Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
"Team Test"...or something like that... #3028814 02/13/20 03:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
So, check this out... idea puff

I was wondering what it might look like if I asked a manufacturer to give me a few copies of one of their software synths - ideally an original design with some unique feature/approach to sonic mayhem - so that I could pick a handful of KCers to poke around under the hood and discuss it in a thread. Of course, anyone who wants to play along at home could download the demo.

I'm thinking it'd be even more interesting if I could get (at least) one of the guys from the manufacturer to keep an eye on the thread and join us in discussion if, where and when they felt it was appropriate to do so.

To be clear: I'm not looking for a puff piece. Quite the opposite, in fact - we answer to no corporate masters, so I want the folks playing with the synth to feel totally free to not only talk about the aspects of the instrument they like, but those that don't work so well for them either. I do understand that there are people who might be concerned as to how the manufacturer in question would react to negative comments, to which my response would be that's precisely why their presence in the thread would not only be permitted, but encouraged - why not give them a chance to clarify for us us why something we may not dig (or understand fully) is the way it is?

The best part is that this is easy to try! I reached out to my brother Ralph at Arturia USA, and managed to get a few copies of their Pigments 2 synth. I've already chosen a few of the extra-geeky brethren and given them codes for the synth, so we'll see how it goes. If it turns out to be as much fun as I think, maybe we can do more of them. cool

You guys like the concept in general? idk

dB

KC Island
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028817 02/13/20 03:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 665
samuelblupowitz Offline
Gold Member
Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 665
Big yes-please from me, sir!


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028818 02/13/20 03:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 57
R
Red Ranger Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
R
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 57
This is an awesome idea! Looking forward to the discussions!

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028820 02/13/20 03:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 79
Griswold Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 79
Fantastic idea! I'd love to dive in to this.

The benefits of this forum always amaze me.


Kurzweil Forte 7, Kurzweil PC3, Kronos 61, UltraNova, Rhodes, Clavinet D6, MiniMoog, GSI Burn, ELX112Ps, SpaceStation, Assorted Weapons
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028821 02/13/20 03:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 7,499
Tusker Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 7,499
clap


I am excited. The wisdom of this crowd is off the charts.

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028822 02/13/20 03:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 652
S
stillearning Offline
Gold Member
Offline
Gold Member
S
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 652
What’s not to like?


I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028826 02/13/20 04:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 884
D
davinwv Offline
Gold Member
Offline
Gold Member
D
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 884
I'm not much of a synth guy, but I would love to participate in some of these focused on VIs emulating pianos, Rhodes, Wurlys, Hammonds, Clavinets, etc.

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028827 02/13/20 04:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3,166
Michael Wright Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3,166
Great idea dB!!

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028860 02/13/20 05:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 16,956
mate stubb Offline
MPN Advisory Board
10k Club
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
10k Club
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 16,956
thx


Moe
---
"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028863 02/13/20 05:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,329
PianoMan51 Offline
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,329
Gonna play Devil’s Advocate here. Don’t do it.

Dave and the amazing KC team already have cultivated the best IMHO vehicle for product reviews. We have a number of members who are beta testers who inform us about new releases. And then KC goes to town. And this keeps KC at complete arms length from any possible financial relationship with product manufacturers.

When I go to Amazon to read reviews the first ones I ignore are where the product was provide for free in exchange for a review. These are , for me, useless.

Next, and perhaps more controversial amongst our members, is my revulsion of the record-length post about the Space Station speaker. In this case the manufacturer (May he Rest In Peace) spewed marketing-oriented gibberish on a daily basis for months and months. Remember the ALL CAPS and sentences that all ended in exclamation points. And worse is that he convinced some of our KC tribe that the product was ‘magical’, never to be understood by mortal keyboard players. So, having product manufacturers on the forum is not always a plus.

Anyway, my 2 cents.

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: PianoMan51] #3028868 02/13/20 06:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Originally Posted by PianoMan51
Gonna play Devil’s Advocate here. Don’t do it.

Dave and the amazing KC team already have cultivated the best IMHO vehicle for product reviews. We have a number of members who are beta testers who inform us about new releases. And then KC goes to town. And this keeps KC at complete arms length from any possible financial relationship with product manufacturers.

I think we have that covered. I'm not planning on opening this up to just any manufacturer. I'd like to keep it to those who understand that we have no corporate ties and that our people are not only free to say what they think, that it's encouraged.


Quote
When I go to Amazon to read reviews the first ones I ignore are where the product was provide for free in exchange for a review. These are , for me, useless.

Understood. I'm hoping to get around that by picking folks for whom I don't think that will be a factor. Marino was among my first choices. So was Linwood, The Real MC, davedoerfler...you get the idea.


Quote
Next, and perhaps more controversial amongst our members, is my revulsion of the record-length post about the Space Station speaker. In this case the manufacturer (May he Rest In Peace) spewed marketing-oriented gibberish on a daily basis for months and months. Remember the ALL CAPS and sentences that all ended in exclamation points. And worse is that he convinced some of our KC tribe that the product was ‘magical’, never to be understood by mortal keyboard players. So, having product manufacturers on the forum is not always a plus.

