own opinion on Ambient music in relation to HIS view on HIS music...

Well, he only said that it's not his goal to make ambient music in the first place but that certain sounds drive him into that direction. If he would be a sound tweaker in the first place, he wouldn't care, but he happens to put the musical form first, so that's what makes a difference. I didn't read that as a way to diss digitally created sounds at all.

Agree... and on the last part, I did not say that he was arrogant, only that some people might see it this way, IF they take things personal... which is what I was trying to tell people NOT to be... this is what happens often, when people talk about personal preferences on topics that many people share an interest in.. Just wanted to point out, that saying your own opinion, does not automaticaly degrade someone else that thinks opposite... it's just personal preference and opinions :) ... SS' statement was just an example I used... nothing more, nothing less.
If you need me, follow the shadows...

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2016, 12:42:13 PM »
There is ONE more reason analog is seen as "better" than digital... it's called HYPE... and for some people (my self included) ther eis also the thing called "Placebo effect"... because I will not rule out, that some people find analog better, because most people have that view on it... it's part of human culture, to "mingle with the rest"... and then placebo start to seep into the equation... we start to THINK we hear something better, because we KNOW we are playing an analog synth, and not a digital one. I'm not saying that all fall for this, but some certainly do.

That's certainly part of it. I would simply call it fetish, which results in all the ridiculous prices on Ebay. - Sure I would like to have a Prophet-5, but do I think it's worth 5 grand? Nope. Maybe $1,200, but that's about what I would pay for one in absolutely mint condition.

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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2016, 12:50:04 PM »
2. I seem to sleep better when I play an analog ...really ...maybe its just me...anyone else notice this effect?

Not really.

He or she probably means that he or she gets laid more frequently. As I mentioned before, this corroborates my experience with analog, and is one of its most salient benefits.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2016, 12:57:32 PM »
2. I seem to sleep better when I play an analog ...really ...maybe its just me...anyone else notice this effect?

Not really.

He or she probably means that he or she gets laid more frequently. As I mentioned before, this corroborates my experience with analog, and is one of its most salient benefits.

Is that a continuation of "You detune two oscillators and then what?"  ;D

Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2016, 12:58:57 PM »
I would argue that a particular character is dependend on imperfections rather than perfection. The Moog filter is a perfect historic example. In that sense I would call streamlined perfection rather boring and immediately replacable.

I would agree with the view that the Moog sonic character is due, in part, to imperfections.  It's a fact that the designers made some miscalculations that resulted in an inherent subtle distortion.  But what I'm trying to focus on here is the view that the analog character is due primarily to imperfections in oscillator pitch.  I realize that this is the common opinion, and Dave Smith has taken it seriously enough to add the Slop parameter.  But I disagree with it. 

So let me ask you, Paul, are you saying that if you take, say, a Nord Lead and add the slightest amount of random frequency modulation to its oscillators, and perhaps to the cut off frequency as well, that you will have created a persuasively analog tone?  To me, this is the heart of the issue; it's what I've seen many others claim, and it's specifically what I disagree with.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 01:15:31 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.co

chysn

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Re: What Makes Analog Better
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2016, 01:03:45 PM »
2. I seem to sleep better when I play an analog ...really ...maybe its just me...anyone else notice this effect?

Not really.

He or she probably means that he or she gets laid more frequently. As I mentioned before, this corroborates my experience with analog, and is one of its most salient benefits.

Is that a continuation of "You detune two oscillators and then what?"  ;D

<Moderated self>
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn