Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

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BobDog
KVRian
647 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Post Wed May 22, 2019 1:18 pm

I guess it is all pretty linked in, it is really what makes a Continuum, bit of an USP. I did make a post on the Hakken facebook group saying the only reason I got the ContinuuMini was to get EagenMatrix and the post was deleted, so it may be a touchy area!

The DSP board also doesn't start up correctly without the ContinuuMini playing surface connected so without a firmware update a DIY approach is looking unlikely.

The ContinuuMini is pretty small though.

John the Savage
KVRist
293 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Wed May 22, 2019 4:40 pm

It's small enough, sure, but the connectivity isn't there: i.e. you still need some sort of MIDI USB host to make it work with the LinnStrument, no?

At any rate, I have to say, it really rubs me the wrong way that they would delete your post for saying that; especially considering that they champion the ContinuuMini as a viable MPE sound module on their own site. Never mind that the EaganMatrix is a beloved part of their own product. Seriously, what's wrong with that? It's that kind of attitude that makes me not even want to care; which is a shame, because otherwise I'm a fan.

Cheers!

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2775 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Wed May 22, 2019 11:40 pm

Yes that was my impression. But only if he would not have to deal with it too much. That means he would probably just sell the board and you would have to do all the rest... He did not think about a price yet, maybe an offer could push him over the fence...
Actually I didn’t like the Continuumini too much for its feel, so getting just that would not be an option, I would prefer a simple tiny box. I like the idea to attach it to the left side of the LinnStrument...

BobDog
KVRian
647 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu May 23, 2019 3:38 am

John the Savage wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:40 pm
It's small enough, sure, but the connectivity isn't there: i.e. you still need some sort of MIDI USB host to make it work with the LinnStrument, no?
I just did a little test with a Rasperry Pi.

It powers the Linnstrument and the ContinuuMini fine:

Code: Select all

pi@PiDevB:~/Development $ aconnect  -l
client 0: 'System' [type=kernel]
    0 'Timer           '
    1 'Announce        '
client 14: 'Midi Through' [type=kernel]
    0 'Midi Through Port-0'
client 20: 'ContinuuMini SN000019' [type=kernel,card=1]
    0 'ContinuuMini SN000019 MIDI 1'
	Connected From: 24:0
client 24: 'LinnStrument MIDI' [type=kernel,card=2]
    0 'LinnStrument MIDI MIDI 1'
	Connecting To: 20:0
All you need to do to route the midi is use "aconnect" with the device ids as follows:

Code: Select all

aconnect 24:0 20:0
It all works really well!

I have a Pi with a nice little pimoroni multi touch screen here that I was messing around with for controlling a Bela Salt over Open Sound Control. I'm thinking it would be quite easy to knock up a GUI that started up to allow you to setup and save routings, change presets (playlist as well maybe) and also emulate a Kenton KillamixMini to control the ContinuuMini:
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John the Savage
KVRist
293 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu May 23, 2019 1:18 pm

Hmm... Interesting. Thanks, Andy.

Of course, this would be all the more interesting if we could pull the DSP board out of the ContinuuMini altogether, or better yet, purchase it separately (grin).

Cheers!

BobDog
KVRian
647 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Fri May 24, 2019 12:11 pm

It would be better but I have a feeling that this might not happen.

jsterne
KVRist
89 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:48 am

I just read this whole thread over lunch and really enjoyed it. I play Linnstrument in a band and thus far have preferred hardware sound generators (my one outing with a laptop and software required re-patching everything before going on stage). So far I've been using a modular synth setup, which is great for the cool factor and for real-time control of sounds. I have focused on monophonic playing (since I'm also the bass player, it sort of takes up the same "space" in the band) and real-time control. Despite Eurorack's reputation for less interesting effects, you can actually do a lot with a little: a Makenoise Echophon and Mutable Instruments Clouds are my send effects and there are lots of musical opportunities there.

