Six voices not enough for pads?

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2022, 10:51:02 PM »
This is a very good callout.   I found the same thing on Polybrute... almost always use the "Reassign" mode (aka: P5 / per key allocation)    It does make a huge difference for pads, and would love to see this feature added on more current synths (like P6,T5) and/or upcoming synths.   Ultimately it would be nice to have the "Reset/Backtrack" allocation type as well... which always tries to use the lowest voice number.

Interesting, I'd be interested to hear how that sounds.  I assume its use the lowest voice number that's in the release stage, and if none available in release take one from sustain, as opposed to prioritizing stealing of the lowest note played?

I think there may be a few varieties of Reset mode - or Reset/Backtrack.   One of the classic Jupiter 8 modes (Poly 2) uses this type of allocation, where is tries to reassign the lowest available voice number.   

The sound character is most evident when:
1. Playing Polyphonic Glide/Portamento patches (the glide action is generally smoother, since your gliding from more recent voices / usually closer notes)   

2. Also, for patches where you are repetitively striking a single note, or a couple notes, there is more consistency to the sound... (the P5 allocation / per-key also has similar performance)   This is more noticeable on vintage synths (or modern ones with ample amount of Per Voice Variance / Vintage Knob dialed up.   A prime example is a repetitive pulsing bass line.  If you're in round robin mode, and have lots of vintage voice variance, each consecutive strike on the same note may be a few cents off in tuning from the previous one, and envelope/filter performance may vary for each strike.   But with Per-Key (P5) or Reset Allocation, your bass line will have more consistency when hitting a note repetitively (or with ARP).

I do really like having the three options on PB.  Would love to see P5 allocation type ported over to Prophet 6 and Take 5... they would both benefit a ton, as they are in the Prophet family, with relatively voice counts...  also, would love to see future Seq polys have these as standard choices.   It's an often overlooked, but key aspect to achieving certain vintage style character. 


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Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2022, 12:57:16 AM »
 I can understand a more recent note needing to steal the voice of an earlier pressed one, and even needing to retrigger the envelope

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2022, 10:27:31 AM »
It always surprises me that folk don't consider this before splashing out on expensive analogue synths - but then again maybe not everyone gets the chance to play one to test it out before buying, or are just starting out and don't realise the way voices work. Some people on this thread have already hit on some ways of making things work in practice, it's best to look at each scenario. I find it such a shame that some people say they only use the P6 (or OB6) for certain things but not pads - it's a shame because both synths are capable of amazing pads. Some thoughts and suggestions:


Recording - a few options here:

- if you are running into voice stealing / envelope re-triggering problems you can split your performance and overdub. For example, record the left hand part first and then overdub the right hand. Or, if it's important to play a bass note and higher note together then just play the root note of the chord and fill in the rest later. Or anything in between - however will work best. There are lots of recordings out there with great pads created with overdubs from old Prophet 5's and even Mini Moogs - which had one voice and did not re-trigger the envelope! Overdubbing may sound painstaking but you can achieve wonderful things through it. And it's a great skill to learn too.

- if capturing a full 'performance' is important to you then for example get a polyphonic soft synth with plenty of voices (loads out there and inexpensive comparatively) and create a sound with similar envelope timing. Or a cheap hardware one - whatever! Capture your 'performance' via midi, then split that midi as needed and then trigger the P6 with however many parts and record them - then if you like you can bounce them together to create one audio file and process. Of course if you leave them split then you can mess around with each individually and come up with some unexpected and interesting stuff, it that takes your fancy!

- someone suggested the only solution is to get more voices, but I don't believe it is the only option as per the above - but still, it is an option! You would just need to decide if the cost is worth it.


Playing live - some options here too:

- as suggested by others in this thread reverb and delay are great ways of getting around voice stealing / envelope impacts. Turn the release down and use the tails created by the reverb / delay to simulate the release. With bucket bridge delays for example (and many digital ones which simulate this) the delays will effectively 'filter down' on each repeat so you can still achieve the feel of the filter envelope releasing. Of course this is not just limited to playing live, you can do this for recording too (I often do).

- if the music suits it adjust your playing style to play fewer notes. To be honest I don't find I tend to run into issues like this anyway because my playing style for pads on synths tends to be quite different to when I am say playing the piano. If you are playing with other instrumentation this should generally be achievable, but of course depends on your music and style so of course will not be applicable to every scenario.

- if you do need those extra voices another option for live playing would be to sample the presets you need and trigger them through a keyboard capable of playing samples (which can range from the extremely expensive to the relatively inexpensive). Takes time to set up, but also means you can potentially really cut down on the amount of gear you are lugging around - and means that you can leave your precious P6 safely at home!

- again, if it's worth it you can invest in the extra voices.


Sound design - the opening post mentions sound design being limited by voice stealing /  env re-triggering, but I must say I don't really understand that at all, unless I have misunderstood what is being said.


The above are things of the top of my head which I have done before (apart from investing in the extra modules!) but I would seriously consider these or any other suggestions rather than denying your wonderful synth to express those beautiful pads.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2022, 10:29:44 AM by hoodoo_ray »

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2022, 02:37:32 PM »
imho. Using a long reverb tail on the Prophet 6 or OB-6 to create good, and smoothly triggered pad sounds is one of the best solutions.

Here is the Prophet 6 singing a chorale pad type sound, that is created with the help of the Strymon BigSky HW-FX Pedal, set on the 'Chorale' setting, with long decay time to blend the chords nicely, I also used quite long attack, and release values for the P6 pad sound. Also LFO to trigger the filter, and Amp modulations you hear happening in the track.

https://soundcloud.com/muziksculp/prophet-6-synth-singing-choral-music-with-help-from-bigsky-pedal-2?si=e854fca51a92445bb1cd20c166210a6d&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

What I find the Prophet 6 really good at is creating some very rich Lead sounds when set to Unison Mode, and adding some of the P6's Distortion. Also great for Basses, and Arps

Cheers,
Muziksculp

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Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2022, 04:34:00 PM »
What I find the Prophet 6 really good at is creating some very rich Lead sounds when set to Unison Mode, and adding some of the P6's Distortion. Also great for Basses, and Arps

Agree, honestly I think for cutting leads, it's probably my favorite synth for that use; it just has something special in that domain. I also think it does bass better than any other poly I've tried.  Before I got my Toraiz AS-1 (its a single-voice P6 basically but there are differences), it was my go to for bass, but then I got the AS-1 as a cost effective way to free up the P6 for higher voice count duties.  So the AS-1 slightly one-upped the P6 for bass, but its a mono so the P6 remains the poly-king of bass sounds as well as leads.  The arps, sequences, stuff that can be done with the HPF...  all adds up to a synth I'll never sell.

Is it the best synth in my arsenal for pads?  Maybe not, but as you mentioned reverb helps a great deal with that.
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2022, 07:14:57 PM »
Yes, the Prophet 6 has become my go-to lead sounds synth. It's just so rich, organic, and expressive. Especially when you add some of the internal Distortion effect on it. I was actually very impressed when I discovered this. Couldn't stop jamming on it, while still editing parameters, so much variety, and timbral colors it can produce. Also Superb Basses ! 

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2023, 03:48:11 PM »
Never understood this complaint. All my polies are six voices - P6, OB 6, Juno 106 and JX-8P and all are wonderful for pad sounds. In the case of the Juno and JX, they're legendary for string and pad sounds specifically.
You might think a big six-note chord sounds cool on it's own, but chances are that will sound muddy in a mix, so drop a couple notes. I usually have a basic triad with an extension like a maj7th or a suspended note to make it sound fancy. I invert it such that the four notes are spread out across a couple octaves and it sounds huge.
Also, it's not cheating to add some reverb. None of the big pad sounds you hear on albums were dry, I can almost promise you that. I invested in a 48-point patchbay so now I can easily route my synths through my effects pedals. It's almost an extension of the synthesis possibilities and I fully endorse it.

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Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2023, 06:22:32 PM »
Here, I think the real issue being discussed (that evolved somewhat from the title) was envelope retriggering behavior (and how it's implemented) rather than just voices being dropped.

It can have an at times weird, and jarring effect when changing chords when the voice count isn't high enough.

Depending on how the pad is being played, it may be a non-issue.  But my P6 and my P10 sit right next to each other, the difference is very noticeable.
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2023, 06:29:03 PM »
Here, I think the real issue being discussed (that evolved somewhat from the title) was envelope retriggering behavior (and how it's implemented) rather than just voices being dropped.

It can have an at times weird, and jarring effect when changing chords when the voice count isn't high enough.

Depending on how the pad is being played, it may be a non-issue.  But my P6 and my P10 sit right next to each other, the difference is very noticeable.

Fair enough. I guess I just haven't noticed that issue. Still, not terribly surprising that you'd have fewer issues with note stealing on a synth with significantly higher polyphony. Seems like there's your answer: use the P10 for pads if you don't like the way the P6 note stealing algo works?
Btw jealous of your P10! So tempted, man :)

LPF83

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Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2023, 06:28:34 AM »
Here, I think the real issue being discussed (that evolved somewhat from the title) was envelope retriggering behavior (and how it's implemented) rather than just voices being dropped.

It can have an at times weird, and jarring effect when changing chords when the voice count isn't high enough.

Depending on how the pad is being played, it may be a non-issue.  But my P6 and my P10 sit right next to each other, the difference is very noticeable.

Fair enough. I guess I just haven't noticed that issue. Still, not terribly surprising that you'd have fewer issues with note stealing on a synth with significantly higher polyphony. Seems like there's your answer: use the P10 for pads if you don't like the way the P6 note stealing algo works?
Btw jealous of your P10! So tempted, man :)

Even with all it's limitations, the P10 remains my desert island synth, the instrument that inspires me the most, and I do recommend.  That said if you want a more cost effective synth that's magical at pads, a 16 voice Rev2 is hard to beat.  Sometimes DCOs work into the mix better for high voice count pads.

In terms of reproducing the behavior, try tapping some chords in a more staccato way than you normally would with a pad sound, and you can probably hear the envelope (lack of) retriggering behavior pretty quickly.  Granted in context of playing real pads it is somewhat less common but can occur on chord changes unpredictably which, for me at least, can disrupt whatever vibe or inspiration I have going on during the moment.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2023, 06:30:27 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Pro 2, Virus TI2, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland JP-8080, Roland System-8, Roland SPD-SX SE / Octapad, Maschine, Cubase

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2023, 10:55:24 AM »
The best workaround is probably to just keep envelope release timings a bit lower/quicker and use an ample amount of onboard, or external delay/reverb to take care of the release phase.  That's generally my strategy for big pads on a synth like P6, P5 or Polybrute.   

Regarding understanding why the envelopes steal like they do: there is actually another type of Retrigger mode that could be implemented, with firmware development -- "Always Retrigger from Start".   It was discussed a while back in the Pro 3 forum... and I added a graphic to show the differences:  https://forum.sequential.com/index.php/topic,4246.msg43715.html#msg43715



Optimally, you want to have both options available - standard retrigger, along with retrigger from start mode.  The "Always Retrigger from Start" option still has a voice stealing sound, but its nice to have as an alternate option.

Ultimately if there was a slew control / smoothing variable on retrigger from start, that would be the ultimate in flexibility.  This would be a great area of development for all Seqs synths... especially if its a shared library of code / IP that can be reused in future synths with similar envelope architecture.   That plus ADR contour shaping would really be great advances for envelopes / sound design.   

Yeah, I think Always Retrigger from Start and/or slew to take the edge off would be welcome fixes.  I wonder if there are any synths currently that do this?  And if not, is there some technical hurdle that makes implementing it challenging?

several synths can work this way.   Its not ideal either in truth - it brings its own problems for certain styles.    You need both types, and for the choice to be patch savable to make these triggering methods actually work...  Even then there may be times you need both types depending on what passage you play...

so it really is just down to polyphony.   Low Poly synths are both great, and not great depending....   If you want slow attack/release pads, where your playing more than 3 note chords,,,,  dont choose a 6 note poly.    Or even 8 (though they are better).  Good luck finding a 16 note VCO poly that isnt the very expensive moog one 16 voice....

Ultimately the limitations are also part of the charm.

Re: Six voices not enough for pads?
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2023, 02:52:53 PM »
If 6 isn't enough you can always multitrack for recording, and use shell/power chords live.

I've always got the other hand on the OB~6 or Rev2, so 6 is no issue for me ;)

This! Back in the day it also wasn't a problem, it just takes a bit more work if you are a composer (multitrack). Ofcourse for live we can imagine that it can be a pita, but then you have the ability to use another synthesizer for the bass notes for example, or just play less notes.  ;D
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