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#2900513 - 01/08/18 09:20 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: chelsea4023]
Tom Williams Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 945
Loc: West Virginia
Originally Posted By: chelsea4023
could I point you in the direction of Casio Forums [...] There are also many video tutorials on Youtube. Google Mike Martin PX5-S.
Thanks, Chris. I'm right there with you -- I spent 2 months on the forum before I even bought the PX-5S.
_________________________
-Tom Williams
<First name><At>AirNetworking<dot>com
PC361, PX-5S, AX-Synth
M-Audio Keystation 88, Axiom 61

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KC Island
#2900517 - 01/08/18 09:26 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: GregC]
Tom Williams Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 945
Loc: West Virginia
Originally Posted By: GregC
In my 60's. So I was there in the DOS/Lotus 1-2-3 days.
It's worse than that -- you were there in the Apple II / VisiCalc days. I'm 58 (as of this writing) and I barely avoided punch cards.
_________________________
-Tom Williams
<First name><At>AirNetworking<dot>com
PC361, PX-5S, AX-Synth
M-Audio Keystation 88, Axiom 61

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#2900523 - 01/08/18 09:33 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Tom Williams]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 5700
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
Originally Posted By: GregC
In my 60's. So I was there in the DOS/Lotus 1-2-3 days.
It's worse than that -- you were there in the Apple II / VisiCalc days. I'm 58 (as of this writing) and I barely avoided punch cards.


I took Fortran in college. We used punch cards and the card reader to run batch jobs.
Exciting adventures in computer nerdiness. wink
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Think Big or go home

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#2900524 - 01/08/18 09:33 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Tom Williams]
J. Dan Offline
Bannination Free Since '08
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 12425
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
Originally Posted By: GregC
In my 60's. So I was there in the DOS/Lotus 1-2-3 days.
It's worse than that -- you were there in the Apple II / VisiCalc days. I'm 58 (as of this writing) and I barely avoided punch cards.


I took Fortran in College and only missed punch cards by a few years. As we would have accidents and need to do drywall repairs in my Fraternity, we found many stacks of punch cards being used as shims in previous repairs.
_________________________
Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2900528 - 01/08/18 09:34 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Dave Bryce]
Tom Williams Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 945
Loc: West Virginia
Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
Originally Posted By: dsetto
There's the dairy. There the fruit. So when looking for meat, I don't comb through Doritos.
As far as I know, most of them do.

Initially, yes. But when you (the manufacturer) update the firmware, and your engineers have found this luscious alto sax sample, it goes to the next entry in the list, even though the old altos were in the middle, lest you break existing patches. I suspect this is the case throughout the iterative development process.

As a result, you're likely to get the freshest meat smack dab between the Doritos and the apple jelly.
_________________________
-Tom Williams
<First name><At>AirNetworking<dot>com
PC361, PX-5S, AX-Synth
M-Audio Keystation 88, Axiom 61

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#2900625 - 01/08/18 01:51 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Tom Williams]
Randelph Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 476
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Yeah, the obtuse UI of many boards is very off-putting. After suffering thru a Yamaha XS7 iím pretty much done with Yamaha higher end boards that have workstation aspirations.

The first thing i do with any new board is go thru all the presets and build up banks of favorites that i tweak a bit. On boards with thousands of presets, this is a daunting task. Back in 2007 i didnít have the experience or trained ears to know what i was hearing- is that a good EP, AP, organ? Part of the hundreds of hours spent auditioning voices and learning the basics of the board was having similar sounds that for the life of me i could barely distinguish between.

iíve learned some very important lessons about that all important step of finding and tweaking the best sounds:

1. Good amplification makes a huge difference. What i was hearing as honking notes on most of my keyboards was in large part the over emphasis of particular frequency ranges on my speakers. The area around 100hz is easily prone to this, and iím particularly sensitive to high-mids, it hits me before anyone else, better speakers can ameliorate this.

2. There are often times huge differences between how loud / present a given voice is as you go from low notes to high notes, as well as qualitative differences, making yet another challenge to choose a ďbestĒ voice, as some of them sound great in the lower registers, and visa versa. That was a good feature on the XS7, being able to apply a key scale? to a sound, to even out that volume difference. On my NS i often times have used a different piano sound for the lower octaves than what iím using for the upper octaves.

