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Seems to me that this might be the future

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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cocoazenith
KVRist
 
154 posts since 4 Jul, 2012, from Eastern Europe

Postby cocoazenith; Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:25 am Seems to me that this might be the future

I just found out about the Akai SynthStation. I figured this kind of controller had to exist, but I didn't research the topic until now.

http://www.akaipro.com/product/synthstation49#overview

I wonder what could happen in the next 5 years, when iPads will have way more processing power. Imagine having Alchemy, Monark or
Kontakt Player on the iPad that's connected to the SynthStation....
Evoke Music Graphics: http://www.evoke.ro
My music: https://soundcloud.com/t-neve
UltraJv
KVRAF
 
5976 posts since 30 Dec, 2004, from London uk

Postby UltraJv; Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:10 am Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

You can already use Monark, Kontakt vstis on this Windows Tablet :

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=405737&p=5676699#p5676699
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4066 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:07 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

cocoazenith wrote:I just found out about the Akai SynthStation. I figured this kind of controller had to exist, but I didn't research the topic until now.

http://www.akaipro.com/product/synthstation49#overview

I wonder what could happen in the next 5 years, when iPads will have way more processing power. Imagine having Alchemy, Monark or
Kontakt Player on the iPad that's connected to the SynthStation....


Just FYI, a friend of mine has the older variant of those and he's had a lot of reliability issues with the connections.
bstageboss
KVRist
 
253 posts since 11 Sep, 2004, from just a little to the left

Postby bstageboss; Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:07 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

I did get one of those recently on sale, and it has actually been a lot of fun running iPolysix, iSEM, iMini and a couple of other synth apps on the thing. The connection on mine seems stable enough, and the built-in audio interface actually boost the usually anemic output from the iPolysix to a respectable level.
It may not sound 100% like the originals, but in your average club sound system that matters very little. Easier on the back and the wallet as well. The construction seems very lightweight, but so far nothing has broken off (knock on wood). Still worth the $80 I paid :love:
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4066 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:10 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

bstageboss wrote:I did get one of those recently on sale, and it has actually been a lot of fun running iPolysix, iSEM, iMini and a couple of other synth apps on the thing. The connection on mine seems stable enough, and the built-in audio interface actually boost the usually anemic output from the iPolysix to a respectable level.
It may not sound 100% like the originals, but in your average club sound system that matters very little. Easier on the back and the wallet as well. The construction seems very lightweight, but so far nothing has broken off (knock on wood). Still worth the $80 I paid :love:


My friend's seemed to work fine at first as well. Did you get the old one or the new one? At any rate, he's had his for a while and at some point just started experiencing random-ish disconnects. Irritating if you're trying to use it in a live setting.
bstageboss
KVRist
 
253 posts since 11 Sep, 2004, from just a little to the left

Postby bstageboss; Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:17 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

Not sure how I would tell the new one from the old one. Serial #?
No issues with any disconnects so far, but I'll watch out for it.
rod_zero
KVRian
 
662 posts since 28 Jan, 2011, from MEXICO

Postby rod_zero; Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:23 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

I have a surface pro, it has future for sure. But it would be far more instresting if touch surfaces could be sold just as interfaces, as a track pad with a screen, and control remotely your software with specially designed interfaces, just as lemur but better.
dedication to flying
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4066 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:24 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

bstageboss wrote:Not sure how I would tell the new one from the old one. Serial #?
No issues with any disconnects so far, but I'll watch out for it.


I might be wrong, but I don't recall seeing a drum pad on his unit, maybe it's there and I just don't remember it. He brought it over once for a jam and what I do remember is that he lost his connection more than once and that he's had it for a while, maybe two years? He liked the synthstation software but was clearly frustrated with the hardware. I think that the reason that it sticks out to me is that he was clearly frustrated with it and expressed regret at not simply getting a USB controller that worked with a standard cable/camera kit.

I'm not trying to paint a horror story about it. I think though, that anytime that you get what is essentially a press fit connection between a heavy device (the ipad) and a device that people get physical with (the keyboard), it's something to be concerned about.
bstageboss
KVRist
 
253 posts since 11 Sep, 2004, from just a little to the left

Postby bstageboss; Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:47 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

Well, IMHO the current crop of inexpensive Akai controllers are not a rugged bunch. I don't think they're supposed to be; more like a home/light road use is the intended purpose. Lengthy touring would be too much for the design (unless you or your roadies have the grace of a ballerina and your gear is traveling in a Lexus).

I think the tray the iPad sits in was designed with the original iPad in mind, so if you have a newer one, you have to use the plastic insert to get a tight fit. Ideally the tablet shouldn't move at all; there should be no give whatsoever.

