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Next New DSI Instrument

Shaw

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #460 on: November 06, 2017, 11:21:45 AM »
Would you suggest a different controller instead of a joystick?
Never been a fan of the joystick on a synth... polyphonic aftertouch on the other hand....  8)
"Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rockīn roll musicians go to the garages." --- Frank Zappa

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #461 on: November 06, 2017, 11:33:14 AM »
These days a 2D/3D touch surface may do the same better and easier with potentially better long term stability.

Yeah, so maybe a tactile 5D surface that responds to horizontal and vertical slides, pressure, velocity, and release.

However, I was primarily thinking about voice architecture. Interpolation of waveforms inside single oscillator will allow for a much more expressive voice compared to the VS approach of interpolation between the output of four oscillators. Also, morphing oscillator waveshapes would allow for PPG like sound/features.

Waveforms as a modulation destination would indeed be a nice feature.

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #462 on: November 06, 2017, 04:00:54 PM »
Basically if you want a Fender get a Suhr or a G&L and if you want a Gibson get anything else!

Yep, agreed - G&L is the best option for Fender loyalists in the modern era; sadly, there is no Gibson equivalent in terms of lineage and quality.

And you're right, newer buyers just don't care to buy a Gibson or Epiphone when there are so many decent alternatives that provide better finish quality and performance for the $/£/Ä.

Tom Anderson makes both Strat, tele  and Les Paul style guitars and are easily the best Iíve played.
Prophet 6, Prophet X, Moog Sub 37, Tempest Drum Computer, Roland V Piano, Fender American Stratocaster, Roger Linn Adrenalinn iii, Origin Effects Cali76 and SlideRig compressor, ASUS Zenbook Pro Computer, Soundcraft MTK 22 Mixer, Mark Of The Unicorn Digital Performer 10 Software.

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #463 on: November 07, 2017, 08:35:04 AM »
The Pro 2 is no more the new Mono Evolver Keyboard than the Prophet 12 is the new Poly Evolver Keyboard.  These are totally different instrument lines, and the mere fact that they're both hybrids means very little.  The Evolver line has not been replaced, and it remains an enthusiastic topic of discussion whether or not DSI will ever actually replace it.

When the Pro 2 first came out, I pressed hard for a module version.  To this day, I still wish it existed, because if it did, I would make a Pro 2 Keyboard-Module pair my definitive longed-for mono synth.  But DSI has repeatedly said they will not produce a module version.  Anyway, if they were going to, it certainly would have happened by now.  They always announce a module version well within a year of presenting a new keyboard synthesizer, and the Pro 2 has been out for several years now.

On the other hand, there are sometimes surprising discrepancies between what Dave Smith says and what Dave Smith does, so no one of us can say for certain.  Personally, I would be thrilled if DSI finally produced a Pro 2 Module, but I'm not expecting it to happen.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 08:38:41 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #464 on: November 07, 2017, 08:44:55 AM »
The Pro 2 is no more the new Mono Evolver Keyboard than the Prophet 12 is the new Poly Evolver Keyboard.  These are totally different instrument lines, and the mere fact that they're both hybrids means very little.  The Evolver line has not been replaced, and it remains an enthusiastic topic of discussion whether or not DSI will ever actually replace it.

One might argue, though, that the Pro 2 is closer related to the Evolvers than the Prophet 12 insofar as it has a sequencer that is in itself far more powerful than the one in the Evolvers. The only aspects that make the Pro 2 different from the Evolvers is that it has no DCOs, no stereo input, no ring mod, no dedicated noise source, and no stereo filter, the latter of which would have become quite expensive given the discreet circuit of the Pro 2 filters.

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #465 on: November 07, 2017, 08:59:10 AM »
It's not that there are no similarities between the Pro 2 and the MEK, but that there are outstanding differences.  The lack of stereo oscillators and filters is substantial, but much more is the different set of timbres available from the wave shapes; plus the Evolver's famous digital aliasing.  My point is, the voice of each is very different, even if you can find similarities on their respective spec sheets. 

