Sound comparisons between PlanB M15 and TTA Z300

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kidtesla
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Sound comparisons between PlanB M15 and TTA Z300

Post by kidtesla » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:46 am

Any opinions (by owners of both) in the sound of 'basic' waveforms and FM//PWM between the PlanB M15 osc. and TipTopAudio Z3000 osc?

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Re: Sound comparisons between PlanB M15 and TTA Z300

Post by dkcg » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:02 pm

kidtesla wrote:Any opinions (by owners of both) in the sound of 'basic' waveforms and FM//PWM between the PlanB M15 osc. and TipTopAudio Z3000 osc?
The PWM is easier to control in the Z3000, mainly because of the attenuation built in, M15 needs an external attenuator for most signals.

They both FM very nicely, but the M15 FM sounds better to my ears, hard to describe, maybe "more rounded"? More ringing? can't put my finger on it...

I can't say for sound, but the M15's sine is a more sinelike on the scope. Honestly, to me a sine sounds like a sine until it's FMed, then you really hear the oscillator to me.

The Z3000 has some problems with using the M15 as a source, and I've heard that some others have had problems too. My problems are that the Z3000 seems to not be able to lock on the M15's waveform and give me a signal frequency, and it won't hard sync to the M15 without inverting the saw. I think it's due to the M15 saw sloping up, so no hard edge til the end of the cycle. Inverted, they play together fine and seem to complement each other well.

I like both, now use the Z3000 in my patching as a sync source, FM source, LFO source, etc. If I had to choose, I'd lean towards the M15, but that's just my own preference.

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Post by kidtesla » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:12 pm

Thanks Don! for the info.

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Post by felix » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:27 pm

Yep, I would pretty much agree with that assessment as well. The M15 sounds a little bit better.

However, the size, functionality, and price make the Z3k a super deal.
dkcg wrote:My problems are that the Z3000 seems to not be able to lock on the M15's waveform and give me a signal frequency
I've noticed that too. Use the square wave out of the M15, the frequency counter on the Z3k picks up that just fine.
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Post by dkcg » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:46 pm

yup. if cost and size is a factor, it's pretty close. one of each would be a good combo. i'm starting to use the z3k as a tuner/master sync now.

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Post by kidtesla » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:12 pm

Yay...Felix is also in the house! (Thanks for the advice from two of my favorite California Wigglers :lol:)
Sound is my only concern in this matter...so it looks like I'll get a second M15.

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Post by dkcg » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:19 pm

kidtesla wrote:Yay...Felix is also in the house! (Thanks for the advice from two of my favorite California Wigglers :lol:)
Sound is my only concern in this matter...so it looks like I'll get a second M15.
I might have time later to record a stereo sample, m15 on left and z3000 on right (west vs east in some ways :) ).

They definately FM different, the M15 FMs with more, um..."roundness" (maybe the vactrols) than the Z3000.

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Post by wetterberg » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:16 pm

kidtesla wrote:Sound is my only concern in this matter...so it looks like I'll get a second M15.
plenty of people have said that the FM is unbeatable on the tipTop. What I'm saying is that I'd really give a good listen to those mp3s again. :)

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Post by kidtesla » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:13 pm

dkcg wrote:I might have time later to record a stereo sample, m15 on left and z3000 on right (west vs east in some ways :) ).

That would be much appreciated,thanks.
wetterberg wrote:plenty of people have said that the FM is unbeatable on the tipTop. What I'm saying is that I'd really give a good listen to those mp3s again. :)
You're right. Don't get me wrong,I like what I've heard of the sound of the Z3000(as much as you can tell via mp3 :hihi: ) But it's always nice to have actual users feedback.

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Post by Peake » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:20 pm

I've never FM'd the Buchla (Plan B) oscillators using anything other than the sine wave, so I don't even know what they'd sound like if you did expo with saws...but the FM examples of the Tiptop don't do it for me. No sawtooth core's expo FM make me grin like the Buchla (sine expo). There's a big difference. I can't say that I've ever heard a single Plan B sine on sine FM soundbite either, so I don't know of people are even exploring this unique, superior characteristic. Osc 1 sine > Osc 2 expo in; Osc 2 sine > Osc 1 expo in.

And it sounds like someone's playing games yet again, neh? :hihi:
I just can't help imagining that this would be better with vactrols

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Post by felix » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:47 pm

I have only a single M15, however, I've had the pleasure of using two at brandon_daniel's place, and it sounds fantastic. To me it sounds the most "pure" example of FM. It has that precision of digital FM, without the usual stigmata of a "cold" or "flat" sound. It's very rich and organic sounding. I focused primarily on the Linear FM sound though, which is the sound I prefer.

The AFGs are somewhat similar to the sound, but not as "clear". It's a little hairier an "blury" compared to the M15.

The Z3k is somewhere in the middle, IMO. Again, I've really only done a lot of listening to the Linear FM aspects, as that's my favorite FM sound, usually using either Sine + Sine or Triangle + Sine. Sine modulating the Saw output on the M15 sounds particularly special to my ears. It remains nice and tight, just like the standard M15 Saw, but with all the wonderful extra sideband harmonics that come out of FM.

