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Feature requests versus OS 2.0

Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« on: September 11, 2021, 10:39:40 AM »
tl;dr - new update added feature creep, but didn't seem to make a more cohesive device (IMO)


So, I was pretty excited to hear about the 2.0 OS, but couldn't help but feel they added a lot of complex features (feature creep anyone?) without fixing up some underlying things. I had reached out to Sequential (and see others having similar complaints) regarding the P5/10.

1) Parameter Xmit - sends Program Change messages out even if the Xmit is set to off. The response from Sequential was that:

Quote
"Param Xmit set to Off has always been for parameters on the front panel, excluding patch and bank changes. This has been implemented on our past instruments as well."

Ok - but just because your previous gear does it in this way, doesn't mean it is the way that makes sense. At least give us the option. But this was not implemented. It's an odd way to deal with things because most of my other synths don't do this. Given Dave Smith founded MIDI - it's weird that his company does the most head-scratching MIDI implementations (The Prophet 12 does a bunch of strange things too, especially with the ARP, making it unusable).

2) Octave transpose - this would be such a simple feature to implement, although it would require two button presses (record + plus or minus, or something like that). The rationale that this was not implemented was

Quote
"Mainly our synths are used as standalone instruments rather than dedicated controllers like those of other companies specifically for that purpose."

This too is a head scratcher, and I'm not sure I understand Sequential's aversion to allowing their synthesizers to be 'controllers' in any sense.

I have this massive, nice feeling synthesizer that basically can't be used as a controller because it doesn't do octave transpose and sends PC messages to my sequencer (which is not ideal). Some of this can obviously be fixed by using MIDI patchbays or the LFE device (for $1000, which does do octave transpose). But it'd be nice not to require a bunch of extra stuff to manage the Prophet 10.

I'm sure people are really happy to have the split/layer features - and maybe that's preferred over a more single cohesive device. Me personally, I would rather have a really well designed and simple synth. The new features feel very feature creepy and a bit difficult to navigate given there's no language on the front to manage them. Although it's really hard for me to really get into the new OS due to the bug with initializing patches.

Speaking of the initialize patch, it kinda sucks that if you create a stack layer, you can edit 'B' and initialize (even if it's the wrong INIT patch) but then go into 'A' and do the same, and you no longer have a stacked patch and have to start over again.

I recall when Sequential originally released the P5/10 REV4 they seemed against a lot of extra features to avoid feature creep, but here we are.

These are, of course, just my opinions, and I know my MIDI requirements in my studio are just different than people who go out and play live. And I don't think I'm just a rando that doesn't know anything about gear - I have a lot of synthesizers and think I do OK on YouTube demonstrating their (and other) gear. I'll add a link just to clarify my abilities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahm8j0Pa8Qg

jc

Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 07:02:47 PM »
These are all valid points. Especially the midi octave up/down. Weird reply from them about it. They sell synth modules, um they don't expect you to control those with their own products let alone their flagship synth???

Micky

Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2021, 11:35:59 PM »
tl;dr - new update added feature creep, but didn't seem to make a more cohesive device (IMO)


So, I was pretty excited to hear about the 2.0 OS, but couldn't help but feel they added a lot of complex features (feature creep anyone?) without fixing up some underlying things. I had reached out to Sequential (and see others having similar complaints) regarding the P5/10.

1) Parameter Xmit - sends Program Change messages out even if the Xmit is set to off. The response from Sequential was that:

Quote
"Param Xmit set to Off has always been for parameters on the front panel, excluding patch and bank changes. This has been implemented on our past instruments as well."

Ok - but just because your previous gear does it in this way, doesn't mean it is the way that makes sense. At least give us the option. But this was not implemented. It's an odd way to deal with things because most of my other synths don't do this. Given Dave Smith founded MIDI - it's weird that his company does the most head-scratching MIDI implementations (The Prophet 12 does a bunch of strange things too, especially with the ARP, making it unusable).

2) Octave transpose - this would be such a simple feature to implement, although it would require two button presses (record + plus or minus, or something like that). The rationale that this was not implemented was

Quote
"Mainly our synths are used as standalone instruments rather than dedicated controllers like those of other companies specifically for that purpose."

This too is a head scratcher, and I'm not sure I understand Sequential's aversion to allowing their synthesizers to be 'controllers' in any sense.

I have this massive, nice feeling synthesizer that basically can't be used as a controller because it doesn't do octave transpose and sends PC messages to my sequencer (which is not ideal). Some of this can obviously be fixed by using MIDI patchbays or the LFE device (for $1000, which does do octave transpose). But it'd be nice not to require a bunch of extra stuff to manage the Prophet 10.

I'm sure people are really happy to have the split/layer features - and maybe that's preferred over a more single cohesive device. Me personally, I would rather have a really well designed and simple synth. The new features feel very feature creepy and a bit difficult to navigate given there's no language on the front to manage them. Although it's really hard for me to really get into the new OS due to the bug with initializing patches.

