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Faulty waveforms in Tempest?

Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« on: February 10, 2017, 12:26:57 AM »
Hey all

I've heard from several sources that because of a faulty chip in the Tempest, some of the waveforms should be buggy. I have yet to encounter any of these waveforms though, so have no idea what is meant by it.

Can someone expand a bit on the problem for me, and maybe direct me to some of these faulty waveforms?

Thanks!

 Alex

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 04:45:58 AM »
Hey all

I've heard from several sources that because of a faulty chip in the Tempest, some of the waveforms should be buggy. I have yet to encounter any of these waveforms though, so have no idea what is meant by it.

Can someone expand a bit on the problem for me, and maybe direct me to some of these faulty waveforms?

Thanks!

Alex

Ah, the proverbial "grapevine", what a waste of everyone's time it is.

In short, when the digital waveforms were loaded onto the chip that contains them, for whatever reason a few of them ended up one-sample shy, but otherwise with the correct loop length (or at least that's one theory anyway).  The result is that a handful of the affected waveforms have a slight buzz to them.  A little noise on but a few of the VS wave samples, that's it.  Hell, half of them are noisy by design.  At any rate, it has nothing to do with a faulty chip, every Tempest is the same, it cannot be fixed, and if you ask me it is of no concern.  If you even notice it, my best advice is to simply use the character of that particular waveform to your advantage, or simply avoid it altogether.

Cheers!

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 06:52:14 AM »
Hey all

I've heard from several sources that because of a faulty chip in the Tempest, some of the waveforms should be buggy. I have yet to encounter any of these waveforms though, so have no idea what is meant by it.

Can someone expand a bit on the problem for me, and maybe direct me to some of these faulty waveforms?

Thanks!

Alex

Ah, the proverbial "grapevine", what a waste of everyone's time it is.

In short, when the digital waveforms were loaded onto the chip that contains them, for whatever reason a few of them ended up one-sample shy, but otherwise with the correct loop length (or at least that's one theory anyway).  The result is that a handful of the affected waveforms have a slight buzz to them.  A little noise on but a few of the VS wave samples, that's it.  Hell, half of them are noisy by design.  At any rate, it has nothing to do with a faulty chip, every Tempest is the same, it cannot be fixed, and if you ask me it is of no concern.  If you even notice it, my best advice is to simply use the character of that particular waveform to your advantage, or simply avoid it altogether.

Cheers!

Thank you for your reply!

That was exactly it - I listened to the waveforms, and most of them is what sounds like 12 bits anyways, which would mean they are a little crumbly to begin with. I was just unable to locate the faulty ones, so wanted to see what the fuzz was about.

Can anyone point me to some specific samples, so I can try and loop them and see what its all about?

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 09:16:05 AM »
The Prophet VS Waves are the worst I think.

It is annoying as it's the sort of thing half decent QA should have picked up and they can't be fixed by firmware - plus those waveforms were on all the advertising literature.

But... not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things. There's more than enough elsewhere in this beast that sounds great.
Noise, Noodles and Doodles: http://bit.ly/mrjonesthebutcher

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2017, 12:31:35 PM »
Hey all

I've heard from several sources that because of a faulty chip in the Tempest, some of the waveforms should be buggy. I have yet to encounter any of these waveforms though, so have no idea what is meant by it.

Can someone expand a bit on the problem for me, and maybe direct me to some of these faulty waveforms?

Thanks!

Alex

Ah, the proverbial "grapevine", what a waste of everyone's time it is.

In short, when the digital waveforms were loaded onto the chip that contains them, for whatever reason a few of them ended up one-sample shy, but otherwise with the correct loop length (or at least that's one theory anyway).  The result is that a handful of the affected waveforms have a slight buzz to them.  A little noise on but a few of the VS wave samples, that's it.  Hell, half of them are noisy by design.  At any rate, it has nothing to do with a faulty chip, every Tempest is the same, it cannot be fixed, and if you ask me it is of no concern.  If you even notice it, my best advice is to simply use the character of that particular waveform to your advantage, or simply avoid it altogether.

Cheers!

Thank you for your reply!

That was exactly it - I listened to the waveforms, and most of them is what sounds like 12 bits anyways, which would mean they are a little crumbly to begin with. I was just unable to locate the faulty ones, so wanted to see what the fuzz was about.

Can anyone point me to some specific samples, so I can try and loop them and see what its all about?

