Oscillator comparison: Prophet 08 / Waldorf Blofeld

One oscillator
Two oscillators

Point being? :slight_smile:

I think when you start doing more complex things like ring mod and other modulations is where some of the digital stuff starts to sound a bit abrasive.

Plus many seem to feel that digital oscillators are fine when filtered through a nice analog filter.

point being > fun and personal interest, i.e. pointless, just like everything in our existence :wink:

I’ve found that I like ‘bread and butter’ synth sounds and want to compress / focus my setup as much as possible and leave as much stuff at home as possible. I expected analog through an analog filter to whoop ass over a pure digital box that some have dubbed “external VST sounds.” I can’t wait to hear them both through an MI filter, which to my ear are superior.

“I think when you start doing more complex things like ring mod and other modulations is where some of the digital stuff starts to sound a bit abrasive”

…maybe, maybe not (?) I wanted to start as fundamental as possible. Adding in other things opens up the whole next can of digital v. analog worms i.e. digital or analog modulations / ring mod? If others are interested I will try other things…I never really liked ring mod, so it will be other stuff.

“Plus many seem to feel that digital oscillators are fine when filtered through a nice analog filter.”

sorry, I’m super stupid…how does this relate to the video examples? To be clear the blofeld is not running through an analog filter, it has digital filters.

To me, most digital Oscillators sound fine, some even better than analog ones - but thats just my taste - but it all gets spoiled if you squeeze it thru some digital filter. There are only few digital filters out there that do just filtering (like the Microwave2 or the MicroQ/Q), most digital filters that try to emulate the quirks of an analog one just fail.

The Korg Radias VA has an excellent filter section. I should go test the KingKorg, they say it’s good too. Then again, I don’t “need” any more hardware. Where was I, oh yeah - some digital filter manage to sound just fine.

There must have been a quantum leap inbetweem the MS2000 and the Radias :wink:

I like the MS2000, it was quite an early VA and so we can give it some leeway as a result.

This test certainly peaked my interest in seeing how cheapo I could go on the digital side and still pull off an analog vibe by using a decent analog filter. MS2000 would be too high quality for that type of experiment. I’m getting more and more desperate for someone to build me a goom

So do you think the digital oscillator gets spoiled by the Blofeld’s filters?

I saw a video where the king korg’s filters were compared to the analog filters it was models. I was pretty impressed…the only one that didn’t sound spot on was the older Moog filter with considerable resonance. Supposedly the king korg filters are on the electribe 2 too. oops, yeah, I don’t need anymore stuff either.

Yeah, Korg did some good work between the MS2000 and the Radias. It still has a bit of a plasticky VA sound, but that’s the oscillators themselves. The filter is niiice! From what I gathered the KK has slightly more refined oscillators, plus effects and such. The filter was tweaked, but there was no revolution there.

Sometimes the “flaws” and gimmicks in the VA makes the sound. Be it super saws and the “nice” effects of a JP-8080, the “great” reverb of the Supernova II, or the questionable effect section in the Waldorf MW XT or Q. Those things have character and adds to the overall sound. If I want nice I’ll just run them through something in my DAW, or a Strymon/RNC combo, or something from TC or Lexicon… When I’m a billionaire I’ll get a LA-2 and a Bricasti plus a bigass Quantec Yardstick :slight_smile:

also, I thought the most common complaint about digital boxes is the lack of ‘warmth’ and ‘fatness.’ Those words have lost their meaning to me, especially in this context, as on a fundamental level the oscillators / filters have a very similar character: In a blind (headphone) test, I don’t know if I would be able to characterize one as ‘warm’-er or ‘fat’-er than the other. Maybe on a big system the difference is more audible…hmm…something to investigate further at the next studio session.

All i can say about the Blofeld is that i own (besides a nice Q that i am looking for and obviously i won’t kill anyone just to get a Wave) one of each of the Waldorfs and the Blofeld has the most inharmonic composition of - digital - filter and oscillators. I guess they tried to emulate some analog behavior instead of just filtering. Another brilliant Filter is the LXR . it just filters. No SchnickSchnack, no coloring.
Besides this most digital filters today are OK until you don’t touch resonance. Sadly the actual trend tends to crank up everything into distortion……

interesting…yes, the test I did does seems to say Waldorf was trying to emulate an analog filter…
I’ll see if I can find an example of LXR filtering.

To be fair, the Prophet 08 uses DCOs, so it doesn’t have the “thickening” classically found in VCOs, caused by all kind of parasitic leaks causing small modulations of the pitch. Nor does it have the tracking errors that make two oscillator patches more lively because of the variable amount of detuning between oscillators across the keyboard caused by tracking errors. All of these can be easily simulated in software, though.

Another area were VCOs can outperform their digital models is when parameters are modulated at audio rates. Something that can’t be done anyway on a fixed architecture synth (precisely because it’s difficult to get right digitally? or because it’s hard to make it not sound like bellish farts?)…

For bread and butter leads and basses made with sawtooths or PWM rectangles, digital have been on par with analog for quite a long time.

That’s one of the issues I have with pitch corrected vocals, especially on modern music where they are using VST synths, everything is practically 100% in tune, there’s no subtle chorus type effect between all the instruments.

Nobody wants tuning to drift, but not being totally 100% in tune isn’t a bad thing.

Don’t you have a Q Frank?

I have 2 MicroQ which almost makes a Q ;-). Nope, I’m looking for a nice, preferably blue or yellow Q which owner didn’t get lunatic about the price….

MicroQ is closer to a Microwave than the Q though?

I paid a bit too much for my Halloween edition Q :confused:

Would you not want the Q+ with the analog filters though?

not sure what ‘outperform’ means…
In video 2 when I used the Blofeld’s LFO (which seems to go even faster than the prophet 08’s 250hz) to modulate the cutoff with moderate resonance, the sound got ‘big’ and ‘crackly’ in comparison to the p08. Is that the p08 ‘outperforming’ the Blofeld?

yes it’s strange to listen to today’s pop, then listen to 80s pop when auto tune wasn’t such an epidemic. Too me it is similar to the compressor epidemic. In the end it just makes me respect the musicians who don’t abuse those two things even more; it takes balls to be dirty! (sidenote: in this respect Bo Diddley set the benchmark for ball-size). I even like using auto tune as an instrument but try to relegate it to a dynamic (similar to my take on delay and reverb)… it’s there, then it’s gone.

is this yellow q a lunatic price?

> not sure what ‘outperform’ means…

Not generating aliasing (and thus sounding unnecessarily harsh/inharmonic), that’s what I meant.

Oh, ok…I guess I don’t know how aliasing sounds with modulation in the audio range. In general, I love the aliasing on my 4 operator fm synths but that is easy to hear just playing any note on any patch :wink: