Your thoughts on Geist 2

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Stefken
KVRian
670 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:04 am

pdxindy wrote:
deastman wrote:
Have you heard of Ableton Live? Bitwig Studio? They’re pretty good at triggering sequences too! ;)
They are... but if you want to play with complex patterns where different lanes have different lengths then Geist shines. It's also just fun and refreshing
Evolution will also feature poly rhythm in q1 or 2 18.
This is a classic drummachine but comes with excellent sounds otb. The sequencer is als a lot easier and faster imo while still allowing automation on macro controls.

So I went for Evolution instead.

deastman
KVRAF
6832 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:34 pm

pdxindy wrote:
plexuss wrote:
wagtunes wrote:[snip...]
So it's not really just a drum machine.
IMHO, no. It's a loop factory.
And for me, I've never once used a loop in it.

For me its a sampler for making my own kits from my own synth sounds.

For me its also a drum machine for when you get tired of overly mechanical and limited drum machines. It's great for creating complex patterns.
I don’t use pre-canned loops either.

I still think the MPC comparison is the most apt. Most MPC users will probably use it to bang out some drum beats, but they’ll also load in plenty of other samples and get creative, building entire compositions.
Incomplete list of my gear: 110V AC to 12V DC 1.5A power supply (+ tip)

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plexuss
KVRAF
2369 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:16 pm

Here a full fledged track that uses Geist. Actually two Geists. Three days after buying it....

https://soundcloud.com/musicofplexus/poltergeist

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pdxindy
KVRAF
14241 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:03 pm

Stefken wrote:
pdxindy wrote:
deastman wrote:
Have you heard of Ableton Live? Bitwig Studio? They’re pretty good at triggering sequences too! ;)
They are... but if you want to play with complex patterns where different lanes have different lengths then Geist shines. It's also just fun and refreshing
Evolution will also feature poly rhythm in q1 or 2 18.
This is a classic drummachine but comes with excellent sounds otb. The sequencer is als a lot easier and faster imo while still allowing automation on macro controls.

So I went for Evolution instead.
Good luck with it...

The Evolution Sequencer is not a lot faster. It's simpler, so you will learn it faster, but once learned, the Geist sequencer is very fast because of the draw and key modifier options.

I quickly get frustrated with sequencers like Evolution... because they tend to be mechanical sounding and the tools aren't there to easily break out of the box.

For example, in Geist you can record your playing into the sequencer so its easy to play off grid and capture the groove you want.

You can also extend notes beyond the single step. So you can play a variety of melodies and basslines or add some sustained notes to your drums.

Evolution only has 12 sounds at a time. 12 is not enough for me. With Evolution, once you want to go past 12, you are using 2 instances and then its clunky to sequence. Geist 2 you can do 12, or 16, or 20 or more and in one sequence.

Geist is also interesting for live performance. You can trigger sequences via midi note. Then you can use the gated mode so the sequence only plays as long as you hold the note.

I think Evolution also has no layers. Geist has 8 layers per pad so you can create multi-sampled sounds. That makes Geist useful for acoustic drums which Evolution isn't.

If it turns out that Evolution is sufficient for you, great... but it really does not come close to the flexible and capability of Geist.

Stefken
KVRian
670 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:11 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Stefken wrote:
pdxindy wrote:
deastman wrote:
Have you heard of Ableton Live? Bitwig Studio? They’re pretty good at triggering sequences too! ;)
They are... but if you want to play with complex patterns where different lanes have different lengths then Geist shines. It's also just fun and refreshing
Evolution will also feature poly rhythm in q1 or 2 18.
This is a classic drummachine but comes with excellent sounds otb. The sequencer is als a lot easier and faster imo while still allowing automation on macro controls.

So I went for Evolution instead.
Good luck with it...

The Evolution Sequencer is not a lot faster. It's simpler, so you will learn it faster, but once learned, the Geist sequencer is very fast because of the draw and key modifier options.

I quickly get frustrated with sequencers like Evolution... because they tend to be mechanical sounding and the tools aren't there to easily break out of the box.

For example, in Geist you can record your playing into the sequencer so its easy to play off grid and capture the groove you want.

