Re: [AH] ARP 2600 vs. modular

From Kenneth Elhardt
Sent Sun, Dec 7th 2008, 02:27

Soundcollector,
>>i think what you say below goes for most modern synth developments to some
degree , this quest for perfection lead us  the other way creatively into a
perfect world of numbers and perfect circuits.  No flaws in the diamond and
it fails to refract pretty colours , its just white light and bland '
generic ' sound<<

I see.  Vintage analog = good.  Modern analog = bland colorless sound.  Got
it.  In my house however, that's not the case, so I suppose it depends on
what synths you own, whether you're just repeating analog (now vintage
analog) dogma, and whether you know how to program a synth.  My modern
Doepfer and Andromeda are both rather squirrelly and not perfect, while my
JP-8's are overly stable and clinical sounding.  I can get my Supernova to
sound exactly like my JP-8 in a side-by-side test, so what does that mean?
Either the supernova sounds like a vintage analog synth or the JP-8 sounds
like a VA synth.  I've gotten more colorful, varied, musical, interesting
and complex sounds out of my modern synths than I've ever heard come from
any Arp2600.  I've always noticed that indirect insults are allowed on this
list for some reason, but I get annoyed at people calling the stuff I do on
modern synths as sounding bland, generic, sterile, or whatever other term
they apply to a specific synth I use.

>>is it me or do all vsti synths sound the same ? or have that same total  '
non-ness for instance  - i mention vsti  as they are the ultimate dumbing
down in this way , perfection for convenience and 'product perfection'
leading to sterility<<

It's just you.  Everybody does it differently, and that includes randomized
pitch and filter fluctuations.  They sound different from each other just as
different VA synths do.  When somebody asked what the most analog sounding
vsti synth was on some forum, most people said Poly-Ana.  IIRC, after
listening to some of the demos, I wished some of my analogs sounded like it.
Most vintage synths were dumbed down designs because of cost contraints.
Moving beyond vintage to more power architectures is where you get more
interesting sounds.

>>Modern day electronic engineers probably look at arp circuits and shake
there head in disgust , its all so untidy and non perfect and not the done
thing now .In trying to 'perfect' we lose the magic...this is it - people
number crunching and looking at specs , these improvments cost in other
ways. Theres a beauty in age that we seem to be trying to erradicate.<<

The reason people are designing analog synths these days is to not be
perfect, otherwise they'd be doing everything digital.  They even replicate
old designs, so you can put an Arp filter in your Studio Electronics synth
for example.  Unfortunately, you're forgetting (just like everybody else)
that when people put up blind hearing tests everybody just keeps failing
them.  So I don't know what the issue is.  If virtually everybody on this
list thought an A6 sounded more like a Minimoog, than a Minimoog did, what
more do you expect from Alesis?  You could always replace modern opamps with
crappy old 741's or use old recording techniques.  Maybe that's what you're
looking for.

-Elhardt