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Author Topic: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?  (Read 1289 times)

LBH

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Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?

A good emulation to me is to have the original workflow and especially the original functionality to create and control a sound, - and then the sound it self - especially to get the unique sound timbre that set the synth apart from other synths.
If a emulation in example does'nt emulate the functionality 100% when it's possible, then it to me is a bad emulation.

Why? - Because i have an interest in synths, how they worked and how they sounded apart from each other.
Selecting between using one synth from another is to me also based on this factors. Also the way it's build and it's layout can inspire to create sounds.
If all the synths create sound the same way - have the same functionality and sound the same, then why have more than one synth?
Beside that, then i also want to work with emulations, the same way i have used the original hardware synths.

I think a modern emulation also shall have exspanded functionallity options to use in modern production.
EDIT: Clock sync and phase reset functionality options is examples. EDIT.

EDIT: Mostly i don't care to have the originals preset buttons if they are only storage as long as we have the presets. In a synth like CS-80 i think it's important to have the preset buttons, as that's not quite the same.
So i think the originals preset buttons space can be used for something different following the design of the original. EDIT END
« Last Edit: July 04, 2022, 08:33:34 pm by LBH »

MajorFubar

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2022, 07:21:01 pm »
I agree.

However one thing I've never been really interested in are all the 'bells and whistles' Arturia bolt to their emulations which diverge their sound away from the original instrument they are supposed to be emulating, and that's probably where you and I respectfully differ. I would choose a real synth for its particular sound and features, but when emulations start to add a load of other things that suddenly make that instrument totally unrecognisable, and instead turn it into something that could be literally any generic synth VST, I feel I may as well just be using one of the many soft-synths already included in my DAW (Logic).

It's taken a while for some Arturia instruments to actually sound like the real thing, instead of sounding like just every other Arturia instrument with different kinds of added effects not present on the original. 'Exhibit A' in my opinion is the CS80, which in V4 version, has only just come round to sounding anything like a real CS80, especially the panel presets. I can only assume that until V4, Arturia were unable to get their hands on a real CS80 for any length of time, and so their CS80 V1 to V3 were little more than 'best guesses', especially the filters and the ring modulator, none of which worked authentically. The closest authentic CS80 emulation I have ever heard is still the Memory Moon ME80, but at least the CS80 V4 now comes a very close second.

For years Arturia modelled their soft-synths using something they called their 'TAE' engine, which they claimed stood for True Analog Emulation. But IMO it was basically just the same (or very very similar) code bolted behind various different UX 'front ends', with the result that it often wasn't really possible to tell the sound of one Arturia soft-synth from another, even though the real instruments would sound very very different from each other. Arturia do seem to be moving away from that generic sound though with their recent re-writes in V Collection 9, which is good to see (and hear).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2022, 08:48:40 am by MajorFubar »
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LBH

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2022, 11:00:41 pm »
I have done EDIT's in my first post.

@MajorFubar - What are bells and whistles?

About Arturias CS80 V4, then i will wait to judge untill some vital bug fixes have been made. I have posted about those bugs.
I don't like to use CS-80 V4 as it is.
I have purchased the synth as i exspect Arturia will fix CS-80 V4 bugs very soon, which btw also will have an impact on the sound.
I hope there will be very good reasons to congratulate Arturia after a tune up.

MajorFubar

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2022, 08:47:42 am »
Yes hopefully Arturia will address the issues you have very validly raised.

By bells and whistles, I mean many of the additional 'under the hood' features that Arturia add which shape/distort the sound of the synth in such a way that it no longer sounds like the synth it's supposed to be emulating. Many of the Arturia-provided presets overly use them IMO, with the soul of the original instrument being totally lost in the process.

Of course if you're making your own sounds from scratch, you can choose to ignore these extra features, or use them.
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LBH

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2022, 08:13:33 pm »
When it comes to effects, then my priority in a emulation is the onboard effects. The Juno-6 Chorus, Moog modular effect modules and in example Minimoogs feedback trick even if it's not a effect unit, and so on.
As long as the add-ons is optional and the original stuff i mentioned has priority, then i don't mind havings bells and whistles.
But yes some presets is more the sound of to the distortion effect it self than of the synths speciel sound characteristic, and that i don't think showcase the synth emulation - but only the add-on feature.

MajorFubar

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2022, 08:55:41 pm »
Absolutely I love the replication of the original onboard effects, they are part of what made that synth unique. Like the Glissando / Portamento switch on the CS80.
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Fortissimo!

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2022, 05:04:23 am »
To me, this is more of a philosophical question than a technical one.  So actually, I'm going to give my thoughts from the standpoint of a listener rather than as a creator.

"To emulate or to not emulate, that is the question."

I'm not (nor have ever been) a purist in terms of sounds.  My evidence for that is that I like the weirdest stuff.  If it sounds good, then it IS good.  For your original song, I don't care if it's a super accurate AC30 amp emulation or some moth-eaten gnarfy amp and cabinet of unknown origin that you found next to a German open-top 1937 cruiser in a barn in RuralTown, Kentucky, where they still dry tobacco leaves the old way.  Does it sound crappy good?  Or crappy bad?  The amp and cab, I mean, not the roadster.   ;D

But if it's a tribute band who's trying to emulate the sounds on unique hook for a specific cover song, then you might need to emulate something.  But then again, look at all the tribute bands who just figured out what was needed for this or that song originally performed by another artist.  Compressor here with roughly these and those settings, and some delay over there with thus and sundry other settings.  Bam!  We now have the drums and guitars dialed in for that Boston song.  Did we need "the original" compressors and delays used on the record or in the concerts?  No.  We emulated with the dials and we got it close enough for a raucous bar-band set.  Let's stop being fussy and get the van loaded or we'll be late to the gig and they'll put some softball team up there to sing karaoke!   ;)

What's that old IT saying?  Don't let perfection be the enemy of "done".  Or something like that.   8)

LBH

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2022, 12:32:31 pm »
Hi,

@Forissimo!
Why buy and use a emulation for that?
Using emulations is'nt just for replicating others sounds either.
The topics question was and is: WHY DO YOU USE EMULATIONS AND WHAT MAKE A GOOD EMULATION? I hear you like you does'nt have a reason, and does'nt care about emulations.
I see no reason to make an emulation, if it does'nt emulate.

