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GEARLAB REQUESTS: Please post them here!


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It can be reasonably argued that the best way to find out what the community is interested in seeing in the MPN GearLab would be to ask the community. :idk::idea::D

 

This thread is for exactly that. :cool::thu:

 

Please feel free to post (and/or approve of) suggestions for gear you'd like to help us check out. Obviously, we have no way of assuring when - or even if - these requests will be able to be realized...but, if nothing else, this thread should ideally help us to get a better idea of what sort of things we should pursue.

 

Thanks so much for contributing!

 

dB

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Very cool initiative! :)

 

I think a proper review of the Kurzweil PC4 would be really great, since this keyboard has gotten little coverage apart from a few product demos on YouTube.

Currently: Kurzweil PC4, PC3X & K2000.

Novation Mininova. Roland FA-06.

IK Multimedia SampleTank 4 & Syntronik.

 

Previously: Korg Trinity Plus. Roland XP-80. Yamaha EX-5.

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For the time being, probably...although, going forward, I can see a scenario where the MPN Advisory Board folks could review older pieces of gear..especially if the community digs the idea.

 

We'd just have to figure out the details.

 

dB

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Well,... keeping it mostly fresh..

 

ASM Hydrasynth

Roland Jupiter X

Korg Wavestate

Roland Fantom

Novation Summit

Udo Super 6

 

Although, it seems that ( recently ) the same day a new keyboard is released, a video review of some sort is on YouTube within minutes. That doesn"t mean it"s a useful review necessarily......

Kurzweil Forte 7, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC361,

Kronos X61, RD-88, Nautilus 73

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I'd like to echo the suggestion of the Hydrasynth and Wavestate. The former is the first synth in quite a while to come with that grail of a ribbon built-in. The poly AT is also of serious interest to me. I can tell that the engine is good, but those control facets are a fascinating part of the new controller resurgence. The Wavestate makes Korg's version of wavesequencing at least SANE to approach, finally and the thing is a treasure chest of the company's sound history. Instruments like the new Fantom or Summit, I can suss readily. These two, interestingly less so.

"Weaponized kindness" is my new
    ambient drone band name.
       ~ Rob Neschizza

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A few people mentioned already mentioned the Hydrasynth, but it seems they are available and shipping now.

Perhaps another request for a review is timely?

We reached out to them a few months back, so they know there's interest.

 

Hopefully we'll see them at the show this week.

 

dB

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know arrangers don't get much love on this forum, but like many things electronic, the state of the art has advanced considerably, these boards are worth a second look.

 

I've had a handful of arrangers over the years, mostly for the speakers. Since I've gotten my Korg Pa1000 I've been blown away by many aspects of it:

 

- the sound quality is outrageously good, better than any board I've ever heard. For the first time I can play woodwinds and brass and not be embarrased. Their expressiveness is just wonderful (though I still use them sparingly, I still feel funny emulating saxes and trumpets). Equally, the basses are fantastic and overall there's a sheen to the sounds that's majestic and magnificent, esp on orchestral patches. With 24 oscillators to work with and very deep editing, there's a ton of sound sculpting possible, though no sync mode.

 

- the speakers are fantastic, they do the sounds justice, very rich and full-bodied. They're woofer plus tweeter and have 66 watts to work with.

 

- the quality of the rhythms are kind of mind-blowing to me. Not only are the drums punchy, but the programming is top-notch. If nothing else, a great metronome.

 

- the Styles are so good I actually use them. I've always hated the repetitive nature of arrangers playing, but more than anything, how uninspiring they sound. Not here. It often feels like I've got studio musicians that are supporting whatever I play. I've often wondered why this quality of playing was not happening in arrangers, but Korg Italy has got this one covered

 

- it's easy to choose how much auto-accompaniment you want, you can selectively activate the drums, bass and accompaniment.

 

- the quality of the arrangements is so good that it's an excellent teaching board, you can isolate the bass, drums, accompaniment and learn the many many Styles onboard

 

- the top panel controls for guitar/vocal fx (on/off, volume, amount of fx, engaging harmonizer button) is wonderful for folks that use the guitar/vocal inputs

 

I would strongly suggest amoung Korg's offerings that the Pa1000 be the one reviewed. The Pa700 is a subset of the Pa1000, and the Pa4X is twice the price! And has no built-in speakers. And weighs 10 pounds more. And, AFAIK, the Pa1000 has 98% of the PCM data of the Pa4X, these boards are practically identical sound wise.

 

If nothing else, GC has a 45 day return. Try the Pa1000 out and see if it isn't all I'm saying. It's not only OMBs and duos who can benefit from a board like this!

 

 

Kawai ES110 & ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Klipsch KMC 3 // Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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I'm really curious about the IK Multimedia Sunset Sound plugin.

 

Can you get "those" sounds out of it?

