New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9316 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:32 pm

As there were several unaddressed issues from the locked thread, I am starting a new one to deal with them. Igro suggested "the(re) ARE issues with Pigments sound quality and I hope Arturia will address that in the next updates." He then went on to clarify, without actually meaning to do so, that these are not issues related to sound quality at all, but small technical problems that are easily fixed by the user.
He wrongly suggests that there is an "envelope leakage" problem but that is, in fact, a problem with the oscillators, not the envelope. When an oscillator or engine's level is set to zero, there is still some barely audible tone getting through. I'd suggest it is less than the line noise you'd get from plugging a hardware synth into a mixer and could be seen as a feature as much as anything. It certainly does not impact sound quality in any way.

The other issue he reports is audible clicking with fast attack times in the envelope when using the Matrix 12 filter model. Upon checking I discovered that it is not a problem with the filter at all but seems related to the amp section somehow, in that increasing the release on the Amp Envelope makes the clicking go away. That would not be the case if the problem was with the filter itself, because it is modulated by a different envelope. It also only occurs in certain situations, which makes it a bug, not an issue with sound quality. Or maybe it's intentional because that's what you get with a real Matrix 12? After all, audible clicking could be an issue with pretty much every hardware synth I've ever owned.

In any event. I find the Matrix 12 filters the poorest of all those on offer in Pigments. Resonance is practically non-existent and the more you turn it up, the less you seem to get. To my ears, the SEM filters are way, way better and even the generic Multimode filters sound better. I quite like the Surgeon filters, too, especially the Notch.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

nirm123
KVRist
81 posts since 7 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:51 pm

if that's true then what's strange to me is how Arturia with its vast experience and the huge number of ppl who contributed to the project (see the credits section in the manual) can release a product already in its 2nd version with such basics components implemented wrong.

nearly everything got complains: oscillators, filters, fx, envelopes up to the point when I'm starting to think that there is something wrong with my impression (that it's truly a fantastic synth which sounds great) but I enjoy the synth way too much to let it affect me.

perpetual3
KVRian
1144 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:02 pm

I completely agree with all points below. In practice those issues, for me, are non issues. I also was disappointed in the Matrix 12 filter, and really like the Surgeon notch filter.
BONES wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:32 pm
As there were several unaddressed issues from the locked thread, I am starting a new one to deal with them. Igro suggested "the(re) ARE issues with Pigments sound quality and I hope Arturia will address that in the next updates." He then went on to clarify, without actually meaning to do so, that these are not issues related to sound quality at all, but small technical problems that are easily fixed by the user.
He wrongly suggests that there is an "envelope leakage" problem but that is, in fact, a problem with the oscillators, not the envelope. When an oscillator or engine's level is set to zero, there is still some barely audible tone getting through. I'd suggest it is less than the line noise you'd get from plugging a hardware synth into a mixer and could be seen as a feature as much as anything. It certainly does not impact sound quality in any way.

The other issue he reports is audible clicking with fast attack times in the envelope when using the Matrix 12 filter model. Upon checking I discovered that it is not a problem with the filter at all but seems related to the amp section somehow, in that increasing the release on the Amp Envelope makes the clicking go away. That would not be the case if the problem was with the filter itself, because it is modulated by a different envelope. It also only occurs in certain situations, which makes it a bug, not an issue with sound quality. Or maybe it's intentional because that's what you get with a real Matrix 12? After all, audible clicking could be an issue with pretty much every hardware synth I've ever owned.

In any event. I find the Matrix 12 filters the poorest of all those on offer in Pigments. Resonance is practically non-existent and the more you turn it up, the less you seem to get. To my ears, the SEM filters are way, way better and even the generic Multimode filters sound better. I quite like the Surgeon filters, too, especially the Notch.

perpetual3
KVRian
1144 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:10 pm

nirm123 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:51 pm
if that's true then what's strange to me is how Arturia with its vast experience and the huge number of ppl who contributed to the project (see the credits section in the manual) can release a product already in its 2nd version with such basics components implemented wrong.

nearly everything got complains: oscillators, filters, fx, envelopes up to the point when I'm starting to think that there is something wrong with my impression (that it's truly a fantastic synth which sounds great) but I enjoy the synth way too much to let it affect me.
I definitely think that the FX could be improved, but I also agree with you.

Although, Massive X has/had a similar reception. It’s not unique to Arturia.

Pigments is a great synth. I highly encourage people to read the manual.

Finally, I think that there is too much analysis of components in isolation (admittedly, I’m doing so harping in about the effects - I just wish they were more to my liking so I can feel confident about taking advantage of the excellent implementation; when I’m using Massive X, I’m now wishing the Fx implementation there would be like Pigments). The multiple engines, dual filters, flexible filter routing, great modulation, polyrhythmic arp/seq - it’s great.

nirm123
KVRist
81 posts since 7 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:30 pm

one thing regarding the presets: it's true that the initial state can sometimes sound a bit generic but don't miss out on the macros as there was obviously much thought put into it and it can take the sound to much more interesting places (I think it's also a smart implementation, start with a conservative generic sound and let you go wild if you wish to).
Last edited by nirm123 on Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9316 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:18 pm

