Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
922 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Post Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:42 pm

If you get into synthesis in a big way, you might find that hardware patch recall isn't always all it's cracked up to be given it is basically an instant way to get all the knobs and sliders out of whack with the actual patch that's playing.

If it's a relatively simple synth, take a photo of the patch so that you can recreate it that way - there are plugins that let you do this within a track eg https://non-lethal-applications.com/products/snapshot

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pdxindy
KVRAF
15656 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:16 pm

OneOfManyPauls wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:42 pm
If you get into synthesis in a big way, you might find that hardware patch recall isn't always all it's cracked up to be given it is basically an instant way to get all the knobs and sliders out of whack with the actual patch that's playing.

If it's a relatively simple synth, take a photo of the patch so that you can recreate it that way - there are plugins that let you do this within a track eg https://non-lethal-applications.com/products/snapshot
Yeah, without presets you know that what you see is always what you get. I value that a lot.

With a simple synth, it's also not particularly hard to learn it well enough to dial in your favorite sounds without even needing a photo and quickly too. For something with patch points, then the photo helps for sure.

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BONES
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8215 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:55 pm

colonel_mustard wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:43 am
It doesn't have any knobs, though. You can't touch it.
I'm amazed this is still a thing. I didn't get my first computer until I was in my late 30s but using a mouse is so second-nature to me now that I mostly prefer it to actual, physical knobs. With things like holding down CTRL for finer control, it's just a whole lot easier to be very precise. People who have grown up with a mouse in their hands should take to it even better than I have.
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Dim Vision
KVRist
39 posts since 1 Jul, 2017

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:17 pm

OneOfManyPauls wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:42 pm
If you get into synthesis in a big way, you might find that hardware patch recall isn't always all it's cracked up to be given it is basically an instant way to get all the knobs and sliders out of whack with the actual patch that's playing.

If it's a relatively simple synth, take a photo of the patch so that you can recreate it that way - there are plugins that let you do this within a track eg https://non-lethal-applications.com/products/snapshot
Some great points. It might also enhance learning in a way, and it might even encourage me to actually put a patch to use when it's created, since there is no way to save it for later. I was quite impressed by the sound of the Neutron, and its envelopes seemed very snappy. Perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to discount it.

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BONES
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8215 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:07 pm

No, I think you should. It is no small limitation, it is a huge PITA. Even with snapshots you won't ever get exactly the same sound back, just something near enough. Perhaps the best idea is to get something that has a software editor for it. That sure as hell made all the difference for me with Analog Keys and they are a Dogsend for patch management.
OneOfManyPauls wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:42 pm
If you get into synthesis in a big way, you might find that hardware patch recall isn't always all it's cracked up to be given it is basically an instant way to get all the knobs and sliders out of whack with the actual patch that's playing.
That will depend on the synth. I currently own 7 hardware synths and it is only an issue on one of them. The more expensive ones have infinite rotary encoders so their position is irrelevant. Others don't have knob-per-function so it doesn't matter anyway. Instruments that do have this issue offer multiple knob modes to deal with it in the most convenient way - absolute mode in the studio , pass-through or relative mode on stage.
If it's a relatively simple synth, take a photo of the patch so that you can recreate it that way - there are plugins that let you do this within a track eg https://non-lethal-applications.com/products/snapshot
Yeah, because that's such a great look on stage, in the middle of a set.
pdxindy wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:16 pm
Yeah, without presets you know that what you see is always what you get. I value that a lot.
Which is why software will always beat hardware.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, Win10),Behringer QX1002USB, Cubase Pro 10, DUNE, Hive, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Substance, Arcsyn, Seaboard Block, Lightpad Block M, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt.

OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
922 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:22 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:07 pm
Even with snapshots you won't ever get exactly the same sound back, just something near enough.
That's not always a bad thing. Happy accidents are a thing, and sometimes doing physical recall can result in a better patch than the original. Just depends on the synth's role.
I currently own 7 hardware synths and it is only an issue on one of them. The more expensive ones have infinite rotary encoders so their position is irrelevant. Others don't have knob-per-function so it doesn't matter anyway. Instruments that do have this issue offer multiple knob modes to deal with it in the most convenient way - absolute mode in the studio , pass-through or relative mode on stage.
I like those led-ringed infinite encoders, but there are very few synths that use them - including by companies that gave them a try in the past eg nord and korg.

Those non-absolute knob modes don't help to give you a bird eye view of a patch - they just stop it sounding like amateur night when you move a control.

For someone learning synthesis, having every control in place reflecting the sound being heard is clearly going to be a big help.
Yeah, because that's such a great look on stage, in the middle of a set.
Agree, but that's not the entire universe of usage cases. Plus it's not uncommon for a synth's role to be to play the same or very similar patch across an entire set - where it's not only possible but desirable to edit the patch in real time.
Which is why software will always beat hardware.
Software is cheaper and more convenient for sure - but it can't have escaped your notice that there is a clear resurgence in hardware synths right now despite there being more super high quality soft synths than ever. Hands on control, not worrying about host cpu/stability and the hardware "vibe" are as much a part of the equation as convenience and cost.

