TORQ IS OUT!

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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djadonis206
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TORQ IS OUT!

Post by djadonis206 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:08 pm

USER review on TRANCEADDICTS

DAMN - I was hoping to buy food and shit tomorrow - guess not - I was even going to upgrade ABLETON to 6 - whoops



I'm buying TORQ

peace

Adonis!

anyone got their hands on it yet?

Ad
Last edited by djadonis206 on Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mikemc
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Post by mikemc » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:11 pm

btw, I clicked on that link and got a virus scan alert ...

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Post by zazamoth » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:18 pm

wow!! that was lot of pop ups..great!! :( off i go to scan my computer ..sigh
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djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:18 pm

Screw that then - just go to www.tranceaddicts.com/forum and seearch for TORQ


i want someone to rewire it into ABLETON (TODAY) and let us knwo what's up

peace

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djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:19 pm

I had no idea - I took the link down - go to TRANDDICTS.COM and do a search for TORQ

sorry about that - happened to me as well


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robtronik
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Post by robtronik » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:00 pm

http://www.tranceaddict.com/forums/show ... did=373382

OK, been testing it for 2 hours straight and have some info for you all. Before I go any further, let me give you my system specs (I only installed it on my desktop - I'll get it on the laptop after this weekend).

Dell XPS400
Intel CoreDuo 2.8ghz
1GB RAM
XP MCE SP2
250GB SATA HD

THE BAD STUFF

The documentation does indeed suck. You get a stupid little quick start guide that's 4 pages long that mostly just covers the driver installation. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. So I figured that if there wasn't any hardcopy, they must have installed a PDF into the program goup with the application. NOPE. You have to browse the CD before you'll get to read any of the documentation. Yes, it tells you this in the little 4 page flyer, but would it be so hard to install a shortcut in the program group at the very least?

Also, NO CABLES! Come on guys. Hope you have some RCA cables lying around, cause it comes with 1 cable, and thats the USB cable. That's pretty weak. While we're on the "not included" kick, it doesn't come with a power adapter either. Not as big an issue since it's bus powered, but I think that if it's got an option for external power it should come with it's own adapter.

I also have a small gripe about the interface. this might just be because I don't fully know it yet, but it looks to me like if you have the app set for external mixer, you have no choice but to see the unnecessary crossfader and deck faders. I would really like to get rid of those and reclaim that on screen real estate. Maybe I just don't know how yet.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Here are the sys reqs as stated on the sticker on the box (they obviously were considering what to recommend well after the box art went to press).

Windows Minimum
XP SP2
Pentuim III 500mhz
256 MB RAM

Windows Recommended
XP SP2
Pentium III 933mhz
256 MB RAM

Mac Minimum
OSX 10.3.9
G3 500mhz
256 MB RAM

Mac Recommended
OSX 10.4.6
G4 1.25ghz
512 MB RAM

IN THE PACKAGE

The box contains 2 timecoded vinyl that are thick and feel substantial. Some of you scratch oriented DJs aren't going to like them, but there it is. There's also 2 timecode CDs, the documentation of suck, the USB cable, and the Conectiv interface. the interface is heavier and more substantial than I thought it would be, but not the tank of the FS2 Scratchamp (this isn't a bad thing). It's got TT ins and outs, power and USB ins, and on the front a 1/4" headphone and 1/4" mic input. The 2 large knobs on the top control the USB to source ratio. Remember the headphone jack? It's there because there's full monitoring controls on the top for source selection, level, and a split cue switch. The third small knob is a mic level control.

Hooking it up is pretty straightforward. There is an updated driver for it on their website, so I installed that instead of the one on the CD (following the instructions in the quickstart guide). It's a very similar installation to the Firewire 410's. One reboot later and I was in business. I set my buffer to 256 samples and installed the Torq software off the CD.

Having used TDJS for a while, the interface didn't strike me as cluttered as it might for other folks. It's more organized and logical than the TDJS3 interface, and MUCH easier to read. Going into preferences, I saw that my channel assignments weren't set by default. No biggie. I set mixer mode to external, selected my ins and outs, and checked out the other settings. In the vinyl tab, I selected external and made a note to learn about the info on this page (but not before I rip into it for a while). I also checked to make sure it found my VST directory (it did). FS2 and SSL users will note that there isn't a "scopes" view on the timecode page, just some data.

