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Placing the Prophet 12/OLED Display

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2017, 11:02:53 AM »
My preference for the PEK/P'08 display comes down probably to the thing you dislike about it - simplicity.  It offers only one piece of information: the position of the parameter you're presently using, and no information about the parameters you're not using.  This makes a lot of sense to me.  That's all I need and that's all I want. 

The result of this simplicity is that the PEK/P'08 characters are larger and easier to read from a sitting position, even when the instrument is resting on top of another instrument, so that I don't need to lean into the synthesizer in order to precisely program it.  I could understand how this might not be an issue if you play standing, but I play sitting for the purpose of also playing the pedalboard with both feet.  In other words, this issue comes down purely to practical matters.

What I've always liked about DSI synthesizers is that they're not display-intensive.  You use the display, alright, but it doesn't seem to be a constant; it's more of a precise reference point before you finalize and save a program.  This design provides a nice middle ground between modern instruments that are excessively display-intensive and older instruments that had no displays, because no memory.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 11:49:42 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
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Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2017, 11:42:19 AM »
So it's an eyesight thing, the less information there is the easier it is to see even though the display on the PEK is smaller?

The P12/P2 has to display more data on the screen because of the UI and its use of 4 soft buttons and 4 soft encoders.

In order for the P12/P2 to have a display like the PEK then they would need many more buttons/encoders, basically they are far more complex then the PEK.

The Tempest is a good example of this approach, it is basically a 6 voice PEK with a load of extra functionality and a lot less knobs. The display/ui has to expand in order to allow this.

It would be good maybe for DSI to offer a mode for the Keyboard P12 where the one parameter you are editing via a knob is displayed in a larger font but I don't know how they would make it fit with the soft knobs approach.

One thing that might be worth looking into is a clip on magnifier to position between your eyes and the display. Over the years my eyesight has got worse, especially for fine work. For electronics work I went through desk magnifiers and now have to use an HD camera system connected to a monitor to see what is going on, of course it doesn't help that everything has got smaller ;)

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2017, 12:17:47 PM »
So it's an eyesight thing, the less information there is the easier it is to see even though the display on the PEK is smaller?

The P12/P2 has to display more data on the screen because of the UI and its use of 4 soft buttons and 4 soft encoders.

In order for the P12/P2 to have a display like the PEK then they would need many more buttons/encoders, basically they are far more complex then the PEK.

For me, it's not an eyesight thing, because I have fairly good eyesight.  I'm an avid reader and don't use or own reading glasses.  It's that the P12 characters are tiny and the panel is at a very slight angle - less so than the Poly Evolver Keyboard.  Just compare their profiles.

The soft buttons get into an entirely different discussion related to the complexity of the instrument vs. the actual available parameters.  I much prefer a parameter-per-function design, which, on the P12, would have resulted in a physically immense synthesizer.  Dave's reasonable solution to this was to get the most out of the display.

Yes, the P12's window is physically larger than the PEK's, but the PEK has two windows.  One displays only the program number in large characters, while the other gives parameter information or program names in no more than two lines.  The P12 gives all of its information in one window and does so in as many as five lines.  Hence, with a glance of the PEK you can easily see all the information, but with the P12 you need to come in close, because the characters are so small, the information so detailed, and the panel almost flat.  This is greatly improved, of course, when you're done programming and have saved your sound.  Then the P12 display reverts to a much larger character size and shows only the program number and name.  But once you again touch a parameter, you're back to tiny characters.

When I first set up the Prophet 12, I had it sitting by itself.  Being seated much closer to it meant that there wasn't such a visibility issue.  The problem started when I set it up on top of the Poly Evolver Keyboard.  It just doesn't work well in this arrangement, but that's how I need it to be placed for the purpose of playing the two instruments at the same time.  I haven't had this problem with any other synthesizer.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 03:30:59 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Sleep of Reason

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2017, 05:01:37 PM »
I'm pretty confused as to why anyone thinks there can be the best of both worlds within one unit... Analog and digital work better within two different mediums. Given all the parameters, digital synthesis is much more feasible on a computer and doesn't need to run through the filters. There's also a never ending stream of new and cheap plug-ins. Not to mention, with the insane amount of modulation options these days on analog synths, you're not going to run out of interesting new sounds if you know what you're doing.