Sigh...

This one was particularly painful for me, because I considered Aspen a good friend...and I think he took advantage of that relationship. Not intentionally, mind you - it's just who he was. You have no idea how many PMs I sent to him and how many phone calls I made telling me what an uncomfortable position he was outting me in and literally begging him to alter his behavior, or how many posts of his I had to edit...but, as many of us know only too well, it just didn't work. frown

The point being is that I thinik it was the individuals involved as well as the situation. I'm hoping to avoid that be making clear to any manufacturer we invite that we value civility very highly here. You may be right that it won;t work the way I'm hoping, but I think it's worth a try.

Another solution to this - and at least one of your other (valid) concerns - might be to take these "Team Tests" and put them up in the GearLab forum (formerly VIP Reviews - they're not reviews, dammit!), so we keep this off KC altogether. I can see some pretty significant advantages to doing it that way.


Quote
Anyway, my 2 cents.

Greatly appreciated, brother! Responsible opposing viewpoints are certainly welcome. In no way do I claim to be able to see all points of view, and am grateful to have folks around me who are willing to share their peerspectives.

dB

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028881 02/13/20 07:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,756
Toano88 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,756
I think its a fine idea depending on who does the reviews. Whether we move it to GearLab doesn't bother me. Your always going to have people trying to use public forums to post marketing stuff it happens all the time. Harmony Central is continuously battling that.


Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12
Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028882 02/13/20 07:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 52
B
Baggypants Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
B
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 52
Well, I use Linux because I’m a technology vegan. So I’m out for most of them. grin

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028887 02/13/20 07:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
The more I think about it, the more the idea of putting these up in the GearLab forum appeals to me. That forum was specifically created for hands on gear exploration, and we believe that curated manufacturer participation has potential value there.

I love the idea of being able to check out a product this way - one of the unique benefits of the forum format - but we definitely want to keep KC as free of the marketing stuff as possible. We've been pretty successful at that for a long time, and having something like this here might give folks who want to use KC for marketing the wrong idea.

dB

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028915 02/13/20 10:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 779
KuruPrionz Offline
Gold Member
Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 779
I like it, I am not worried about impartiality or freedom to express.

I read Tape Op regularly and one big reason is the reviews.

Having feedback from experienced, knowledgeable reviewers who may uncover and expose problems in front of an audience is actually a very good thing for the vendor.
They have an opportunity to make real world improvements and may very well recieve ideas that they may not have thought of prior to the review.

The new name is good too, way better than the stupid ones I posted! :- D


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: KuruPrionz] #3028916 02/13/20 11:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
The new name is good too, way better than the stupid ones I posted! :- D

Your suggestions weren't stupid. Matter of fact, your suggestion of Gear Chat is the one I have already been using for the rig tours I've been doing. Great minds, etc. thu

I killed the thread asking for name suggestions because Anderton came up with one I loved - GearLab. That made us have to change the name of Metlay's forum though. Soooo complicated. ::D rolleyes

dB

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028929 02/14/20 12:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,649
David Emm Offline
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,649
Mistah Bryce, that's great news for me. I'm still exploring Pigments 2 and can't point to any serious operational negatives. I'm increasingly satisfied that I made a good addition to my stack. There are several playable poly sounds in the "SFX" presets that I wasn't expecting to find there, period! I'd enjoy putting in 2 cents in a few spots. Bet I learn more about it from the pending dialog alone.


First SETI contact hailed as aliens beam out Voyager response!:
"SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY!"
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028931 02/14/20 12:36 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Okay, the thread is now live in the GearLab forum. thu

dB

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: David Emm] #3028933 02/14/20 12:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 9,348
davedoerfler Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 9,348
Originally Posted by David Emm
I'd enjoy putting in 2 cents in a few spots. Bet I learn more about it from the pending dialog alone.


Please do. We will all learn from each other.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: davedoerfler] #3028940 02/14/20 01:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Originally Posted by davedoerfler
Originally Posted by David Emm
I'd enjoy putting in 2 cents in a few spots. Bet I learn more about it from the pending dialog alone.


Please do. We will all learn from each other.

yeahthat

dB

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3028944 02/14/20 01:30 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,418
M
miden Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
M
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,418
yep, good idea. I'd be up for that smile


The trouble with doing the job correctly first time, is no-one will ever know just how difficult it was.
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3029503 02/17/20 11:48 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 422
Dr Mike Metlay Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 422
Share the love!


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
Wordsmith - Musician - Tech Freak - Amiable Zany
Everyone on this forum is a friend I haven't met yet
-- except for Bryce, who's, well, YOU know.
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3029544 02/18/20 03:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 676
EricBarker Offline
Gold Member
Offline
Gold Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 676
I don't think I was in the list, but I've already owned a copy for a few months and can give my feedback:

- First off, MPE integration is surprisingly flawless. It's as accessible as Roli's own Equator, and less buggy than Serum (which has struggled with some MPE aspects for a while). That said, I never tried to do anything particularly complex with the MPE modulators, just plugged it in to my Seaboard and played around with presets. But it looks like all the tools are there. I don't know whether it can do relative Slide yet, Equator is the only one I know of that does that, and it's not particularly important, sometimes I'm not even sure it works correctly in Equator.

