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Musik Messe 2017, a new low for Keyboardists
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Gerardi wrote:
Let me turn this around, then:

Where should the keyboard maker's go? What is new out there? What has not been done? If you remove sampling, FM, Analog, PM, Granular, wavetable, and additive style of synthesis, what is left?

Until someone invents a whole new technology, there is going to be only regurgitation.

If you think about it, the Kronos offered zilch in new features It was just a rehash of the same old stuff.

However it was done brilliantly. And that's what we see out there- rehashes, that every so often offer something brilliant.

I, for one, am excited about the Quantum. I love how samples can become part of a wavetable. And Granular synthesis. And all the other goodies. I think it will be a perfect complement to the Kronos, offering thing the Kronos hasn't got.

But mostly, what's really needed is musicians making keyboard music. Too much out there can be done on a 1980's Casio home keyboard- there's no real playing going on except in quite a niche area of music.

Hard to innovate for such a small crowd.

..Joe


Actually all innovation where it comes to sound creation happens in VST country, for example where it comes to authentic keysounds, spectrasonics keyscape is incredible.. but when you load it into omnisphere, you get something incredible..

So the perfect workstation should have a VST soundsource, but then, why not just use a computer? Well, a computer will allways feel like a computer and not like a musicall instrument..

So what does a workstation require to hide the fact that there is a computer inside?

Thats a dedicated interface, which allows you to controll the sounds.. and this is where the innovation should be

and on top of that... the tools to be creative with those sounds... thats where a workstation differs from a synthesizer... sequencers, stepsequencers, drumloops, arpeggios, karma, arrnager styles, clip launching and some more all integrated in a single interface...

On top of that a modular design, allowing for improvements and new things to be added.. nothing set in stone, but a way to add new features and things to the software (and make money on that)


But most important thing for a workstation is content to play around with... when you look at Kronos, there are so many nice comb's .. with their own Karma scenes.. and then every sound comes with a drum... when you look at pa4x, there are so many prepreprared soundsets and styles, which make it easy accesible...


So is this innovative? Well, the interface should be...

But the rest? Well its modular, and its software, so there will allways be room to add more innovative features and Vst's....

So shouldn't the hardware (cpu power and such) be upgradable?
Even this could be archieved trough sepperating the product in 3 parts....
1) the controlling hardware connected to the hidden pc, including a touchscreen..
2) a VST host with all the workstation features on board running on the PC
3) a PC.. sepperate buy... you can add a PC as powerfull as you need/want in a case and uograde it in the future, and hide it.. either in the keyboard... or just have a PC ...


The future is in combining these 3 things.....
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EvilDragon
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Musik Messe 2017, a new low for Keyboardists Reply with quote

Bachus wrote:
A new Waldorf Synth, looking very nice.. but based on the same old technollogy under the hood


This is not exactly true. Quantum uses some new tech that has been spearheaded in Waldorf's Nave app/plugin. It's not just plain ol' wavetables. Granulating live input is pretty great and something that no other hardware synth has been able to do, correct me if I'm wrong (but I can't find any other hardware synth that can do that).

So yeah, it's not same old, same old. So IMHO, Waldorf has the most innovative thing in a long while.
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Hooked On Sonics
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another GEM from Messe 2017 ... Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hho-ewWgElA
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Sharp
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Let me turn this around, then:
Where should the keyboard maker's go


The life cycle for a Workstation is on average 5 to 7 years before it gets replaced with a new model. Typically it's replacement is an upgrade on the previous model, and never anything more than an incremental upgrade. This rate of progress is far too slow.

VST's on the other hand blast ahead at breakneck speeds because it's an open market. Countless people working away every day trying to improve their software.

A keyboard manufacture will never compete with that level of development, so DON'T even try. They are already so far behind it's scary.

The solution is to embrace the direction the music industry has already gone. You can instantly catch up by simply making your Keyboard the best VST HOST there is on the market. If you don't, then people will continue to move towards VST's without you.