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2017, 05:35:58 PM »

For me, it's not an eyesight thing, because I have good eyesight.  I'm an avid reader and don't use or own reading glasses.  It's that the P12 characters are tiny and the panel is at a very slight angle - less so than the Poly Evolver Keyboard.  Just compare their profiles.

The soft buttons get into an entirely different discussion related to the complexity of the instrument vs. the actual available parameters.  I much prefer parameter-per-function, which, on the P12, would have resulted in a physically immense synthesizer.  Dave's solution to this was to get the most out of the display.

Yes, the P12's window is physically larger than the PEK's, but the PEK has two windows.  One displays only the program number in large characters, while the other gives parameter information or program names in no more than two lines.  The P12 gives all of its information in one window and does so in as many as five lines.  Hence, with a glance of the PEK you can easily see all the information, but with the P12 you need to come in close, because the characters are so small, the information so detailed, and the panel almost flat.  This is greatly improved, of course, when you're done programming and have saved your sound.  Then the P12 display reverts to a much larger character size and shows only the program number and name.  But once you again touch a parameter, you're back to tiny characters.

I disagree with your assessment of the displays.

The P12 OLED display is MUCH sharper and clearer than the 16x2 LCD found on the PEK.

This allows for fonts and information to be smaller, yet still be clear and easy to read.

As 'BobTheDog' has already explained, the use of soft buttons necessitates that more information needs to be displayed for certain tasks on the P12 compared to the PEK.

However these parameters are only displayed whilst actually editing anyway.

Once you're playing you can have both the patch name and program number displayed in nice large text, or as (is the case mostly for me), not at all as I have the screen saver option enabled. :)

I would concede that it looks like DSI could have perhaps offered the option of a larger font in certain areas.

For example on the 'Low Pass Filter' menu it has the Header Menu at the top... LP Freq| Resonance| 4 Pole | KeyLp Freq |and then it displays the rotary dial position and the values underneath, and then again underneath the dials and values it has the labels of LP Freq| Resonance| 4 Pole | KeyLp Freq | repeated.
You really only need that info once, so yes it could be argued that you could lose one and use the space saved to have a bigger font or even just display purely numerical values.

I for one are pleased that they didn't and here's why...

The smaller fonts are pin sharp, easy to read and because of the clear space between the elements the interface is clean and uncluttered.

Also it keeps the UI consistent.

For example in the 'Assign Mod Source' window, the Header Menus at the top clearly define what each column below it represents, which makes using it MUCH easier.

It makes sense therefore from a UI point of view to have a consistent interface with a Header Menu for every parameter.

The display of the rotary encoder as a graphic on the display also means you have a visual representation of where the knob is - this is helpful in a poorly lit environment when you perhaps cannot see the line on the knob itself and is information  that isn't conveyed as clearly by just numerical values alone.

Having a header on some selections and not on others, or big fonts on some menus but not on others would lead to an inconsistent UI a poor end user experience IMO.

Please tell me exactly what you have to 'dial in' that needs to be to the digit accurate yet also done on the fly?

It'd be interesting to know as I honestly can't think of one myself - but then I don't play two synths at the same time with one hand either - I'm just not that good a player! :)

« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 05:45:28 PM by jazzygb1 »

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2017, 06:48:44 PM »
So we've both stated our opinions on the subject for others to consider.  And we've both sorted out what works best for us.  Excellent.

To be clear, I don't "play two synths at the same time with one hand".  Rather, "the keyboards have to be as close together as possible so that with one hand I can reach two keyboards at the same time".  I play, mix, and record all my music live, bass included; no multi-tracking or help at all.  So, for the sake of bridging sections, I often use the common organ technique of sustaining a note on one keyboard with one finger while reaching with another finger of the same hand and sustaining a note on another keyboard, and finally releasing the first note.  This makes a nice smooth unbroken bridge between sections and dynamics.  So, I have a simple test for a keyboard set up: having the two instruments arranged one on top of the other, can I reach the same notes on both keyboards with the fingers of one hand at the same time?  If I can't, then there's a major musical failure in the whole arrangement.  It's like sitting too far to the left or right at a piano; it will badly affect you're playing.  Some might find this to be mere fickleness, but not the musician who wants to play as well and expressively as possible. 

