Tangsonghe wrote:Hi Marc,
Nice chatting with you.
Hey, the same to you. : )
I'll make one more positive comment about the Moog section of the documentary which left me feeling good and that was it started with Rick saying how brilliant the Minimoog is and ended with him saying how brilliant it is. Strictly speaking The Les Rhythms Digitales guy (Jaques Le Cont) comments about the Moog can be said to be 'balanced reporting' - get some positive feedback and some negative too. Of course documentary writers like it when this happens and usually they don't give either side a chance for rubuttals (which I hate)! It appears that they got the same artists to talk in each section - DX7, TB303 too and people said different things about different synths - Le Cont waxed lyrical about DX7 and others (Nick Rhodes) slagged it. One mans delight is anothers disgust.
I should probably watch the video one more time before I comment fully on this, but:
I think my complaint about Le Cont is that his viewpoint is not a negative critique of the Minimoog as a musical instrument. First of all, the second-hand price of an instrument is not the fault of the instrument itself. The price of the Minimoog may make it less accessible, but it in no way has anything to do with the function, success, or sound of the instrument itself (except that its sound is what is generating those high prices!). So, while this may be an apt criticism of those who seek the Minimoog, it is not a critique of the device itself. Secondly, while it would be perfectly reasonable to say that the Minimoog lacks the functionality a person would seek in a synthesizer, Le Cont portrays the Minimoog as actually limited and lacking... as if it is missing something that would make it a successful or useable device. One does not purchase a Minimoog because it is brimming with functionality... to suggest so is to totally provide proof that he is ignorant as to the real reason people seek Minimoogs... it's the sound! A person seeking a Hummer is going to be quite disappointed with a 1939 Mecury... but if they're looking for a Hummer, it is silly to seek a 1939 Mercury... more silly than that is comparing the two when your criteria does not, in any way, fit the Mercury!
That being said, there are lots of valid criticisms of the Minimoog. I even have some, despite my worship of it:
1. It can easily overpower a mix. Due to its chunky sound, it often has to sit higher in the mix to be distinctive, but then tends to dominate the mix.
2. It would have benefitted from having a separate LFO to some degree... but then again, the audio frequency effects of having an audio osc for LFO leads to some pretty great and distinctive sounds
3. Why couldn't they have used ADSR envelopes? Whyyyy?
4. I think the CV jacks should have been outputs instead of inputs. I know people controlled them via modular... but didn't they think that perhaps someone would, at some point, control a modular with one?
5. The pitch wheel has far to intense a detent.
6. Preference more than complaint: Why not a resonant high pass, too?
Anyway... there are things that a person who is at least to some degree familiar with the device could complain about it. It's fully possible that someone just wouldn't like the sound of them. I've actually known people who said that... and that is perfectly reasonable!
I just think Le Cont's complaints sounded... well, ignorant.
I had to come to terms a few years ago with the fact that my favourite synth journalist of twenty years in the UK - Gordon Reid, Sound on Sound (have you read his synth secrets articles, all 30 of them? If not, check em out) thought that Moogs were overrated, preferred the Odyssey and with the influx of softsynths didn't appear to have any time for hardware anymore.
I love Gordon Reid! I have read a lot of his work. I would love to talk to him, sometime! There are a lot of things he and I agree upon, and a few things I would love to discuss with him. : )
He would have made a great person to be on the other side of the Minimoog argument, if he feels that way!
I personally find the Odyssey a valid instrument, but have always found the sound to be a little grating. : ) I had an Avatar, which I liked a lot... but man, ARP construction is crappyyyy.
Anyway... man, if Reid is favouring softsynths over the analog he reviews so well, he should be ashamed!
Tangsonghe wrote:Yeah, can't understand that either. But then again I hear people tell me that the Violin is limited! Musicians are a funny bunch of people.
That's actually the argument/metaphor I might be inclined to use in the face of a person saying the Minimoog is limited... because like a violin, it does precisely what it was designed to do!
Tangsonghe wrote:I'm an experimentalist (nonlinear optics and condensed matter physics) and pretty much feel that nature brings up surprises all the time that guide theory - something that a lot of Physicists have forgotten.
All the best from Tang
That sounds astoundingly interesting!