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Messages - Ekstasis

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1
Thoughts on the current conversation....

That Waldorf Quantum did not impress at all....The hybrid oscillators seemed really full of possibilities but I did not hear it.

Moog synths do sound very good clean, however I have been pushing my minimoog voyager through some blackholes  8) 

I had a Hartmann Neuron software synth with the Nuke controller back in 2006....an instrument way ahead of its time. To this day there is nothing like it, though Hartmann has a new boutique synth, can't remember its name, that has the Neuron sound engine in it, but I can remember this new synth cost $20,000 ::)...so much for synthesis for the people.

I do agree with you, This is simply Alex Hartmanns creation only, it has new hardware design, but no new sound design, it is basically a blofield in a new shell.
They could at least have added more voices...  Otherwise from a design stand point it is rather impressive I like the one knob per function , and also the touch display.. seem really good.. but damn... update the sound engine do not release the same stuff once again.

Yes the Neuron concept is really interesting.  What I like the best of it is that you can create those metallic/industrial sounds, and the 5.1 spatial effects in conjuction makes it a very powerful ambient synth...

Hans zimmer talk about it here



Axel talks in this video how he want to do a second neuron with the same concept
but make it what it should had been from the beginning.



I will have to investigate what synth you are talking about, but 20k sounds totally insane..
do you mean this one ? atleast it is 20k price but I see nothing that mention about neuron..



2
[...] What make a synth great is how they response to effects. [...]

What makes a synth great is the player sitting in front of it.

Stephen

Would you care to elaborate on that one since it could mean many things in this context/discussion ?
Your response was taken out of the "effects" context in the discussion.[...]

If you don't know how to program interesting patches into a synth and how to play them (or use them in a musically and esthetically meaningful way), adding a ton of Lexicon reverb gravy will not help.

Of course, reverbs and delays are the air the synth needs in order to breathe. But, again, when the playing is sloppy or the programming is poor, the greatest reverb will only blur sloppy playing and poor programming.

Stephen

Well I am talking more about the pure sound of the synth not the person who sit behind it and not the artistic performance or abilities, I am talking about when you just put one note down and let it sustain.. my point is, you cant creat something from nothing, even when adding high quality effects, a bad synth will not have enough complex harmonics going on, effects only amplifies  the harmonics and make it sound even better, but a lot of soft synths or other digital synths sounds dead, you cant create something for nothing, so if the source synth sound is not good, you need to add it later in the chain..to create the harmonics that does not exist from the source synth.   Analogue synths  include a lot of complex harmonics in the sound so it respond extra good to effects/reverb, since the harmonics will be even more hearable after sound processing.

People who do not use analogue synths have to use the other method, to mask the bad source sound from the synth with good sound processing and reverb.
This is the method most people use, since people do not use software synths (there is a lot of exceptions to the rule there are good sounding softsynths ) cause they sound good, they use them because of they are cheap and because of work flow.
I do not think it is any right or wrong to either method, it is the final result that matter, but I strongly think some synths respond better to effects then others, waldorf is one of the best examples, where the thin sound almost get an advantage in the mixing process, gives you more freedom, while it is thin there is a lot of interesting super detailed harmonics that respond very good to lets say a lexicon reverb.

Personally I have most of the time not access to expensive synths, so I use crappy sounding software synths most of the time, I use alchemy with good final results, it is one of the worst sounding synths, but it has good modulation possibilities that is perfect for ambient.  Then there is good VA is like DIVA or Lush101 that my CPU can barely handle.. (I think it will be time to upgrade computer soon ryzen vs intel war now accelerate the pc market a lot now ).
I did own the Oberheim Xpander for like 6 months though...

3

I have a Waldorf Micro Q ... its the only synth I have that I don't like. Or use.
I should just throw it away.  :(

You can throw it over to me if you like ;D

Me too.
Waldorf have unique sounding filter that sound like no other synth.
You hear it right away it is a waldorf synth. It is not a sound for every one though.

Axel Hartman have designed all Waldorf synths, also the Andromeda A6 and more.

He also made this synth http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/neuron.php
Have any one tried it ? I have been looking at sound samples on youtube and for what I do it would be perfect for me.
But I know I will never get my hands on one, plus if I do it will be around 3-4k.


4
[...] What make a synth great is how they response to effects. [...]

What makes a synth great is the player sitting in front of it.

