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Subject: FW: [AH] JP-8 and more / VA sound quality

From: "Verschut, Ricardo" <ricardo.verschut@...>
Date: 2001-01-30

-----Original Message-----
From: unknown freak [mailto:modularcharles@...]
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 5:34 PM
To: ModularMoog
Cc: analogue@...
Subject: Re: [AH] JP-8 and more / VA sound quality

On Mon, 29 Jan 2001 14:58:20 +0100, ModularMoog wrote:

> The truth is that there are a lot of new stuff beeing made which play´s
> shit out of (most) analogue gear. There is only one right way for
> like Roland... VA synths, with today´s specs... and to improve algorythms
> and all that shit.

And now a completely unnecessary renewing of an endless rant.

I wish I could agree that VA "plays the shit out of (most) analogue gear."
That's not what my ears tell me. I'm absolutely not dogmatic about this --
I really do look forward to the day when DSP speed and power and algorithms
in the VA puppies give anything really similar to an analog sound -- but it
seems to me that probably the stairsteps are still ∗way∗ too far apart and
brittle, and that all sorts of behaviors of analog circuits aren't yet being
modelled at all, all kinds of intermodulation, distortion, and so on --
things that render the various sides of an analog sound into a somehow a
convincing ∗whole∗, with everything in fluid interrelationship. A VA
filtersweep, or the shading in of resonance on a modelled resonating filter
is to me one of the most confoundingly disappointing and almost embarassing
experiences imaginable, even on the best of them. It drives me straight up
a tree. It's simply godawful. I wouldn't put the best of them up against a
Micromoog, at least in that respect.

Yes, they can do wonderful things, but somehow overall the sound just
doesn't radiate authenticity ... yet. This is a hard thing to define, and
one I shouldn't belabor. But against the potential argument that one
shouldn't judge digital sounds against an antiquated analog precursor,
insisting that they're "good" only to the degree that they resemble the
familiar precursor sound, when in fact digital sounds ought to be considered
to have their own validity -- it's all ∗sound∗, after all -- all i can say
is, I tend to think that ∗any∗ sound that lacks some kind of essential
wholeness will be musically unpersuasive and strangely disappointing. And
that's the sound quality I associate peculiarly with VAs ... so far. I
fully expect they'll get there someday.

> Bring your JP-8 to a friend with i.ex the Virus TDM plug-in and play them
> side by side... I think you´re about to experience a minor shock!.

I don't.

> Of course, a synth has physical sliders and knobs but the real deal here
> that sliders dont count, sounds does... or.... _music_ does.

Both count. Sliders are ∗massively∗ important (real or MIDI). And I
suspect the Virus plug-in doesn't put up much of a fight on the audio score.
But it may be fun.

> Something very good is going on today.... _computers/va/DSP_ and it will
> only grow in the future.


> I know there is a huge risk letting my thoughts out this way but please
> not read this as a "analog sux" or something because I _do_ own a encore
> electronics midified JP-8 and I love it very much, but the thing is that
> (some) of the va´s out today are competing very good with old great
> and the production cost is ??? 1/1000 ??? and on top of this you get midi
> and all that from (wherever-you-want-to-your-arse :-O

I don't read it as "analog sux". For a working musician, ease of use and
pricetag are really important factors.

> This is what _musicians_ want... there is no room for collectors.

∗Some∗ musicians, my friend. And suggesting that people who play old
analogs are essentially "collectors" is as silly as saying that guitarists
who buy Fender amps are "collectors" . They're just taking responsibility
for their own ears.

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