The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Older VA synths... Obselete or overlooked?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #271
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
Purely anecdotal, sorry. I have learned not only from nearly 5 decades of making, learning, performing and producing music but also from research into creativity, perception and psychology.

People listen to music because they care about it on an emotional level. For some, especially teenagers, it's part of their actual identity. That is NOT to be dismissed. It's our job to use our craft to connect emotionally. The audience don't know HOW we do that but they care that we DO it. I would argue that they do CARE about how it's made, but for many it is on the level of magic because they don't understand how it's done. Nor do they need to.


Woah, no-one used the qualifier "absolute" until just now. That is shifting the goalposts slightly, no? And why 10-15 years? All that stuff is much easier to do now than it was 10-15 years ago because the technology has improved. For example in 1995 my SNR was -50dBFS, and it was kind of annoying but we worked with it or booked a studio if we could afford it. Now it's -100dBFS in home studio. No effort required, just better gear for your money than in 1995.
Absolute was mean to show how critical we have got about clean signals - nothing more. I agree its because technology has got better, but the point still remains that while we CAN do better now - we had decades where we couldn't, and nobody really cared then outside the professional studio producers - and they still dont.

WE just have to agree to differ on whether most people care. You are experienced, Ive been doing the same since I started playing some 40 years ago now. Im my experience the general public cant hear it - and dont care. if the music is well written - the tunes are catchy - or you can relax to them their happy. The intricacy's of noise floors, aliasing, clean signals doesnt even enter their conscious.

I mean - you can play a live gig - make horrendous mistakes in keys, notes, sounds - and the audience (most of them) dont even notice. You can play 3 pieces of music - and the one they like is the one that speaks to them emotionally - either lyrics, melody, energy - whatever. Its never which is the cleanest signal or has the least underlying noise., To say different IMO is bonkers.

That s not to say NOBODY cares - there are always other musicians and producers, either pro or amateur out there that can tell and will know - but they are by far the minority.

As I say we differ on opinion here - thats fine. Worlds would be boring if we all held the same views.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #272
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antti H ➡️

Also did you notice that the mp3 has a brickwall lowpass filter at 11.5 kHz? There is literally nothing above that frequency.
No - as i listen with my ears no analysed on a scope... To me thats the critical test really. I can hear everything I can in my room in the MP3 file. Theres nothing missing - but I cant hear much above 10k anyway there days.

It is what it is - it shows what the Ti2 SOUNDS like when it aliases. If that of use fine - if its not fair enough. I tried.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #273
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
You're grossly over-simplifying at best, putting words in people's mouths (again) at worst.

Objectively speaking, all these imaginary idiots you often refer to are not actually here in this thread. They exist only in your tiresomely negative world view.
I don’t understand why through your arguments you are completely negating va’s as instruments (because they alias) when history has demonstrated these instruments have been used in numerous successful releases. I get that you personally are all in on analog and I’m cool with that but I’m not cool with how you seem to expect the whole world to align to your perspective. I’ve read your points and counterpoints to several posts and I still prefer the sound of digital to analog. That’s just my preference, I’m not saying that everyone has to agree. It’s just my preference. I’ve known about aliasing since the 80s. Frankly I think it’s a hollow argument to justify choosing analog over digital. Enjoy your gear and enjoy the differences in other gear choices. Ultimately it’s makes for a more colourful culture.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #274
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️
You're grossly over-simplifying at best, putting words in people's mouths (again) at worst.

Objectively speaking, all these imaginary idiots you often refer to are not actually here in this thread. They exist only in your tiresomely negative world view.
actually I agree with grumphh a lot here. Hes not over simplifying things. Hes speaking for the millions in the world that listen to melody, rhythm, lyrics via streaming, or on poor consumer grade electronic - with poor speakers or headphones. These people care nothing for noise, aliasing, signal purity or anything else beyond the song itself. it has always been so and always will.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #275
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nismology ➡️
To be honest, I've only really used my Virus TI in monotimbral mode, never really felt the need to delve into multitimbral mode...

