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Inside - Poly Evolver, Nord Lead 3, Virus TI, pulse, XT & Andromeda (updated)

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Hmm.. i guess i should really start some midibox.org wiki posts for all these 'under the lid' expose's ...would be a little tidyer to wade thru :)

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hmm .. i want to know what the solaris does ...looks sweet & very late oberheimish ...off to find out rn ...hmm and waldorfs new linup looks alot less plasticky than i had first imagined ...all that shiny metal ...whooo !

...ok i'm puzzled, i cant find anything out about the solaris ...looks like another monster wavetable machine tho...

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the interesting part bout the nord wave is the 1 L/R + 1 headphone out... How is this is part of a multitimbral(?) machine? Maybe there will be Spdif/Aes out at least? Strange.

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multitimberal, as in it allows you to layer patches into one sound ..as for being able to map different sounds to different keyboard sections & process them sepperately externally ...this could be really annoying.

Im personally not too sold on most virtual analogs ..for the money you get alot less actual hardware inside; and when you can get the real grit and warmth of the genuine thing for the same money.. and far less second hand... well..

Also many va's start looking like an obtusely overpriced 'plugin in a box', when you compare them to such items as the Terratec Komplexer plugin synth ...which,to my ears is very, very good & seems to cover the tonalitys and options coveredd by almost all the VA's available. Oh and it doesn wavetable synthsis. Don't of course forget its 1/10th the price of the Virus ! ...hmmm

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Virus is overpriced / rated, thats for sure. BTW Nord is in the forefront all the time, the best fact about is the latency, no midi converting on keypress etc as with virus TI, but as low as it can be (at least in nord electro) . Meanwhile other ppl started bitching about the "wave" dont have the nice ledrings of Nl3, "I really hope this is a prototype" . LOL I mean fuck,who cares. Looks to me the LFO also has user wave option, I have the feeling that all this function-heap has to have an eye candy PC front end. Lets hope this goes into Modular3.

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i'm soso about the nords too, tho i prefer them to the virus in some respects ..neither of which, having had the time to pay with em' particularly excite me ...at the end of the day i'm a really picky sod & have a real love for analogery; so it's very hard to sell hardware va's to me.

The waldorfs really hold my interest tho.. but they just seem to be a totally different kettle of fish frankly.. Agressive, naughty machines :)

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funny thing, that freescale semicon (ex-motorola) came out with the dual core 563xx, now access virus can go back to the single package dsp solution uhuhauhaha. For my projects I need extensive preset memory, polycount so goin VA/plugin is inevitable. Tho I try to have processing in analog domain - EQ, BBD string ensemble.

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emerging info

http://tinyurl.com/24lkvm

tasty details imho:

-several types of reverb /maybe not just 5 dif. preset but direct try of some classicals likewise: "delay has nice vintage character"/

- user waves ,samples

- "superior response"

- cutted pricetag (some website wrote 80% of NL3)

- Sequencer modulation,step sequencer /Arpeggiator? throw that sh*t outside cuz that sh*t aint no good xD/

Have to start saving for my first synth, nice one Clavia  ;D

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if its your bag.. go for it :) Tho not entirely sure myself..

no.. offence intended ..tho it would seem you are just looking for reasons to justify follow the urge to buy a nord wave (over anything else ?)..

mind, i can hardly speak.. it doesnt take much to convince me that another analog might be interesting. then again they dont usually set me back 1.5k a pop ! :o :)

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btw playbo$$, i think you'll find the dac conversion for the digital waveforms on the evolver is more than adiquate... just checked in on the specs:

* 4x Analog Devices AD1836AAS 96khz 'codecs' - 16>24bit 3x stereo dacs 2x stereo adcs

(http://www.analog.com/UploadedFiles/Data_Sheets/AD1836A.pdf)

The chip above has more than ample high fidelity ins and outs ...no doubt those 24bit 96khz ones are also used for the digital voicing !

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this is complicated matter, there are reasons, why a ~true~ 12bit waldorf pulse dac (if thats used for audio) can sound in fact better than this one. This codec is nowhere near even 16bit , thats for sure. So I rather say, the 16bit DSP is wholly adequate for the task.  OFF: The codec in 4xD topic is much better (~ newer) cause it has changeable filter group delay, thats why it is causing only 0.5 mS latency in itself. Oldskool ~true~ multibit ADA topology is 120 uSec with analog filters. Evolver might have 1ms +

Nord wave, I just tryin to highlight, that nord made the best decisions they could with this one. Playability, samples. But whats happening  with input output section is not clear:)) Likewise: if they did this extensive FX section, should have external in. Some site specified 4 part multitimbral. Where are the outputs. :))

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er, pardon..