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BONES
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8215 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:25 am

OneOfManyPauls wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:22 pm
That's not always a bad thing. Happy accidents are a thing, and sometimes doing physical recall can result in a better patch than the original. Just depends on the synth's role.
And then next time you'll get something worse. It's a lottery where precision should be the standard. I work too bloody hard on our songs for "near enough" to be good enough.
I like those led-ringed infinite encoders, but there are very few synths that use them - including by companies that gave them a try in the past eg nord and korg. Those non-absolute knob modes don't help to give you a bird eye view of a patch - they just stop it sounding like amateur night when you move a control.
You shouldn't have to see, you should be able to hear what's going on (unless it actually is amateur night at your place). People seem to forget that we're making sound here, not setting values visually on an interface.
For someone learning synthesis, having every control in place reflecting the sound being heard is clearly going to be a big help.
Maybe for the first few weeks. After that, the limitations it has imposed on them will make them rue the decision to go that way.
Agree, but that's not the entire universe of usage cases. Plus it's not uncommon for a synth's role to be to play the same or very similar patch across an entire set - where it's not only possible but desirable to edit the patch in real time.
I'm not sure what kind of gigs you play or go to but touching a control on a synth is something I never want to do on stage. It's strictly keyboard, mod wheel and occasional pitch-bend for me.
Software is cheaper and more convenient for sure - but it can't have escaped your notice that there is a clear resurgence in hardware synths right now despite there being more super high quality soft synths than ever.
Yes, it has escaped my notice. To be fair, I don't go to see a lot of bands any more but those I do see seem to work the same way they always have. OK, I am personally using a lot more hardware than I have in 30 years but there is a very good reason for that - they have software editors that offer the best of both worlds. I get a hardware synth I can play around with to come up with ideas, plus the precision of a software interface to absolutely nail the sound during production. I assume I like working this way because I bought my first synth in 1981 and so hardware feels quite natural for me but I can't imagine anyone who started in the softsynth era would find it nearly as satisfying, unless there is something wrong with them.
Hands on control, not worrying about host cpu/stability and the hardware "vibe" are as much a part of the equation as convenience and cost.
Not for me. I get way, way, way better hands-on control from softsynths with my Roli Seaboard than from any hardware synth ever made. There is simply no contest. I have never had half as many problems with "cpu/stability" as I used to have in hardware with running out of channels or voices, or having to share effects, etc. I'd also point out that if there is an actual resurgence of hardware, that it's simply an indication that there are more stupid people in the world than you thought there were.

On stage I have found my PCs to be an order of magnitude more reliable than any hardware set-up I ever had. Hardware is subject to all kinds of external issues that you simply don't have to worry about with software. e.g. I carry about three times more leads/cables than I need to gigs because they stop working ALL the time. It's huge hassle that just doesn't happen with software.

Software is so liberating compared to hardware. The only hardware I get a "vibe" from is modern hardware that includes a software editor/librarian and doesn't feel in any way like any of the hardware I used in the 1980s or 1990s. It rewards my effort and makes things easier, not harder, which in turn makes me want to use it. OTOH, my old school hardware just sits around under drop-cloths, unused, because it's more hassle than it's worth.
Last edited by BONES on Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
922 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:44 am

Synths are a tool, used differently by different people. Most of what you wrote is personal opinion that isn't shared by a large proportion of people that buy this stuff - and some of it is a little questionable eg being able to decipher a complex patch by ear for example given there are often a number of ways to create the same sound eg low frequency ring mod sounding like lfos, using one shot lfos in place of envelopes etc

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BONES
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8215 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:45 pm

Just as your post was your personal opinion. It's a given that every post is the posters own opinion, surely?

After nearly 40 years there aren't too many patches I can't decipher by ear. Sure, it's often hard to tell how much of the sound is the cutoff value or envelope modulation, for example, but anyone who is familiar with the instruments they use will be able to work it out fairly easily. Obviously I can't do it cold but with instruments I work with every day, it's not much of a challenge. Instruments that I can't work with like that I find very frustrating to use, like DUNE with it's multi-layered approach. It's why I am drawn to simpler synths like Uno, rather than monsters like Modal's big analogues. I save the really complex stuff for software.

In your example you are taking the wrong approach. You don't need to recreate the settings on the synth, you need to re-create the sound and, of course, there will be multiple ways to do that in a complex synth. If you can't tell whether it's ring mod or an LFO, then it probably won't matter which you use. If your first choice doesn't work, use the second.
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OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
922 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:43 pm

After nearly 40 years there aren't too many patches I can't decipher by ear. Sure, it's often hard to tell how much of the sound is the cutoff value or envelope modulation, for example, but anyone who is familiar with the instruments they use will be able to work it out fairly easily. Obviously I can't do it cold but with instruments I work with every day, it's not much of a challenge. Instruments that I can't work with like that I find very frustrating to use, like DUNE with it's multi-layered approach. It's why I am drawn to simpler synths like Uno, rather than monsters like Modal's big analogues. I save the really complex stuff for software.

