Operator's improvements

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Zarro Vega
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Operator's improvements

Post by Zarro Vega » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:20 am

Hi,

I'm using intensively Operator since about 5 months and even if it looks very nice and you can design most of sound it tends to become very limited in term of features... Step by step I noticed the weakness of Operator. Does the Ableton teams plan an update of Operator (not another synth...) ? I suggest the following improvements:

- More points on amp, pitch, filter and Lfo envelopes with slope for each points. Classic ADSR is not sufficient.
- Increase the classical 48 semitones limits of the pitch envelope points.
- Add a pitch envelope, filter and Lfo per oscillator.
- Add a pulse width modulation for each oscillator with depth and time parameters
- Allow panning of each oscillator
- Make a new no random white noise waveform.

Best regards,

luzil
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by luzil » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:29 pm

Zarro Vega wrote: - More points on amp, pitch, filter and Lfo envelopes with slope for each points. Classic ADSR is not sufficient.
- Add a pitch envelope, filter and Lfo per oscillator.
- Add a pulse width modulation for each oscillator with depth and time parameters
- Make a new no random white noise waveform.
Dont wanna say u cant improve operator, i like it very much too. But u dont seem to use it as a fm synth. imho fm synthesizing meens building sounds from scratch without subractive features like lot of filters and lfo. U mostly need sine and editable envelopes in fm. In operator they choosed instead of simple waveforms as sine saw square like in FM8 for example an additive waveform editor. And that is really nice to combine additive with fm techniques, because building ur sounds from waveforms u can save is much more intuitive than complex zigzag editing of envelopes which u mostly never know whereto leads. Its lot more trial and erroring. Also i like the small in Live integrated view of operator. An envelop editor would falsify the easyness and concept of operator imo. Also u can use unlinked clip env to autoamte any paramter of operator, so u have many "lfos" in the background. And think about several instances of operator in an instrument rack, that way u can have a lfo/filter per osc. There r so much possibilietes in operator because of unlinked clip env and its integrated in live. Also with max for live u can probably build ur own lfo to modulate any parameter of operator?

I dont wanna say ur points r not a look worth, but i think u use operator from a subtractive view i did also at the beginning, but u really have to think a differently when synthesizing the "fm way" :) But i like to hear other comments, dont think there is one golden way to use operator inside Live

I read it was originally designed in MAX. So adding a env editor would probably also be a bigger task and destroy the small nice gui, but i really think u dont need it if u use additive and fm features of operator the right way.

djsynchro
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by djsynchro » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:54 pm

All the features you are asking for are a load of bollocks get another synth.

Android Bishop
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by Android Bishop » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:29 pm

I'm pretty sure operator already has a pitch envelope
also it does have a non-random white noise generator

i think its clear you dont know how to use this thing

synnack
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by synnack » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:16 pm

Android Bishop wrote:I'm pretty sure operator already has a pitch envelope
also it does have a non-random white noise generator

i think its clear you dont know how to use this thing
The pitch envelope is not per oscillator which is what he/she is asking for.

I think there are some good ideas in these suggestions (like pulse width modulation, i love that in Analog) but you should really post this in the feature request forum.
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henke
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by henke » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:26 pm

Zarro Vega wrote:Hi,

I'm using intensively Operator since about 5 months and even if it looks very nice and you can design most of sound it tends to become very limited in term of features... Step by step I noticed the weakness of Operator. Does the Ableton teams plan an update of Operator (not another synth...) ? I suggest the following improvements:

- More points on amp, pitch, filter and Lfo envelopes with slope for each points. Classic ADSR is not sufficient.
- Increase the classical 48 semitones limits of the pitch envelope points.
- Add a pitch envelope, filter and Lfo per oscillator.
- Add a pulse width modulation for each oscillator with depth and time parameters
- Allow panning of each oscillator
- Make a new no random white noise waveform.

Best regards,
Hi Zarro Vega,
Operator was designed with two major goals:

a) it should be very straight forward and fun to create FM sounds with it. FM is a quite complex thing to use, and we did not want to build another FM8 which is a fantastic synth but you need a lot of experience if you want to build own sounds with it.

b) Operator should be light on CPU to encourage people to use a lot of instances of it. This seems to make sense to us since it is such great toy for drum sounds. It should be possible to run 100 instances in a rack without any problems.

All further enhancements should not compromize these two goals.

To comment on your wishes: We added slopes for the Aux/Pitch envelope. We were concerned about CPU load if we would add lopes to all envelopes, thats why we did not do. We might do so later when CPUs become more efficient and it does not matter anymore. Currently it still does.

- Increase the classical 48 semitones limits of the pitch envelope points.

The higher the resolution the more difficult to adjust smal changes. I think the 48st range makes sense in most cases.

- Add a pitch envelope, filter and Lfo per oscillator.

I agree that more envelopes and filters in general make sense. However we need to find a balance between complexity and usability. We might add more filters in the future.

- Add a pulse width modulation for each oscillator with depth and time parameters

Unlikel. This is not the scope of this synthesizer. Its oscillators were build with FM synthesis in mind.

- Allow panning of each oscillator
Is on the wish list, might be implemented one day.

- Make a new no random white noise waveform.

I am not sure if I understand. White noise is random. What would a new no random white noise wave form be like for you?


If Operator is too limited for you, and stacking two or more instances plus FX in a rack does not get you the desired results, you might want to have a look at FM8 if you are into FM, or another of the millions of other fantastic instruments out there. A single instrument will always have a specific character, which is also the result of its limitations.