Am I missing out?
I use mine the same way.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #276
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
The intricacy's of noise floors, aliasing, clean signals doesnt even enter their conscious.
That's literally what I said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
you can play a live gig - make horrendous mistakes in keys, notes, sounds - and the audience (most of them) dont even notice.
I firmly believe they'll know it's ****e but they won't know why. To assume otherwise is arrogant imho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
Its never which is the cleanest signal or has the least underlying noise., To say different IMO is bonkers.
Never said it was the only factor, that's, ironically, a gross over-simplification. It's one of many tiny details that ya gotta weight up in the bigger picture. It is a mistake to dismiss any one of these factors out of hand. You might decide to go with a clipped vocal or a hissy synth. It depends. But ya consider it, ya don't ignore it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
there are always other musicians and producers, either pro or amateur out there that can tell and will know
That's literally our job to know. To the audience, it falls under the heading of "magic" or maybe they would put it all down to "talent".

The devil is in the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
via streaming
Woah there. That is not, generally, significantly detrimental to sound quality. Cheap electronics are a lot better now than they were your apocryphal 10-15 years ago.

This is kind of a blinkered argument though. Falls apart with a little reductio ad absurdum. We're not always making music for a stimulus response. Sometimes it's, y'know, art, meant to last. Sure, Nat King Cole would connect with us singing Unforgettable into a counterfeit SM58 through a WEM Westminster. But there's a reason they recorded it in an acoustically beautiful room with the best equipment available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cixelsyd ➡️
I don’t understand why through your arguments you are completely negating va’s as instruments (because they alias)
Um that's the opposite of what I've said about VAs. I'm a massive fan of the KS4.

Last edited by Tomás Mulcahy; 4 weeks ago at 09:15 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #277
Lives for gear
 
Trying to be helpfull - turned the other synths off, though there is still a background hiss from the line mixer. The fact that other synths added to the noise in such as way as to mask, or confuse and the MP3 conversion (which is how most listen to music really) made it indistinguishable from noise - both kind of point to how small a problem it is in reality IMO. But hey.

Just the Saw the Saw+soft didtortion. C6/7/8/9 of each. WAV file format.
Attached Files

Virus Ti2 Aliesing Demo 2.wav (10.58 MB, 854 views)

Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #278
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
actually I agree with grumphh a lot here. Hes not over simplifying things. Hes speaking for the millions in the world that listen to melody, rhythm, lyrics via streaming, or on poor consumer grade electronic - with poor speakers or headphones. These people care nothing for noise, aliasing, signal purity or anything else beyond the song itself. it has always been so and always will.
I think most people react to the sound of the record first, then the song/content contained within that sound. You skip through tracks looking for those with a sound you like, and once you've narrowed that down you start paying closer attention to the actual content of the tracks who's sound you like. That's largely the purpose of "genre," to group things into a general sound for people, that they then dig into for the specific content of the individual songs.

While these specific details won't be noticed specifically by a listener, if a record doesn't sound right, it gets immediately discounted before the song/melody/lyric/etc ever gets heard. So these details can add up to a quick "pass" by listeners before the content is ever really listened to. These details can mean the sound falls apart on a cheap smartphone speaker.

In every discussion of detail in the audio engineering conversation, there's the "casual listeners aren't paying attention to it" argument that doesn't really serve much purpose except as a footnote platitude everyone already understands. Its just not that worthwhile a note to bring up every time people discuss details.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #279
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There is a little aliasing in that Virus examples but it's more than acceptable. Not the best way to test it though, IMO. Here's one I did a while back. Novation KSR versus V-Station. Hard panned mono with identical settings and no effects. See if you can guess which is which
Attached Files
File Type: zip Novation test.wav.zip (13.31 MB, 6 views)
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #280
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️


Woah there. That is not, generally, significantly detrimental to sound quality. Cheap electronics are a lot better now than they were your apocryphal 10-15 years ago.

This is kind of a blinkered argument though. Falls apart with a little reductio ad absurdum. We're not always making music for a stimulus response. Sometimes it's, y'know, art, meant to last. Sure, Nat King Cole would connect with us singing Unforgettable into a counterfeit SM58 through a WEM Westminster. But there's a reason they recorded it in an acoustically beautiful room with the best equipment available.
How long ago cheap electronics were rubbish, and how much better they are now has no real bearing on peoples expectations. People listend through rubbish 15+ years ago - and dont now. it doesnt mean the music produced for that rubbish is any better.

