Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:27 am

I figured I'd ask this here as KVR's known to be very software friendly. (as am I) But, when I wrote that I realized that this whole forum started about running software on a non-personal computer device.

I'm considering a Sonic Core XITE-1. Well, I was considering the 1D as it was cheaper, but they seem to be far away from doing another production run and people who have them seem to hold on to them. It's a DSP based device that runs proprietary software instruments and effects. I won't go in depth because I'm kind of looking for people who had had first hand experience with one.

My question is pretty simple. In 2015 is there a sonic benefit to owning one? The demos sound very good to me, but it's often hard to compare things via mp3 files. The demos are also a bit scarce for some reason. For instance, on their Profit 5 synth that ships with the box, there is a single audio file posted... oh and they use a Flash player to access it. :dog: There's stuff up on their Soundcloud page too, but they're full production pieces and they don't talk about what is actually what.

Now, I'll also say that my CPU is decent and I do have a complement of analogs already that I won't be getting rid of. So, although things like great sounding audio rate modulation is important to me, I have a Neptune 2 that sounds lovely. I'm also keeping my ATC-X and Analog Four. So, while the extra horsepower to run more voices is good, it's not super crucial. What I'm more hoping for is a bit of a step up in audio quality.

What I'm really hoping to do is use its extensive software to make a sort of Prophet 12, but with a wider range of wavetable types and filters. I sold my Prophet 12 and KingKORG because I got pushed into a smaller space and they were just awkward. I know I could go for a Prophet 12 module, but in all honesty, for the distressed sounds it was great for, I'd rather just use an analog and for the heavily modulated, warm, digital pad types of sounds, I found Serum and Omnisphere 2 to be better. Something about those digital oscs coupled with that Curtis filter often bugged me. I'm not cutting down the 12. It's an awesome synth, just didn't feel like it was worth tying up that much money and space in that sound. Not for me.

I've also been considering a Modal Modulus .002r. The benefit to that would be it's a stand alone instrument that needs no computer, but does integrate well with one. It's also small, which is perfect for me. It's somewhat limited, but with a lot of character... one that seems really good to me. It has some odd design issues and bugs. Modulation amount is set at the modifier, not the source. Voices are hard panned. There's some VCA leakage when short release times are used. None of those things are show stoppers, as the oscs and filter sounds amazing to me. They do seem odd considering the cost of that instrument. The truth is I always planned on putting the Prophet 12 and .002 side by side and picking the one that suited me best. I also looked at the Accelerator, but it doesn't solve the space issue. Same with the Solaris. However, if the sound was really stellar I could be persuaded. I could always go to a Novation Nocturn type device for software control.

Then I sort of came across the Scope platform while I was doing a search on possible replacements for the 12. In theory, it's perfect, but it's really expensive, especially considering I'd probably want to buy additional software for it. It checks all my boxes, but I just want confirmation that it's not just going to be a box that runs software similar to what I already have. Have any of you put it side by side with the latest greatest?
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

cyberheater
KVRist
478 posts since 29 Jan, 2004

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:13 am

I never had a Scope but I did have a plugiator which is a standalone box with the DSP chips.

A couple of things.

Pros.
The DSP synths sound great. The Minimoog, Prophet 5 and Odyssey clones sound fantastic.
They don't take up any computer CPU.

Negs.
At the time the emulations didn't have clock syncable delays/LFO's etc... That might have been sorted by now.
Monark (Native Instruments) sounds just as good if not better then the Minimoog clone.

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:15 am

cyberheater wrote:I never had a Scope but I did have a plugiator which is a standalone box with the DSP chips.

A couple of things.

Pros.
The DSP synths sound great. The Minimoog, Prophet 5 and Odyssey clones sound fantastic.
They don't take up any computer CPU.

Negs.
At the time the emulations didn't have clock syncable delays/LFO's etc... That might have been sorted by now.
Monark (Native Instruments) sounds just as good if not better then the Minimoog clone.
I think they've sorted the syncable LFOs and delays... I'll double check. Monark is pretty damn good but I have heard polyphonic instances of Minimax that sound beautiful and I know Monark is capped as a single voice synth. Of course, Diva is no slouch in that dept. either.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