You can also extend notes beyond the single step. So you can play a variety of melodies and basslines or add some sustained notes to your drums.

Evolution only has 12 sounds at a time. 12 is not enough for me. With Evolution, once you want to go past 12, you are using 2 instances and then its clunky to sequence. Geist 2 you can do 12, or 16, or 20 or more and in one sequence.

Geist is also interesting for live performance. You can trigger sequences via midi note. Then you can use the gated mode so the sequence only plays as long as you hold the note.

I think Evolution also has no layers. Geist has 8 layers per pad so you can create multi-sampled sounds. That makes Geist useful for acoustic drums which Evolution isn't.

If it turns out that Evolution is sufficient for you, great... but it really does not come close to the flexible and capability of Geist.
Evolution is a drum sequencer so it's scope will be limited to that. I'm fine with that. I hardly use loops and have never largely invested in samples. I'm more into synthesis.

You can make some basslines with Evolution but again scope is very much focussed on drums and the workflow and tools are highly focussed on it. The sampleset is really great. UI is pretty fast. So Evolution has a clear scope and target. Geist tries to be a lot at the same time and is more confusing.

Basic operation as inputting a note AND velocity is much faster. The sequencer gives a better overview for me. (Actually Geist did not fit on my screen). I'm hoping that key modifiers will be enchanced. Poly rhythm is scheduled.
12 sounds are ok for me, again within the scope of drums only.
Obviously basslines, melody will be added via other mechanisms. My DAW is pretty good at that. ; )

You do have a random slop function, 'analog variation', you can sequence variation in patterns, and you can automate. Poly rhythm will be added. A probability factor does not exist though so Geist will always be more generative than Evolution.

You can trigger via midi. Each instrument has 3 layers and the system is cleverly made. You have a main drum sound that is very well produced. Yiu can layer an attack and added layer on top of that and mix these layers via an xyz pad. The provided sounds seem pre-made with velocity layers build into them straight otb.

I guess looking at Geist as an MPC or a loop factory is a good way of looking at it.

I went for a focussed approach towards a drummachine. The sounds of Evolution are very good and I might 'never' need another one....

But at a 50% sale, Geist might be a very good buy for someone looking for an MPC.

OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
787 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:32 am

Stefken wrote:Basic operation as inputting a note AND velocity is much faster.
How so? In Geist 2 you have the option to live-record (quantized or not) with a velocity sensitive pad controller, and/or to click notes to enter them and click and drag to change the velocity of that note (or you can change the action of the drag to change a different attribute).

EagleZone
KVRist
52 posts since 7 Mar, 2015

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:49 am

I always had weird issues with the original Geist, where it would forget my default folders and lose samples etc and the general navigation seemed counter-intuitive to me anyway (after using Transfuser a lot etc.) Very deep and impressive, no doubt, but slightly overblown for my purposes.

I did the update to Geist 2, hoping for the issues to be resolved, as I had never really got any use out of the expanders etc and thought I could try to get my head around it more... Was an improvement for me in many ways, as it resolved some tech issues (clearly not everyone's experience!) but I still never really managed to get very far.

The slicing is top-notch and there is great depth like I say, I can see great potential, but I prefer to do the things Geist does with other tools. As others have said, it just feels like a buzzkill at times.

Combining Bitwig with software like Transfuser, Egoist and New Sonic Arts plugs is just way more fun and ultimately more productive as a result. I also have Falcon, which I love and keep intending to use more, so Geist is way back in the queue.

Stefken
KVRian
670 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:23 am

OneOfManyPauls wrote:
Stefken wrote:Basic operation as inputting a note AND velocity is much faster.
How so? In Geist 2 you have the option to live-record (quantized or not) with a velocity sensitive pad controller, and/or to click notes to enter them and click and drag to change the velocity of that note (or you can change the action of the drag to change a different attribute).
I'm talking about programming with the mouse here.

In Evolution, the click and drag operation is much faster.
For a single note, it just takes like half a second in Evolution, very fluid. You can also hold the mouse and drag across the lane. In that way you can input multiple notes very fast with input of velocity. (You can also drag the line tool if you want a lineair curve).
In Geist 2 you can also click and drag but the response is much slower.