Cheers, Robert

djsynchro
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by djsynchro » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:41 pm

Which boils down to what I wrote, albeit a lot more polite and extensive :mrgreen:

luzil
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by luzil » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:04 pm

henke wrote: However we need to find a balance between complexity and usability.
This is so true and why i love operator, dont make a all-singing, all-dancing synth out of operator. That is FM8, but the drawback is a hard to overview multi layered gui even harder to control fast. Rather make some tutorials/vids how to creative use it itself and within Live (racks, m4l). It now already offers fm, additive, subtractive features, so can get a little disturbing for beginners.

Some features i like to see improved/added:


Better midi-controlling, since its no vst, its hard to control even with superb controllers and software like novation automap. And in FM controlled and fast finetuning is so important when u r trial and erroring around. Controlling FM with mouse is probably one reason why so many dont get in FM too

An unison effect in operator/or Live, for deeper sounds, several rack instances r a little unhandy

a comb filter

more than 8 macro knobs in rack, especially for FM combining several parameters and thier ranges on the macro knobs adds more control to this synth method

morphing (like this in fm8)


Despite these little disfigurements congrat to this well thought synth!
Last edited by luzil on Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davepermen
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by davepermen » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:45 pm

henke wrote:
Zarro Vega wrote: a) it should be very straight forward and fun to create FM sounds with it. FM is a quite complex thing to use, and we did not want to build another FM8 which is a fantastic synth but you need a lot of experience if you want to build own sounds with it.

b) Operator should be light on CPU to encourage people to use a lot of instances of it. This seems to make sense to us since it is such great toy for drum sounds. It should be possible to run 100 instances in a rack without any problems.
..
Cheers, Robert
you reached your goals well, then. i use it exclusively, for everything i do. each track is just another operator, and it works great. delivers all i need :) still, i hope to see progression, obviously. but it works well on, in my case, 10s of instances simulataneously. and can create all sort of awesome sounds. thanks a lot for this device, it's my most important feature of live.
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Pasha
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by Pasha » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:46 pm

Operator was my first virtual synth in 2005. Since then it has improved so much and I love it.
It was strange at the beginning to think fm but when you're there, like Robert said you don't
wanna have a DX7 to program... adding more structures and oscillators could ruin the magic.
To put it in Robert's Henke way:
A single instrument will always have a specific character,which is also the result of its limitations
:D
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davepermen
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by davepermen » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:47 pm

and another, very important thing: the more limits you have, the more it spures your creativity on how to push those limits.

that's why i don't buy much gear, and no other synths and such. i get more out of less, as it forces me to be creative.
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andrewbrewer
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by andrewbrewer » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:49 pm

henke wrote: Operator was designed with two major goals...
Robert, has anyone told you that u are a badass? :)

Operator in its current form is perfection!

Zarro Vega
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by Zarro Vega » Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:30 pm

Hi all,

Thank you very much for your replies :-)
luzil wrote:But u dont seem to use it as a fm synth
You are totaly right I have used it since beginning as a classical synthesizer (horizontal ABCD algorithm). So I have to say that my suggestions was led from that. In fact, using FM will open a lot of new possibilities and will probably help me.
luzil wrote:And think about several instances of operator in an instrument rack
Yes I have already done that.
Android Bishop wrote:I'm pretty sure operator already has a pitch envelope
LOL !!!
tempus3r wrote:The pitch envelope is not per oscillator which is what he/she is asking for.
Thank you tempus3r to correct the android for me :-)
And I'm a male...
Robert Henke wrote:Hi Zarro Vega,
Operator was designed with two major goals:

a) it should be very straight forward and fun to create FM sounds with it. FM is a quite complex thing to use, and we did not want to build another FM8 which is a fantastic synth but you need a lot of experience if you want to build own sounds with it.

b) Operator should be light on CPU to encourage people to use a lot of instances of it. This seems to make sense to us since it is such great toy for drum sounds. It should be possible to run 100 instances in a rack without any problems.

All further enhancements should not compromize these two goals.
I'm very proud that your reply to my post :-) You and your colleagues made an excellent job !

a) Indeed FM seems to be complex. From the experience I have, some very little modifications on the modulator OSCs can dramatically change the nature of the sound. But in many cases offer new creative and very interesting sounds.

b) Yes I already use it like that.
henke wrote:To comment on your wishes..
I'm glad to see that some features will be implemented one day :-)
henke wrote:I am not sure if I understand. White noise is random. What would a new no random white noise wave form be like for you?
I have to give more informations.

When I design a drum bass in Operator I use the "white noise" to add more clearness to the attack. As white noise is generated randomly attacks are always different, you will probably reply that this is a good think to give some life to the drums… But I prefer to have every time the same sound. I tried to use the "Noise Looped" which I thought could probably solve my problem but unfortunately the "Noise looped" is more like a "Pink noise" which is less clear in high frequencies… So by "no random noise" I should have to say "static white noise" probably :-)

Robert, I don't want to jump to another synth because Operator is really well designed and I like the perfect integration in Ableton. With FM and some of my whites (that will be implemented on day) I'm sure I can go ahead. I have to spend now more time on FM, and time it is not a problem for me :-) Furthermore, I want to master my materials before going to another one.

Once more time thank you all :-)

dag451
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by dag451 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:39 am

If you want your drum sound to be consistent why don't you just resample them? I don't think you're ever going to get the white noise to be that consistent otherwise.

I think Operator is amazing, the only thing I could wish is morphing filter capability like sampler. Although granted I can, and do, resample the waveform into sampler for this function. I just think it would be handy to have it there already.

+1 on the unison spread too. Operator's spread is okay I guess, but I think it would be better to have something similar to what NI Massive has.
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oddstep
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Re: Operator's improvements

Post by oddstep » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:05 pm

if you want consistent atonal noise to mark the attack of a drum hit perhaps consider using a oscillator to fm another... c routing into d maybe... with the right settings on the fine tune it will be consistently noisy in the right frequency range.

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