Here's a musical example of the technique in which the ending brass note merges into the beginning string note at 5:55:

https://youtu.be/iQktiQLqHiE?t=5m50s

By the way, my wife just listened to my Prophet 12 recordings and with her sweet Irish brogue pronounced those magical words: "You have to get a Prophet 12".  Ah, there's nothing like a good woman who has good taste in synthesizers!  ;D
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 08:48:19 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

dsetto

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Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2017, 11:39:22 PM »
That's wonderful!

---
Have you explored the wave "blending" much? From what you wrote earlier you didn't seem enthralled by this capability. (I forget what DSI calls it.) From afar, this seems like one of its fundamental strengths.

Does the PEK do that oscillator blending in the way the P12 does?

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2017, 11:52:01 PM »
No and no.  The PEK lacks some capabilities that the old Prophet VS had.  I especially wish it had the joystick, which was responsible probably for what you've called "wave blending".  Correct me if I misunderstood you.

My time with the Prophet 12 was spent trying to sort out whether or not I liked its overall sound.  I made no attempt to search deeply into its capabilities, but instead, experimented with those fundamentals of synthesis that I already heavily rely on.  That was my starting point, and I only wandered off course a tad.  But I'm firmly convinced that it would serve well my style of music and sound.  Again, I believe the P12, P'08, and PEK - each in keyboard-module pairs - would make probably the ideal set up for my musical interests.  It's exciting to be able to say that, and to contemplate being spared the monotonous and relentless search for the right instruments.  Goodness gracious, am I sick to death of researching synthesizers and listening to ear-piercing YouTube demonstrations!  I'd love to end it all and spend all such time more productively in my quaint little Music Room.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 08:04:58 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2017, 10:01:06 AM »
Regardless, the P12 is a great instrument and you've adapted to its strengths and weaknesses, just as I've adapted to the PEK's.  I'm being picky about something new and fascinating to me, so don't take my comments in a personal way.  The fact is, if I can manage it, I'll definitely buy a Prophet 12.

No worries...I didn't take your comments personally.  You say Tomato I say Tomita  ;)
Mutiny in Jonestown, Progressive Rock Since 1987:

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dsetto

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Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2017, 10:09:29 AM »
The P12 feature I am talking about may be called "crossfading" or "morphing". (I didn't look it up in the manual.) I believe it's the following: (My understanding of this could be wrong. I've only read about it, a long time ago.)

For an oscillator:
Pick a waveshape to put in the main, central "slot".
Then, a different waveshape can be placed in a left "slot". And a different one can be placed in a right "slot".
Then, I believe the waveshapes in the flanking slots can affect the central slot waveshape. So that the oscillator's waveshape has changed, influenced by the flanking slots.

With a sense of DS style, I would suspect the influence of the flanking slots on the central slots can be ... um, modulated & controlled.

I bring this up because:
- I like what you're doing with the P12. There's something special about it. Clean and warm. Hollow and depth. Clarity.
- You like the PEK. (understatement, I'd say.) (I don't know the PEK.)
- You like how the P12 can satisfyingly do what you want from a P'08. (Although not fully.)

You've made the assessments that P12 cannot replace your P'08 nor PEK rigs - for you.

You've got the unknown about can a Rev2 K-M rig replace a P'08 set. As one follows an author, I'm intrigued from a distance what you'll find in that assessment.

But, since you like the combination of the basic P12 oscillator - filter - sound chain, ... And you've queried its weaknesses. And they've passed. And haven't knocked out the others.

Now, it's time to explore its strengths. (Hopefully you have a little more time with it.)

