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Voyager vs Model D

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:16 pm
by rg
Is the sound very different? If money was no object, which is really the better choice? Recently I have become fascinated with the Minimoog Model D. The question is, am I just buying into the hype? Or does it really have something that cannot be touched by more modern synths.
I am only 26 and I cannot comprehend using a synth where I can't store my settings. But it seems fascinating to me to never be able to fully recreate the exact same sound more than once...
Is a Minimoog Model D more of an instrument and are newer synthesizers more of a computer? Is it that Minimoog was cutting edge for its time and to keep with that spirit it would make more sense to use whatever sythesizer technology is available? What do you think of it?
Is it like owning a classic car vs a new sports car?

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:58 pm
by ARP
Use the search feature on the forum and enter Model D... you'll see your question has been well discussed already.

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:31 pm
by Pastoral
I have both, but prefer the Voyager every time. The Model D is different in that it tends to drift out of tune and it's that slight instability that gives it that sort of antique sound that people tend to make a big deal over. The Voyager, on the other hand, is always in tune and obviously outweighs the Model D in terms of overall features. A classic sports car vs. a new boutique sports car is probably a good example: both get you from point A to point B the same, except you won't worry as much about the new one getting you there without any problems.

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:06 pm
by eric coleridge
My '73 Mini, that to my knowledge has never had any professional repairs or restoration , plays excellent. I notice no pitch drift after it has been turned on for a minute or two. I'll adjust the tuning knob slightly maybe after every ten times I play it. It's totally fine.

Sometimes when I switch octaves, the pitch gets a little squirly-- but only momentarily. As soon as it settles in to it's octave position, it resumes it's proper tuning.

So if my Mini is any indication, I'd say it's entirely possible to find a Model D that plays properly, and that noticeable "drift" is not a permanent or ubiquitous flaw in Mini VCOs.

I have no doubt that the Voyager's VCOs are by all accounts inherently more stable than Model D VCOs. But the Model D's are sufficently stable to make tonal music with (or can be restored to be). VCOs are precision circuits and as such will noramally require some calibration from time to time (and this will probably be true for the Voyager as well).

So, for me, the comparison comes down to individual taste. I prefer NOT to have patch storage or any sort of LCD screen or microprocessors on my analog monosynths. I feel like all of that interface gets in the way and impeeds the actual sound shaping parameters and creative synthesis process. I like to be able to look at a knob and know what setting it's at (as oppossed to starting from where the preset was). I also don't like having silly names for each preset, or having patches designed for me after "classic" sounds. I'd almost prefer to never use the exact sound twise (this way your synth always sounds fresh).

I could of course understand why someone would want presets and patch storage, but I don't need them.

Also, the Model D can be bought for about half the price of a Voyager.

These are my main issues with the Voyager. I also prefer the sound of the original Mini to the Voyagers. I think they're both outstanding sounding synths (the Little Phatty too, which I like a little better than the Voyager), but the Mini is just a little more "real" sounding to me. It's impossible to describe in exact terms what "real" means, so I won't try.

Despite this, it must be said that the Voyager is loaded with almost every feature you would ever want on an analog mono-synth (far out-featuring the under-featured Model D) and is undeniably one of the best all-around synth designs ever (if not the best). So, I certainly wouldn't mind having both if I had the space or resources.

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:13 pm
by till
If you either don't need patch memory nor fancy modulation possibilities for FX, then go for the real Minimoog (which is mostlikely always a Model D)

I own both.
And I prefer the best of each one for certain things.

The bass and leads of a Minimoog always sound Minimoog, while a Voyager is missing the right power sometimes.

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:54 pm
by Pastoral
I use the Voyager just like the Model D....I never save patches. I have one initialized patch that I start with every time, so after a new sound is created, I record it and then start from scratch once again. This is something I always encourage people who are new to programming to do to help them really get to learn their synth.

Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to use it.......

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:57 pm
by eric coleridge
The Voyager has MUCH better envelope generators; the Mini's Env's are weak in most respects (although they are quite fast).

The other thing I love about the Voyager is it's modular/expansion capabilities.

voyager model D

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:09 am
by voyager0500
Just thought to give my 0.2 cents on this thing.
Im a big Stevie Wonder fan and in his recordings he used the Mini D almost exclusively.
At the begining when i got my EB i thought it wasnt able to get those mini sounds (bass sounds). Having spent some time with the ENVELOPES and a little bit with the filter, i managed to get those rubbery basses using both channels and no external processing.

I didnt play a Model D but i know what i hear. The Voyager can sound like a Model D, it just takes time until you learn how to get the sound that you need. Also i didnt realise until recently how important the 2 EG's really are.
Having said all this and the fact that you can store those created patches is enough to go for the voyager. There is also some information on the MoogSpace site by GregAE on how to get closer to that Mini D sound using a 'aural exciter'.
Personally i got some of Stevie Wonder's sounds on my Voyager and i must say it changed the way i look at my Voyager.

So, just like with everything. Sound is not something that is bought 'as is'. You have to spend time on learning the Voyager and what is capable of. I can assure you that your efforts will be rewarded.
Dont expect to get THAT sound without some understanding of what is actually affecting the TONE and the COLOUR of the sound your after.

Sorry for the long post but i had the same dillema after i bought my EB.

Hope this helps.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:09 am
by goldphinga
Sorry for this but those Stevie tracks you are thinking of werent done on a minimoog. They were done using TONTO; a collection of Moog and various other modular stuff.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:33 am
by voyager0500
One track i know for sure that was done on TONTO is 'Living for the city'
Never the less, i managed to get the same sound out of the Voyager.
'boogie on reggae woman' was done on a Mini, got that sound out of the Voyager as well.

It is possible because the Voyager offers so many possibilities that you just have to explore in order to get the desired sound.
Unfortunatelly it's still a monophonic instrument... :(
..maybe one day?..


Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:31 am
by MarkM
I love the bass line in Reggae Woman. It's one of my all time favorites.
I read just recently that "Boogie On Reggae Woman" was created on TONTO, and that TONTO was being modulating it in real time by hand by producers as Stevie was playing it.
However, I can see how a modern synth like the Voyager could probably emulate that sound. Imagine what Stevie Wonder could have done with a Voyager in that time period.

There's a great video I saw on YouTube where Stevie Wonder performs "Living in the City." That strange hook is being played by a guitarist on an ARP 2600. I believe the clip is from a Saturday Night Live performance. It is an absolutely great clip. There are three backup singers that are fantastic too. It is worth looking up.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:56 am
by MarkM
Well, you got me interested. So I did some searching. I couldn't find the SNL clip but I did find this with the same personnel:

And here's some a great clip with info about "Living for the City" and TONTO:

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:03 pm
by voyager0500
Mark, great find

The guitarist in that video is Michael Sembello im my opinion he never got the credit he deserved for his playing with Stevie..

For me the harder part is in actually playing the bass lines note for note in rhytm then getting the actual sound.

They dont do music like that anymore..we are spoiled for choice..
But the Voyager can definatelly sound like Model D + all the extra options...


Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:57 pm
by MarkM
I agree.
Stevie's funkie phrasing and hooks were tremendous and really inspired a lot of performers.
Unfortunately a lot of today's popular music on TV and radio seems to be missing the mark. It's too bad, because the tools are so much better, and you would think that the emphasis on rhythm would result in something more innovative and exciting. However, I am certain there is some great music happening, except that you have to search harder for it. I've heard some wild stuff at the Electro-Music conferences in Philly.

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:55 am
by voyager0500
As you said...
A lot of mainstream music today is lacking the feeling and root. A lot of musicians are not truly honest with their music.
No soul...

They had to use modular synthesizers the size of a small room on recordings and still got tremendous results.
Today in order to find some quality music you have to dig really hard or go underground/unsigned..

It's also worrying that younger generations won't have many good modern-day music available to them thats quality. The 'digital' era makes it possible for virtually everyone with a bit of cash just to go out and get the necessary equipment to start making 'music'.

Maybe i'm wrong but if as years go on music has suffered greatly in quality more than anything else...