Seriously, it's only maybe a half-dozen of the one hundred VS wave samples at the end of the sample list that have this anomaly.  That you listened through them already and couldn't discern which were affected demonstrates just how trivial and overblown this issue is.  The only folks who even noticed originally were those who have owned other DSI synths with those same wave samples onboard.  Without a direct comparison though... Bah!

So a few of the VS wave samples have a little hair on 'em, so what?  As I said earlier, either use them for their crusty character or don't.  It's completely arbitrary, and I've personally made many good sounds with those otherwise broken waveforms.

At any rate, I'm not gonna tell you which ones they are, because had no one told you in the first place...

(wink).

Cheers!

*Edit: And you don't have to do anything to "loop" them.  The very instant you trigger a digital oscillator the sample is already looping; that's why you can hear it.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 12:41:56 PM by John the Savage »

idm

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2017, 03:12:28 PM »
Myeh, really amazed by this topic... Why focus on this while you have this amazing machine in front of you with so much possibilities in sound design. If you are using stock samples, you're doing it wrong.

Good luck and enjoy this instrument for what it is.

BTW, I'm curious which samples you think sound like 12 bit, because I've yet to hear a single one. 12bit is incredibly obvious degeneration of sound, and so far none of the samples supplied come even close to that. Some are a bit dusty maybe but since when is that problematic. Whole triphop and techno records are made with dusty samples and its one of the reasons why they sound awesome...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 03:16:20 PM by idm »

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 04:36:15 PM »
Myeh, really amazed by this topic... Why focus on this while you have this amazing machine in front of you with so much possibilities in sound design. If you are using stock samples, you're doing it wrong.

Good luck and enjoy this instrument for what it is.

BTW, I'm curious which samples you think sound like 12 bit, because I've yet to hear a single one. 12bit is incredibly obvious degeneration of sound, and so far none of the samples supplied come even close to that. Some are a bit dusty maybe but since when is that problematic. Whole triphop and techno records are made with dusty samples and its one of the reasons why they sound awesome...

To be clear, folks, the only samples that are affected by the aforementioned anomaly are a handful of the VS waveforms; not the percussion sounds or any of the other one-shots.  And even if the one-shots were affected, there would be no perceivable difference in their sound, because they don't loop.  The VS waves, on the other hand, are single-cycle waveforms which loop rapidly to serve as oscillators, and it is in this looping process that a tiny amount of noise is introduced on account of the fact that they were rendered poorly.  The missing information in the waveform is so small that you would never hear it if it were not looping so rapidly.

The vast majority of the VS waves are completely fine anyway, and those that aren't are still perfectly usable; that is to say that they play in tune and otherwise behave exactly as oscillators should.  They're just a little fizzy is all; and even then, as I said before, without a direct comparison to an unaffected copy of the very same waveform, one would simply assume that it was supposed to sound that way... Work with it.

For the record, I am certainly not defending DSI on this matter.  Considering that sound is their business, they should have caught this issues before it ended up on thousands of chips that cannot be reprogrammed.  It is what it is, however, and I wouldn't lose any sleep about it.  Hell, I like crusty sounds, and even if I didn't, there are still plenty of smooth ones to be had using any combination of the other 90+ unaffected digital waveforms.  Besides which, the analog oscillators are the real focus here, and they're fine.

I might also point out that some of the greatest sounds, in the history of sounds, have been created on malfunctioning vintage equipment with far more obvious problems than your Tempest will every have.  It's the remaining bugs in the firmware that we should be pissy about...

Cheers!

bozo

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2017, 03:26:08 AM »
Myeh, really amazed by this topic... Why focus on this while you have this amazing machine in front of you with so much possibilities in sound design. If you are using stock samples, you're doing it wrong.

Good luck and enjoy this instrument for what it is.

BTW, I'm curious which samples you think sound like 12 bit, because I've yet to hear a single one. 12bit is incredibly obvious degeneration of sound, and so far none of the samples supplied come even close to that. Some are a bit dusty maybe but since when is that problematic. Whole triphop and techno records are made with dusty samples and its one of the reasons why they sound awesome...
What other samples can you use , there is only the stock samples and you cant do much to them.  I personally dislike most of the stock samples they sound flat imo and not what I like to use, just because you can use them doesnt invalidate others opinions.
The Culprit:
http://www.profusionplc.com/parts/sam3716
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 03:29:30 AM by bozo »

idm

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2017, 02:09:31 PM »
"you can't do much to them"?

