April 8, 2011

Messe Redux...

by Chris Randall

It occurs to me that I could just re-post my MusicMesse comments from last year, and nobody would be the wiser. (Synopsis: cool little analog synth from Korg, and the rest of it is kinda whack.) But in the interests of thoroughness, I've gone through every press release so far, and here's some interesting shit that might have got lost in the shuffle, since we're all completely blinded by the awesomeness that is the Roland Jupiter 80.

Alesis Nano Verb 2: There is nothing really outstanding to say about the original Nano Verb. It is what it is. We've all had to use them at one time or another. They're simple little workhorse units that does what it says on the tin, and you can get one on Craigslist for like $40. Alesis has finally revved that model with a Nano Verb 2 that uses exactly the same form factor, but jacks up the available algorithms considerably. I am absolutely certain that it'll be worth the money, but if you wait a few years, it'll really be worth the money, just like the first one. My opinion: Must Buy, in 2015.

Focusrite Control 2802: Like another British company, Focusrite is trying to come up with a marriage of a small high-quality analog console and a DAW controller. The 2802 is a little more analogue than its competitor, and almost certainly cheaper. Focusrite has been doing their damnedest in the last few years to dilute their brand in to meaninglessness via slapping it on every piece of worthless Chinese kit imaginable, but they can still make something pretty slick, given the desire. Although I assume this is also Chinese kit, seeing how "Made In The UK" isn't plastered all over the marketing material. In fact, if you look closely at the high-res image of the backplane, under the Focusrite logo, it looks like a little Photoshop smudge tool was applied to the image, to ostensibly hide the "Made In China" text. My Opinion: I'll skip it in lieu of American and European-made gear, of which there is no shortage, unless someone can prove to me it wasn't made in China.

Kosmonaut: I don't have any opinion about this one way or the other, but the Gearjunkies report provided me with a good chuckle. Note the last sentence before the picture, "[t]he user-friendly layout guarantees an exceptional playing experience." Then look at the picture. I'm giggling again just typing that. Too funny.

I'll amend this post if anything else catches my eye. Back to working on this plug-in UI that is fighting me every step of the way.


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Apr.08.2011 @ 10:32 AM
@CR - as we discussed - I picked up a SSL Nucleus a couple of days ago. Before taking the plunge I did a little research into the Focusrite. From what I could find the Focusrite 2802 is simply a Focusrite badged and manufactured (i suspect this means cheaply and in China) Audient ASP2802.

Apr.08.2011 @ 10:34 AM
I really really REALLY want to take a crappy office labeler to that Kosmonaut and mark every knob with an industry buzz word "Sparkle", "Sizzle", "Deep", "Warmth", "Fuzzy", "Organic" etc.

But thats about all I want to do. Buy it? No.

Apr.08.2011 @ 10:47 AM
Chris Randall
I saw in some forum or another that it actually has panel labels. I haven't seen a picture, though.

Regarding the Audient, sure enough, look at that. It's just the badging that is changed. But for $5K, I'd expect that thing to be made in England, not China. If anyone from Audient or Focusrite wants to chime in here and put a stop to this speculation, I'd be pleased to hear it.


Apr.08.2011 @ 11:12 AM
@CR - maybe take a page out of Elektrokosmos' book and just make a UI of unlabeled controls? (though, with the type size and layout, the Automat AU plugin has quite nearly accomplished that).

Apr.08.2011 @ 11:17 AM
That they're identical is confirmed that on Audient's website. They've agreed to stop selling the ASP2802 by June, so Focusrite can have a go.
No clue as to their place of manufacture, but in all honesty I couldn't give a crap. A production line is a production line wherever you put it and whatever nationality the person on it.

Apr.08.2011 @ 11:20 AM
My nerd interest was piqued by the Nanoverb 2. The "52-bit DSP" doesn't sound like the older Alesis chips, so I wonder what they are using. And if it is more commonly available. And if you can program your own code in there. And if it would be a good fit for a EuroRack (that is probably more of a nerd interest for CR and Adam...).

Apr.08.2011 @ 11:47 AM
Looking for info on the 52-bit DSP, I found a screenshot of the Nady DSP-256, which is from 2003 or so, and looks identical in layout to the NanoVerb2. So the 52-bit thing might just be the accumulator of the AL3201 chip.

Apr.08.2011 @ 11:48 AM
The stuff eowave has planned looks kind of interesting, a little tabletop monosynth, a small ribbon controller, an ipad/midi something or other for eurorack.

link [www.sonicstate.co...]

Apr.08.2011 @ 12:21 PM
I'm digging that new, probably cheaper, Persephone controller/synth. Thanks shamann!

Apr.08.2011 @ 12:36 PM
Sean, you don't think the DSP is a Spin FV-1?

link [www.spinsemi.co...]

My favorite item is that crazy $28k Schmidt polysynth. Maybe someday I'll win one from Hans Zimmer in a hand of poker.

link [www.sonicstate.co...]

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