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#2925807 - 05/07/18 09:06 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: dsetto]
dsetto Offline
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In a recent video, Dave clearly distinguishes his latest from the ubiquitous workstation in all the ways you've described. As such, my expectations for complex playback mechanisms like scripting to not be present. Is use of round-robin something that has been officially/casually communicated by 8DIO/DSI?

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#2925808 - 05/07/18 09:28 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: dsetto]
mate stubb Offline
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Would be sweet if it could execute Kontact scripts, even if you had to edit them from an external device, and upload to the user area.
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#2925809 - 05/07/18 09:52 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: mate stubb]
Lady Gaia Offline
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This is definitely one of the big unknowns right now. The past few posts have been on the money: thereís definitely no support on the keyboard for configuring how samples are chosen. You pick a sample group from the list for an instrument, and from there every setting affects the entire group as a whole.

If thereís any slick sample selection going on, itís behind the scenes in the way a sample group is set up before itís installed on the Prophet X. Thatís what theyíre going to spend time on between now and December. Of course the underlying capability to understand that format is already built into the unit, but Iím not aware of any documentation that describes what itís capable of. Key ranges and velocities are overtly referenced so theyíre a given. Round robin alternatives? Legato? Itís largely a guessing game until we get more official insight.

Even the widely reported 1.5GB limit per sample group doesnít have an official source that Iíve been able to find. So we play our least favorite game of all: the waiting game. Worse yet, thereís no guarantee weíll know much more with any certainty until December.
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#2925813 - 05/07/18 10:38 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Lady Gaia]
dsetto Offline
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p.32, #943.
Originally Posted By: Pym;13293453
There's a limitation of 1.5GB per sample instrument, this is due to limited RAM (we need to buffer 4 instruments, 2 per layer, at any given time). ...

On DSI & 8DIO's site I didn't find any indication of complex playback technique such as round-robin, scripting, or legato. DSI's site description is typically comprehensive and WYSIWYG.

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#2925816 - 05/07/18 10:48 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: dsetto]
Lady Gaia Offline
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Thanks for the citation!
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#2925822 - 05/08/18 02:33 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Lady Gaia]
Theo Verelst Offline
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I didn't suggest the one (p-12 or p-X) is the more or the lesser synthesizer. I was interested in these subjects long ago, so I've got a personal bias stemming from durable excitement about synthesis from such a prominent name. Even though a mid/small size company like DSI is bound to have all kinds of wannabee captains on the ship, apart from business alliances and people providing services and consultancy. When I did a synthesizer design of my own, not primarily made for commercial success, 15 years ago, with open source DSP and Programmable Logic in it, I was reminded of the hassle it was when I had a (little) company as a student. Even just to communicate important technical data to various audiences.

The mythical Prophet filter has been the reason for a lot of demagogy around a whole scene of "music" makers that want to own the glory of it, it seems. There's a big difference between a piece of software loading a sample file and some software filter, and all those rows of knobs with directly connected flash memory and an Analogue Signal Chain at the end. Sure there is, so which up and coming words-whore can market this gadget...

That's not how I and many technically trained people, and to be honest most actual musicians think, luckily. Maybe you will want a good sounding instrument for one purpose or another. So that can be ROMpler territory, samples of existing musical instruments with the intention of playing the piano and such. There are studio trick instruments, like a e piano with sensible effects on it. Then there are synthetic sounds, the original domain of the analog synthesizer, because it can not readily imitate existing mechanical musical instruments, or because it can create New Sounds that nobody has heard before.

The convoluted combination of samples and filters+envelopes without digital ca be interesting, and depending on it's implementation (there have been more than a few already) IMO interesting. How that exactly is, is hard to understand for some people, and intuitively followed by others, and a pre-known condition for yet a few others.

In the studio a sample+capable filter + properly executed modulations can be of value for high grade tracks. When that is the case, is not clear to many, and I suggested strongly that the PX isn't really going to deliver much of that sound landscape that could interest me, going on my impressions (I probably heard all the demos).

The idea of a couple of people "owning" the market of synthesis and the Sophist competition surrounding this often soul crushing idea simply at my level of thinking has little to do with making music or musical instruments. Luckily, maybe. Some people ought to do good to understand that slanderous behavior, marketing based on blackmail, planned micro economy (for business) and other "methods" aren't necessarily OK. No in Europe, not in the US and not in California. Also, to me it's a sign of weakness and lack of content-wise interest to succumb to methods that would end with some sort of treason of the free world. Not a sign of personal superiority or future popularity, for that matter.