Speaking of the initialize patch, it kinda sucks that if you create a stack layer, you can edit 'B' and initialize (even if it's the wrong INIT patch) but then go into 'A' and do the same, and you no longer have a stacked patch and have to start over again.

I recall when Sequential originally released the P5/10 REV4 they seemed against a lot of extra features to avoid feature creep, but here we are.

These are, of course, just my opinions, and I know my MIDI requirements in my studio are just different than people who go out and play live. And I don't think I'm just a rando that doesn't know anything about gear - I have a lot of synthesizers and think I do OK on YouTube demonstrating their (and other) gear. I'll add a link just to clarify my abilities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahm8j0Pa8Qg

For my opinion itīs hard to understand, that you donīt just use a midipatchbay.
Where should you see, that one octave is set down or up ?
I have to handle just eight synths, but i donīt know how that should work without
my miditemps...
Where youīre right is the send of programmchange and bank. (bank is separat, if you
filter the programmchange in the patchbay, it sendīs farther the banksignal. And nowhere
documented, on which channel it works. (Itīs controller 31)
It would be a good option, to install this posibility in the third global rowe, that the synth sendīs
no pgc and bank signals.

LPF83

  • ***
  • 653
Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2021, 06:18:57 AM »
I recall when Sequential originally released the P5/10 REV4 they seemed against a lot of extra features to avoid feature creep, but here we are.

In recent years, the term "Feature Factory" (which is not a good thing) has started to emerge in software development cycles.  Definitions (like most new ones) can take many forms, but most agree that one of the key symptoms is when new features are added before all existing issues are resolved.

The crazy thing about the init patch is it seems this was added because a couple of people wanted the ability to change the default patch settings.  I think there needs to be some process for vetting feature requests to ensure that small creature comforts designed for the benefit of the vocal few are not creating new problems for the larger number of users who are content with the feature set and would be adversely impacted by a new feature.   

It's not that I have an issue with the ability to modify and save the default patch, but it needs to be somehow tucked away such that it cannot be accidentally stumbled upon, and it certainly should not affect the default Record+Preset behavior that was described many times in the shipped user manual.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 06:25:34 AM by LPF83 »
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2021, 11:22:59 AM »
These are all valid points. Especially the midi octave up/down. Weird reply from them about it. They sell synth modules, um they don't expect you to control those with their own products let alone their flagship synth???

Yeah - it was really frustrating to hear, and it's pretty clear they have no interest in adding this feature (Oct UP/DOWN) since I asked about it in December and it wasn't implemented. Oh well I guess :/

For my opinion itīs hard to understand, that you donīt just use a midipatchbay.
Where should you see, that one octave is set down or up ?
I have to handle just eight synths, but i donīt know how that should work without
my miditemps...
Where youīre right is the send of programmchange and bank. (bank is separat, if you
filter the programmchange in the patchbay, it sendīs farther the banksignal. And nowhere
documented, on which channel it works. (Itīs controller 31)
It would be a good option, to install this posibility in the third global rowe, that the synth sendīs
no pgc and bank signals.

I'm sorry but I'm not really sure I understand what you're saying. I think the first thing you're asking is about how they could implement octave up/down (which could not be managed by a patchbay) - and I thought I answered that in my original post, which is to say a simple two button combo could pretty easily manage this. They've already done lots of simple two-button combos.

I don't like making things overly complicated in my setup - so adding a MIDI patchbay just slows me down. It IS an option to handle some of the annoyances of MIDI issues though, you are correct.


In recent years, the term "Feature Factory" (which is not a good thing) has started to emerge in software development cycles.  Definitions (like most new ones) can take many forms, but most agree that one of the key symptoms is when new features are added before all existing issues are resolved.

The crazy thing about the init patch is it seems this was added because a couple of people wanted the ability to change the default patch settings.  I think there needs to be some process for vetting feature requests to ensure that small creature comforts designed for the benefit of the vocal few are not creating new problems for the larger number of users who are content with the feature set and would be adversely impacted by a new feature.   

It's not that I have an issue with the ability to modify and save the default patch, but it needs to be somehow tucked away such that it cannot be accidentally stumbled upon, and it certainly should not affect the default Record+Preset behavior that was described many times in the shipped user manual.

Huh - I always thought the term was feature creep (like the same way with degrees, degree creep, how anyone can seemingly be a 'doctor of...' these days). Sounds like you know more about it with software development!

I really hope the init patch will go back to being a SAW wave. I really don't want a regular patch eaten up by an INIT patch. Sadly - the P10 is such a beauty of a synth, it frustrates me that somewhat basic things can't be implemented. I know I"m just one person though - who knows how many things were requested. But that people say it's meant to be like the original - and then Sequential adds all these other non-original features, doesn't make much sense to me.

And yes - I agree about the ability to modify init patches. It should be buried, or a button held for ten seconds to set the current settings as an INIT patch. Or something like that.