When it works, it's really a fun setup to work with. I was house sitting last Christmas and had only the iPad and the Synthstation with me, but that was plenty to keep me occupied. iSEM and iPolysix were a lot of fun to play on a physical keyboard; so were the other apps I've got. Even the Synthstation app worked fine, once I force quit everything else that was still running in the background. The Arturia apps can even use the special buttons for parameter control. (Momentary switches, all of them, so I usually assign it to things like delay on/off or waveform switches, but it works.)

The drum pads transmit on channel 10, so if you have a multitimbral app like sample tank or bs-16, you can use those for drum triggering as well. Like I said, a lot of fun, when you get it set up right. I'm keeping mine.

STV
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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
 
1833 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Corporate States of America

Postby Jace-BeOS; Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:54 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

Synth Station has some good sounds and programmability in the synth engine. Unfortunately, the app is nearly useless on iPhone due to a GUI designed to be bonded to hardware. They shouldn't have sold the two separately. I never got an iPad to try the larger GUI, but the iPhone version clearly was meant to sell the hardware and it's almost useless without a keyboard. I've heard equally bad complaints about the connections, since the hardware was designed for certain generations of iOS devices and the changes in iOS device designs screwed with the compatibility. If I could get the synth station version for iPhone for $5, it would at least make the app useful, but I already have enough midi controllers! Never got any interfaces for my phone. Hate iOS 7, so have put iPad purchase plans on hold. :shrug:
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4066 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:49 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

bstageboss wrote:Well, IMHO the current crop of inexpensive Akai controllers are not a rugged bunch. I don't think they're supposed to be; more like a home/light road use is the intended purpose. Lengthy touring would be too much for the design (unless you or your roadies have the grace of a ballerina and your gear is traveling in a Lexus).


My friend is not a touring musician of any sort and he's into ambient. I don't think that you can get any more gentle and still be a musician. My house is about as far as he's gone "touring" since he's had the thing and we live only a few miles apart.

I'm glad that you like yours. I'm posting what I think is fair criticism for this type of device. The iPad is heavy and the keyboards are somewhat flimsy. I have an MPK mini and I think that the construction is weak. This is not to say that Akai cannot produce solid instruments. I have an MPD and it is solid.

As far as the topic title goes, no, I don't think that it's the future. In fact, I recently read an article about tablet popularity waning somewhat in general. I think that it was a bit of a fad. I think that ipads have their place in the studio and certainly for portable music making, but I don't think that marrying it to a midi controller buys you very much.
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cocoazenith
KVRist
 
154 posts since 4 Jul, 2012, from Eastern Europe

Postby cocoazenith; Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:19 am Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

Well...I'm really talking about a potential future. Imagine an iPad - 5 times more powerful + a controller like this one - 5 times more solid and playable. It would be like a synthesizer with touch-screen + everything else.

Again...it's a hypothesis. What I'm really looking after is marrying the computer world with Midi controllers without having to bring your laptop & your USB cable.
Evoke Music Graphics: http://www.evoke.ro
My music: https://soundcloud.com/t-neve
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4066 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:59 pm Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

cocoazenith wrote:Well...I'm really talking about a potential future. Imagine an iPad - 5 times more powerful + a controller like this one - 5 times more solid and playable. It would be like a synthesizer with touch-screen + everything else.


Sure, but remember when the iPad was 1/5 as powerful? A lot has changed in form factor and that's what will continue to happen.

Again...it's a hypothesis. What I'm really looking after is marrying the computer world with Midi controllers without having to bring your laptop & your USB cable.


Really, what's the difference between a laptop and a 5x power ipad, except form factor? The USB cable part is easy, bluetooth keyboards.
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cocoazenith
KVRist
 
154 posts since 4 Jul, 2012, from Eastern Europe

Postby cocoazenith; Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:58 am Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

The form has it's importance. Carrying an iPad mini vs. carrying a laptop is a big difference.
Both visually (for your audience) and for your ease of use and effort. Also the user experience
is enhanced when using a touch screen.

A workaround to this would be some controller such as the Nektar P4, with complete DAW integration
but without the wires.

Of course all of this is just speculation until someone makes a quality dock controller and a serious smaller
size tablet, because it's true, this Akai product is just a toy.

As for bluetooth keyboards, it seems to be the proper solution right now. Haven't heard about
suck keyboards. Will look into it.
Evoke Music Graphics: http://www.evoke.ro
My music: https://soundcloud.com/t-neve
pdxindy
KVRAF
 
8759 posts since 2 Feb, 2005, from in the wilds

Postby pdxindy; Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:20 am Re: Seems to me that this might be the future

cocoazenith wrote:Well...I'm really talking about a potential future. Imagine an iPad - 5 times more powerful + a controller like this one - 5 times more solid and playable. It would be like a synthesizer with touch-screen + everything else.

Again...it's a hypothesis. What I'm really looking after is marrying the computer world with Midi controllers without having to bring your laptop & your USB cable.


I don't particularly like using the iPad... I had opportunity to use one for a couple months... While I appreciated certain things about it, it left me with no interest to get one.
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