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Future Classics (post-2000)

Future Classics (post-2000)
« on: September 26, 2016, 03:27:36 AM »
Another interesting question would be, Which instruments do we think will eventually arrive at "classic" stature?

You mean current or more recent ones? - That's hard to tell. Mostly because the whole market situation is very different from the times when synthesizers came around for the first time. In other words: These days, there's too much to choose from in order to clearly predict a future classic. And then there are of course different categories for classics: An instrument that became a classic due to its unique sound (like Moogs and ARPs), an instrument that became a classic due to it being so revolutionary (like Moogs and ARPs as well and also Buchla and EMS instruments), those instruments that became a classic for reasons of affordibility (like all the models by Japanese companies), and so on.

There are definitely some reoccuring patterns now, most clearly to be seen with regard to pricing and affordibility. I would think of the Volca series as a future classic for example, just like the microKORG is already one. The Voyager is another classic by now on the high end side of things. Also, the Prophet '08 might have reached that status for the more recent analog poly synth market, since it has definitely become popular and is fairly widespread. And then there are all these misunderstood classics - instruments that may not have sold in tons when they first came out, but became sought after once they were discontinued and people really started to grasp what they were all about. The Prophet VS comes to my mind as a historic example, but also the Evolver series as a more recent example, although I think that the desktop version was fairly popular amongst many rather experimental musicians as well, partially due to offering a whole lot for its pricing.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 03:30:22 AM by Paul Dither »
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

chysn

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Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 04:45:22 AM »
Another interesting question would be, Which instruments do we think will eventually arrive at "classic" stature?

That is an interesting question, and probably deserves its own topic.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Moog Little Phatty w/ CV Outs, Arturia MicroBrute, KMI QuNexus
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2016, 08:11:50 AM »
Another interesting question would be, Which instruments do we think will eventually arrive at "classic" stature?

That is an interesting question, and probably deserves its own topic.

Yes, I agree.  And I would start the thread right away, except that I think we might all suggest merely our favorite instruments as deserving classic status.  It would be almost as pointless as starting a "What is your Favorite Feature" thread.  It would go all over the place. 

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 08:19:58 AM »
Another interesting question would be, Which instruments do we think will eventually arrive at "classic" stature?

That is an interesting question, and probably deserves its own topic.

Yes, I agree.  And I would start the thread right away, except that I think we might all suggest merely our favorite instruments as deserving classic status.  It would be almost as pointless as starting a "What is your Favorite Feature" thread.  It would go all over the place.

A disclaimer might help.  ;)
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2016, 08:26:01 AM »
One of the reasons I've so been enjoying the "Prophet '08 Among Prophets" thread is that it lacks all sensationalism.  It's not about new instruments, new features, or even new updates.  It's simply about an older synthesizer on which the limelight is no longer shining, that has been fully vetted, has reached its maturity, is accepted "as is," and is now being used by a fairly large number of people.  Now it's all about applying the synthesizer, being creative with it, mastering it, and directing it all to one's compositions.  Hence, you can actually find now quite a bit of music made with the Prophet '08.  There; now that refreshing and exciting to me - a discussion that doesn't revolver around the word "new."
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 09:07:00 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2016, 09:09:21 AM »
Another interesting question would be, Which instruments do we think will eventually arrive at "classic" stature?

That is an interesting question, and probably deserves its own topic.

Yes, I agree.  And I would start the thread right away, except that I think we might all suggest merely our favorite instruments as deserving classic status.  It would be almost as pointless as starting a "What is your Favorite Feature" thread.  It would go all over the place.

A disclaimer might help.  ;)

Something like, "Although I own only Prophet '08s and Evolvers, I think the Prophet '08 and the Evolvers are classics."?  ;D

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2016, 09:10:42 AM »
Something like, "Although I own only Prophet '08s and Evolvers, I think the Prophet '08 and the Evolvers are classics."?

I was rather thinking of the opposite as a disclaimer.  ;)
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2016, 09:34:34 AM »
Note: I split these posts off the MatrixBrute thread, as it was becoming a bit too off topic over there.