I've listened to every Pro 2 video over and over again, because I really like the instrument and am still intrigued by it.  In fact, I'm constantly trying to imagine some configuration in which I could work it into my set up.  I could imagine it complimenting a Poly Evolver quite well.  But I've never thought while listening to YouTube, "now there's a replacement for the MEK". 

« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:12:04 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #466 on: November 07, 2017, 09:15:06 AM »
It's not that there are no similarities between the Pro 2 and the MEK, but that there are outstanding differences.  The lack of stereo oscillators and filters is substantial, but much more is the different set of timbres available from the wave shapes; plus the Evolver's famous digital aliasing.  My point is, the voice of each is very different, even if you can find similarities on their respective spec sheets. 

I've listened to every Pro 2 video over and over again, because I really like the instrument and am still intrigued by it.  But I've never thought, "now there's a replacement for the MEK".

Sure, they both don't sound the same and have their own unique advantages and limitations. I just wanted to point out why the Pro 2 could be considered closer related to the Evolvers than all the other DSI instruments. In the continuum that spans from players to tweakers, the Pro 2 is definitely highest on the tweaker list, maybe followed by the Tempest, and the the Prophet 12.

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #467 on: November 07, 2017, 09:21:57 AM »
What mystifies me about DSI is that they have never reproduced in other instruments the stereo aspects of the Evolvers.  I believe I remember Robot Heart himself saying he'd like to see it return as well, but Dave has chosen not to do so.  It boggles the mind that such an outstanding feature - which can be eliminated from each patch if you didn't want it - should still be missing from all the instruments that followed the Evolvers.  Granted, DSI has at least several times included B outputs, but that's an awkward compromise with the feature. 
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dslsynth

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #468 on: November 07, 2017, 09:29:54 AM »
What mystifies me about DSI is that they have never reproduced in other instruments the stereo aspects of the Evolvers.

A stereo panning stack mode working much like the Evolver (by configuring a pair of voices from layer A) would be far more expressive and offer much better use of hardware resources than a fixed stereo panned voice.
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #469 on: November 07, 2017, 09:36:15 AM »
However you go about a stereo signal path, whether done like in the Evolvers or via a dedicated stack mode, you would still need twice as many filters. The latter would add to the cost more significantly, as there are way more parts involved in the discreet filter designs of the Pro 2, Prophet-6, and OB-6. Those are all not based on the comparatively simple synth on a chip basis the Curtis chips provide.

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #470 on: November 07, 2017, 09:39:55 AM »
I just wanted to point out why the Pro 2 could be considered closer related to the Evolvers than all the other DSI instruments.

That's true; I agree.  I remember - I believe it was when the Poly Evolver Rack was first retired, but then DSI issued another batch of them - that the company released a comment that Evolver fans were "cult-like" in their attachment to the instrument.  That's a hyperbolic way of admitting that the Evolver is unique.  But it still is, all these new instruments later.

I've had a Poly Evolver Keyboard sitting on Craigslist for over a month now.  It's just killing me to keep it there.  One person contacted me the other night and asked what I intended to buy instead, and I told him a Prophet 12.  His response was, "What?  A Poly Evolver is much better than a Prophet 12!"  He had owned both but sold the latter.  it's an opinion that I come across often enough, and it's hard not to share it.

The Prophet 12 is a superb instrument.  I think I've made that clear that it's my sincere opinion.  But the one thing that struck me during the summer was that it's not really a sonically recognizable instrument.  It's range is so vast that, in the end, it seems a bit generic.  It's like trying to know and love a person with multiple-personality disorder!  Very different from this, the Poly Evolver is so recognizable.  I realize some folks might find this to be a disadvantage, but I rather like it.  It comes with some limitations, but I quite like limitations.  So the argument remains that the Poly Evolver needs to be resuscitated.  There still is nothing else like it.
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #471 on: November 07, 2017, 09:48:08 AM »
However you go about a stereo signal path, whether done like in the Evolvers or via a dedicated stack mode, you would still need twice as many filters. The latter would add to the cost more significantly, as there are way more parts involved in the discreet filter designs of the Pro 2, Prophet-6, and OB-6. Those are all not based on the comparatively simple synth on a chip basis the Curtis chips provide.

