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Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion

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KVRAF
 
1537 posts since 19 Apr, 2003, from Copenhagen, Denmark
 

Postby olepro; Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:57 am Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

The Vaz synths can do very snappy attacks.
I think many software synths can click but not in a musical matter.
In Vaz 2010 you can tick filter limiter off (in filter page) so you overdrive the filter in extreme settings, which can make a wonderfull clicky attack there is very analog in behaviour.

Vaz still rules after all these years 8)
___The Jepptunes___
"Accept All the Good"

Sound design for SQ8L and Alchemy
KVRAF
 
7222 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris
 

Postby Lotuzia; Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:26 am Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

PAK wrote:
Gonga wrote:Different people are looking for different kinds of "snappy attacks" it appears
It's probably caused partly by the ambiguity of the word in the English language. Snap has a bunch of different meanings which depend on context. In this context it can be narrowed down to two main ones.. A sharp noise or the perception of speed. Both can be linked, but are also distinct.

So, for me, the first type of snap is something which produces a spike in the very initial attack stage and sounds like a clicking type noise. It's good for things like percussive sounds and lots of digital synths can do this type of "snappy" attack. Unfortunately this "clicky" envelope behaviour also serves as a convenient mask for differences in the attack stage between digital emulations and real analogue. Once you remove the clicky part of the definition it brings us to the second type.

The second type is probably better subjectively described by the word "punchy", since it removes the clicking aspect of what people sometimes attempt to describe when they say "snappy". This second type could sometimes be a reference to things like audio rate modulation too. But, in a more general sense, is usually a reference to envelopes.

It's a difficult thing for digital synths to emulate because multiple settings on a synth may be influencing the perceived shape of the envelope, and that requires modeling. Think of it almost like a type of subtle built-in compression which changes with the synths settings.

For me it's one of the "holy grails" of emulation since, other than listening for complexity in interactions, it's a basic element to the sound which can sometimes be picked up on. Native Instruments Monark sets the current standard to beat for tackling those sorts of differences, IMO.

Agree "snappy" can just be equivalent to *warm* or *analog*. Oscilloscopes are just analysis tools amongst others, but they do give some information, or data.

Anyway I dont associate analog and "snappy attack". I've made tons of elegant FM percs on my Dx7II or TX, and they could be considered as "snappy as hell". Thus its pure digital ( in the noble sense of this term )
http://www.lelotusbleu.fr Soundbanks for Vsti

77 Exclusive Soundbanks for 23 synths, 8 Sound Designers, Hours of audio Demos. The Sound you miss might be there [Xils-Lab Team]
KVRAF
 
7222 posts since 19 Feb, 2004, from Paris
 

Postby Lotuzia; Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:40 am Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

Gonga wrote:
Lotuzia wrote:If differences are to be found, and indeed there still are, its not in this domain. Ymmv.


I don't understand what you mean "not in this domain." I do have great respect for your expertise and opinion.

I agree with a statement you have made many times that synths are all different and should be viewed as different sounds for different purposes. I myself have a definite bias though toward clean / sweet / smooth (as opposed to crushed / rough / aliased) and powerful (as opposed to wimpy dynamics). So I fully appreciate the newer and finer quality synths such as Xils and U-He. If I hear you right, you are saying powerful dynamics are commonplace, and I hope you are right as the synth landscape is changing rapidly for the better, though I can tell you after demoing and purchasing many synths over a period of years that this has not been my experience generally. Perhaps you get to spend a lot more time with a lot higher-quality synths than I :wink: Also, I'm not a great programmer (I'm a retired geologist) so I don't have much experience with really big, complicated synths. The most complicated synth I ever owned was an Oberheim FVS-1. For example though, over a period of many years I purchased every Arturia analog emulation, beginning with the miniV about 8-9 years ago. With those synths, as I turned down the VCA sustain, the attack diminished proportionally - not authentic at all imo. The same was true for all my Cakewalk synths that came with Pro Audio and later SONAR, etc. And there were many others. I can say with assurance that none of the Arturia synths can produce an attack dynamic anything like that of the ClearPlastic patch I linked to here (DIVA). The landscape is definitely changed since then though and I am now curious as to which synths are particularly good with analog attack transient dynamics.

