Jump to content

Do you think psytrance newcomers find old school goa outdated?

Recommended Posts


The "sound enhancing techniques" (im guessing you mean the various tools that were avaliable then vs what is avaliable now) used in the 90's was stuff like the eventide and TC electronic signal processors, that still to this day cannot be matched. The h3000 for example, that still goes for about 2500 euro, used. The newer h9000 version costs about 7000 euro.

And in the pop-world (which is the epitomy of modern music) engineers still use hardware from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.


Sound cards have absolutely nothing to do with the progress of making music in software. You could technically make music with your eyes alone, without a sound card even plugged in. Sure, a better soundcard may mean you get to hear more details - thus making better decisions - but listening to some old hallucinogen stuff for example - that argument goes out the window. Even captain hook which is ultra modern (and considered fairly popular) sounds plastic fantastic. 192khz/24bit doesnt make it sound better.

People certainly don't use "the same presets and filters" whatever that even means. .

All the "sound tricks" (?) that's avaliable now, were avaliable then, and sounded better then. They had ad/da converters, transformers etc, to add to the sound signature. Something software users have to add to the signal path now, using creativity. So still playing catchup.

The one thing you're right about is that music is louder now. And sterally clean. 


So in short, there has only been negative progress generally speaking, except for loudness and the sterile modern sound of ultra cleanliness. Which certainly only makes the music lose soul and doesnt make it better. Does a surgically clean mix with a loudness of -6 lufs sound better than an organic mix with -10 lufs ? That is ofc subjective.


My whole point is that music production / music engineering has not become better in 30 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would argue that what has gotten better, is the plugins, and the computers that they run on. Which makes for greater sound fidelity within the DAW's. I'm not saying it's better or worse than the analog and virtual analog counterparts, but the increase in quality in that domain is noticeable. As it's part of the evolution of the computers. In the same way that people who work with 3D-rendering can achieve phenomenal results faster nowadays, there is a lot more CPU/Ram power available today to get very clean sounds from within your DAW.

It's a bit like if you compare Toy Story 1 to the CGI movies of today. It's on another level today, all thanks to more efficient computers and evolved software. Of course better CGI or better plugins doesn't necessary equal to better movies or music all the time. :D But the improved tools are there atleast.

And music production is much more accessible today, and thanks to tutorials on youtube, the accumulated knowledge is far more widespread, it used to be a selected few studio wizards who possesed the know-how. The advent of stronger laptops has also taken the music production out of the mystical studio environent, and enabled people to work with music wherever they are, so people might be more skilled today perhaps in some aspects, certainly I suspect when it comes to micro-adjustments/finetuning songs and having total control over every parameter. That type of detailed work is much more difficult with hardware synthesizers/mixing desks. As the workflow has been streamlined within the computer.

Another aspect which I surely think has evolved, is the loudspeakers/studio monitors. And I would assume that the audio devices people use at home to listen to music has developed somewhat as well, since most people listen to music on essentially different forms of computers (smart-TV's, smartphones etc). So the computational power increase has benefitted the listener as well. As there are some very nice sound algoritms employed to enhance the listening experience on different platforms/devices. For example I would argue that a PS4 or Xbox One Console is a far more advanced audio player, than what I had available in 1996. Heck even my smartphone is more advanced, as it can access a huge library of music, and there are lots of professional headphone options to chose from, even studio headphones. I had a portable CD player perhaps, and a PS1 which could play regular CD. Then some crappy HIFI stereo or something with a CD-player. And probably some very basic headphones. I mean there was high-end stuff as well of course for the dedicated audiophile. But yeah nowadays CPU power is on another level, providing all sorts of enriched experiences. 

After all there is a good reason why old music and movies get remastered. They simply don't sound as good on modern systems as they used to sound on their contemporary systems. Or they simply sound like rubbish sometimes by todays standards. :) A good example is if you go and watch some 80's movie in the cinema today, even although they are remastered, they often lack the clarity of todays best examples. And that is related to this since it's also about the evolution of the music production/sound engineering. Some will argue that a few selected albums have stood the test of time better than others, and that can be true as well. However I wouldn't be surprised if even the Hallucinogen - Twisted album gets remastered in the future, so that we can hear even more details in the already super-detailed sonic textures.

