Project ST-01

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d.a.wilson
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Project ST-01

Post by d.a.wilson » 19/07/2008 - 14:04

On searching for information on ST-01 I found a posting on EAB made by Mark Wright in 2003 asking whether anyone knew what instrument was originally sampled to make the infamous ST-01 sample set. Well the short answer is several now very collectible classic pro synths of the time

I have a heck of a lot of studio gear from this era and like several others I've been curious about the origins of ST-01 but to date little info exists on the subject.

I've found it a shame that although so many rave on about the early Amiga modules and everyone knows they made use of the ST-01 sample set but very few know where these samples came from. They all have a heck of a lot of character - this character has a lot to do with the way early modules sound.

I was recently contacted by someone who had seen something I'd written on the subject who has had a very similar idea to mine which is to identify all of the synths used to make ST-01 and then attempt to make high quality equivalents of them. I recently bought the domain http://www.ST-01.com to do exactly that and more.

What I can say is that out of the 126 samples in ST-01 a fair amount are without doubt factory presets from the now classic Roland D50 (eg. Call, DigiHarp, Heaven, TineWave, Jetes, Outlaw, Pizza, Nightmare) - a very characteristic sounding synth. There are also samples taken from the Roland Juno106 (Pingbells), the Yamaha TX81Z (DXbass), the Casio CZ (SineCZ) series and possibly the Korg Poly-800.

The website is not up yet but the idea will be to have an interactive table containing original sample name, original sample, sample source and full preset number/name, a HQ remake and demo of it in use along with any interesting notes. I also intend to write sections on the featured synths along with demos of them in action. I hope to post some of my earlier studio remakes of classic Amiga tracks on this site. I am also hoping I can eventally interview the original creators.

Feel free to email me if you are interested in helping out.

Dan@hideawaystudio.co.uk :help:
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by Makke » 19/07/2008 - 17:39

Wow! Brilliant idea.

Sadly, I'll probably be able to contribute very little to this project, but please keep us posted, since I'd love to see the end result.
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by LMan » 19/07/2008 - 18:45

Cool idea!! :D
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Marcel Donné
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by Marcel Donné » 19/07/2008 - 22:57

d.a.wilson wrote:and possibly the Korg Poly-800.
Consider the Poly800 a certainty. I had one back then and there are quite a few presets of the Poly800 in the ST-01 collection. Good luck with the chase :-)

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Re: Project ST-01

Post by d.a.wilson » 20/07/2008 - 7:43

I don't have a Poly-800 at the mo - I'm trying to find the preset names and a sample set from this little beastie. If it turns out that several samples were made with this thing then I'll get one to play with.

Someone asked me on another board why I'm bothering to "remake" what is already a great sounding set of samples. I wanted to go beyond just emulating the originals as I think many will be surprised how different the original sources will sound when played freely. This is because the ST-01 samples were only snapshots of what were responsive complex synth patches. This is will actually make emulating the original sound very difficult in some cases as a single key will have to be played in the same manner as the original producer ie. same velocity, note length and FX processing.

The main object is to identify the original sources - this has become a bit of an obsession for me as synths built around the 1985 to 1988 era were very different to what we see now - The Roland D50 is positively oozing with character due to its low bit resolution wavetables, analog filters and use of PWM. These characteristics are almost impossible to fully emulate in a soft synth as the noise and aliasing from the old hardware becomes part of the sound. This is why, for example, 12 bit samplers such as the AKAI S950 are still favoured in making some types of music. To a certain extent the Amigas 8 bit resolution gave the modules a certain character which some still use to effect despite having 24bit resolution these days - eg Daft Punk who seem to process their pads at rediculously low bit rates just for effect. 8)

It's this character that made a lot of Amiga music sound so cool. Much the same is true for the C64's SID generated music as it too had a certain "sound" - quite unlike the horrible dry lifeless 4OP FM generated yuck that PCs and some games consoles were eminating a few years later.
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by Dr.Future » 20/07/2008 - 7:45

Great Idea, great task! :D
The best idea certainly would be to ask the man himself, Mr. Carsten Obarski. But unfortunately he is not known for his support/contribution to the scene.
Hm, maybe Jan Zottmann can help? :help:
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by d.a.wilson » 20/07/2008 - 8:21

:D Many Thanks for the lead - an email has been sent - I might even get a reply :D

Dan.
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by Marcel Donné » 20/07/2008 - 13:40

Would it be possible to post the original ST-01 soundset somewhere as an MP3? With a little luck I can identify a synth or 2 :wink:

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Re: Project ST-01

Post by d.a.wilson » 20/07/2008 - 15:12

You can find a copy of the original set as WAVs at:

http://samples.edge6.com/st-01/

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Re: Project ST-01

Post by d.a.wilson » 20/07/2008 - 17:02

After spending far too long downloading old Yamaha manuals and comparing patch names with the ST-01 names I've come to the conclusion that my original guess that one of the sources was Yamaha DX11 is wrong. The DX11 came out in 1988 and the ST-01 sample set was released in June 1987 - D'oh! :roll: I was right that it was a 4OP FM synth...

