Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Discussion of anything not related to audio or music production
Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:06 pm

beats me wrote:
Angstrom wrote:
beats me wrote:Just found out about this. Haven't tried it yet.

https://vcvrack.com
it's good, but right now there's no VST bridge, it's purely standalone. remember to download all the extensions, otherwise you'll only have the basic module set
The patches are text (xml) and paste-able.

I thought of starting a thread here with our patches, but it seems redundant until VCV can integrate with live.
How does it compare to Reaktor Blocs? (not that I've sue those either)
I hate to say it but I find VCVrack more immediately fun than Reaktor blocks. Three reasons - immediacy, flexibility and CPU.

Immediacy ... In Reaktor we must assemble the synth made of blocks in the Ensemble Patching mode, and make our audio and modulation connections in that mode then flip over to the Panel view to play it and turn the dials. Which disconnects patching from dial tweaking and feels very disjointed. In VCV it's all one screen, patching and playing. I can turn a dial and patch a cable at the same time.

Flexibility... Blocks only have two modulation inputs which are "around the back" in patching mode, those two inputs are not named, they just appear on the Panel as mysterious A and B dials. So you have to keep flipping back to patching mode to see what exactly is A or B which is being turned up on each Block. Two mod inputs is simply not enough, and two unlabelled inputs is terrible. In VCV the inferences are via everyone's favourite visual metaphor ... dangly wires! At least we can trace one while we play and say "ah yes, that LFO controls this pitch"

Reaktor Blocks are a bit of a CPU killer. The sound of Reaktor's Blocks are really great, but that doubles the pain when going over 10 blocks and seeing the CPU meter start to climb .
VCVrack seems to have around half the CPU load of Reaktor using Blocks when constructing a similar sort of patch. In my very unscientific test.

Tarekith
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Tarekith » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:22 pm

Have you tried the Softube modular?

Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:03 pm

Tarekith wrote:Have you tried the Softube modular?
I haven't - it seemed overpriced for a software product compared to it's competitors. I love modularity, and there's a real value in software modulars for music creation but the reality is - they are limited in interaction and audio . A real analog synth with a tactile knob per control and NO cpu issues has certain creative merits. A software modular is great for a little patch exploration even if it must be rendered down to audio for our CPU's sake, but Softube's pricing strategy struck me as crazy - their Doepfer module A-101-2 is $39 , the real thing is $110. Now that's just daft. It's pretending that software modular has the same value scaling as real modular. It does not.

A big problem with all software modulars is as the patches become more complex the flaws of interfacing with a GUI are increasingly exposed.
A simple software Minimoog can be insta-mapped to 8 macros for adequate playability in the box with a controller, that simple GUI can be understood in one screen, the few dials are understood and easy enough to control. Even that example is not as good as the real thing but the convenience and portability makes it an OK value proposition. A good trade off.

But - with a software modular the UI complexity can keep growing ... and as soon as the patch becomes complex and interesting enough to merit modularity It's a nightmare of scrolling and clicking. Usability breaks down. There's a ceiling which will always be hit by a software modular, unless they can create a whole new interaction paradigm. Softube did not create a new modular interaction strategy but went for the old "Skeuomorpic interface" aspirational upsell sales strategy instead. That does not lift the usability ceiling. It seems disingenuous.

There's only so much I will pay for a virtual racing car, no matter how good the simulation.

I already own Reaktor which cost me a mere $99 and comes with an entire library of 140 Euro rack blocks, plus the traditional library of galactic delights . That made Softube's value proposition at $449 (if you add the additional modules) quite uncompetitive. Now VCV rack is a more direct competitor at $0, Softube's model looks even less worth bothering with. I'm sure their code is great but ... cmon! It's still a software modular.
Last edited by Angstrom on Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tarekith
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Tarekith » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:11 pm

Yeah, the price on that seemed pretty high for a basic set up. I still like Model15 the best for a semi modular design, they did a pretty good job making it fluid to use. But you're right, it's certainly no substitute for having it all right there in front of you in person. Something I'm experiencing for the first time in a long while myself, as it's been a long time since I had a hardware synth to fondle :)

Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:19 pm

I don't know why I am even pretending that I can avoid a full-blown Eurocrack addiction.

