Login / Register  0 items | $0.00 NewWhat is KVR? Submit News Advertise

Alternative to Hive

ilmai
KVRist
 
98 posts since 25 Aug, 2016, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby ilmai; Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:47 am Re: Alternative to Hive

greedy.mf wrote:There is no perfect synth. Some are just better for you. Market is huge. I learned a lot of new names.
I believe in positive effect of all instruments you use in you craft, whether it is carpentry or skateboarding.

You're right, I'm not on a professional level, so I seek pleasure in this activity first and foremost for myself.
If I was forced somehow, I'd be more than happy to use Hive or Sylenth or every name on the thread. They are fine instruments and do the job.


This, exactly. Since music is a hobby for me, I want all aspects to be as fun and intuitive as possible. I mean, of course I would also want that if I were professional, but in that case there might be more emphasis on efficiency & sound quality rather than intuitivity & fun. Also I'm not trying to take a dump on any of the synths I tried, all of them are capable of a wide variety of good sounds, some just not what I'm looking for ATM. It's all about priorities and preferences.
User avatar
fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
 
9574 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:50 am Re: Alternative to Hive

Oh, have they changed that much? :P

I suppose all synths have to go that way as developers add more and more features. There is just not enough space for everything...

Despite its somewhat limited mod matrix, I am still happy with Sylenth1, it is basically the only synth I use. I am not a pro, either, else I might have to buy something modern and fancy, one of those $300 Swiss army knife thingies that take a year to learn 8)
chk071
KVRAF
 
13288 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:56 am Re: Alternative to Hive

fluffy_little_something wrote:Predator is more or less one-page and comes with lots of presets, but I am not sure they fixed the unison by now, it used to have an ugly phase bump if I remember correctly.

Not sure if this causes what you mean, but, i recently found out that there is a difference between free running oscillators, as in analog oscillators, and the way many VA synths do it, using a random phase start position of the oscillators. That's why many soft synths still phase with unison, which obviously also creates a "harder" attack stage. In Spire, you can use both, with the "ANA" button in the oscillator section. With the button on, it produces free running oscillators, as you find in analog synths, which means that the phase is always running, even when the oscillators, or synth doesn't produce a sound, and with the button on, the phase is triggered in a random start phase, which could cause some phasing though, when another oscillator starts at the same, or a similar phase position. Hard to get your head around that, i needed a while. :D Anyway, i think that is why some synths (Z3TA, Largo) still phase with a "free running" phase (which is none...), and some others (Spire, Sylenth1) don't, with the constraint that you have to activate the ANA button in Spire. I don't know how Lennard did it in Sylenth1, not sure if the oscillators are free running there, or if it uses another method to prevent the oscillators from phasing. Should be easy enough to check though, using a patch similar to the one posted here by vega555: http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... 8&t=490366
It's not "news" anymore, it's "infotainment".
greedy.mf
KVRist
 
85 posts since 21 Jul, 2015

Postby greedy.mf; Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:58 am Re: Alternative to Hive

fluffy_little_something wrote:Oh, have they changed that much? :P

I suppose all synths have to go that way as developers add more and more features. There is just not enough space for everything...

Despite its somewhat limited mod matrix, I am still happy with Sylenth1, it is basically the only synth I use. I am not a pro, either, else I might have to buy something modern and fancy, one of those $300 Swiss army knife thingies that take a year to learn 8)

Sylenth is still tempting even after all these years in service.

Resizable UI helps. As rent-to-own scheme and cool presets preview feature on Splice.
Maybe I'll go for it, sounds as good as on the radio. Wonder if they'll do sale this fall.
User avatar
fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
 
9574 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:02 am Re: Alternative to Hive

chk071 wrote:
fluffy_little_something wrote:Predator is more or less one-page and comes with lots of presets, but I am not sure they fixed the unison by now, it used to have an ugly phase bump if I remember correctly.

Not sure if this causes what you mean, but, i recently found out that there is a difference between free running oscillators, as in analog oscillators, and the way many VA synths do it, using a random phase start position of the oscillators. That's why many soft synths still phase with unison, which obviously also creates a "harder" attack stage. In Spire, you can use both, with the "ANA" button in the oscillator section. With the button on, it produces free running oscillators, as you find in analog synths, which means that the phase is always running, even when the oscillators, or synth doesn't produce a sound, and with the button on, the phase is triggered in a random start phase, which could cause some phasing though, when another oscillator starts at the same, or a similar phase position. Hard to get your head around that, i needed a while. :D Anyway, i think that is why some synths (Z3TA, Largo) still phase with a "free running" phase (which is none...), and some others (Spire, Sylenth1) don't, with the constraint that you have to activate the ANA button in Spire. I don't know how Lennard did it in Sylenth1, not sure if the oscillators are free running there, or if it uses another method to prevent the oscillators from phasing. Should be easy enough to check though, using a patch similar to the one posted here by vega555: http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic ... 8&t=490366


