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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 06:12:58 AM

Title: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 06:12:58 AM
Stephan Schmitt founder of NI has step down as CEO and is now spearheading  http://nonlinear-labs.de/org/about.html (http://nonlinear-labs.de/org/about.html)

Heres his 1st prototype idea....

(http://nonlinear-labs.de/blog/prototypes/images/prototype_2_1000.jpg)

Perhaps the future of soft synths is hardware?
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 12:22:57 PM
This text is taken from the website......a gigantic looper, I dont thinks so.  But who cant tell at this stage.

Technology

The musical instruments we are developing embody a number of fundamental concepts which are important to us: performance-centered technology, product development focused on longevity and evolutionary development, an open source approach, and sustainable production methods.

Standalone systems. Our instruments are fully self-contained — no external computers. We rely on ARM microcontrollers for the highest level of real-time performance, reliability and flexibility. Separate synthesis engines tap the vast audio processing power of embedded PCs. Optionally, software GUIs can be added by connecting Android mobile devices.

Full control. We have developed the TCD musical control protocol which overcomes many limitations of MIDI. TCD stands for "Time, Curve, Destination" and implements a high-resolution control over all aspects of a dynamic and expressive live musical performance. Read more about our TCD concept here.

Software-based digital sound synthesis. We are not interested in resurrecting the past by modeling analog machines of yesteryear. We are inspired by the virtually limitless sonic palette offered by digital sound synthesis. "Software-based" means that our durable instruments can evolve without falling into obsolescence. More about Phase 22, our first synthesis engine.

Top-quality hardware. Our musical instruments are built to last. They are not consumables to be thrown out and replaced every few years. We use the best components available to provide musicians with durable instruments.

Open source. Over the past few decades, the dynamics of open source has created many solid and mature technologies and has empowered people around the world. It is an invitation to sharing and community, fitting in well with how most musicians think. For Nonlinear Labs, it also means that our ideas can be used in other areas of music performance and production. Whenever possible, we will make our technologies freely available to these ends.

Local production. Our prototyping and production is 100% "Made in Berlin". Working locally means faster development cycles and better communication with manufacturing partners, resulting in higher quality. And by keeping travel and shipping to a minimum, we reduce our carbon footprint and can ensure that social working standards are met./i]
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: petekelly on December 07, 2013, 12:46:36 PM
Very interesting, big respect for the feller who started NI / developed Reaktor - still one of the most interesting synth environments that I've come across. If only they'd got some guys in to develop some less glitchy / 'aphex-esque' presets to show what else some of those ensembles could really do.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 03:18:24 PM
well let me guess, another super flexible product with terrible sound quality...
usually that is the way... it is not often both worlds meet together.

I cant fathom how you have an opinion about this metal frame and keyboard when it hardly makes a sound and one that you have not heard, unless you mean that NI soft synths have a terrible sound quality and this man has something to do with the creation of that company so......???  Did you actually read the quote or go to website.  It is the "idea" of something that is one of the most powerful forces on this planet. Its usually simple in essence and can often be extraordinary in completion.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Ekstasis on December 07, 2013, 06:21:51 PM
well let me guess, another super flexible product with terrible sound quality...
usually that is the way... it is not often both worlds meet together.

I cant fathom how you have an opinion about this metal frame and keyboard when it hardly makes a sound and one that you have not heard, unless you mean that NI soft synths have a terrible sound quality and this man has something to do with the creation of that company so......???  Did you actually read the quote or go to website.  It is the "idea" of something that is one of the most powerful forces on this planet. Its usually simple in essence and can often be extraordinary in completion.

I look it into a more historic context.. how much synths does really sound good ? and is anything special ?
Most digital synths sounds the same average sound...  If it is analogue digital hybrid I would very happy...
Yes please to Analogue OSCs and Filters.  If not it will probably sound just like any other synth out there.
But we will see..the odds are still low...I have seen so many new synths hyped over the years..same hype.. usually always amazing in all ways, good to use and perform with but always lack the good sound. Luckily you can get even a crap sounding synth to sound good with an extensive effect chain that is basically my approach.  If I had a bigger budget to spend on synths I would probably had preferred to use more analogue or hardware synths.


Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 06:35:07 PM
The new Prophet 12 seemed amazing but it sounded like a average soft synth...
Or the Solaris synth. So much focus on everything else besides the pure sound. 

Immersion.....In one sense Im happy you are so vocal....and I do respect your opinion but you are mistaken.....its ok, you dont have the perspective which is something middle age men like myself  have earned through experience. You have youth that should have hope and a less jaded viewpoint..... ;)

You do know your pursuit for what is pure will only lead to silence...I hope thats what you are looking for.

No offense ment....just tired of having imho potentially good threads trashed.