Then you you are not using any of the endless modulation options nor the editable functions I guess... There's a whole lot you can do. You could take a Tom sample and make it sound like a hihats if you want :p. Tempest isn't meant to be just a sample player. There's tons of other gear that does that, and way better of course.

My apologies if I come across like opinions aren't valid. Just being honest. The samples are there to layer and destroy, to make your own.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 02:16:27 PM by idm »

Jinsai

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Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2017, 11:14:14 PM »
Seriously, it's only maybe a half-dozen of the one hundred VS wave samples at the end of the sample list that have this anomaly. 

At least on my Tempest, it's not a "half-dozen", it's nearly ALL of the VS waveforms, and it renders them all but unusable for synthesis, and largely indistinguishable from each other, as they become just buzzy garbage.

It's not the end of the world, but it is a huge disappointment.

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 01:44:08 AM »
Seriously, it's only maybe a half-dozen of the one hundred VS wave samples at the end of the sample list that have this anomaly. 

At least on my Tempest, it's not a "half-dozen", it's nearly ALL of the VS waveforms, and it renders them all but unusable for synthesis, and largely indistinguishable from each other, as they become just buzzy garbage.

It's not the end of the world, but it is a huge disappointment.

You know, Jinsai, you've expressed this rather hard-line opinion about the digital oscillators before; and although I don't blame you for feeling this way fundamentally, I can't help but compare your observations to the reactions of other users, who have listened very carefully to those very same oscillators and failed to hear the anomaly at all.  Never mind that the Tempest comes preloaded with many well-designed sounds and sequences, from many a respected and accomplished sound designer, that extensively utilize the VS waveforms.  And as a career producer, recording artist, and sound designer myself, I have to say that I've never found any of them to be "unusable" or otherwise "indistinguishable from each other".

You're entitled to your opinion of course, and I respect that.  I do, however, feel as though we should make an effort to keep this in perspective for those, perhaps less discerning, audio engineers among us (wink).

Cheers!

dslsynth

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Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2017, 04:12:22 AM »
. o O ( fawlty waves )
#!/bin/sh
cp -f $0 $HOME/.signature

Jinsai

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  • Music. Technology. Creativity
Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 09:12:07 AM »
You know, Jinsai, you've expressed this rather hard-line opinion about the digital oscillators before; and although I don't blame you for feeling this way fundamentally, I can't help but compare your observations to the reactions of other users, who have listened very carefully to those very same oscillators and failed to hear the anomaly at all.  Never mind that the Tempest comes preloaded with many well-designed sounds and sequences, from many a respected and accomplished sound designer, that extensively utilize the VS waveforms.  And as a career producer, recording artist, and sound designer myself, I have to say that I've never found any of them to be "unusable" or otherwise "indistinguishable from each other".

You're entitled to your opinion of course, and I respect that.  I do, however, feel as though we should make an effort to keep this in perspective for those, perhaps less discerning, audio engineers among us (wink).

It is entirely possible that whatever problem exists varies from unit to unit, or that there is something else wrong with mine. Perhaps we should post some audio samples for comparison. Or perhaps it's my ears that aren't very good, since you and others don't seem to think the waves are as bad or unusable.

I will also stipulate that it is not much of a deal-breaker for me as Tempest goes, because I didn't buy it for those waves or really expect to use them. But as I said, it's disappointing, because they would increase its flexibility.

I am clearly a "fan" of DSI gear -- I have a Poly Evolver, a Prophet 12, and a Tempest. I wrote the Evolver guide, and I'm working on one for Tempest as well (albeit slowly).

Since I have an Evolver, I know what those waves are supposed to sound like when looped properly. 

And of course, even if Tempest has some incorrectly looping waveshapes, there's nothing stopping people from making things with those incorrectly looping waveshapes. Many musicians love the idea of working with "broken" things or getting glitchy sounds. But that wasn't the intent of the design, and I don't know how many flavors of high-pitched buzzing are useful.

Tempest is a quirky and weird beast. I have had mine for several years now, and I still don't know how I feel about it!