I then closed preferences and checked out the browser. I didn't bother adding files to the database just yet, so I picked my main music directory and let her rip.

HANDS ON TIME

I dropped the control vinyl on the turntables and dragged songs to each of the decks. each one sprung to life and started scrolling the waveform. The waveform view is split in half and is like a horizontal version of SSL's waveform view. I like it.
You have a small representation of the full waveform in the info block on each deck as well. The waveform view has an interesting feature I really like. If you are spinning the platter fast, the waveform for that deck "zooms out" so you can see more of the waveform. It does this smoothly, and zooms back in when the platter returns to a more normal speed. Very cool.

Looks like 5 hot cues and 2 "scratch points" per song. There is also BPM based looping ala TDJS in 1/2/4/ and 8 bar values. I noticed that repeatedly hitting a value gave me half of that value. You can also set loop ins and outs manually. Each deck also features independant key and pitch (sweet!), 3 built in effects at a time, and from what I can tell one VST effect (I only tried one and didn't explore this any further).

The effects section is what TDJS 3 effects SHOULD have been. For instance, when using the STROBE effect, the second knob scrolls through musically logical values instead of being an arbitrary numeric value. This means that when using a BPM based effect, it ALWAYS effects the song in a way that sounds pleasing to the ear. The effects are all useable, and can be saved into effect presets if you find a combination of effects that you like the sound of. These presets can be recalled at any time.

I only dabbled in sample playback, but it works like should. I made a loop and a one shot and they fired off correctly. The loops also sync to the master clock value if you have it selected, so they will play in time with the mix if you want them to. More on this later

PERFORMANCE

I'm not a turntablist, but I tried everything I could to shake the timecode pointer and make it lose track of the position. Seemed to be really stable and fast on things like needle drops. Just like all the other vinyl control packages, it has both relative and absolute modes.

But here's the thing that makes me feel all funny in the pants...


http://www.nem0nic.com/torq.JPG - for a larger view

See that? That's 2 decks running timecode, with 3 effects each, altered pitch, AND A VST EFFECT ON ONE OF THEM! So what you ask? Look in the bottom right corner of my screen and look at the CPU usage. Yes, you saw it right - it's 28%. WTF?! I was getting this kind of performance the whole 2 hours, with it hovering at around 11% when just playing 2 tracks without any extras. It dinged around 20% on deck loads because it had to build an overview (I didn't bother to analyze my tracks yet). This performance was verified in the Task Manager performance tab. Also, it's using both processors (I shouldn't be suprised, but thought I would mention it).

Sick stuff. I can't wait to delve deeper.

The next few days are going to be hell for me at work, so you won't hear much from me until around Monday. I'll resume my testing then and bring you another installment.
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KU
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Post by KU » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:36 pm

I'm curious how about the sound quality

I really like the sound of SSL. The PitchNTime Algorithm his great.

djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:59 pm

GC is holdiong it for me until tomorrow - the guy on the phone ended our conversation with

"Yeah, dog."

I'm embarrased
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stale bread
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Post by stale bread » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:50 pm

what was the price adonis?
Mac, Mpc, and a Microphone

Thanks for the Slicer Abe.

djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:03 pm

Some more info if you're interested - I think I'm the only one who cares :( but who cares :)

BTW here's more info for those interested:

"Hey guys! Chad Carrier here, Product Manager for SynchroScience at M-Audio. I just read through all the comments here on the forum and wanted to take a moment to clear up a few of the issues being discussed here.

The Conectiv Interface: First of all, the Conectiv interface is by no means a CONTROLLER--it is a straight-up 4x4 USB audio interface and has been mis-categorized in the above review as well as our own website (which has now been fixed). We put phono preamps on the inputs so you can directly connect your turntables to it without using any external boxes. For what it's worth, the Conectiv is analagous to the Scratch Amps from NI or the interface box from Serato--it is placed between the turntables/CD player and the DJ mixer.