I dont think its doing people a dis-service, I speak to people about this regularly - because I want the best experience for them. Im constantly told they cant tell the difference between one thing and another (when I clearly can) even when represented with the 2 in isolation.

i get that you/we do the best we can - thats a given BUT the best we can - if the right instrument happens to give aliasing, is to still use it. You should never turn away from something just because of its negatives. Nothing is perfect.

The problem - in general - is the knowledge and thoughts of the experts do - in general - far outweigh the general consumer. One argument is to use the best - produce the best - for their enjoyment. perfectly valid. Another is it doesnt matter about the smaller things if they enjoy the output. Again, just as valid.

the danger is you strive for perfection, and in doing so loose the mojo. It happens.

Its not an argument - or shouldnt be. Its not about who has the correct viewpoint (there is no such thing). Its about different perspectives and outlooks. You hear, understand and appreciate the problems aliasing brings and want to minimise it. I have the same appreciation of the phenomena but happen to believe in a mix, for most consumers, its irrelevant and doesn't detract from what they enjoy. Both viewpoints are juts as valid - and more importantly both viewpoints are acted on across the whole world of recording.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #281
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
the millions in the world that listen to melody, rhythm, lyrics via streaming, or on poor consumer grade electronic - with poor speakers or headphones. These people care nothing for noise, aliasing, signal purity or anything else beyond the song itself. it has always been so and always will.
I can only speak for myself, thx
But yes, you are right in that that is exactly what i mean

My personal epiphany was when i saw the movie "Out of Africa" (quite a few decades ago) where there is this scene where Robert Redford has brought a record player (one of those wind up ones with a giant cone for a speaker) with him on the savanna, and he and Meryl Streep listen to some classical music through that thing. Iirc - i may not remember neither the music nor the recordplayer accurately...
But that scene was where it struck me (consciously) that the enjoyment of the music is not dependent on an accurate reproduction at all, but on the music itself, namely the notes and the playing.


Tldr: Sound quality is the least concern if the music is any good...
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #282
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 ➡️
I think most people react to the sound of the record first, then the song/content contained within that sound. You skip through tracks looking for those with a sound you like, and once you've narrowed that down you start paying closer attention to the actual content of the tracks who's sound you like. That's largely the purpose of "genre," to group things into a general sound for people, that they then dig into for the specific content of the individual songs.

While these specific details won't be noticed specifically by a listener, if a record doesn't sound right, it gets immediately discounted before the song/melody/lyric/etc ever gets heard. So these details can add up to a quick "pass" by listeners before the content is ever really listened to. These details can mean the sound falls apart on a cheap smartphone speaker.

In every discussion of detail in the audio engineering conversation, there's the "casual listeners aren't paying attention to it" argument that doesn't really serve much purpose except as a footnote platitude everyone already understands. Its just not that worthwhile a note to bring up every time people discuss details.
Thats one viewpoint. Another is they listen for a melody, or a beat or even a lyric first and foremost and The sounds themselves are secondary. There are people who approach things both ways, an often the same pepo[le can approach it in both ways at different times.

Certainly the first thing I look for personally is the melody, then the beat, then I look for meaning in the lyrics, and lastly the sounds themselves. After all the same song can be re-mixed and re-recorded many different ways. Its still the same song. And yes some will ultimately prefer one arrangement BUT that may be the tempo, or the energy just as much the soundscape.

Everyone is different - no 2 people will approach anything exactly the same.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #283
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh ➡️
I can only speak for myself, thx
But yes, you are right in that that is exactly what i mean

My personal epiphany was when i saw the movie "Out of Africa" (quite a few decades ago) where there is this scene where Robert Redford has brought a record player (one of those wind up ones with a giant cone for a speaker) with him on the savanna, and he and Meryl Streep listen to some classical music through that thing. Iirc - i may not remember neither the music nor the recordplayer accurately...
But that scene was where it struck me (consciously) that the enjoyment of the music is not dependent on an accurate reproduction at all, but on the music itself, namely the notes and the playing.
This isn't some Confucius type epiphany, its obvious platitude stuff.

Records have to sound good to people. Producers and engineers are going to discuss things that affect sound, its the conversation around what we all do.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #284
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
... if the right instrument happens to give aliasing, is to still use it.
Well ya, if it's right it's right. No argument there! But it depends. Aliasing can be gross. Case in point: I use the V-Station for mobile demoing. Sysex the patch over to the KSR for the actual mix. Interesting that you're a melody person. I'm more of a texture person. The orchestration can totally change the character of the melody, for me.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #285
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomás Mulcahy ➡️

Um that's the opposite of what I've said about VAs. I'm a massive fan of the KS4.
Maybe I was drawn in by your comments about how aliasing is bad and even though users somehow know there’s something wrong but they don’t know why. This implies that as a tool it it’s somehow bad or wrong for a recording as an instrument.

I’m quite into the Beatles and I really enjoy listening to the individual tracks of their recorded songs. The individual tracks often reveal lots of sonic impurities to the recorded performance like counting, cross talk, talking, bits of outtake performances. These impurities while they do indeed exist and you can even hear them in the release only seem to add to final result without negative audience feedback. In my view, every instrument has issues but this is negated by the fact that the music comes from the musician and not the instrument. All of these faults just add to the vibe of the music. Your mileage may vary.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #286
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
Certainly the first thing I look for personally is the melody, then the beat, then I look for meaning in the lyrics, and lastly the sounds themselves. After all the same song can be re-mixed and re-recorded many different ways. Its still the same song. And yes some will ultimately prefer one arrangement BUT that may be the tempo, or the energy just as much the soundscape.
I don't mean "the sounds." IMO most people first respond to the totality of the sound of the record. Drop the needle, does it immediately sound wack to me or cool to me?

Everything. . the melody, the beat, the performances, the production decisions, the arrangement, the engineering. . all are in the service of a singular sound hitting people's ears that they tend to immediately like or dislike. Or at least neutral/dislike. Basically you don't want to trigger that immediate "dislike" if you don't have to.

If you don't like opera and you drop the needle and hear opera, you're not going to be moved by the lyrics, you're going to skip to something else. That sort of thing is going on at a "immediate preference in the totality of the sound" level every time someone listens to a new record.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #287
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
Trying to be helpfull - turned the other synths off, though there is still a background hiss from the line mixer. The fact that other synths added to the noise in such as way as to mask, or confuse and the MP3 conversion (which is how most listen to music really) made it indistinguishable from noise - both kind of point to how small a problem it is in reality IMO. But hey.

Just the Saw the Saw+soft didtortion. C6/7/8/9 of each. WAV file format.
Thanks!

Looking at the recording I can see that for C6 - C8 the aliases between the wanted harmonics (that is, above the fundamental) are all below -45 dB, meaning they will be almost certainly masked by the actual signal.

For C6 the worst aliases below the fundamental are down by -65 dB which might just be audible in a worst case artificial test. I did one such test using my own algorithms about 15 years ago when I was much younger. My limit was -65 dB in a worst possible case test playing painfully loud sweeping tones using headphones (meaning I could be certain that aliasing much below -65 dB was not going to audible in any real world scenario - important for a synth algorithm developer to know!).

For C7 the aliases are still down -58 dB. Audible in an artificial test but unlikely in music. For C8 it's -53 so might be getting audible if nothing else in the music will mask it. In C9 I could outright hear the aliasing on speakers but nobody's going to play that high notes except as weird special effects and even a lone C8 would be unusual except as a short plink or similar sound.

My conclusion: The oscillators are (very) likely fine except in some artificial tests when it comes to aliasing (honestly pretty much as I expected - it was a solved problem by time TI was developed). Access is playing it kinda close to the limit but still on the good side of it, I'd say. The spectrum fairly clearly shows that there is no internal oversampling and the high number of aliases at low levels implies the fractional phase is quantized to a fairly small number (~8 bits or in the ballpark) when calculating the antialiasing.