That's an interesting thought. I know when I bought my Analog Keys, a lot of the presets had wild settings on the Mod Wheel. At first I thought it was madness but i soon came to realise that it gave the synth a really distinct edge over a lot of other synths. I've not used Pigments' macro knobs much, I'll have to give them a whirl.
nirm123 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:51 pm
if that's true then what's strange to me is how Arturia with its vast experience and the huge number of ppl who contributed to the project (see the credits section in the manual) can release a product already in its 2nd version with such basics components implemented wrong.
I'd suggest that happens because Arturia get professionals to beta test for them and these are issues professionals wouldn't encounter or, if they did, wouldn't worry about. As I said, who is to say the clicking when using the Matrix 12 filter isn't just accurate modelling of the real one? And a pro wouldn't turn the oscillator level down to zero, they'd switch it off.
nearly everything got complains: oscillators, filters, fx, envelopes up to the point when I'm starting to think that there is something wrong with my impression (that it's truly a fantastic synth which sounds great) but I enjoy the synth way too much to let it affect me.
Well, in the end you have to decide who you think knows more about it - you or a bunch of clueless, whiny children. Because your ears don't lie and when people say one thing and you hear something else entirely, it doesn't take long to work it out, does it? The fact that recreations like Diva and Legend came up so often in the other discussion tells me that those people are incapable of judging a synth on its merits, that it must conform to their preconceived notions of how a synth should sound or they can't like it. When you think about what they are missing, it's actually kind of sad.
perpetual3 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:10 pm
Finally, I think that there is too much analysis of components in isolation (admittedly, I’m doing so harping in about the effects - I just wish they were more to my liking...
The thing with them, though, is that lots of the presets are way too wet. When you turn the effects down to a more usable level (in a mix), it really doesn't matter. When I am playing around customising a preset, I generally halve the wet signal, especially in the reverb. I also tend to reduce the delay feedback a lot, too. Those kinds of levels might be OK for showcasing a preset but they aren't often useful in a mix. Of course, DUNE's presets are much worse for this, they are all drowning in effects. I've also noticed with DUNE that you can sometimes turn half the effects off without changing the sound at all. It's almost like one or two of the preset designers were using some kind of preset randomiser to make new patches and not going back to clean them up so they make sense to someone trying to edit them.

The other thing is flexibility and Pigments has even DUNE beat in this area. e.g. In DUNE, you can only ever have 2 x reverbs in your effects chain whereas in Pigments you can have 9 if you want them. The three busses also makes it a lot more flexible. e.g. One bus for Engine 1, another bus for Engine 2 and then a set of master effects to tie them both together. Having effects presets also speeds up your workflow considerably.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
3665 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:33 pm

BONES wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:18 pm
The thing with them, though, is that lots of the presets are way too wet.
Unfortunately a disease which seems to have infected too many manufacturers...
To judge a synth often the presets mislead. You have to dive into and start creating from scratch, or at least be able to switch off easily all the drowning FX.
The first thing I always have to do to make a sound playable for me is also to get rid of vibrato and most other lfo modulations. I want to play those myself...!
A point where Pigments shines, is to easily find how a modulation is made and how easy it is to remap them to my expressive controls...

dune_rave
KVRian
1493 posts since 23 Jun, 2006 from Hungary

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:14 am

For me one of the most important questions is :
when will they add the ability of saving presets to the sequencer ?

machinesworking
KVRAF
1996 posts since 15 Aug, 2003 from seattle

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:32 am

The patching and modulation possibilities, the three very separate tone generating engines in wavetable, oscillator, and sampler/granular synthesis isn't something I've seen in anything outside Falcon really, and Falcon is a bit of a beast to dive into, a lot more complex and less immediate.

I'm not at all disappointed in the Matrix filters, except they didn't include all of them from the Matrix 12. The bass sound I'm using right now has the Matrix LP24 and SEM, and the SEM is the milder effect of the two. I'm not unimpressed with the FX. The fact you can layer them, I've got the Wavefolder and Distortion working in tandem to get a distortion I like.

Would I pull this out for an analog emulation type sound? Probably not, but I see absolutely no indication, (besides having passable "analog" oscillators and filters), that it's made for that sort of thing, zero. Last time I checked there was about 7 or 8 other Arturia synths designed just for that, along with 30 or so by other manufacturers.

I rarely have the same negative opinion of things I read here, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I don't really get voicing negative feedback about a synth though? the manufacturers upgrade policies, bugs etc. sure, but I've never seen the point of commenting on some synth I think sounds mediocre that others are fawning about?

For instance built in FX, most synths IMO have mediocre built in FX, it's like shooting fish in a barrel to mention the ones that are just OK, so mostly I'll mention the ones I really like; Divas chorus, Hives distortion, Falcons filters and reverb etc. I just wish the EQ bands frequency and gain was able to be modulated internally.

perpetual3
KVRian
1144 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:35 am

I could have sworn that in the manual it says that all the effects parameters can be modulated.

perpetual3
KVRian
1144 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:36 am

I’m go to try to rethink the way I use the effects thanks to some of the ideas in this thread.

nirm123
KVRist
81 posts since 7 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:37 am

care to pls explain ?

perpetual3
KVRian
1144 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:48 am

My initial impressions were based on evaluating the effects, standing alone. I.e. one instance of the reverb model. I’m going to go in with a different approach - using multiple instances, adding in the character I’m seeking, leveraging the modulator.

I’ll definitely get back when I’ve played around for a bit.

nirm123
KVRist
81 posts since 7 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:25 am

perpetual3 wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:35 am
I could have sworn that in the manual it says that all the effects parameters can be modulated.
not all but most effects parameters can be modulated. see the knob image, it's a bit different for parameters which can't be modulated.

nirm123
KVRist
81 posts since 7 Sep, 2012

Re: New Pigments 2 Thread (On Topic Discussion Only, Please)

Post Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:40 am

another twos tips:

1) regarding presets/macros: if one wants to control reverb & delay levels in presets this is usually where Macro #4 is mapped to so just play with it.

2) you can use midi learn for next/previous presets buttons ! this is great for keyboards which can't send program changes properly.

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