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What is it that defines analog?
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recnsci ➡️
this is false. There is no difference for "software" digital and "hardware" digital regarding VCA emulation. And VCA emulation is quite a bit simpler compared to VCF and VCO emulation.
yea that part is a little confusing.. i'm not actually talking about emulation there. i need to address that section. i'm trying to say that in a hardware synth the output stage can be analogue, regardless of if the synth is digital or not.
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recnsci ➡️
Maybe you are talking about analog path after VCA (and voice mixer in case of poly)?
yes i think i am. from VCA to the jack is what i was thinking. i was basically talking about the heardroom in the system.. in a mono synth you have a hotter signal.. like i say this is a draft. thank you for pointing out these problems.

i might actually scrap all of that section of my site. what i really want there is a brief explanation in layman's terms that quantifies some of the basic benefits of analogue synthesis. if anyone here can define that for me i would be grateful.

i think i may just instead go with the very eloquent:

no aliasing
rich saturation
subtle modulations that are hard to imitate

from Jet's post
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #33
ozy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson ➡️
Ya know, it is really simple: analog is non-digital. But on the other hand, digital sound is an analog of acoustic sound, to draw an analogy...
This happens just in theory, though

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice

In practice, there is difference
Old 20th September 2012
  #34
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Words are poor vehicles for describing sounds.

Listen for yourself, (through quality monitors, at reasonable volume),
and you will KNOW, in your bones, that which cannot be put into words.
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #35
Deleted b788fee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur ➡️
Words are poor vehicles for describing sounds.

Listen for yourself, (through quality monitors, at reasonable volume),
and you will KNOW, in your bones, that which cannot be put into words.
I think there's a lot of internal emotional and intellectual factors that become involved (esp. when somebody starts to become influenced by internet chatter on the subject) ...

It would be interesting to find musicians with relevant experience (and maybe even music lovers) but no background in the analog vs. digital debate and document reactions ...
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted b788fee ➡️
It would be interesting to find musicians with relevant experience but no background in the analog vs. digital debate and document reactions ...
+1

Finally, a sensible proposal
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diametro ➡️
I think there's a lot of internal emotional and intellectual factors that become involved (esp. when somebody starts to become influenced by internet chatter on the subject) ...

It would be interesting to find musicians with relevant experience (and maybe even music lovers) but no background in the analog vs. digital debate and document reactions ...
Yeah, well I'm sort of iconoclastic that way. I don't really care what someone else thinks. I know what mooooves me. Then I buy it. Analog or digital.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cramseur ➡️
Yeah, well I'm sort of iconoclastic that way. I don't really care what someone else thinks. I know what mooooves me. Then I buy it. Analog or digital.
All hail the iconoclast !!!

Oh, wait ... You don't care what someone else thinks (which begs the question why bother reading other people's opinions on a message board ... because that's what 99 percent of this forum consists of ... )

Gather the costumes and send the extras home ... !!!
Old 25th September 2012
  #39
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The difference is infinite. Chaos, inconsistency. An analog sound will have billions of variations even when playing the same note. Digital you have to program it to add some variety back into the individual notes, however you are still dealing with a finite, limited numbers of variations between how it sounds from note to note. Analog is a more accurate representation of the world around us, because like sound and light waves interacting in the infinite and unlimited space of nature, it is built out of pure chaos. Digital attempts to mimic this effect by breaking everything down to discrete levels and scanning it to make a photocopy. I'm sure you can appreciate the difference in resolution and detail between a photograph and a photocopy, right? This is what we're talking about when we discuss analog vs digital in terms of recording technology.

Blog post on the topic Imperfection | Modular Jack
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #40
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Oh puh-leeeeeze ...


Not mother nature again.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted b788fee ➡️
It would be interesting to find musicians with relevant experience (and maybe even music lovers) but no background in the analog vs. digital debate and document reactions ...
I'd be up for this if someone wants to blindfold test me with some unmarked analog/digital sound clips. I'm just learning the ropes of synthesis now but I have been playing instruments for a while and have no bias in this debate.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #42
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One would have to set up the methodology of this test very carefully as i'm not sure sound clips alone are the whole story ...

Musicians play instruments and synthesizers are instruments ...So for me the test would require actually playing analog and digital synthesizers (and not with blindfolds) ...

But then I would think many musicians could discern a vintage piece of equipment vs. something more recently produced ... But maybe not ... On the other hand, perhaps the test could take into consideration the testers knowledge of a synthesizer being old vs. new and any prejudices that carries with it ...

Another facet would be what value does the player place on certain features ... sound, user interface, features, studio connectivity ... all these things factor into gear decisions and what gets used and for what ...

It's quite a lot for something -- to me -- that doesn't really matter (iconoclasm alert lol) ... I'm really getting to the point where I'm like just freakin' throw anything in front of me and I'll make it work ...

I still think it would be an interesting experiment though ... even just to try and conduct it ...

Although Rainball I think anybody already reading this thread probably has a contaminated mind as far as I'm concerned (no offense lol) ...
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diametro ➡️
All hail the iconoclast !!!

Oh, wait ... You don't care what someone else thinks (which begs the question why bother reading other people's opinions on a message board ... because that's what 99 percent of this forum consists of ... )

Gather the costumes and send the extras home ... !!!
Nice try, pal. I care about what other people have to say plenty. Don't read more into my post than is there. When Solaris says the jd990 sounds thus...i go listen to the jd990, then I see if I agree or not. When Carbon111 says MWXT can do this, I see how that sounds, etc.


My statement was in the context of a "test" where someone other than me would say what they thought about analog or digital. I don't care about THAT. I prefer to listen then evaluate for myself.

Plenty of the chatter in forums leads me to explore avenue I hadn't previously considered, and teaches about different methods and approaches. That I care very much about.

I don't care whether YOU (or anyone else) think(s) analog sounds this or digital sounds that. Whether double blinded or not. I only care about "sounds great", and that will only make me listen for myself.

My ears are my only reference.

But please, if some person doing a double blind study of 1000 other people, moves you to buy or not buy a synth...be my guest. Freedom is a wonderful thing, and it's your money.

Also, perhaps my use of iconoclast is incorrect. I'm actually more of an anachronism.
Old 25th September 2012
  #44
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Then don't read more into my post than is there ... All I said is such an experiment would be interesting ... Not that my next synth acquisition or my sense of self as a musician depended upon it ...

But please do continue describing yourself in multisyllabic terms with lots of hard consonants ... It's amusing ...
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #45
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How does someone's mind get contaminated anyway?

Reading the er... obfuscations of self-indulgent intchernet iconoclasts?

A sense of rebellion at todayze analog snobbery? Or if you are a little older, a sense of rebellion from being laughed at for seeking out untrendy analog boards when you were a young lad? "Did you say Moog? Hahahahaha!" Or if you are a little older than that a nauseous sense of nostalgia for the analog daze?

tchkk pish
Old 25th September 2012
  #46
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I think what the big D is saying here is that most people have already spoiled their minds and they just don't listen objectively or they may even ignore things they are hearing simply because they have already made up their mind about what they think is or isn't the case with a particular synth.

it makes sense and it's largely why these types of threads fail. The other reason i think is we lack an objective language that we can all agree on to describe the sounds we are discussing.

I know I'm even a victim of it as sometimes, I'll write off a synth based on it's presets. I know that's a cardinal sin around here and I should man up and init a patch and spend two hours leaning a synth so i can tell if I like it or not.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante ➡️
How does someone's mind get contaminated anyway?

Reading the er... obfuscations of self-indulgent intchernet iconoclasts?

A sense of rebellion at todayze analog snobbery? Or if you are a little older, a sense of rebellion from being laughed at for seeking out untrendy analog boards when you were a young lad? "Did you say Moog? Hahahahaha!" Or if you are a little older than that a nauseous sense of nostalgia for the analog daze?

tchkk pish
I think a lot of computer-only producers don't want to feel like they are missing out on something and try and argue that digital is as good.

I still don't have any bias though...does anyone want to show me a good comparison before I inevitably develop one? I've heard good electronic music made both with and without analog synths so it doesn't matter a great deal to me which is 'best'.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #48
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Digital IS as good ... If you believe digital is as good ...
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted b788fee ➡️
Digital IS as good ... If you believe digital is as good ...
I don't even know what exactly would make something 'as good' lol I'm not even sure what the criteria is here, I can only listen to a comparison and say "I like that one better". I barely know my way around a synthesizer, that's what I came here to learn. I understand the implications of the bigger picture highlighted in ModularJack's post but not the technical details in recnsci's, I think that makes me a perfect candidate to judge the two side by side.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #50
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There isn't anything wrong with feeling emotionally connected to what you use, because you are expressing your emotions with it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being biased, unless maybe you are discussing what is best on the internet and you are too damn egotistical to relate to someone else's experiences.

It's been my experience that comparing files on the internet is the absolute worst way to make any meaningful conclusions about the usefulness of something-- get some synths and dig in instead, and there you go.

Top producers are creating hits all in the box, have kicked down tens of thousands of bucks on their software setups, if digital was a hindrance, you know, they wouldn't be spending all that $$. So I don't buy that good ITB producers are super worried that they are missing something. Maybe if they are not busy making hit tracks they might. Oh well.

The technical language exists to explain the differences, but people are more interested in spouting gibberish, well, welcome to the internet.

edit- excuse me if this is a little cranky, it's been one of those work days. F**k Pro Tools, and f**k Logic too, .
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante ➡️
There isn't anything wrong with feeling emotionally connected to what you use, because you are expressing your emotions with it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being biased, unless maybe you are discussing what is best on the internet and you are too damn egotistical to relate to someone else's experiences.

It's been my experience that comparing files on the internet is the absolute worst way to make any meaningful conclusions about the usefulness of something-- get some synths and dig in instead, and there you go.

Top producers are creating hits all in the box, have kicked down tens of thousands of bucks on their software setups, if digital was a hindrance, you know, they wouldn't be spending all that $$. So I don't buy that good ITB producers are super worried that they are missing something. Maybe if they are not busy making hit tracks they might. Oh well.

The technical language exists to explain the differences, but people are more interested in spouting gibberish, well, welcome to the internet.

edit- excuse me if this is a little cranky, it's been one of those work days. F**k Pro Tools, and f**k Logic too, .
Maybe they just feel there is more of a 'true producer' stigma with analog. I'm not saying it's actually there but a lot of DJs will argue that vinyl is 'True DJing' and those who can't spin vinyl will try and prove that laptops are just as good. It's silly either way, but that's often the case and is the cause behind such a 'backlash'.

I find it much easier to believe that analogs have something that digital doesn't, but everyone is after 'that tone' so it makes sense just to use whatever you like. Let's say analog synths become more widely used again...how long before people are trying to recreate 'that retro ITB sound' ?
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #52
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There are a few things that bother me in this discussion. I'm supposed to be finishing up writing a chapter in my book, and being the procrastinator I am, decided to weigh in

1. We seem to have made the assumption here that analog == subtractive. That's true for pretty much every analog synth made for music purposes, but it's not the full story. If educating someone, we should be clear if only to be pedantic.

2. When saying "digital isn't as good", we're clearly talking about digital synthesizers trying to emulate analog synthesis. I have yet to ever see a case inside or outside music where all parties concerned agreed that an emulation/copy/follow-on was as good as the original. The original has qualities which make you want to copy it. Even Moog has done a meh job emulating their original synthesizers. Their new synths are excellent, but they don't sound exactly like the originals. I was never a fan of the DX7, but lots of people absolutely love that sound, and it was original, not trying to be an analog subtractive.

2.5 Also, not all analog subtractives sound fat or great. I had a Juno 106 in the 80s, and while it was simple and hands-on, without that chorus, I always thought it sounded thin and uninteresting. I still don't get the appeal other than nostalgia. (I also had a DW-8000 which I thought sounded much fatter/beefier, and that was a wavetable synth). There are also tons of little cheap toy synthesizers from the 80s which are analog in nature.

3. I love the qualities of good analog subtractive synths, but there are very good digital synthesizers which stand on their own without trying to be exact emulations of analog gear. Many of the wavetable synthesizers fall in that category as do newer synths like Spectralis and the Virus line. Of course, many soft synths are excellent too.

4. We have to remember that humans play these instruments, so the visceral reaction counts for a lot. A violinist playing a classic violin may feel something more than one playing an inexpensive copy, and that feeling will make it into the music. Similar, a keyboard player may get a more visceral reaction from an analog subtractive synth than from a blofeld. They may enjoy it more, etc.

5. Combinations: wavetable synths with analog filters, DCOs in classic analog subtractives, completely digital synthesizers with analog filters, classic chips like the SID, etc. all have character derived from both sides of the equation, and can't really be bucketed as one or the other.

6. Most analog subtractives include no real effects. Because of this, I think people feel closer to the sound, and tend to hear it in its raw form. In contrast, most digital synthesizers these days have a full array of effects that many people keep on when listening or even when creating new sounds. In that case, you always hear the sound through the filter of whatever effects you're using.

and 7. For the blog post excerpted earlier: "a lot" is two words

Pete
Old 26th September 2012
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuckoo.old ➡️
Analog synthesis is a method by which sounds are generated from steam engines connected to left-over coal mines, forcing the air through old tunnels at varying speeds. Different waveforms are created by extrusions layered in different configurations within these tunnels, and envelopes are generated by the new cardboard factory built in Broadmeadows.

Digital in turn is created in a not dissimilar process except they are using hyper-robots from the 4th dimension forcing plasma beams through wormholes. Waveforms are created through, well, the different frequencies of the plasma beams, and envelopes are redundant as they use email.
Seems reasonable.

Sent from my PG06100
Old 26th September 2012
  #54
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It's the difference between painting with oil paints vs. painting with a computer. No matter how far advanced the computer gets, it can never be oil paints.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vstace ➡️
It's the difference between painting with oil paints vs. painting with a computer. No matter how far advanced the computer gets, it can never be oil paints.
I think that's far too simplistic an analogy. But:

Of course, that's only if your intent is to have something look like it was painted with oil paints. A computer, on the other hand, can also do sketching, crayon, and uniquely computer-ish things like pixel art, algorithmic designs, and blur/sharpening, and photo-realistic 3d modeling.

Also keep in mind that this analogy also fits for analog subtractive synths trying to sound like real things, like pianos and strings. They don't sound like the original by a long shot in most cases, but they offer their own beauty.

As an aside: some of the worst art I've seen has been in oils. Most cheap vacation hotel art is oil and ... yeah.

Pete
Old 26th September 2012
  #56
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I like synths... and turtles.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 ➡️
I like synths... and turtles.
Digital turtles are better

Code:
TO SQUARE	; Name of the procedure
FORWARD 50	; Moves the screen turtle forward 50 "turtle steps"
RIGHT 90	; Turtle turns 90 degrees right—FORWARD 50	; Across the top…
RIGHT 90	; Another turn—FORWARD 50	; Down the other side…RIGHT 90	; Turn again—
FORWARD 50	; Bottom of the squareRIGHT 90	; Turn turtle back to original heading
END
Pete
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #58
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🎧 10 years

cas= can LOL!!

yOU cAnNoT deFinE thE aNaLoG
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh ➡️
Analogue sound is mainly defined by its threedimensionality.

Additionally the highs sound clear, the mids are transparent and the bottom end is rich but well defined.

Any questions?
+1

If anyone needs aural reason - try this:

Tubeway Army - Gary Numan - Are Friends Electric - YouTube

It feels real when you press the key and when you have twiddled the knobs.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEXUS-6 ➡️

cas= can LOL!!

yOU cAnNoT deFinE thE aNaLoG
Non analog synths = replicant synths w/o Roy Batty's feelings
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