Fortissimo!

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2022, 01:31:25 pm »
Sure, I get you.  And my perspective isn't typical.  I did say I like some weird stuff, right?   ;D

LBH

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2022, 04:01:39 pm »
Sure, I get you.  And my perspective isn't typical.  I did say I like some weird stuff, right?   ;D
So you are off topic by purpose.

Funtmaster

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2022, 03:44:43 pm »
Why do I use emulations?

Because it makes me feel good. I feel nostalgic by using something I could never have afforded back in the day and because it can sound like music I loved growing up. As a result of that, they inspire me.


What makes a good emulation?

A satisfying mixture of nostalgia and inspiration. I dont mind 'bells and whistles" as long as the original features and sound are there.

LBH

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2022, 09:26:04 pm »
Yes there is definetely some nostalgia in it too Funtmaster.

I think there are certain timbres and/ or certain sounddesign features, that can be unique for a certain synth. This timbres and features to me is most important to emulate precisely.

In example i don't think there excist any emulation on the market of a Minimoog that really emulate the unique timbres the original can do. I would rather have this part emulated instead of all the timbres many other synths can do.
And an ARP 2600 ie has it's Elektronic Switch that goes both ways and it's speciel audio input features, that Arturias version could do better and add.
A Moog Modular emulation should ie have a true working Filter Bank, which Arturias version unfortunately have'nt.
Just to give a few examples. Any emulation to me has something that's more important than other things to get right.
Any thoughts about that?

MajorFubar

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2022, 01:35:13 pm »
In example i don't think there excist any emulation on the market of a Minimoog that really emulate the unique timbres the original can do. I would rather have this part emulated instead of all the timbres many other synths can do.
And an ARP 2600 ie has it's Elektronic Switch that goes both ways and it's speciel audio input features, that Arturias version could do better and add.
A Moog Modular emulation should ie have a true working Filter Bank, which Arturias version unfortunately have'nt.
Just to give a few examples. Any emulation to me has something that's more important than other things to get right.
Any thoughts about that?
This is exactly what I meant in my earlier post when I said I was never really interested in the bells and whistles. I guess expanding on that what I really meant was, it's not that I don't want the bells and whistles, it's that VST mfrs (Arturia included) spend IMO too much time adding non-original features, ahead of nailing the original instruments' sound, characteristics and features as perfectly as they can.

The best virtual Mini Moog I have ever heard is the version designed by Moog themselves, for iPad, PC and Mac. I guess that kind of figures. Definitely not perfect, but heading there.

That said I find the sound of all the lot of them lacks the true heft and substance of their real counterparts. Even if you try to EQ it in, it never quite works. It's not just my speakers (or other hardware) either: the difference is still noticeable if you watch someone on YouTube mucking around with a real analog synth and try to recreate the tone in your VST version.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2022, 01:49:44 pm by MajorFubar »
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LBH

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2022, 05:01:06 pm »
In example i don't think there excist any emulation on the market of a Minimoog that really emulate the unique timbres the original can do. I would rather have this part emulated instead of all the timbres many other synths can do.
And an ARP 2600 ie has it's Elektronic Switch that goes both ways and it's speciel audio input features, that Arturias version could do better and add.
A Moog Modular emulation should ie have a true working Filter Bank, which Arturias version unfortunately have'nt.
Just to give a few examples. Any emulation to me has something that's more important than other things to get right.
Any thoughts about that?
This is exactly what I meant in my earlier post when I said I was never really interested in the bells and whistles.
I'm not talking about bells and whistles in that part you refere to.
I'm talking about parts in the emulation that's more important than others to emulate as correct as possible, and that's the unique parts - timbres and functionality, that also set the originals apart from each other.

I can add, that i think even emulations have to work well in a modern context.

JDoo

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Re: Why do you use emulations and what make a good emulation?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2022, 10:02:45 pm »
My two cents.  I don't really care if an emulation is exact and indiscernible from the original.  If it captures the essence of the timbres it is emulating... then THAT is what I care about.  More importantly though, and I am not sure if this has been mentioned yet -- but, that the instrument is patch compatible with the original.  If I feed it SysEx data that works on the original, I get the same timbres.  Or... if i program in the settings from a patch sheet from the original, I get the same timbres.  That.. is what sets Arturia apart from other emulations.  It is code/patch compatible.  DX-7?  1000's of syx files freely available, representing a boatload of work.  Same with SQ80.  Synclavier?  Ask Cameron Jones about that!  He shared (may still be) original patches online.  Other Arturia synths.. same thing.  They remain true to the original architecture, and with that... make decades of patches available.  It sets the V Collection emulations apart from the rest.   Yes...  they have added new capabilities, better effects, additional routing, etc..  But kept things patch compatible.  Huge..  I am not hung up on copy-exact for the timbres.  Just their essence

 

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