Zenology Pro discussion

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
KVRist
56 posts since 30 Mar, 2013 from USA

Post Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:47 pm

I'm also enjoying ZENOLOGY Pro even if its just another Roland PCM engine thing. However, having the ability to only load ONE effect from their extensive collection (around 50?) is just baffling... especially when some are pretty decent like the Juno Chorus.

KVRian
1077 posts since 6 Mar, 2004

Post Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:19 pm

I'm getting quickly tired of Roland Cloud. Their UI design is still stuck in the late 90s, and the plugins themselves just seem, well, whatever the opposite of Fabfilter is. Clunky and a pain to use.

It's great to have all the JV/XV ROMs in one place, sure, but I'm starting to think I should just sample my favorite rompler stuff, buy 1 or 2 true analog behringer clones and rid myself of Roland altogether. Used to love them, gave them a lot of slack, patience running out now.

yul
KVRian
1166 posts since 26 Sep, 2002 from Montreal, CANADA

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:14 pm

Tried Zen Pro a month ago and now have the Jupiter Xm. At the end of the day the XV/Zen Pro engine really has a lot to offer.

What other similar options are there on the PC considering the extended features (pcm, supersaw, sync waves, va, varied filters etc). You don't need a new hard disk either to fit these great samples.

The cloud thing isn't so bad really. People shouldn't complain so much I get the RCM is annoying but it's quite stable now. It only needs to refresh the authorization once in a while.

I think these Roland emulations sound really nice and rival with others. No it's not 100% exact (more like 95%) but they really sound tight and can make really good music (if that matters) probably even more than the originals.

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KVRAF
5433 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:55 pm

yul wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:14 pm
It only needs to refresh the authorization once in a while.
Thats new to me! Did they change it? Last time they checked even if I didn’t use it at all...

yul
KVRian
1166 posts since 26 Sep, 2002 from Montreal, CANADA

Post Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:48 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:55 pm
Thats new to me! Did they change it? Last time they checked even if I didn’t use it at all...
I ran the demo for 30 days before I got the XM. I found it minimally instrusive and would not get prompted or anything of the sort.

I found out the RCM would not always be running so there has to be some sort of timer. For live maybe you should just run it before or just leaving it always on should take care of itself. The experience might be different on someone else's computer though.

At this point I like my XM but I am thinking of purchasing a lifetime key for just the XV/Zen engine as a secondary option.
Last edited by yul on Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

KVRist
437 posts since 2 Nov, 2014

Post Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:57 am

My issue with Zenology is, same patch sounds different and worse than the plugin counterpart of RC. Take for example the same west coast piano patch from Zenology and XV 5080 plugin, they are different. Don't know why. The XV sounds really close to the module but Zenology is like a bad fax :)

PAK
KVRian
1003 posts since 20 Feb, 2003

Post Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:00 am

Zenology Pro is excellent in many regards. They got a basic thing right which most of its competition still doesn't - Namely the preset switching is near instant, even if you're going between the various "models" (EG Jupiter 8 to JD800 etc). So you can navigate huge numbers of presets quickly without the "clunky feel" plugins like HALion sometimes introduce.

Zenology still needs a way to browse presets without locking things up though (it acts like you've got a Windows file dialog open, which can sometimes get in the way of your DAW's functions).

Plus the lack of a reverb is one of those "you seriously need to rethink this Roland" moments. They give you all the SRX cards, in one plugin, but remove their reverb? Come on Roland. You don't need to justify the individual SRX plugins. Zenology is a better solution. Get on with allowing it to win for that stuff, and put the reverb back in. There are better ways to justify ultimate level membership..

This said, hopefully Roland consider the cautionary tale of Native Instruments when they went down the Reaktor / Kontakt path. If Roland do the same, and put too much focus on Zenology, they might risk losing some aspects of themselves as a company.

Considering how Zenology can switch from being a half-decent Jupiter 8 approximation, to a JD800, instantly, it's actually fairly amazing. It only becomes less so if people think Roland will forget that there are also those who want Roland to use as much CPU as it takes to emulate details like resonance or cross-mod etc. A lot of the negative attitude towards Zenology, seen on forums, likely stems from those who think Roland might forget about "no compromise" instruments which focus less on polyphony, and more on being the best they can be.

I think the more signals Roland sends, that's it's going to take both approaches (IE that it isn't just about Zenology) then ironically the more accepting people will be of Zenology's goals too. Put another way, the Zenology JD800 is nice. But I still think there are those who would also appreciate a dedicated 990 plugin too. It'd seem silly not to take both approaches and give more users what they want ;)

PAK
KVRian
1003 posts since 20 Feb, 2003

Post Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:07 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:55 pm
yul wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:14 pm
It only needs to refresh the authorization once in a while.
Thats new to me! Did they change it?
They did. The big change is that the Roland Cloud Manager app is now able to auth all of the plugins. So, as long as you open that once per week, you're spared horrible situations like having to sign into all of the Roland plugins individually. So it does fix the worst issue.

I would still like to see them increase the time limit above 7 days, and completely remove the time limit for so-called lifetime plugins.. IE perpetual license.
andypryce wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:57 am
My issue with Zenology is, same patch sounds different and worse than the plugin counterpart of RC.
I've not seen anyone list all of the differences in detail (?). There's routings Zenology apparently can't do. But the main thing (which makes the vast bulk of the difference) is Roland did not include the reverb. Why? Your guess is as good as anyones. It makes absolutely no sense, and they should fix this error IMO.

KVRist
88 posts since 11 Feb, 2004

Post Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:56 am

Anybody else getting serious stepping on the filters? It seems to be better or worse depending on host, but it's pretty bad on every host I've tried. It's the same for me whether I use the UI or map to a controller. I really wanted to like it as It's very useful along with my MC-101 but with this kind of performance I can't commit to it.

KVRist
154 posts since 4 Jun, 2020 from USA

Post Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:24 pm

I just bought the Zenology Pro Lifetime Key. The main interface and the edit window can be easily zoomed in Logic Pro on my M1 Mac Mini. However, the browser window isn't affected by the zoom level. Everything is the preset browser is so tiny that it's almost impossible to read. Am I missing something? Thanks.

yul
KVRian
1166 posts since 26 Sep, 2002 from Montreal, CANADA

Post Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:27 pm

Chrisk-K wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:24 pm
Everything is the preset browser is so tiny that it's almost impossible to read. Am I missing something? Thanks.


I think you can also zoom the pro edit panel but not as much as the easy page. In reality this should become quite easy to get things done even on small gui in pro edit panel as it is quite repetitive and linear when jumping from partial to another. I could almost do it without thinking in the end. But they are a bit like where Korg were when they released the M1/Wavestation but at least they have some form of zoom but not perfect.

KVRist
154 posts since 4 Jun, 2020 from USA

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:00 pm

I managed to enlarge the browser window. Here are my thoughts.

1. The Zencore synths sound pretty nice. For example, all the Synth Legend patches sound better in Zenology than in my FA-07.
2. Bread and butter sounds are uninspiring. The SN acoustic patches sound far better than Zencore acoustic patches. The SN EPs, drums, strings and basses are infinitely better than the Zencore counterparts.
3. It’s a joke to give us only one effect to work with. Seriously, one fx per patch in 2021?

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KVRAF
32239 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from another dimension

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:12 pm

Would be amazing to have the FX as a separate plugin.
Hi-de-Hi!

KVRian
1226 posts since 16 Apr, 2004

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:33 pm

Plug-in load time for Zenology Pro is horrendous. Lack of reverb is silly.

KVRian
1226 posts since 16 Apr, 2004

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:35 pm

Chrisk-K wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:24 pm
I just bought the Zenology Pro Lifetime Key. The main interface and the edit window can be easily zoomed in Logic Pro on my M1 Mac Mini. However, the browser window isn't affected by the zoom level. Everything is the preset browser is so tiny that it's almost impossible to read. Am I missing something? Thanks.
Use Ctl-K on your keyboard (Windows) while the Browser is open to zoom. There may be an equivalent for Mac.

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