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#5566 - 02/08/03 10:34 AM What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have been mulling this question around for a while now and wanted to get other peoples opinons. To me I consider the early analog synthesizers from the late 60's and early sevnties. Espically those made Moog, ARP. Where there were no presets(patches) pre-programed into the synth. Where you had to turn a few knobs to adjust the sound to where it clossely resmbled a violin, or what ever you were trying to create. Not these push a button and instantanious vilon sound and that's it. No porgramming, the manufacture as already put it in for you. So, too me the idea of creating your own sounds with just the raw waveforms is lost. With these digital so called synthesizers. More like preset organs if you as me. But I want to know what others think?

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#5567 - 02/08/03 12:06 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
Cloakboy Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/99
Posts: 523
Loc: Racine, Wisconsin USA
It really depends on whether the tone is generated or if it simply prerecorded and played back, essentially the difference being whether it's a synthesizer or a sampler or even worse a ROMpler.

Nothing's wrong with being able to save your patches, it was a great technological leap forward. So if the company's going to have all these slots for patches to be saved in, why not fill them up back in the factory to help market/sell the synth? Basically, just to show a quick example of its broad range of uses, and beginners to sound design have a palette to use straight out of the box, and hopefully they'll become disatisfied with those sounds and want to tweak them to their own taste.

Now if you're trying to imitate violins and other real instruments, you're better off with a sampler. Why twiddle with a wave for hours just to have it sound like a not-violin when you could record a violin and play that back? Of course, sampling real instruments is very limiting depending on the number of samples you have to work with and your saviness with envelope generators and other subtle controller changes that one can use to make a sampled sound come alive.

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#5568 - 02/08/03 12:36 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
Anonymous
Unregistered


THanks cloakboy: so in essence a synth like the Roland Juno-60 or Yamaha DX-7 are synthesizers, even though they have patches and program memory. Where as something like KORG's Trtion would not be considered a synthesizer becuse it uses playback samples, or as you call them ROMplers? A sampler is nice But I do not have enough resourecs at my desposele too make my own sounds, and relying on some one elses samples takes away form the creativeity.

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#5569 - 02/08/03 02:14 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
Cloakboy Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/99
Posts: 523
Loc: Racine, Wisconsin USA
Juno-60 and DX7 are most certainly synths. I don't know enough about a Triton to say whether it's a ROMpler or a synth... I'm under the impression that the Triton is a ROMpler, synth, sampler, and sequencer all in one, but I don't know for sure. A better example of a ROMpler would be something like the Alesis QS8, and all the cheaper type synths that are basically used to imitate other sounds, whether they be real instruments or classic synth sounds (Rez Sweep, that kind of thing). A prime example of a ROMpler would be the GM "synthesizer" found in most computer soundcards. The Korg NS5R is a ROMpler that I've personally worked with, it just plays back sounds, you can play with the envelopes and filter a bit, but you can't really change the nature of the sound too much.

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#5570 - 02/08/03 06:46 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Actually your right about the Triton, It is an all in one unit, and I would consider it to be a Rompler. It was the frist keybaord I could think of. I think those are more useful to the Professinal working musician, crates and plays music for a living. Where as someone like myself with would be pointless. I would prefer a synth where you can change the nature of the sounds.

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#5571 - 02/08/03 11:43 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
800dv Offline
Member

Registered: 07/03/99
Posts: 549
Loc: atlanta, georgia, usa
Bob Moog himself said " those outside electronic music thought that synthesizers were made to immitate acoustic instruments , where as those who were inside electronic music knew they were made to make new sounds not available by acoustic means " . For the most part , a sample playback machine is just an overpriced organ , lacking in any real programmability . Things like the KORG Trinity , and Triton and the V.A.S.T. Kurzweil's ( variable architecture systhesis technology ) are more than just sample playback . But , most are just that , very boring , very bland , very limited . When synthesizers entered the voltage controlled era like with Moog , Buchla , Arp , and EMS and got more popular , some were at a lost for what all the controls were for . So preset machines started to come about , ARP PRO SOLOIST , MINITMOOG , ROLAND SH-1000 , SH-2000 , POLYMOOG ( which is not a real synthesizer at all ) and the string machines like ARP OMNI , MOOG OPUS 3 , ARP SOLINA 4 , ROLAND RS-505 , RS-202 , ARP QUARTET ( SIEL OR-400 ) , CRUMAR ORCHESTRATOR . These were made to provide familiar sounds and to be less intimidating . Then , with digital synthesis like the YAMAHA DX-7 even more realistic sounds were possible and programming was on the back burner . Then sample playback got cheap enough to produce instruments that played back real acoustic sounds and programming was really on the back burner . That's why the whole vintage synthesizer thing came about , people got tired of the sterile stagnant sounds of these machines and the absolutely poor user interface . Today with software synthesizers , you get alot of flexibility . Analog modeling gives you the best part of the analog world without the unreliability of the older machines . Also more control using Midi , which most analog synthesizers did not have . Analog synthesizers are still the most versatile tool in electronic music . They offer the best in control , flexibility , and sound . Electronic music is almost 130 years old , the first synthesizer was made in 1876 . It had 24 single tone sine wave oscillators ( one for each key in the 2 octave keyboard that it had ) . Since then electronic music has been an important part of modern music . A synthesizer is an instrument that gives the user control over the three aspects of sound - pitch , timbre , and loudness . That's a dictionary description of a synthesizer . It sounds like to me that you want to create you're own sounds , analog and analog modeling synthesizers are the best way to go for that . As well as some great software synthesizers like Reaktor , Vibra 9000 , Metasynth , Absynth , and Pulsar just to name a few .

