February 21, 2006

Hope Springs Eternal...

by Chris Randall

So, I'm looking at this INetSynth from Key2sound.com that was announced yesterday, and I think I might be missing something. It looks like they're not just selling a soft synth, but an actual lifestyle choice, a la Apple. Aside from the ubiquitous "i" tagged moniker, which immediately sets off "hub of my digital lifestyle" warning bells, this thing has a built-in online sound browser/sharer, so you can scoop through the Repository and score sequences and patches from like-minded individuals. Sort of like the MySpace of synths.

I can't bring myself to download the demo, just on principle, so one of you needs to go and get this thing and report back. It seems to be a bog-standard take on the "32 OSC types, 16 filters, 85 LFOs" polysynth that seems so prevalent these days, but I have to admit I'm a bit curious. Or at least, I will be until I get the inevitable letter from the maker that reads something along the lines of "thanks for the mention, now would you mind correcting your post so that it reflects less poorly on us?"

Oh, did I mention it's 278.75 Euro?



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Feb.21.2006 @ 4:37 AM
As far as I can see, they're expecting people to buy patches. It's the iTunes of patches. Good luck with that.
Anyway, it started out as a much more interesting weird hardware digital synth:
link [musicthing.blogot.co...]">link [musicthing.blogot.co...]


Feb.21.2006 @ 11:51 AM
It's a strange synth, bit of an anachronism really. Feels like 1996 all over again. It's a fairly basic synth (3 osc subtractive - decent of its kind, but nothing you can't get elsewhere easily). And it's filled up with lots of features nobody cares about like multitimbral parts and keymapping, and a really poorly designed GUI. Not just ugly, but kind of useless, too.

The patch store is really strange. He has a bunch of patches up for something like $2 or $5 each, but then they are beside free patches which are of the same quality. Plus you can preview the patches, so you could easily record a part with it and not bother with the purchase.

You may be right about the pending email from the dev, and it'll come with a bit of a sob story. He was the marketing guy for the Koblo synths back in the day, he tells of going broke when Koblo decided to go hardware, all sorts of personal turmoil, etc. I don't want to cause the guy grief, as he comes off like a pleasant guy, but he seems to be living in a bit of a daydream.

He had put out a call for beta testers and preset makers on KVR last year, then proceeded to mostly ignore the people he selected, who all emphasized that his design choices were whack. Although, in all fairness, it apparently started out in much worse shape.

Here's a thread from a while ago on KVR I started, giving the demo a once over. The dev showed up there.

link [www.kvraudio.co...]">link [www.kvraudio.co...]

If you go searching, there are few threads on KVR and on OSXAudio about it.


Feb.21.2006 @ 11:55 AM
There's also a better designed single voice version that is supposed to come out some time.

link [www.key2sound.co...]">link [www.key2sound.co...]

Presumably it will be cheaper, which is funny, because it seems to cut out everything that is crappy about the big version.

He might sell a lot of the smaller one if he priced it at $40, but even that might be a hard sell.


Feb.21.2006 @ 11:56 AM
Muff Wiggler
KVR, bah

Feb.21.2006 @ 12:32 PM
d wagenbach
i played with the beta and was REALLY disappointed. it sounded ok, but not for the price. i found the interface clumbsy. the "true stereo" is a nice touch, but it's barely more than a run of the mill subtractive synth. I'd take Tera 3 in a heartbeat over this one.

Feb.21.2006 @ 12:54 PM
softsynths, bah :)

Feb.21.2006 @ 1:35 PM
Suit & Tie Guy
you get letters like that?

i'm jealous.

apparently i don't talk enough smack in my livejournal.


Feb.21.2006 @ 2:16 PM
Chris Randall
Pretty much any time I say something that is anything but glowing about a product, at the very least, the company's PR person will drop me a letter. For boutique companies, it's usually the person that made the piece in question.

I'm afraid that if I go to NAMM, everyone I've ever said something snotty about will gang up on me, and adminster a beat-down.

I'll admit I do feel bad sometimes, but the entire music industry revolves around criticism, both constructive and not, and while I try to be constructive, anyone coming in to this business, any aspect of this, needs to have a nice, thick skin, and learn from the comments of others. Or ignore them. Or whatever. But getting all miffy any time something is said that is anything but glowing praise isn't the way to anyone's heart. Which is why I never mention certain companies in this blog. It simply isn't worth the effort to say anything nice, because even then I'll be corrected.



Feb.21.2006 @ 5:42 PM
Suit & Tie Guy
if i ever have a product of my own, i promise not to beat you up when you call it shit in your blog.

Feb.21.2006 @ 6:13 PM
If anyone is interested, that KVR thread was revived today by one of the developers.

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