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#2925826 - 05/08/18 03:06 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: dsetto]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Nathanael_I
This should be very useful for anyone who wants textures and "things that aren't real, but sound like they could be".
...
for someone who plays electronic music and wants/needs new textures and craves more expressive sounds - this is a potential winner.
...
I get that you can do this in a computer. The computer problem is a UI problem. Yes you can map controllers, but to have an instrument where you can access it natively and at once? It is worth something.
...
Part of the genius of Dave Smith is....What you need is right there. Every knob does something musical without trashing the sound. If the Prophet X captures that ability, it matters little if the Kronos can technically do this with pages of menu diving.

Great points there.

Really, I think one should recognize that this is not a board aimed at cover bands, and that's not a criticism.

Originally Posted By: Nathanael_I
This is something that the internet has not yet figured out about musical electronics. Its the stuff that ISN"T on the spec sheet that makes the biggest difference to whether or not it feels like an instrument

Yes. The Korg SV1 is a classic example of something not so impressive on paper but "feels like an instrument" in real life.
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#2925905 - 05/08/18 08:03 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: AnotherScott]
Markyboard Offline
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A little more info from some guy who knows a little more:

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#2926032 - 05/08/18 06:48 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Markyboard]
Nathanael_I Offline
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Markyboard,

Nice video! It is instructive how he points out that the simplicity is designed in, and it is the hardest part to get right. "Genius is taking something complex and making it simple" - or something like that.

And I am glad that the samples are in there, but not overly configurable. Kontakt is VERY complex - don't need anymore of that.

Also interesting that the filter is one of their designs - not a copy. An artist making playable art. It is easy to see why players like his instruments.

Thanks for sharing.

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#2926185 - 05/09/18 11:49 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: dsetto]
Lady Gaia Offline
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Originally Posted By: dsetto
Is use of round-robin something that has been officially/casually communicated by 8DIO/DSI?


I hadnít seen anything official, until today. From a DSI employee:

Many instruments have round robin samples. More than 850 instruments included in the 150GB factory sample set, consisting of over 300,000 individual samples.

Yow.
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#2926287 - 05/09/18 10:01 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Lady Gaia]
dsetto Offline
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I'm impressed. ... I'd be further surprised if round robin will be available for user samples.

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#2926337 - 05/10/18 06:57 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: dsetto]
Lady Gaia Offline
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Nothing is a given until we actually get a look at the software for preparing user samples, but Iím expecting the same set of capabilities they use in the factory samples. Time will tell whether that expectation is well founded.
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#2926404 - 05/10/18 10:58 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Lady Gaia]
KorgyPorky Offline
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One thing is certain.
8dio knows how to sell this to me



Wondering tough, if it will be possible to use a knob to cycle trough the variations of a sound, and another one to cycle microphone positions.. and if not, maybe they can add this trough the menu..

Also missing the wavetables that where in the P12..
To bad you canít have 4 samples, or 4 oscilators in a sound
But i can see how this is due to technical limitations.
Another thing missing so far seems the sound character parameters of the P12
Which was done digitally, so it could be part of the menu..

Nevertheless, i am quite excited...
Comming from a Korgy, but seems the prologue cant even come close to this sound.

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#2926456 - 05/10/18 04:10 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: KorgyPorky]
David Emm Offline
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I've learned to consider NAMM shows in a measured fashion, but having heard most of the demos to date, this synth makes me feel somewhat like I did when I first took up the grand piano. Its immersive. Opinions will always vary, but for me, the X hits a unique sweet spot in playability. Sometimes a seeming technical limitation is actually part of what makes an instrument a keeper. Dave has a near-organic design ethos that's begun to feel downright Moog-like. $#@!, I'm not prepared to sit and quiver like a dog waiting for a slice of ham over a $4k powerhouse, but here I am! taz grin
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#2926467 - 05/10/18 05:49 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: David Emm]
Lady Gaia Offline
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Iím in a similar place. I hadnít pre-ordered any gear since my K2500X back in 1996 ... until earlier this month when the first round of demos came out alongside the official announcement. I was sold immediately, and Iíve just been getting more sold ever since.

I certainly appreciate that it isnít going to be an appealing instrument for everyone, but it hits all the right notes for me, and like you said the compromises and design decisions feel artistic in nature instead of purely technical. Now the problem is that there are weeks to spend between now and the first round of shipments! I suppose it could be worse. I could have been waiting for a Quantum from the day it was announced.
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#2926472 - 05/10/18 06:36 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Lady Gaia]
Nathanael_I Offline
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The thing that gets me is how immediately usable these sounds are. And then there's the immediate ability to alter them. It just seems that it will be immensely useful.

