"Name that synth"

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"Name that synth"

Postby briandc » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:42 pm

How easy would it be to trick others into thinking one synth is really another?

I've heard it said (and actually researched somewhere) that subjects who heard a louder version of (a song) thought it was better, when it was only louder. And this is just regarding volume.

So what about synthesizers? If someone posted an audio clip of a synth, could others easily name what synth it was? --Or could people be easily fooled?

It'd be fun to make a "name that synth" thread! :D

Love to hear your thoughts...

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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby Rezisehtnys » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:09 pm

I love to push virtual analogues off as actual analogues, and then telling the cork sniffers it was actually digital when they're oohing and ahhing over it. :P As long as you don't do anything to give it away, VA's can sound spot on. That or making digital-esque sounds with an actual analogue and having those same people condemn it. Of course I'm unbiased when it comes to how the sound was created, as long as it sounds good.
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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby ninja6485 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:47 am

Your ears take in more information than what your brain processes into an experience. Which parts of the data that you pick up on become habitually prioritized and remembered, so when you experience the thing again, you more quickly prioritize the what you take in, and perhaps fill in some gaps. Memory and recognition work largely through chaining across all of the senses - which is often when why certain smells help trigger old memories. In an article I have floating around here, even professional wine tasters were not able to tell the difference between red and white wines when all of the wines are dyed red, presumably because dying the wine red interferes with their memory chaining and associations.

Thus, due to the overwhelming amount of data your ears take in and your brains natural process for prioritizing that data into an experience and its reliance on chained memory associations, a blind test will never be an accurate tool for identifying finer characteristics of a sound, simply because the data that pertains to those distinctions may not even be cognized to begin with. I will say it may be refreshing in another sense to be able to hear things out of context & w/o the associations - to be able to hear them in a fresh way - since there is some data that is habitually overlooked, just as some is habitually recognized! It will only be fresh the first time however, as you will begin to do the same thing with the new samples.

Obviously, the data has to be there in the first place to be cognized, so you will never hear a saxophone instead of a mini moog or something like that, but someone who is very familiar with the way a mini moog sounds might have an increased ability to discern it from an odyssey or the mini moog V for instance, although as many an anecdote goes, maybe they will not! Over all, the science of perception and cognition as it pertains to aesthetics is an extremely complex and fascinating topic.

As a final note, remember the video with the piano that someone programed to speak? Try watching it with the suggested words, and try listening to it without seeing the suggested words. If you've found that you've lost the ability to make out what the piano is "saying," you have a good example of the power of linked associations across multiple senses affecting the way you hear and process data in the respective contexts.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby briandc » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:32 pm

I don't have any hardware synths, but if someone here who has some is willing to post a demo of one, we can see who is able to guess which synth it is... :)

Anyone game?


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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby meatballfulton » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:38 pm

OK try this one out

I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.
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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby briandc » Thu May 01, 2014 9:45 am

meatballfulton wrote:OK try this one out



Hmm.. the bass makes me think of my Motif 8. The lead, I would say is the Evolver rather than the Voyager. The percussion could be any of the above.


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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby meatballfulton » Thu May 01, 2014 12:19 pm

It's nothing listed in my sig...that would be too easy...and it's all one instrument. Hint: I bought it in 2005 when it was being discontinued.

I just came across these sketches I made years ago the other day on the hard drive of an old XP laptop.
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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby briandc » Thu May 01, 2014 1:07 pm

meatballfulton wrote:It's nothing listed in my sig...that would be too easy...and it's all one instrument. Hint: I bought it in 2005 when it was being discontinued.

I just came across these sketches I made years ago the other day on the hard drive of an old XP laptop.


Hmm..
I think we have to narrow it down to selecting among a few specific instruments. Otherwise it would be *impossible* to guess. Imo.

You say it would be too easy to choose from the ones in your signature, but I say it would still be difficult. ;)


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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby meatballfulton » Thu May 01, 2014 1:59 pm

So I have to give you a list of possible synths to guess from? :shock:

The point of the OP was it's difficult to ID synths by sound alone, but I hope you guys can tell a Motif from a Voyager :?

Hint #2: it's 100% digital

Hint #3: it has multiple synth engines

Hint #4: the effects and step sequencer are built in...there is no outboard involved

Hint #5: I got it at Guitar Center in 2005 as a $200 blowout deal
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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby Psy_Free » Thu May 01, 2014 2:46 pm

meatballfulton wrote:So I have to give you a list of possible synths to guess from? :shock:

The point of the OP was it's difficult to ID synths by sound alone, but I hope you guys can tell a Motif from a Voyager :?

Hint #2: it's 100% digital

Hint #3: it has multiple synth engines

Hint #4: the effects and step sequencer are built in...there is no outboard involved

Hint #5: I got it at Guitar Center in 2005 as a $200 blowout deal


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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby briandc » Thu May 01, 2014 3:03 pm

meatballfulton wrote:So I have to give you a list of possible synths to guess from? :shock:

The point of the OP was it's difficult to ID synths by sound alone, but I hope you guys can tell a Motif from a Voyager :?

Hint #2: it's 100% digital

Hint #3: it has multiple synth engines

Hint #4: the effects and step sequencer are built in...there is no outboard involved

Hint #5: I got it at Guitar Center in 2005 as a $200 blowout deal


I don't think it's so easy for people to tell the difference between a Motif and a Voyager, no. Esp. since the Motif uses samples. ;)

I only have a Motif right now, but I'm sure people could be fooled into thinking that they're listening to a Moog, Oberheim, Juno, etc, when in fact they're listening to a Motif. So it'd be best to just compare classic synthesizers rather than romplers that can imitate just about anything.

So why not give it a try? Just a typical string pad, and see who guesses correctly which synth it is. ;)


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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby Rezisehtnys » Thu May 01, 2014 10:53 pm

Alesis Fusion. :shock:
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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby ninja6485 » Fri May 02, 2014 6:07 am

I was going to say Micron. Or maybe the microkorg?
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby meatballfulton » Fri May 02, 2014 11:04 am

OK, I see people want to see something like "this is not a Moog making this Moog sound, what is it?" and then pick from a short list? That's too easy ;)

Last hint, I'll tell all tomorrow.

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Re: "Name that synth"

Postby briandc » Fri May 02, 2014 3:56 pm

Ok, here's what I had in mind:

Which synth is represented in the audio demo below?



a) Moog Voyager
b) Micromoog
c) Minimoog
d) ARP 2600


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