For me personally, the speed of the envelope is not the most important thing - for me it's the volume dynamics of the VCA attack transient. Anybody who is a fan of either Jan Hammer or George Duke are already familiar with the sound that has taken me years to get "in the box." And all I can say is, it's great to hear actual examples...I hope people post more so we can hear what they're trying to say! :wink:

Exactly this. All synths sound different. Just a little story about enveloppes, wich combines very simple A/B analysis tool, and ears : I'm the lucky owner of a Synthix ( now Syn'X) unique version that has both PolyKB envelopes AND Syn'X ones. There's a toggle to switch them, and everything else is identical. Both have standard ADSR EV, but when you switch the enveloppes patches sound different, always different, most often in a way than even a non expert listener, or a child can make/hear immediatly the difference. On some patches you can barely say that its the same preset playing. The enveloppes were modelled according to their real world counterparts, and this explains the differences. And this is only the envelopes ! Add all the circuitry and ....

Btw I dont have that many softsynths, I'm afraid I could even have more hw synths than softsynths :oops: , but those I use I really like and learn them. And yes, I passed on a lot of probably not bad synths, but in the same time I did try a lot more of other ones who did not make it for me.
http://www.lelotusbleu.fr Soundbanks for Vsti

77 Exclusive Soundbanks for 23 synths, 8 Sound Designers, Hours of audio Demos. The Sound you miss might be there [Xils-Lab Team]
PAK
KVRist
 
468 posts since 19 Feb, 2003

Postby PAK; Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:51 am Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

Gonga wrote:That sounds snappy yes, but imo lacks much of click or punch.
Yep, since what I'm talking about is not the obvious "clunk!" in the attack. So not "snap" in a lot of peoples sense of the word, but what someone else on here once called the "attack pregnancy" of hardware, which I thought was an amusing way to put it.

The bass sound in that snippet is the sort of sound a lot of software struggles with, but that's easier said by loading the preset and trying to copy with other synths :) The way Monark handles things results, for some, in a better sense of that forementioned "attack pregnancy", but also means it benefits from being tamed/restrained (using things like Satin etc).

Monark does what you're talking about too.. The contour control makes it easy to dial in the amount of "snap" (actually meant in the sense you're meaning now! ;) ). For some people the problem kinda might be dialing it away from that though.. Have you tried it yet? Diva can cover most of its output (but you need to switch to the Uhbie filter for some of it). But maybe you'd appreciate where there are differences..
KVRAF
 
5589 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:51 am Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

Here's some snap attack things.
U-he Diva
https://app.box.com/s/67wmcb9k69ptrpfvyvlj
----
MS20 then Polysix 2 instances each in Legacy Cell>
https://app.box.com/s/xqcqf33rqy1udcr58934

The Korg ones were two instances for each sound within LegacyCell
No effects.
I'm finding out that Dune2 can be good for punchy and snappy attacks as well.
Just don't use the detune, or too many oscillators with it, and you have to set the osc init phase just right with legato or mono setting.
The key is to use the MSEG's for attacks, and for some sounds, setting a sharp sloping fast mseg on the pitch with about a +2 to +4 setting.
Doing the same except using a -2 to -4 mseg on the pitch will give you a good funk type porta thing.
One thing I noticed in Dune1 and 2 is how many sound designers for it, either avoided or just didn't bother to set a slow moving reseting or free floating Lfo to any sounds. So holding a sustain, ends with just flat non movement. I find having an lfo like that on the cutoff can help with the way the sound kinda slaps back at you whenever a note is held longer. It swells into a snappier attack this way. All my sounds take into account holding a note, and there better be movement there, or else it's just lack of attention to detail, or laziness. I think this happens with Dune more, because it seems like some don't actually like using the matrix part of it. They don't like the assigning, and number setting. But instead prefer knobs for lfo assignments.
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KVRist
 
476 posts since 4 Oct, 2012, from Utah
    

Postby dakkra; Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:24 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

masterhiggins wrote:If it's what I'm thinking of...I'd say Largo and Synthmaster.

-Sam


With Synthmaster though I found I had to go bend the curve up into a square while the attack is at full length to be able to have it's "snappy" attack when the attack is again at it's shorter length.