Scotty
KVRAF
1679 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:50 pm

I own a Scope system and a plugiator. If you are looking for the sound and don't need a lot of polyphony an older scope PCI card with a Scope licence version 5.1 would give you a lot of sonic potential and not set you back too much. Sonic-core has promotions wherby they sell a scope 5.1 license for about $100 US which gives you damn near everything they sell and they will run the card on Windows XP through to Windows 7 64 bit. If you can pick up a used card say a 6 dsp card on Ebay it may already have Scope 5.1 keyed to the card. The seller will note that for sure as it is a selling point. The catch is that the older cards use PCI not even PCIe so you need a pci slot or a second computer to run them on. You could get into the game for $300. The first sytem I had was a four dsp card that I got for $100 US and then I purchased the scope 5.1 software. The older cards can be connected via a cable (3 max) and the dsp load is shared between the cards. The scope licences is keyed to one card but all cards (up to 3 PCI cards) will run the synths as long as one card is licensed and in the machine. You can get used PCI cards in 3DSP, 4DSP, 6DSP and 15 DSP configurations. If you want more information feel free to PM me or head over the planetz scope and read through the forums.

I run a 25 dsp system and rarely do I max out the DSP. We have so many sound sources available that I am usually looking for an interesting sound and don't need tons of polyphony which eats the DSP. It is nice to get the prophet sound or the modulars working. It really is a great system but you don't need to spend thousands to get into the game as long as you have a pci slot or 3 available.
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cyberheater
KVRist
478 posts since 29 Jan, 2004

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:08 pm

zerocrossing wrote:
cyberheater wrote:I never had a Scope but I did have a plugiator which is a standalone box with the DSP chips.

A couple of things.

Pros.
The DSP synths sound great. The Minimoog, Prophet 5 and Odyssey clones sound fantastic.
They don't take up any computer CPU.

Negs.
At the time the emulations didn't have clock syncable delays/LFO's etc... That might have been sorted by now.
Monark (Native Instruments) sounds just as good if not better then the Minimoog clone.
I think they've sorted the syncable LFOs and delays... I'll double check. Monark is pretty damn good but I have heard polyphonic instances of Minimax that sound beautiful and I know Monark is capped as a single voice synth. Of course, Diva is no slouch in that dept. either.
I have to say I do regret selling my plugiator. It sounded great.

A polyphonic Minimax. So basically the mighty MemoryMoog. Must have sounded awesome.

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:38 pm

Scotty wrote:I own a Scope system and a plugiator. If you are looking for the sound and don't need a lot of polyphony an older scope PCI card with a Scope licence version 5.1 would give you a lot of sonic potential and not set you back too much. Sonic-core has promotions wherby they sell a scope 5.1 license for about $100 US which gives you damn near everything they sell and they will run the card on Windows XP through to Windows 7 64 bit. If you can pick up a used card say a 6 dsp card on Ebay it may already have Scope 5.1 keyed to the card. The seller will note that for sure as it is a selling point. The catch is that the older cards use PCI not even PCIe so you need a pci slot or a second computer to run them on. You could get into the game for $300. The first sytem I had was a four dsp card that I got for $100 US and then I purchased the scope 5.1 software. The older cards can be connected via a cable (3 max) and the dsp load is shared between the cards. The scope licences is keyed to one card but all cards (up to 3 PCI cards) will run the synths as long as one card is licensed and in the machine. You can get used PCI cards in 3DSP, 4DSP, 6DSP and 15 DSP configurations. If you want more information feel free to PM me or head over the planetz scope and read through the forums.

I run a 25 dsp system and rarely do I max out the DSP. We have so many sound sources available that I am usually looking for an interesting sound and don't need tons of polyphony which eats the DSP. It is nice to get the prophet sound or the modulars working. It really is a great system but you don't need to spend thousands to get into the game as long as you have a pci slot or 3 available.
Thanks for that. I don't have anything with a PCI slot in it any more... though I do have an old XP based laptop. I've seen that there are adaptors... but I'm pretty sure I don't want to go that route. I can swing an XITE-1, and I even like the idea of it forcing me to clear out some stuff. (which is where this all started) I'm more worried that I would be a bit disappointed, considering how good plug ins have gotten.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

kmonkey
KVRAF
3904 posts since 17 Aug, 2004

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:09 pm

I had full blown scope (3x 15dsp cards) a while ago. And tried Xite. I abandoned it mainly because lack of development and weird issues. At that time (it was really more then five years ago) Scope 6 was announced as being released very soon. To this date it still isn't released. When i tried to have proactive conversation about it fanbois burned me telling me that Scope is secret weapon and that v6 is coming soon and that i am looser because i said native will and can compete with it. And that my issues are stupid because i am crazy wanting to run my projects at different rate other then at 44khz. Weird.