And the ability to change the waveshape before moving on to subtractive synthesis, ...

either:
-- The net result is still limited by an overall "imprint"
-- or, there's wide range of sounds. Musical sounds, waiting to be untapped by you, for you, in your way.
(I suspect both those thoughts are true, and that under the limit, the breadth of variety is very wide. I.e., it's not limited.)

dsetto

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Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2017, 10:12:58 AM »
And that's one oscillator.

...
By the way, can you achieve stereo on the P12 the way you like to achieve it on the PEK?

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2017, 10:58:09 AM »
Got it.  I guess I've had a strange attitude towards the Prophet 12.  I only wanted to learn if I would like it at all, if I would find its overall tone better than tolerable.  The bar was very low, but the instrument leapt over it by a mile.  I realized the P12 would do superlatively more than I immediately needed, but I decided to leave that territory to a later time, if I should ever actually buy one.  Only then will I sit down with it and explore the remarkable complexity, including the crossfading you described.  The truth is, I haven't seriously studied the instrument for probably a couple of years now.  It entirely dropped off my radar screen until the last few months when I started to wonder about it again.

I'm being redundant here, but I learned that the P12 is its own instrument, and not a replacement for the others, certainly not a PEK Mk. II or a new improved P'08.  It wouldn't suffice as a PEK or P'08 substitute, neither sonically nor even ergonomically.  For example, I find the P'08, because it's a much simpler synthesizer, to be so easy to program that it's like tying a shoelace.  That has an effect on how I use it and what comes from the time spent with it.  The P12 is altogether different.  I approach it more like work, more like a challenge, but one that is well worth the effort, due to the outcome.  Because there are so many more features, and even because of the OLED display issue, the designing process will be predictably longer, slower, and harder.  That also has an effect on how I use it and what comes from the time spent with it.  The "Bi-Timbral Soft Ethereal Pad" that I posted yesterday took probably 1 1/2 to 2 hours to design, with lots of trial and error on the keyboard.  One of the most difficult parts was the Layer B sound that used Lag on the random filter modulation.  The pad allowed only for six voices at a time, and because the Release time on Layer B was quite long, it was difficult to make a recording of it without voice-reassignment pops.  Plus, the Lag time took the minutest experimenting and adjusting, since the effect moved quickly from a typical S+H "pop" to a silly-sounding "gurgle".  On top of that, Layer B was given a lot of reverb, which had its own challenges in the performance.  Finally, the Layer B had to be gradually increased in volume at the mixer while I was playing.  Simply, that soft little improvisation took a ton of time and effort, which a much simpler P'08 would never have asked of me.  The P12 patch itself was only an attempt to emulate a nearly identical patch I have on the P'08 - one that was programmed with comparative ease.

I have to return the Prophet 12 within a week or so.  I'll be thinking hard as to what I should do next.  Financing a P12 by selling a PEK is a hefty price to pay.  There truly is nothing like the sound of two Poly Evolvers singing in harmony, and they look gorgeous together.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 11:51:21 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

dsetto

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Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2017, 11:56:22 AM »
That all makes really good sense. ... It's a great example how one size does not fit all. And how time, experience, level of attention, and current goals all inform one's current path and upcoming turns. And all our different minds come to places like these to uncover the shared and the divergent. ... Thank you for sharing your travels.

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2017, 12:14:47 PM »
And thank you for asking about it all, and bearing with my long-winded comments.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2017, 02:49:32 PM »
And thank you for asking about it all, and bearing with my long-winded comments.

And my thanks to all participants for this most interesting and civil discourse - a forum at its best  :)

Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2017, 10:05:01 AM »
Fellas -

Since you were onto a different topic, I moved this discussion to "The Best of Both (A-D) Worlds?" under Prophet 12.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 11:22:02 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Mr Kay

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Re: Placing the Prophet 12
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2017, 12:02:27 PM »
By the way, my wife just listened to my Prophet 12 recordings and with her sweet Irish brogue pronounced those magical words: "You have to get a Prophet 12".  Ah, there's nothing like a good woman who has good taste in synthesizers!  ;D

;D

Actually, your demos shows well how sounds a P'12 in skilled hands  ;)