Regards
Sharp.
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vEddY
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bachus wrote:

Still wondering why there isnt yet a workstation build around VST's... all tools in a box needed for live gigging...

Come on, man, seriously? Smile

There have been numerous projects like this in the past. Everything from Liontracs, Mediastation, Receptor, OpenLabs, to a currently "running" project that includes VSTs as the primary sound source, which is Seelake Audiostation (http://www.seelake.com/en/as-overview.html). Also, I remember that one other company announced a VST-based synth for a ridiculous amount of money a couple of months ago, can't remember what it was called Smile

Oh yes, and let's not forget Music Computing stuff. Smile

So, there have been maaaany devices like this in the past. The market seems to say that they're not needed Sad
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Sharp
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, but nobody has gotten it right.

SM Pro Audio – V Machine. I had one of these. Perfect price, beautiful little magic box once you found a VST it would run. Sold pretty well but had countless issues. Software sucked big time, it was Linux based system so installing VST's required “Magic Wizard Files”. The unit was very noisy, and it was a rather low powered device. It struggled for most things, but was rather useful for streaming samples. Very limited RAM didn't help there though.

Liontracs Mediastation. Had two of these actually. Mediastation and Groove. Another Linux based machine, but this one uses a Windows Emulator ontop, WINE. This approach had it's issues. The problem with Lionstracs was too much time was spend trying to turn the keyboards into Arrangers. Software was constantly updated and never tested fully. Basically the public were beta testers for a product that lost it's direction. Was it a Workstation or an Arranger, nobody knows. Came pretty darn close to being a good Workstation though.

OpenLabs. Awsome product, insane price. Really insane. Very ignorant staff. Complete pigs.

Music Computing, I believe this is from one of the OpenLabs team. It also has the same issues as open labs on price, but one additional problem. They are horrendous looking DIY Garage builds. Just looks like a collection of off the shelf parts put into a box.

Receptor – Linux again ruins the day as the manufactures had to work constantly in order to try get Windows plug-ins working on the machine. Compatability was the main issue with this product.

Seelake Audiostation. In business 5 years yet nobody has one, nobody knows were to buy one, it's near impossible to even find a video on YouTube, and their official facebook page is pretty much dead. They also had a second product that they demonstrated and mysteriously vanished. Are these guys even in business any more?


I think the market is certainly ready for a Synth with a VST host. It will just take someone like KORG to get it right. My only fear there is they too are using Linux.

Regards
Sharp.
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Joe Gerardi
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you all forgotten what the heart of the Kronos is?

..Joe
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharp wrote:
True, but nobody has gotten it right.

SM Pro Audio – V Machine. I had one of these. Perfect price, beautiful little magic box once you found a VST it would run. Sold pretty well but had countless issues. Software sucked big time, it was Linux based system so installing VST's required “Magic Wizard Files”. The unit was very noisy, and it was a rather low powered device. It struggled for most things, but was rather useful for streaming samples. Very limited RAM didn't help there though.

Liontracs Mediastation. Had two of these actually. Mediastation and Groove. Another Linux based machine, but this one uses a Windows Emulator ontop, WINE. This approach had it's issues. The problem with Lionstracs was too much time was spend trying to turn the keyboards into Arrangers. Software was constantly updated and never tested fully. Basically the public were beta testers for a product that lost it's direction. Was it a Workstation or an Arranger, nobody knows. Came pretty darn close to being a good Workstation though.

OpenLabs. Awsome product, insane price. Really insane. Very ignorant staff. Complete pigs.

Music Computing, I believe this is from one of the OpenLabs team. It also has the same issues as open labs on price, but one additional problem. They are horrendous looking DIY Garage builds. Just looks like a collection of off the shelf parts put into a box.

Receptor – Linux again ruins the day as the manufactures had to work constantly in order to try get Windows plug-ins working on the machine. Compatability was the main issue with this product.

Seelake Audiostation. In business 5 years yet nobody has one, nobody knows were to buy one, it's near impossible to even find a video on YouTube, and their official facebook page is pretty much dead. They also had a second product that they demonstrated and mysteriously vanished. Are these guys even in business any more?


I think the market is certainly ready for a Synth with a VST host. It will just take someone like KORG to get it right. My only fear there is they too are using Linux.

Regards
Sharp.


The only company doing It right is Wersi... however, they are aiming at 70+ aged organ players...

However, their software host has come a long way... the rest of their interface looks like an organ from the 80's... which is kind of a shame..

But as an Organ, their latest OAX works really well...
As an arranger... it works okay...
There however are no tools for synthplayers, they refuse to add encoders..

Strangely they still dont realise they could make money with an 88 key modern stagepiano/synth based on the same OAX software...
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharp wrote:
True, but nobody has gotten it right.

SM Pro Audio – V Machine. I had one of these. Perfect price, beautiful little magic box once you found a VST it would run. Sold pretty well but had countless issues. Software sucked big time, it was Linux based system so installing VST's required “Magic Wizard Files”. The unit was very noisy, and it was a rather low powered device. It struggled for most things, but was rather useful for streaming samples. Very limited RAM didn't help there though.

Liontracs Mediastation. Had two of these actually. Mediastation and Groove. Another Linux based machine, but this one uses a Windows Emulator ontop, WINE. This approach had it's issues. The problem with Lionstracs was too much time was spend trying to turn the keyboards into Arrangers. Software was constantly updated and never tested fully. Basically the public were beta testers for a product that lost it's direction. Was it a Workstation or an Arranger, nobody knows. Came pretty darn close to being a good Workstation though.

OpenLabs. Awsome product, insane price. Really insane. Very ignorant staff. Complete pigs.

Music Computing, I believe this is from one of the OpenLabs team. It also has the same issues as open labs on price, but one additional problem. They are horrendous looking DIY Garage builds. Just looks like a collection of off the shelf parts put into a box.

Receptor – Linux again ruins the day as the manufactures had to work constantly in order to try get Windows plug-ins working on the machine. Compatability was the main issue with this product.

Seelake Audiostation. In business 5 years yet nobody has one, nobody knows were to buy one, it's near impossible to even find a video on YouTube, and their official facebook page is pretty much dead. They also had a second product that they demonstrated and mysteriously vanished. Are these guys even in business any more?


I think the market is certainly ready for a Synth with a VST host. It will just take someone like KORG to get it right. My only fear there is they too are using Linux.

Regards
Sharp.


The only company doing It right is Wersi... however, they are aiming at 70+ aged organ players...

However, their software host has come a long way... the rest of their interface looks like an organ from the 80's... which is kind of a shame..

But as an Organ, their latest OAX works really well...
As an arranger... it works okay...
There however are no tools for synthplayers, they refuse to add encoders..

Strangely they still dont realise they could make money with an 88 key modern stagepiano/synth based on the same OAX software...
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharp wrote:


I think the market is certainly ready for a Synth with a VST host. It will just take someone like KORG to get it right.



How about Steven Kay building a new Karma (hardware workstation) with VST's as a soundsource... That would work..
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vEddY
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharp wrote:
True, but nobody has gotten it right.

I think the market is certainly ready for a Synth with a VST host. It will just take someone like KORG to get it right. My only fear there is they too are using Linux.

Regards
Sharp.


Mate, you know me, I luv' me my VST's Smile but I respectfully disagree on one thing - Seelake really works very well, and it's done properly. It's easy to navigate/manage and work with this thing is very straightforward. It's not stupidly expensive (i5 version was roughly around 2300EUR), although it still is, a little bit.

And I absolutely do think that it would be nice to have VST's in a product that's as tightly integrated as - for example - the Kronos is. But failing to get that, if we had Kontakt engine in a synth, we'd already be moving in the right direction.