In your example you are taking the wrong approach. You don't need to recreate the settings on the synth, you need to re-create the sound and, of course, there will be multiple ways to do that in a complex synth. If you can't tell whether it's ring mod or an LFO, then it probably won't matter which you use. If your first choice doesn't work, use the second.
We weren't talking about deciphering to recreate a patch, it was about being able to tweak an existing patch. Let me refresh your memory here:
BONES wrote:Others don't have knob-per-function so it doesn't matter anyway. Instruments that do have this issue offer multiple knob modes to deal with it in the most convenient way - absolute mode in the studio , pass-through or relative mode on stage.
OneOfManyPauls wrote:Those non-absolute knob modes don't help to give you a bird eye view of a patch - they just stop it sounding like amateur night when you move a control.
BONES wrote:You shouldn't have to see, you should be able to hear what's going on (unless it actually is amateur night at your place). People seem to forget that we're making sound here, not setting values visually on an interface.
Point being that if you call up a preset, rendering physical knob and slider positions useless, then it's not usually possible to decipher a patch by ear to know what every control is doing and catch/relative modes don't help.

A birds eye view - whether that be due to non-preset structure, panel/manual mode or using an editor - saves having to move different control to determine the patches make-up.

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8215 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:56 pm

Duh! And the practical application of that is what, exactly? It matters on stage where you don't want to screw the patch up with a simple or accidental tweak, hence pass-through mode, but I fail to see the value in knowing the exact position of every control outside of that situation. If I have to tweak a couple of different knobs before I get to the right one in the studio or at rehearsal, it doesn't matter. OTOH, not having patch memory matters every time I want to work on something else. And in a typical 2-3 hour evening session, it is likely I will want to work on at least four different songs.

It's a trade-off that comes down pretty much completely on the side of patch memory. You can have instant patch recall or you can painstakingly re-create each sound you want to use from scratch, each time you want to use it, which is made a tiny bit easier by being able to see the position of every control. But if you have patch memory, it's not important because everything will have the correct value from the get-go and if you just want to tweak it here and there, you will absolutely know which parameters you want to adjust.
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OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
922 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:04 pm

If you don't get it, you don't get it. That's okay - it's not all about you.

Luckily the market gives us choices, and the popularity of non-preset synths like the mother 32, neutron, model d (behringer and moog), 0-coast etc show there are people that do appreciate these.

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BONES
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8215 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:25 am

It's not a matter of not getting it, it's that there is nothing to get. As for your list of "popular" synths, I don't know anyone who owns any of those you listed, nor have I ever seen any of them used on stage. I doubt you can even buy o-coast stuff here and I'd be willing to bet that Behringer sell five Deep Minds for every Neutron. I imagine Korg sell 20 Minilogues for every Odyssey, too. Your world is a very small segment of the overall market, I assure you.
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OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
922 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:42 am

I find it amusing that you're saying my world is a small segment, yet you don't seem able to look beyond what you've personally encountered.

Reverb.com make a list available of their best sellers - here's their 2018 list of best selling synths (I've marked the synths I mentioned and removed the drum machines/samplers).

https://reverb.com/news/the-best-sellin ... es-of-2018

2018 overall best sellers:
1 Korg Minilogue
2 Teenage Engineering OP-1
3 Korg Monologue
4 Korg Volca FM
5 Moog Mother-32 **
6 Korg MicroKORG
7 Arturia Microbrute
8 Korg Volca Keys
9 Novation Circuit Grid
10 Make Noise 0-Coast **
11 Behringer Model D **

Here's their best selling "new for 2018" synths - this time I'm marked the non-preset synths:

2018 Rank New for 2018
1 Behringer Model D **
2 Elektron Digitone
3 Moog Grandmother **
4 Arturia MiniBrute 2S **
5 Korg Prologue 16
6 Korg Prologue 8
7 Arturia MiniBrute 2 **
8 Behringer Neutron **
9 Nord Electro 6D
10 IK Multimedia UNO
11 Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet

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BONES
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8215 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Analog synth to go with Hive 2

Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:41 pm

That's Reverb. It's something you only know exists if you go to Gear Slutz. And it's US-centric, go to Thomann and you'd get an entirely different list. Same with physical stores, which is where I imagine 80% of sales are made, their lists would be different again. The only thing I have ever bought without having first tried it out in person is the MicroMonsta, which was cheap enough that I wasn't going to care if it was a disappointment. It's also the only brand new instrument I've ever bought on line. This list should be sobering - https://www.thomann.de/gb/topseller_GF_keys.html - Thomann sell more keyboard stands and piano seats than synthesisers.

I can't believe MicroKORG is still selling. It must be getting very close to the best selling synth of all time after so many years on the market. It had sold 100,000 units in 2009, 7 years after launch. If it's still making anyone's Top 10 lists in 2018 (or Top 11 in this case), it must have sold double that by now. And that's the other thing you don't know - it is entirely possible they sold more Minilogues than everything else combined. That thing has been insanely popular. The list would carry more weight if we knew the actual numbers of units sold.
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