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What's the low-down on Creamware VA ?


clusterchord

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those news and demos from ADERN really got me thinking again about the almost forgotten Creamware Pulsar/Scope platform.

 

http://www.adern.com/images/FlexorLogoSmall.gif

 

So, where does Creamware stand in it's VA sound quality, compared to hardware favorites like Clavia, Access and VSTi/Powercore stuff on the other??

 

The prospect of having a modular on a PCI card does look interesting.. any comparison w Reaktor4, NM, G2 ?

 

what are the issues with Creamware (besides the last year's company troubles), why do you dislike/like it??

http://www.babic.com - music for film/theatre, audio-post
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computers are pretty cheap nowadays. it's not out of the question to dedicate one for a soft modular.

 

of course, you have to add in the price of a good audio in/out card, or a sequencer if you want to stay in the computer.

and software programs are always looking for you to cough up for the next version. i had 3 sequencers at one time, but got tired of paying for upgrades and let 2 drop.

 

i know almost nothing about the dsp cards for computers. oasys and creamware are the only 2 that come to mind right now.

 

do you use a mac? or pc?

 

after i heard the adern demos, i checked out creamware's site, but they have very limited info about their stuff. i think they almost went under a while ago. i hope they do good with their stuff, we're losing too many good manufacturers.

 

the g2 was a little pricey, but i plan on keeping it for quite a while, and if computers/OS's change, i don't mind keeping my current one to use just for the g2.

 

i was a little concerned about that, because up to now, i've always felt it was better to keep hardware independent of computers.

oh well, times and attitudes change.

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Originally posted by mildbill:

computers are pretty cheap nowadays. it's not out of the question to dedicate one for a soft modular

i use PC/Nuendo. Except Kontakt that became a necesity because of enormous orchestral lib's i use for scoring, i really hate VSTi, their dead sound and sameness. I prefer hardware boxes, with dedicated dsp power, proven algorithms, etc. not to mention analog..

 

But, virtual modular requires lot of power and needs great, detailed user interface - so marriage of dedicated DSP with PC driven GUI is very practical and logical solution. I'm just looking at creamware as possible alternative to G2 engine..

http://www.babic.com - music for film/theatre, audio-post
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You could count the Noah as a VA. You should hear the great sounds this thing can make. I finally got around to getting my prodyssey module installed, and now this thing can do an accurate ARP sound, as well as a very good hammond, minimoog, and some darn good modelled guitars. I've just scratched the surface of this, using it mostly as a tone generating module, but it's got filters, and vocoders and a bunch of other features built in too. It really is an under-appreciated device around here, probably because it is not stocked at most of the major chains. Check out the reviews of both NOah and the creamware platforms over at SOS magazine.

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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Creamware has excellent sound quality. As for polyphony, it's not really tremendous, but depends on what you're doing. I was working on something recently where I had five synths going on a 6-DSP card. I could run two or three voices on a couple of the synths without getting into trouble, but adding voices seems to eat up DSP quicker than adding synths. The Modular III is now standard with their software, that's a big plus. You could run a percussion synth, a sampler or two, a bass and a lead synth and probably be okay, or you could run a single synth with 5-or 6-voice polyphony for fat chords, but you couldn't really do a big arrangement with a lot of tracks completely in Creamware, at least not in one take, maybe with a 14-DSP system. Of course, everything the Creamware card does is one less thing the host computer has to do. And it's not just synths, you get sampling and effects. You can design custom effects in the modular and run audio through them, run audio through its filters, etc.

Pluses: great sound, good selection of modular modules (especially if you get an Adern expansion), good bundled synths, great third-party and add-on products.

Minuses: they've been slow to provide support for WinXP and OS X, and that's worrisome, especially given their recent troubles (they say that they put a lot of money into Noah, and that when a manufacturing delay hit, they had to go into bankruptcy). Installation troubles with their software are legendary, though it's rock solid once it's installed. Audio routing can be tricky; if there was ever a product that needed Rewire support, this is it.

Can you access the forums area of their website without being a registered user? That would be a good way to see what users think: to see what users complain about, and what they're fanatic about. There's a healthy dose of both, though the complainers really tend to be fanatics, too.

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Modular III could be considered as M2 plus MIII specifical modules, so here the links:

 

http://www.modularsynth.co.uk/modulepages/all_v2_modules.htm

 

and the addons for MIII:

 

http://www.modularsynth.co.uk/modulepages/v3_new_modules.htm

 

Current Adern modules, working with all Modular versions:

http://www.adern.com/products/flexor/list.htm

 

50 More modules Adern will come out in 1-2 months.

Price is astoundly good both for current pack and future upgrade.

