Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Improving the soft synth experience


Rod S
 Share

Recommended Posts

Would like to get some feedback from folks about their favorite way to improve the experience with soft synths, with tactile improvements vs just navigating the controls with the mouse.  The release of the new korg soft synths has me thinking.  

 

They ones I've tried

  • Using touch surfaces - I have a MS Surface and an iPad, and when placed at the right position improve the experience, but doesn't get the feel of a physical controller.   For me,  with stubby fingers and the size of the surface screen, it's not always easy to reach the control.   When I move to the house and will have a large studio space, I'm considering  investing in a larger touch screen. 
  • Using dedicated hardware boxes, mapped out to a specific softsynth- Use it occasionally, and there's some newer devices which have grabbed my attention such as the MIDI fighter twister, which has endless encoder.   I wish device manufacturers left more room for overlays, so you don't have to remember what each slider/knob does.   There's a device that is sold from the Czech Republic which I found intriguing as well

 

Other options I know of

  • Creating a customized touch surface with something Like Touch OSC (intriguing)

 

Your experience?  

 

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I literally just added a post to the "recent gear purchases" thread discussing this exact thing!

 

I purchased a Lenovo T24t-20 for home use.  24" touch screen. It's not cheap, but you get what you pay for.

 

I'm running Windows 10 Pro, although it would work with any Windows version that supports touch.

 

I've only had it for a couple of days, and it's pretty damned amazing. If the controls are large enough to fit under my finger tip, I can move, toggle, slide, select...  just like I was using a mouse. It's very immediate and pretty easily controlled, even at very fine increments.

 

A lot depends on the GUI size, and scalable GUIs are certainly preferred in this environment, but so far it works really well. There may be a bit of "targeting" to grab the control. This seems to vary by synth. For a more workstation-like experience, I can use a host like Gig Performer, which is inherently touch-friendly.

 

The monitor supports multi-touch, too, so I can, say, drag multiple sliders at once.

 

I have it tilted back a bit so my fingers aren't meeting the surface at a 90-degree angle, which feels more like navigating a hardware synth touchscreen.

 

It may not be for everyone, but I'm loving it so far.

 

If anyone wants to see it in action, I can try to record a video this weekend and share it here.

  • Like 2
I make software noises.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks John.   Missed your post on the recent gear purchases!   The Lenovo option looks great, thanks for posting your thoughts on this.  

 

I have no room for something like this, but will soon and this looks exciting.  

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used touchOSC on an iPhone to change a few parameters on my laptop rig (mainly, EQ as I walked around a room, it was overkill so I stopped). It was finicky to set up and did not automatically connect when I started up the app, I was always going through contortions to get it to work. I'm dealing with the same bullshit now with connecting to my iPad with bluetooth to change pages in ForScore. I have to allow an extra 10-15 minutes on a gig to get it going, it always takes 4 or 5 attempts with resetting BT, "forgetting" devices, "advertising", etc. It connects, then drops the connection 15 seconds later, etc etc. Finally it sticks and the gig goes fine, but having to mess with this is the worst "user experience" I've ever had with a laptop rig.

 

My advice would be your #2 solution, however for me a small USB controller (like my Korg NanoKontrol) is more than enough for what I would need to do. Sounds like you want more extensive control over synth parameters. Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, Korg. Build me a joystick in a housing that has a mini-Kaoss pad to the right of it. Give it a USB Out that will run my new Wavestate Native through my USB hub. MIDI channel 14 will do fine. Put rubber feet on the bottom. I'll buy four of them.🤤

  • Like 1

"What's the password?"
"'I have bourbon.'"
     ~ Joe Hill, "Full Throttle Stories"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hence the hardware integration offered by Omnisphere. It may be the most elegant solution for this... but only if your soft synth of choice is Omnisphere. (Which ain't bad.)

 

But also, check this out... https://www.pepperdecks.com/products/28-tunagear

  • Like 3

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also used Touch OSC (with an iPad), but in my experience, you end up filling the screen long before you fully replicate the soft synth, most of the time. At least if it's a moderately complex soft synth.

 

John, I'd love to hear more about the Lenovo and your experience with it. That sounds really interesting. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure thing. I'll try to post an example in the next few days.

 

Technically, there's no magic, as it's just built-in Windows touch functionality.  Finger-tap = left-click.  Tap-and-hold = right-click.

 

 

 

  • Like 2
I make software noises.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, David Emm said:

Hey, Korg. Build me a joystick in a housing that has a mini-Kaoss pad to the right of it. Give it a USB Out that will run my new Wavestate Native through my USB hub. MIDI channel 14 will do fine. Put rubber feet on the bottom. I'll buy four of them.🤤

Reminds me of the concept of the Palette Aluminum Professional Control Surface Kit - custom building your surface kit out of individual modules.    I think they are not sold anymore.   If felt a bit useless and was expensive for typical controls, but for more advanced controller  as you mentioned would be cool. 

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, AnotherScott said:

Hence the hardware integration offered by Omnisphere. It may be the most elegant solution for this... but only if your soft synth of choice is Omnisphere. (Which ain't bad.)

Thanks.. forgot about that one.  It's on my bucket list... 

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...