So what are those big Mix knobs for? Those blend between the direct input (your turntables or CD players) and the audio from the computer. Since Torq will allow you to process your incoming signals through it's myriad of effects, you can use the Mix knobs as effect blends when using real records or CDs, making the system a dual-channel, multi-effect processor (three built-in effects and one VST effect PER DECK). Turn the Mix knob clockwise to introduce the effect you've dialed in on Torq.

Again, the Conectiv is just an audio interface--you're not supposed to mix with it in the way you do with the X-Session or something.

Sound Card functionality: The Conectiv is a full 4x4 ASIO and CoreAudio compatible audio interface so you're free to use it with any compatible application you want. No need to take a separate interface when you want to work on other programs.

ReWire functions: Torq does ReWire into Live--both applications will run simultaneously and will keep music in sync. Write beats in real-time in Live and they'll automatically sync up to the music in Torq or vice versa. Create weird loops and noises in Torq and immediately capture them as new Clips in Live. Isn't ReWire great?

The User Interface: Some of you think it looks a little "playskool". I figured some people may think this at first, but once you actually bring the interface up on a screen in a club, you're going to see the genius behind it's design.

First of all, the user interface is vectorized, meaning that it looks crisp and sharp at ANY screen resolution or aspect ratio. You can make the program really small (if you want to be able to see Live at the same time) and all the controls will shrink in size so everything is still available for you to use (no scroll bars for finding controls off screen).

Secondly, the colors we chose were based on studying car dashboards and their dials. We went for maximum visibility and minimal eye-strain. You'll find that you can be quite a few feet away from your laptop and will be able to clearly see all the vital information you need, such as BPMs, play times, waveforms, etc. The colors pop out against the dark backgroud, making the app look totally sick in the dark. The days of DJing with your head buried in the laptop screen are over. Nobody wants to go to a club and see a DJ that looks like he's checking his e-mail for two hours. ;-)

Thirdly, the interface is almost entirely graphical--if we could express something using a symbol or icon, we did so, instead of using words. It makes things easier to read since you don't have to squint to read tiny labels next to controls. It also makes it easier to use for all our international customers.

Yes, there is a lot of information on the user interface because Torq has so many features (built-in and VST effects, samplers, snapshots, waveforms, etc.). Like Live, we feel it's important to have all informaiton on one screen at once instead of having to sort your way through handfulls of pop-up windows. The only pop-ups you'll have to deal with are the VST windows. You can hide various parts of the screen, such as the Sampler, if you never use them. You can also make the database or waveforms go fullscreen for easier access.

The Sampler: Yes, Torq can record anything directly into its Sampler in real-time. You can capture loops from tracks you're playing, sample yourself talking on a mic, or perform drumming using the QuickCues and record the results. The loops will then play back in sync with the Master Tempo or you could immediately assign the sample to one of the Decks for scratching.

The Vinyl/CD Control: We are using the Ms. Pinky control system for Torq. It's the sickest I've ever seen and Scott makes it so easy to integrate his stuff that the decision was a no-brainer. Already have the Ms. Pinky records? You're in luck--they'll work with Torq. Same is true for the CD.

Well, that's about all the characters I get for this post, but I'll check back once in a while to see how you all are doing. I'll be very interested to hear all the crazy stuff you guys come up with once you have this extremely flexible tool in your hands"

taken from:
www.skratchworx.com
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djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:04 pm

stale bread wrote:what was the price adonis?
$299 for everything - the platters, audio interface and program
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djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:04 pm

More info

More info from the Chad dude who designed it:

Q: Can you disable Auto Beatmatching?
A: Yes. You actually have four different settings for the beatmatching:

- Bar: This will cause Torq to match tempos and also synchronize the positions of the songs so their downbeats are aligned.

- Beat: This will cause Torq to match tempos and will synchronize the positions of the music, but will only ensure that the beat markers are aligned--it is possible to have the doenbeats out of alignment.

- Tempo Only: This will cause Torq to match BPMs on the Decks, but will do nothing to synchronize the positions of the songs. It will be up to you to drop the track in at the right time and ensure it doesn't drift at all during playback. I like this one a lot.