As it happens the DX27, DX100, DX21 and TX81Z all share similar sound sets and were all released before ST-01. On closer inspection the DX21's factory sounds bare most resemblence to some of the ST-01 sample names. I downloaded the DX21s factory sounds into my TX81Z via the most precarious of homemade tape interface leads via mp3! (yes it does work! - even with Spectrum games) Hey presto - there are MonoBass and HeiferBell without doubt :) MonoBass sounds just fantastic on the real thing!

So far the Roland D50 is still in the lead with the most sounds being used for ST-01.

So far I've identified 30/128 sample sources and have leads on at least another 20.

The Korg sounds are still a mystery to me - they may be Poly-800 or DW8000.

Precisely which CASIO CZ was sampled is also still a mystery.

Answers on a post card :lol:
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by Marcel Donné » 20/07/2008 - 20:27

Hello again,

I found the sounds and downloaded them all. Unfortunately there's a lot of distortion in most of them which makes it hard to listen to and to identify.

Anyways, long story short. http://www.xs4all.nl/~mdonne/st01/ Here's a list of sounds I could identify off the top of my head. It's been a long time since I had a Poly800 or a DX27 but some sounds you just don't forget.

Never owned a D50/D550 but played a few in my time to be able to identify the usual suspects ;-)

I'm wondering when Sonic Foundry came out with Soundforge. There are a few sounds that sound very familiar to me and that may have been presets in the FM-synthesis tool in Soundforge. It could also be a coincidence and the sounds have been made on any 4-op FM box. The sounds are Alien, Heavysynth and Theegg

Happy hunting!

Cheers,
Marcel

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Re: Project ST-01

Post by d.a.wilson » 20/07/2008 - 22:26

Hi Marcel,

Many thanks for your suggestions - it's interesting to see that at least 80% tally with my conclusions over the last few days. I have a spreadsheet which is rapidly filling up with information - it's this data which will become the basis for our website.

I really need to get the site up asap so that we can open the task to everyone for suggestions. Jim is now working hard on producing the framework for http://www.st-01.com - fingers crossed.

Interesting what you say about Sound Forge. Although it was released many years after ST-01 I strongly suspect that it makes use of a soft synth that's been designed to load 4OP FM patches. Comes to think of it - Alien, Heavysynth and Theegg do now sound very familiar names to me - I think you might have a point. The frustrating thing is that even if you are right Sound Forge is definitely not the original source but what it would prove is that they are FM sounds - and that has to be Yamaha. :cheers:

I never noticed just how many of ST-01 are FM based sounds.

I must persue the Poly-800 lines - I'm particularly interested that you think "Dangerous" is from it. Although I've owned a ton of kit over the years I've never had a Poly-800 so I'm going to have to track one down now because a few seem to think it has been used as a source. There is no doubt 80's korg synths have been used - again they are full of character :)

Now that the synths are really taking shape I'm starting to wonder about the percussion - I do recognise some of it but much is a mystery at the moment. At least some of it appears to have been sampled from loops so it may never be identified.

Cheers,

Dan.
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Re: Project ST-01

Post by Marcel Donné » 20/07/2008 - 23:16

d.a.wilson wrote:Now that the synths are really taking shape I'm starting to wonder about the percussion - I do recognise some of it but much is a mystery at the moment. At least some of it appears to have been sampled from loops so it may never be identified.
If you can provide a set of percussion samples that don't have the clipping/distortion I'd be more than happy to compare them with my large collection of drum computer samples. One of the handclaps I think is from a Yamaha RX1 or RX5 but I couldn't be sure.

Cheers,

Marcel

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Re: Project ST-01

Post by alk » 21/07/2008 - 9:29

Hi all,

Here's the samples in wav form without distortion

http://alk.untergrund.net/st-01/

I'll get that website up asap, (a week or two I suspect)

Jim

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FM Based samples in ST-01

Post by d.a.wilson » 21/07/2008 - 20:05

... OK there's now a fair amount of evidence that the Yamaha 4OP FM Synth used as a source for several of the ST-01 samples is the DX-21 which is known for it's superb bass patches - Solid Bass (later known as Lately Bass) is found on a HUGE number of dance tracks. Shame the percussion wasn't Roland 808 / 909 - now that would be easy to identify!

BTW Don't let anyone ever tell you FM is Sh*t or old hat - as ever it's the way you use it. Synths are not like PCs - it doesn't matter if its 3 weeks old or 30 years old - it just has to sound good. 8)
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