My suggestion for a thread like this would be to not only name your personal favorite (that's too subjective unfortunately), but to choose a rather neutral approach. Otherwise we will end up with a "mine is better than yours" dispute. And if you name a synth in this category, please make sure to justify your choice.

We'll start with everything that has been introduced from the year 2000 on. Everything counts, whether it's software or hardware.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 09:43:47 AM by Paul Dither »
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2016, 09:39:22 AM »
You might also want to include a time qualification.  I don't think we need a discussion about vintage classics such as the Minimoog or Prophet 10.  Perhaps limit this discussion to include synthesizers only from the year 2000 on. 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 10:37:04 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2016, 09:40:52 AM »
The year 2000 is easy to remember as the epitome of the future, so the year 2000 it is.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2016, 09:43:42 AM »
Perhaps you could add "2000" to the title of the thread.  "Future Classics from 2000 and On."

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2016, 09:46:52 AM »
Perhaps you could add "2000" to the title of the thread.  "Future Classics from 2000 and On."

I think "Future Classics" is just fine. It indicates that we don't talk about past classics like for example the Minimoog, or the Jupiter-8, or the M1.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

chysn

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Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2016, 09:02:25 PM »
The usual definition of "classic" is something that is the best of its era. But I don't think that really applies to instruments. There are intangible factors.

Intangible #1, Historical Significance: The DX7 is considered a "classic," but I don't think it's one of the best synths of its era, or anywhere near it. But it has some historical significance as a groundbreaking and genre-defining digital instrument, so it's considered a classic. Contrast this with the Korg Polysix, which did almost nothing new, but is still a classic.

So you might have some instruments like that. The Voyager comes to mind, as the kickoff of the new Moog Music. Perhaps even the Little Phatty, as Bob Moog's final instrument (even though he's not the one who finished it). The Evolver, certainly, as the kickoff of the new Sequential/DSI. Historical perspective is really hard to pin down.

Intangible #2, Suppy-and-Demand: The Korg Polysix is considered a "classic," but I don't think it's one of the best synths of its era, or anywhere near it. But it was built poorly. The wood parts were a crumbly medium-density fiberboard, and the conductive rubber contacts failed pretty reliably. So if you manage to find a Polysix in somewhat good shape, it's going to be worth a lot. Contrast this with the DX7, which is built like a tank, and isn't particularly valuable due to its vast numbers.

Paul Dither already mentioned the Volca series as future classics, and I agree with that. They're dazzling as musical instruments, but they've got thin scratchable plastic bodies, battery covers that are going to get lost and broken, flimsy knobs, and plastic jacks. They're not exactly built for the rigors of the road. So in ten years, the ones that survive are going to be sought-after and expensive.

This brings me to a crazy prediction that the Desktop Evolver might wind up being an expensive classic. It basically hits all three points: A groundbreaking instrument in its day, with historical significance, and with build quality that, while not atrocious, leads me to expect long-term attrition.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Moog Little Phatty w/ CV Outs, Arturia MicroBrute, KMI QuNexus
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2016, 09:28:28 PM »
This is a tough topic because I think nearly every instrument will be considered a classic by some one at some point.  I would say that, regardless of which instruments we feel merit the classic status, we're actually trying to predict which instruments others in the future will consider as meriting the status, and this may not always be the result of a rational choice.  Some times people like things just because they're weird and quirky, or even cheap.  After all, who would have expected that a plain single-oscillator synthesizer with a noisy chorus - the Juno 60 - would be a highly sought-after "classic" in the year 2016?  And what about the Univox Minikorg - my very first synthesizer?  The goofy little thing was a cheap toy with one of the worst tones I've ever heard and a tinny PWM that I'm still having nightmares about.  And yet, they're highly regarded on the used market and can be found for $1400.  I would never have foreseen or believed it.