My issue is much more with the oscillators than with the filter.  And by the way, stereo chorus cannot compare.  Still, I would consider your comments to be a good argument for issuing an instrument again with a simpler filter - as in a 2-pole/4-pole low pass and a non-resonant high pass, nothing more.  If that would significantly keep down the costs, than do it. 

The problem from my perspective is that everything today is about an immense number of features, often at the expense of the overall sound.  Stereo has to do, not with quantity of features, but with quality of sound.

I can appreciate that a two-oscillator instrument may not be the right place for stereo hardwired oscillators (although a stack feature would change this).  But I think a four-oscillator instrument should have it, and is rather impoverished without it.

When I first set up the Prophet 12 in my music room this past summer, my first response to the sound was, "Blah!"  At that point, after one hour, I was ready to return it.  But then I decided to give it the old Evolver stereo treatment.  Only then did I begin to love the sound.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 10:00:07 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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dslsynth

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #472 on: November 07, 2017, 09:53:54 AM »
However you go about a stereo signal path, whether done like in the Evolvers or via a dedicated stack mode, you would still need twice as many filters.

That is exactly the point: giving the users the choice between stereo panned voices or the normal layer modes. And yes, it costs twice the number of voices to stereo pan them. Big surprise! Nothing new under the sun! ;)
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dslsynth

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #473 on: November 07, 2017, 10:00:17 AM »
I can appreciate that a two-oscillator instrument may not be the right place for stereo hardwired oscillators (although a stack feature would change this).

There are some interactions between the two parts of each Evolver voice: oscillator sync, common modulations. But overall its still just a pair of voices being played together. Which means that "hardwired" is not completely precise. Or said in another way: there are limits to how many changes are needed to implement stereo panned voices as a layer mode on existing instruments.
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #474 on: November 07, 2017, 10:00:52 AM »
I've had a Poly Evolver Keyboard sitting on Craigslist for over a month now.  It's just killing me to keep it there.  One person contacted me the other night and asked what I intended to buy instead, and I told him a Prophet 12.  His response was, "What?  A Poly Evolver is much better than a Prophet 12!"  He had owned both but sold the latter.  it's an opinion that I come across often enough, and it's hard not to share it.

Oh, I've come across several comments like that. Some even go as far to say that DSI never really released anything new since the Evolvers, only limited or specialized derivatives of it. I wouldn't agree, as this ignores some significant details and design choices. But I guess it can be said that the Evolver served as a sort of template throughout DSI's history if you exclude the VCO-based synths.

The problem from my perspective is that everything today is about an immense number of features, often at the expense of the overall sound.  Stereo has to do, not with quantity of features, but with quality of sound.

I agree on the number of features not being the most important aspect. Ideally, it should be about how clever and imaginative they've been implemented, not about whether you have 2 or 4 LFOs, or 5 or 20 mod slots.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 10:07:39 AM by Paul Dither »

Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #475 on: November 07, 2017, 10:05:38 AM »
There are some interactions between the two parts of each Evolver voice: oscillator sync, common modulations. But overall its still just a pair of voices being played together. Which means that "hardwired" is not completely precise. Or said in another way: there are limits to how many changes are needed to implement stereo panned voices as a layer mode on existing instruments.

In using the expression "hardwired," I'm only borrowing the exact same word that Dave Smith has used.  But I'm glad you mentioned it, because it's worth repeating for the sake of others that the Evolvers have a parameter for adjusting the stereo depth, or completely eliminating it so that the instrument has a strictly mono field.  That's one way of improving oscillator beating, which obviously weakens as you increasingly separate the oscillators.  Hence, having stereo makes some sense with a two-oscillator instrument, but much more sense with a four-oscillator. 

