[sdiy] Speculation on the idea of being on the Roland design team ca. 1992

Paul Burns (Fitvideo) paul at fitvideo.co.uk
Thu Jan 23 07:30:48 CET 2014


I got to play with one of the first consumer models of the VL-1 sold to
Manfred Mann one Sunday morning over a cup of tea at his house. I also got
to spend an afternoon on the VP-1 at Yamaha R&D. That was a beast.



-----Original Message-----
From: synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl
[mailto:synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of Robin Whittle
Sent: 23 January 2014 04:28
To: Synth DIY
Subject: Re: [sdiy] Speculation on the idea of being on the Roland design
team ca. 1992

Hi Ingo,

I recall playing with the original Korg Wavedrum in the mid-1990s and being
profoundly impressed.  There's a later version:


from 2010 which also gets a good rap.

My only concern is the idea of hitting anything which contains electronics
with drumsticks.  Especially with lead-free solder, I imagine this is a
sure-fire way to break solder joints to the point of making the machine
unserviceable.  So I guess the idea is to use an external pad, or pull the
device apart to separate the pad from the electronics.

Around that time there was an exotic single-voice Yamaha keyboard with
physical modelling of a flute - the VL1.  I recall being able to blow it
into the second harmonic and then to back off the pressure, where it would
stay in the second harmonic, with the same breath pressure at which it would
normally be in the first harmonic, if not already blown harder.  I think
this was authentic-enough physical modelling to be musically very close to
to a real physical device.  That is exactly the sort of sophistication which
I think is possible and desirable - for making really great, potentially
chaotic and messy, instruments which are in fact totally digital.  It would
be a huge development effort to do this, but now, with higher powered DSPs,
or even with using a single
4 core i7 CPU with dedicated software, it should be possible, at least for a
monophonic system or perhaps a system capable of a few sounds at once,
whether they be transient (drum-like) or continual (traditional keyboard
synthesizer sounds).

The VL1 was from 1994.  This article reports on a much less expensive VL70m
from 1996:


which I think some people are also really happy with.

Presumably physical modelling is alive and well in hardware boxes and/or
software for PCs etc. and capable of doing amazing things.  I haven't
researched it, but I guess other list members have.

 - Robin

On 2014-01-23 8:02 AM, Ingo Debus wrote:

> First I had thought, oh God, what a long posting, but as I had read 
> it, it was really worth doing so. I do like the analogy of watercolour 
> paintings and electronic instruments.

> Am 21.01.2014 um 17:21 schrieb Robin Whittle:
>> Maybe a major drum machine manufacturer could have been convinced to 
>> make a machine which doesn't attempt to, or pretend to, slavishly 
>> replicate physical drums.
> [...]
>> use the
>> original acoustic physical drum sounds and dynamic responses as
>> *inspiration* for doing a pleasing imitation, and then going well 
>> beyond that into new territory beyond the realm of the responses of 
>> existing or practical physical objects.
> This sounds pretty much like the Korg Wavedrum.

Synth-diy mailing list
Synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl

More information about the Synth-diy mailing list