Love & Peace

 
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 07:04:57 PM
I have Matrix 12 in my studio.....its days are numbered.  What then?  Perhaps Stephan Schmitts new synth will be just what is need.  Can something replace...perhaps.  Will synthesis progress in some shape or form in hardware after electrically feed oscillators. Yes!

Again I welcome a debate....with a positive look into the future.....my thread, my rules.  ;)



Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 07:39:14 PM
Well, if you dont believe in the the future of software.....ok.  Oberhiem 4 voice...not new and not so forward looking though truly beautiful.....just an amazing awe inspiriting re creation with much improved midi etc.. Amazing to have it available today.....one foot in the past, one foot in the future.

By the way this is not a conversation.......

And you have spent 4-5k on and Eventide external FX box to run soft synths through......Ok,  time to take my blood pressure medication. Your notion of planning for the future has my nervous. My bad you actually have no vision for the future.  ;)



Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 07, 2013, 09:41:32 PM
Im done....might be time to take a little hiatus from the forum.  This is going no where and all this is sucking my energy as long as this "format" persists.

All the power to you Immersion!
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: petekelly on December 08, 2013, 04:13:05 AM
Julio,
Thanks for posting this and your other postings on technical stuff, don't feel the need to take a hiatus. Personally I'm far more interested in the thoughts of someone who has released (some great !) ambient music, than someone who merely has a set of intransigent opinions and no examples of their music output.

I'm also tiring of thread hi-jacking too and posts about what my favourite food processor is...

Opinions are no substitute for experience.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: El culto on December 08, 2013, 05:09:34 AM
Quote from: Immersion
This is the reality.

Amen!
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: petekelly on December 08, 2013, 05:27:12 AM
'Immersion'
It's not a question of overt positivity here on this forum - there are other places which are much more like that, it's more sometimes there's no point in being negative just for the sake of it, just keep it to yourself. I have to 'bite my tongue' at times, as I am a far from positive person myself.

Of course, everyone is entitled to post whatever they want, irregardless. But on the subject of technical stuff, I'm of the mind that listening to other people's experiences can be a useful thing. It's great that you're very enthused about these things though.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 08, 2013, 07:59:58 AM
Thanks for the words Pete......not going anywhere, just needed some air.

Immersion.....its wonderful that you are able to express your emotions openly here on this forum and I respect that I just want us to be able to focus on the topic at hand.....

So on that note the Nonlinear lab prototype looks to me like it might have the format of the old Roland Alpha Juno which was actually the first analog synth I owned.  All the editing had to be dialed in with that big "alpha dial" on the left and viewed in that tiny screen.  The Nonlinear synth seems to have 2 large dials and a plethora of buttons.  Speculation of course but maybe what actually was a bad design by Roland  could be a good one for a software base hardware synth.  Most musicians today are comfortable with the external Akai like push button controllers so entering data and edits via a large selection of buttons might makes sense. 

(http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/images/roland_alpha_juno1_lg.jpg)
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: APK on December 08, 2013, 10:11:40 AM
Immersion said "moog is the only synth that sounds good without sound processing"

That's crazy. ::)

I don't think there is a way a synth should sound, and there are no sounds that are better than others. It is a matter of choosing sound sources that appeal to you and that you feel like working with. You might want to just bang old tin cans with a stick and mic the result, you might prefer using analog synths, you might really like romplers with a very rich (or very thin and grainy) sample set, or you might prefer a particular type of digital synth, like additive. Whatever. What sounds "good" is not a thing set in stone by Moog, it is whatever one prefers to hear and to work with, to sculpt. It is what excites you. What is beautiful to you.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) on December 08, 2013, 10:12:40 AM
This totally reminds me of gearslutz now. A product is not out yet, has no published specs and no one has heard it...but it must suck! Ha ha really?!?

Synths are such a personal thing there is NO way to really label one good or bad. The minute I say oh that synth sucks or I hate soft synths or ipad synths or what ever, I usually have to eat my words because I will end up at a music festival or hear an album done with one of the offenders and it will blow me away.

Synths are instruments and their success or failure is in the musician. Now one may not resonate with you, but thats ok. Does not mean it sucks.

Can you tell a guitarist that a strat is better than a tele is better than a les paul??? No. Is Fender better than Gibson or PSR or Rickenbacker??? No its all preference based on sound, feel, brand loyalty and more.

Every time I have bought a synth based on what I hear others doing with it, I am usually disappointed...that is unless and/or until I take the time to dig into it and make it my own.

As to synth manufactures, a huge factor for them comes down to one thing most of the time and thats "who will buy this, and how many will I sell?" Its that simple.

So its awesome in these rare times when someone says, "hey I'll try something new!" maybe it will succeed, maybe it will never get off the prototype stage or maybe the technology gets absorbed into a future model, but its still cool.