My current setup is built around a FH-2, which is fiddly to program but you only have to get it right once; and an Intellijel Atlantis. When the polyphonic modules start coming out more seriously this year (Acid Rain Chainsaw, Supercritical Demon Core), it will be relatively easy to do 4- voice paraphony with that arrangement, which is probably preferable to a fully polyphonic setup in a modular environment. Other options for paraphony: I have also considered the 4ms spherical wavetable navigator, but honestly am not enamoured of its interface; a pair of Klavis Twin waves could also work, though you only get a sub oscillator for one of the two outputs if you want to stacked sounds.

I LOVE 1 knob per function, which means I can move between playing a bassline or melody and wild sound warping instantly (and in this case, monophony is an advantage--I have a hand free for knob twisting).

The things I don't like about the modular: tuning analog oscillators, all the damn cables (I know, I know), no presets, weird noises from power issues.

I messed around with a Modor NF-1m, which is a candidate, but I haven't fallen in love with its filter. I have an Elektron Analog Four but find the "program a patch, copy 3 times, see if I like it, then edit, then copy 3 times" less fun than just working with pulldown menus in software.

I started a thread asking people to lobby Novation to make Peak MPE compatible. Not a likely outcome but you can dream.

Noumena
KVRist
60 posts since 4 May, 2019

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:25 am

I've been using the new PolyGrid functionality in Bitwig Studio 3.0 (which is in closed beta atm, but anyone with a license can try it out.)

Having spent time with Melda SoundFactory, Falcon, Bazille, Hive 2, hacked together Kontakt multis and Cypher I can safely say that Bitwig+PolyGrid is the best, most flexible, clearest MPE implementation that I've tried. All the others are great instruments, but have shown limitations and presented points of real frustration to me with regard to working as I would like to work with MPE.

Bitwig has MPE baked in and has a good implantation. It features a very nice analog-style synth, a 4-op FM synth a phase-mod synth and a pretty good sampler -- all of these have intuitive and well-integrated MPE hooks built in. The new addition is a fully modular environment called the Grid where you can build whatever you would like from a good list of modules. Anything you build can be completely polyphonic, too. Among the modules that you can use are Pressure, Timbre, Strike and Slide... all the MPE stuff. You also get access to lag processors and linear scalers, which allow you to fine tune the touch of these controls a lot. I'm no modular-synth expert, having previously preferred to use instruments that instrument-builders build for me, but I'm finding that even very simple patches (a single sawtooth osc + filter) can become incredibly expressive when I can use these modules to attenuate the expression sources with such flexibility. Finally I am able to map pressure volume without having to figure out how to make that work properly with a VCA+Envelope, and not just that, I can scale the pressure sensitivity just so AND make that scaling a part of the patch itself, so that the pressure responsively is part of a preset.

I mention all this because over the last several weeks since the 3.0 beta has been released, I've slowly stopped using other synths... I think that this software is the first that truly enables the potentials of MPE controllers. Its worth checking out. When 3.0 is done and released there will be a free demo... sometime in August they are saying.

So yeah -- Bitiwig is my desert island sound generator

Rimwolf
KVRist
55 posts since 15 Feb, 2012

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:01 pm

Thanks Noumena! I'd also appreciate your critiques of the other synths you mentioned.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
15808 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:12 am

Yeah... Bitwig's Grid is excellent for MPE... as are the other Bitwig instruments. Also, starting in one of the V3 betas, all the Bitwig instruments are multi-core so even with a complex Grid construct, you can still get good polyphony while playing.

Also, you get the voice stacking... and all the various modulations can be per voice...

Reckon104
KVRist
44 posts since 16 Jul, 2018

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 am

For me, in terms of the original "desert island" question, it is now also Bitwig 3, hands down. While I don't spend much time on sound design, I do like to mess around a little in that regard, and Bitwig 3 makes that actually fun, easy and rewarding. And in terms of MPE and getting the most out of it quickly and painlessly, I have not encountered anything that compares. There's a friendliness, ease and straightforwardness to the implementation which can't be overstated in my opinion. While I will continue to enjoy Aalto, Falcon, Diva, Ace, Thorn (which should have full-MPE soon), among others, if I had to pick one it would definitely be Bitwig 3, even if it were just for the Grid.

If you aren't adverse to using software, and you don't have Bitwig already, I would highly recommend checking out the demo now that version 3 is out of beta.

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