Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

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LivePsy
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by LivePsy » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:35 pm

Polyphony is where the synthesizer users broke into 2 camps. Those who wanted to experiment with sound, and those who wanted to use traditional keyboard music but with new sounds. This difference is essentially at the heart of why Roland/Korg/Yamaha no longer make synthesizers. I'd call Virtual Analog a software synth in a non-computer package. They all now make plugins but supply the keyboard, sequencer and audio interface in a proprietary and closed package.

Polyphonic synthesizers attracted a much greater crowd but they really wanted new pianos, strings, organs. The big manufacturers followed the big money and real synthesis suffered for decades. What are most people going to do when they try a polyphonic synth? Hit a C major chord? Boom, its suddenly no longer about the sounds but the notes. Traditional western tonality. Totally different mindset, different interest in the synth itself. The home organ, education, worship, cover band mob aren't synthesists. Most of them have romplers which ironically enough include a few synthesizer-like sounds.

So I'm not in favour of Moog diverting their creativity to polyphonic gear. Yes, its big money. But I really think most of those users will buy based on presets and only use presets. Perfect for rompler technology and a waste of potential in analog. I've come to appreciate analog as a monophonic instrument.

Oops, bot a bit more pompous than I intended,
B
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anoteoftruth
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by anoteoftruth » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:45 pm

woah, who said anything about using presets?

That has to be one of the stupidest arguments against polyphony I ever heard.

I don't care about piano and organ sounds. I want to make new sounds, and I want to be able to do them polyphonically at times without having to record 8 layers for 1 chord progression.

I'm not wanting polyphony because I want to play piano. Look at all the great polyphonic synth stabs and chords in the 80s, and in 80s hip hop, which is having a huge influence on the way hip hop is moving now.

If anything, it just gives us a new way to be creative. A new venue, a new ability to explore when we want it.
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LivePsy
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by LivePsy » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:19 pm

anoteoftruth wrote:Look at all the great polyphonic synth stabs and chords in the 80s, and in 80s hip hop, which is having a huge influence on the way hip hop is moving now.
All of those sounds can be done by a workstation keyboard, or more creatively by mangling an audio sample of them for new sounds.
anoteoftruth wrote:woah, who said anything about using presets?

That has to be one of the stupidest arguments against polyphony I ever heard.
I did not say presets was the reason against polyphony (if that's your meaning). I'm saying that traditional keyboardists who don't really want to delve into creative sounds is the reason against polyphony. Do the "Final Countdown" and "Jump" on a Fantom, that's all it needs :D

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B
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anoteoftruth
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by anoteoftruth » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:23 pm

LivePsy wrote:
I did not say presets was the reason against polyphony (if that's your meaning). I'm saying that traditional keyboardists who don't really want to delve into creative sounds is the reason against polyphony. Do the "Final Countdown" and "Jump" on a Fantom, that's all it needs :D

Again, the stupidest argument I've ever heard against a polyphonic analog synth. If you think I'm going to be playing bleep like "Final Countdown" and "Jump", then your very mistaken.

Nobody can make a sound argument that adding voices hinders the creativity of a instrument. Sure you can be creative with a 1 stringed guitar, but it has it's limitations, and when you add the other 5, there are more possibilities. It's the same thing here. There is absolutely no way anyone can argue against that.

To seperate mono/poly users into people who want to create new sounds and other people that just want to play chords is absolutely rediculous. Additional voices give you the added possibilities to create new sounds, new layered sounds... which you can only do on a mono instrument buy recording layer after layer.. a tedious thing.

Your argument is so moronic that for now I'm just gonna say "troll".
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LivePsy
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by LivePsy » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:01 pm

Please don't hold back, anoteoftruth. Just come out and call me a moron. This "your argument is moronic" isn't fooling anyone. My point is all about the *consumers* of polyphonic synthesizers, not the equipment itself. You said-
Nobody can make a sound argument that adding voices hinders the creativity of a instrument.
Um, people are creative not synthesizers. And this thread is about Roland and Korg marketing their products to people. Some people want a super duper piano/organ, and they whinge and moan to the manufacturers that they wants lots of polyphony and it has to sound like everything. So Roland and Korg delivered that by dropping analog synthesis because its just not suited to multiple notes like digital can achieve. If Moog wish to deliver lots of polyphony and sound like everything, they'll be in the digital workstation market also. Genuine analog poly synths were a moment in history before digital techniques proved their superiority in polyphony. You can have your polyphony and analog synth too by chaining Voyagers, that is old news.