I suspect that the "over the top" sampling memory will open a different door to the subject of a live performance synth. I do understand that massive sound sets are on computers. But there is a variety and depth to this set of sounds that far eclipses what we've had in typical gigging boards. And it is simpler than Omnisphere and WAY simpler than Kontakt.

The demos all sound really good, and seem to allow one to get away from the purely recognizable sample in a hurry, and then get back. Seems very interesting.

I want to like the Quantum more as a pure synthesis device, but I have the feeling this will be far more accessible to create loads of usable sounds.

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#2926473 - 05/10/18 06:48 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: David Emm]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: David Emm
Sometimes a seeming technical limitation is actually part of what makes an instrument a keeper.

Good obsevation. It reminds me about how the thing an artist hates most is a totally blank canvas. Paradoxically, restrictions on what you can do can be freeing. And maybe that's also part of why boards like Korg SV1 and Nord Stage and even Minimoog inspire a lot of devotion, in addition to what people usually say about their sounds and hands-on conrols.
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#2926607 - 05/11/18 05:58 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: AnotherScott]
realtrance Offline
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Haven't read the whole thread, and I'm enough of an amateur to be leery of investing $4K in one instrument, but:

Dave Smith and DSI have been listening successfully to their customers and giving them what they want.

Time now to let Dave follow his nose, and if you can afford it, go on the journey with him.

I'm sure this will be a breakthrough instrument, and I look forward to hearing what it can do in capable hands.

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#2926756 - 05/13/18 07:31 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: realtrance]
Theo Verelst Offline
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The bandwidth for playing 8 stereo 96k/24 bit samples from a form of memory rquals 8*2*96,000*3 bytes per second, which is 4.4 Mega Byte per second. A cheap flash card is sufficient for that kind of bandwidth. A standard Usb memory stick can deliver 10 times that amount of read bandwidth easily. Then there's the seek rate of the device or memory used. Of course DSP RAM or FPGA memory stream access constructs are much faster (1000 times and more. The design challenge is elsewhere.

T.

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#2926766 - 05/13/18 08:23 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Theo Verelst]
realtrance Offline
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Honestly, the only real question conceptually (since I'm not in the target market) I'd have for this is, since it's a $4K instrument and thus probably meant to last at least a decade (i.e. professional level construction and reliability), is there any risk with having an SSD in there? They don't last forever, and while I think it'll mostly be read rather than written to, will it be easy to swap the SSD out for a new one (and back it up, or have DSI replace it) down the line if it fails?

If I were purchasing this, it would be the only thing I'd want to hear a little more about (and it's not a deal-breaker, by any means!).

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#2926767 - 05/13/18 08:34 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Theo Verelst]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Theo Verelst
The bandwidth for playing 8 stereo 96k/24 bit samples from a form of memory rquals 8*2*96,000*3 bytes per second, which is 4.4 Mega Byte per second. A cheap flash card is sufficient for that kind of bandwidth. A standard Usb memory stick can deliver 10 times that amount of read bandwidth easily. Then there's the seek rate of the device or memory used. Of course DSP RAM or FPGA memory stream access constructs are much faster (1000 times and more. The design challenge is elsewhere.

What design challenge are you referring to? Was anyone suggesting that the flash would not have the bandwidth to do this, or that there would likely be some bottleneck in the design?
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#2926781 - 05/13/18 10:22 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: AnotherScott]
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It might be up to what spec is used for SSD. My camera can wright 4K video to the newer SSD cards. I would think that is way more performance than what is needed to read audio data for a sampler.
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#2926833 - 05/13/18 04:20 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: RABid]
Nathanael_I Offline
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Any SSD is fine for audio. In the composing rig, I stream thousands of voices of polyphony of of standard SSD's that are several years old. The super high speed ones have no benefit for audio beyond faster load times to fill buffers. When streaming, they are all fast enough.

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#2926939 - 05/14/18 09:09 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Nathanael_I]
burningbusch Offline
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Why are we discussing the ability of SSDs to stream samples? It's a non-issue.

Early in this thread, we were discussing the idea that the samples are loaded into RAM and not streamed. While that makes sense when taking into consideration manipulation of the samples, it doesn't compute when you look at how large these libraries need to be and how fast they're being loaded.