- Sound is juicy and full, no complaints there. Presets are aimed a bit more at EDM and dance pop than live keyboard performance, IMO. But that's really been the case with Serum and most of the modern Wavetable synths I've played with. LOTS of wavetables to play with.

- Modulator section is FANTASTIC, probably the largest assortment of usable mods on the scene. No BS "dual LFOs" or blocks that cut corners. I find FXpansion Cypher and Strobe to be almost unusable due to all its weird integration of modulators, nothing sounds like I want it to. User defined functions and THREE random Modulators, which is really really useful for my sound design work. Zebra2 is the only one with more random mods (FOUR), but I don't own it, so I can't comment. Serum has been a big letdown in this department, as they opted for all hand-drawn modulators, which is probably great for most people, but don't allow for randomization. NI Massive never had any, don't know about Massive2. Equator has two, and they're very good, but Pigments' are more flexible.

- Interface... I think I could learn to love this. I've always held Massive as the gold standard with the way it presented its concentric collars. Pigments follows very much in Massive's footsteps, with its own flavor that offers both advantages and disadvantages. Unlike massive, no parameter is limited to two modulators. This isn't a huge thing for me as I've rarely found the need to add more. That was a product of Massive's adherence to making sure everything was immediately visible on the screen (which I applaud), and there's only so many collars you can fit around a nob. Pigments adds the ability to add an unlimited number of mods to a control, with the concession that only the first one is visible at all times. However, if you click a control it immediately highlights the currently assigned mods, and clicking on them will bring up their collars. Where Pigments surpasses Massive and takes a page from Serum and many other new synths, is that in additional to collars, it has a little spark that shows the exact position of the controller output in real time. It's kind of cute, and helpful for troubleshooting.

- Finally, this synth ridiculously deep. The Two Engine system is enormous. Each Engine has 3 modes: Analog can provide up to 3 simple layered waveforms (for a total of 6!). The Wavetable mode is just infinitely controllable. There are a plethora of high-quality wavetables, and you can import your own which are in the same format as Serum. Visual representation is solid. The Sample engine is quite bizarre, however, being both over and under engineered, and this is where there's some seriously missed opportunities (that may be expanded in later versions). It attempts to be a multi-sample producer, but it only has 6 sample slots. Furthermore, the sample mapping is locked per octave or to a velocity range depending on the mode you choose. Frankly, I don't see the usefulness of this. I'm no stranger to assigning SFX to notes or pads or keys, but this doesn't allow you to define specific ranges, only octaves. It has modes for round robin and random cycling too, but again, without a discreet range control, I can't imagine much potential for this. I think they could have scrapped the "mode" idea altogether, and just allowed input boxes for note and velocity ranges per sample, which would have made this far more flexible and simpler. Otherwise, it's a fine mono-sample engine, and you can import your own, unlike some of the tacked-on sample playback engines that VIs include in their synths (*caugh* Equator). The sample engine also is the only mode that doesn't allow for multi-voice unions. Not surprising since that's not typically the realm of Samplers. But there was an opportunity there that could have been cool.

In closing, Pigments is a ridiculously deep and well constructed. Very strong FX unit that I failed to review. The interface is one of the most tight and solid I've seen in recent years, which is surprising coming from Arturia whose I consider to be typically subpar. I only spent a short time flipping through presets, and they seemed decent enough. The engine system, mod block, and filters are fantastic and well laid out. The sample engine is rudimentary with some odd rumblings of something greater that never happened... but no worse than any other VI. I guess my biggest concern is that this synth is EVERYTHING. Never in a million years are you going to hear a record and say, "oh, that's a Pigments Patch!" And that's sorta the thing with Wavetablers, isn't it? I mean, I guess I can see a tune was made in 2008 and figure it uses Massive, but it's not like Diva which has it's own simple but juicy flavor. But it's great to have an "everything but the kitchen sink" synth around that just gets the job done, no matter how complex. I'll admit to never warming up to Serum the way many do. It's fine, and Steve Duda is a super nice guy. Like Pigments it's a big ol toolbox, very deep and flexible. I guess I just never felt in sync with the workflow, and I came in right when MPE was new and buggy. Pigments is a little more to my liking, it's a bit more varied in presets, has a Sample engine, as well as an eye on the past, while Serum feels absolutely rooted in 2015.

Arturia just needs to get out there and make some waves, some targeted patch packs, and clean up their Sample engine, and they'd have near perfect synth. At this point I give it a solid 9/10.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3029558 02/18/20 03:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Eric -

Great review! You should post that in the group review thread in the new GearLab forum.

dB

Re: "Team Test"...or something like that... [Re: Dave Bryce] #3030281 02/24/20 02:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
Dave Bryce Offline OP
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
OP Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 20,935
I'm digging the group review concept! boing
Haven't managed to get anyone from Arturia to join us yet...but I'm working on it. hitt

dB


Moderated by  Dave Bryce, Stephen Fortner 

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3