Cableguys Curve 2 has a really snappy attack
User avatar
KVRAF
 
1789 posts since 27 Feb, 2011
  

Postby Gonga; Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:35 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

PAK wrote:
Gonga wrote:That sounds snappy yes, but imo lacks much of click or punch.
Yep, since what I'm talking about is not the obvious "clunk!" in the attack. So not "snap" in a lot of peoples sense of the word, but what someone else on here once called the "attack pregnancy" of hardware, which I thought was an amusing way to put it.

The bass sound in that snippet is the sort of sound a lot of software struggles with, but that's easier said by loading the preset and trying to copy with other synths :) The way Monark handles things results, for some, in a better sense of that forementioned "attack pregnancy", but also means it benefits from being tamed/restrained (using things like Satin etc).

Monark does what you're talking about too.. The contour control makes it easy to dial in the amount of "snap" (actually meant in the sense you're meaning now! ;) ). For some people the problem kinda might be dialing it away from that though.. Have you tried it yet? Diva can cover most of its output (but you need to switch to the Uhbie filter for some of it). But maybe you'd appreciate where there are differences..


I need to try Monark :hyper: I have Reaktor but I find it confusing to use...need to spend some time with it.
Last edited by Gonga on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ALL YOUR DATA ARE BELONG TO US - Google

https://soundcloud.com/dan-ling
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KVRAF
 
1789 posts since 27 Feb, 2011
  

Postby Gonga; Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:39 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

mcnoone wrote:Here's some snap attack things.
U-he Diva
https://app.box.com/s/67wmcb9k69ptrpfvyvlj
----
MS20 then Polysix 2 instances each in Legacy Cell>
https://app.box.com/s/xqcqf33rqy1udcr58934

The Korg ones were two instances for each sound within LegacyCell
No effects.
I'm finding out that Dune2 can be good for punchy and snappy attacks as well.
Just don't use the detune, or too many oscillators with it, and you have to set the osc init phase just right with legato or mono setting.
The key is to use the MSEG's for attacks, and for some sounds, setting a sharp sloping fast mseg on the pitch with about a +2 to +4 setting.
Doing the same except using a -2 to -4 mseg on the pitch will give you a good funk type porta thing.
One thing I noticed in Dune1 and 2 is how many sound designers for it, either avoided or just didn't bother to set a slow moving reseting or free floating Lfo to any sounds. So holding a sustain, ends with just flat non movement. I find having an lfo like that on the cutoff can help with the way the sound kinda slaps back at you whenever a note is held longer. It swells into a snappier attack this way. All my sounds take into account holding a note, and there better be movement there, or else it's just lack of attention to detail, or laziness. I think this happens with Dune more, because it seems like some don't actually like using the matrix part of it. They don't like the assigning, and number setting. But instead prefer knobs for lfo assignments.


Nice samples! How is the aliasing on the Korg for stuff like pitch bends at high frequencies or sync sweeps?
ALL YOUR DATA ARE BELONG TO US - Google

https://soundcloud.com/dan-ling
KVRAF
 
5589 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:53 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

Gonga wrote:Nice samples! How is the aliasing on the Korg for stuff like pitch bends at high frequencies or sync sweeps?
Not good. They do that zipper thing. Certainly not as good as in Diva.
The Korg analog edition synths are still better than a lot of others doing analog modeling though.
Diva is the best for analog modeled synths imo.
I want to try Monark too, but I have to do an OS and memory upgrade to be able to use it.
PAK
KVRist
 
468 posts since 19 Feb, 2003

Postby PAK; Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:27 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

Bumping this because Paul Barker posted a video which better says what I (tried!) to say.

It's a very in-depth comparison video between the Roland Aira range and the original Roland hardware. He compares the TR-808, 909, and 303 in the video. But it only takes the first 10 mins, where he compares the bass drum and snare sounds of the 808, to hear what people mean when they say digital code produces "soft sounding" envelopes which lack impact/punch/subjective term of preference.

As you'll hear in those examples, it's not just the "click" of the attack which is involved in this stuff and, if anything, it's a convenient mask which digital code can try to hide behind. Even at similar measured levels the hardware sounds louder to our ears. The compression feature on the Aira TR-8 must be used to try to match what the original does by default, and even then it still comes up a bit short.

