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The "Tyrell" synth "project"
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author The "Tyrell" synth "project"
metasonix
For those who don't follow the German synth scene, I just had to point this out---
mostly because bloggers have noticed it over the past week:

Ed Dell on Audiobytz

Synthtopia

CDM

MusicRadar

Matrix

Futuremusic Blog

And my editorial take: It is my impression to date that amazonas.de is typical of enthusiast communities---in fact, to be blunt, their users remind me of the Analogue Heaven mailing list. In other words, they have a high proportion of flakes, crazies, and trolls. Said trolls spend a great deal of time attacking manufacturers for making something they "don't like", or for "charging too much money", or other cardinal sins. I've been on the receiving end of this bullshit many times, and if that's not good enough, ask Roger Arrick about AH sometime.

And whenever online-community trolls start talking about a "dream synth", the Tyrell is sadly what they end up with. IMO an absurdly complex device, that would cost at least $5k (which none of them would pay), with endless manufacturing problems baked in--but still basically a Juno-60 inside. Plus, the added fun of idiots accusing them of running another Ken Elhardt-style hoax.

I don't know anything about Peter Grandl or Urs Heckmann, the two guys "running" this little project, but I have to think they have no idea what they're getting into with regard to hardware design. Urs is a softsynth designer, so presumably he is not a complete fool, and will make a SW version first. That's the easy part. When/if they ever get to the point of hardware design, they are gonna get a rude awakening......

I would still like to know why the German synth scene is so "toxic". Even AH list members would not be foolish enough to propose such a stunt. This could lead me to make remarks about the smaller German synth manufacturers, but I'll let you make up your minds about them.
Entrainer
I doubt it'd be analogue.

URS makes good software.

I bet it'd be around the price of a Nord. Less than $3k.
I bet a market would support $2.2k street price for a
keyboard. IF it sounds good.
metasonix
Entrainer wrote:
I bet it'd be around the price of a Nord. Less than $3k.
I bet a market would support $2.2k street price for a
keyboard. IF it sounds good.

Maybe, IF they found a low-cost contract manufacturer, perhaps in China.
And that presupposes that they will be able to find buyers for 1000 or
more pieces, because contract factories won't talk to them for lesser quantities.
The logistics are a lot more daunting than you realize.....

They'd have to come up with about $1 million to get production started.
I hope Grandl has it. If not, he'd have to find an angel investor.
It's fun to imagine him going to an equity-fund manager to beg for money.

Investor: okay, what kind of project do you have for us?

Grandl: it's a polyphonic synthesizer keyboard instrument (hands over pile of specs and information).

Investor: Looks good, do you have marketing in place?

Grandl: well, we have promises by some people on our forum to buy one.

Investor: you must be joking. What kind of ROI were you expecting?

Grandl: we expect maybe a 15% profit margin after taxes, because synth people will not pay high prices for an instrument like this....

Investor: If we don't see a 50% profit the first year....... (bodily throws Grandl out of office) Fuck off, you idiot!!!!!
suitandtieguy
Wow Urs has something to do with this? Zoyd and Podolski are the two best softsynths ever.

My brain is filled with thoughts about this but I'll keep it simple: I think it lacks focus. The Feature Creature drove this project.

It's as if they never used an Andromeda.

It will cost 5 grand.
Entrainer
suitandtieguy wrote:

It will cost 5 grand.


Then it'll be doomed to fail. If it's fantastic,
maybe they'll get 150 - 200 sales from
pros, film composers, or wealthy hobbyists.

I think to succeed financially they need something
that can get beyond AH, Nova, BCM and into
the Guitar Centers of the world.

And that is not a $5000 keyboard.

On the other hand, Urs has already done a
large portion of the R&D with A.C.E., Bazille...
jupiter8
Urs isn't really involved in this project. He has been doing a lot of analog modelling lately and asked if they'd be interested in a soft version of Tyrrell.
He had all the code already it was just a matter of putting it together. Whether he gets payed for it or doing it for the exposure i don't know.
neandrewthal
Not black enough.
polyroy
I guess it's the nature of most people to complain about things. If the perfect synthesizer was created and was cheap, there would be people in their own niche saying 'oh the sawtooth wave doesn't sound as good as my pro-one' or whatever.

It's hard for manufacturers to create what people want due to such different target audiences, for the amount of posts that crop up on various forums saying Korg and Roland etc should just make analog synths like they did in the 70s/80s. Although personally I would love to see this happen, it's not really going to create enough money for them to warrant doing it, whereas the SH01, microkorg etc has probably given both companies a fair bit of money.

