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Re: Alesis Andromeda

Sleep of Reason

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« on: September 27, 2017, 07:39:51 AM »
Tell that to the Alesis Andromeda. 16 voices, 16 patches with 16 different sequences at once. That was a synth not a workstation. Nor is the Schmidt and that I believe is multitimbral.

Not sure what you think that proves, though I sure wish I hadn't edited out the part about you fetishizing the Andromeda... Again, things can get awfully complex to downright hectic with four LFOs on a single layer as it is. Multitimbrality is important for workstations because you can stack different instruments that cover the entire sonic spectrum without clashing. Instruments that are harmonically rich, but also don't have all kinds of modulation going on. Furthermore, you're working with a massive amount of polyphony in comparison. Plus you do realize the Andromeda was known to be highly unstable, yes?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 07:51:53 AM by Sleep of Reason »

Re: Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 11:38:02 AM »
Tell that to the Alesis Andromeda. 16 voices, 16 patches with 16 different sequences at once. That was a synth not a workstation. Nor is the Schmidt and that I believe is multitimbral.

Not sure what you think that proves, though I sure wish I hadn't edited out the part about you fetishizing the Andromeda... Again, things can get awfully complex to downright hectic with four LFOs on a single layer as it is. Multitimbrality is important for workstations because you can stack different instruments that cover the entire sonic spectrum without clashing. Instruments that are harmonically rich, but also don't have all kinds of modulation going on. Furthermore, you're working with a massive amount of polyphony in comparison. Plus you do realize the Andromeda was known to be highly unstable, yes?

I'm not saying the Andromeda was perfect but in 2017/2018 I'm not wowed by a synth being able to have two patches going...if it was 1977 or 1981 maybe I would be. 16 patches probably would be overkill but even four patches at once is at least something innovative and refreshing in today's analog market. The ability to have a bass synth, string sound, brass patch and lead going at once (similar to the ARP Quadra) I doubt would be frowned on by anyone. Two patches though? Ehh...OBXa, Jupiter 8, Prophet 08, Prophet 12. It's been done. Move forward. Which is exactly why I'm not interested in this over saturation of Mono synths on the market currently. Let's keep moving forward.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 11:44:32 AM by LoboLives »
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: Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 11:55:09 AM »
You probably won't see too many multitimbral synths from DSI with more than 2 layers. Dave generally likes to build synths for "traditional" keyboard players, and isn't interested in front panels with too much modal switching or sharing of parameters. He likes one knob per function when at all possible.

While I can understand that approach is more accessible to a wider audience, I personally have been pushing for at least a 4-part multitimbral keyboard for a long time. But, I haven't gained much traction with that over the years.

This is why I think something like a newer ARP Quadra is welcome because even though it was clunky at the time (1978) and pre midi and patches it at least was analog and still had the knob per function (or in this case slider per function) approach.

I think it's still possible to have four part multitimbrality in an analog synth from DSI. I mean wouldn't it be something as simply as a Multimode button (similar to stack/split) and you basically hold it down and indicate with the keyboard where you want the splits?

Heck even get rid of the OLED screen altogether and just have four numerical screens (like on the P6/OB6) placed across the lower panel.

I dunno it is possible just needs some brainstorming. 

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: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 12:13:23 PM »
Oops, I didn't mean to remove my reply that you quoted. Something happened when I was splitting the topics so I'm glad you caught it. Carry on.

To answer your question, yes, that's a fairly straightforward approach and something that's been suggested many times. The interface is really Dave's sticking point. Even the fact that you'd have to select parts 1 - 4 and then share the same front panel controls for each part isn't something he's excited about. Yes, I know you already have to do that with a bi-timbral synth so I'm not quite sure why you couldn't just do it for another two layers. Seems like it'd work well enough...
SEQUENTIAL

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2017, 12:19:46 PM »
Robot Heart, I was just about to respond to your post when it disappeared.

I could certainly put to use four-part multi-timbrality, but I would be concerned about two things: first, the number of voices, and second, the number of output jacks on the back of the instrument.  Whether we're considering layering or splitting, I would say sixteen voices would be the bare minimum needed.  It might even be too few, so you must have in mind a massive number.  And if such an instrument could not be sent to different channels (2-4) for stereo, then it would sound like a massive monophonic mess.  So, you must be imagining quite an instrument, something substantially larger than DSI's previous synthesizers.  I'd be interested to hear more about it, since I'm a large instrument guy.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 12:24:22 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Sleep of Reason

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 12:45:15 PM »
Yes, I would say he should be looking into a Nord Stage.