And now to put all that aside....I think the Poly Evolver will be regarded as a classic.  Its appearance is striking, its hybrid design is unique, it's sonically very flexible and yet has a distinctive sound of its own, it has few inherent flaws other than some minor bugs, and it has a certain mystique, due to the small number of units produced.  The question is, How durable is it?  Will it survive in stable condition for twenty or thirty years? 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 09:46:14 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2016, 04:52:57 AM »
The usual definition of "classic" is something that is the best of its era. But I don't think that really applies to instruments. There are intangible factors.

As in art, literature, and also technology the classic status is rarely reached in the here and now of a particular era. Most classics have become classics retrospectively, just as eras themselves are only defined after they're over. There are lots of examples about something being really popular at a certain time, and it being completely forgotten about 10 years later. There are also instant hits of course that remain popular. And then there are the misunderstood or largely not appreciated things that only gain popularity in their afterlife.

As for my choice of the Volca series:
That definitely belongs to the category of instant hits. While I can't have a clue about its status in the years to come, I'd say that what made it innovative was the price point at which it ws offered and the subsequent result that it served as an entry drug into anything analog. To some degree, even the MS-20 Mini falls into that category and certainly the MiniBrute. If you scan through some forums you can see that those kind of instruments were often the starting point for those who are on a tight budget, and in some cases the according setups developed into something more sophisticated like a Eurorack setup for example.
In a way, I think, the success of the Volca series is in turn based on the perception of another group of classic instruments that wasn't successful the first time around though: the 808s, 303s, and 909s for example. So I would assume that the retrospective tolerance about and the interest in those boxes that were declared to be trash after they were initially released, certainly helped in boosting the interest in stuff like the Volca series. What I mean is the attitude, "we appreciate it all, no matter how trashy it might appear at the first glance," which is only possible through a certain historical distance.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2016, 07:04:02 AM »
The Korg Polysix used VCOs with a sub-oscillator (rather than the DCOs of the Roland Juno Series) and had an excellent Ensemble effect that, put together, provided an incredible amount of depth for a single-oscillator polysynth. Add to that the modern KiwiTechnics processor and power supply upgrades, and you've got a synth that hits well above its station.

I nominate the Roland Jupiter-4, which has managed (in spite of its cheesy preset buttons) to have propelled an entire style of music forward, with just enough softness on the filter and VCA / output stage to sit well into a mix. It's somewhat ugly by some accounts, but it reminds me of a late-60's / early 70's Ford truck in its cosmetics (colors aside).
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: Prophet-12 desktop, Pro-2, AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

chysn

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Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2016, 08:22:52 AM »
It's somewhat ugly by some accounts, but it reminds me of a late-60's / early 70's Ford truck in its cosmetics (colors aside).

Ha! I see it now!
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Moog Little Phatty w/ CV Outs, Arturia MicroBrute, KMI QuNexus
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2016, 08:55:09 AM »
I neglected to add the most important reasons that the Poly Evolver merits "classic" status.  First and foremost, it sounds truly exceptional.  Strings, brass, organ, bells and chimes, FM piano, pads of both the analog and digital types, and sounds and effects of all sorts are strengths of the PEK.  The modulation possibilities are deep and varied, including a sequencer.  It has an onboard delay which can produce related effects such as chorus or flanger.  It's a pleasure to program, due to it's well-ordered knobby control panel.  It has a decent full-length keyboard with velocity and aftertouch.  It's expandable with Mono Desktop or Poly Evolver Rack versions so that a five, eight, or twelve-voice instrument is within reach.  And then there are the stereo oscillators and filter.  Last of all, it also provides an impressive if small-scale red and blue light show.

Gee, now that I've started, I could go on and on naming reasons the Poly Evolver deserves to be regarded as a synthesizer classic. 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 09:12:19 AM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2016, 10:18:47 AM »
Let's get back to your assumptions about future classics though, i.e. please keep out those instruments that have been released before 2000. Otherwise we'll end up with a "best of Ebay" list here.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 10:42:10 AM by Paul Dither »
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Future Classics (post-2000)
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2016, 10:53:48 AM »
Fair enough.  I deleted the post.

Nah, that's alright. No self-censorship necessary. I just wanted to avoid this to become a thread for instruments that already have most of their future behind them. And if I understood you correctly, you were asking for more recent instruments too.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6