Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds?

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Rick McNab
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2006/02/13 07:37:38 (permalink)

Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds?

I am also getting excited about Rap (of course it will have to have some sort of nickname, so that's my idea - not all that creative, but obvious). Thanks to all of the creators, programmers, and enthusiastic first-adopters for already showing support here at the forums with the great tutorials and discussion. I'm already learning tons.

Of course this is a deep instrument with a huge amount of programming potential and I will want to experiment along with the rest of you.

At the same time I always ask about these softys: "how are they at generating your basic bread and butter, vanilla, Bb, however you want to describe it synth sounds"? I refer to the types of sounds that time and time again users ask about in forums like these - i.e. the Van Halen "Jump" sound (fat-ass OBXa), the Prince sounds (again fat-ass OB something), the signature Prophet and Jupiter sounds, lush analog synth pads, Minimoog basses, filter sweeps etc.

It seems like the demos of these instruments go so off into the esoteric that we hear little or none of these types of sounds. This is also the case with the Rap(ture) demos IMO.

What I want to know is how will Rap stand up in fatness, warmth, and ballsiness against:

1) The Arturia stuff - Arp 2600 and the new Prophet V
2) The Gmedia stuff - Minimonsta
3) The Creamware stuff - their Mini emulations - both soft and now hard
4) The new Korg Radias - an amazingly fat-sounding instrument IMO.

No rush on answering these questions, but it would be nice for us 1980s analog enthusiasts to have our own set of demos to listen to, specifically targeted at that user base. It seems that we are not small in number judging from how many posts I read over at the Motifator.com Sounds forum, where over and over people are asking how to emulate the great analog polys of the 1980s.

Looking forward to hearing and participating in discussion regarding this matter, and to acquiring and learning Rap.
post edited by Rick McNab - 2006/02/13 07:43:03
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    Rick McNab
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/13 08:09:50 (permalink)
    Update - First of all I forgot to mention a couple of other softys that IMO do real good analog emulation:

    1) The Fab Filter Twin - this thing gets 1st place in my book - it sounds amazing on the demos - http://www.fabfilter.com/products/twin.asp

    2) Sytrus - www.sytrus.com

    Now I just went through all of the Rap(ture) demos and certainly there are hints that this synth will do a good job of analog emulation.

    Maybe it's just (and I mentioned this in a previous post) that the demos are all so mismatched in volume, and that there aren't any complete song demos where you can get a groove going. The patch demos are cool, but you can't really get excited over a couple of bars of quantized MIDI data.

    To me the new benchmark for VA synth demos is the set for the Korg Radias. These sound amazing and really create a good deal of excitement. I think all manufacturers (including the Cakewalk team) should consider this and do (spend) whatever it takes to post demos that match that level of quality, production values, and excitement.

    http://www.korg.com/gear/info.asp?a_prod_no=RADIAS&category_id=1
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    mikeprager
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/13 09:40:44 (permalink)
    Hi Rick,
    While I'm sure Rene is going to chime in here, I thought I would take a stab at replying.
    IMO, Rapture is a much more unique synth than the one's listed in your previous post. While it's true that there have been other wavetable soft synths, I think Rapture goes well beyond the capabilities of it's predecessors, making it somewhat original. It goes in the right direction for today's soft synths, which is forward rather than reverse. It's not an emulation of anything else out of the market. I've found it fairly easy to program patches, and there are many "useable" patches included with it.
    Is it fat and warm? With two filters per element not to mention 3 bands of EQ per as well, the simple answer is "oh yea".
    With all of the originality Rene puts into his creations, I'm sure Rapture is going to end up being the tweaking synth to beat this year.
    Hope that answers some of your questions.
    Thanks,

    Michael Prager
    Cakewalk West Coast Product Specialist
    #3
    b rock
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/13 16:49:34 (permalink)
    What a place to wedge myself! Right after Mike Prager, and before Rene's possible reply. Oh, well. Im going in ...
    it would be nice for us 1980s analog enthusiasts to have our own set of demos to listen to, specifically targeted at that user base.
    I'm afraid that this won't help along those lines, Rick, but Rene posted a quickie Rapture demo in [this thread]. I thought that you might not have caught this one. Keep in mind that it was for a "trance/goa" audience, whatever that might entail.

    I'm not sure about Rapture reaching back to the analog stuff. It certainly looks like it'll be thick enough at the oscillator end. Lots of the usual waveform suspects to choose from, or 'roll your own'. Next up would be how the filters sound.