My point is, I don't see how you can lose with this feature, since it's entirely adjustable.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 10:09:31 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #476 on: November 07, 2017, 10:21:20 AM »
I've had a Poly Evolver Keyboard sitting on Craigslist for over a month now.  It's just killing me to keep it there.  One person contacted me the other night and asked what I intended to buy instead, and I told him a Prophet 12.  His response was, "What?  A Poly Evolver is much better than a Prophet 12!"  He had owned both but sold the latter.  it's an opinion that I come across often enough, and it's hard not to share it.

Oh, I've come across several comments like that. Some even go as far to say that DSI never really released anything new since the Evolvers, only limited or specialized derivatives of it. I wouldn't agree, as this ignores some significant details and design choices. But I guess it can be said that the Evolver served as a sort of template throughout DSI's history if you exclude the VCO-based synths.

My opinion isn't that extreme.  I think the Prophet 12 and Pro 2 are totally distinct instruments from the Evolvers, and that has been my point over and over again.  It's true, even regarding the Prophet '08.  It was extracted - that's a fact - but it still is and sounds significantly different.  But the guy's opinion was that, from his experience, he would prefer an eight-voice Poly Evolver Keyboard to a Prophet 12.  He didn't carry on about it, so he was no fanatic.  I'm only repeating the opinion because I've read it many times.  And now, having had the instruments side-by-side for a full month, I appreciate it.  In fact, the reason I still want a Prophet 12 is that it's so dissimilar to a Poly Evolver Keyboard.  I could conceive of having the two instruments at the same time, but I don't need that much digital potential all at once.

Paul, what I need to do is import you to my music room and lock you in it for one full month of uninterrupted eight-voice Poly Evolver joy.  You can't eat, drink, wash, or communicate with anyone until the month is up, but I will leave you with a bucket.  You might end up appreciating our view a little more than you would expect.   
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 11:38:59 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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dslsynth

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #477 on: November 07, 2017, 10:23:00 AM »
But I'm glad you mentioned it, because it's worth repeating for the sake of others that the Evolvers have a parameter for adjusting the stereo depth, or completely eliminating it so that the instrument has a strictly mono field.

Even when the Evolver have a "mono field" its still playing its pair of voices on each note. So no, I am not missing something here.

Its just that there is a difference between how a pair of hardware voices are panned versus the number of hardware voices being played at the same time. Evolver always plays a pair of hardware voices for each note being played. Prophet 12 and Rev 2 supports playing either one or two hardware voices for each note being played.

So we are talking about two different things here: I talk about hardware voices whereas you talk about sound.
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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #478 on: November 07, 2017, 10:32:40 AM »
So we are talking about two different things here: I talk about hardware voices whereas you talk about sound.

I get the "two-voices" part, but the result is my concern.  As a musician, that is admittedly all I'm ever talking about - the sound.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 10:36:39 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
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dslsynth

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Re: Next New DSI Instrument
« Reply #479 on: November 07, 2017, 10:45:37 AM »
My opinion isn't that extreme.  I think the Prophet 12 and Pro 2 are totally distinct instruments from the Evolvers, and that has been my point over and over again. [...]
I don't expect folks to understand it.

I am sorry to report that I agree completely with you: The Evolver have something special in its voice. If you ask me its partly the oscillator types and partly its lovely digital dirt.

I think what happened was that Prophet 12 and Pro 2 tried to make better digital oscillators than the noisy digital oscillators on the Evolver. But the sonic character of their digital oscillators have maybe not quite as much impact as on the Evolver. Plus that having no analog oscillators costs some sonic impact too.

In summary: cracking that oscillator nut is very very hard!

And as a musician, that is admittedly all I'm ever talking about.

And as a technical minded person I do take technical considerations into account too. Not at least including potential interesting solutions for future designs. Sound is indeed very important. But maybe there are better and more flexible ways to arrive at a good sound. Hence my stereo panned layer mode suggestion.
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