I can't wait to see what this one turns into as the guy has a great track record.



Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 09, 2013, 07:30:53 AM
Immersion...who are you actually talking to because it sounds like its yourself.  Your diatribe has nothing to do with with any of the musicians here who are very critical about the sound quality of the synths, software or hardware, that they use to create music with.   Statements like "for me the Xpander was totally useless without processing".....good thing you put "for me" beforehand.  Can I assume you are talking about ambient music or just generally.  The Xpander/M12 does sound really good through a "lost in space" FX but this sort of processing is something found in our genre of perhaps soundtrack work. What about all the other music where an Xpander has been used and often with minimal processing because that was what the music may have needed. And tell me please who uses a synth totally dry.

In all of your comments you are have left out the most important thing.....how does it sound in the mix, because that is what people will ultimately hear.  If you are going to be scientific about it then be so.  Dazzle us with findings.

As this is a thread about the future of synthesis so to speak, what do think.....where will it go.....what form will it take?

Your thoughts are welcome!
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: ffcal on December 09, 2013, 11:19:00 AM
Immersion said to Paul:  "I find this quest for mediocrity fascinating by the way, you must really like to swim in these waters... "

As you would say, Immersion, this sort of personal attack is "crap" and doesn't belong in this forum.  I've learned from my practice as a lawyer that people only resort to ad hominem attacks when they can't hold up the substantive end of their argument.

Julio, what I've love to see is in the future is more of an integration of treatment of real-time acoustic sound sources (not just loops) with synthesizers within the same box.  I guess Live does some of this, but I'd like to see some hardware synths take this on.

Forrest
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: mgriffin on December 09, 2013, 11:38:29 AM
Normally I keep this kind of thing behind the scenes, but in this case I'd like to make known that Immersion has been warned about personal put-downs on the forum. I mention this openly so there's no question this kind of thing will not be tolerated.

Everyone is welcome to disagree with the ideas of others. What is not acceptable is condescension or rudeness, or especially personal put-downs.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 09, 2013, 01:00:03 PM
Julio, what I've love to see is in the future is more of an integration of treatment of real-time acoustic sound sources (not just loops) with synthesizers within the same box.  I guess Live does some of this, but I'd like to see some hardware synths take this on.

Forrest

I agree.....didnt the Korg Oasys system try and succeed from what Ive read to actually create acoustic instruments, not samples.  The Oasys Keyboard is discontinued but the technology still exists. 

Within software an oscillator could be anything and software is the future.  The Hartmann Neuron was a fantastic step forward and that technology it still around.  It made me laugh when people would complain that when you turned the Neuron on you could hear the computer boot up and disc drive spin.....nothings perfect.

I think its exciting times now and looks likely in the future.....modular synthesis is just going bonkers with new companies popping up all the time.  Synths like John Bowen's Solaris are selling out every production run.

In the very near future people wont care if a filter is modeled after a Moog or an Oberhiem or an ARP, and actually I dont think people really do today.  The Alesis Andromeda has just such physical modeling and the real programmers / players just got on and dug deep into the instrument to discover its unique character that has little to do with Moog's or Obie's.  How many times have I read that the A6 sounds just like...well you kind of missed the boat if thats all thats worth commenting on the Andromeda.

So its awesome in these rare times when someone says, "hey I'll try something new!" maybe it will succeed, maybe it will never get off the prototype stage or maybe the technology gets absorbed into a future model, but its still cool.

I can't wait to see what this one turns into as the guy has a great track record.


Exactly....and attempting to make an effort to be sustainable.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: ffcal on December 09, 2013, 02:14:54 PM
Julio, physical modelling is cool, but I was thinking of something more basic--using the features of the new box to alter and mangle an acoustic instrument's signal, much like an effects device does, but with much deeper integration within the box's own architecture and processing capabilities.  Something like this can be done in Audiomulch, but it takes a lot processing and memory that might cause things to lock up.  Many years ago, I remember hearing what I thought was a synthesizer turn out to be an electric guitar processed through an ARP or a Moog.  Within the digital realm, I could see the processing possibilities being potentially greater (things like spectral processing).  It's fun to speculate.

Forrest
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 09, 2013, 02:36:47 PM
Ok, I see what you mean Forrest.  That would be exciting.  It seems most hardware synth allow you to process external audio but only run it through the FX and or filters. I could see some deeper integration as you suggest, not just pass the signal but the signal become part of the synth as a building block or as an oscillator, almost more organic if that possible.  Ive looked for such a thing but I dont think it exist....yet.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: petekelly on December 09, 2013, 03:06:28 PM
Following the original link, I saw the 'phase 22' engine under 'technology', which has evolved from Spark. I've found Spark to be a real odd one, like a lot of NI stuff, I don't think the presets are that interesting, but I'm sure it is.
I feel the need to delve into it some more, I think my lack of understanding of the architecture of the synth is a factor here :)
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Altus on December 09, 2013, 05:10:09 PM
Am I misunderstanding you? You would prefer that the output of a synth be pre-processed?