- Off: If you don't click the Sync button on any of the Decks, you'll never trigger the auto beat-matching, so the program will behave like two old-school turntables. It will be up to the DJ to do the tempo and phase matching.

Q: Can we change MIDI assignments if we don't like the defaults?
A: Of course. In fact, Torq doesn't really have any defaults at all, except for a few special SynchroScience products that you all haven't seen yet. ;-) The Trigger Finger, for example, has no preset assignments at all. Since every DJ approaches the craft differently, it makes more sense for you to define your own MIDI and key assignments instead of trying to learn and remember ours.

In the cases where some products do come with pre-assigned maps, you'll always be able to change them to something else if you desire.

Q: Can you use other controllers with Torq?
A: Abosolutely. Torq will do MIDI Learns on incoming MIDI CCs and MIDI Notes. As long as your controller will transmit those types of messages, you'll be able to use it with Torq.

Q: Are the EFX pre- or post-fader?
A: The Effect Rack is inserted between the Deck and the Mixer, so the effects are all pre-fader for the time being.

Q: How many VSTs can be used on each Deck? How does it affect system latency?
A: Just one per Deck. Using multiple VSTs could create serious system latency because some VSTs need to buffer large amounts of audio in order to do their jobs. This is the same on any audio application--it's no different for Torq.

Q: Can the Conectiv be used as an audio out for Ableton Live? Does the mic input go into the computer?
A: Yes, the Conectiv is a full-function ASIO- and Core Audio-compatible audio interface. It's required for Torq to run, but you can use it as your audio interface for any other application, too. The Mic input can be routed into the computer, too.

Q: Will my Ms Pinky records work with Torq?
A: Yes. Torq will support Ms Pinky vinyl generations 1, 2, and 3.

Q: Can I loop playing audio?
A: Yes. If you're playing music from the internal Decks, you can use looping just like on a CD player. If you're using real records run through Torq, you can use the Repeat Effect to capture up to two-bars of incoming audio. You can then do all those stutter-edits with the effect right on your vinyl.

Q: Will this be Universal Binary?
A: It already is--it has to be. I was using a MacBook Pro Intel CoreDuo 2.0GHz 1GB RAM at the NAMM show. It will run on non-Intel machines, too, but keep in mind that there is a large performance gap between the fastest G4 laptop and the new Intel-based laptops. Apple unfortunately skipped over making any G5 laptops, so the old PowerBooks are not anywhere near the Intel-based MacBooks as far as performance is concerned. This is a full-featured application--it's doing things that haven't been possible with the slower computer technology of the past. Otherwise, we would have made this a lot sooner. ;-) As with anything, you'll want a fast computer to get the smoothest and cleanest results.

Q: Will this program be skinnable?
A: Yes, it already is, but only in the way Live is skinnable: The skins will change the colors of the interface only--the control shapes and positions will remain the same. This is due to the fact that we're using a vectorized GUI instead of bitmaps. Bitmaps are easy for anyone to create and add to an interface. The vetorized graphics actually have to be coded into the application. Sure, it make is harder/impossible to skin, but it allows all the cool resizing and scaling that's not possible with bitmapped-based GUIs.

Q: Latency?
A: On my MacBook Pro, I'm currently running Torq and the Conectiv at a 32 sample buffer size. Yeah, you read that right: 32 samples. Of course, slower computers may need higher latency settings, just like any other audio application.

Q: Sticker Drift?
A: That's one of the reasons I like the Ms Pinky system so much: It tracks position while the record is running backwards. This keeps everything in sync even during quick backcueing.
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robtronik
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Post by robtronik » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:14 am

as soon as I realized that this thing had rewire in it I knew it was going to be a slick app.

version 1.0? DaYUM. :)

Good job M-Audio. Can't wait to read the real world reviews of it to see how it performs out in club land.

rob.
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all i gotta say is...

Post by missjade » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:25 am

hell yeah! :twisted:

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Post by dCross » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:26 am

always cool to see a product rep (the designer for that matter!) spending so much time helping out.

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