3. Its helpful to have sounds that are full sounding. In the past I was enchanted by the ability to have up to sixteen sounds that were layered/split in various ways, but Iíve since realized that with a board that has Ďfullerí sounds that the need for much of that is greatly reduced.

4. As important as it is to cull the best preset sounds from a board is, i know i can lose a lot of time doing that, so these days i try to keep that a minimum.

5. The sound often doesnít Ďbloomí until a 6/7 out of ten volume level, at which point the full impact is felt.


But in general, itís all the various ways you can use the tech. I still do spend ALOT of time setting up my multis / registrations. Iíve had the Casio arranger board, MZ-X500 for close to 6 months, and it takes me freakiní forever to get a registration dialed in.

For me, its all about the sound, and getting a bass that can be heard and pops without being muddy or overpowering is a big challenge, esp. as iíve discovered how much I LOVE kicking LH bass. Then getting a registration all setup that i can throw in different sounds for the right hand on the fly, getting the fx dialed in, the controllers mapped consistently, etc. And being an arranger board, choosing a Rhythm for that registration, deciding what the pads will trigger, etc., it all takes time.

And the trickiest part for me is that i oftentimes donít fully hear what a registration / multi sounds like until iím in the thick of playing music at full volume with others. Being a good listener has been a skill iíve cultivated as essential for these tasks.


Guess iím rambling here. The point is that i wonít buy a board that is not user friendly, that iíve learned to put more time into practicing than programming, that buying the right board / tech is vitally important Ďcause iíll be saddled with its limitations for a long time to come!


My idea for an awesome board that i shared on the NAMMticipation thread, would be to have a board like the Numa Compact 2, but upgraded significantly: basic bread and butter sounds, smallish display, but lots of knobs/sliders, solid mid-tier action (76 or 88), strong MIDI controller capabilities. A board you could use as a stage piano with the built-in sounds, but the real power would come when it was hooked up to a latest generation ipad- tons more high quality sounds, huge screen for editing everything, and offered at a price point thatís far lower than other boards that offer all this in one package.

Seems to me that would solve the problem of getting a good keybed/light weight, be reasonably priced (under $1,500), and the huge screen of an ipad would make editing so much more user friendly. I suspect it may be a generation or two more of iPads before the processor is fast enough and the music apps are of sufficiently high quality.

Randy
_________________________
Nord Stage 88 Classic / Casio MZ-X500 / Yamaha melodica, soprano and alto recorders / Various congas and djembes
Roland Street Cube EX / QSC K10, K8.2 / SS V.3
Blue Encore 300, EV ND76



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#2900715 - 01/08/18 08:24 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Randelph]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 3421
Loc: eastern North Carolina
The main thing I've noticed most in going through factory presets is that some of the patches that sounded best to me when checking them out by myself sounded pathetic in the group; and some of the ones that sounded obnoxious by myself worked much better in the group.
There are certain little tweaks that I always make - main example is Hammond/Leslie patches - I want them all to default to no vibrato and slow rotor. That way, they are consistent.

Speaking of remembering patch names - the Kurzweils have a printed list of all the factory patches that takes about 4 pages,
_________________________
Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's
HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
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#2900725 - 01/08/18 09:03 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
dsetto Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 730
Loc: Los Angeles
Building upon what's been said, what could be useful regarding waverom organization:

user-tagging, accompanied by
- search of those tags
- user-defined lists of those tags

Or something with similar results. And, if & only if this can be accomplished without any increase in latency.

--
User-installed waves is a way around this; but that requires greater tech learning & time.

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#2901382 - 01/11/18 08:43 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Dave Bryce]
JerryA Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/02/00
Posts: 7131
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
You haven't lived until you've been handed a development unit with a bunch of Wave ROM and no programs.


People who do this have my undying respect. We owe a huge debt to the community of electronic luthiers (you know who you are) for their imagination, skill and courage. cool thu

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#2901440 - 01/11/18 12:49 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: GregC]
MikeT156 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 7989
Loc: Central PA, USA
Quote by Greg C:

"In my 60's. So I was there in the DOS/Lotus 1-2-3 days. May or may not be relevant.

I have a few friends where 90% of their time on a keyboard or music software is fiddling around with experimenting or doing some DIY on the hardware. They are entertained by the ' tech puzzle '. I am opposite in that I am not excited about tech puzzles with 90% of my time. 95% of my time on a keyboard is for song writing. I get learning curve and will invest in that up front.

