Best Modular Synth

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Angstrom
Posts: 14671
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Angstrom » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:57 pm

Kruddler wrote: ... what I am looking for is a powerful platform to create synthesisers on. I want to invest my time in to getting my head around the architecture of one of these platforms and spending a good deal of time on designing synths from scratch. I'm a programmer. I'm used to this stuff....
Hi, in that case you may want to check the way that any potential purchase handles arrays and other objects you may be familar with.

Personally I find the graphical boxes-and-wires metaphor is nice for some things, but for an array? or to define a class or a function? It seems harder and less sensible to use boxes and wires than to simply type it out.

I don't know how Usine handles these issues but ...
Reaktor uses boxes and wires all the way, even down to the JIT compile thingy they added.
Synthedit allows you to write additional stuff in C++ and include them, which is damn handy, but Windows only.
Synthmaker has a code window which allows its own ECMA (C style) coding of variables, arrays and such, and also an ASM window. I like Synthmaker, but it's also Windows only.

so all of them are a bit weird for me.

tldr; as you are a programmer, check whether Usine will let you define and call objects as you might like, because you may come to hate having to draw a picture of a multi-dimensional Array

malutki
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 9:12 pm
Location: Near The Lake, Germany
Contact:

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by malutki » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:38 pm

Angstrom wrote:check whether Usine will let you define and call objects as you might like, because you may come to hate having to draw a picture of a multi-dimensional Array
I would not know exactly,
but there is a scripting language
and a C++ SDK

hope that helps ;)
I'm going home

Angstrom
Posts: 14671
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Angstrom » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:44 pm

sounds pretty good then!

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by 3dot... » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:54 pm

Usine looks tempting indeed.. I've used their lighter version way back..
they've come a long way since then...
Image

Syncretia
Posts: 328
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Syncretia » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:39 pm

I ended up buying Max last night. Max also has video integration. I didn't buy it because it was my synth building platform of choice. I bought it because it has hundreds of instruments and FX that I might use for Ableton. For one thing, I have an APC40, and Max will finally allow me to use it as a proper step sequencer and I'll be able to modify the behaviour of that step sequencer.

Anyway. Press Enter - yes, I will download the Usine demo, and should it be as easy to build synths as they say, it might still end up being my platform of choice. Over the next month or so, I'll be comparing all 3 (Reaktor, Max, and Usine). But my view will be a bit scewed since I'm new to synth building altogether.

At first glance, Max looks like it has a lot better user interface that Reaktor. For starters, when you create a Max window, you can maximise it, and zoom in and out. This is really important when you are using a 42' monitor and are sitting 3 feet back from it. Apart from that, it just integrates in to Live much more nicely. Time will tell whether or not it is as powerful, or more powerful than the others.
Download and listen @ http://www.syncretia.com

Press Enter
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Press Enter » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:15 am

for a man of your professed chops, who needs not to demo, you could do a scrotal-sack of a lot worse than checking this book out http://www.virtual-sound.com/en/
yo!
:o

abl385
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:04 pm
Location: London

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by abl385 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:20 am

Mplay wrote:U-he's ACE and Bazille might be worth looking at. Bazille is still in public beta on his kvr forum page, but is more flexible then ACE.

Also still in public beta is hourglass by xenakios (pc only) a powerful granular audio mangler.
Am considering ACE too, but what about the note on their website?

"ACE is very demanding on CPU. You will only be able to enjoy ACE with a modern, fast computer, and you may learn to appreciate the freeze function in your DAW - Don't say we didn't warn you :-)"

Anyone who already owns it here?

Press Enter
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Press Enter » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:27 am

Press Enter wrote:demos.
Has the whole world gone crazy ? If you want to know if it's a CPU hog there's one sure-fire way to find out.

Anyway I own it and use it on a 5 yr old machine, that was modest for it's time. It's definitely very demanding on CPU, but I don't feel the CPU cycles are wasted. Sounds wonderful. Of course it depends on the quality settings & the complexity of your patch. You can work in eco mode, render in the highest quality. Or work at higher quality rates if your patch is less complex.