Stephen

Would you care to elaborate on that one since it could mean many things in this context/discussion ?
Your response was taken out of the "effects" context in the discussion.

Synths are made to be used in conjunction with effects and has been always besides the moog..which is one of the few examples.
And how they respond to lets say a lexicon reverb will always be different. Of course in theory you could always make anything sound like anything within the realm of sound processing in theory it is all possible, so yes the human factor in this case "the player" of the synth can make any synth sound great (especially when using high end effects)



5
I do think a synth ought to sound good in itself, not be reliant on external effects to be appealing.
Almost any sound can be cool if fed through good effects ... look what the NI synth Form can do with a simple bell !!

I have a Waldorf Micro Q ... its the only synth I have that I don't like. Or use.
I should just throw it away.  :(

The only synth that sounds good without effects are the moog.

All other synth sounds like crap and thin.
What make a synth great is how they response to effects.
I see effects as an magnifying glass and it this is also usually why analog synths respond best to effects.
All details and harmonic details gets magnified thru the effect chain.

After some time you learn what a good synth source sounds like, when I hear the Waldorf sound, I can hear it sound when thin, if you magnify the sound and zoom  you will see all interesting harmonic content,  the effect will magnify the harmonic content. Typically digital synths or software synths does not respond good to the "magnifying" cause it lacks harmonic content it just simply dead sounding. It is most like how the process of compression works you can use it to magnify all details and harmonics  effects to the same and also add width  fatness and 3d sound. Waldorf is probably one of the best examples and best synths that respond well to effects. So while there is some truth in what you say all synt can sound good thru external  high end effects even a simple sine wave  there will still be big differences in many cases depending how much harmonic content that exist in the sound.

It is a good thing that a synth does not sound fat and  complete and without need of effects  cause it give you more freedom to manipulate the sound according to your artistic sound and make it your own. If I want to make it sound fat I know what to do.

More over personally I think internal effects on synths should be forbidden cause they most of the time does not make the synth justice and is rally only with high end external effects it makes the synth justice.  Internal effects destroys the potential in an synth and gives the listener a false perception of its sonic possibilities.

I would never use internal effects  there is a few exceptions where the internal effects actually help to create the unique sound, one such example is the Andromeda A6.

Otherwise the worst examples where internal effects ruin the sonic possibilities are analog synths with digital internal effects the best example is the Swedish synth from elektron.
Horrible software sounding cheap  effects.




6
Don't know too much about this one yet, but the look of it gives me a craving. ;)

https://ask.audio/articles/waldorf-quantum-is-an-8voice-hybrid-poly-synth

Yeah I saw a video of it some hours ago.  It looks cool.. .sure it sounds thin and like crap without the effects but... waldorf have a very special sound...
What they really need though for a synth of that size and price, is more voices..  My only experience with Waldorf so far is the their Largo VST plugin.
With that you did have to rely a lot on unison voices to make it sound big and fat... without that it is one of the most thin sounding synths, but it is done with intention, it have that "clinical and surgical" sound

Agree... I was just listening to the demo video and though I liked some of the sounds, it did lean to the thin side of things. I do like digital sounds but most of these were not falling into my ballpark. Love the interface though!

Well it sounds thin because no effects where used.. It sounds thin but once you add  effects it really good sounding synth. Then the sharp  thin sound is done with intention.

7
My biggest problem with software is iLok/similar forms of DRM, especially if a plugin requires the dongle. I know a lot of plugins don't require it but for the ones that do, it's really inconvenient. Some of the Eventide plugins that only require an internet connection aren't nearly as bad, but that's not ideal either.

Yes I dis iilok as well I would not use such crap. They should  not punish people who want to buy.  Also  when the plug in have been cracked  you should not need to use iilok anymore .

8
Don't know too much about this one yet, but the look of it gives me a craving. ;)

https://ask.audio/articles/waldorf-quantum-is-an-8voice-hybrid-poly-synth

Yeah I saw a video of it some hours ago.  It looks cool.. .sure it sounds thin and like crap without the effects but... waldorf have a very special sound...
What they really need though for a synth of that size and price, is more voices..  My only experience with Waldorf so far is the their Largo VST plugin.
With that you did have to rely a lot on unison voices to make it sound big and fat... without that it is one of the most thin sounding synths, but it is done with intention, it have that "clinical and surgical" sound

9

Yeah I saw there was a new version out.  Well..you definitely do not buy it for the looks, it looks kind of plastic, but as you said.. the internals are really great and compare to real expensive high end stuff, it is a hidden gem for people on a tight budget who do not want to compromise.