The other issue is poor usability more across the board. I will pick on Montage. I know, I know, there are 10 people who say its not a problem . Let go larger population- I ( and some others) are not going to study the manual for 6 hours before trying the Montage at a store."

I'm with you Greg. I've got a few more years and miles on me than you but grew up in the Lotus 123/MS DOS world too. I have to admit that with all its short comings, I was more inclined to shift gears to a Mac and the Later versions of Windows. The reason? What the hell is the purpose of a personal computer? TO GET YOUR WORK DONE. The same thing applies to musical instruments that require hours upon hours to get them to do their job. The purpose is to MAKE MUSIC.

The older I get, the less patience I have to jump through fiery hoops to get the damn thing to WORK. I didn't spend a lot of time writing songs, but I spent hours upon hours recording and mixing songs to use in my Classic Rock show and making them sound like the original as close as possible. That is what the audience wanted to hear, a human jukebox.

I pulled my hair out with the Yamaha Motif ES8 for months until I was able to get productive on that KB. The biggest draw back for me was the small mono screen. I will not go the DAW root, it had to be all self-contained for recording, mixing and live shows. Eventually, it worked out well, but I would have much rather had spent that time becoming a better musician.

I am happy to see you still around, as well as Prof D.



Mike T.
_________________________
Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suit case 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Oberheim DMX, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. PA equipment too!

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#2901447 - 01/11/18 01:28 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: MikeT156]
ProfD Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/11/06
Posts: 9665
Loc: Wash DC Area
Considering my earlier post in this thread, while I feel comfortable with the most cryptic UI and multilayer programming manufacturers choose to drop in a synth, I moved away from the workstation type a few years ago.

Upon realizing I was never going to use 1.5k sounds and/or spend an inordinate amount of time sifting through them, it make more sense for me to buy a DP for bread and butter sounds and a simple subtractive VA synth for ďotherĒ sounds.

Now, I have the best of both worlds. Iíve got just enough control over my bread and butter sounds to customize them. Having a knobby synth makes really easy to program and save sounds and also to dial up and tweak the sound I want in real-time.

I have friends who either sit behind a workstation and/or stare at a screen looking for the perfect sound (s) to use in their music. Needless to type, the song never gets completed.

Iím not impressed upon hearing that Ominisphere has 10k sounds or Native Instrument Komplete has a few thousand. My first thought is that most of it has to be variations of the same 10 - 20 sound groups.

I also get it that manufacturers donít want to leave any stone unturned in appealing to the widest variety of users and giving them options. More often than not, Iím sure that having more sounds and features leads to more creativity paralysis than anything else.

Iíve always been a minimalist. I saw the workstation as a way of eliminating the needs for several KBs. Then, I discovered I didnít need that much either. It feels great to sit down, turn on the KBs and just play using a handful of sounds.

Yo brotha MikeT, KC allows me to still hang around these parts. With almost 11 years on deck, I feel like an institution here. laugh cool
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"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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#2901449 - 01/11/18 01:30 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: MikeT156]
Tom Williams Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 945
Loc: West Virginia
It seems to me I am seeing a bit of a false dichotomy of "players" versus "programmers." That's not how I view this.

Sure, I enjoy some of the esoteric practices in programming -- like VAST's FUNs, or before that the modulation tables in an Alesis Fusion -- but my end goal is to make the instrument mine. Not much different from a guitarist going to a luthier (love that word) to get the action and the pickups and the wiring just right. It's just that I am my own luthier. I thought that was the point of buying synthesizers in the first place.

Speaking of guitar, I've never seen a factory patch that lets me select virtual guitar pickups -- but I can add that to an existing patch. I've never seen any guitar patch in which aftertouch was routed to a positive-only pitch bend -- but I've made that modification to my last 4 primary synthesizers. (The Casio, for those who note that it lacks aftertouch, is not my primary synth.)

And guess what I do after I have modded or created that perfect program? I play music on it, just like the rest of you.
_________________________
-Tom Williams
<First name><At>AirNetworking<dot>com
PC361, PX-5S, AX-Synth
M-Audio Keystation 88, Axiom 61

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#2901451 - 01/11/18 01:47 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Tom Williams]
Synthoid Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 10385
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
It seems to me I am seeing a bit of a false dichotomy of "players" versus "programmers." That's not how I view this.

