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Thread: Synthesizers (and other pro audio stuff)

  1. #176
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    There's definitely some magic going on in Moog circuitry somewhere.

  2. #177
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    This is what my imagined setup is shaping up to right now.
    It's an interesting thought process, trying to find the best mix that fits one's sensibility.

    Edit: This isn't what you'd call efficient. It's like two semi-standalone systems, so it's duplicating almost everything (osc., waveshaping, filters, envelopes, LFOs, sequencers, etc.). But I had an intuition that they could run in sync with each other and play off of or complement each other well, since they still have their own sound and approach. I was thinking the Mother 32 would be a kind of solid backbone structure and the Swarm some crazy layer on top of it with some edge. I was originally thinking about the Subharmonicon, but watching the videos of that, that's really unstable and it's hard to make it play nice if you're just improving on it, so it's definitely never going to fit with another system where you have to claw on to stability. But it did make me think two independent sequencers that worked off each other (e.g., triggering each other's reset or advance trigger) could have some cool polyrythmic effects while still keeping everything in a harmonic neighborhood not derailing the harmony like the Subharm. could.

    And for rhythm the Erica Sample Drum is like a mini Digitakt that just lets you gets a nice drum loop in to do the job, and you can cut it up and switch it around. Then there's a mixer and the Expert Sleepers Disting mk4 is a kind of multitool utility that just packs a lot of random utilities all together.

    Last edited by demagogue; 22nd Dec 2020 at 02:41.

  3. #178
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Wow. Instruō just released 17 free modules for VCV Rack: https://library.vcvrack.com/?query=&...&tag=&license=

  4. #179
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Yeah I just saw that. Omri Cohen put out a video walking through them. I haven't watched it all yet, but I like what I hear & I like their style.

  5. #180
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Whoa, I haven't been to the VCV Rack site in awhile. There are a metric fuckton of modules now.

  6. #181
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    It's interesting that they didn't include most of their purely digital models like their looper or granular processor, which could actually probably be pretty close if not exact replicas. I wonder how their virtual analog modules compare to their actual analog ones.

  7. #182
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Make Noise is coming out with a new box, made in collaboration with Alessandro Cortini (whom I'm not really familiar with, but I gather he's a big modular guy). It sounds nuts. At first I was like "nope" but after listening a few times I'm kinda tempted. Thinking about selling my Reface DX to put a down payment on a Strega, as they're calling it. I'm not always into stuff like this, but when it's Make Noise I give them the benefit of the doubt; everything they make is just fun to play with.



  8. #183
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Alessandro Cortini is great.
    As well as being a long term fixture of NIN's live band, he also makes some pretty awesome music.
    I'm pretty tempted by the strega too, though I highly suspect I'd use it more as send effects than a synth.

  9. #184
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I like the creative way it's using contact pads as controllers to make it more hands-on, and the calm and clinical way he's explaining it while absolutely insane sounds are coming out. XD

    I picked up the Plasmonic recently while it was on sale, mostly on the reputation of the creator (Brian Clevenger), who also made Absynth which I loved & what I learned to synth on. Its focus is on handing as much mod control to the user as possible, changing the waveform & effects on the fly, and physical modeling (naturalistic sound design), kind of the opposite philosophy of Absynth in a way (which was focused on the creator creating the waveform & long evolving modulation through the envelope, which sounded great but the user is just holding down a key and not participating much). So it lends itself to an aftertouch or MPE keyboard. It fits right in the zeitgeist with morphing alien physical modeling, like the soundtrack to Tenet, etc.

    Qubit Surface is another physical modeling module that interests me. The popular one is Rings, but it may be starting to get overused as the sound is becoming cliche, at least in its vanilla form; it's not used as a processor as much.

    Other things I was looking at was the abovementioned eonoise Quadrantid Swarm.

    I wanted a simple & interactive sample-based drum machine, just so I could put some cool beats behind what I'm doing without having some massive piece of gear for it like the Digitakt. So far what I like the most is the Erica Synths Sample Drum.

    I was also looking at the Vector recently.
    On the horizon, I'm still thinking about a Novation Summit for my main work station.
    There's just so much out there though... It's hard to focus.

  10. #185
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    The popular one is Rings, but it may be starting to get overused as the sound is becoming cliche, at least in its vanilla form; it's not used as a processor as much.
    Rings can be had for free in VCV rack anyways. I never got the clichť thing though. It either sounds good or not. I mean, piano and guitar are pretty ubiquitous, but how valuable they are within a piece of music isn't diminished relative to how many pieces they appear in. Novelty isn't an important indicator of quality.

  11. #186
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    The Strega looks awesome, I just wish it were either a modular module or part of a full instrument. Desktop modules are such a massive waste of space and power cables. Also kind of holding off on this because PghModular is supposed to be releasing a new VRL and some other system this summer.
    Last edited by Jason Moyer; 30th Jan 2021 at 16:29.

  12. #187
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    Rings can be had for free in VCV rack anyways. I never got the clichť thing though. It either sounds good or not. I mean, piano and guitar are pretty ubiquitous, but how valuable they are within a piece of music isn't diminished relative to how many pieces they appear in. Novelty isn't an important indicator of quality.
    Just really quick, I was repeating a point someone else was making that struck me too, but your (also correct) point makes me want to elaborate. The point should be that Rings is often being used in a really cliche way, where it's just dropped into a patch for some "organic flavor", almost like a wind chime. The whole problem is that it's so versatile, but you very often hear it used in the same way. So yeah, it's not because it's an overused sound per se; it's that there's not much thoughtfulness put in its use, which you could say the same about piano & guitar licks.