The only proper way to do VST inside a real, hardware synth would be for that product to either be based around Windows or OSX, or to have it as an "additional hardware module" that's integrated inside a synth, with capability to either internally route everything, or to patch everything via external cabling. Windows way can - realistically - only be done via something like Windows Embedded, because a full implementation of Windows would probably not be a good way to go. And in terms of OSX - we all know how "happy" Apple is when somebody messes around with OS X unless it's in an Apple-based device. So, whichever way you go, it would be pretty complicated. So, might as well accept that reality and - if you need VSTs live (I do, and I had the same problem as we all have), then there are solutions that are readily available. I do a lot of work with Mainstage on my MBP and I'm very happy with that. It does mean that I'm carrying an additional rack of stuff with me when I have rehersal and/or do a live show, but it works without a problem.

BTW, I do agree on Music Computing comment, but then again, they do have products that kind of solve our problem, as well:
http://musiccomputing.com/controlblade-5-61-key-macos-x/
http://musiccomputing.com/controlblade-5-61-key-windows/

These are bone-breakingly pig-ugly, but... they work.

This one looks much better, though:

http://musiccomputing.com/tanto-macos-x-61-key/

Just my 2c.
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Sharp
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
but I respectfully disagree on one thing - Seelake really works very well, and it's done properly


The only thing that worries me about Seelake is that business appears very quite, too quite. There's almost no activity on their facebook page for months at a time, no discussion forums and almost no video's on YouTube.

Are they even in business any more? Where can you even buy one?

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Jan1
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vEddY wrote:
And I absolutely do think that it would be nice to have VST's in a product that's as tightly integrated as - for example - the Kronos is. But failing to get that, if we had Kontakt engine in a synth, we'd already be moving in the right direction.

IMO companies are missing out on golden opportunities by holding on to old fixed paradigms, such as the 'hardware versus software' paradigm.

Native Instruments has a software collection covering almost every angle of sound creation that you will ever need, they have Maschine sequencing software which is evolving into a DAW, they have experience with manufacturing hardware, why not decide to build it into a hardware workstation which, like the new MPC, acts both in standalone mode and in controller mode without the end user ever noticing the difference between the two in terms of interacting and operating with the software?
There's a universe of top quality sound libraries available for Kontakt alone.

Ableton has turned Live into a unique DAW, and they built Push as the hardware interface, why not integrate the two in the same way as AKAI has done?

Take Steinberg, a company which is famous for their sequencer line and which also has a versatile sampler like Halion with different synthesis types as well as other VST instruments.
Being a Yamaha company they could take the software and integrate it into hardware made by the Yamaha experts, the best of both worlds, and they would have a killer workstation.
No need to reinvent the wheel or 'outsource' the sequencing part, simply adapt it and customize the GUI.

AKAI is one company which left the old paradigm and they are about to reap the rewards of doing so.
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SanderXpander
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they want to avoid the gargantuan task of constructing their own OS and buy numerous expensive DSP chips they need to adapt an existing OS, like Korg has done for the Oasys/Kronos with Linux. For a company like NI it would be easiest to get an Intel/AMD based box with a stripped Windows or OSX on it. But they would have to really seriously strip the OS for it to be absolutely reliable and secure. Not to mention they would need to get license to do this from Microsoft or Apple (good luck).

I still hope to see it happen, NI seems closest right now since they basically already make everything (controller, soundcard, VSTs and host) apart from the actual computer and OS. But I can see a bunch of pitfalls on the way. Also consider a box like Kronos is ready to go with 3000 sounds after booting it, no extra load times, a bunch of FX processors and smooth sound transitions. NI would have a ways to catch up there, even if the individual sounds can sound better.
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am using a laptop, Windows 10, and Cantabile to host VSTs. I know some people who are running embedded rack computers instead of laptops to do the same. I also know of several players now who are pretty much now VST only using such a combination.

Having said that, having that in a keyboard form factor would be most interesting.
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