 

Does the "new" convolution engine sound better? Is it a Volterra kernal based product?

 

Memory/CPU hog?

 

 

 

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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I'm really curious about the IK Multimedia Sunset Sound plugin.

 

Can you get "those" sounds out of it?

 

Does the "new" convolution engine sound better? Is it a Volterra kernal based product?

 

Memory/CPU hog?

I know some of the foilks at IK - I'll see if I can lay hands on a copy.

 

dB

 

 

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I know there are at least a few folks around here (if not more than a few) that are interested in the new keyboard amps from Motion Sound. It certainly would not require the depth of detail of a keyboard review, but comparing them to PPA speakers along with the different models in the line would interest me.
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Well,... keeping it mostly fresh..

 

ASM Hydrasynth

Roland Jupiter X

Korg Wavestate

Roland Fantom

Novation Summit

Udo Super 6

 

Although, it seems that ( recently ) the same day a new keyboard is released, a video review of some sort is on YouTube within minutes. That doesn"t mean it"s a useful review necessarily......

I second the Fantom!

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
I don't expect an Osmose review, due to the limited run & boutique nature of it, but I keep eyeballing a small ROLI, for the 5-D element. I find myself using cello and e-guitars for leads more lately, so you can understand the draw to a more feel-y state of playability for those. The Osmose is so high-end, I'm as curious about the tech advancement involved as I am about the experience of engaging it with an uber-patch active. Its a GAS fantasy.

"Weaponized kindness" is my new
    ambient drone band name.
       ~ Rob Neschizza

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  • 2 weeks later...

All noted - thanks, guys!

 

No idea how long it's gonna take us to bang out the right format for these or how many (if any!) of the products requeasted will be made available to us, but we'll do our best. If nothing else, these requests give us an idea of the type of thing you'd like to see 'on the slab'. :D

 

dB

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I'm really curious about the IK Multimedia Sunset Sound plugin.

 

Can you get "those" sounds out of it?

 

Does the "new" convolution engine sound better? Is it a Volterra kernal based product?

 

Memory/CPU hog?

 

 

 

Me too!

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Very cool initiative! :)

 

I think a proper review of the Kurzweil PC4 would be really great, since this keyboard has gotten little coverage apart from a few product demos on YouTube.

+1

 

dB

Make that 3.

Yamaha: Motif XF8, YS200, MX61, CVP-305, CLP-130, YPG-235, PSR-295, PSS-470 | Roland: Fantom 7, JV-1000

Kurzweil: PC3-76, PC4 (88) | Korg: N1R, X5DR | Emu: Proteus/1 | Casio: CT-370 | Novation: Launchkey 37 MK3

Former: Emu Proformance Plus & Mo'Phatt, Korg Krome 61, Roland Fantom XR & JV-1010, Behringer CAT

Yamaha Pacifica 112V & APX600 | Washburn WI64 | Ibanez BTB-675 | Alesis SamplePad Pro | Assorted organs, accordions, other instruments

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  • 2 months later...
I know there are at least a few folks around here (if not more than a few) that are interested in the new keyboard amps from Motion Sound. It certainly would not require the depth of detail of a keyboard review, but comparing them to PPA speakers along with the different models in the line would interest me.

I 2nd this. In general, I'd like to see more reviews of keyboard amplifiers for use with organs, synths and acoustic piano - especially with a working man's comparison to PA speakers.

 

Other recommendations:

- A good round-up, review and comparison of Organ VSTs.

- and uhm ... what about a review of the Cloud Lifter products ... or did I miss that already? (@ Dave Bryce, honestly that's what I took away from the Podcast: Cloud Lifter and Philly sandwiches)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Would love to see Dr. Mike dissect a Quantum/Iridium. Not that I"m in the market but I"m always interested in deep synths; Sound-wise of course but also the playing/programming experience. And not to be an a** but I"ll ask up front how it compares to the better VSTs and is it really worth the price difference. Might as well also compare it to the extremely well reviewed Hydrasynth.

 

I think I"d perk up reading that any of these modern digital synths is on a whole other level sound-wise from VSTs. Don"t know if it"s even possible these days. I"ll also throw out that IMO 8/16 voice poly on high priced (say > 2k) digital synths in 2020 is more than disappointing. I understand the reasons (ie tradeoffs) but still.

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Would love to see Dr. Mike dissect a Quantum/Iridium. Not that I"m in the market but I"m always interested in deep synths; Sound-wise of course but also the playing/programming experience. And not to be an a** but I"ll ask up front how it compares to the better VSTs and is it really worth the price difference. Might as well also compare it to the extremely well reviewed Hydrasynth.

I'd like to see that as well.

 

dB

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Would love to see Dr. Mike dissect a Quantum/Iridium. Not that I"m in the market but I"m always interested in deep synths; Sound-wise of course but also the playing/programming experience. And not to be an a** but I"ll ask up front how it compares to the better VSTs and is it really worth the price difference. Might as well also compare it to the extremely well reviewed Hydrasynth.

I'd like to see that as well.

 

dB

I have no place to put a Quantum, but if anyone wants to blag an Iridium for me, sure, I'll beat on it for a while. :D I have another synth that's currently on the front burner for a new video series, which I'll get to very soon...

 

On the current list, of course I've already done the Hydrasynth... I am tempted by the Wavestate, as I was on the beta team for it and am good friends with the lead designer, but I don't know where I'd get my hands on one (and I really really hope they release a module version without the stupid mini keys).

 

Someone mentioned the ROLI "5D" controllers; I talk about these and other MPE controllers over in the Studio Workshop and would be happy to answer any questions that aren't being explored in KC already. If there's strong interest in one particular MPE controller, that might be a candidate for GearLab coverage, but it would have to be something I have.

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Janitor and Hall Monitor, Dr. Mike's Studio Workshop

 

clicky!: more about me ~ my schwag ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job

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Would love to see Dr. Mike dissect a Quantum/Iridium.

The Iridium is something I could do, for sure. I can promise nothing at this time, but in response to your request I have made inquiries of someone who might be able to make it happen. We shall see.

 

I think I"d perk up reading that any of these modern digital synths is on a whole other level sound-wise from VSTs. Don"t know if it"s even possible these days. I"ll also throw out that IMO 8/16 voice poly on high priced (say > 2k) digital synths in 2020 is more than disappointing. I understand the reasons (ie tradeoffs) but still.

 

I see where you're coming from here, but the whole "better sound" thing is, in my not so humble opinion, a bit of a blind alley. They all use code on silicon. It's what the silicon is connected to that matters. A really good plug-in that is well coded to run at high sample rates, run through a really good DAC, will sound really good; a keyboard synth that is meh coded to run at a lower sample rate, run through meh-quality output circuitry, will sound meh. On the other hand, the reverse can be true! There are a whole lot of butchered-quality plug-ins being played through $30 interfaces out there...

 

I think the real key is immediacy. I have been writing about the man/machine interface since the mid-1980s; it was the topic of an article I wrote for the Computer Music Journal at MIT, the one that got me on the path to get out of science and into music/writing as a full-time gig. The single most critical part of any keyboard is the point where the human's hands and eyes touch and see the machine. The one advantage of a well made digital synth is that the keys feel good and well-integrated with the sound engine, which itself is laid out in an intuitive way. The Hydrasynth is a great example. We have plenty of examples of this being done poorly; does anyone out there genuinely LOVE programming a Korg Poly-800 or Yamaha DXanynumberatall? If the synth is fun to work with and expressive to play, it will subjectively sound better to the player.

 

As for massive polyphony, I respectfully disagree. If you're doing entire arrangements on one machine with multitimbral usage over many MIDI channels, yes, I can see the advantages. But if you're talking about a single timbre that you're playing in real time, most synths turn to muck if you play a lot of two-fisted lines and chords on them. This isn't a piano, where note ringouts and sympathetic vibrations are critical to its sound, or an organ, where tone wheel interactions are critical when playing smears and the like; this is a synthesizer, where sounds are often so complex that playing more than 16 of them at a time is actually counterproductive (ask any Polymoog player how often they play this way, even though they could). E-mu made a lot of synths and modules with up to 128-voice polyphony; I personally know exactly zero people who used them monotimbrally just to have all those voices under their hands.

 

Anyway, my five Lindens' worth...

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Janitor and Hall Monitor, Dr. Mike's Studio Workshop

 

clicky!: more about me ~ my schwag ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job

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- and uhm ... what about a review of the Cloud Lifter products ... or did I miss that already? (@ Dave Bryce, honestly that's what I took away from the Podcast: Cloud Lifter and Philly sandwiches)

Not sure how much interest there is in doing Pro Audio gear here yet. :idk:

Sandwich reviews though...hmmm... :idea::boing:

 

dB

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- and uhm ... what about a review of the Cloud Lifter products ... or did I miss that already? (@ Dave Bryce, honestly that's what I took away from the Podcast: Cloud Lifter and Philly sandwiches)

Not sure how much interest there is in doing Pro Audio gear here yet. :idk:

Sandwich reviews though...hmmm... :idea::boing:

 

dB

 

 

YAY for Pro Audio - there are quite a few Cloudlifter products I don't know much about. I do love my CL-1, just used it in fact. But I could write a review on that in two sentences, some of the other ones look like they do some cool stuff.

And, there is a certain SSL thingie that somebody could write about, that would be pretty real world since they don't cost umpty bajillion...

Editied, since Mr. Bryce posted a link for the SSL SiX review by Sound on Sound, which is very well done. https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/solid-state-logic-six

 

So, I'll think of something else maybe...

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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