A real synthesist considers the sound to be the only goal. Polyphony is great, but not at the expense of programmability and sound. I'm saying that analog synth manufacturers should not listen to the piano/organ crowd because it will compromise their product if they do. Monophonic synths are not just 1 note at a time, there's a whole world of creativity. If the notes you press on the keyboard are the most important focus of your music, then an analog synth is probably not the best instrument for you.

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B
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moremagic
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by moremagic » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:27 am

anoteoftruth wrote:Nobody can make a sound argument that adding voices hinders the creativity of a instrument. Sure you can be creative with a 1 stringed guitar, but it has it's limitations, and when you add the other 5, there are more possibilities. It's the same thing here. There is absolutely no way anyone can argue against that.
Actually, you can. Since polysynth usually have digitally scanned control panels, there can be stepping on some values. I've had a hard time tuning the filters on my Polysix because the control will step it more than a quartertone.
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gd
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by gd » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:01 am

I'm looking fwd to see where the Monotron leads to with Korg\s future synth development. I would also like to see both companies mkt. research as to who the typical buyer of their synths are - price point, features and main use. We on these forums are likely not the avg. synth buyer. Anytime I've been in some of the larger music stores that carry the main brands I see more ppl. over playing around with the presets and ooing and ahhing over them "cool sounds" that they can kit a button to get than going over to the P08 or LP. The Andromeda is no longer available sad to say, the P08 is constantly getting bashed over it's not a P5 or OBx... weak filters or or.. Even the Voyager took some serious bashing for the first few years because it did not sound just like a miniD. I bet the avg. consumer would not care or know if it was digital or analogue and even further VCO or DCO with multipass filters, modulation destinations, 2 or 4 pole etc. I guess Roland, Yamaha and Korg would have to be very confident that by adding analogue they would achieve their IRR (required internal rate of return on investment).
Mini D, P'08 ..

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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by anoteoftruth » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:31 am

gd wrote: Anytime I've been in some of the larger music stores that carry the main brands I see more ppl. over playing around with the presets and ooing and ahhing over them "cool sounds" that they can kit a button to get than going over to the P08 or LP. I guess Roland, Yamaha and Korg would have to be very confident that by adding analogue they would achieve their IRR (required internal rate of return on investment).
That's sort of the sad truth.

I produce for a couple artists, and whenever I meet someone new who wants to get into making music or producing beats... I always hear them say something like, "I'm buying a microkorg".

It's just sad. Any chance I get, I try to lead people away from the cheap crap and more into the realm of analog.

In my opinion, the problem is that most potential first time synth buyers are younger and see it as more of a experimental (cool sound) kind of thing, where whatever looks nicer, or has more lights and flash + weird presets, will get it.... but their ears are'nt really tuned to hear the differences yet.

Last night I had a friend over who didnt know much about synths, was mainly a pianist.. and I showed her my Moog's first, then my Nord Lead... immediately she was like, "wow what a difference... those ones sound in your face like their filling you up, this one sounds more distant and thin".. I smiled when I heard that.

Than I showed her the microkorg and we just laughed.

But unfortunately, the flash + cheap price is what kids lean towards at first.. it seems like only people that really either have a big keen interest, or take their music seriously and are trying to advance their sound, really get into analog gear.

It's a shame because most of the music that lead kids into thinking of buying synths, are actually made with analog gear.
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EricK
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by EricK » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:18 pm

I come from Arkansas, which, is NOT a cultural abyss, but not so much a hotbed of pioneering innovation either, so bear that in mind in this post.

I believe that Synthesizer players aren't that common when compared to the millions of guitarists and even (the rarer) bassists. I guess that Synth isn't the traditional instrument persay, so I believe that people are going into the entry level stuff like the microkorgs largely because that is whats being marketed to them. Lets take Musicians Friend for example. I used to have a platinum account with them (whatever that means) back when I guess they first started getting more popular. Musicians Friend catalogs seemed geared toward the beginner/novice players. WHen you looked at guitars they were all crappy squires and entry level instruments for players on a budget. Go to keyboards and if its not the non weighted casios or yamahas, it wasn't until way later that they started having more pricey stuff in their catalogs. So when I discovered Sweetwater, I never again looked to Musicians ex BFF for my gear. Im not a professional musician by any means, and my studio is FAR FAR FAR from world class, but I like a catalog that lets me look at the higher dollar stuff and think about what I can look forward to in the next 30 years.

That being said, a thousand dollars is a huge obstacle for a lot of people. Trying to be an up and coming musician and get everything you need to get and keep it under a thousand dollars (instrument, speakers, cables and consumable accessories (cables phones, etc) you have to pick and choose which instrument is going to do the best job. a Workstation like the Fantom or Motif is worlds away as is a Voyager of P08 for people looking to create new sounds.