The 12bit dac is used for control signals (CV) ..to control the oscillators & filters ..etc ..everything that makes and shapes sound in the pulse is analog :)

the pulse, to the best of my knowlege, is waldorfs -only- ..all analog synth. Designed to drive a wedge in a market, which at the time was flooded by 'almost analog' Novation basstations & where there was rising interests in things like moogs again.

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I always tought pulse has 3x DCO.  :P

- remembered well, 3x DCO , some site even criticizes its static oscillators

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its easy to mis-read 'digitally controlled analog oscillators' as dcos. True dcos are those like seen in the matrix's cem3396 chip, whereby the frequency of the oscilator inside the chip is set by a digital pulse train (width of the signal sets the width of one freq cycle of the oscilator). I dont see any signs of a custom oscillator chip ..or read anysuch things elsewhere.

Digitally Controlled oscialltors can also be interprited as a DAC (digital to analog converter) turning a stack of numbers from the cpu into a specific & changing analog voltage level, this can then be  used to drive the analog oscillator in the same way that the voltage read from the keyboard of say an old moog ..would determine its frequency :)

i mean, how else are you going to control an analog oscillator on a synth with a digital brain; other than through digital control ! ;) :)

also ..the reason it's oscilators sound a little static sometimes, is because with modern digital control.. its often an overacheiver in preventing things drifting..

(old analogs tend not to follow their controlling circuitary as well, and drift out of tune ...this was on paper considered a bad thing, tho it proved pleasing until it got out of hand)

Note: even analogs accused of sounding 'not quite as fat' in certain ways, as say a moog, due to DCO's and other overly precise modern engineering techniques.. will still outdo Virtual Analogs for sonics ..take a comparison on exactly the same patch programmed on a matrix 1000 & the exact same one programmed on a nord lead 3 - which is labelled specifically as a matrix sound (..this i did myself when i had a lend of one) ...and theres a huuuuge difference.

anyways, i can see this turning into a two 'man' flame war ..and i can't be bothered with that..

This was just supposed to be a post about the contents of a number of notable synths ...other people im quite sure are as curious as myself as to what goes into these commercial products :)

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well, i don't read german (tho google does ;) ) ...however things on that post are a little ambiguious; based on 'measurement based' speculation. i wouldnt call it a definate conclusion.. and from what i remember of an interview with the pulse designers, it's all analog ...and it would be a little misleading to say so otherwise.. will try to find that post again. Tho at the end of the day, its unclear - maybe query waldorf themselfs ?

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Wolfram Franke at Waldorf says: "the three waveforms are made differently, and only have one thing in common -- they aren't processed by a D/A converter. The oscillators are not digital, but analogue. The pulse waveform is controlled digitally; the clock stipulates when the pulse waveform has to be at its maximum or minimum point. If you use pulse width modulation or cross modulation, this is also generated by the clock itself. The clock has only a 0 and 1 position, so the Pulse's cross modulation is mathematically identical with ring modulation. The sawtooth waveform is voltage-controlled; the voltage is generated from the D/A-converted clock signal, with additional parts creating the ramp. The triangular waveform is the most complex one; it's a combination between the sawtooth waveform and additional parts that process the down-ramp. "

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http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/feb96/waldorfpulse.html

Also worth reading this :)

quote:

A WORD FROM WALDORF

I contacted Waldorf designer Wolfram Franke with a couple of technical queries during the course of this review, and he offered some interesting insights into how certain aspects of the Pulse were designed, which are reproduced here.

"Our first consideration was how many oscillators a synth should have. One oscillator is boring; you can't create, detune or transpose effects. Two oscillators are better, because you have lots of possible ways to detune or transpose them, or to use different waveforms. But you have one problem. If the phase of one oscillator is shifted by 180 degrees to the other, you will lose sound. This happens every now and then, when you simply detune oscillators by a slight amount. But if you add a third oscillator, it fills these small silences, and the sound gets much richer and fatter. Also, a third oscillator is useful if you plan to offer oscillator synchronisation, cross modulation and so on; you'll still have one oscillator left for doing interesting things. So, the Pulse had to have three oscillators! However, the three waveforms are made differently, and only have one thing in common -- they aren't processed by a D/A converter. The oscillators are not digital, but analogue. The pulse waveform is controlled digitally; the clock stipulates when the pulse waveform has to be at its maximum or minimum point. If you use pulse width modulation or cross modulation, this is also generated by the clock itself. The clock has only a 0 and 1 position, so the Pulse's cross modulation is mathematically identical with ring modulation. The sawtooth waveform is voltage-controlled; the voltage is generated from the D/A-converted clock signal, with additional parts creating the ramp. The triangular waveform is the most complex one; it's a combination between the sawtooth waveform and additional parts that process the down-ramp.