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#5572 - 02/09/03 07:33 AM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thank you 800DV, that is what I have been looking for. Your descrption is what I have been wanting to know for quite some time now. As for analog and analog modleing synthesizers you hit the nail on the head. Yes as a matter of fact I do want to be able to create my own sounds. A music teacher/friend of mine from high school, had a Minimoog synthesizer, which really intrgued me with all those knobs and switches, and no presets(patches). It was in his electronic music class (1989-1990, senior year HS) where he introduced me too the minimoog. Unfortuneatly I did not leran a lot, not a very well structered class, but it was fun nontheless. That's when it hit me I wanted to have my very own minimoog. But alas by the time I was old enough to buy one and have the money they had become redsicoverd and be came too expensive for me to afford. I did eventulaly by my former music teachers Yamaha DX-7IIFD for $500.00 back in 1994. But I soon lost interest in it, becuse it had presets, and no knobs and was digital. Traded it in for a Mirage DSK, because I thought I try my hand at sampleing, but never did much. Bought an ARP omni, that is still not getting a lot of use. Latter bought a Korg Poly-61, still never much use. Bought an AXXE off of ebay, which I still mess with. Not as easy to work with as a moog synth. Bought a Korg Poly 800, sold it. Tradeded the Mirage and Poly-61 for a Kawai K5000s, sold that, bought a JX-305, sold it. Bought a Casio HZ600 sold it too. Had a Casio CTK-711EX sold it too. So now I am just down to the axxe and omni. But I cannot part with either one. Mostly since they are early versions of each, and the are booth analog. So you can see what a perdicament I have been in. I think I had jsut been buying the wrong hardware. I am not a musicsan, although I have had some piano leassons from 5-21 years old, never practiced very much, and relly HATED playing the piano. Plus sheet music is all GREEK! to me. But I still love synthesizers, and will still love to have one even though I do not play very well. At least not Billy Joel or Mozart well, far from it. No I just know enough to figure out notes to play on a keyboard. But what you have told me really seems to have given me some direction of what too look for. BTW $,1000.00 to $2,000.00 for a Minimoog? Isn't that how much they cost when brand new?

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#5573 - 02/09/03 03:32 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
800dv Offline
Member

Registered: 07/03/99
Posts: 549
Loc: atlanta, georgia, usa
Actually the list price of the MInimoog was $1500.00 and Rhythm City here in Atlanta where I live sold them for around $1300.00 and then in 1982 when the Korg Polysix and Roland Juno-6 and Juno-60 they were being sold for around $350.00 . I have 4 Minimoogs , I bought them all in the late 80s when you couldn't give them away . Just a couple of years ago people were paying more than $2000.00 for them , that's because they are not smart people and they believed the sales article when they said "RARE " . There is nothing rare about a Minimoog , they were made from 1970 - 1981 and sold well over 10,000 units . Most of Moogs synthesizers in the late 70s did not do as well like the Minitmoog , Satelite , Opus 3 , Polymoog , MicroMoog , and MultiMoog . Just When Midi came out , Moog released the MemoryMoog ( there only true polyphonic programmable synthesizer ) which didn't have midi , never stayed in tune , and never properly worked , then Moog music was dead . The PolyMoog was really an organ with extra features like waveform selection , modulation and envelope controls . But it went through 300 engineering changes before it ever really worked . They were so poorly made that static electricity from you're fingers could damage it . Arp had the OMNI , OMNI II , SOLINA 4 , QUADRA , and Chroma . Arp was unique because they made more versatile synthesizers like the 2600 , Solus , AXXE , Odyssey which could be used with the ARP Squencer as well as Roland gear . Roland was into making systems as well . Oberheim made a system before Midi which was the OB-8 , DSX sequencer , and DM drummachine . But Oberheim was too expensive and not very reliable . Korg made systems as well , the MS-10, MS-20 , MS-50 , MS-16 AND SQ-10 sequencer along with the KORG KR-55 and KR-33 rhythm machines worked great . It was a fun time back then . Now with the analog modeling gear , they all work together through Midi . Roland released a box that they called the EF-303 groove effects which has a built in 16 step analog sequencer , now Guitar Center is selling them for $160.00 , atleast here in Atlanta . I can't even begin to tell you how much gear I bought and then sold . I sold all of the digital gear because it's just to boring , too bland , and not enough control . The analog Modeling gear though is another story . I feel like a kid in a cand store again . I go right past all the XV , XP , JV , FANTOM Roland stuff which is all the same , they have the same exact sound sets , just different effects and a few other features . Same for Korg , The Trinity , Triton , Karma , are the same . The only thing that seperates them is the Triton samples , and the Karma has that unique arpeggiator . Yamaha's CS-1X and CS-2X are just sample playback , only the AN-1X was analog modeling . They did have those AN-200 , DX-200 which were neat . Kawai has gone back to making home keyboards much like Casio . Other new great stuff is the Red Sound Dark Star , and Dark Star XP2 , Elektron Machine Drum .

