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A few weeks (or months) back I updated my Fishman Triple Play software and firmware. There were some excellent improvements over the last time I installed TP, more stable, easier to run multiple synths, etc.

At the time, when I scanned my VSTs (the only files Triple Play will load), it loaded some instances of plugins that were not soft synths and not possible to use with Triple Play.

More recently, I've added a dedicated external boot drive that is for recording only. This means far fewer options to parse in the Dock (Mac OS Catalina). I went with all fresh and current installations, that took more time but it seems to be paying off. The latest version of Triple Play scans and tests all vst software BEFORE adding it to the options. This time it only added soft synths, no other vsts were added. A little thing but I do appreciate not having to go back and delete the incompatible vsts myself.

Next up will be something I somehow never tried before - Triple Play with an eBow.


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Next up will be something I somehow never tried before - Triple Play with an eBow.

I'll await the results of your test!

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Next up will be something I somehow never tried before - Triple Play with an eBow.

I'll await the results of your test!

I fired up Triple Play as a stand alone, and goofed around a bit with the eBow before the controller battery in my Triple Play guitar went dead. Charging it for more experiments, it's been sitting for a while and was probably due. I put headphones on to get clear idea of he stereo field. Hugeness!!!!

One of my favorite free VST synths is Crystal. It creates evolving pads. I tried a few different presets, they were all fun and just keep on going with the eBow on.

Fine, time to add another synth or two. I tried Collective, chose sustaining presets that do not evolve in terms of pitch. That really brings the evolution patches to life, running them simultaneously with a stable pitch. I threw in some Arturia Analog Lab Free patches, another great free VST synth. I like those too.

I can see that blending multiple synth patches and adjusting tunings and or evolutions could create some gorgeous and unique ambient patches. Some synths respond to string stretching and vibrato, others not so much.

I didn't try any more abrupt sounds like piano or drums, the battery only lasted for a few minutes. I suspect they respond to the attack once an go away. I'll poke around and report back on that, one of them may have potential for repeat triggering if the string stays driven, it would be a glitch in the software but stuff happens. If not, it's an interesting option beyond any doubt and I can already hear places where I might use it.

I don't think it will do anything you cant do with a keyboard with regards to pads but I do know my fretboard much better than my keyboard so I'll probably go with it. The Triple Play interface with the ability to mix 3 simultaneous soft synths is convenient, where it could get really interesting is SampleTank is available and you can mix a few synths together there as well. Haven't tried that yet but it could be amazing to stack 5 or 6 different sounds.


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See previous post above ^^^ regarding using a eBow to play Triple Play. The only thing to add there is a thought - it might be fun to employ both eBow and a slide but only with an appropriate plugin (violins come to mind). I have not tried this yet but I will.

Last night I fired up Triple Play as a stand alone. I've got a nice selection of soft synths and sample players and I wanted to hear what my fun toys sound like.

My first impression is that the latest software/firmware update has brought big improvements in triggering, Triple Play seems to be much less "glitchy" than it was before. I did not to a before and after test, I don't have data for this.
That said, it surely seems easier to play now than it was before.

More synths are responding well to finger picking and that has become a favorite new way to play it. Strums are much cleaner as well although there is the occasional
"British Pipe Tuning" where it appears that two tones combine to create a third, lower note, even if it is a brief occurrence. I thought it was kind of a fun glitch, weird.

Sliding up to a note has never worked correctly and still mostly doesn't. I needed to put my finger down distinctly at the next fret location and pick the note if I wanted to hear it correctly.

To a certain extent, the same story continues. Stylistic maneuvers that are fairly typical and successful when playing guitar as a guitar do not always translate correctly when the guitar is used to trigger synths - some adaptation is required.
This may sound vague but some of the glitches has softened or become less un-musical. That is most welcome.

Of the free vst soft synths I've tried, Surge stands tall. It's really good, lots of different sounds in different catagories and no shortage of ways to tweak the presets (although I did not go deep).
Another surprise was Tracktion Collective, a plugin I've owned for quite a while and never really fired up. Another large and varied collection of plugins organized by type and again, many ways to tweak.