@AP regarding the effects processors, like Eventide, I agree they still kick ass, and at the same time todays effect plugins can do things I never thought would be possible within a DAW/computer 20 years ago. It's just amazing to even think about. That I think is the key to the evolution of the electronic music sound of today, the fact that a small computer can be so many things simulanously. The computer acts as an advanced multi-channel multi-FX unit, while at the same time working as a synthesizer/drum machine/sampler rig, on top of that a virtual mixing desk with total recall. And also a mastering enviroment, provided that you have the needed equipment/listening/room treatment/knowledge.

 :) So I hope to be alive in 20 more years, to see and hear how the technology has developed by then. The trajectory sure looks promising.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, astralprojection said:

My whole point is that music production / music engineering has not become better in 30 years.

It does not necessarily need to have become better. Only different.

You could read my post also in the direction that it has not improved, but worsened.

Even though I'd percieve it not as worse when a computer now can do stuff that you needed more equipment for years ago...

Thinking that a simple Cubase setup could replace one of those "Eventide" that you mentioned was - and probably will always be - impossible. Yet the former is the most used setup when it comes to producing psytrance nowadays. Does that reflect in the sound? Most definitely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, software has gotten exponentially better over the past decade or so. I wish they wouldnt make software synths so "clean" though; they should also emulate a converter and an output stage, inside the plugin.* Some synths sound bigger and bolder, than others - but just using those clean synths, with surgical linear phase eqs, working at the highest resolution possible - usually leaves the music sounding either soulless - or has that software "plastic" quality to it. Even in 2020. Ofc that can be remedied as discussed in that other HW vs SW thread. There are certainly ways of emulating pretty much ANY signal path you should desire; albeit pretty difficult sometimes.

I think of those old hardware units as cheat-codes; kinda. In that it may be an EQ, but it also has passive compression, distortion, filtering, noise- "mojo". And presumably it is also why they cost a small fortune to own one. Anyway, I hope I got my point across and my apologies for sounding negative, @RTPbut this is serious stuff for me ^^ 


*then again there are many digital synths that doesnt use a converter or output stage, like a Virus; that still sounds beefier than any SW synth I can think of. So there is likely still even more to it than just the signal path. Still some ways to go, for software synths to beat one of those, I think. 


14 hours ago, AstralSphinx said:


Another aspect which I surely think has evolved, is the loudspeakers/studio monitors.

in what way would you say they have evolved? I think they probably have too - in that they can both be very accurate while also pleasant at the same time - something I suppose was much rarer back in the days. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@astralprojection nah, I think your comment was valuable ... broadened my view. It in fact probably has been better in some cases with "old" equipment.
I'm drawing parallels to analog vs. digital / vinyl vs. CD in my head... --> How come that a vinyl, with an ever-so-slight crackle (and therefore actually "worse quality"), is more preferrable to my ears than a completely cracke-less CD or wave file?

And you have a point there with the "clean" sound. It may be too clean or "sterile". When it's too clean, it loses "human qualities", it loses its character to some extent.

The question that remains, is: would somebody who has "grown up" in that modern sound environment, find the old sound "outdated"?
So far we only have one answer and it rings true...

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, astralprojection said:

in what why would you say they have evolved? I think they probably have too - in that they can both be very accurate while also pleasant at the same time - something I suppose was much rarer back in the days. 

I would hope that they have :D or else it's just marketing gimmicks, when the loudspeaker companies, promote their latest designs as having a better frequency response and what not. Would be interesting with some input from someone who has used for example genelecs in the 90s and today. The form factor of the actual speakers themselves is very different atleast. :)

And this type of technology I'm guessing wasn't a thing perhaps for home studios?


And I remember it beeing a very big thing when all the Israeli artists started using the Dynaudio monitors, which I surely would guess had something to do with the quality of their mixes? Infected Mushroom etc.


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...