I don't think you can go wrong with either, but if you're after FM sounds specifically, I think the M15 has a step up.
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Post by felix » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:56 pm

Oh yeah, just to re-iterate about the PWM on the M15...

I guess I have one of the "bad ones" with an extremely small range of PWM. The manual range on the knob is like from 10 to 2 o'clock and severe attenuation is necessary for the usual sort of PWM (especially if the modulation source is from a Livewire module, which is a pretty hot output usually).

For my taste, the PWM on the TipTop sounds better and of course does not have the tiny range of the knob and has a built in attenuator. The AFG is the hands down winner of PWM for my tastes, so that will let you know where I'm coming from.
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Post by dkcg » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:33 am

Felix is right on about pwm. I finally got an afg and it's a pwm monster.

here's a quick test. Model 15 on the left, Z3000 on the right. same modulation sources, same filtering. The filter is a DMF-2, m15 goes through the left, z3000 on the right, I made sure the settings were symettrical, and I bet so did Wowa. :D

The modulations all go through a M36 Leveler into a M31 buffered mult and into equivalent inputs on both oscilators (so I can atten both oscillators equally at the same time). Basically, everything on the left and right should be exactly the same except the oscillator. The FMing oscillator is an ASys RS-95e and a cwejman RM2 near the end, to make sure neither have an unfair manufacturer advantage.

The only difference is that the PWM into the M15 goes through an attenuator in an M9 otherwise it would be too much range and you'd hear nothing for most the PWM in the M15.

http://joekickass.com/donk/sounds/sound ... Rz3000.mp3

Recorded from the synth through a mackie into the korg mr-1.

hopefully this is a decent comparison of FM and pwm

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Post by kidtesla » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:34 pm

Thanks Felix and dkcg for your info and examples. Thanks for taking the substantive time to go into detail and demo! ...It's much appreciated!

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Post by brandon daniel » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:48 pm

If you want that buchla-ish FM sound, then you either buy a buchla or a model 15. That's not to say that other oscillators might not have cool FM results (I haven't been able to try out my Z3k yet), but they aren't *that* sound, the sound of a sine-core oscillator FMing another sine-core oscillator with just the right scaled taper on the FM input.

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Post by Soy Sos » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:48 pm

Great demo, they both sound pretty damn amazing!
But I'm not very experienced with the whole FM world.
Who has knowledge with FM'ing on the 2600?
I'll need to work on it. Sorry if I'm off topic.

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Post by dkcg » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:10 pm

Soy Sos wrote:Great demo, they both sound pretty damn amazing!
But I'm not very experienced with the whole FM world.
Who has knowledge with FM'ing on the 2600?
I'll need to work on it. Sorry if I'm off topic.
If I can borrow it for a couple months I could figure it out and let you know how good it sounds. I'll even post samples. :lol:

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Post by Soy Sos » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:50 pm

Cool! Thanks so much, I can send it out first thing Monday morning.
FedEx OK?

But seriously, I have the 3 oscillators on the 2600 and one Doepfer A-110.
Also self oscillating the A-101-1 and Polivoks. So of those 6, 1 ARP and the A-110 have sine available plus the filters. I've FM'ed every combination of oscillators and waveforms and they all sound pretty cool. So I'm honestly not sure what the magical combo is supposed to be but I like them all!

If anyone does want to make a visit to Pittsburgh they are welcome to screw around with the 2600 to their heart's content. I don't have much chance to hang out with with other modular heads anyway.

Actually I've been running a sample and hold patch with the A-101-1
FM'ing the ARP's sine and it does sound pretty awesome.

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Post by dkcg » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:20 pm

How does the ringmod on the arp sound? I bet that sounds fantastic!
There just aren't enough cool arp examples I can find. Do you have any pure arp samples? What kinda range do the oscillators have? I recently saw a nice one for sale pretty cheap, but still out of my range and started thinking about those beautiful machines that look like a station from a battleship. :D

Wasn't it kinda like a more "musical" Synthi? That's the feeling I always get from the videos i've seen.

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Post by brandon daniel » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:38 pm

dkcg wrote:How does the ringmod on the arp sound? I bet that sounds fantastic!
There just aren't enough cool arp examples I can find. Do you have any pure arp samples? What kinda range do the oscillators have? I recently saw a nice one for sale pretty cheap, but still out of my range and started thinking about those beautiful machines that look like a station from a battleship. :D

Wasn't it kinda like a more "musical" Synthi? That's the feeling I always get from the videos i've seen.
IIRC (it's been a couple years since I sold my 2600), the oscillators are really wide-range, from as low as you could want to high enough to heterodyne. And yes, the ringmod with a sine into one side was a classic sound. Also, the noise-> S&H had a very musical result. The 4012 filter in mine was something very special, sound-wise, I wouldn't call it "moog" like many do, it had a very dirty unstable feeling to it, though. Lastly, the spring verb imparted a nice quality to the whole thing.

I wouldn't compare it in any way to a synthi, though, it's just not nearly as crazy and whacky.

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Post by felix » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:53 pm

Isn't the M15 a triangle-core VCO?
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Post by brandon daniel » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:13 am

felix wrote:Isn't the M15 a triangle-core VCO?
as are the 258s. Brain fart.

s/sine/triangle/g

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