I'd want any synth (digital or otherwise) to be as clean as possible, without any colouring or processing. That's the whole point of outboard effects: to shape the sound exactly how the musician wants it. If the output of the synth is already processed, you lose a lot of flexibility.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: El culto on December 09, 2013, 06:32:59 PM
Quote from: Immersion
I am just against this hyping and this total "facination" of medicore sound, I use alchemy mostly for ambient, does it sound good ? no it sound total shit, but with my processing I have no problem to make it shine and sound good.

OK, lets make a practical test instead of talking too much  :)

During the next days I will upload for you a 1 minute track on my server. I will try my best to make it sound like total shit….please download the file, process it with all your gear and make it shiny and good sounding as you mentioned. After that, please upload it on a file sharing site so anyone can download and hear the result.

I´m sure you won´t have any problems to do that!

I will provide you the file (link) soon - please be a bit patient as I have to prepare it first!
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 10, 2013, 06:52:36 AM
So Far Immersion if I can sum up for you regarding the possible future of synthesis......classic vintage gear other than Moog sounds bad.  Current analog synths like the Prophet 12 sounds like bad soft synths and soft synths in general also sound bad except the one or two you use though they don't  really sound that good either according to you.  So actually the future is in processing.  The source is of no importance because its the processing that will make these dead synths come alive.  This is what I have come away with so far from your comments.

If you feel there is no future say so.....then say why you think so.....oh, you have already done that then why not offer some possible direction you hope it might go.


Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: petekelly on December 10, 2013, 09:18:18 AM
Somewhat off topic, but I hope this synth's presets doesn't come liberally lavished with delays. Almost every (soft) synth I've tried has these ruddy things ! No need to ice the cake, so to speak ?

I hope it has some 'interesting harmonics' too :) (sarcasm off...)
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: mgriffin on December 10, 2013, 10:15:50 AM
Any synth you can name that "sounds bad," a talented person can use to create something that sounds beautiful and amazing. This is true of ancient modulars, early analog mono synths, digital synths, samplers, ROMplers, soft synths or anything else.

Much of Eno's important work was made with pretty much nothing but a DX7 and a few basic effects.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 10, 2013, 10:26:44 AM
Thank you Immersion...this is what I was hoping for as a contribution to this thread.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: mgriffin on December 10, 2013, 04:37:51 PM
Agreed, and I don't mean to say all synths are equal, or that a Casio CZ101 is just as good as an Andromeda or a Moog or a Matrix 12 or any of the "greats." I tend to think of all synths as having their own strengths. For some synths, like a CZ101 or my Roland SH101 (hey, my first two synths both had the number "101"...) one of the strengths is that they're straightforward and easy to learn, so maybe their value is more as learning tools which are limited in terms of practical usage.

Over the years I've seen so many people say "Oh, everybody knows FM synths like the DX7 are hard to program and boring sounding," or "Everybody knows Rom based synths like D50 and M1 sound good, but they're shallow and predictable." I think it's very easy to dismiss a synth this way, and also end up dismissing or ignoring the very great work some people are able to create with synths like these.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Scott M2 on December 10, 2013, 05:01:32 PM
I'm very fond of many Roland digital synths - especially the JD-990, though I certainly use its internal effects. Access to both good analog and digital intruments is the very best IMO - and, of course, ones that you feel a special relationship with.
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: El culto on December 10, 2013, 05:38:02 PM
I'm very fond of many Roland digital synths - especially the JD-990, though I certainly use its internal effects. Access to both good analog and digital intruments is the very best IMO - and, of course, ones that you feel a special relationship with.

+1

Really like the D50
Title: Re: Founder of Native Instruments New Hardware Synth
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on December 14, 2013, 05:39:33 AM
Agreed, and I don't mean to say all synths are equal, or that a Casio CZ101 is just as good as an Andromeda or a Moog or a Matrix 12 or any of the "greats." I tend to think of all synths as having their own strengths. For some synths, like a CZ101 or my Roland SH101 (hey, my first two synths both had the number "101"...) one of the strengths is that they're straightforward and easy to learn, so maybe their value is more as learning tools which are limited in terms of practical usage.


This is very true Mike.....the learning is crucial and limited is good.  Without a decent amount of practical electronic synthesis knowledge one would have a hard time getting the most out of an Andromeda or M12.  They are very deep instruments and thus are a constant source of sonic surprises to the seasoned electronic musician. Im a much more knowledgeable programmer after spend time using a modular synth. 

I think a few different "limited" synths in one studio is just as good as using the some of the "greats" because as you suggest one becomes a master.