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Zen

Official support for: bigtickaudio.com

Moderator: Big Tick

Big Tick
KVRAF
 
2947 posts since 28 May, 2001, from New York, NY

Postby Big Tick; Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:08 am Zen

OK folks, I have been talking about this here and there, so it's about time to lift the veil on my latest creation. Meet "Zen", the universal vsti presets browser/manager. I will start sending beta versions next week (I just need a little bit of time to upload presets).


1. Zen is a universal presets manager.

It loads in any host as a vsti, and acts as a loader for other vstis. So with Zen, you can search for "Rhodes piano" and get a list of all matching presets - regardless of the final vsti (Rhino, Zebra, Absynth... whatever). When you select one of the presets in Zen, the corresponding vsti is automatically loaded to play the requested preset. The search and classification system is very simple to use, and is not constricting - you can tag a preset both as a "lead" and a "bass", if you like.

Most popular vstis are supported, and I can add new ones usually in a matter of minutes.

2. Zen is online.

Zen constantly synchronizes his own local database of presets with a master online database hosted at www.bigtickaudio.com - users get new presets daily, delivered right into their sequencer, already categorized.

Of course, many users don't like to have their DAW online (even though I really believe this is changing fast). Zen supports several modes, allowing to:
- work completely offline (in this case, only the presets that have been loaded so far are available)
- work offline with the database on a shared drive. The database can be updated by a daemon process running on another computer.


3. Zen is free

Yes. I am giving it for free.


4. Limitations

At the moment Zen can only support presets that don't require additional external files. This rules out synths with external samples (including many Rhino third-party presets).
I have plans to support these presets too, but it is going to require cooperation between the plugin and Zen - basically the plugin needs to tell which external "assets" are linked to a preset. So I will need to define a set of "Zen extensions" to the vst standard, and publish these so that plugin developers can support them.
It is not hard to implement, but I want to gather usage statistics before doing this, also because it will definitely consume a considerable bandwidth if, as I hope, adoption is high.


And finally, here is the mandatory screenshot from the beta:

Image
User avatar
MaxSynths
KVRAF
 
4520 posts since 1 Nov, 2006, from A Million Miles Behind the Sun

Postby MaxSynths; Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:47 am

Interesting! When will be available the first pubblic beta?
Big Tick
KVRAF
 
2947 posts since 28 May, 2001, from New York, NY

Postby Big Tick; Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:56 am

I'm aiming for beginning of August.
User avatar
MaxSynths
KVRAF
 
4520 posts since 1 Nov, 2006, from A Million Miles Behind the Sun

Postby MaxSynths; Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:43 am

Big Tick wrote:I'm aiming for beginning of August.


Great, I'll look forward for it! :tu:
grymmjack
KVRAF
 
9041 posts since 6 Apr, 2003

Postby grymmjack; Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:17 am

Its about time someone did a cloud app for presets that was actually good for the user and not crippling like some other companies. Sounds like you have it setup well but I wonder will this work for non fxp/fxb? And also what about instruments that embed sample data within the preset itself like say highlife by discodsp?
grymmjack
KVRAF
 
9041 posts since 6 Apr, 2003

Postby grymmjack; Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:19 am

Also since this is free are you going to have ads or anything in zen ornwould you make back your money by licensing out the preset engine tob3rd party developers?
User avatar
MaxSynths
KVRAF
 
4520 posts since 1 Nov, 2006, from A Million Miles Behind the Sun

Postby MaxSynths; Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:21 am

grymmjack wrote: And also what about instruments that embed sample data within the preset itself like say highlife by discodsp?


Wow this could be a HUGE amount of data! (my Highlife library folder is 2.80Gb)
Big Tick
KVRAF
 
2947 posts since 28 May, 2001, from New York, NY

Postby Big Tick; Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:32 am

grymmjack wrote:Its about time someone did a cloud app for presets that was actually good for the user and not crippling like some other companies. Sounds like you have it setup well but I wonder will this work for non fxp/fxb? And also what about instruments that embed sample data within the preset itself like say highlife by discodsp?


You never load a preset directly into Zen. Instead, Zen queries the plugin for the preset data. So the issue about format is sort of irrelevant, because if the plugin can export its preset data to an host, then it can be supported by Zen. This said, internally, Zen uses fxp.

Sample data embedded within the preset is actually a simple case. It will work, although I will need more bandwidth usage estimates before allowing it. The tricky case is for presets requiring sample data alongside. I have plans to support them, but this will require the plugin to support a very simple set of vst extensions (basically, to let Zen know about the external assets it requires for a given preset).
Big Tick
KVRAF
 
2947 posts since 28 May, 2001, from New York, NY

Postby Big Tick; Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:41 am

grymmjack wrote:Also since this is free are you going to have ads or anything in zen or would you make back your money by licensing out the preset engine to 3rd party developers?


My plan is take a fee on presets sales made through Zen. Think of it as an additional distribution channel for preset designers - one that makes a very targeted and unobtrusive push.

Regarding licensing, I haven't planned that far - it will all depend on adoption, and how much users contribute to the database (I can't tag 100000 presets on my own, so everybody will have to tag a few).

'Tick
User avatar
MaxSynths
KVRAF
 
4520 posts since 1 Nov, 2006, from A Million Miles Behind the Sun

Postby MaxSynths; Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:03 am

Big Tick wrote:My plan is take a fee on presets sales made through Zen. Think of it as an additional distribution channel for preset designers - one that makes a very targeted and unobtrusive push.


I like this idea! :)
koolkeys
KVRAF
 
16079 posts since 2 Dec, 2003, from Nashville, TN

Postby koolkeys; Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:29 am

This sounds EXCELLENT! One question though. If using the online database, will you have to scroll through presets for plug-ins you don't have, or can you filter it to show only presets that belong to the instruments you own?

Brent
darsho
KVRAF
 
1549 posts since 14 Sep, 2007, from www.koeln.de/en/

Postby darsho; Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:37 am

I will surely watch this product. It sounds really interesting.
Dusk to Dawn (Synth-Pop) : http://www.dusktodawn.de
M & D (Breakbeat Fusion Trance) : http://tinyurl.com/moebiusdarsho
Darsho (Solo-Releases & Gear-Reviews) : http://www.darsho.de
Big Tick
KVRAF
 
2947 posts since 28 May, 2001, from New York, NY

Postby Big Tick; Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:39 am

You don't browse the online database. You browse your local database, which is built (and continuously updated), based on the synths you have specified.
grymmjack
KVRAF
 
9041 posts since 6 Apr, 2003

Postby grymmjack; Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:47 pm

Big Tick wrote:
grymmjack wrote:Also since this is free are you going to have ads or anything in zen or would you make back your money by licensing out the preset engine to 3rd party developers?


My plan is take a fee on presets sales made through Zen. Think of it as an additional distribution channel for preset designers - one that makes a very targeted and unobtrusive push.

Regarding licensing, I haven't planned that far - it will all depend on adoption, and how much users contribute to the database (I can't tag 100000 presets on my own, so everybody will have to tag a few).

'Tick


That is a brilliant idea. Wish you best of luck with this.
damstraversaz
KVRian
 
563 posts since 1 Mar, 2004, from france

Postby damstraversaz; Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:20 am

grymmjack wrote:
That is a brilliant idea. Wish you best of luck with this.


totally agree :)
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