(Geist 2 also displays velocity via the color of the step while Evolution shows it via the height of the step which for me is al lot clearer. ) I also like the NKS color coded design.

I do hope Evolution develops the modifiers keys further.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
14241 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:58 am

Stefken wrote:
Evolution is a drum sequencer so it's scope will be limited to that. I'm fine with that. I hardly use loops and have never largely invested in samples. I'm more into synthesis.

You can make some basslines with Evolution but again scope is very much focussed on drums and the workflow and tools are highly focussed on it. The sampleset is really great. UI is pretty fast. So Evolution has a clear scope and target. Geist tries to be a lot at the same time and is more confusing.

Basic operation as inputting a note AND velocity is much faster. The sequencer gives a better overview for me. (Actually Geist did not fit on my screen). I'm hoping that key modifiers will be enchanced. Poly rhythm is scheduled.
12 sounds are ok for me, again within the scope of drums only.
Obviously basslines, melody will be added via other mechanisms. My DAW is pretty good at that. ; )

You do have a random slop function, 'analog variation', you can sequence variation in patterns, and you can automate. Poly rhythm will be added. A probability factor does not exist though so Geist will always be more generative than Evolution.

You can trigger via midi. Each instrument has 3 layers and the system is cleverly made. You have a main drum sound that is very well produced. Yiu can layer an attack and added layer on top of that and mix these layers via an xyz pad. The provided sounds seem pre-made with velocity layers build into them straight otb.

I guess looking at Geist as an MPC or a loop factory is a good way of looking at it.

I went for a focussed approach towards a drummachine. The sounds of Evolution are very good and I might 'never' need another one....

But at a 50% sale, Geist might be a very good buy for someone looking for an MPC.
It's true you might never need another... but my guess is that within some months, you will be bumping up against its limitations and will eventually move on. Which isn't a bad thing... It's a process of trial and learning over time.

For me, I could never be happy with Evolution because it is a closed system and does not allow you to use your own samples. I like to make my own drum kits.

And as I mentioned, you always have to make patterns by mouse input. You cannot record your own live playing which can include velocity. And since it has no facility to move individual notes off the grid, you cannot create your own natural groove either by playing or by programming.

One other thing, I only briefly looked at Evolution, but I don't remember seeing any note repeat function. Does it have one?

OneOfManyPauls
KVRian
787 posts since 17 Jul, 2016 from Wales, UK

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:15 am

Stefken wrote:
OneOfManyPauls wrote:
Stefken wrote:Basic operation as inputting a note AND velocity is much faster.
How so? In Geist 2 you have the option to live-record (quantized or not) with a velocity sensitive pad controller, and/or to click notes to enter them and click and drag to change the velocity of that note (or you can change the action of the drag to change a different attribute).
I'm talking about programming with the mouse here.

In Evolution, the click and drag operation is much faster.
For a single note, it just takes like half a second in Evolution, very fluid. You can also hold the mouse and drag across the lane. In that way you can input multiple notes very fast with input of velocity. (You can also drag the line tool if you want a lineair curve).
In Geist 2 you can also click and drag but the response is much slower.

(Geist 2 also displays velocity via the color of the step while Evolution shows it via the height of the step which for me is al lot clearer. ) I also like the NKS color coded design.

I do hope Evolution develops the modifiers keys further.
I guess we have different definitions of "much faster" and "much slower".

I have revolution, so I'm familiar with the WA click+drag - geist 2's click and drag of a note is fast, easy and the darkness feedback works fine for me - plus there's the option to open the velocity graph lanes for each pad and do it the same way that WA does, including having a line tool.

Lotuzia
KVRAF
9780 posts since 19 Feb, 2004 from Paris

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:19 am

Astralp wrote:The strongest feature for me is the ability to switch patterns in real-time via midi notes. To spend 10 minutes jamming a few patterns and then play them as an instrument is very unique, I can't think of any other software or hardware that does it so easily.....

https://soundcloud.com/astralp/seqs-love-me-do

https://soundcloud.com/astralp/seqs-yeh

....
Xils-Lab StiX does that too, and you can build entire tracks live with just pressing keys (or use the Song Mode). Many HW drum machines can chain patterns live also. For sw Drum Machines I dont know, but I think/hope several otherunits can do this too. It's definitely a must have for any drum machine imho.
http://www.lelotusbleu.fr Synth Presets

77 Exclusive Soundbanks for 23 synths, 8 Sound Designers, Hours of audio Demos. The Sound you miss might be there

ENV1
KVRAF
2386 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:46 am

Astralp wrote:The strongest feature for me is the ability to switch patterns in real-time via midi notes.
I can't think of any other software or hardware that does it so easily.
ADM comes to mind.