The included Synthmaster One Triple Play presets are mostly built on 2 instances of Synthmaster. Way too much reverb and delay taken as a whole for my tastes. It seems they use the second instance (to the right of the first one), to add ambience and the first instance will be less effected. I liked a few of the new Triple Play presets if I turned the ambient synth patch all the way down. Be aware that much of the previous software that was included is still available for those who have not moved to Catalina and can only use 64 bit (me).

I will need to run Komplete Kontrol as a stand-alone and organize it for it to work on Triple Play. IK Sample Tank fired right up and one can select and play multiple voices easily. Kontakt Player seems to work but not entirely. The new Soniccouture mbira plugin could be played over it's full range on the Kontakt "keyboard" contained in the plugin but Triple Play would only play notes on the first string - weird. There is still tweaking that needs done.

I found a few of the "pads" I have available to be fun for solo guitar space cadet meandering but I don't hear much use for them as tracks on my songs. Mostly there is far too much reverb and delay ambience going on rather than interesting "evolutionary" sound design.

On consideration, I find myself more drawn to the "plucky" sounds than the sustained ones. I am thinking I should create some Triple Play presets that contain 3 each of the sounds I like. Then I can just adjust the volume controls to get a single sound or if suits the song, stacking 2 or 3 complimentary tones. I find I prefer simple tones and concise parts, it is simple enough to create "space" in mixing. That will make my presets more compact and simpler to use, provided I have a clear naming system.

Conclusion: If you use Triple Play, update software and firmware. The new software has different instruments so consider loading it into a different drive if you want to keep your old stuff. I don't miss any of it, I have way more sounds now and everything is working better overall than previously so I am happy at the moment. This will get used.


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And tonight, the Synthmaster One plugin that Fishman has based most of their new presets on became unavailable.
I reinstalled Triple Play and Synthmaster One, which went away again.
It wasn't a favorite so I'll probably just delete it and move on.

Then I discovered something new to me and truly odd. When I tried to use Kontakt in Triple Play and selected a sound set, the first preset I chose from the sound set would only play on the first string.
Each preset I opened added the next string, twice gave me the B string, 3 times gave me the G string, etc. I tested this on quite a few different sound sets and always the same results.
Some of the Soniccouture free plugins don't have presets so I could only get the first string to work.

This is beyond my experience and knowledge - help!!!!

FWIW, I have two similar recording software setups on bootable drives and I did the same things as described above (including Synthmaster One disappearing and the reinstall of Triple Play) and had the same results.
I don't question my own sanity, although that has been challenged. I suspect molecular disoonance. Or something...

Oh, and no DAW, I ran Triple Play as a stand alone. So that's not a factor.


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Step One is installing Native Instruments Komplete Start and using it to organize all of my sounds from Kontakt Player, Reaktor Player, Komplete Kontrol and a buttload of fun new stuffs. All free.

The current iteration of Triple Play is set up to use that, apparently preferred to using Kontakt Player.
Does not solve the Synthmaster One problem, I'll send a description of the problem to Fishman and see what comes up.


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Komplete Start does not appear as an autonomous plugin, it becomes part of Komplete Kontrol.

First step to getting good results is to open Komplete Kontrol as a stand alone and let it scan for plugins and sound banks.

Everything I would have run in Triple Play is contained within. Time to run around in circles!!!!

Next step is to reinstall Synthmaster One, then reopen Komplete Kontrol and rescan, then reinstall Triple Play.

Me so very happy now... ugh. The Tascam 4 track cassette deck in the closet is suddenly tempting. I will persevere and unsnarl this mess.


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And the real first step is to delete all previous installs of both Synthmaster One and Triple Play.
Done.


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A few restart/upgrade/restart/rescans and now at the point where I'll need to go deeper into some of the plugins and set them up to accept Triple Play as the input source.
Synthmaster One latest version is up and running. Komplete Kontrol is working but not all the plugins it scanned are yet. I suspect some of my NI stuff is only AU and Triple Play only runs .vst plugs.

U-he Zebralette didn't work as a stand-alone into Triple Play so it probably needs an adjustment - MIDI input selection or something.