The distorted versions show much higher levels of aliasing as expected from a digital distortion and high notes are going to be risky. But then that's hardly unusual and builtin digital distortions with low aliasing are rare in devices from that era and before. Nothing unusual. Player beware. Likewise oscillator sync might alias more but that's a bit trickier test to set up so it can be generalized to real world performance.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #288
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
I use mine the same way.
Formant and granular osc, and analog modeled filters, and some fx use the most juice. If u do solo patches, might as well juice it up to the max.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #289
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Multitimbral mode - Yesssss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nismology ➡️
To be honest, I've only really used my Virus TI in monotimbral mode, never really felt the need to delve into multitimbral mode...

Am I missing out?
Yes. You are missing out. If you haven’t coupled an iPad running BeatMaker 3 or even 2 to numerous midi channels on a Virus, it’s a blast and good way to stay compact. Same with my Deluge or Spectralis 2 or even the 4 part capable Zaquencer. Multitimbral takes advantage of those programs and midi mapping and a whole bunch of the voices. I have 5 dedicated midi channels on my MV8800 new pattern template that go to my Virus Ti2, 4 for the Nord Rack 2X, 4 for the Polymorph, 4 for the KS4 on midi B side,1 each for Blofeld, Minilogue, jv1010, TherapSID - I mean the MV8800 has 32 midi out channels. 16 on Midi A, 16 on Midi B, and all internal instruments I make (drum tracks, synth tracks using S750 sampler libraries, etc) don’t even take up a midi channel.

If you have some 80 voice capability, why wouldn’t you use it in multitimbral mode to use some of the massive voice capacity it has?

Just my 2¢, but multitimbral synths are amazing and those old VA’s can do it easily.

If I had a Q Phoenix edition, it would be doing half my synth tracks by itself.

Another nice feature of a Deluge paired with a Virus - Virus can do great analog sounding drums but has no dedicated drum program to put on a single midi channel 10 like a lot of other synths, but the Deluge can do a drum grid track with a different midi channel for each drum sound all on the same track. I can make a multi with 10 different drum sounds on the virus, and sequence it all from a single drum track view on the Deluge. Crazy good analog sounding drum tracks with a Virus.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #290
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 ➡️
This isn't some Confucius type epiphany, its obvious platitude stuff.

Records have to sound good to people. Producers and engineers are going to discuss things that affect sound, its the conversation around what we all do.
You call it platitude - i call it a moment where i realized that i had to adjust what i thought i knew about the world. Flexibility.

And you just continue with "what you know to be true" even if reality spits in the face of your so called "knowledge"

And reality is that people, ever since the advent of recorded music, have consumed it happily, completely regardless of low fidelity or quality in playback systems - and even with todays technology available people listen to their favourite music through cheap earbuds or those horrible bluetoooth speakers, and all other sorts of disgustingly bad sounding systems...


But sure, don't let reality get in the way of your argument, where would the fun in that be?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #291
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Think of multitimbral like opening the same VST on multiple DAW tracks

Multitimbral capability in synths is akin to opening multiple instances of your favorite VST on multiple tracks in your DAW. Being hardware though - you save the cpu of your pc/Mac/iPad by using multiple midi channels to a single piece of hardware. Some multitimbral synths even have added flexibility to route different outputs for each channel to further fine tune with fx or to a different sub mix, etc.


With my iPad, I can run a few synths in AU mode, then track out 16 channels externally and just use up my Virus processing and not touch extra cpu cycles on the iPad. PC the same. Midi processing is really lightweight so outboarding synth tracks and having fx outboard allows me more tracks on my sequencer program.

I could go on and on about benefits of multitimbral over monotimbral when having hardware that has many many voice capability.

Even the Blofeld is fully 16 part multitimbral but maxes at 25 voices. You can get at least 4 parts out of it with complex passages and chords before maxing out voices, but I wouldn’t try using all 16 parts with only 25 voices. Virus on the other hand, at least the Ti and Ti2 have a massive voice count capability. Same with a Q and a few others. It’s about taking advantage of voice count and running multiple parts balanced to voice counts that make these old VA’s incredibly more versatile than most of today’s analogs. Older analogs like the Alesis Andromeda were also multitimbral and had a high analog voice count. Expensive though. I think Dave Smith new synths are like that for flagship versions of Prophet.