With this one you play patterns like you would play a synth, i.e. as long as you hold down note X pattern X will play and when you press another note then the pattern assigned to that note will play. (Instantaneously, doesnt wait for barstart or anything.) That way you have instant-access control over 128 patterns, one for each MIDI note, and since the keyboard handler is mono/legato/last you can hold down one note for one pattern and temporarily 'override' it by pressing another key for say a fill-in. Then when you let go of that key the pattern whose key is still held down will continue to play. Since ADM memorizes the order/sequence in which keys were pressed you can theoretically keep as many keys held down as you want and each time you let go of the key that was pressed last the pattern assigned to the key that was pressed before that will play. (Unless of course you let go of an 'inbetween key' like the 4th of 5 held, in which case it will go to the 3rd when the 5th is released. You get the picture.)

This is pretty much the perfect way if you want to control patterns exclusively via pianoroll MIDI. The only downside is that this really is ADMs only mode of operation, i.e. it does not sync its playbutton to the host transport which means you cant merely trigger a pattern change by sending a short note-on pulse. But if thats unimportant and you prefer full MIDI note control including the gating then its great because the pattern switching is dead-on accurate and as i said instantaneous which means it will never go out of sync or be early or late as long as your pianoroll MIDI is accurately positioned in the roll and your host doesnt mess up the note starts. (Some hosts have (or at least had) that problem especially with the first notes both on song start and on looping back to loop start.)

Stefken
KVRian
670 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:23 am

pdxindy wrote: It's true you might never need another... but my guess is that within some months, you will be bumping up against its limitations and will eventually move on. Which isn't a bad thing... It's a process of trial and learning over time.

For me, I could never be happy with Evolution because it is a closed system and does not allow you to use your own samples. I like to make my own drum kits.

And as I mentioned, you always have to make patterns by mouse input. You cannot record your own live playing which can include velocity. And since it has no facility to move individual notes off the grid, you cannot create your own natural groove either by playing or by programming.

One other thing, I only briefly looked at Evolution, but I don't remember seeing any note repeat function. Does it have one?
I really like open systems like Zebra but you can mess around for ages. There is no limit.
Considering how many songs were made with just the TR-808 a closed system might be a nice thing actually. It forces you to work within limitations. We'll see whether this is my last drummachine :D .

There is a slop setting per step. I've also asked to make this lane specific.

The repeat function is a feature request. :)

Evolution is brand new so we'll give them some time so further refine the tool.

Saukar30
KVRian
1045 posts since 2 Mar, 2005

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:32 am

So... after buying Geist amd putting it through the paces to make a song I found an Achilles heel.... polyphony.

Im unsure... but it seems there is no setting to control polyphony & in the manual I dont see what the actual voice limit was.

My song has 4 loops that run simatanepusly with about 10 other drums sounds & fx. I could only surmise that it couldnt play the 4 loops because I took 1 out and everything was ok... no dropped voices.

Besides that, Geist is fun to play! I dont approach it from the "just a drum machine" apprpach. I understand why most would... but I like that I can do almost everything to a sample(s) in 1 machine. The fx, controls & modulations are fantastic. I got the whole song done on Geist with just some minor annoyances. I couldnt figure out if there was a way to make the song loop.

Such hate for this product. I get it. But man... if you dont get it, you just dont get it. Its not a simple drum machine. Its not just a loop machine. It is sort of like an MPC but not really. It just depends on your approach. But hey...what do I know. Im just a hiphop guy who makes music at home.

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ere2learn
KVRAF
1559 posts since 3 May, 2014

Re: Your thoughts on Geist 2

Post Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:09 am

Saukar30 wrote:I couldnt figure out if there was a way to make the song loop.


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