NO MORE SUBTRACTIVE SYNTHS PLEASE!!!

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RUMPLEDFORESKIN
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NO MORE SUBTRACTIVE SYNTHS PLEASE!!!

Post by RUMPLEDFORESKIN » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:29 pm

I love old school style analog synths as much as the next guy, but it's ridiculous how saturated the market is. Do we really need another dual oscillator, semi modular subtractive synthesizer? Most of them really bring nothing new to the table, except maybe some aesthetic and minor functionality differences.

I'd love to see more of a focus on wavetable synths or just plain weird shit. The most innovative synthesizer, imo, at the moment is the Factory VST from Sugarbytes. Multiple oscillators, including granular, FM, & various forms of wave table synthesis, as well as a complex sequencer/arpeggiator. Now, I know it would be hard to reproduce this in a hardware synth, but it shows that people are still trying to innovate the artform of synthesis.

Of course, this is mostly tongue in cheek, as I'll probably buy the next Moog/MS-20/etc. clone, but it's just been something that's been on my mind.

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Post by euxine » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:53 pm

I like this idea. I think we shouldn't get comfortable, and I think there has to be more area to explore. Even if we were just doing an improved-UI version of a PD/Supercollider patch...

Aside from pushing theoretical boundaries, seems welcome that we create more ways to find that sound in our heads...

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Post by wiperactive » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:11 pm

Yes, it would be nice to see more adventurous ideas coming forth by now, say, something like the Flame Maander filterbank/sequencer section idea sunk into the front panel of something like the Grandmother, Matriarch, Minilogue type of all analogue format ... for starters. Better still, this into a fully polyphonic analogue synth like the Rev 2.

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Post by ObsoleteModular » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:28 pm

Granular synthesis seems under represented in hardware. Samplr in a box would be amazing. Has the Tasty Chips thing shipped? Is it any good?

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Re: NO MORE SUBTRACTIVE SYNTHS PLEASE!!!

Post by lisa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:29 pm

RUMPLEDFORESKIN wrote:or just plain weird shit.
Are you saying that there aren’t tons of weird stuff on the market? There are! Loads and loads. :party: Would you actually buy a weird synth if it came to your attention? Most folks wouldn't.
Last edited by lisa on Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Yes Powder » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:30 pm

I had a large rant written in which I equated the modern synth market with the guitar and pedal market and most of it being driven by the dollar of tradition-obsessed squares pining for "that vintage sound" they think they heard on their favorite album from two years ago, but I decided it doesn't accurately reflect how I feel.
There's some cool stuff out there- both hardware and software. You just need to wade through the sea of brand giants and vintage cash-ins to get to it.

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Post by Panason » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:53 pm

No more monosynths without patch memory and without wave folder/ wave shape modulation and only a low pass filter. Just no.

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Post by CF3 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:12 pm

Roll up your sleeves and be the change you want or except the current status quo.

The legacy synth manufacturers move at a glacial pace and will only change when absolutely forced to (see: Eurorack market).

I do agree with the sentiments in this thread generally, but as an observer of this space over 3+ decades.... I really haven't seen that much that could be described as "new". Even in software, which has none of the limitations of hardware, there is an endless rehashing of archetypes from the 70's and 80's. There are certain manufacturers (who will remain nameless) that have been producing essentially the same synthesizer for up to a half century almost. :sadbanana:..... But people keep buying them.... soooo whatcha gonna do? :despair:
I do find some encouragement in stuff like the Waldorf Quantum and others. :guinness:
No more monosynths without patch memory and without wave folder/ wave shape modulation and only a low pass filter. Just no.
Amen to this.

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Muzone
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Post by Muzone » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:15 pm

Some of the "weirdest shit" has been produced using boring old subtractive monosynths coupled with a creative mind - if your music sounds dull and boring maybe the answer is closer to home :twisted:

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Post by nectarios » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:19 pm

You're in luck. Plenty of eurorack around to build the synth you desire.

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Post by GuyaGuy » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:30 pm

Muzone wrote:Some of the "weirdest shit" has been produced using boring old subtractive monosynths coupled with a creative mind - if your music sounds dull and boring maybe the answer is closer to home :twisted:
Mostly this. A lot of people get a Moog for that "Moog sound" which is a typical fat bass or flute sound. But with modulation, CV and MIDI automation you can radically change even one of those basic patches to something unrecognizable pretty easily. Some of my favorite Moog patches don't even use the filter.

But companies keep making affordable semi-modular subtractive synths because people buy them. And I'm guessing it's fairly easy to knock out a unit based on 60 year old technology. However there are lots of other things on the market or coming soon--Prophet XL, Prophet 12, Modal 002, Modal Argon8, ASM Hydrasynth, Elektron Digitone, Elektron Octatrack, etc. My guess is that those just take more R&D because it's mostly software and UI design.

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Post by Zymos » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:36 pm

YOU COULD JUST NOT BUY THEM YOU KNOW.

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Post by hairbow » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:56 pm

I think the issue is in synthesis itself.

Any of the interesting things happening sound-design wise are coming out of places like IRCAM or GRM, or similarly-minded commercial companies like Zynaptiq. All digital, all software.

Part of the challenge of bringing that to hardware is that unlike a subtractive synth that can make a lot of sounds from a few parameters, these new tools are very niche and limited use with very distinct parameters that would be hard to make a single set of hardware controls for. So if you were to make an effect unit to house them it would likely end up just looking like a computer, or something like the z-dsp which is pretty limited and forces people to buy the VSTs as a card.

The last big breakthrough for actual synthesis (as opposed to FFT manipulation, which is mainly what the effects I refer to are doing) was physical modeling in the 90s. If someone can point to a wholly new synthesis type that has been created since then I would love to see it.

We may just be running out of new things to discover. Pioneers stopped having places to explore once the Earth was fully mapped, and we are running into something with synthesis. It was exciting to see synthesis be explored in real time the last few decades, but now I think its more about creating new workflows or ways to interact rather than actual new forms of synthesis. Eurorack is a perfect example - so much of it is concepts known since the 1960s but developed in new ways of connectivity.

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Re: NO MORE SUBTRACTIVE SYNTHS PLEASE!!!

Post by RUMPLEDFORESKIN » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:24 pm

[quote="lisa"][quote="RUMPLEDFORESKIN"]or just plain weird shit.[/quote]
Are you saying that there aren’t tons of weird stuff on the market? There are! Loads and loads. :party: Would you actually buy a weird synth if it came to your attention? Most folks wouldn't.[/quote]

I definitely would. I have tons of noise synths and weird crap. Metasonix, Crowphonics, Flower Electronics, Sirkut, King Capitol Punishment, Audible Disease, to name a few. And, definitely, the weird market is vast and wide :nana: :zombie: :tu:

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Post by RUMPLEDFORESKIN » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:26 pm

[quote="Muzone"]Some of the "weirdest shit" has been produced using boring old subtractive monosynths coupled with a creative mind - if your music sounds dull and boring maybe the answer is closer to home :twisted:[/quote]

A truer statement has never been made. Most of my noise and drone albums were made with an MS-20, Moog Rogue, and an older Arp Odyssey. I'm just stirring the pot, so to speak lol :hail:

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Post by RUMPLEDFORESKIN » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:28 pm

[quote="Zymos"]YOU COULD JUST NOT BUY THEM YOU KNOW.[/quote]

But I do buy them. I have quite a few older synths that are little more than a couple of oscillators, a LPF, an envelope, LFO, and a VCA. I have no problem with that style of architecture. I'm just stirring the pot :)

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Post by Yes Powder » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:00 pm

Ah, yes. The ol’ HAHA I WAS PLAYING DEVIL’S ADVOCATE THIS ENTIRE TIME way out.
A jolly good trololol you gave us, Old Sport!

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Post by p_shoulder » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:18 pm

Yes Powder wrote:Ah, yes. The ol’ HAHA I WAS PLAYING DEVIL’S ADVOCATE THIS ENTIRE TIME way out.
A jolly good trololol you gave us, Old Sport!
A "LOL Friday bored" type post, I see. :miley:

I'll be honest, instead of synthesis methods, interface and control is where I personally would like to see more development. MPE compatible devices add life to even a "boring old subtractive" softsynth like u-He Diva (and that VST isn't even fully MPE compatible!). Even if it's not fully MPE and is just polyphonic aftertouch like the ASM Hydrasynth, there's a huge bonus in expression to explore there.
Last edited by p_shoulder on Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by booger » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:18 pm

Muzone wrote:Some of the "weirdest shit" has been produced using boring old subtractive monosynths coupled with a creative mind - if your music sounds dull and boring maybe the answer is closer to home :twisted:
Depends on whether you’re looking for weird synths or weird music. One does noes not necessarily equate the other.

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Post by ersatzplanet » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:22 pm

So basically just leave the filters out of your modular setup and then you don't have subtractive synthesis anymore. There are fine representatives of wave folders, FM modules and granular modules out there already.
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Post by nectarios » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:26 pm

Or just use only filters in self oscillation, FMing each other in weird ways, getting pinged, so you make something new out of the core element of subtractive synthesis.

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Post by sduck » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:29 pm

RUMPLEDFORESKIN wrote: I'm just stirring the pot :)
Otherwise known as trolling. Thanks. Reap what you sow and all that. Don't feed the ...
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Post by tehyar » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:49 pm

I'd be good if there were a lot less subtractive people.

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Post by starthief » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:15 pm

Panason wrote:No more monosynths without patch memory and without wave folder/ wave shape modulation and only a low pass filter. Just no.
No patch memory without endless encoders (preferably with LED rings -- Hydrasynth did it right). Knobs should always point to what they actually mean.

I'm totally happy with no patch memory or presets at all, but then I don't play live.

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Post by Blairio » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:10 pm

nectarios wrote:You're in luck. Plenty of eurorack around to build the synth you desire.
Exactly.

one row of 84hp can deliver pretty much anything you want in a monosynth, and you can revise your instrument as your taste or musical direction changes.

But you may find you spend a lot more than on a prebuilt offering. The Arturia Microfreak strikes me as a very interesting instrument, and remarkably inexpensive for what it can do.

Likewise the Reface DX, and it is a far cry from generic subtractive synthesis

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