    But, that said, there is one arguable difference between synthesized music & acoustic music, I think, which is that synth types should be a little more responsible for the actual sound because half of the art itself is about synthesizing sounds. It doesn't have to be, and plenty of people make plenty of great tunes or patches with stock voices (cf. the DX7), but I think there is a special admiration for people that make their own voices that have an iconic sound, like some of the most iconic electronic bands like NIN, Boards of Canada, Squarepusher, etc. You can tell right off when a pad or a lead voice has their sound.

  13. #188
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    I am guilty of this, I have some vst's which have such great stock presets that I rarely push myself to create more unique sounds. But when I do it does make a difference.

  14. #189
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Guys, I think I found the perfect module. Only 2 hp, and if I had money I would bet you most of it that it's the most mathematically precise filter you can find out there.


  15. #190
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Moog just released some bundles of their semi-modular stuff with a few other goodies that hopefully they'll release separately (the mixer/power splitter and cable holder). Seems like a good deal for anyone wanting to dip their toes into some Mooginess:


  16. #191
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Guys, I think I found the perfect module. Only 2 hp, and if I had money I would bet you most of it that it's the most mathematically precise filter you can find out there.

    Gandalf has entered the chat

  17. #192
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I've been trying to get into soundscapes of late (although this was recorded a while ago, but anyway, I'm thinking in this kind of line of late. I built this on Absynth out of another patch.)

    As an aside, ffs these promotion shills are kind of out of control on SoundCloud, instantly liking your shit & trying to get you to sign up to whatever service they're doling. I know it's always been a thing, but it's particularly weird here. Nobody promotes dark ambient. It's f364ing kryptonite to mainstream ears, and I like to make it, among other things, exactly because people don't come to it unless they already know exactly where I'm coming from. It usually saves me from having to interact with the suits. The fact they're coming after me here is either a sign of how truly oblivious they are to the tracks they're commenting on or how desperate things are getting I guess.
    Last edited by demagogue; 5th Apr 2021 at 10:01.

  18. #193
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Definitely post more ambient if you make it!

    I ended up selling the Reface DX and buying a Strega. Itís the weirdest instrument I own, and Iím maybe not completely sold on it yet. Itís incredibly noisy on almost every setting, but the upside is that any sound it makes is full of movement and variation. Run it though a giant reverb and it sounds complex and beautiful, but the dry signal can be harsh. Iím trying to figure out how to dial in small amounts of noise and motion, but the controls all interact with each other in unpredictable ways, so itís not the easiest. Pretty fun to try, though.

  19. #194
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I'm kind of intrigued by the Strega. If you listen to Alessandro Cortini's instrumental stuff, it's pretty noisy in the same way, so I guess those were design choices.
    The soundcloud bots are annoying AF Dema. Every track I post (dark moody instrumental stuff of late), I get some comment along the lines of "Sick beat, visit the link in my profile pic if you want to get your stats up", or messages along the same lines.

  20. #195
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Nick Batt's review of the Strega is pretty great:



    If I didn't have a Lyra-8 or a VRL (or the VRL2 coming out this summer) I'd probably grab one of these.

  21. #196
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Love Nick Batt's reviews.

  22. #197
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I like his reviews, too. He's one of the few popular YouTubers who doesn't seem to be afraid to give a negative review or at least talk about the downsides of a piece of equipment for more than a moment.

    One thing he didn't mention in the Strega review that seemed like a pretty big omission to me is how it integrates with the other Make Noise desktop devices. It seems to me that they deliberately left some things out because they expect you to use them together. Like, see this demo (I linked to the exact time) to hear how well it combines with the 0-Coast. I love the sound of them together. I'm finding the Strega is most fun when paired with other things (even something like running voice memos from my phone into the input). And even though it has a delay, in practice it's more of a smeary, glitchy reverb, so running it into a more normal reverb/delay afterwards helps a lot (I guess as it does with most things).

  23. #198
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    It's funny; he came to Tokyo and visited my favorite synth shop like just a day or so before I went. I mean it's the famous one, so it's not that big of a coincidence. But it's still kind of a cool connection. I particularly like him for his Friday jam sessions where he just goes to town on whatever synth he's been reviewing, and they're usually really great.

    Speaking of Make Noise, I was also just watching one guy going over their Black & Gold set up that just came out a few days ago. (Edit: I mean the video just came out a few days ago, not the system.)
    Last edited by demagogue; 7th Apr 2021 at 04:34.

  24. #199
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I liked Nick's reviews before I knew anything about his musical background, but it helps that he's worked on music that I actually like (particularly Goldfrapp). I like Hainbach's videos too, because I respect his technical knowledge and creativity. That isn't to say I actively dislike other reviewers' music per se, but if I'm watching a review of a keyboard I want to see you do something other than playing Vangelis hooks on it or playing the preset patches/sequences. It's kind of hilarious whenever a new Korg product comes out, because they usually have nice sequencers, and the musical examples in 95% of the reviews are the exact same sounds/patterns because they're just loading the presets and demo'ing them. And that's not even getting into some of the more prominent YT gear channels, where they're blatantly just doing the modern equivalent of late night infomercials for companies who paid them to review their shit.

    Anyway, Nick is awesome and so is the weekly SonicTalk stream he does.

  25. #200
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I love Hainbach too, not exactly because I'm a huge fan of his music but because his videos are often inspirational for me; on a few occasions I've been in creative ruts, watched his Q&As or process tips, and then been inspired to finish a track. He's a good role model for being a creative person.

    Mylar is perhaps closer to the late-night infomercial variety, but he's so great at making techno that I'm always hooked regardless.

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