Predator does have an osc retrigger switch as well if I remember correctly. But it didn't make much of a difference regarding the unison.
In Sylenth1 the retrigger switch makes all the difference and unison sounds very pleasant when retrigger is off. If it is on, it sounds similar to the Predator unison.
chk071
KVRAF
 
13288 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:05 am Re: Alternative to Hive

Ok, then I guess the phase bump in Predator is caused by something else.
It's not "news" anymore, it's "infotainment".
greedy.mf
KVRist
 
85 posts since 21 Jul, 2015

Postby greedy.mf; Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:24 am Re: Alternative to Hive

ilmai wrote:Wiggle - Sounds like it has its niche, and both the UI and sounds are nice enough, but doesn't feel like it could become my go-to synth.


Wiggle seems cool. Never heard of it.

GUI is pleasure to look at, drag'n'drop modulation with visual ranges, clever OSCs. Effects, unison. Sounds good too. Reasonably priced and went on sale last Black Friday.
Definitely going to demo the hell out of it.

Thanks for the tip.
ilmai
KVRist
 
98 posts since 25 Aug, 2016, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby ilmai; Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:29 am Re: Alternative to Hive

greedy.mf wrote:Wiggle seems cool. Never heard of it.

GUI is pleasure to look at, drag'n'drop modulation with visual ranges, clever OSCs. Effects, unison. Sounds good too. Reasonably priced and went on sale last Black Friday.
Definitely going to demo the hell out of it.

Thanks for the tip.


Yeah, it seems cool and very versatile and has some nice sounds, but feels so hard to grok that I wouldn't make it my go-to synth. Definitely keeping it in mind for the future though.
ENV1
KVRAF
 
1965 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Postby ENV1; Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:37 am Re: Alternative to Hive

chk071 wrote:...i think that is why some synths (Z3TA, Largo) still phase with a "free running" phase...

Huh?

Isnt that exactly what you would expect?

z3ta+ has phasing in FREE mode and always starts from the same position in SYNC mode so to me it seems like everything is exactly as it should be.

(Unless i misunderstood what you meant?)
User avatar
fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
 
9574 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:51 am Re: Alternative to Hive

ENV1 wrote:
chk071 wrote:...i think that is why some synths (Z3TA, Largo) still phase with a "free running" phase...

Huh?

Isnt that exactly what you would expect?

z3ta+ has phasing in FREE mode and always starts from the same position in SYNC mode so to me it seems like everything is exactly as it should be.

(Unless i misunderstood what you meant?)


I suppose in Predator and some other synths what happens is that the unison voices are all derived from / copies of the same wave, so they are in sync, regardless whether or not the osc is set to retrigger. Just my guess...
chk071
KVRAF
 
13288 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:00 am Re: Alternative to Hive

ENV1 wrote:
chk071 wrote:...i think that is why some synths (Z3TA, Largo) still phase with a "free running" phase...

Huh?

Isnt that exactly what you would expect?

z3ta+ has phasing in FREE mode and always starts from the same position in SYNC mode so to me it seems like everything is exactly as it should be.

(Unless i misunderstood what you meant?)

From what i understood: "Free running"=oscillator phase is always running, even without sound processing. "Random phase start"=the phase is triggered by a note, starting at a random position. Vega555 posted a simple patch in the thread i linked to above, which shows the difference, when you activate free running phase (ANA button on), and random phase start (ANA button off). I just tried Z3TA, and it definitely has the latter, a random phase start, triggered by a note event, no free running oscillators. If that also holds true for the LFO's, i don't know, but, probably. In Spire, it holds true for both oscillators and LFO's, AFAIK.

I'm not sure if that also has to do with the oscillators phasing though. I suspect it though, because some synths simply don't do that, like Sylenth1, or Spire, when you activate the ANA button. Let's just call it my "theory". :P
It's not "news" anymore, it's "infotainment".
ilmai
KVRist
 
98 posts since 25 Aug, 2016, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby ilmai; Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:55 am Re: Alternative to Hive

What a day of rapid fire demoing! Here are my notes for the rest of the synths on my list. I'm skipping "sounds nice" comments since that applies to all of the synths below.