On my other screen right now is a shopping list that is entirely full of things like this:
https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/befaco-sle ... l-diy-kit/
https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/ryo-optodist/

etc
I even have aSteinerParker kiton there, and I have Steiner Parker filters galore right next to me.
A slippery slippery slope

Tarekith
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Tarekith » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:13 pm

Getting an 0-Coast showed me exactly how much stuff I would have to buy just to do even basic synthesis. Decided that like guitar pedals, this was one money pit I didn’t need. :)

Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:46 pm

I don't need too much I think ...
just this much ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER1CQoIf9X0
:lol:

Tarekith
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Tarekith » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:14 am

I almost feel like someone should tell him you can do all that with an MC303.

Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:45 pm

Phew. Finished assembling the Dreadbox synth kit and it makes all the correct noises. I was doubtful near the end. Hooray!

Tarekith
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Tarekith » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:16 am

Putting the OB6 module through it's paces in a more standalone manner.

https://youtu.be/WCc_sUPZoVU

How long did it take you to finish the Dreadbox?

Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:28 pm

Tarekith wrote:Putting the OB6 module through it's paces in a more standalone manner.

https://youtu.be/WCc_sUPZoVU

How long did it take you to finish the Dreadbox?
It took me a while. I did an hour or so on Wednesday and Thursday, about 4 hours on Saturday and then on Sunday I was finishing it off and after 3 hours work realised I'd made a big mistake and soldered the faders in the wrong order. ooops. De-soldering and cleaning them took 2 hours! Then another hour or so to finish it.

I've seen non-idiots complete the kit in 6 hours. For a doofus like me it takes closer to 12.

I actually enjoyed the physical creative process though. Usually I'm making intangible stuff like code or music, so I enjoy this more tangible creativity. There's a product at the end which doesnt vanish when the power goes off. I may have become too reliant on "undo" though!

The OB6 seems like a good purchase, I'm a sucker for anything which sounds saturated!

Richie Witch
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Richie Witch » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:15 pm

Angstrom wrote:I don't know why I am even pretending that I can avoid a full-blown Eurocrack addiction.

On my other screen right now is a shopping list that is entirely full of things like this:
https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/befaco-sle ... l-diy-kit/
https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/ryo-optodist/
I've built a Befaco Even and an RYO Paths. The build for the RYO module was waaay easier than the Befaco module. The RYO instructions were a lot more well-written and straightforward, and at least on the module I built, the Befaco kit had a very high parts density using tiny, low wattage parts, and microscopic print on the board. The finished Befaco module is fantastic, but definitely the most challenging kit I've built to date.
Win10/Intel i7 rig | Live 10 | DSI, Yamaha, Korg, and Novation synths, and 12U of Eurorack | various outboard gear | Dune 2, Circle2, Enzyme, Kontakt |

Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:08 pm

Richie Witch wrote: I've built a Befaco Even and an RYO Paths. The build for the RYO module was waaay easier than the Befaco module. The RYO instructions were a lot more well-written and straightforward, and at least on the module I built, the Befaco kit had a very high parts density using tiny, low wattage parts, and microscopic print on the board. The finished Befaco module is fantastic, but definitely the most challenging kit I've built to date.
Thanks, that's useful info.

Angstrom
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by Angstrom » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:08 pm

I asked the Dreadbox guys about the possibility of an Erebus kit and they said - nope. It's double the difficulty of the Hades, would require at least two (I assume stacked) circuit-boards, and as the synth is still in production ... nope.
Seems fair.

sporkles
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Re: Proudly collecting music gear and software for no purpose

Post by sporkles » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:57 am

Here's a really nice "next gen" trance gate / volume shaper, called Gatekeeper. Really snappy and intuitive. https://polyversemusic.com/products/gatekeeper/

I just grabbed the whole bundle (I Wish, Manipulator and Gatekeeper), since they have a Black Friday sale right now

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