Try it out!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #292
Gear Head
 
Ominous ProtocoL's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cixelsyd ➡️
I don’t understand why through your arguments you are completely negating va’s as instruments (because they alias) when history has demonstrated these instruments have been used in numerous successful releases. I get that you personally are all in on analog and I’m cool with that but I’m not cool with how you seem to expect the whole world to align to your perspective. I’ve read your points and counterpoints to several posts and I still prefer the sound of digital to analog. That’s just my preference, I’m not saying that everyone has to agree. It’s just my preference. I’ve known about aliasing since the 80s. Frankly I think it’s a hollow argument to justify choosing analog over digital. Enjoy your gear and enjoy the differences in other gear choices. Ultimately it’s makes for a more colourful culture.
I agree. We sit and argue this digital vs analog debate with too little mention of the sounds we are after in my opinion. Such a wide range of possible sounds, maybe digital does this sound better but analog does that sound better.

I to prefer digital over analog for the most part because of the sounds I am after. I do Florida style electro/breaks sort of stuff. Digital really suits that style to me. That being said I do have a couple analog devices, so I am not anti-analog either.

I have listened to the occasional link to youtube regarding some analog sound someone did and was very excited about. I would listen and then say "yeah I would never even come close to using a sound similar to that". So really it comes down to what you are trying to do I think.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #293
Gear Nut
 
Nismology's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonhead ➡️
Multitimbral capability in synths is akin to opening multiple instances of your favorite VST on multiple tracks in your DAW. Being hardware though - you save the cpu of your pc/Mac/iPad by using multiple midi channels to a single piece of hardware. Some multitimbral synths even have added flexibility to route different outputs for each channel to further fine tune with fx or to a different sub mix, etc.


With my iPad, I can run a few synths in AU mode, then track out 16 channels externally and just use up my Virus processing and not touch extra cpu cycles on the iPad. PC the same. Midi processing is really lightweight so outboarding synth tracks and having fx outboard allows me more tracks on my sequencer program.

I could go on and on about benefits of multitimbral over monotimbral when having hardware that has many many voice capability.

Even the Blofeld is fully 16 part multitimbral but maxes at 25 voices. You can get at least 4 parts out of it with complex passages and chords before maxing out voices, but I wouldn’t try using all 16 parts with only 25 voices. Virus on the other hand, at least the Ti and Ti2 have a massive voice count capability. Same with a Q and a few others. It’s about taking advantage of voice count and running multiple parts balanced to voice counts that make these old VA’s incredibly more versatile than most of today’s analogs. Older analogs like the Alesis Andromeda were also multitimbral and had a high analog voice count. Expensive though. I think Dave Smith new synths are like that for flagship versions of Prophet.

Try it out!
Thanks! Super helpful. Sounds like I have some bedtime reading of the Virus manual to do! I'm driving everything from an MC-909, so I'll have to investigate running the TI (and maybe a few others) on multiple midi channels.

Sadly my studio currently looks like this as I'm replastering the ceiling. Planning to reorganise my midi routing once it all goes back together.

Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #294
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
909 will sequence multitimbral like a champ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nismology ➡️
Thanks! Super helpful. Sounds like I have some bedtime reading of the Virus manual to do! I'm driving everything from an MC-909, so I'll have to investigate running the TI (and maybe a few others) on multiple midi channels.

Sadly my studio currently looks like this as I'm replastering the ceiling. Planning to reorganise my midi routing once it all goes back together.

Oh yeah. 909 very capable of sequencing multiple channels of the Virus or whatever other multitimbral synths you have. Great sequencer. I started on a 303 and the bigger 505, 808, and 909 MC’s are great as center pieces to a studio if sequencing multiple hardware pieces. Even the little 303 I used to pair with my Quasimidi Polymorph for 4 parts out of 8.

909 of course capable of a lot more channels. Have fun with it. MV8800 is a great unit too for setting up multiple hardware synths. I’m running about 10 devices (synths and samplers) from the MV8800 or midi synced to the Mv8800.