If you look at their website, last news from "Event" section is from 2013. http://sonic-core.net/joomla.soniccore/ ... =4&lang=us

Anyway do i miss it? Yes i do! It does have different workflow. I tried every single DSP system you can think of (i really did) and this is was the most complete one. Some synths are really good sounding. Especially John Bowen stuff.

Do i think that Native is at quality as same as scope? Yes i do. Before no, but today certainly.


But the whole stuff is great thing to experiment with. You can connect everything to everything.


Also you have to realize that newer Xite when compared to old card system is greater in performance but for some reason it is slower loading and have some quirks. My project which loaded on old cards in 4 to 5 seconds can take up to 30 seconds to load on Xite. You have to read old PlanetZ threads. To this date all of these listed problems aren't fixed. Especially weird 96khz issues. Then there is a thing where you have to look at what is loaded where on xite. You need to load each part manually to specific portion of DSP chip. Unlike old cards. Really weird.

Xite-1 D is like Scope 15DSP and one Scope 6DSP. Just a bit better. Real big Scope is a lot stronger.

You are coming from native world and it's poly so i assume you won't be satisfied with smaller xite. Try larger.

But if you are ready to accept some weird quirks, you like to experiment Scope and Xite can definitely give you world of sounds and it may be right thing for you. Remember to try John Bowen stuff and Modular.


I always had that feeling that Scope could give better outcome if it was lead by better people because it is really creative ground.

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:54 am

kmonkey wrote:I had full blown scope (3x 15dsp cards) a while ago. And tried Xite. I abandoned it mainly because lack of development and weird issues. At that time (it was really more then five years ago) Scope 6 was announced as being released very soon. To this date it still isn't released. When i tried to have proactive conversation about it fanbois burned me telling me that Scope is secret weapon and that v6 is coming soon and that i am looser because i said native will and can compete with it. And that my issues are stupid because i am crazy wanting to run my projects at different rate other then at 44khz. Weird.

If you look at their website, last news from "Event" section is from 2013. http://sonic-core.net/joomla.soniccore/ ... =4&lang=us

Anyway do i miss it? Yes i do! It does have different workflow. I tried every single DSP system you can think of (i really did) and this is was the most complete one. Some synths are really good sounding. Especially John Bowen stuff.

Do i think that Native is at quality as same as scope? Yes i do. Before no, but today certainly.


But the whole stuff is great thing to experiment with. You can connect everything to everything.


Also you have to realize that newer Xite when compared to old card system is greater in performance but for some reason it is slower loading and have some quirks. My project which loaded on old cards in 4 to 5 seconds can take up to 30 seconds to load on Xite. You have to read old PlanetZ threads. To this date all of these listed problems aren't fixed. Especially weird 96khz issues. Then there is a thing where you have to look at what is loaded where on xite. You need to load each part manually to specific portion of DSP chip. Unlike old cards. Really weird.

Xite-1 D is like Scope 15DSP and one Scope 6DSP. Just a bit better. Real big Scope is a lot stronger.

You are coming from native world and it's poly so i assume you won't be satisfied with smaller xite. Try larger.

But if you are ready to accept some weird quirks, you like to experiment Scope and Xite can definitely give you world of sounds and it may be right thing for you. Remember to try John Bowen stuff and Modular.


I always had that feeling that Scope could give better outcome if it was lead by better people because it is really creative ground.
Yeah, some of my nervousness stems from exactly what you describe. Actually, today someone let something slip that is a huge deal breaker. They mentioned that wavetable synths don't run on XITE-1 if you're using a 64 bit OS! WTF? OH well. I admit the synths do sound good, but I'm going to abandon my idea. On a piece of hardware that costs as much as it does, they should have figured out how to get things going on a 64 bit operating system a long time ago.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

User avatar
aMUSEd
KVRAF
30050 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:59 am

zerocrossing wrote:
kmonkey wrote:I had full blown scope (3x 15dsp cards) a while ago. And tried Xite. I abandoned it mainly because lack of development and weird issues. At that time (it was really more then five years ago) Scope 6 was announced as being released very soon. To this date it still isn't released. When i tried to have proactive conversation about it fanbois burned me telling me that Scope is secret weapon and that v6 is coming soon and that i am looser because i said native will and can compete with it. And that my issues are stupid because i am crazy wanting to run my projects at different rate other then at 44khz. Weird.