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#5574 - 02/09/03 04:40 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
Anonymous
Unregistered


WOW! I never knew that about Moog Synthesizers. I always wondered why the Minimoog comanded these really haigh an rediculous prices if, If moog mad 10,000 unit's between 1970-1981. I even see some of the other moog gear going for high prices too, even some of the early Modular synths. I found one on ebay, Starting at $500.00 with a reserve price at $12,000.00 or something like that. Even the ARP 2600's are comanding high prices, so are the Odyssey and the ARP Sequencer as well. Same with early synths like the Roland Junpiter 4 6 and 8, and the Juno 6,60, and 106 but not as high as the Jupiters. Even Sequential Circuts Prophet 5 and 10 Plus many of Oberheims as well.

I will agree with you on the Digital synthesizers, I always found them to be too boreing. I had a DX7IIFD once and just did nt care for it at all. I remember walking in to Bill's Music House in Baltimore MD. (an hours drive from where I live in Frederick). When Vintage synths were being rediscoverd. And Seeing all of these old synths with the Knobs and sliders and switches, Like a Korg Polysix, Roland Juno-6, a salseman even recommended that I buy an AKAI AX-60, said it was very affordable and that it did have MIDI. But alas I did not Buy it. Also passed on a Juno-106 still kicking myself for not buying it, plus a Juno-60. I have been back several times, but every time I go they only have digital synthesziers, samplers and pianons and organs. And a Korg MS2000, and once they were selling Nord Leads, though the VA's were still too expensive. Oh sure they get an occasional analog synth, some in very decent shape, some that have seen better days. The even had a Minimoog once I think for $800 or $900.00 maybe more I can't recall. But your right 800dv the digital synths just don't thrill me at all. I don't know what it is about the old analog ones that facinate me so. The there unique sounds, the knobs. I think why is that most did not have any particualr musical instrument programed in to them. Just a lot of raw wave forms to work with. I think that is why I still own an ARP AXXE which I paid $250.00 for which I thought was a great deal, considering how much it cost in the 70's. ( I was too young at the time to remember) But I do remember watching a Prefromance of Stevei Wonder on TV once and he had quite a few synths. It was the fact that they all had knobs and sliders, and made there own sounds, not recreated ones. Even though I still would love to have a minimoog, I doubt at the prices that people sell them for I will ever own one. Maybe a Juno 60 or Korg Polysix, or even an AKAI AX 60. I did own two Poly-61's but they don't have knobs. well just 5 but not for tweaking. Mark Vail in his Vintgae Synthesizers Book 2nd edition lists the current value of a Minimoog between $300-$1,600. Also looking at the price of a lot of these eraly vintage synths in Mark's book look rather affordable. But some people are just asking way too much.

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#5575 - 02/09/03 08:51 PM Re: What do you consider to be an actual synthesizer?
800dv Offline
Member

Registered: 07/03/99
Posts: 549
Loc: atlanta, georgia, usa
They do indeed ask crazy prices for these things . But , it's on thing to ask them , it's another to be the idiot that pays them . You just have to keep looking and you will find the good deals . Just the other day a friend of mine got a perfectly good working Arp Odyssey for $250.00 . He just told the guy he was not going to pay his price of $500.00 or whatever it was . Most of these synthesizers are not rare , those that are rare , are rare because they didn't sell . Moog Modular systems are expensive because they didn't sell many of them , they were very expensive to begin with . Once the Minimoog came out , the smaller modular ones like the IIIc , System 15 , and System 35 stop selling . I would look for Roland , Korg , Yamaha and ARP synthesizers . They will be the most affordable .

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