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2017, 03:26:03 PM »
You know, Jinsai, you've expressed this rather hard-line opinion about the digital oscillators before; and although I don't blame you for feeling this way fundamentally, I can't help but compare your observations to the reactions of other users, who have listened very carefully to those very same oscillators and failed to hear the anomaly at all.  Never mind that the Tempest comes preloaded with many well-designed sounds and sequences, from many a respected and accomplished sound designer, that extensively utilize the VS waveforms.  And as a career producer, recording artist, and sound designer myself, I have to say that I've never found any of them to be "unusable" or otherwise "indistinguishable from each other".

You're entitled to your opinion of course, and I respect that.  I do, however, feel as though we should make an effort to keep this in perspective for those, perhaps less discerning, audio engineers among us (wink).

It is entirely possible that whatever problem exists varies from unit to unit, or that there is something else wrong with mine. Perhaps we should post some audio samples for comparison. Or perhaps it's my ears that aren't very good, since you and others don't seem to think the waves are as bad or unusable.

I will also stipulate that it is not much of a deal-breaker for me as Tempest goes, because I didn't buy it for those waves or really expect to use them. But as I said, it's disappointing, because they would increase its flexibility.

I am clearly a "fan" of DSI gear -- I have a Poly Evolver, a Prophet 12, and a Tempest. I wrote the Evolver guide, and I'm working on one for Tempest as well (albeit slowly).

Since I have an Evolver, I know what those waves are supposed to sound like when looped properly. 

And of course, even if Tempest has some incorrectly looping waveshapes, there's nothing stopping people from making things with those incorrectly looping waveshapes. Many musicians love the idea of working with "broken" things or getting glitchy sounds. But that wasn't the intent of the design, and I don't know how many flavors of high-pitched buzzing are useful.

Tempest is a quirky and weird beast. I have had mine for several years now, and I still don't know how I feel about it!

Hey, for the most part I agree with you; and as I said earlier in this thread, I'm certainly not defending DSI on the matter, or saying that it's ideal.  They absolutely should have noticed this anomaly before printing thousands of chips; expecially considering that they've used these very same wave samples in previous instruments without issue.  But see, I don't own an Evolver, so I have nothing to compare the Tempest's digital oscillators to.  As such, I've simply used them for what they are rather than what I expected them to be.

Oh sure, if you're making high-passed whistle noises in the 8th octave with the lowpass filter wide open, using one of the damaged waveforms is bound to thwart your efforts; but come on now... There are still countless warm, woody, reedy, otherwise useful sounds to be had with these samples, to which the inherent noise is of no consequence, and in some cases even beneficial.  That's all I'm saying.

My Taylor 614 rings like a bell when it's played finger-style, but it sounds like shit when it's flat-picked.  That's not to say it's "unusable" - in fact it's one of my favorite guitars - it's just not a Gibson J-200.  You have an Evolver already, so you could look at it as having a two sets of the same digital oscillators in two flavors: broken and unbroken... Perfect (smirk)!

Anyway, Jinsai, I've appreciated your informative posts on the other forum over the years, and I'm sure I've acknowledged you there a few times.  No ill will, my friend.  Each to their own, as they say.

Cheers!

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2017, 02:07:08 AM »
Myeh, really amazed by this topic... Why focus on this while you have this amazing machine in front of you with so much possibilities in sound design. If you are using stock samples, you're doing it wrong.

Good luck and enjoy this instrument for what it is.

BTW, I'm curious which samples you think sound like 12 bit, because I've yet to hear a single one. 12bit is incredibly obvious degeneration of sound, and so far none of the samples supplied come even close to that. Some are a bit dusty maybe but since when is that problematic. Whole triphop and techno records are made with dusty samples and its one of the reasons why they sound awesome...

Easy tiger, it was just a question. I get quite a lot of enjoyment out of my Tempest, and just stumbled upon an opinion of the faulty waves. As I hadn't heard it myself, I wanted to ask in this forum. As it was meant for.

- Alex

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2017, 06:46:32 AM »
It sounds really sad to see such dismissive answers to a perfectly fine question.

The truth is I believe the thread is on the unofficial forum and I actually showed oscope pics of what the waveforms should look like and what they actually do look like.

1) it's definitely not just a few of the waveforms, rather there are maybe a few vs waveforms that don't have this issue.

2) tempest was advertised as having vs waveforms ... because of this issue the tempest does NOT have VS waveforms. This important if you are buying a tempest and hoping to get a slice of that amazing vs sound.