Good luck to these guys if they ever get it off the market but as mentioned in the majority of posts above, it will be too expensive and not many people will buy it. I assume that's what happened with things like the waldorf wave perhaps? Bare in mind this is my own speculation, so please don't barrage me with hate if there was another major reason they stopped making it.
emdot_ambient
metasonix wrote:
...basically a Juno-60 inside.

While it would in no way ever come close to my dream synth, that statement is a little unfair.

Differences:
» 8 voices (Juno 60 has 6)
» FM, ring modulation and pulse modulation (don't think the Juno had any of those)
» Waveforms: sine, saw and two different noise waves (morphing from sine to saw)...the Juno had sawtooth, pulse, white noise and a square-wave suboscillator
» Multimode filter and band-pass filters (Juno had only LP and non-resonant HP)
» Two ADSR envelopes (Juno had only 1)
» Three LFOs (Juno had only 1)
» CV/gate in/out (AFAIK the Juno didn't)
» No chorus FX (Juno had the famous Roland chorus)

So it would kind of be in the Juno or old Jupiter class of architecture, but not really equivalent to any of them...maybe a bit closer to the Jupiter 8.

Still...it ain't my dream synth by a long shot.
Entrainer
I just read that this IS intended to be analog.
$5,000 seems low now. I'd bet closer to $7-8k?

Sunsyn with no keyboard and partially digital
was losing money until he started selling them
for $5-$6k.

Weren't the old polyphonics in the same price
range though? Factor inflation from early 80s...
probably closer to $12k in today dollars.

EDIT:

$7,000.00 in 1981 had the same buying power as
$17,516.14 in 2010.

Jupiter 8 was $7,000 street in 1981.
richard
Yeah, its funny that none of these texts even mention the Andromeda, like it didn't happen? Personally I'd be happy with the Andromeda engine with a redesigned interface and and software - its a real pity Alesis weren't selling enough to give a flying fuck about the user feedback on that machine.
monroe
I don't really see why this is so crazy given the existence of the Andromeda.
richard
well existence yes, but it pretty much bombed commercially, no?
Kent
I'm not certain that I'd classify it as a 'bomb'. It was definitely not a 'pro-sumer' product and had probably capitalized upon the niche that it had.
XCenter
metasonix wrote:
I would still like to know why the German synth scene is so "toxic". Even AH list members would not be foolish enough to propose such a stunt. This could lead me to make remarks about the smaller German synth manufacturers, but I'll let you make up your minds about them.


Don´t mistake AMAZONA with the German synth scene. It is a musicmaker related online magazin supported by german distributor Thomann to some degree. There´s a massive discussion about the whole Tyrell thing happening at the german synthesizer.de forum, which runs very controversal, not to say "developed into a flame war".

It started with a AMAZONA poll asking for an analogue polyphonic synth at a 500EUR range. Such things addict to a certain sort of daydreamer. 8_)
Later they came up with the rendering of the Tyrell, sort of patch concept and unclear statements about approaching the / approaches from the music industry. That´s it.
Urs Heckmann is not involved in this project. He is just joining in, offering to develop a free VSTi which mirrors the thought architecture of the Tyrell. That´s nice, but not such a big thing so he already has some code that can easyly be adapted. Sort of "jumping on the train".

That´s it more or less.

My very personal impression: we will see the Tyrell developing into vaporware, nothing but hot air. And AMAZONA ist just trying to boost the clicks on their site. But I might be wrong, we´ll see.
metasonix
XCenter wrote:
Don´t mistake AMAZONA with the German synth scene. It is a musicmaker related online magazin supported by german distributor Thomann to some degree. There´s a massive discussion about the whole Tyrell thing happening at the german synthesizer.de forum, which runs very controversal, not to say "developed into a flame war".
It started with a AMAZONA poll asking for an analogue polyphonic synth at a 500EUR range. Such things addict to a certain sort of daydreamer. 8_)

No kidding. There is no way an analogue polysynth could be built in this day and age for 500 Eur.

A software synth, sure. (There are several free ones available now.)
A DSP-based virtual analog, yes. That's basically more-or-less what
a Microkorg is--a DSP chip in a box with clever algorithm programming.

Real analog is simply not conducive to this kind of daydreaming. Those
gentlemen are completely nuts if they think this is possible--it never
WAS economically possible, even in the 1980s. With the lowest-cost
manufacturing, an analogue poly with a keyboard, MIDI, and presets
would still cost about what you pay for a Dave Smith Poly Evolver
or Prophet 08--about 1500-2000 Eur.