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 01:24:15 PM »
On a product with an interface (such as the Pro-2 or Prophet-12) which possesses an OLED screen + four encoders underneath, it wouldn't be impossible to set the voice allocation, i.e., 4-3-4-5 amongst four parts / sixteen voices. Each value would adjust left-to-right as you change from, say, 4-3-4-5 to 5-2-4-5 (or whatever).

The issue, as I see it, is that you'd really need a 61-key, four-zone controller paradigm within which to understand how the unit should behave; for live performance, it's really not very practical (two hands and all*) unless you're layering A+B | C+D zones with a split in the middle (which is really close to a Prophet-12 keyboard + module anyway).

You'd quickly start running out of usable space on anything less than five octaves, and would likely need some sort of sequencer across more than one zone, which takes you back to the Tempest as a nominally better solution (if your use of multitimbrality is confined to single note effects or very limited ranges).

* - and yes, Tim, pedalboards :)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 01:38:16 PM by DavidDever »
Sequential / DSI stuff: Prophet-6 Keyboard, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Split-Eight, Prophet 2000

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 02:18:17 PM »
That's right, David.  The pedalboard functions as one of those zones.  In my opinion, a multi-voice multi-timbral keyboard/module pair, combined with a pedalboard controlling a multi-oscillator module, offers much more power, flexibility, and control than any one instrument possibly could.  Two P12's or two Rev2's, plus an independent pedalboard, are about as good as it gets.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 03:25:20 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2017, 04:03:01 PM »
Yes, I would say he should be looking into a Nord Stage.

No sequencer, dedicated arpeggiator to synth section only, awful keybed with no after touch and $6k to boot....mmm nah
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: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 04:26:24 PM »
On a product with an interface (such as the Pro-2 or Prophet-12) which possesses an OLED screen + four encoders underneath, it wouldn't be impossible to set the voice allocation, i.e., 4-3-4-5 amongst four parts / sixteen voices. Each value would adjust left-to-right as you change from, say, 4-3-4-5 to 5-2-4-5 (or whatever).

The issue, as I see it, is that you'd really need a 61-key, four-zone controller paradigm within which to understand how the unit should behave; for live performance, it's really not very practical (two hands and all*) unless you're layering A+B | C+D zones with a split in the middle (which is really close to a Prophet-12 keyboard + module anyway).

You'd quickly start running out of usable space on anything less than five octaves, and would likely need some sort of sequencer across more than one zone, which takes you back to the Tempest as a nominally better solution (if your use of multitimbrality is confined to single note effects or very limited ranges).

* - and yes, Tim, pedalboards :)

Well that would depend again on how you are using it. If you are having a bass patch run an arpeggiator on latch, a string/brass layer can be played with one hand while a lead patch can be played on the upper. Or you can layer four patches at once, or have two layers on each side of a single split or have sequencers control two or three patches while you play the remaining on the keyboard.

It all depends on how you approach it. I think a lot of people automatically assume that Iím implying it be used for a four layer detuned mono synth...I mean you can but Iím more approaching it from a live or ďoff the floorĒ composition tool.

My reasoning for this is to have an instrument that you can record multiple parts to a song live as oppose to recording one patch, going back recording another. The Rev 2 is great but thereís no way to switch between patches quickly or accurately enough in an ďoff the floorĒ session. I understand random patch access wasnít included to keep cost down but even just two increase/decrease buttons would help as itís too easy to zoom past a desired patch with simply a dial.

As far as the size...Iím picturing two rows of a Prophet 6 module with the buttons

Split
Stack
Multi

In a column down the centre.

Also each module would have the button (Keyboard Off) which essentially disengages that module from the keybed allowing it to be played by the sequencer alone.

As far as polyphony goes, much like when in Unison mode on the Prophet 6 you can determine how many voices itís using, you can also do that with each module.

There you go. Everything is on the front panel, you have knob per function with no extensive menu diving (if at all).

Robot Heart next time you are at the office maybe put together four Prophet 6 modules (two side by side and two side by side above those) and see the size of the thing and if you have a 5 octave keyboard see how it might look. it actually might not be that bad logistically.







« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 04:28:20 PM by LoboLives »
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.

Sleep of Reason

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 04:54:50 PM »
No sequencer, dedicated arpeggiator to synth section only, awful keybed with no after touch and $6k to boot....mmm nah

Honestly I don't care what you do with your money, but let's at least get the facts straight. All versions of the Stage 3 have aftertouch with the 88 version having fully weighted hammer action keys and range from 3.6-4.5K (US).
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 06:22:28 PM by Sleep of Reason »

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 05:01:15 PM »
It'd be a pretty monster synth, around 41" across which isn't too bad, just a few inches wider than a Prophet 12 or Poly Evolver Keyboard, but the depth would be around 14" which is pretty deep. I guess you could get that down by a couple inches if you didn't need the top row as you mentioned, but for some context the Prophet-6 panel is 7" deep so it'd be double that or near it.

How many voices did you say you wanted? This wouldn't be an inexpensive synth the way it's shaping up. Not that the price would be a deterrent to building it, but with a panel that large and I'm guessing at least 12 - 16 voices you'd be looking at a fairly high price tag.
SEQUENTIAL

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 06:02:30 PM »
Three thousand dollars seems to be the cut-off point at DSI.  I don't know if this is deliberate or not, but it seems the instrument we've described could exceed that.  If you can answer this question - do you think DSI will ever build an instrument that is larger, more sophisticated, and more expensive than the Prophet 12?  I know Dave laughs when asked if he'll ever build again something comparable to the Prophet 10, but what about a one-manual monster?  Or is the Prophet 12 the high mark?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 06:07:22 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2017, 06:11:15 PM »
It's certainly possible. There isn't any sort of internal limit on pricing an instrument, as you probably remember we pretty much build stuff we like and then see how much it costs so a $3000 ceiling isn't intentional. The Rev2 is somewhat of an exception since we wanted to see if we could build a better version for less than the original.

Based on the Prophet-6 pricing model, an instrument like the one we're discussing here with double the panel controls and double the voice count would undoubtedly cost roughly double what a Prophet-6 currently sells for if no corners were cut. That's a lot of extra hardware.
SEQUENTIAL

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 06:18:45 PM »
That's encouraging.

I don't know if you guys will revisit the Sequential brand again, or if the Prophet-6 is the beginning and the end of it.  But a large-scale VCO instrument - something of a size and capability between a Prophet 12 and a Rev2 - would be an absolute gem.  That's more or less what I had in mind. 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 06:26:42 PM by Sacred Synthesis »
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Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 06:57:42 PM »
No sequencer, dedicated arpeggiator to synth section only, awful keybed with no after touch and $6k to boot....mmm nah

Honestly I don't care what you do with your money, but let's at least get the facts straight. All versions of the Stage 3 have aftertouch with the 88 version having fully weighted hammer action keys and range from 3.6-4.5K (US).

I stand corrected.
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: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 07:36:06 PM »
It'd be a pretty monster synth, around 41" across which isn't too bad, just a few inches wider than a Prophet 12 or Poly Evolver Keyboard, but the depth would be around 14" which is pretty deep. I guess you could get that down by a couple inches if you didn't need the top row as you mentioned, but for some context the Prophet-6 panel is 7" deep so it'd be double that or near it.

How many voices did you say you wanted? This wouldn't be an inexpensive synth the way it's shaping up. Not that the price would be a deterrent to building it, but with a panel that large and I'm guessing at least 12 - 16 voices you'd be looking at a fairly high price tag.

You know originally this sort of spawned off my ďPro 4Ē idea. Which was basically four VCO mono synths (like the AS-1) in one keyboard with each engine having its own sequencer/effects/patches.

For a poly synth...well letís look at the ARP Quadra.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/arp/quadra.php

Each engine was dedicated to a portion of the keyboard and each engine had its own specific number of voices.  The bass section was mono, itís lead section was duophonic (it was essentially an Odyssey engine) and the string section and poly section were the only real polyphonic parts.

Perhaps itís not really a question of having four polyphonic or monophonic engines but four engines with dedicated polyphony and dedicated purpose? Entirely different from each other.

