A modern polyphonic moog?

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GregAE
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by GregAE » Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:31 am

Here's an example of a polysynth based on four Microbrutes using an Expert Sleepers Silent Way distributor box and software. In this configuration, it's a bit like an Oberheim 4-Voice in that each Microbrute can have a different voice:

http://vimeo.com/84850647

Total cost is probably around $1800, give or take. Combined and repackaged into a polysynth, the street price of such a synth could be less than that.

I wouldn't be surprised if Arturia was pursuing this approach already. Guess we'll find out at 2015 NAMM...

psynthetic
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by psynthetic » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:49 pm

I reckon it'd be worth Arturias time to do something a long those lines..
For the record though, the noise floor on the Microbrute is heartbreaking, I love the concept, it's a cool little synth, but the crackles and pops in the background really killed it for me when I borrowed my friends.. I actually thought maybe it was defective so i got another mate to check his and it seems they're just rather noisy...

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GregAE
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by GregAE » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:48 am

A shame to hear about the Microbrute noise issue. Don't own a Microbrute, but my Minibrute does not have a noise problem...

Getting back to the subject of cost-effective polyphony, wouldn't a polysynth made up of four MIDI-controlled Workstatts roughly be about the same in features (single oscillator, patchability) to the 4-voice Microbrute example?

MoogProg
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by MoogProg » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:47 pm

Sure love that MicroBrute! No noise issues with mine. Super-fun micro-modular that I use to control an MF drive and MF delay to create filter sweeps and modulated delay. :shock:

psynthetic
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by psynthetic » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:01 pm

Moog Prog, have you ever turned down the osc to nothing and just hit a few keys or held one down?

When I did this I just got pops, crackling and hiss coming through, it's loud enough that I can still hear the noise coming through even with the osc level at 12 o'clock (especially with cleaner waveforms like triangle and it becomes a lot easier to hear once you've heard it on it's own), considering everything after 12 o'clock is supposed to be overdrive, for the noise floor to still be plain as day at that point (and it really was) is totally unacceptable to me... I'm afraid it's back with my mate now so i can't record an audio example, but next time he brings it by my studio I will try to do so if I remember and we're still having this conversation. :)

It is possible that they are just really sensitive to power or something like that I suppose, but I promise I'm not making it up.

MoogProg
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by MoogProg » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:34 am

psynthetic,
Tried it out just now, with all OSCs turned down and the main volume up full. I do get some low-level hiss, but no crackling. In my world it is completely acceptable. But it sounds like your issue is more significant, and I hope your synth is OK.

Of course, no one makes this stuff up, but my first thought was to wonder if your MB gets anywhere near as noisy as my Stratocaster! LOL Guitarist often deal with some serious noise as a "normal concern" to be managed.

nicholas d. kent
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by nicholas d. kent » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:10 pm

For usable polyphony you really need the ability to slave one set of parameter knobs to every poly voice. This is something that a lot of people who haven't assembled some sort of poly composite instrument out of multiple mono instruments just don't realize.

While it's true that doing a "round robin" of every voice sounds a bit different if not totally different might be interesting on some rare occasion, if you have to stand there and dial in the same settings on 4 or more instruments every time you want any change in sound gets tedious really fast and prevents playing while tweaking. Like where are your 4 hands to tweak 4 filters on a 4 voice performance

Now there are several Moog mono instruments that do this via MIDI so that's fine. The only downside is you are paying for a knob interface on all the multiple instruments.

I notice Dave Smith tried to do an expander type rack so you could get voices but no knobs with the premise that you would buy one controller instrument and then MIDI chain expanders for more voices. But for better or worse a regular keyboard was out so few bought the expander. Clavia tried that too.

Nothing would stop Moog from putting a bunch of Phattys or some other mono engine in something in duplicate in a box or keyboard and pass the savings on for sharing the power, knobs, etc. I guess there is some factor stopping them. Maybe the people who can afford it have deeper pockets and can buy a bunch of complete instruments. Maybe the price point is still beyond what marketing thinks dealers and musicians will accept.

On budget instruments you don't have the knobs sending info so you aren't going to have a functional interface for all voices.

EricK
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Re: A modern polyphonic moog?

Post by EricK » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:49 pm

It seems as if a polysynth engine needs to be designed to interface directly with a true polyphonic keyboard first before one thinks about the control panel. Trying to get seamless polyphony from multiple monosynths off of a keyboard via MIDI is convoluted and has been difficult in my experience. It ends up feeling disjointed rather than a complete instrument like a piano, and one must alter their playing style to accommodate the quirks. This was evident to me in Greg's link.
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