April 3, 2006

Messe = Big Fat Waste Of Time And Money?

by Chris Randall

So, between my own native curiousity about things noisy, and my interest in aquiring grist for the AI mill, I am pretty hungry for press releases that look interesting. Is it just me, or was there very little at this Messe to be excited about? Here's my roundup of interesting shit...

Adam A7 near-field monitors: These look sexy as hell, and for $1199 the pair, finally put powered Adam monitors within reach of the unwashed masses. I'm reasonably certain that Audio Damage needs to purchase these, so I can tell exactly how bad my code is fucking up the audio stream. Now to talk my partner in to that... (Maybe I'll use the ploy where I say "dude, these speakers have your name written _all_ over them!" Yeah, that'll work.)

SSL Duende: I've talked plenty about this over the last couple days. I'm not sure whether I'm more excited about the Adams or this, but damn, it looks tasty. Still nothing on the SSL flash-a-thon about it, but they always have been a little slow. Go there and read about the new iteration of the AWS-900+ that neither you nor I nor both of us together can afford while you're waiting.

Moog Little Fatty: There is truly nothing left to say about this that hasn't been already said by a whole fuckload of people that have never seen or heard it in real life. In my opinion, as one of those people, it looks like a good deal for a synth that is really eye-catching, and judging from the samples on the site, a 2-OSC Moog monosynth through and through. As several people that talked to Moog reps at the show have said, there will be another model down the road a bit, with plastic endcheeks and amber LEDs for $999.

If there's something else that came out that fits in my sexy file that I missed (unlikely) please let me know about it. I'd add the Focusrite DSP box, but there's just too much of a chance that it'll not be what it's cracked up to be. Focusrite is really hitting the bottom end of the market hard, and a lot of people who's opinions I respect say that the Liquid Channel is crap. So I have misgivings about the Focusrite Liquid Mix.



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Apr.03.2006 @ 3:15 AM
Suit & Tie Guy
if they do a Phat Rack it will be hard for me to stay away from it.

i sold my MS2000R soon after seeing the prototype of the RADIAS, based on the significantly improved build quality and synthesis options. unfortunately they cheapened up the design _severely_ since i saw it (and didn't heed my warning about the jackfield), so i'm kind of kicking my own ass over selling the MS2000.

i had the Pulse, but the interface on that was totally convoluted. it drilled into my head that _if_ i get a microwave, that i need the XT and not the II or the I. the whole waldorf matrix thing does not work well for me, as i tend to move around alot between areas of a synth while editing and not focus on the envelope or filter or whatever.


Apr.03.2006 @ 3:54 AM
You might want to pick up one of these:

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or this might be more your style:

link [musicthing.blogot.co...]">link [musicthing.blogot.co...]


Apr.03.2006 @ 5:43 AM
Yeah, go for the Adams. High frequency transients are amazing,
the soundstage will blow you away, it is so deep and detailed!

The one probs I have mixing on Adams is that I tend to put less
reverb, to the point where it isn't enough to be heard properly
on home-audio systems...


Apr.03.2006 @ 5:49 AM
characterstudio, perhaps your studio noise floor is too low...

Adam are really cool!!! I worked with S3A and I will switch to those when I'll switch to free lance (I am a quite aficionado with dynaudio -we got m1, m3 custom surround and air 15 system in studio).


Apr.03.2006 @ 10:55 AM
Adam Schabtach
I've taken to using a pair of cheap Edirol powered monitors for testing code, because if I blow them up it's no great loss. Once the thing is running reliably I listen on better speakers (Tannoys, usually).

RE Microwaves: I've owned a I, a II, and an XT. I still have the I, but I kind of miss the XT. If you found the Pulse UI convoluted, you probably won't like the Microwaves any better. Same UI, much more complex architecture behind it. The plethora of knobs on the XT helps a lot, but there is still a lot that you have to dig around for via the LCD and soft knobs. In any case, it's nice to see Waldorf making a comeback.



Apr.03.2006 @ 11:35 AM
D' MacKinnon
Any experience with Focusrite's other mic pres? I've been thinking about picking up either the TwinTrak or the voicemaster pro but I haven't had time to actually check them out.

Apr.03.2006 @ 1:53 PM
Chris Randall
Well, I know the Red series and the ISA series are really good. I've used the Octopre and it isn't terrible. Par for the course, for the money. All the low-end Focusrite stuff (Saffire, Mbox, Octopre, Trak stuff, Voice stuff) uses the same topology, for whatever that info is worth to you.

Viz. speakers and relative amounts of 'verb, no shit. I mixed on NS10s for years, and when I switched to Questeds, I started using half the reverb I usually used, because you could hear it so much better. I don't usually have a lot of 'verb in my tracks anyways, so I don't think that'd be an issue.



Apr.03.2006 @ 3:39 PM
the harvestman
I owned an XT for a short while... while I really enjoyed the wavetable oscillator, I thought the filtering/waveshaping was pretty bland in comparison. Now I've got a Microwave I and it's one of my favorite instruments. All of the limitations come together to make a powerful and unique synthesizer - shitty DAC, 3-bit oscillator mixer with intense foldover distortion, and a maliciously tuned Curtis filter. All of my favorite features from the XT are there (comprehensive mod matrix, 8-stage wave envelope, every single wavetable) and the speech synth works as well. The matrix editing can be a pain in the ass (especially for envelopes), so I suggest sounddiver for best results. Besides the sampler, it's the only synthesizer I'm keeping around that relies on a computer for fast editing.

Apr.03.2006 @ 4:39 PM
Adam Schabtach
Yeah, what the MW I lacks in front-panel knobs it makes up for in character. There is some modulation stuff in the II/XT that I wish the I had, but I don't miss it much in practical terms. It does need an external editor, though.

Historical aside: Many years ago I built a Microwave patch editor in Max. I think it can still be found in Waldorf's FTP site, but it was written in Max version 3 for MacOS 8(? at a guess) and I can guarantee that it doesn't work any longer. Nor can it be updated; the Max patch-librarian object that it was based upon was abandoned in Max 4. Don't get me started on Max...



Apr.03.2006 @ 7:04 PM
Jan Czmok
Short answer to your question: Absolutely.

Long Answer: just 98 % sucky. i live nearby, so going to the Messe is not really an issue, but i was just there for one day and i saw it all.

Real 'analogueness' is just limited to Schneider's Buero Superbooth.

Regarding the Moog Phatty: i like the moogish sound but not the synth itself. too much "plastic" and less knobs for my pleasure. i really love the voyager, and think about buying this one. Phatty is a no-go for me ...


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