Sure, I enjoy some of the esoteric practices in programming -- like VAST's FUNs, or before that the modulation tables in an Alesis Fusion -- but my end goal is to make the instrument mine. Not much different from a guitarist going to a luthier (love that word) to get the action and the pickups and the wiring just right. It's just that I am my own luthier. I thought that was the point of buying synthesizers in the first place.


Excellent! thu
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To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.
-- Aaron Copland

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#2901453 - 01/11/18 02:04 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: GregC]
The Real MC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 5180
Loc: Secluded Tranquil NY Wine Coun...
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
Originally Posted By: GregC
In my 60's. So I was there in the DOS/Lotus 1-2-3 days.
It's worse than that -- you were there in the Apple II / VisiCalc days. I'm 58 (as of this writing) and I barely avoided punch cards.


I took Fortran in college. We used punch cards and the card reader to run batch jobs.
Exciting adventures in computer nerdiness. wink


Worked with punched tape at a job once.

Studied APL at college. Specialty is matrix calculations and manipulations which was great for NASA and advanced math work, but with its hieroglyphics it is exceedingly difficult to read someone else's code.

Also had a course in ladder logic (PLC) in 1st year of college. Throughout college I studied better languages like assembly and fortran and pascal and C. Many years later I had a job maintaining PLC software, and was glad to leave it as you couldn't apply modern software concepts to it. UGH!

My favorite language by far is C.

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#2901457 - 01/11/18 03:01 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Tom Williams]
JerryA Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/02/00
Posts: 7131
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
It seems to me I am seeing a bit of a false dichotomy of "players" versus "programmers." That's not how I view this.
....
And guess what I do after I have modded or created that perfect program? I play music on it, just like the rest of you.


Well said. thu

I hope you didn't take what I said about digital luthiers as a disparagement of players who program. I am with you on this question of complexity. Digital creates complexity and it takes longer to find sweet spots. I am sorry if my post was misleading.

Instead of disparaging "program and play" types, many of whom are quite masterful in their personal sound design, I meant it as a sign of respect to the Jack Hotops and Howard Scarrs of this world, who might not get a chance to play their sounds onstage but are responsible for both recreating the library of iconic sounds and discovering new sounds which sell the gear. Not an easy gig at all. You have to work fast and be brave. Mad props to them.

By contrast a guy like me gets to noodle around with fifteen versions of the same sound for a month, while I tune it just right for my needs.

I think we are very alike, based on your posts. My latest bit of digital complexity is to take a standard moog synth and utilize Mainstage midi processors to build a range of sounds with unexpected features like (for example) velocity control of the Moog's ADSRs. I'm heading down a promising rabbit hole, where I hope to morph between brass attacks, sharp plucked string attacks and slow fade-ins on demand. That's not a new idea with VAs, but it's rare on analogs. Still I get more than a week to implement the idea, and the world is not going to judge a hardware manufacturer's three years of product development on the strength of my synth/Mainstage programming.

I think there is a valid distinction distinction to be made between between production and prosumption in sound design.

Anyway, please carry on. Enjoying your thread and your terrific ideas ... cool

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#2901468 - 01/11/18 04:49 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: MikeT156]
GregC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 5700
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: MikeT156
Quote by Greg C:

"I

I'm with you Greg. I've got a few more years and miles on me than you but grew up in the Lotus 123/MS DOS world too. I have to admit that with all its short comings, I was more inclined to shift gears to a Mac and the Later versions of Windows. The reason? What the hell is the purpose of a personal computer? TO GET YOUR WORK DONE. The same thing applies to musical instruments that require hours upon hours to get them to do their job. The purpose is to MAKE MUSIC.

The older I get, the less patience I have to jump through fiery hoops to get the damn thing to WORK. I didn't spend a lot of time writing songs, but I spent hours upon hours recording and mixing songs to use in my Classic Rock show and making them sound like the original as close as possible. That is what the audience wanted to hear, a human jukebox.

I pulled my hair out with the Yamaha Motif ES8 for months until I was able to get productive on that KB. The biggest draw back for me was the small mono screen. I will not go the DAW root, it had to be all self-contained for recording, mixing and live shows. Eventually, it worked out well, but I would have much rather had spent that time becoming a better musician.

