Deepmind Vintage VCM Soundset
128 custom patches with vintage analog character.
Voice Component Modeling (VCM)
Over the past three years, I've spent lots of time analyzing classic synthesizers and acoustic analog instruments, to try and find out what objectively gives them their "vintage character" that some modern synthesizers don't have. I recorded hundreds of samples from classic VCO synths like the OBX, OBXA, Prophets, Yamaha CS80, MemoryMoog, Jupiter 4, Jupiter 8, and others... The common thread that I noticed between all of them is that there are "voice-by-voice offsets" to each voice in these polyphonic instruments. These offsets are a result of voice boards having discreet electrical components that are never perfectly matched. The small variance between electrical performance on a voice by voice basis causes small offsets to fine tuning, envelope ADR stage timing, and various other parameters. When you play a chord, you get all these small offsets that create natural phasing / detuning / temporal offsets, creating a more lush, organic sound. Modern synths are often "too perfect" with too much parity between tuning and other parameters, giving them a more sterile or harsh sound.
The Deepmind Sound Engine
DCO synths like the Deepmind have particularly great tuning performance, which is excellent for more technical sound design, but lacks much of the character of vintage synths and acoustic ensembles. There are tools like Osc Drift and Parameter Drift, however, they result in a highly artificial type of exagerrated motion, whereas VCM is focused on curated, stable per voice offsets to components. This approach avoids introducing unnatural drift and motion, and instead favors natural phasing/detuning between oscillators from stable offsets. In addition, the targeting of envelopes, filter, and other parameters greatly increases the organic, lush, warm character. Further, this approach avoids unwanted dissonance at higher values, like the drift circuit will sometimes encounter, and VCM is also repeatable from session to session, rather than based on randomness.
Is VCM similar to Sequential's "Vintage Knob"?
I've been asked this a bunch lately, since the release of the Prophet 5 Rev 4 and updates to the Prophet 6 and OB6. At first, I wasn't sure whether they had taken inspiration from the VCM info I have published over the past few years, or if they were doing something completely different... But I just picked up a Prophet 6 to do some detailed analysis and technical testing of the vintage knob implementation, and its doing the exact same type of voice variance I've been preaching over the past few years - Curated, stable per voice offsets to Osc Tuning, ADR Envelope Stage Timing, and Filter parameters... even the value ranges they are using in the Vintage Knob (toward the middle/noon position) are almost identical to many of the more basic VCM patches I've designed over the past few years and included in this soundset. (In addition, I do some even more advanced modeling, like intonation scaling per voice, and other macro behaviors to replicate effects I've measured on various vintage synths) So, yes, this type of voice modeling will give your Deepmind a similar vintage type performance.
Vintage Variance Modulation with Deepmind
Since the Deepmind has voice number and note number mod sources, it is capable of modifying values to various destinations on a per voice basis. The Deepmind has eight mod slots that can be used, so choices need to be made on a per patch basis on what to prioritize, depending on the sound design needs of the patch, the available mod slots left, and what kind of patch it is.
I set up different VCM parameters depending on if its a Lead, Bass, Synth, Pad, Strings, Brass, etc... for some patches, focusing on just Osc Tuning variance per voice will be sufficient, for others, you want to target Attack, Decay or Release stages, and sometimes one stage will be more important than the others to capture vintage vibe.
Here's some additional info I've documented on Deepmind's voice and note number sources:
128 Meticulously Designed Patches
This patch bank contains 128 voice modeled patches based on the measurements I took from classic synths... lots of lush, organic, poly synth character. In addition to modeling the unique voice-by-voice character into patches. In addition, aftertouch is programmed in on many to give vibrato or other unique performance characteristics when you dig into the keys.
A Wide Sampling of Sound Types and Genres
This patch bank contains a wide variety of sounds. I didn't want it to be genre specific, but rather include a wide sampling of classic/vintage type of synth tones, more modern tones with VCM implemented, and acoustic analog ensemble instruments like strings, brass, wind and choir patches.
In addition, for many patches, I've started from a basis of a classic synth model, like Yamaha, Roland, Korg, Oberheim or Seq synths of the 80s, but then tried to elevate the sound to use more advanced characteristics and nuances, like fine tuning sounds up and down the keybed with note number modulation, building in other performance nuances like dynamic velocity and release alterations, or building in effects to complement the patch. (effects can be easily turned off of course, if you want a more dry sound) For some patches I've also included custom Shimmer Effects sections which is possible by using the routing 9/10 and setting up a shimmer path in effects.
More Info About Voice Component Modeling:
I wrote up a paper in early 2019, documenting my findings here: http://www.VoiceComponentModeling.com
More Articles About the Topic Here:
A SoundSet for the Behringer Deepmind
This product is a digital download... It is a patch bank for the Behringer Deepmind keyboard or Deepming rack unit. It will work with both the Deepmind 6 and Deepmind 12. It will be delivered as a .sysex patch bank with 128 patches.
I spent several months building out this patch bank, and there are a variety of different sounds. There are many classic analog synth sounds, including basses, leads, synths, keys, analog strings, analog brass, pads and others. My focus was on creating sounds useful to songwriters or soundtrack composers. I'm a big fan of classic rock, new wave, 80s, alt rock, atmospheric and electronica. Lots of those type of sounds. In addition, I have included many acoustic instrument emulations, including electric pianos, wind instruments, string instruments, and organs. There are also a few templates for creating your own VCM patches.
Digital Download, License Terms
This licensed product is a digital download and is offered as a license to use. You will receive a .sysex soundbank file These files are only for use with the Behringer Deepmind Keyboard or Deepmind Rack unit. Once purchased, there are no refunds or exchanges available. You agree to not copy, redistribute, transfer or resell any of the patches in this product. The patches are copyrighted and licensed for your use only. You may use them in all your productions, including professional or commercial projects. If you have questions, email me at [email protected]
Free Future Updates
I may do future updates to this soundbank. If I do, all future updates to the bank will be available to you for free if you puchase this.
Testimonials for Voice Component Modeling
(Note: These are testimonials for either this Deepmind VCM product, or my Prophet Rev2 VCM product, which uses the same general techniques. )
Here's what others have been saying about voice component modeling techniques:
"This is "wizard stuff" that shows what this synth is capable of" - BM
"Wow, makes total sense and never realized this was even a possibility" - JS
"VCM is a crazy amazing trick that fixes the sonic issues I sometimes have with this and other modern analogue synths" - NY
"This is an amazing approach! At first I thought maybe you were trying to reinvent the wheel in regards to some sort of slop functionality, but this is a way more granular approach." - JG
"Sick techniques" - AD
"Wow this is an amazing resource!" - OW