How is your antelope unit working ?
was it a good buy ?

I don't mind the way it looks, I just like the slanted desktop form factor better. I don't actually own an Antelope box, but I have reviewed most of them and currently have the Goliath on loan for review...I can't talk about it yet until I finish the review other than to say its impressive what they have put in that box...monitor control, preamps with direct controls. Its a beast!

As for my own personal conversion I use an Apogee Symphony I/O MKII at my studio, the latest UA Apollo Twin MKII at my day job, and the Callia at home.

Back to the Drawmer it is a hidden gem, there is nothing in its price range that has its sound and features.

Now there is a HD version
https://youtu.be/zm502VJ3j1E

10
This is great. I probably would have EQ'd some spots a little bit more (I'm funny about midrange and the 250hz-400hz range) than you did but that might be more personal preferences than anything else and that's me being nitpicky.

I'd love to hear more of your older music. You should do a compilation featuring the rest of your older tracks to build some buzz before recording and releasing your next album. I think you could do really well on Bandcamp with your style.

Well I might add some older stuff but need to remix first to get up to standards.
EQing is probably not perfect on this track, I recorded this track before I got PRO speakers,  but I used PRO headphones (DT 880 with GO vibe hedaphone amp). I will leave it as it is, it is imperfect, I could had remastered it to make it sound little better since I have learned a few tricks since then.

What I wish though Is however I could share with you all music I never recorded in my live real time sessions.
Most of the time I would just improvise with synths in real time, but I not record it..

Anyway now I have put out myself there, now people know I exist as artist, I will try to be little bit more serious now and forfill my dream to release more serious albums which I put more time effort and thought and energy into.
It is easy to become lazy, but besides finding inspiration this is still a lot of "real work" creating music not only fun, the real fun and reward you get usually afterwards,  for me it has been easy to be lazy, and say I will do it in the weekend  or tomorrow or whatever, I do that with most my things, " I will do it later" I will do it "tomorrow"  I tend to live too much in the moment and just do what pleases me for the moment.

Another reason is I did loose interest in ambient music more and more after 2010,  I was most into ambient music year 2005-2009. One of the main reasons was I did find that the ambient scene was not very inspiring not many good albums.

But Atleast I have a goal now, the oberheim OB-6, I think this will be a very inspiring thing for me, it will give me the extra spark for sure.

11
This is really cool; I enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks a lot dude. Glad you like it.

12
Hahaha ... yep gear is gear.
Hardware or software. Most hardware is just software on a chip in a shiny box with knobs, much
as a computer is when you have a midi controller with it.

Wouldn't have been a bad idea to have two threads though, one just for hardware, another for software.

Yes you are right in theory they can sound the same, if the software also will emulate all the chips and its functions like AD/DA design ,  interpolation  filter and all that in chip design level. 

High end companies put more resources into hardware boxes and units then software that also explain why usually they sound the best.
Even though in theory software can sound the same, but  in the software world there is performance limitations forcing software companies making shortcuts.
Even though x86/x64 is superior for what it does specific audio chips that are only made for that purpose does it good, a unit can exist of many many chips..to guarantee no compromise or shortcuts has to be made.

I agree software is good, even though they have to take shortcuts on a technical level it is not even a guarantee you will notice it..
Also if all companies did change resources and only put out software products, there would be a lot better flavors to choose from in audio..
In many cases hardware boxes are used as a way to protect intellectual property, Lexicon did it for a very long time..
Lexicon is probably the best example that of audio that sound good on software without compromise..But does Lexicon sound the same as PCM 91 or some of their other legendary units, the answer is no, they did not emulate the AD/DA,  the ultimate would had been to emulate this so you can choose their algorithms but also the AD/DA from respective unit which color the final output sound heavily.  Emulating AD/DA have proven to use a lot of cpu power if you really want to do it for real on the hardware level wit schematics  softube style etc.

So besides the debate about theory that software and digitally product in theory can sound identical with software in reality though there is still reasons to choose hardware boxes, companies put out the most high end products in this form factor, it will give you wider palette of flavors and sound quality.  The hardware boxes can many times get that extra magic which is hard to reproduce in software environment with different AD/DA.