Maybe an mono AS-1 type engine for the bass (including mono arpeggiator/sequencer), four voices for the poly section (including poly sequencer) four voices for the second poly section and another mono engine for the lead (with another mono arpeggiator/sequencer). So In total 10 voices with a possible 20 voice option expansion card.

Or if you are going to do 16 voices (with each engine having four) maybe you can determine how many voices are being used on each module (like I suggested early with the Prophet 6 Unison mode) and if you take away one of the module voices it allows that voice to be moved to a different engine for a different patch requiring more polyphony. 

Call it the Sequential Prophetx4 (like the Mophox4)


Another idea is to take the concept of the Poly Evolver or even the synth engine on the Tempest and have two analog parts and two digital parts (with FM, VS waves and samples-both user and some from the Prophet 2000 ). Call that the Prophet X in a reference to cross different types of synthesis with each other although not sure if DSI is interested in doing anything digital again.
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: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 01:41:11 AM »
For a poly synth...well letís look at the ARP Quadra.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/arp/quadra.php

Each engine was dedicated to a portion of the keyboard and each engine had its own specific number of voices.  The bass section was mono, itís lead section was duophonic (it was essentially an Odyssey engine) and the string section and poly section were the only real polyphonic parts.

While the reference to the Quadra may work on a rough conceptual level here, it should be noted that it wasn't a true polyphonic synth. The string synth was based on the Omni 2 and the poly synth section also used only divide down technology, meaning no filter articulation was possible per voice. In that sense, the poly sections of the Quadra are rather related to the Polymoog or typical string machines of the 1970s that were starting to be out of fashion by 1978, but not synths like the OB-X or the Prophet-5 to stick to that era. Today, one would call it a synth with 1 monophonic, 2 paraphonic, and 1 duophonic engine, a combination of parts that seemed overall more related to an organ or an entertainer keyboard than a typical synth. And the duophonic lead synth portion was basically a heavily reduced mix between an Odyssey and a Solus. The Quadra's strengths (or what the users made of its quirks and weird features) rather lied in what were the results of lots of compromises, an ADSASR envelope, the portamento faders, the trill function, the VCO pitch modulation options, aftertouch (only for the upper 3 octaves), loads of connectivity, and the mixer section with the Phase Shifter.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 02:06:23 AM by Paul Dither »

Re: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2017, 03:17:43 AM »
For a poly synth...well letís look at the ARP Quadra.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/arp/quadra.php

Each engine was dedicated to a portion of the keyboard and each engine had its own specific number of voices.  The bass section was mono, itís lead section was duophonic (it was essentially an Odyssey engine) and the string section and poly section were the only real polyphonic parts.

While the reference to the Quadra may work on a rough conceptual level here, it should be noted that it wasn't a true polyphonic synth. The string synth was based on the Omni 2 and the poly synth section also used only divide down technology, meaning no filter articulation was possible per voice. In that sense, the poly sections of the Quadra are rather related to the Polymoog or typical string machines of the 1970s that were starting to be out of fashion by 1978, but not synths like the OB-X or the Prophet-5 to stick to that era. Today, one would call it a synth with 1 monophonic, 2 paraphonic, and 1 duophonic engine, a combination of parts that seemed overall more related to an organ or an entertainer keyboard than a typical synth. And the duophonic lead synth portion was basically a heavily reduced mix between an Odyssey and a Solus. The Quadra's strengths (or what the users made of its quirks and weird features) rather lied in what were the results of lots of compromises, an ADSASR envelope, the portamento faders, the trill function, the VCO pitch modulation options, aftertouch (only for the upper 3 octaves), loads of connectivity, and the mixer section with the Phase Shifter.

For sure the Quadra was really a unique beast.

I'm more using it as a basis for reference of a synth that has multiple engines.
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: Alesis Andromeda
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2017, 03:39:16 AM »
I actually thought a better design for a bitimbral synth was simply to have two modules side by side with stack/split/global buttons in the middle. That way everything is right there at your finger tips. 

Or even just looking at this picture...I can envision what a dual Prophet 6 may look like. Perhaps the patch buttons/display is simply duplicated in two rows with the second row underneath the one on the keyboard version.

http://www.upbeat.ch/shop/media/images/org/Prophetmodulll60cm.jpg

I dunno, I think DSI really hit the perfect design on the Prophet 6/OB6 to be honest.
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.