Thanks for all the replies :)

LPF83

  • ***
  • 653
Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2021, 03:53:32 PM »
Huh - I always thought the term was feature creep (like the same way with degrees, degree creep, how anyone can seemingly be a 'doctor of...' these days). Sounds like you know more about it with software development!

Feature creep is still a thing too, and they are related...  I think "feature factory" is maybe more of a "larger internal culture thing" that results from ongoing feature creep.. at least in my mind, feature creep tends to occur on a per-project basis, and a feature factory is more what happens to a company when feature creep isn't reeled in early enough.  Not saying Sequential is becoming one, I just hope they will keep the symptoms of it in mind.
Prophet 10, Prophet 6, OB-6, Prophet 12m, Prophet Rev2-16, Toraiz AS-1, Moog SlimPhatty, Hydrasynth desktop, Korg Minilogue XDm, Roland SPD-30, Roland SPD-SX Special Edition, Roland KT-10, Maschine, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen + Octopre, Strymon Pedals, Cubase Pro 11.

Micky

Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2021, 02:05:33 AM »
These are all valid points. Especially the midi octave up/down. Weird reply from them about it. They sell synth modules, um they don't expect you to control those with their own products let alone their flagship synth???

Yeah - it was really frustrating to hear, and it's pretty clear they have no interest in adding this feature (Oct UP/DOWN) since I asked about it in December and it wasn't implemented. Oh well I guess :/

For my opinion itīs hard to understand, that you donīt just use a midipatchbay.
Where should you see, that one octave is set down or up ?
I have to handle just eight synths, but i donīt know how that should work without
my miditemps...
Where youīre right is the send of programmchange and bank. (bank is separat, if you
filter the programmchange in the patchbay, it sendīs farther the banksignal. And nowhere
documented, on which channel it works. (Itīs controller 31)
It would be a good option, to install this posibility in the third global rowe, that the synth sendīs
no pgc and bank signals.

I'm sorry but I'm not really sure I understand what you're saying. I think the first thing you're asking is about how they could implement octave up/down (which could not be managed by a patchbay) - and I thought I answered that in my original post, which is to say a simple two button combo could pretty easily manage this. They've already done lots of simple two-button combos.

I don't like making things overly complicated in my setup - so adding a MIDI patchbay just slows me down. It IS an option to handle some of the annoyances of MIDI issues though, you are correct.


In recent years, the term "Feature Factory" (which is not a good thing) has started to emerge in software development cycles.  Definitions (like most new ones) can take many forms, but most agree that one of the key symptoms is when new features are added before all existing issues are resolved.

The crazy thing about the init patch is it seems this was added because a couple of people wanted the ability to change the default patch settings.  I think there needs to be some process for vetting feature requests to ensure that small creature comforts designed for the benefit of the vocal few are not creating new problems for the larger number of users who are content with the feature set and would be adversely impacted by a new feature.   

It's not that I have an issue with the ability to modify and save the default patch, but it needs to be somehow tucked away such that it cannot be accidentally stumbled upon, and it certainly should not affect the default Record+Preset behavior that was described many times in the shipped user manual.

Huh - I always thought the term was feature creep (like the same way with degrees, degree creep, how anyone can seemingly be a 'doctor of...' these days). Sounds like you know more about it with software development!

I really hope the init patch will go back to being a SAW wave. I really don't want a regular patch eaten up by an INIT patch. Sadly - the P10 is such a beauty of a synth, it frustrates me that somewhat basic things can't be implemented. I know I"m just one person though - who knows how many things were requested. But that people say it's meant to be like the original - and then Sequential adds all these other non-original features, doesn't make much sense to me.

And yes - I agree about the ability to modify init patches. It should be buried, or a button held for ten seconds to set the current settings as an INIT patch. Or something like that.

Thanks for all the replies :)

They've already done lots of simple two-button combos. > Thatīs right, but you wonīt see the status, no overview which notes (transposed or not) you trigger ? Hm...

I don't like making things overly complicated in my setup  > 100% the same to me...

And exactly because of the the midibays... but only the old (best ever built for midi-periphery) miditemps, MP88, PMM88E and so on, because they speed the handling and creative things like layering up and are far away from only handling the issues...

But sure, everyone has itīs own workflow...

Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2021, 08:26:17 AM »
I definitely agree with the midibays. Love my miditemp PMM88.
But there is no real substitute on the market in the moment.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 08:29:15 AM by dr.sax »

Re: Feature requests versus OS 2.0
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 06:37:48 AM »
I feel like split/stack feature was implemented and rushed out to revive P10 sales and sell P5 expansion boards just as they are putting out a $1300 5-voice poly that may steal P5 sales.

In any case it is a pretty awesome feature update and I'm glad there is an upgrade path for us P5 users.

That said, unless you shell out $899 (or more like $1200 for us in the EU) then there really isn't anything new in store for us P5 users with this update. I still have hopes one day an ARP will be put on-board (and I don't care how many button combos I need to press to access it!), this would be killer in combination with the new stack/split feature.

But yeah I do agree an octave up/down config would absolutely make uber basic sense!