So while I can agree on the macho attitudes you read how silly these glorified hardware boxes are that only are mini computers in a box in reality there is still a reason why pros rely a lot more on hardware boxes even if they are digital, there is still many benefits.

But in the end it depends on where the companies put a lot of resources on, releasing hardware products have been a good and working method against software piracy. 

There is benefits with software and virtual gear there is also benefits using hardware boxes. Let me list some of them top of my mind

benefits using software:

It is kind of flexible, requires no physical space, usually cheaper. Using computer screen and mouse is usually a better way to create patches.

disadvantages:
It require processing power from your computer that might already be on your knees,  even when using midi control it may be or might not be the optimal way to control it compare to the hardware version. While cheaper in price software have no real second hand value it means if you once take the plunge to buy this product, you are unable to get any money back if you sell it.  Computer bugs, and incompatibility with future OS updates, there is no guarantee the software will updated to fix bugs.  Software can give you audio drop outs, especially when you use low latency timings, which is needed if you want to use midi. With software you are limited to 1 cpu and x number of cpu cores, while on hardware with chips you can scale it to what you need without compromise and guarantee a reliable audio drop-free signal path and low latency.  The total  software latency is based on how many plugins you use they all subtract each other and the ending number can be a lot higher then acceptable for real time composition such as playing midi keyboard or guitar.

Benifits using hardware boxes:

You save processing power.  How the music industry look, hardware boxes still offer the broadest flavors in sound both with effects and synths. There are very few effects and synths that sound good compared to hardware units.  AD/DA conversion might add essence which is hard to replicate in software.  Unlike software, hardware have no real bugs, it is designed to work at all time, no software conflicts that will crash your unit in the middle of a session. NO audio drop outs ever.  Have better second value, if you buy it second hand you can with luck sell it for the same price, you end up "renting" the unit for free for that time, using this method make it cheaper then buying software even. And it is also fun and inspiring to change and update gear from time to time, scale-able depending on needed processing power, in pc/mac word you are limited to usually one cpu and x number of cpu cores, with hardware boxes such as synths you can scale it and ad the number of chips you need without compromising. Hardware boxes have no problem with audio latency, they work in real time unlike software. Latency is always stable as a rock if any, usually not noticeable by human senses. They can look really sexy.. and be inspiring just to look at

disadvantages: requires physical space this can be both a good and bad thing, the good thing it might offer you the ability to control the unit with your hands easily.  Usually more expensive (but have second hand value unlike software)

13
I have changed the name of the thread. Feel free to discuss virtual gear as well.

14
Pete :  Reaktor 6 is all about Blocks. That is the big factory library addition.

And blocks is all about creating eurorack-like modular environments ... and all the crazy stuff that opens up. It is oriented to the experimental. But can be tamed.

Try the Quadropolis ensemble and its various snapshots. Lot of excellent sounds. You do need the clock running for that.

From the user library try downloading Antique ... its worth the $99 itself. It's a more normal sounding synth based on Monarch-style modules. I think it has a wonderful and very usable sound for electro-ambient. Has lots of excellent snapshots.

Please keep in mind software is not gear, have that discussion in another thread please, this thread is about gear, physical gear not software.

15
I did post my first Bandcamp release today. It contains an old track from 2009, which I did put most energy too and I am most happy with overall.
I decided to do this just to get the snowball rolling and get myself out there, it might motivate me to make more music, I know I m a musician I know my ability,  it is just that I waste my life on daily short term pleasures non-constructive things on a day to day basis living a destructive lifestyle, this type of ambient music have always been the polar opposite and always help med keep the right balance in life and some hope for the future, this might help me put me in right course. The album title reflects somewhat my feeling of my existence, where I feel I have lost a lot of time in life wasting it on things where got me nowhere, including my artist career,  I struggle in life with better self discipline and not just let the short term pleasures from day to day basis take up all my life.hopefully getting this started even though it is an old recording ( only shared with a few) this might  help me be more strict to dedicate more time and energy towards musical creation.

Hopefully I will record some new music in august or so when I have saved up money for some new gear again such as midi keyboard, a working AD/DA  Oberheim OB-6 module.

Listen here


https://ekstasis2.bandcamp.com/releases


Once again thanks to those people on this forum who convinced me to upload this on bandcamp,I would never had done it if you did not insist I should do it.
I see this as a prelude of what to come, lets hope this will be the spark of a new beginning.