I think that since there are so few people (in comparison) looking at synths.....theres not a lot of things to choose from until you get to the 1200 dollar mark, unless you get some used stuff. By the time most people start learning about Moog, they have long exceeded their price point. And if they have any previous keyboard skills and want to have their pianos or organs still optional, there really isn't a lot of wiggle room, hence the reason why its not all that important for makers like Korg and Roland to go back to analogue when the modeling works just as well for the majority of their market.

Now, we also have had threads on this forum about a polysynth from Moog and suprisingly, lots of people want it to be 1. Small, 2. Inexpensive. If Korg and roland started making good old fashioned analogues again, the real question is would anyone REALLY want to invest what it would take to make it a good product.? I ask this because for Moog to make a polysynth and have it be worth a damn, its probably going to have to be bigger than most people want it to be and more expensive than most people anticipate. WHile IM not trying to get off topic here, this has to factor in to peoples decisions whether or not a product will actually be viable.

We as analog synth players and consumers are in the minority. We are all condensed so it might seem like we are more numerous, but I throeize that we are a small faction, the modular users being the smallest. We can dream of a utopia where everything returns to 1977 and we can get the stuff we know is gravy, but I think even Moog is cautious of the market trends when designing new stuff. In times like these, a flop means the end of a company (unless you are BP whoops) and the majority with the money gets their products catered to them.

my few pisos...


Eric
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Klopfgeist
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by Klopfgeist » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:32 pm

I think another interesting sub-topic to discuss would be the backlash and naysayers if Korg/Roland make an analog. If Moog and DSI can get criticized for the Voyager/P08 not being a replica of a Model D/Prophet 5, then imagine what the synth community would say about Roland and Korg, even if their new instrument was top-notch. On one hand, companies don't want to have negative talk about them, but it doesn't really matter so much to the giant companies where an analog instrument targets a minuscule amount of their user base.
So this thing only plays one note?

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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by anoteoftruth » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:35 pm

Klopfgeist wrote:I think another interesting sub-topic to discuss would be the backlash and naysayers if Korg/Roland make an analog. If Moog and DSI can get criticized for the Voyager/P08 not being a replica of a Model D/Prophet 5, then imagine what the synth community would say about Roland and Korg, even if their new instrument was top-notch. On one hand, companies don't want to have negative talk about them, but it doesn't really matter so much to the giant companies where an analog instrument targets a minuscule amount of their user base.

I think you have a good point here. Basically I think they won't make any analog re-makes of their classic synths because they just make too much damn money makin the cheap crap they make now. Like Eric said, people buy microkorgs because thats what is marketed to them.. and they are cheap, so a lot of people buy them. You are right in saying their analog instrument would only be targeting this miniscule amount of users, so then why bother putting in the effort? They can make loads more money if they just keep putting out a bunch of digital toys.

Plus I think it already does'nt matter to them what the analog synth community thinks of them... we've been talking bad about their crap for ages now.

Theres tons of reasons why I think they won't remake their classics... but there is still a little voice inside me hoping they will. Haha. False hope but whatever, gotta have something.
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by bhrama » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:34 am

EricK wrote: I think that since there are so few people (in comparison) looking at synths.....theres not a lot of things to choose from until you get to the 1200 dollar mark, unless you get some used stuff. By the time most people start learning about Moog, they have long exceeded their price point. And if they have any previous keyboard skills and want to have their pianos or organs still optional, there really isn't a lot of wiggle room, hence the reason why its not all that important for makers like Korg and Roland to go back to analogue when the modeling works just as well for the majority of their market.
Eric
This pretty much sums up the topic question.No, why would they? Korg & Roland, and even Yamaha are behemoths in the music industry, with untold R & D divisions. Marketing drives the digi-mini synth market, and money is the end goal. Make no mistake. We are very fortunate that companies like Moog & DSI are making analog equipment, while still maintaining solvency in a highly competitive industry.
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LivePsy
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Re: Should Roland and Korg get back in the analog market?

Post by LivePsy » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:02 pm

Not only is Moog selling analog synthesizers, but they are so well made and so well designed. The flexibility of the Voyager with expansion boxes is nearly modular. There's thought put into Moog synths and I cannot see the major manufacturers putting in the same effort into their digital synths, so forget them putting effort into analog synths.

I have no experience with other analogs but as far as Moog goes, its analog but its also very good. This is a killer combination and the reason for Moogs current success.

Regards,
B
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