 

Fantastic Adern FleXor online manual, modules reference and nice graphical explanations:

 

http://www.adern.com/products/flexor/flexor_manual/introduction/toc.htm

 

The famous Adern sound demos:

 

http://www.adern.com/products/flexor/sounds.htm

 

Link to the Modular patches (free) downloads on PlanetZ site, the best CWA related site, with pictures and explanations in many cases:

 

http://planetz.bayhosting.net/forums/viewforum.php?forum=15&903

 

Link to the Device page for CWA cards at PlanetZ, mainly the free devices, with pictures and explanations in many cases:

 

http://planetz.bayhosting.net/forums/viewforum.php?forum=16&2108

 

Good trip :)

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A Scope project (former Pulsar2 card) Is the solution I would recommend to use Modular, as you can really build huge patches.

Scope home (former Luna2) has to be intended mostly as a routing ,sampler and audio card rather than Synthesis card, 3dsp's are not too many.

With a Scope Professional (former Scope-powerpulsar card) you can have a killer tool for live-realtime Synthesis, Sampling, processing needs.

 

Noah is very good and practical too, but it can't run the Modular for now. If you like a rack with the best VA sounds available, nothing beats it though. The Synths on it are quality wise comparable with the Adern stuff, it's top notch sound, with a lot of flexibility and tools unexistent in any other Hardware.

Guess the Amp

.... now it's finished...

Here it is!

 

 

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it says on the NOAH EX description:

" Creamware NOAH True 1:1 modelling of analog instruments. Noah brings legendary vintage instruments to life like MiniMAX, B2003, Six Sting, Vectron Player, More. 8 digital outs via ADAT. 10 out of 10 for sound quality."
wtf does 1:1 modelling mean? Are the models better than offered on their cards or?

 

i did try out pulsar VA synths a bit, 4yrs ago, software ver 2 i think. At the time their mini was one notch above e-model. Better but nothing special. I remember the "sandy" quality that some people link with their VA sound.

 

So, the bottom line is, do you guys think they improved their VA models code over the years (with all the software updates) or they're just repackaging?

http://www.babic.com - music for film/theatre, audio-post
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The software updates are more like OS updates that add features and improvements to the interface. The synths are stand-alone modules that are sold as a separate package, and I don't know that there have ever been updates on them. There are two models of the Mini: there's a "Minimax", an emulation of the Minimoog, and two models of "Miniscope", which is based on but not so much meant to be an emulation of the Minimoog. Four years ago, you probably heard the Miniscope: I don't think the Minimax has been out quite that long, and the 'max is presumably a better model than the 'scope. I don't have the Minimax to make a comparison, but I think I can hear something of that "sandy" quality in the Miniscope. I don't so much hear it in the modular, though, or some of the other synths like the Lightwave or Inferno. By the way, not all their synths are VA: there are some modeled digital (VD?) synths, such as the FM "Poison" and the self-explanatory "Vectron". Finally, the synths in Noah are the exact same ones as in the Pulsar/Scope/Luna/Elektra cards. Part of the idea is that you can do programming from the comfort of a full graphical interface on your computer, and then take your patches with you live.
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Algorythms have had a bigh enhancement in these few years.

Yes, there is so much difference between the old miniscope and the Minimax!

1:1 model means that every single piece of the hardware has been accurately measured and translated in coding the plugin.

That's a very serious approach, time consuming but gives some amazing results.

For example, I know for sure that one of the next adern filters has been done measuring accurately a cry-baby wha pedal....

The new instruments are really another planet, and this is easy to recognize by ear.

 

Not only instruments though, I think that currently the card has the most beautiful sound for audio stuff too, at the same time warm and crystal clear. Sharc processors have that something more, they are really fast and are built to work on the heaviest load conditions without any loss. And the codes are really good now.

Guess the Amp

.... now it's finished...

Here it is!

 

 

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Originally posted by Synthoid:

We were interested in the Noah, but after Creamware's financial difficulties, and them Waldorf going under, it's better to maybe hold off on this one. :rolleyes:

Creamware is out of insolvency. A new company has been formed with fresh resources, but held by the system creators. I think these people deserve attention, as they really believe in what they do, and that's always good for customers.

They could have sold everything months before, and get $$$$$ by a big company but I think they are really loving their product and that can be heard...

This is a small company, but they have some excellence and an avantgard approach.

As a customer I'm very happy they aren't Sony or Pinnacle now, but still Creamware, and alive.

Guess the Amp

.... now it's finished...

Here it is!

 

 

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