If you look at their website, last news from "Event" section is from 2013. http://sonic-core.net/joomla.soniccore/ ... =4&lang=us

Anyway do i miss it? Yes i do! It does have different workflow. I tried every single DSP system you can think of (i really did) and this is was the most complete one. Some synths are really good sounding. Especially John Bowen stuff.

Do i think that Native is at quality as same as scope? Yes i do. Before no, but today certainly.


But the whole stuff is great thing to experiment with. You can connect everything to everything.


Also you have to realize that newer Xite when compared to old card system is greater in performance but for some reason it is slower loading and have some quirks. My project which loaded on old cards in 4 to 5 seconds can take up to 30 seconds to load on Xite. You have to read old PlanetZ threads. To this date all of these listed problems aren't fixed. Especially weird 96khz issues. Then there is a thing where you have to look at what is loaded where on xite. You need to load each part manually to specific portion of DSP chip. Unlike old cards. Really weird.

Xite-1 D is like Scope 15DSP and one Scope 6DSP. Just a bit better. Real big Scope is a lot stronger.

You are coming from native world and it's poly so i assume you won't be satisfied with smaller xite. Try larger.

But if you are ready to accept some weird quirks, you like to experiment Scope and Xite can definitely give you world of sounds and it may be right thing for you. Remember to try John Bowen stuff and Modular.


I always had that feeling that Scope could give better outcome if it was lead by better people because it is really creative ground.
Yeah, some of my nervousness stems from exactly what you describe. Actually, today someone let something slip that is a huge deal breaker. They mentioned that wavetable synths don't run on XITE-1 if you're using a 64 bit OS! WTF? OH well. I admit the synths do sound good, but I'm going to abandon my idea. On a piece of hardware that costs as much as it does, they should have figured out how to get things going on a 64 bit operating system a long time ago.
That doesn't sound right, several of their leading synths are wavetable based including Solaris and Lightwave. Plus the modular has a Waldorf oscillator.

User avatar
zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:08 am

aMUSEd wrote:
zerocrossing wrote:
kmonkey wrote:I had full blown scope (3x 15dsp cards) a while ago. And tried Xite. I abandoned it mainly because lack of development and weird issues. At that time (it was really more then five years ago) Scope 6 was announced as being released very soon. To this date it still isn't released. When i tried to have proactive conversation about it fanbois burned me telling me that Scope is secret weapon and that v6 is coming soon and that i am looser because i said native will and can compete with it. And that my issues are stupid because i am crazy wanting to run my projects at different rate other then at 44khz. Weird.

If you look at their website, last news from "Event" section is from 2013. http://sonic-core.net/joomla.soniccore/ ... =4&lang=us

Anyway do i miss it? Yes i do! It does have different workflow. I tried every single DSP system you can think of (i really did) and this is was the most complete one. Some synths are really good sounding. Especially John Bowen stuff.

Do i think that Native is at quality as same as scope? Yes i do. Before no, but today certainly.


But the whole stuff is great thing to experiment with. You can connect everything to everything.


Also you have to realize that newer Xite when compared to old card system is greater in performance but for some reason it is slower loading and have some quirks. My project which loaded on old cards in 4 to 5 seconds can take up to 30 seconds to load on Xite. You have to read old PlanetZ threads. To this date all of these listed problems aren't fixed. Especially weird 96khz issues. Then there is a thing where you have to look at what is loaded where on xite. You need to load each part manually to specific portion of DSP chip. Unlike old cards. Really weird.

Xite-1 D is like Scope 15DSP and one Scope 6DSP. Just a bit better. Real big Scope is a lot stronger.

You are coming from native world and it's poly so i assume you won't be satisfied with smaller xite. Try larger.

But if you are ready to accept some weird quirks, you like to experiment Scope and Xite can definitely give you world of sounds and it may be right thing for you. Remember to try John Bowen stuff and Modular.