I am happy to see you still around, as well as Prof D.

Mike T.


Hey Mike, us codgers have to hang together and fight the future . Few remember history or giveashit about it.

I looked at my profile- lost track of the years from 2003. Scary ! Like a dog to a bone, LOL

Always great to post back and forth.
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#2901471 - 01/11/18 04:58 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: JerryA]
GregC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 5700
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: JerryA
[quote=Tom Williams]It s

Instead of disparaging "program and play" types, many of whom are quite masterful in their personal sound design, I meant it as a sign of respect to the Jack Hotops and Howard Scarrs of this world, who might not get a chance to play their sounds onstage but are responsible for both recreating the library of iconic sounds and discovering new sounds which sell the gear. Not an easy gig at all. You have to work fast and be brave. Mad props to them.

:


Not sure there is disparagement . Some observation, I think thats fair.

I have the highest regard for Jack Hotop a masterful player and programmer. He put it all together on numerous Korg programs and combis.

Without his wizardry its possible I would not have bought a Kronos.
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Think Big or go home

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#2901504 - 01/11/18 09:52 PM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: GregC]
Synthaholic Offline
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Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 1684
Loc: Proud Resister of 2nd helpings
While I'm in awe of the talents of people like Dave Weiser and Poser P, I got off that train years (decades?) ago. I didn't want to put in the time to learn patch creation/programming, knowing the results would be inferior to the work of people who really dug it, and 'got it'. Those folks deserve to get paid for their mastery, and I'd rather pay them - my time is worth something to me.
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#2901649 - 01/12/18 11:18 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Synthaholic]
Theo Verelst Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 4014
Yesterday I used one of the weirdest distorting digital signal processing (Linux) software signal chains, with some congruence with elements from good recordings, i.e. they change the sound such that strange and uncomely distortions in high q digital sources of known records diminish or clearly fade (somewhat), and put it on my Lexicon reverb unit to test the effect, and for the first time I had fun with that magic Lexicon sound convolving voice and acoustic guitar input (to mic) creating that strange concert magic I wanted that Lexicon for in the first place. And for recording, and beefing up synths, etc. But anyhow the strange signal elements I used, possibly the most dirty and unfitting digital distortion and dynamics combinations, when I put a 30 band gate after the MX400 sounded strangely great.

That's an example of what I think has been happening in certain circles in the meanwhile that all those 80s drum samples and analog synthesizers got out (and maybe back in) fashion. That's like a signal technical set of dimensions that have strange connectivity, but I feel a lot of stuff that's out there doesn't sound good enough to actually play with, unless it is somehow brought back in touch with the ways that made the great sounds people love, and that's a whole lot more complicated still than playing with some samples.

T.

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#2903227 - 01/19/18 04:47 AM Re: The Growing Complexity of Technology [Re: Tom Williams]
KorgyPorky Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/03/17
Posts: 113
Originally Posted By: Tom Williams
This is not so much a kvetch, as a musing, which may or may not be amusing.

So here I am, puttering at home, familiarizing myself with my newest keyboard (in this case the PX-5S, but the principle is universal). I've already cleared room in memory to save my own patches. Now, let's see what the raw materials are...

Hmm. 418 waves. Some are attacks, Most are loops: some single-cycle, long and chorusy, even some with ugly vibrato built in.

90 minutes into the process of auditioning wave after wave, I started to feel fatigued-bordering-on-ill. I pushed through to the 183rd wave, which means I still have 235 remaining just to catalog the available multisampled voices.

A piano has one voice.

An analog synth has saw, square/PWM, sine, triangle, plus of course various cross-modulations.

A Pipe organ has maybe 25 ranks.

A drawbar organ has 9 pitches, all the same timbre.

A D6 had 6(?) timbre tabs.

A guitar has, what, maybe 8 wiring variations before you go into the pedals and amp.

Preliminary conclusion: part of the love for older technology is that it is possible to almost fully understand it in a fairly short time, in comparison to modern deep stuff (e.g., Kurzweils and Kronoses) that we can never really wrap our brains around.

That or, I'm just getting old.


New technollogy does not have to be complex
All depends on the interface
You can make new technolllogy easy accessible, if you program it to be so.

After the px-5s casio created a touchscreen interface
Making everything more visible
This is a huge step in making these Casio instruments more accesible..

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