TB or not TB
Roland have recently re-issued a modern take on their classic 808, 909 and 303.
But, shock horror, the components are not analogue (they’re using a new technology called Analogue Circuit Behaviour) so the purists are up in arms (except the majority of them when they take the fingers at the end of these arms out of their ears are hard pressed to tell the difference in blind listening tests).
For me, this asks several important questions, firstly, does the equipment you use actually matter ?
Well, actually….no ! The only thing that really does matter is the idea and the execution of the idea (and there’s a lot of truth in the Ginsberg saying of ‘first idea, best idea’).
I’ve had a lot of fun in the past listing the synth’s I used on a particular production, when in reality it’s all come from VST’s (synthesiser emulations inside your computer), but because of the context (ie mentioning their ‘real’ analogue counterparts), interested listeners then ‘assume the truth’ of the sound coming from the real synth and thus the myth becomes the truth (welcome to the world of PR).
The bottom line is that I get inspired by my environment and by sounds (and to a lesser degree by an engaging user interface) and modern VST’s have great sounds by the bucket load, far better than I could program if I sat down with a Yamaha CS80 I’d just paid £15,000 for (yep the prices of these old synth’s have gone through the roof…now there is a great example of PR !)
The second point this raises is that music technology gear lust (as witnessed for example on gearslutz) is really a hobby that is totally separate to (and often gets in the way of) making music and it’s main proponents are usually people that don’t actually make music for a living and even as hobbyists, these people rarely finish pieces of music…they’re too busy on forums trying to figure out which VST’s (sorry, hard to get expensive old synths) Boards of Canada use.
Let’s be honest, in this day and age, anyone thats bothered to learn the craft of production (so not very many then !) can pretty easily get a computer only ‘in the box’ production to sound like it’s come from a bunch of old synths recorded in dusty old studio to tape, so the last word should go to Joe Meek ‘If it sounds good, it is good’.