DEMO IT.

abl385
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:04 pm
Location: London

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by abl385 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:49 am

I will, thanks.

Mplay
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 8:26 am

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Mplay » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:24 pm

abl385 wrote:
Mplay wrote:U-he's ACE and Bazille might be worth looking at. Bazille is still in public beta on his kvr forum page, but is more flexible then ACE.

Also still in public beta is hourglass by xenakios (pc only) a powerful granular audio mangler.
Am considering ACE too, but what about the note on their website?

"ACE is very demanding on CPU. You will only be able to enjoy ACE with a modern, fast computer, and you may learn to appreciate the freeze function in your DAW - Don't say we didn't warn you :-)"

Anyone who already owns it here?
It does depend on the preset and you can choose more cpu friendly modes, but if I run the highest quality I can run around 3 instances in real time on my good old q6600. I'd say just try the demo
Ableton - Reaper - Nebula - RME - ADAM

Syncretia
Posts: 328
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:34 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Syncretia » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:04 am

+1 For Max.

I created this amazing tool in 5 hours. It was the first time I'd ever opened up the Max Editor. !@#@ing awesome.

http://www.maxforlive.com/library/device.php?id=891
Download and listen @ http://www.syncretia.com

sans soleil
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:59 pm
Location: toronto
Contact:

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by sans soleil » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:18 am

nobody's mentioned bidule (since the initial post, anyway) - amazing (and relatively inexpensive) program. very similar to max, imo, but one thing that i love about it is that it lets you run vst/au modules within your patches...

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by 3dot... » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:07 am

+1 for bidule.. used to be a permanent in my setup ..
Image

quaestor
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:22 pm

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by quaestor » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:40 pm

Sorry for this near-total threadjack, but since I stumbled onto a current thread-in-progress involving people who clearly know what they're talking about (obligatory flattery) on a board I'm already registered at...
After watching Tobor perform on a Buchla in these videos, I'm desperate to find a "real" software "analog modular", akin to the Buchla, some Serges, some ARPs (I'm not looking to get the sound of one of these; I know that's a stretch). Like u-he says
I'm used to being able to save patches, I'm used to having multiple instances of my synth, and I'm used to play chords. All these things are simply non-existant in an analogue modular system. On the other hand you have that tactile thing with the hands-on experience. Plugging cables, turning real knobs and all that is very rewarding...
I've looked at Madrona's Aalto (too expensive for me :( ) and Berna which are close, but both are too limiting; I'd like to be able to, say, drop in another LFO and start routing right away. I've looked at lots of others which either have mostly-fixed routing, or give no indication if they can work sans keyboard. Actually, u-he's Berlin Modular is exactly what I want, aside from the not-yet-existing part...
Oh, and it'd be great (but not crucial) if it was available for OSX :)
Any ideas?

(P.S. having said all that, if you're at all interested in what I've been talking about, I highly recommend checking out the demo of Aalto; it's genius. You can totally ruin your sound system/hearing with this thing :D Mostly based on the modules of a classic Buchla.)

Press Enter
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: Best Modular Synth

Post by Press Enter » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:54 pm

I like Tobor & his coding, I lust for buchla like every other red blooded synth nerd, and I'm 'OK' with musique concrète: but those videos -on the whole- are total wank. They actually piss me off, and seeing how much trouble he's gone to with lighting etc for the video + the whole 'intellectualising' that BS with musique concrète disclaimers etc... just compounds how much I hate it.


On the topic of ACE though, you can midi control the process of dis/connecting SOURCE -> DESTINATION (google it, or email Urs about it.)
So, if you'd be willing to do some midi-controller DIYing - or just get creative with the controllers you have, you can actually have a hands-free modular experience. today. with ACE. I believe Bazille operates like this too. So one can probably safely assume the berlin modular will function that way too.

edit: oh. I might have misunderstood your desires. I figured you were looking for a physical, modular experience - with software synthesis at it's core.

Post Reply