New Toys? What have you gotten in the last 6 months?
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Thread: New Toys? What have you gotten in the last 6 months?

  1. #1
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    New Toys? What have you gotten in the last 6 months?

    I haven't picked up anything hardware wise except I did trade an older guitar of mine in for a telecaster copy. It's not that great sounding or playing but it looks nice. I plan to do some modifying to the instrument Including changing the pickups and possibly replacing the neck but that's still a long while off.



    I picked up on two special deals for sound libraries. Dimension Pro by Cakewalk/Roland and Purity by Luxonix.

    Dimension pro is a wavetable synthesis engine but it's no wavestation (which I already have) The sample format is sfz which means if you have sfz sounds you can import them into the engine. sfz uses simple .wav files and a text file for instruction on how they should function. Which means if you have notepad and a collection of .wav sample files you can start to create your own instrument. Instruments can be layered with other instruments (up to 4 total). The file sizes are moderately large but not as large as the robustness of the sounds conjure. They are HD samples and they give each instrument a robust sound. While alone these sounds are pretty damn good and I've spent hours caught up in a single sound just playing my heart out. However when they are layered it easily becomes muddled and I spend an equal amount of time tempering them into something usable. That will fit in a mix. Some of the pianos conjure up piano sounds of the 70's One note and I'd be trying to figure out a Carly Simon or Carole King song (not that I'm crazy about Carly Simon the sound just leads me there) And here is the true gem of Dimension Pro. Finding recognizable tones that sweep you away and lead you down a path due to the unmistakable tone found in days gone by. Where as hardware developers seem to focus on post production of a sound so you have the instantly usable sound. Plugin providers often seek large volumes of sounds that let musicians tweak for themselves. I hate that part. Yes I know how all the parameters work but I'd rather spend my time playing not tweaking.
    The UI especially the adsr on DimPro is too concerned with being attractive. Where as a simple 4 slider control would be all that's needed for a-d-s-r. Dim Pro opts for a pretty sophisticated graph approach which is anything but intuitive.

    The majority of the sounds come from Digital Sound Factory (not cakewalk in house or roland) with the remander sounds being from Garritans Pocket Orchestra. To be honest I really prefer MSO (modern symphony orchestra) originally designed by DSF over GPO. Had Cakewalk created a ui similar to DSF/Emu Proteus with the 32 pole wavetable engine I doubt I would want again from a sample based library. Maybe just some modeled instruments. While the Hammond presets are quite functional for what they do it will never replace a Hammond B2 organ or a modeled/virtual Hammond. The same can be said of the other organs.

    As would happen recently I just picked up Purity by Luxonix. It is a closer representation Romplers found in the workstations of the 90's and early 00's then DimPro. (most notably the Korg M1) Luminox also has wavetable synthesis but unlike DimPro it doesn't rely on sfz. Which means you don't have to edit the basic sounds in notepad before you load them in. The sounds are limited to two oscillators per sound as opposed to sfz which can load multiple wav sounds as osc. Quite frankly I was amazed at the quality of these dual oscillators compared to ones of that era.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJdgVf2BRIs


    While to my ears the piano sound is somewhat harsh and bright, reminiscent of a Young Chang (Korean Piano Manufacturer) Then the usual fair of Yamaha, Steinway or Bösendorfer Though some quick tweaking with the LPF and HPF tamed the tone considerably. But to be fair Luxonix is a Korean company and I can't fault them for using a piano tone most closely aligned nationally. Recently they have enhanced the quality of their sounds while still retaining a small footprint for each oscillator. They do this by reducing the length of the sound and applying smooth looping. Unlike DimPro which is limited to four elements (sounds) stacked Purity can stack up to 16 sounds on a single channel just by linking them. Everything from house to electro to Italian disco to Kpop and Jpop can be had in this engine. Shy of maybe Psy.

    Unlike most virtual ROMplers Purity has a built in grid sequencer. It's also a heck of a lot easier to program then the hardware variety. As well it has motives/phrase sequencing for putting together backing tracks quite easily. Sure in an era where drum loops can be copied and pasted faster then program it may not seem like such a big deal. Until you've gone through thousands of drum loops that aren't quite right and you could have created the right one faster then looking for it.

    Full Polyphonic Aftertouch.
    I think I died and went to heaven while playing around with the presets and stumbled on to this. Most current keybeds and many workstation type romplers be they hardware or software don't support this feature. While it's full potential would take a few pages to explain I'll simplify it. When striking a key on an electronic keybed you have note on, Velocity (how hard or loud) and note off. With PolyAT and pressure based systems one doesn't have to go full note off before striking the note again. If you have an instrument like a ztar where the same note is played in multiple positions on the fretboard and you try to use them what you get is note cancelation instead of a repeated consistent legato. It drives me nuts. With PolyAT the note does not have to return to note off before it can return to note on. And techniques applied to a single note do not affect other notes on the same midi channel. In the past I've had to remap my fretboard with multiple sections going to different channels and then those channels hosting the same sound so I can avoid this note cut off from hell.

    While I don't romance the tone in Purity as I do DimPro I do find a lot of fun in the presets and I'm more inclined to try my hand at tweaking the sounds and experimenting with them as opposed to trying to figure out what song it was used in.

  2. #2
    Senior Member realMakc's Avatar
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    I've got this:

    Not exactly the same model. Actually, my mother in law has bought this for the kid, but now it's mine It's kind of big deal for me, because some time ago I have been experimenting with projector + webcam (see 1 and 2) and those kind of things are so much better with laser pointer. But now I have no projector, so once again this stuff is somewhere very far on todo list.

  3. #3
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    I bought a desktop CNC machine. Pretty awesome. Took a bit to learn it, but for my purposes, it's pretty fun.

  4. #4
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    Lefteye

    Where Ya been man???? There was this question I was dying to ask you a few years ago. I've forgotten it now.

  5. #5
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    haha! A few years? Hope you figured it out by now..lol.

    Been busy. I lurk here every few months, but unfortunately not a lot for me to add my 2 cents into anymore.

  6. #6
    I got new bike, my little precious ;D

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