16

Yeah I saw there was a new version out.  Well..you definitely do not buy it for the looks, it looks kind of plastic, but as you said.. the internals are really great and compare to real expensive high end stuff, it is a hidden gem for people on a tight budget who do not want to compromise.

How is your antelope unit working ?
was it a good buy ?



I don't mind the way it looks, I just like the slanted desktop form factor better. I don't actually own an Antelope box, but I have reviewed most of them and currently have the Goliath on loan for review...I can't talk about it yet until I finish the review other than to say its impressive what they have put in that box...monitor control, preamps with direct controls. Its a beast!

As for my own personal conversion I use an Apogee Symphony I/O MKII at my studio, the latest UA Apollo Twin MKII at my day job, and the Callia at home.

Back to the Drawmer it is a hidden gem, there is nothing in its price range that has its sound and features.

Lets us know when your review is done my friend.  I can imagine it is a lot to go thru both in software and hardware.. it is intended for big projects so you really need to be in that context to really get the most out of it.

Their next step is to include their extremely expensive 10m clocks into their normal products instead of the trinity clock that is used in orion and zen, eclipse.

It can be nothing in this box that justify the price more then the innovative and fine tuned technology
But the production cost..cant be high for these units..



I am little bit surprised that Drawmer  have not increased their price..

17
I have been using the Drawmer 2.1 for 2 years and have zero complaints and have compared it to $2,000+ monitor controllers and it held its own and suited my needs better. I have just upgraded to the Drawmer 3.1 as it adds a few more beneficial features, and I like the form factor better.

For home listening I decided to splurge and am in the process of buying a Prism Sound Callia.

Here is my review of it if anyone is interested.

http://www.recordingmag.com/productreviews/2017/03/123.html

Yeah I saw there was a new version out.  Well..you definitely do not buy it for the looks, it looks kind of plastic, but as you said.. the internals are really great and compare to real expensive high end stuff, it is a hidden gem for people on a tight budget who do not want to compromise.

How is your antelope unit working ?
was it a good buy ?

18
I think I might by the http://www.drawmer.com/products/monitor_controller/mc21_monitor_controller.php temporary until antelope audio releases something new or I find second hand for good price, I found the drawmer second hand for kind of cheap... it might not look that beautiful but if you do some research you will see it compete with the big boys like dangerous audio and such.. I atleast know it is high level stuff..  not on the level as antelope though..but it is only temporary so I can use my speakers.. after that I will sell the drawner again for same price in that case..so it will be more like a "loan" only. I think this one is the best value monitor controller that exist..best sound quality for the money so note this one if you are on a budget but do not want to compromise too much.

19

Congratulations RME do some good stuff, especially good and stable drivers.
I got the RME HDSPe AES card, AES is still the best way for low latency audio.

I really enjoy the interface, it sounds great and goes up to 192KHz.

Glad you like it, did it meet your expectations, I will say it once again, do not use a lot of wet signal, 28 percent is the sweetspot if you use like 50% percent or something it sounds like junk imo. Of course atleast 20 second decay time to get the best sound. I think the random hall algorithms is the best.
One more tips , almost all presets use hf/lf filters,  when it comes to ambient reverb there is nothing worse when there is a filter that cuts off the high frequencies, I always have it totally open so all high frequencies to shine thru so you get this nice open expensive sound. I think there is way too many presets...I tend to just use a standard preset with some minor tweaks that is enough and I leave it the same all the time.

Both the RME audio interface and the Lexicon reverb are easy to use and meet my expectations. I am currently reworking my recordings for my upcoming album (release date is the 29th of march), so I have direct comparison to my old equipment. A universe lies between the old and new devices, but it is also a challenge to rework the sounds while they profit so much. About reverb defaults: I also never use defaults and always open the HF and LF. About standards of dry/wet: I use Send-mode and with the Lexicon you can choose the reverb-out-frequency. So I am able to try out something more than simple dry/wet.

I am glad it did meet your expectations,  yes I can imagine there will be a big difference in sound. You are such a cool girl who are into this stuff! ;)
I will try to listen to the album you told me about this week.

20
This is an extended version of a track from many years ago that was part of a compilation album 'Steve Roach Dreaming...now, then a retrospective 1982 - 1997'

It was much shorter and one of my favourites - possibly the main reason I have kept the CD all these years.

I like the new longer version - it manages to be the same and different at the same time

Need to check that out...thanks for informing us.I do not remember he wrote anything about the in the album information

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