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Keyboards, Modules & Hardware Synths Synthesizers, workstation keyboards, digital pianos

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24th February 2010 , 09:40 AM
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Default Real Analogue v Virtual Analogue

can Virtual Analogue get close to what Real analogue does?

How does the Nord Lead 2x for example compete with say DSI Prophet 08?

Ideas, Opinions, Welcome?
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Old 25th February 2010 , 04:07 PM
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virtual analogue vsts sound great but theres that little special x factor thats in real analogue synths.
a vst plug in is usually created to be perfect everytime you play it it always sounds the same how many times you fire it up but real old synths dont they usually drift slightly out of tune or when certain things are gonna pack in or when components get worn the sound gets gritty theres lots of little factors that make them stand apart from there virtual cousins.

if you want perfection everytime then use vsts but if you want magic and unpredicability then use hardware
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Old 25th February 2010 , 04:47 PM
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I think he means virtual analogue hardware.. like the Nord. Or Alesis, or older Novations, etc....
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Old 25th February 2010 , 07:06 PM
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Hardware I mean, Indeed, but an Interesting point. I'm not into software as I care about the feeling of the instrument itself
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Old 25th February 2010 , 09:59 PM
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i used to have the orginal novation bassstation and that was one of the best virtual analogues ive used it was great but i was a idiot and i sold it..i wished id kept it now ive got the bassstation vst and that sounds as close to the hardware but it still doesnt give me the sub basses i used to get out of the hardware.

one virtual analogue i do still have and use is the korg ea1 mk2 if your after buying one of these go for the green metallic one i tried out the mark 1s and they didnt seem as well built or sound as good as the mark 2.they go for around 100-150 pounds on ebay and they sound like a tb303 it has a simple sequencer and some kick ass filters built in that are brilliant for josh winx/prodigy type acid basslines.
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Old 27th February 2010 , 09:05 AM
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The usual hard to replicate differences are
raw waveform shape, and how the raw waveform differs across the key range
filter character - distortion, Q characteristic (resonance, width of resonance bump etc) of the filter etc.

The easy to replicate difference is overal frequence response curve across the audiable frequency spectrum and beyond.

If you ever get a chance to play with a decent software VA along side a decent analog (SE, Moog, DSI etc) with spectrum analysers and EQ to match them up, you will find you can often get close enough in a mix context for many sounds to sound near the same.

The hard bit with VAs is getting a convincing analog character filter out of them especially with sounds where the filter character is a key part of the sound.

Alot of VAs and analog synths have quite similar waveform in the mid range, so that easy there for leads etc. Many electro house type bass lines dont see that much filter work, so you can usually easily get away with a sample or any VA that has a decent waveform and some EQ to rebalance the sound.

The other difference I find is in the speed and shape of envelopes - quite simply many analog envelope generators can apply far faster and smoother shaping in the early attack part of a sound which can make quite a difference to the impact of a sound.

So yes - they can sound the same for many types of sound, but in practice its often alot of messing about. Ive managed to get my TI to sound exactly like some patches on my ATC-X just with a bit of EQ and some careful addition of an extra osc to get the raw waveform shape right.
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Old 28th February 2010 , 02:12 AM
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I'm going towards software now. Sold my TX7 and MicroKorg. I've found that the software can get mostly if not all the way there in most cases, plus some of the modulation and routing options in the software makes them semi-modular in nature. Compared to your average analogue or VA synth, this means you can get a lot more out of them.

Standouts for me:

Rop Papen Predator
NI Massive
U-He Zebra
Thor in Reason 4
AAS Ultra Analogue
Logic's built in synths.
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Old 28th February 2010 , 12:20 PM
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You missed this thing which is rapidly becomming my favourite synth for programming sounds:

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Old 28th February 2010 , 03:00 PM
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ACE is great
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Old 1st March 2010 , 06:52 PM
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I'm going the opposite way to Ed tbh, VSts are great and theres some synths available there that are just not possible with analogue stuff but you just cant beat phat analogue bass and depth analogue synths have. Hardware synths regardless of analogue or digital have a sound that is just some how not as clinical and really adds something.

Plus although there is the maintenance side of things they are not tied to a particular OS or range of computer hardware which means less compatibility issues. As long as you have a piece of hardware that gives you midi out and you can get line in to a piece of software hardware is going to work. There are some exceptions to that rule with pieces of hardware that require software in order to edit parameters properly but these seem to be getting less common.

each to their own tho you have to just find something that creates the sounds you want. Software is usually just cheaper even if it does require upgrading as OS's and other hardware changes
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Old 2nd March 2010 , 12:30 AM
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Khazul. I don't have ACE. It interests me but overall Zebra is still the more capable. Plus Urs says that ACE is more CPU intensive. Which on my Dual 2.2 Macbook is amazingly a critical thing. Even with the maximum 4GB of ram it still seems easy to hit the limits. How did I ever get by before on my old, single P4 pc..

And Jay's argument is sortof compelling. It's just I prefer the plugin way of working. Physical switches, buttons, sliders etc are nice to have. THe trouble is that most of the time they are not used. I have very little space, so software with assignable midi is more practical then racks and racks of kit. Then we start mentioning cost etc. If I had the time and money for hardware, I'd entertain a few choice bits. But in reality the situation and benefits of software are the way for me. Even with drawbacks like some synths absolutely devastating my CPU (certain patches of Massive...1 note takes upto 12 percent of the system load)
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Old 2nd March 2010 , 08:42 AM
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Nice thread chaps, stickied
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