3) yes you can still use those waveforms to an alternative usage, but it can be very annoying that the sounds are all a bit buzzy because of this. Don't hope for that cool fm bell tone from the digital oscillators, the buzz ruins that fun. But for lo fi game sounds it's very cool.

I do totally agree that the fact that it was released like that is imho embarrassing, I've been involved in quite a few qa projects and I'm fully aware of "shit happens" but that is a pretty glaring misstep.

But alas we have already gotten to the bottom of the issue and dsi has stated they have no intentions (or ability) to resolve those waveforms .
So at the end of the day, if you are curious about it, use the search function in this and the unofficial forum. Beyond that have fun making music and just chalk it up to a different set of harmonics lol

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2017, 05:54:21 PM »
It sounds really sad to see such dismissive answers to a perfectly fine question.

The truth is I believe the thread is on the unofficial forum and I actually showed oscope pics of what the waveforms should look like and what they actually do look like.

1) it's definitely not just a few of the waveforms, rather there are maybe a few vs waveforms that don't have this issue.

2) tempest was advertised as having vs waveforms ... because of this issue the tempest does NOT have VS waveforms. This important if you are buying a tempest and hoping to get a slice of that amazing vs sound.

3) yes you can still use those waveforms to an alternative usage, but it can be very annoying that the sounds are all a bit buzzy because of this. Don't hope for that cool fm bell tone from the digital oscillators, the buzz ruins that fun. But for lo fi game sounds it's very cool.

I do totally agree that the fact that it was released like that is imho embarrassing, I've been involved in quite a few qa projects and I'm fully aware of "shit happens" but that is a pretty glaring misstep.

But alas we have already gotten to the bottom of the issue and dsi has stated they have no intentions (or ability) to resolve those waveforms .
So at the end of the day, if you are curious about it, use the search function in this and the unofficial forum. Beyond that have fun making music and just chalk it up to a different set of harmonics lol

Flux, considering that most of the answers above were provided by me, I'm going to have to take exception to you referring to them as "dismissive".  My responses were in no way dismissive.  No one denied the problem, or made any excuses on DSI's behalf for this [arguably major] oversight - quite the opposite in fact.  I simply answered the OP's questions, and offer a little real-world perspective in hopes of putting his mind at ease about this issue for which there is no fix.  He even admitted that he'd listened to the waveforms himself, and with nothing to compare them to, failed to hear the anomaly.

You said it yourself, in your third point above, that "you can still use those waveforms [...] but it can be very annoying that the sounds are all a bit buzzy".  I said those exact same words, more or less, so...

I will remind you that I do not work for DSI.  If anything, I've been a thorn in their side about every tangible issue the Tempest as ever had; and I have worked on behalf of this community to get as many of these problems fixed as possible.  In a perfect world, I too would be happier if the broken waveforms could be reloaded onto the Tempest without this issue, but I'm not going to deter people from buying one because of a few crusty wave samples; especially when they have been used to great effect by many a reputable sound designer.  That was my only underlying point.

I say, by all means, give DSI an earful about it.  But don't accuse me in the process of not respecting the validity of the question.  Could I lend a more empathetic ear?

Cheers!

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2017, 10:25:55 AM »
You want an example of a faulty sample? Try WmBell, R2Bell, FmtBell to name a few. I really don't accept an answer that implies that it's "okay" because it only affects a handful of samples and that we should be using the character to our advantage. Certainly not on a machine that costs this much with samples that are not editable. The samples should be perfect and they're not. I can't use the bell sample as a frigging bell - whats the point of having it then? This should have been addressed by DSI. No excuses. Lazy and very poor support for an expensive machine.

idm

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2017, 11:03:20 AM »
While it is indeed an amazing oversight, it doesn't change the fact that the Tempest is a unique synth in almost everything it does. If the those specific samples weren't implemented, it still would be an amazing machine, even though it cost a lot of money.

Just pretend those samples do not excist if you deem them unusable.

Re: Faulty waveforms in Tempest?
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2017, 01:50:30 PM »
While it is indeed an amazing oversight, it doesn't change the fact that the Tempest is a unique synth in almost everything it does. If the those specific samples weren't implemented, it still would be an amazing machine, even though it cost a lot of money.

Just pretend those samples do not excist if you deem them unusable.
I'm not denying the machine is great - I love my Tempest. I could be even better though, if the samples worked.