Done messing with computers for the time being, I'll get to these things eventually.
As always, the Devil's in the details!


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Haven't gotten around to tweaking some of the soft synths yet, Tyrell plays hard panned to the right and if I recall correctly, Massive wants to play only on the left side.
Maybe that is useful, probably there is an adjustment. Comments about personal visual restrictions below.

Speaking of adjustments, since Triple Play doesn't respond to the way I normally play, I've decided to learn how to use it within it's own parameters and to try and exploit some of the "quirks".
I've noted that a thinner pick or the meat of the fingers work better than a heavy pick or your nails. Those subtle notes that pop out from your pick or nails becoming a "moveable fret" when I am playing guitar as a guitar can pop out a "wrong note" when playing Triple Play. Further, many monophonic synths when subjected to polyphonic arrays due to habit, random blips an blops etc., may cause a new note to burst forth in full glory that has nothing whatsoever to do with what you just played. I've decided that is fun and have begun making those random "wrong" notes on purpose. In that context they are fun, even if it isn't useful for recording my songs the way I had envisioned.

I've mentioned Surge, a free .vst synth, above. I started checking out all the presets, the creator of the software has established a community of "preset donors" and there are far more than the usual and far weirder as well.
Surge is a great soft synth, I highly recommend it.

While I am waiting for repairs in my studio room and have everything put away, I am thinking I will create some sort of Triple Play and other MIDI instruments track, maybe a remix for Metapop. A learning experience certainly.
I'll also mention that not all of the soft synths I have allow their window to be expanded and until I get new glasses it's tough to see what everything is even with a 27" monitor. Maybe I'll try lowering the resolution of the screen to make things bigger. I haven't made any of my own sounds for this reason more than any other although I will always admit to a certain level of laziness and some presets are just fun to jam out on.


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Speaking of adjustments, since Triple Play doesn't respond to the way I normally play, I've decided to learn how to use it within it's own parameters and to try and exploit some of the "quirks".
I've noted that a thinner pick or the meat of the fingers work better than a heavy pick or your nails.

Hmmm...maybe my use of a thumbpick is what's kryptonite to MIDI guitar!

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Speaking of adjustments, since Triple Play doesn't respond to the way I normally play, I've decided to learn how to use it within it's own parameters and to try and exploit some of the "quirks".
I've noted that a thinner pick or the meat of the fingers work better than a heavy pick or your nails.

Hmmm...maybe my use of a thumbpick is what's kryptonite to MIDI guitar!


I use a 2mm Gator pick for gigs. Carefully wielded it provides a big dynamic range. I've always disliked knobs and switches, learning to use a heavy pick has allowed me to pretty much ignore them completely.
But, it has enough mass to clearly divide the string, with a note coming from each side. I was aware of it at shows, I found it amusing. It never seemed like it was loud enough to matter.

With the Triple Play and especially with fast synths, it triggers whatever the note is on the bridge side of the string - due to the location of the pickup. Some synths are able to reproduce a string stretch without quantizing the note, those tend to make a "chirp" before the intended plucked note supercedes. Other synths, typically sampled pianos and other keyboards, may simply "glitch" if the note is in between the notes in the tempered scale. Sometimes the glitch just sounds like fail and other times it can be pretty weird.

The meaty part of the fingers/thumb provide a mute of sorts. A thin pick lacks the mass to act as a "moveable fret".
For you, maybe try using your thumb without the pick and see what your results are.
I practice fingerpicking often, it's something I enjoy. Some polyphonic synths can do pretty well with it, others get "blurry".

A fast monophonic synth will quickly switch to the last played note, which can sound pretty cool. A slower monophonic synth may just belch forth an "interesting" note - perhaps the sum or the difference of the two notes that made it glitch.

I've also noticed that sliding a finger up a fret or two to the next note almost never provides the correct pitch, even if you pick after the slide. To imitate a violin requires careful stretching of the string and the correct violin patch since some of them are apparently tempered scale and intended to respond to the pitch wheel on a MIDI controller instead of a string providing portamento.

A different animal, no two ways about it.


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