:)

Ahh... you have the same quote ..tho basically my point being that the oscillation process is happening in the analog domain ...the waveform itself is not generated in the digital domain ...then sent to the analog one with 12 bit conversion artifacts.

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with 12 bit conversion artifacts.

~ that staircase would be nice in itself : ))

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well, theres plenty of ways of doing that ..should you want it ..diy dacs are easy enough ..and so are analog filters ;)

Mind, provided signal antialiasing & oversampling are turned off on a synth which can play waveform samples ...and i fully expect they are on the evolver & the xt ...you can create waveforms with any apparent 'bit depth' you want.

Infact ...look on the carbon111 website for the 'bit reduction' wavetable ...which does just that:

http://www.carbon111.com/mwxt.html

oh, and the link reminds me, the xt has the facility to adjust apparent sample rate as a modulateable value via a Sample and Hold filter... so you can patch that too, should you wish.

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aaah ..so the new nord wavetable machine filters in the analog domain ?

..now i'm interested :)

There maybe competition with the dsi, tho i wouldnt put it past him to recode some of the stuff to compete if theres competition in some respects ;)

Also it largely depends on what the nord filters are like..

Then again, the whole point of the evolver, is that it was supposed to roughly cover the sounds the old  prophet & prophet vs could make (not quite got the fulll potential for vectors the vs had tho) ..and of course be capable of other things too.

Ultimately its a fat machine.. tho assuming nord made a machine with a similar topology (not another VA) ..then trying to quote one as being 'better' than the other isnt really productive. Their differences are more about 'character and personality' of the instrument ..and thus preference is more about what sounds you desire ..rather than how well it can do them.

Oh on the note of codec and adjustable delays, thats something thats done entirely in the dsp chip & thus is only a matter of code. all a codec chip does, is converts between the analog and digital domain. There is nothing segnificant happening here to introduce any segnificant delay. the only delays which would be  segnificant, would be those introduced by the length of the 'code chain' used in processing the signals (which is doing 160,000,000 cycles a second / 2,666 cycles a millisecond !). And hey, even if there was a 1ms delay, as you speculate ..thats imperceptable ;)

The smallest delay a human can hear between two signals arriving at the ear sepperately is 20ms btw ...this is a phenomenon determined by the nature of whats going on in your brain (psychoaccoustics). Anything less than that, will be perceived as a spatial distortion of the sounds placement ..along with some other accoustic artifacts. if this happens in mono, its perceived as a specific colouration of sound ...both of these things make the classic building blocks of some well known and used effects.

Ultimately tho, you maybe able to detect delays longer than say 5ms between a keypress and a sound arriving at you ear ..but it all gets marginal / speculative in this region.

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just updated my previous posting :)

..ahh ic.

...also talking of playing in live situations, where instrument latency is a possible issue; id love to see musician's who can play togeather, with less than say 20ms diviation from the beat ;) ...and besides ...digital music creation technology has clearly illistrated that having rock solid timing & ahearence sounds dull & boring when it is acheived ;) ..thus why humanizer features appeared ;)

Also on that note, another reason why music preformed / recorded from real people playing sounds far more interesting ..is that firstly, clearly perceveable timing domain ..variations in overall beat are fun ..and secondly the fact that no two instruments sound at exactly the same time ..or exact same 'way'; results in a ever changing mix of sound each time ....a variation on a 'theme' if you will : ))

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its FIR filter inside delta sigma topology cause the delay. It cant be omitted. 0.5 ms ADA is  _quite_ nice compared to older IC-s. Whats wrong with 2044? The talk is , early prophet 5 -s were soundin better thn later ones.

~ For sure, the playability of Nord Electro / Wave is not there for the reason that some "intelligent" quantizer engine to quantize the shit out of it :)))

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how much delay tho ? ..i cold check thru the codec manual ...tho really only a fly would be able to tell :)

nothing wrong with the ssm2044s :) ..i might just pick some up myself ..always good for a little project ..and buildign a dedicated filterbank rn too :)

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