    It'd be my guess that unless you're trying to go for the quirky anomalies that make up a Moog, ARP, OB, or TB-303 filter, you're not going to nail that. And it doesn't appear that was the intent with this synth. As for just my own thought process in this, I'm letting the stuff that was geared to analog emulation (great OB emulations in the Ion, BTW) fulfill that role, and reserve Rapture for what it does best. And I won't know for sure what that is (actually, what I can make it become) for a couple of weeks.

    Just a quick question: Don't you think that you can come close to that "Jump" patch in just about anything? Not meant to be sarcastic by any means, but that patch seems to follow me from synth to synth. I program a little, and it 'jumps' out.
    post edited by b rock - 2006/02/13 16:57:37
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    Paradroid
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/13 17:47:39 (permalink)
    Next up would be how the filters sound.

    Now, if someone was really keen (not me, since I'm no synth purest), they could spend there days developing detailed filter presets in sfz, combining and blending various filter models, distortions, <curves> (to approximate the cutoff and resonance response over the frequency and dynamic range) and then slap it all in DefaultEffects.sfz and have that as the default filter in Dimension (and Rapture?)

    A pretty hard core assignment but it's one of the possbilities floating around out there in the ether…
    #5
    Rick McNab
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/14 05:43:49 (permalink)
    Hey guys - cool discussion. No doubt Rapture is going to go way beyond the capabilities of its predecessors and I'm as excited as anyone about it. I guess I just wonder how it will sound on basic analog-poly type sounds - you know pads, stabs, the usual suspects. I wish someone would create a demo based around those kinds of sounds. I will check out the one B suggests. In the meantime maybe one of you beta guys could pull out some old 1980s records and give us a taste of Rapture's vintage side!

    Edit - I listened to the trance demo. Not bad. Maybe it's just me, but overall I seem to be missing a certain amount of low end or ballsiness from Rapture that I hear in a couple of the other softys, namely Fab Filter Twin and Sytrus. I will be interested to hear comments on this.
    post edited by Rick McNab - 2006/02/14 05:51:55
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    b rock
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/14 19:13:57 (permalink)
    I just wonder how it will sound on basic analog-poly type sounds - you know pads, stabs, the usual suspects. I wish someone would create a demo based around those kinds of sounds.
    I'd love to oblige you there, Rick, but you see ... I don't have it! I know I've appeared to be somewhat of a Rapture cheerleader fan-boy. You'd think that I stood to profit from this. But, the fact of the matter is, I don't get too overly excited over most new synths in general.

    I consider myself a bit of a student of synthesizer technology, so I've seen a lot of cool stuff, but also a lot of retro-imitation. Some very good; some not-so-good. Not even close. It's Rapture's potential to take this to the next level that has my head spinning ...
    I seem to be missing a certain amount of low end or ballsiness from Rapture that I hear in a couple of the other soft
    ..., but that doesn't mean that I won't try to program some back-in-the-day stuff. I'm going to guess that the "ballsiness" lacking could be solved with LP 6p filters. Moogs were 4p, OB's were 2p, the TB-303 had some weird-ass three pole, and ARPs were ... different after the lawsuit. Each had its own 'flavor'. And it was good.

    Anyway, I say grab one of those Rapture multimodes, load a waveform with a healthy amount of overtones, spread the voices by the slightest detune, and run them through 2 LP 6p filters in series. Or spread 2 BP 2p filter and some resonance in parallel, and offset them by an octave in base frequency. Sweep the whole thing with a couple of copied Cutoff EGs and you've got Fat City with some big ol' brass balls. Now press on of those Step gens into service. Randomly vary the Pitch one in an oscillator with a very low Depth of pitch variation. Analog oscillator pitch drift to order. You can even simulate them 'warming up'.

    Hey, Rick, I'm just speculating as to how this will actually sound, but I'm having a difficult time coming up with things that I don't think Rapture could do. Tell you what: hold off a bit. I'll order right away, it'll take about a month by FedEx, and three sleepless nights to follow the actual arrival. I'll be sure to let you know what I find out along these lines. Either I'll say, "I was dead wrong, Rick", or you'll see something entitled Retro Rapture [The Post Release Edition]
    #7
    Rick McNab
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/14 20:12:40 (permalink)
    Definitely looking forward to "Retro Rapture". Like I said, there are hints of the "retro" potential sprinkled throughout the demos. I just wish someone would 1) Create a set of songs using Rapture in different styles, and 2) Make at least a couple of those songs harken back to the glory days of the great analog polys.

    I've followed your posts for quite some time over on the P5 threads, so I know you're a serious dude. I would not describe you as a "fan boy" in any way. I agree with you - Rapture is going to be amazing and deep as a programmable instrument.

    Also, continued thanks for all you do for the Cakewalk user base - all of your tutorials and other enthusiastic and helpful actions haven't gone unnoticed by this user!