I always wanted to pick up a 909 but now have zero room for another big sequencer. RS7000, MC909 are great older sequencers with nice sampling functions. As much as I don’t have anymore room, I sure want to add a Polyend Tracker to the equipment list!
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #295
Lives for gear
 
Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmapp8306 ➡️
WE just have to agree to differ on whether most people care. You are experienced, Ive been doing the same since I started playing some 40 years ago now. Im my experience the general public cant hear it - and dont care. if the music is well written - the tunes are catchy - or you can relax to them their happy. The intricacy's of noise floors, aliasing, clean signals doesnt even enter their conscious.
Or they can hear it and actually like it. When DJ Shadow released "Entroducing", everyone wanted to MPC60's specifically for the 12-bit sound. Underworld's "Second Toughest in the Infants" has Nord Lead 1 all over it and still sounds great today. Neither album was professionally mixed ("Entroducing" was recorded on ADAT's) and there weren't any vintage Neve EQ's smoothing out the sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #296
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
The Maschine+ sampler has an MPC60 and SP1200 mode on it that introduces aliasing and artifacts when you transpose a sample and I actually like that kind of aliasing sometimes. I also love bit crushers and sample rate reducers, probably among my favorite types of FX. It’s nice to have certain digital artifacts when you want them, but if you’re forced to have artifacts in certain frequency ranges then that can become a very unpleasant issue that’s hard to remedy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #297
Here for the gear
 
djsinistral's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nismology ➡️
So I'm sitting here in front of my newly acquired Novation KS4, scratching my head.

I just won it on eBay for £200, no other competition. This thing is pristine, not a mark on it, and all the knobs and faders are silky smooth. It's built better than many synths I've used. It has a mainly metal chassis, internal power supply and a nice Fatar semi weighted action with very responsive aftertouch. I dare say it also looks pretty sexy in metallic silver with its blue screen.

The KS4 sounds impressive; the 'liquidy' filter is particulary lovely. The UI is among the best I've used on a subtractive synth. I've only had it for a day so it could just be a case for 'shiny new toy' effect, but I feel like I stole it for the price I paid.

Looking at completed listings reveals that this is pretty much the market value of this synth, and even Access Viruses, the cutting edge of synthesis not long ago, are becoming more and more affordable.

Do you think the quality of plug-ins, and FPGA based hardware has now advanced to a sufficiently high level that VA synths of the past are now curiosities of a bygone era - comparatively primitive approximations of vintage analog synths that can now be much more convincingly emulated through other means, or even replaced with contemporary true analog hardware?

Do any of you still use 10+ year-old VA synths regularly in your music? Has the availability of low-cost Behringer clones of classic synths rendered VA needless now? Do you think in a few years we'll see a resurgence in popularity of these instruments, as happened with vintage analog gear?

Interested to hear your thoughts.
They're not obsolete - just far less useful than they used to be.

I started making music with a Novation Nova, when softsynths sounded generally rubbish. Now, between Sylenth, Serum, Massive etc... I sold the Nova years ago and rarely miss it.

Everything has a character to it. The VAs had character - the virus's and nords are still hot property in some EDM circles, for their gritty digital filters and FM capabilities.

But the quality of soft synths sounds has increased so much, and can do so much more than VAs.

Real analog however has not been fully replicated in digital devices yet.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #298
Lives for gear
 
kraku's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJT ➡️
Unless you can give an audible example of this, I honestly don't think this is aliasing. I do think that some VA's don't "cut through" a mix as good as some analogs, but I don't think adding a bunch of va tracks together in the mix somehow brings out aliasing more. You're talking about, at most, some inaudible aliasing well below the level of the signal. Then, when you combine tracks, you bring down the level of the signals of each track, thereby keeping any aliasing artifacts inaudible, not somehow multiplying them. It's the same as signal to noise. If each recorded track has a healthy signal to noise ratio, then multiplying tracks doesn't bring up the noise. Because you lower the level of each track to fit the mix. The recorded noise stays at the same volume ratio as the recorded signal.

If you record at really poor levels, and then use a ton of eq to try and get a better sound, post recording, then you might hear some aliasing. But, you're also probably hearing a ton of noise as well. That's just bad practice anyway, and noisy analog synth recordings at low levels happen just as often.

If you think your tracks are muddy with a bunch of VA's in the mix (which I don't disagree with), something else is going on. Like less harmonics, bad filters, bad eq's, or bad recording technique IMO.
Close, but that's not exactly what is happening with aliasing muddying up the mix. Here's an example:

You have an instrument X which contains aliasing. Aliasing fills up the instrument's own frequency space with unmusical noise. In practise, this noise can be surprisingly loud before you start noticing it through the original sound itself.

Now you add another instrument Z, which has parts of its frequencies overlapping with instrument X. These overlapping frequencies are now fighting with instrument X's aliasing noise and this frequency space becomes muddy sounding. It doesn't sound very muddy when the instrument Z isn't overlapping partly with X.

A great analogy of this effect in action would be what's being demonstrated in the video below. The video doesn't touch the topic of aliasing per se, but the effect is exactly the same: extra harmonics in the instrument's frequency space is muddying up the mix, even though the level of those extra harmonics might be moderately low:

Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #299
Lives for gear
 
Tomás Mulcahy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku ➡️
A great analogy of this effect in action would be what's being demonstrated in the video below. The video doesn't touch the topic of aliasing per se, but the effect is exactly the same: extra harmonics in the instrument's frequency space is muddying up the mix
This video literally explains exactly @ TJT 's point though.

For sure you can make a track with a bunch of patches, and it might sound muddy. But just because you've done it with a VA it does not follow that the problem is aliasing. You could do exactly the same thing with a bunch of RA patches. Good example of a syllogism.

It's far more likely that the "extra" harmonics are due to poor choice of timbres, because those "muddy" harmonics are much much higher in level than the aliasing. Both the Virus Ti and Novation K series aliasing examples in this thread demonstrate that the aliasing is more than 50dB below full scale when pushed deliberately, whereas the harmonics of the poorly chosen timbres will be a lot higher especially with more normal VA patches where the aliasing is not being deliberately pushed.

In fact this is often a problem with mixing real analogue synths. They are often too broad harmonically, most patches have a lot of overlap. Wendy Carlos has great examples of this problem in her Secrets of Synthesis CD. Arrangements she abandoned on the ARP 2500 and did on the Synergy instead. As she puts it, analogue is like a parody of acoustic instruments whereas additive gives far more control and is better for blending lots of layers (she does orchestral style music).

Incidentally "mud" is usually analogous to low mid frequencies. Alias tones are normally described as "harsh" because they are almost always HF. Obviously we're using subjective terms, but I wonder if there is a contextual issue here?

And you can be sure the Synergy is prone to worse aliasing than most VA synths!

Last edited by Tomás Mulcahy; 4 weeks ago at 11:03 AM.. Reason: Remembered Wendy Carlos CD
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #300
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku ➡️

So, this guy talks about conifers (no, not even oranges) and you take that as being support for your apple argument?

Rubbish.
This guy has one approach for one specific instance of music creation and tries to make it out as if it were some golden rule that should be applied to everything.
As you do, with your daft insistence that "aliasing clutters up a mix".

But one thing i have learned is, that if someone claims to have the "one solution that fits all" (or has identified "the one problem all experience") it is either a truly crappy excuse for a solution or a blatant lie.

Sure, what the guy describes is one technique out of many* that you can try to apply if you find you have problems with a mix (after all, arrangement is a vital part of producing music), but there simply is no such thing as "the one correct way to mix", which is sort of implied here.

And this video does not in any way support your "aliasing cluttering mixes" theory as it has absolutely nothing to do with aliasing whatsoever, or at least no more than conifers have in common with apples.


* The really fun part is that you can also find the exact opposite of this videos content praised, namely the removal of the fundamental by high passing (in order to have less clutter in the bass end of the mix), because the harmonics in the remaining signal actually imply the fundamental, so that the brain is tricked (psychoacoustics) into hearing a frequency that isn't even in the signal.

Make of that what you will - all this conflicting information really says is, that there are many approaches to mixing music, and the only truly daft people are the ones that claim that they have found a technique that should be applied universally...

Last edited by grumphh; 4 weeks ago at 11:11 AM..
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 65 views: 20560
Avatar for blueNan
blueNan 20th February 2020
replies: 14183 views: 1587512
Avatar for DEA
DEA 13 hours ago
replies: 700 views: 16857
Avatar for haysonics
haysonics 4 hours ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump