Thread: Synthesizer Gear Porn ;-)

  1. #926
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    How about people buying a classic car?
    Well, most of them are collectors or "youth dream:ers", owning a small/bigger collection and keeping them i shape for the cultural heritage... As for musical instruments, the same exists, but as tools for creating music, there are good and bad ones in the eyes of the beholders. With synths as well as other instruments, some (vintage as well as recent) are fantastic and some are duds IMHO.

    There are some great vintage sounds that are very hard to recreate and there are some great all-S/W sounds that vintage synths can't get even in the ballpark of.
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  2. #927
    Quote Originally Posted by hFx View Post
    Well, most of them are collectors or "youth dream:ers", owning a small/bigger collection and keeping them i shape for the cultural heritage... As for musical instruments, the same exists, but as tools for creating music, there are good and bad ones in the eyes of the beholders. With synths as well as other instruments, some (vintage as well as recent) are fantastic and some are duds IMHO.

    There are some great vintage sounds that are very hard to recreate and there are some great all-S/W sounds that vintage synths can't get even in the ballpark of.
    But though softsynhs have their adventages, nothing beats twidling real knobs and wires.

  3. #928
    It's another reason I like things like the Modal Skulpt - it offers the lovely tactile interface AND can be integrated within your DAW as a VST plugin so it behaves just like another soft synth.

    Omnisphere is an amazing soft-synth ROMpler. I own it and do absolutely use it for certain types of pads and textures. It's a nuisance to try and edit sounds, at least to me.

    My favorite of late is the JF Sebastian editor for the Deckard's Dream, which includes a really cool timbre space...it's similar to Random in that it generates new patches but unlike Random, it's using AI-type intelligence and depending on *where* in the space you select, you can have it retain some qualities and kind of nudge things in a particular direction:

    https://ritaandaurora.github.io/ddrm-jfsebastian/

    And like the Skulpt...the JF lets me integrate the DDRM into my DAW just like any other VST soft synth. Which is fantastic.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  4. #929
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Omnisphere is an amazing soft-synth ROMpler. I own it and do absolutely use it for certain types of pads and textures.
    To call Omnisphere a ROMpler I feel is quite a bit denigrating... There are way more ways to utilize it than like a glorified U20 () with an enormous depth. Sure, using it as a ROMpler is one way. But then, should a basic set of transistors, capacitors and resistors connected to a few knobs be the one and only basis for great syhtnesized sounds, V/A's like the Nords, Viruses, Modals, Arturia VSTs etc will only be more or less good replicas, and non-A synths like Omnisphere, Alchemy et al would be even further away with their advanced sound sources, including subtractive, west coast style waveshaping as well as additive capabilities and endless modulation possibilities...
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  5. #930
    It's sample based. Requires over 40 GB of samples to be downloaded. Sure, it's got pretty stuff to do with the samples, and I suspect probably somewhere between 3-5% of the users actually go beyond superficial tweaking of the presets (adjust a filter, change an effect, maybe add some attack). I'm comfortable saying that the vast majority of people who buy Omnisphere never go beyond the presets.

    Which is in part why tactile tends to win out when it comes to experimentation. Having a "deep" synthesis engine is great but if the interface makes such dives counter-intuitive or requires a steep learning curve (or hours working with a mouse), then many users won't ever go there.

    But it IS very much subjective.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  6. #931
    I'll throw this one out there: for me personally, right now the best synth for the intersection of "tactile experience" and "deep but also unique synthesis options" is the ASM Hydrasynth.

    Keyboard has really nice polyphonic aftertouch, there's a ribbon that can be mapped in a variety of ways, and a wide range of knobs and buttons that feel firm but not to the point of fighting back, so to speak. Said knobs range from dedicated controls to assignable functions and macros. There are small things, like the pitch and mod wheels are backlit and can change color as you adjust them (nice in a darkened area to see if your mod wheel is up or down). You can also set the color per patch if you like a certain palette

    Beyond that though, the interface is really clever: the front of the synth includes the signal path as a series of buttons. Push a button and immediately jump to that parameter to tweak. Even cooler, as you play the buttons light up in related ways so that you can actually SEE the signal path for your patch. For example, play a note and you'll see Env1 light up, or LFO2 is pulsing at the current rate. I've even seen things like the Env button light up but with lag, reflecting the delayed start assigned to the parameter. Mods are done by pressing/holding one button and then selecting another. From there you can adjust levels, etc..

    Finally...the synth sounds fantastic. It's got the basics, plus a zillion wavetable options. More complex synth approaches are handled via the concept of mutators in the signal flow. It threw me at first a bit but frankly, it's the best implementation I've yet to see for doing these kinds of waveform warping options. Oh...and the display also shows the actual waveform so as you apply mutators and things, you can actually SEE what it's doing to the wave itself. Not necessarily a "can't live without" feature but I won't lie, it definitely helped with understanding what some of the options were doing.

    The company added MPE not long ago which has made is super fun and compatible as a controller for MPE devices, and also as a sound source for unorthodox controllers like a Linnstrument or Continuum.

    It's killer. It's very reasonably priced and comes in both a keyboard and desktop mode. And no, I *still* don't get any perks for hyping this thing...I'm just a fan
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  7. #932
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Hydrasynth is really nice! Too bad with the short keyboard but I guess it's a cost issue with regard to the well designed poly-AT. Sound wise it's one of the more interesting too, along with Waldorf Quantum.

    Again, regarding Omnisphere, tons of samples it is. The 4 "oscillators" can be either sample based or "synth", sort of wavetable based but then not really as they are created in real time, similar to a Nord or Virus. So technically the "synth" part is really more VA than wavetable, as the waveforms can be manipulated in a way wavetalble synths can not. Closest HW comparison of the Omnisphere synth engine would actually be an upgraded Hydrasynth!

    As for the interface, it's a bottomless well. In an attempt to make the interface more user friendly, Spectrasonics created a sort of simple "quick" interface which is not that great and furthermore unfortunately fools ppl to believe the tweakability is limited. Myself I didn't understand why they just had two such simple ADSRs, until I happened to find the envelope settings, with more parameters per envelope than the average subtractive synth has for its entire sound engine (and such 12 envelopes per part!!).

    The latest addition is the HW interface, where control profiles are pre-mapped in Omnisphere for a great many modern and less modern synths. If I select the Prophet 12 HW profile, 95% of the parameters on the P12 front panel directly controls the corresponding parameters in Omnisphere (also most of the hidden menu accessible parameters). It by no means cover the vastness of Omnisphere, but makes the VA-capabilities easy to reach.

    Speaking HW, the Kawai K5000 has over 1000 parameters per patch! Would be great to get to the chance play with one
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  8. #933
    At this moment I stay with my virtual synthesizers from Arturia.
    Alas at this moment I'm not able to work on my latest composition, with 4 virtual synthesizers (ARP2600, MiniMoog, Oberheim 8-voice, Yamaha CS80), 2 virtual pianos and altosaxophone, viola and percussion from my sampler. Working on adding controller-information and mixer-setting, including effects, things went suddenly horribly wrong. File-size went from 2,37 MB (for the version for the sheet-music, so no mixer, no effects and no controller-information (aftertouch and modulation-wheel)), to 662 MB and then suddenly to 4GB and at that point, I couldn't open the file and I got the message it was saved with a different version of Cubase. Waiting on an answer from Steinberg.
    Started working on a new composition, for piano (Arturia V piano) and synthesizer (Arturia Jupiter-8).

  9. #934
    Argh...I hate when things like that happen. Hopefully Steinberg can help sort you out!!
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  10. #935
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Argh...I hate when things like that happen. Hopefully Steinberg can help sort you out!!
    I hate it as well. At some point the file-size almost doubled, each time I saved it.
    I suppose it will take some time, before I get an answer from Steinberg, so I decided to start with a new composition.

  11. #936
    Quote Originally Posted by hFx View Post
    Hydrasynth is really nice! Too bad with the short keyboard but I guess it's a cost issue with regard to the well designed poly-AT. Sound wise it's one of the more interesting too, along with Waldorf Quantum.

    Again, regarding Omnisphere, tons of samples it is. The 4 "oscillators" can be either sample based or "synth", sort of wavetable based but then not really as they are created in real time, similar to a Nord or Virus. So technically the "synth" part is really more VA than wavetable, as the waveforms can be manipulated in a way wavetalble synths can not. Closest HW comparison of the Omnisphere synth engine would actually be an upgraded Hydrasynth!

    As for the interface, it's a bottomless well. In an attempt to make the interface more user friendly, Spectrasonics created a sort of simple "quick" interface which is not that great and furthermore unfortunately fools ppl to believe the tweakability is limited. Myself I didn't understand why they just had two such simple ADSRs, until I happened to find the envelope settings, with more parameters per envelope than the average subtractive synth has for its entire sound engine (and such 12 envelopes per part!!).

    The latest addition is the HW interface, where control profiles are pre-mapped in Omnisphere for a great many modern and less modern synths. If I select the Prophet 12 HW profile, 95% of the parameters on the P12 front panel directly controls the corresponding parameters in Omnisphere (also most of the hidden menu accessible parameters). It by no means cover the vastness of Omnisphere, but makes the VA-capabilities easy to reach.
    Very cool, glad you've got Omnisphere working so well for you Former Tangerine Dream member Steve Jolliffe has been releasing albums every year for quite a while and he's almost exclusively using Omnisphere for everything.

    I'm inconsistent with these things, in all transparency...Omnisphere never interested me beyond light preset tweaking but I've spent the last few months doing hours of tutorials and teaching myself how to design sounds in the EaganMatrix. The end results are amazing but good grief, it is the most complex music software I've ever used.

    This was the 2nd of a few dozen tutorials I watched. If you want to get a sense of how "different" it is to program the EaganMatrix, here you go: https://youtu.be/saTBerPnPqA
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  12. #937
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    This was the 2nd of a few dozen tutorials I watched. If you want to get a sense of how "different" it is to program the EaganMatrix, here you go: https://youtu.be/saTBerPnPqA
    i've heard about it, as a few I know are into getting an Osmose! It's quite a different thing as you get into the performance physics as well. I hope you'll persist and get thought it alive Seems it's like designing a piano using LEGO...
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  13. #938
    So funny you mention that (or maybe you're alluding to this ): https://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2020/07/le...-piano-teaser/

    And yeah...I can't wait for my Osmose. If it delivers on even a portion of the promised potential it's going to be stunning.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  14. #939
    Leonardo Da Vintage - a band with 7 (in this clip 5) analogue synthesizer-players:


  15. #940
    I figured I would post about my live stream Saturday here and run through the gear porn used doing the show. (I mean this thread is the one I always look for when lurking PE.)

    Here's a link to the Facebook video:

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=325580918475146

    Here's the set list:

    0000 Partial Awkward Silence
    0055 Blah Blah Blah

    0146 Sandstoned
    1312 Hooker Cut
    2311 New Interlude
    2619 Brandenburg Heights Part 1
    4612 Flying Teapots Over The Alleghenies
    5014 Pavlovian Causeway (Quarkspace) (Tribute to Florian Schnieder)
    5700 Drum Solo (Tribute to Neil Peart)
    6242 Recaesarian (Quarkspace)

    7232 More Blah Blah Blah

    Obviously skip ahead to the 1:46 mark to miss the awkward silence, etc at the beginning.

    From a synth standpoint, the Moog Sub37 and Make Noise 0-Coast carry the weight. The Moog was MIDI'd to the 0-Coast for this show; that's normally how I run things in the studio, although I may place each on their own buss for recording purposes. The Moog is run through a Moog MF Delay and a TCE T2 reverb pedal. The Korg Z1 controls the Waldorf Streichfett string synth with both also highly involved; the SF is dominant in the mix, the Korg's arp runs throughout Hooker Cut.

    The Yamaha MM8 is used for piano. I run it through a Line 6 DL4 delay pedal and an Elektron Analog Drive for additional fun. The Kawai K5000W is MIDI'd to a Waldorf MicroQ. I used it for a bit of organ during Brandenburg Heights but it wasn't loud enough. (I hadn't done that during rehearsal.)

    For drumming, the TrapKAT controls a Roland TD-8 run through a virtual guitar stack on the Boss VF-1. When studio recording I also record MIDI into Reaper (Pro Tools before that) and use a drum plugin to add to the mix. For drum machines, the Arturia DrumBrute is used on Sandstoned and the Korg Monotribe is used on Brandenburg Heights. BH also features the Korg Volca Bass and Volca Keys with the SQ-1 serving as a sync traffic cop between those three and the Sub 37.

    iPad apps are Synth Scaper on Sandstoned, Mononoke on Hooker Cut, and the iVCS3 on BH. I use AUM as a virtual mixer with BLEASS Reverb and FAC's Maxima adding to the sonics. I think that about covers it. As I mention in the video, I didn't switch my studio setup (which is "designed" for multiple players at once) for additional ergonomics during the stream. Thus, I am traipsing back and forth as I switch between the synths and the piano/drum stations. Still, I had fun and plan on doing more videos, shows, and maybe even some equipment/software reviews to enhance my TabMuse material

    As always, thanks for listening!

    Support us at Bandcamp: https://quarkspace.bandcamp.com
    Virtual Tip Jar: https://paypal.me/quarkspacehed
    Subscribe to our videos: https://youtube.com/quarkspacehed <--- plan on posting more content here moving forward.
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  16. #941
    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    Leonardo Da Vintage - a band with 7 (in this clip 5) analogue synthesizer-players:

    Is one of the guys wearing a Magma necklace? He even seems to have a Magma sounding name?

  17. #942
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Is one of the guys wearing a Magma necklace? He even seems to have a Magma sounding name?
    Looks like it: Borik Konfederaath (also plays in Onno Witte's band: http://www.owme.nl/white-noise-studio.html)

  18. #943
    Quote Originally Posted by TheNefariousHED View Post
    From a synth standpoint, the Moog Sub37 and Make Noise 0-Coast carry the weight. The Moog was MIDI'd to the 0-Coast for this show; that's normally how I run things in the studio, although I may place each on their own buss for recording purposes. The Moog is run through a Moog MF Delay and a TCE T2 reverb pedal. The Korg Z1 controls the Waldorf Streichfett string synth with both also highly involved; the SF is dominant in the mix, the Korg's arp runs throughout Hooker Cut.
    Nice, thanks!!

    And oh man, the Waldorf Streichfett is a little box of wonder for me. Such easy fun.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  19. #944
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Nice, thanks!!

    And oh man, the Waldorf Streichfett is a little box of wonder for me. Such easy fun.
    Innit?! I still love it after 4-5 years. Crushes all in its wake... analog, digital, it doesn't matter.

    I have the Arturia Solina and I am working on a TabMuse review for the XILS 505 (Roland RS-505 emulation), while both of those sound more "authentic," the Streichfett simply kills either in a mix. A case where sound quality trumps any sense of authenticity.

    Thanks for checking it out!
    Quarkspace on Facebook
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    Church of Hed/Quarkspace on Bandcamp

  20. #945
    Gladly! I saw Quark at Orion back in the 90's so I'm always happy to hear what you're up to

    Yeah...I had an old freebie VST plugin that I used for string machine stuff, and of course the V-Collection but damn...the Waldorf is so much more fun and I love just spinning the knobs to get all kinds of shifting/dynamic/massive backdrops. Totally worth WAY more than the asking price IMHO.
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  21. #946
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Gladly! I saw Quark at Orion back in the 90's so I'm always happy to hear what you're up to

    Yeah...I had an old freebie VST plugin that I used for string machine stuff, and of course the V-Collection but damn...the Waldorf is so much more fun and I love just spinning the knobs to get all kinds of shifting/dynamic/massive backdrops. Totally worth WAY more than the asking price IMHO.
    I forgot to twist the "big" Streichfett knob during the performance. It gets a bit crazy on Hooker Cut when the Z1's arpeggiator is triggering it (wish it had a CV input, I'm always using an expression pedal with the Moog's cutoff freq CV in). I was kinda nervous throughout the show! My fingers were struggling. Shoulda had The Macallan before the show!!
    Quarkspace on Facebook
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    TabMuse -- an online resource dedicated to iOS, Android, hardware, and desktop music apps and synths
    Church of Hed/Quarkspace on Bandcamp

  22. #947

  23. #948
    ALL THE TOYS
    If you're actually reading this then chances are you already have my last album but if NOT and you're curious:
    https://battema.bandcamp.com/

    Also, Ephemeral Sun: it's a thing and we like making things that might be your thing: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  24. #949
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    ALL THE TOYS
    I want that playground.

  25. #950
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Nice, thanks!!

    And oh man, the Waldorf Streichfett is a little box of wonder for me. Such easy fun.
    Is there any Synth with more bang for the buck than the Streichfett? It is truly amazing.

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