(as an aside, I've also seen some very nasty threads on sequencer.de,
especially 4 years ago when a few of their users enjoyed disparaging
my products. Ever since Henning's reviews of the Wretch and the KV-100
ran in Synthesizer magazine, the trolls have shut up.)
joey
okay I'm sorry but THIS is their dream synth?

it sounds just like an alesis andromeda or oberheim xpander - both synths that already exist... (and are really great)

and then there is the prophet 08 (albeit that is DCO).

eric, I agree with your feelings on the AH community- and this is exactly the synth they would want (except its been made before and they didnt want it then!)
Jason Brock
metasonix wrote:
amazonas.de


That's also where the Behringer Phat 108 mockup came from earlier this year. I wonder if it is the same people.
They seem obsessed with Junos. Why not just buy a Juno? Roland made a bazillion of those things.
Anyway, congrats if they get some software published. But a real analog hardware version of that will never happen.




BTW, the TAL U-NO-62 sounds really good for a software Juno-60. And it's free.

drewtoothpaste
I would pay $3k for a new Xpander with a good power supply, good encoders, and smaller footprint.
monroe
metasonix wrote:
For those who don't follow the German synth scene, I just had to point this out---
mostly because bloggers have noticed it over the past week:

Ed Dell on Audiobytz
You know, Mr. Metasonix, the guy in that first link there is not reasonable. He's basicallly like, "Dude, this is a lot of analog circuits. That's like way hard. Based on my college classes I can imagine how hard it might be. Why would you even venture outside digital these days. It sounds the same anyway."

Hello! First of all it doesn't look that much more complex than some other synths that have been done. Secondly, you don't think of designing a synth system holistically as one giant differential equation, you think of it in modules. And all the basic modules are well understood, and how to combine them is well understood. In fact we have these things called modular synthesizers.
TrashWaveform
Jason Brock wrote:
BTW, the TAL U-NO-62 sounds really good for a software Juno-60. And it's free.

I ran this along side my Juno 60 when I still had mine. Maybe the best emulation of the synth ever. The chorus section sounded a bit different. Otherwise this software was insanely dead on.

The only thing I would like more than a clone of the Juno-60 is a pedal form of the Juno-60's chorus.
NV
monroe wrote:
I don't really see why this is so crazy given the existence of the Andromeda.


I think the existence of the Andromeda is much of why the idea seems crazy. The Andromeda was developed by a company that already had a decent market presence, access to manufacturing and R&D facilities, and experience with the intricacies of developing and marketing synthesizers. Given the feature set and niche market of the Andromeda I would say the price of around $3,000 that it fetched was very reasonable, yet it was still considered prohibitively expensive by much of their demographic. Small flaws became big ones when people considered the high-end price, it developed a perhaps unwarranted poor reputation, and eventually it was discontinued.

In the ten year run of the Andromeda, I would say the market for that style of synth was exhausted. At this point seeing something similar to the Andromeda but with even fewer features and a potentially greater retail price from an upstart company seems like an extremely risky venture from an investor's point of view, and without investors I can't imagine this project becoming anything more than a pipe dream.
CalvaryBand
I think this is more the dream synth of 1976 than 2010.

With so many new alternatives to analog polys out there a big polyphonic hardware synth is going to need something very special to warrant such a large (large for this economic state, anyways) price tag. A modern day take of an 80's synth is not going to do it. There are still lots of great 80's synths out there...
emdot_ambient
drewtoothpaste wrote:
I would pay $3k for a new Xpander with a good power supply, good encoders, and smaller footprint.

No shit, but this thing is in no way close to the Xpander.

Per voice, the Xpander had:

2 Voltage Controlled Oscillators("VCOs")
1 15-Mode Voltage Controlled Filter("VCF")
15 Voltage Controlled Amplifiers("VCAs")
1 FM Modulation Generator
1 Lag Processor
3 Tracking Generators
5 Digital Envelopes
5 Digital Low Frequency Oscillators("LFOs")
4 Ramp generators
1 Noise Generator

Plus a matrix modulation system with 27 possible sources going to 47 possible destinations in up to 20 "Modulation Pages" per voice and 12 hardwired modulations per voice.

Way closer to a dream synth...Matrix 12 anybody?

Of course those were largely CEM chip based, which isn't as possible today.
Holy Katana
I heard about this on another forum. It should be pretty cool, especially with Urs on board. The software version's supposed to be free, isn't it?
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