Is the Virtual Analog vs True Analog synth argument relevant any more?

For recording (DAW vs Tape Machine), modulation and time based effects, and to an extent even dynamics based effects, I would argue that the convenience of digital FAR outweighs to tonal qualities of analog. Theres a reason famous engineers and producers like Andrew Scheps are working ITB despite having legendary console desks and outboard gear.

I guess it all comes down to personal taste, but for the last ~10 years, the only things computers have REALLY had trouble emulating that I have been interested in are opamp/tube/ distortion and overdrive, and analog drift of a VCO.

This appears to be because computers really sucks at creating random output of data because the concept doesn't really exist. What statisticians,engineers, and developers call "pseudorandom" generation is usually implemented in non-cryptographic software such as random events in Video Games. In order to producer "true" random output, the computer requires an external stimuli or data.

AFAIK The Juno 106 is implementing a DCO with perfect division (derived from a quartz crystal). This means that while they are using real analog oscillators, all waveforms have the same start point in the travel of their shape. Part of the charm in a VCO synth is not only that notes are slightly detuned from each other, but each begin at a different point in the wave. Modern DCO synths such as the Parva and Prophet 08 do a pretty good job of emulating this "slop", but it will never sound quite truly unpredictable and thus "alive" as a VCO. Sonically, a DCO or digital oscillator' are like watching a movie you've seen 100 times and you know the timing of every line's delivery before it even happens.

Anything that produces odd harmonics (opamps, tube amplification, etc) will be at odds with a computer in the same way. Don't get me wrong, I use UAD's Culture Vulture all the time and it's INCREDIBLY close. But it's also on the cutting edge of plugins at ~$250 + proprietary hardware required. And a real culture vulture still sounds 100x better to my ears...

/r/synthesizers Thread