The difficult part is modeling how the other components (the VCA etc) interact and influence what the sound is doing, and todays models are largely (more often totally) failing to emulate these aspects. It's something compression can mask, but requires a more complicated approach (than just slapping a compressor on the output ;) ) to model well. If it's "solved" then a very large part, of how and why people still sometimes notice a difference between software models and hardware, will be removed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGAFB6_m3bY
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KVRAF
 
8978 posts since 7 Dec, 2004, from Vancouver, Canada
 

Postby aciddose; Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:54 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

http://soundcloud.com/aciddose/wicked

It's a bit fun to laugh at how clueless you all are while reading your speculation and the nonsense comments you make about instruments.

After a while though it becomes sad.

btw: The best way to learn is to change from making up nonsense to asking "why?". Be very careful, you can taint the question you ask with your preconceived notions.

The best suggestion for the definition of "snappy attack" I've seen so far in this thread was that the shape of the combined attack and decay sections have an influence.

This was an intelligent observation, unlike most of everything else that has been said.

It is critical however to understand that while this is itself a great observation, this makes up only a small portion of the effect.

It is also critical to note right from the beginning that the term itself is so ridiculously subjective as to make it almost completely useless, for any purpose.

Really just layer after layer of misconception and arrogance.

Realize this, and you will have taken your first step toward learning something.
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KVRAF
 
8978 posts since 7 Dec, 2004, from Vancouver, Canada
 

Postby aciddose; Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:58 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

PAK; The video you linked, absolutely hilarious. Good effort to the guy, but oh man if you can't even be bothered enough to get the levels to match, why bother?

That said, the weirdly large amount of harmonic introduced from the aira is interesting. If the outputs were routed through identical paths it would be very interesting to know where exactly the harmonic is introduced to the aira signal, and if in software, why?

No really, WHY!

Either this was introduced post aira, the aira has some sort of distortion option enabled that he never bothered to disable, the aira analog output stage suffers from significant levels of distortion, or they've intentionally applied the distortion to all signals from the aira in software!
PAK
KVRist
 
468 posts since 19 Feb, 2003

Postby PAK; Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:45 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

aciddose wrote:PAK; The video you linked, absolutely hilarious. Good effort to the guy, but oh man if you can't even be bothered enough to get the levels to match, why bother?
I think it was kind of part of his point? IE He'd have to turn the level down to match the Aira. But he couldn't turn the level of the Aira up any more to match the equivalent hardware level without introducing clipping on the meter.

The reality of how people often use analogue hardware is they'll usually only turn something down when they start to notice artifacts they don't want. The hardware itself might well be clipping internally (which was also a point he made) but if it doesn't sound like obvious unwanted distortion (in the sense most people think of distortion) then people will use subjective terms like "tone" to describe what they're hearing, and treat it as part of the sound instead..

To be perfectly honest, there's probably a few devs around here who could've done a better job on that stuff.. But the good thing about digital is they can try again as many times as they want - at least until they run out of DSP :)
KVRAF
 
5589 posts since 8 Oct, 2007, from an inharmonious society

Postby mcnoone; Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:25 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

aciddose wrote:http://soundcloud.com/aciddose/wicked

It's a bit fun to laugh at how clueless you all are while reading your speculation and the nonsense comments you make about instruments.

After a while though it becomes sad.

btw: The best way to learn is to change from making up nonsense to asking "why?". Be very careful, you can taint the question you ask with your preconceived notions.

The best suggestion for the definition of "snappy attack" I've seen so far in this thread was that the shape of the combined attack and decay sections have an influence.

This was an intelligent observation, unlike most of everything else that has been said.

It is critical however to understand that while this is itself a great observation, this makes up only a small portion of the effect.

It is also critical to note right from the beginning that the term itself is so ridiculously subjective as to make it almost completely useless, for any purpose.

Really just layer after layer of misconception and arrogance.

Realize this, and you will have taken your first step toward learning something.

That had to be the most condescending know it all post I've ever read here.
:tu:
User avatar
KVRAF
 
8978 posts since 7 Dec, 2004, from Vancouver, Canada
 

Postby aciddose; Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:51 pm Re: Synths with snappy attacks (like ES2)

mcnoone wrote:That had to be the most condescending know it all post I've ever read here.
:tu:


I tried, but I don't think it could ever be condescending enough.

Did I get my point across?
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