First, a 10-vel layer piano in which every note is sampled for full duration can't possibly fit into 1.5GB. And if you add round-robins (linear size increase with each round-robin) it gets worse. Second, it takes some time to load 1.5GB into RAM, then purge and load the next ~1.5GB (granted not all would have to be that large). You can see in this video, loading appears to be nearly instantaneous.



So I'm still confused as to what's actually going on. It seems like the samples are streamed, not fully loaded into RAM.

Busch.

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#2926958 - 05/14/18 10:22 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: burningbusch]
KorgyPorky Offline
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Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Why are we discussing the ability of SSDs to stream samples? It's a non-issue.

Early in this thread, we were discussing the idea that the samples a&re loaded into RAM and not streamed. While that makes sense when taking into consideration manipulation of the samples, it doesn't compute when you look at how large these libraries need to be and how fast they're being loaded.

First, a 10-vel layer piano in which every note is sampled for full duration can't possibly fit into 1.5GB. And if you add round-robins (linear size increase with each round-robin) it gets worse. Second, it takes some time to load 1.5GB into RAM, then purge and load the next ~1.5GB (granted not all would have to be that large). You can see in this video, loading appears to be nearly instantaneous.



So I'm still confused as to what's actually going on. It seems like the samples are streamed, not fully loaded into RAM.

Busch.



In one of the videoís they admit to using sample streaming...
Which as you say is the most logical thing to accept..

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#2926965 - 05/14/18 11:03 AM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: KorgyPorky]
Lady Gaia Offline
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Theyíve been pretty clear that sample groups are indeed loaded into RAM and that thereís a 1.5GB limit on their size, suggesting that 6GB of RAM is set aside for samples. That doesnít mean that all sample groups will be that large. In fact, with what we know a little light math reveals that 150GB / 850 sample groups means they average a little over 170MB (we donít have the exact number but a DSI employee has cited ďmore than 850Ē as our reference.)

The video linked loads sample groups quickly, sure, but server-grade SSDs start at around 550MB/second, so loading your average sample group would take about 1/3rd of a second. Some would take longer, but itís reasonable to assume that the video demonstrates everything in a good light - they almost certainly didnít switch to the pianos category. That seems to line up with the video well enough. If they went with something more exotic there are options out there that top 3GB/sec but I doubt that was seen as necessary.

Round robin samples are more likely to be used in sample groups with fewer samples, like on percussion, than on something like a piano. We can also derive a rough estimate of average number of samples per sample group at about 350. There arenít going to be many, if any, that have 88 keys x 10 layers - and likely none that do so that also have round-robin alternates.
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#2926977 - 05/14/18 12:09 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: Lady Gaia]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: burningbusch
First, a 10-vel layer piano in which every note is sampled for full duration can't possibly fit into 1.5GB.

Are we sure it has a 10-vel layer piano with no stretching and no looping? I haven't followed that closely, but your post is the first I've heard of that.

Originally Posted By: Lady Gaia
server-grade SSDs start at around 550MB/second... If they went with something more exotic there are options out there that top 3GB/sec

FWIW, the caption on that video says, "The Prophet X has a enterprise level SSD (Solid State Drive), which allows to load and audit samples in real-time."
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#2926986 - 05/14/18 01:12 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: AnotherScott]
KorgyPorky Offline
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In the end... the only difference between this sound engine and the many high quallity VSTís is the analogue filte...

So how much better is this analogue filter then the computer programmed ones?
And if so, is that worth Ä4000?

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#2927000 - 05/14/18 02:56 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: dsetto]
dsetto Offline
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Originally Posted By: dsetto
... A keymap is loaded into RAM. Max per instrument is 1.5GB RAM. Therefore, max keymaps loaded at one time is 6GB
Reflecting on the previous posts and reviewing my direct exchange with a DSI support on this very subject of sample delivery, as well as Pym's use of "buffering" as referenced above, I'm crossing that incomplete & therefore erroneous bit out from my impassioned review. I shouldn't play the speculation game. Just very interested in this sample delivery subject.

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#2927033 - 05/14/18 06:46 PM Re: New synth: DSI Sequential X [Re: KorgyPorky]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: KorgyPorky
In the end... the only difference between this sound engine and the many high quallity VSTís is the analogue filte...

So how much better is this analogue filter then the computer programmed ones?
And if so, is that worth Ä4000?



VSTs don't give you the same kind of hands-on control as this dedicated control surface does. VSTs require a computer, this doesn't. What would this set of 8Dio samples cost in the VST realm? Could you do the same kind of sound mangling as easily, in real-time? And switch among the sounds as quickly? There are a whole bunch of differences even before you get to the analog filters.
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