Avenger - Super confusing UI. Seems like it tries to be everything from a multi-layer wavetable synth to a drum synth with a built-in sequencer and much more, but that makes basic things hard. There are tabs everywhere, but still the preset browser and the keyboard take up about a quarter of the UI and cannot be hidden. I'm sure it's powerful, but it's just too much. I would rather use my DAW or specialized VSTs for all this extra functionality. Bonus points for having intuitive Serum-style modulation routing though.
Diversion - Reasonably usable UI, but routing modulation using a matrix is so 90s. Not sure what this offers that Serum doesn't, except double the OSCs.
Dune 2 - Questionable UI. Modulation routing only through the mod matrix, tabs everywhere. And what's with the demo presets, they're clearly designed to sound impressive with the arps and everything but completely unusable in an actual track.
Lush 101 - What's with the skeuomorphic fetish? The UI is nice to look at but confusing to use. Very limited modulation routing options, and maybe I'm blind but I couldn't find a way to adjust the phase of LFOs, and no sine wave option for them. I realize it's an emulation, so it probably never had a chance for my use.
Rapid - Couldn't get along with the UI at all. No preset browser, expects you to use the OS file manager to browser presets that aren't even categorized in any way.
RayBlaster - Has its own thing, but not what I'm looking for.
Spire - Again, confusing UI. Who thought it's a good idea to have two ways of routing modulation, which aren't even in sync with each other?
Sylenth1 - Pleasantly surprised by this. Based on some forum comments, I was prepared to write this off as obsolete, but aside from modulation mapping and the preset browser (which is even worse than Serum), the UI is actually quite nice to use. I'm also liking the sounds a lot.
Tone2 synths (Electra, Gladiator, Icarus) - All of these have a UI that is too clunky especially with modulation routing.

Maybe I have been spoiled by Bitwig and Serum, but I don't have patience for awkward UIs where you need to for example route everything through the mod matrix. In Serum, it's one drag to route modulation and another to set the amount. In a lot of other synths, it's several clicks to open the modulation matrix, select source and target (which might involve several clicks if there's a nested menu), set amount and close the matrix. At least in Sylenth1 the routing options are always visible, so while it limits the possibilities, it makes routing a lot quicker.

I realize I'm sounding like a grumpy old man with these UI complaints, but so be it. :D As a software developer I realize how much design and programming work a seemingly simple and intuitive UI is, and if you're into audio programming instead of UI design, that's not a priority.

I'll continue demoing Diva, Serum & Sylenth1 further. Diva's sounds impress me the most, Serum is by far the most usable, Sylenth1 falls somewhere in between. It's also the cheapest by a small margin.
ENV1
KVRAF
 
1965 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Postby ENV1; Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:07 am Re: Alternative to Hive

I see.

Now i dont know what kind of testing you did to come to that conclusion, but i think the opposite is the case and heres why.

1) If you set an oscillator to FREE and Octave -5, (lowest possible), and you trigger it with a sequencer circa twice a second, (with the lowest possible note), and you watch the oscillator signal on an oscilloscope, you can clearly see that there is always the same pattern. Yes, the starting phase is changing every so often (and then back) due to the fact that the triggering is not in perfect sync with the oscs rate of speed, but thats not important, what is important is that the patterns repeat exactly as you would expect from a free running osc, which in turn means that the start phase cannot be random. If it were, the oscilloscope would show starting phases all over the place and no repeating pattern could develop.

2) If you take 2 oscs in FREE mode, and you set their FINE sliders to 0.0 cents, there will be no drift between the 2 oscs whatsoever. With every note you press the start phase of the 2 oscs will be exactly the same. Yes, you can alter the phase difference between the 2 oscs by slightly moving the FINE slider and then setting it back to 0.0 cent, but again thats unimportant, what is important is that with both FINE sliders set to 0.0 cent there is no drift between the 2 oscs whatsoever, which means that their start phase cannot be random. (And it speaks for z3ta+s precision.)


Well, thats my observations. Im pretty sure im right, but if anyone can show that im not (errare humanum est) i will gladly change my mind. :phones:
Last edited by ENV1 on Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
chk071
KVRAF
 
13288 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:10 am Re: Alternative to Hive

ilmai wrote:Spire - Again, confusing UI. Who thought it's a good idea to have two ways of routing modulation, which aren't even in sync with each other?

Do you mean that one side shows envelopes, and LFO's 1 and 2, and the other side 3 and 4? Well, the point obviously was that you have the important control of amp and filter envelopes visible at one time. Frankly, if you're a bit used to modulation in other synths, i don't see much of an issue with that.
It's not "news" anymore, it's "infotainment".
User avatar
fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
 
9574 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:11 am Re: Alternative to Hive

I think there is a difference between "always on" (I think that is the term) and free-running. You can see the difference on the CPU. In the case of free-running oscillators the CPU goes down to idle after the release is over, with always on the CPU load stays more or less the same regardless whether or not notes are played.
PreviousNext

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Return to Instruments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chili beans, DJErmac, Ghost Dog, Lucastyle, nodilos, plugin'd out, vksf01, wagtunes