    BTW I can't find "Anytown" on the map. Are you serious with that? I ask because I'm originally from S. Florida. How would I find it on Mapquest?
    #8
    b rock
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/14 20:53:29 (permalink)
    .
    How would I find it on Mapquest?
    Call up the Miami area, and throw a dart at the Everglades National Park. I'm three heads over to the west from that. Turn left at that no-tail 'gator. Just behind the that rat's nest row of melaleuca quinquenervia. Sorry, Rick: I can't make it that easy for the Park Rangers. They have federal authority, you know. You'd think that they'd just follow the sound of the airboat.

    Actually I'm in the Redlands, Rick. Drive like you're headed to the Keys, but turn west before you leave Dade County. Do you know what swampland is going for an acre down here now?

    I'm not trying to convince you either way about Rapture. But I'm glad that some of the enthusiasm gets infectious. I see a lot of depth in Rapture, but I don't see it as unable to give some unexpected or mainstream results. All the building blocks are there. But I agree with you: it's the sound part that's the most subjective, and that's really all that matters in the long run.

    You don't even have to use all the cool new tools to get good results. But it's the new, unique stuff that sells synths. Understandably, that's what we're going to hear about. And good presets make or break a synth, or so I've heard tell.

    And sound demos.
    #9
    Rick McNab
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/14 21:45:10 (permalink)
    Absolutely it's the sound that matters. Right now, based on preliminary MP3 demos, for softys it's between Rapture, the new Arturia Prophet V, Fab Filter Twin, and Sytrus for me. And for hardware the Korg Radias. Not to say that if I got Rapture I wouldn't spring for one of the others - probably Fab Filter Twin. But as an old Prophet 5 owner, my heart waxes nostalgic for the Arturia. I wish they'd post some new demos as well. Only a few blips on their website and then a couple of video demos from NAMM. Maybe Prophet V and Rapture. Now that would be a helluva combo.

    What I'm most excited about with Rapture is the community that's already in place. You guys are already writing tutorials, so the new user is definitely not "in the swamp without an airboat" on this synth.

    So maybe I will become the offical voice of "retro Rapture", always reminding you guys to take a break from multiple vectors and modular LFO routings and remember us analog enthusiasts with some straight ahead synth brass and pads ala the Prophet/OB/Jupiter range.

    BTW in case you need a reminder, I found this great resource for analog synth audio examples. Here's the page for the mighty OBXa. Let's see if Rapture can approach this:

    http://www.babic.com/SYN/obxa.htm
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    mikeprager
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/16 09:54:52 (permalink)
    Hi Rick,

    ORIGINAL: Rick McNab
    Edit - I listened to the trance demo. Not bad. Maybe it's just me, but overall I seem to be missing a certain amount of low end or ballsiness from Rapture that I hear in a couple of the other softys, namely Fab Filter Twin and Sytrus. I will be interested to hear comments on this.


    Trust me, there's lots of low end in there and plenty o' balls.
    Maybe we should do a remake of a Berlin song or something and use only DM Pro and Rapture and upload that to the website

    Michael Prager
    Cakewalk West Coast Product Specialist
    #11
    Rick McNab
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    RE: Rap(ture) for "vanilla" sounds? 2006/02/16 17:35:08 (permalink)
    Absolutely. That's what I'm talking about. Check out the Motifator.com forums under the "Sounds" category. You will see user after user asking about 1980s analog polysynth sounds. One of their designers Dave Polich did a smart thing. For his "regenerator" soundset for the Yamaha PLG150-AN board, he actually recreated a number of well-known synth sounds from the 1980s.

    I think that's a big market. There are many 1980s tribute bands and also general gigging bands who will be doing more and more 1980s music as the audiences at social gatherings wants to touch a nostalgia point from that era. You should definitely look at some of the big synth-pop hits from the 1980s. Not just ones musicians might respect (they probably won't anyway), but stuff like the Pointer Sisters, Prince, Van Halen (the 1984 record of course), any of the New Romantic stuff from across the pond, etc....and don't forget the whole New York beat-box scene i.e. Arthur Baker. Of course there are hundreds (maybe thousands) more examples. Really anything that featured thick analog polysynth pads, brass stabs, or leads. And that was alot. Cruise around with the 1980s station on for awhile. You will be surprised (maybe not) at how much analog polysynth was sneaked into many records from the early 1980s that you wouldn't think would be there. My ears are getting better at hearing it now. I couldn't hear it so well back then.

    BTW from watching the new video demo from gearwire.com, I am now much more in agreement about the presence of low-end and smooth filters. Give us some song demos, Cakewalk! Thanks!
    #12
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