I always had that feeling that Scope could give better outcome if it was lead by better people because it is really creative ground.
Yeah, some of my nervousness stems from exactly what you describe. Actually, today someone let something slip that is a huge deal breaker. They mentioned that wavetable synths don't run on XITE-1 if you're using a 64 bit OS! WTF? OH well. I admit the synths do sound good, but I'm going to abandon my idea. On a piece of hardware that costs as much as it does, they should have figured out how to get things going on a 64 bit operating system a long time ago.
That doesn't sound right, several of their leading synths are wavetable based including Solaris and Lightwave. Plus the modular has a Waldorf oscillator.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. I put in an email to Sonic Core support to confirm this.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

ObsoleteAcc99
Banned
22486 posts since 5 Sep, 2001

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:54 am

Loved all the pulsar synths when on windows, and at the time it was an outstanding audio interface as well. I can only imagine the current gen is even better. If i didn't use mac as my primary platform, I would honestly buy the bowen synths and a couple of the creamware classics, a scope 21 dsp card, and combined with my outboard hardware synths, i would never load up another native synth ever. So I don't know if it exceeds native, but i CAN recommend the products as far as sound quality is concerned.

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:10 am

OK, it seems that the person who said

[quote=]about wavetable synths- most of these will only be useful in 32bit windows, as far as the Scope plugins go. really, only wavetable stuff is affected, for the same reason that there are no Scope samplers in 64bit.[/quote]

was confused. :? The sampler thing is true though. I knew this. I don't really care... but it does bring up a troubling thing. WHY NOT? Like I said, it's not like they just got surprised by 64 bit operating systems. I know Scope 6 is stalled... development there seems slooooow.

There does seem to be some problems at Scope. They have no idea how to market their products. Most instruments and effects have only a handful of demo tracks. None have links to their manuals on their main pages. There are no official videos showing off the capabilities of the XITE-1. They seem to just let users on their forum do the heavy lifting, which can be problematic as shown by the above quote. Development is slow. Third party development seems sparse. Known issues seem to linger for years.

But... when I look at it in terms of quality and flexibility as if looking at it as a single mega-instrument, it's pretty unmatched. My alternative in the same price range is a 12 voice .002r and that thing sounds fantastic... but it's only got 2 LFOs and two envelope generators. Could me that's enough... that morphing filter and those NCOs call to me...

:?
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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rod_zero
KVRAF
2936 posts since 28 Jan, 2011 from MEXICO

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:12 am

I don't think the DSP in that units surpass Intel current offerings, so developers have more power for their algorythms at the x86 platform. More power= more detailed algorythms.

So I would go for the modal 002r without even thinking about it.
dedication to flying

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9315 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:00 am

rod_zero wrote:I don't think the DSP in that units surpass Intel current offerings, so developers have more power for their algorythms at the x86 platform. More power= more detailed algorythms.

So I would go for the modal 002r without even thinking about it.
I don't think that's the right way to think of it. From what I've been told DSP is different than CPU muscle. DSP is like a spoon. CPUs in PCs are like sporks. Think of digital audio as soup. Yeah, the spork will scoop it up, but not as well as the spoon because it has to have part of it's surface designed for other tasks. But you're right, there are amazing sounding VST instruments and effects... I know, I have them and will continue to use them as well.

I went with an XITE-1 over the .002r for a few reasons. In terms of sound quality it seemed a coin toss. They both can sound great to me. The XITE-1 is also a high quality audio interface. This will let me get rid of my large mixer style Presonus which is taking up a lot of space on the bottom rack of my shelf. Now I can use that for storage and get that stuff out of my garage where it is awkward to get to.

I worried about the lack of flexibility of the .002. It's got some amazing features, but in the end the idea of having modulation amount tied to the modulator seemed like it would bug me after a short time. What if I wanted LFO1 to effect filter cut off by 20% and osc 2 pitch by 2%? Can't do it. In contrast, Scope's modular (and the 3rd party add ons available) is an infinite sonic playground that you could never tire of... for zero CPU usage. The .002's hard panned voices are a bit troubling as well... not a deal breaker but it does make me scratch my head that they didn't design it so that each voice could have it's own position in the stereo field.

Last, I just like what Sonic Core and some of the other Scope developers like John Bowen are doing on that platform. I like the idea of a hardware synth that I can add on to. It'll extend the life of my PC for a long time. Stay tuned...
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

kmonkey
KVRAF
3904 posts since 17 Aug, 2004

Re: Sonic Core Scope platform (XITE-1). Significantly better than native plug ins?

Post Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:33 pm

Mind you John Bowen did some great things but 10 years ago. AFAIK he is not producing for scope anymore. That does not mean his synth are outdated, they are still great just don't count on new release from him.

Yes Scope is full of weird quirks and issues, but if you are ready to accept this i think you'll be fine because it's a good "instrument". If you are going to use it as interface try to buy older A16 ultra. Old one with firewire connector(they call it z-link). So you can use all of 16 inputs and outs at 96khz if needed.

Good luck...

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