[LAD] Software sound

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at rocketmail.com
Sun Aug 31 10:56:13 UTC 2014

On Sun, 2014-08-31 at 12:21 +0200, Tim Goetze wrote:
> [W.Boeke]
> > Compared to the available technical possibilities of the past, software
> > designers nowadays have a much easier life. A computer and a MIDI keyboard is
> > all you need, you can try all kinds of sound creation, so why should you stick
> > trying to reproduce the sounds of yore?
> I definitely agree with the sentiment but it's not an easy task to
> purely digitally create timbres as rich, complex and pleasing as
> produced by analog, let alone physical (non-electronic) instruments.
> For example, analog op-amp or diode saturation is quite simple to
> realise and capable of producing anything from very smooth harmonic
> extension to screaming distortion.  The digital equivalent needs to be
> oversampled, complicating things greatly. [snip]

Wait a moment. Building an anlog synth by electronic circuits could be
harder or easier to do, it depends to the skills of the developer. For
software designers in the past hard real-time MIDI was easier to
provide, than it is to provide nowadays. There are many factors
important. Several times even galvanic isolation for the MIDI interfaces
provided by old gear and by modern USB devices was mentioned. What ever
in theory could be programmed, even the different output amplifiers of
different real synth already could provide differences for the sound,
one computer, using the same sound card for several virtual instruments
only would provide, if somebody would care about it. Not to mention
CEM/Curtis filters etc..

Understanding an ADSR with or without a graphic display shouldn't be an
issue for musicians, it might be hard for some beginners. Anyway, that
is provided since decades, even the faders of a simple ADSR already show
the envelope by the fader positions.

I suspect the OP has got less experiences with professional gear, it
abilities and what professional musicians do need.

It can't be repeated often enough. The way that was provided already in
the 80s is a vector control. Everybody can create sounds by a vector
control, absolutely no knowledge is needed. For using an ADSR there's
the need to understand very much, less how the envelope does look like,
more important is what is controlled by the envelope and that the
envelop might variate to the dynamic of the musicians playing, by the
played note number etc..

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