Roli Equator released

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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Jax Pok
KVRian
652 posts since 2 Mar, 2015 from UK

Post Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:58 pm

Just got a roli block I can't believe how small the serial is I don't have a microscope to read it.
Ah managed it after 20 mins of guessing some digits and adjusting the angle of the block under a lamp.

Bit annoyed that it ways I need an apple computer or android phone to update the firmware I am unable to use Dashboard.
Last edited by Jax Pok on Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lastmessiah
KVRist
65 posts since 23 Aug, 2017

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:10 pm

simmo75 wrote:
lastmessiah wrote:
simmo75 wrote:Is this worth buying without an MPE controller yet?
I just got an offer from FXpansion to get it for $99.
I can't afford a Roli keyboard yet but am intrigued by Equator, also, there doesn't seem to be a demo...
I mean, it is a great product but I don't see the point of using it without an MPE controller. Unless you don't have any software that covers the synth bases (subtractive, FM, sampling, etc).
I just ordered the Seaboard block, couldn't resist it.
You made the right choice. I use my Rise 49 for almost everything now.

ceasless
KVRist
248 posts since 26 Jan, 2014

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:47 am

pdxindy wrote:
Cinebient wrote:
Ah_Dziz wrote:Bitwig has the best integration so if I'm planning on using lots of MPE stuff that's what I use. Cubase can use its "note expression" for MPE and it works quite well. The editing is a bit less straightforward.
Disagree, Logic is better here....at least for me :D
I stopped using Bitwig once I purchased a Linnstrument. Since it does not store midi channel per note, you cannot reliably play back what you recorded. You also cannot export the midi performance as you played it. It is also not as flexible for setup.

Logic is a complete implementation for MPE and Linnstrument while Bitwig is only partially implemented. Since u-he synths do not support CC#74 for timbre, I can just change timbre (Y axis) to a different CC# (breath for example) on the Linnstrument and Logic handles that just fine. Bitwig doesn't. So u-he synths are fully MPE capable on Logic, but not Bitwig.

Logic just works as I expect and has the flexibility to deal with a spec still in its infancy and the various modes possible on the Linnstrument.
Me too. A shame that Bitwig is advertised as MPE ready when it really isn't.

I've just been sucking it up and using Studio One with multiple tracks. I tried to play around with Logic but the fact that you only have 16 channels of recordable MIDI input (you can get more if you route through the environment, but then you can't record the notes) was just too crazy.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
6172 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:39 am

I asked Roli support about the transfer policy as I'd like to buy Equator but might get a seaboard later, which also comes with Equator. So I wanted to make sure I could transfer it later.

The good news is that it can be transferred. The bad news is that it's a $50 fee! For a $179 synth. That's way too much.
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 255 character limit. Once I have something clever, I will certainly fill it in.

simmo75
KVRian
992 posts since 25 Mar, 2016 from Seattle

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:43 am

Echoes in the Attic wrote:I asked Roli support about the transfer policy as I'd like to buy Equator but might get a seaboard later, which also comes with Equator. So I wanted to make sure I could transfer it later.

The good news is that it can be transferred. The bad news is that it's a $50 fee! For a $179 synth. That's way too much.
They must be getting FXPansion to do it for them...

User avatar
BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7126 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:19 pm

lastmessiah wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:41 pm
I mean, it is a great product but I don't see the point of using it without an MPE controller. Unless you don't have any software that covers the synth bases (subtractive, FM, sampling, etc).
For $99 I think it's worth having, with or without an MPE controller. I use mine in Orion all the time and it doesn't have any MPE implementation (see the post below this one for a caveat or two). Yes, it is definitely better with the Rise but it's perfectly good without it, too.
Jax Pok wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:58 pm
Bit annoyed that it ways I need an apple computer or android phone to update the firmware I am unable to use Dashboard.
This is precisely why I went for a Rise 25 instead and I am really glad I did, despite the eye-watering price. I got a double discount, so it was well under US$600, but that's still a lot when you can get an Arturia MiniLab Mk II for $100. But the Rise and Equator together are really special.
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, Win10), Zoom U24, Orion 64 bit, Maschine Mikro, Elektron Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket, MicroMonsta, Uno

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7126 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:26 pm

I've been playing with this a LOT since I re-organised my studio a couple of weeks ago and I am really digging it. It's specialty is definitely complex, evolving pads and leads and I find myself getting lost for hours just playing it with my Rise 25. I've not really pushed the filters at all but my impression is that they are nothing special, however the effects are fantastic, especially the bitcrusher and distortion. I'm not usually a fan of bitcrushers but Roli's is excellent, better than the distortion, IMO.

Here's a question to those who seem to think that MPE is indispensable - how often do you really use it's capabilities? It's really only useful when you want to modulate one note and not any others you are playing simultaneously and how often does that come up? So far for me it hasn't at all and I've had my Rise for a year or so now. But I have a plan if it ever does - one instance with modulation and another instance without. Problem solved no matter which host you are using. OK, I get that you want to record it all in without having to stuff around but the workaround seems eminently simple and not a whole lot of hassle.

I use Equator in two main ways. In rehearsal and on stage I run the standalone app so I can have the full 5D experience (which is far more useful to me than actual MPE). It works really well thanks to Windows Audio, which gives you very usable low latency without hogging the ASIO driver, so it runs alongside my host perfectly.

In the studio I use the VSTi inside Orion, which has no MPE support whatsoever, and use alternate means of modulating stuff. After all, even without 5D you still have three sliders and an X-Y pad for some pretty serious live modulation, although I don't often play stuff into the sequencer, I tend to just recreate it in the piano roll, where I can be super-precise and modulate anything I like.
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, Win10), Zoom U24, Orion 64 bit, Maschine Mikro, Elektron Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket, MicroMonsta, Uno

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Tj Shredder
KVRian
1400 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:27 pm

BONES wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:26 pm
Here's a question to those who seem to think that MPE is indispensable - how often do you really use it's capabilities?
As soon as I touch my Linnstrument always!
A synth which isn‘t capable is a limitation though still fun. The Linnstrument simply invites to play bends and vibrato, which leads to a certain playing style. Mostly I use my other fingers to play harmonies, they are able to modulate the sound lively as each finger is independantly doing it just by roling them up and down and with pressure...
I do have as well a Seaboard block (and got a free Cypher 2 with it), much less inviting, especially bends are not as obvious and inviting due to the physical surface... First I thought the biger real estate for y-axis would be an advantage of the Seaboards, but its a long way and to do long bends you are forced to glide completely up or down...
I made a Max patch to use my Seaboard Block now as a 27 fader box - also very convenient...; - )
Equator as well as Cypher 2 are the perfect companions.
The first thing I modify in most presets: I get rid of lfo modulation and map the destinations to cc74 and pressure. Immediately life is slipping into the sounds - so much fun...

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7126 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:35 pm

I don't get that at all. All my keyboards have Mod and Pitch Bend wheels and the Roli has even more than that - all 5 dimensions of touch whether you are using MPE or just normal, single channel MIDI. Plus they all respond to velocity and aftertouch so I can be hugely expressive without any MPE. i.e. I get four dimensions of touch from any half-decent MIDI keyboard, not the three of Linnstrument.

I've watched a few Linnstrument videos now and the only one where I've seen MPE used in a way you couldn't do otherwise was Roger showing how it can work. When anyone has actually been playing it, they've not done a single thing I couldn't do on a standard MIDI keyboard.

Then there's the fact that I look at it and I can't even imagine what it is. Again, it was Roger's intro video that clued me in to it being set up like a stringed instrument. Having never so much as picked up a guitar in my life, I think I'd really struggle with the whole concept but I imagine it would feel much more natural to a guitar player, who might struggle more with Mod wheels and Joysticks.

To be clear, I'm not trying to talk down the Linnstrument, simply pointing out that you don't need MPE for expressive performance and the actual use-cases for it are, in my experience, far more limited than people realise. i.e. I don't have a Seaboard Rise because of MPE - in fact, I use it in normal MIDI mode 99.9% of the time and it is every bit as responsive. No, I have it because it's cool and sexy and I love playing it (but mostly because of the "sexy" bit).
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, Win10), Zoom U24, Orion 64 bit, Maschine Mikro, Elektron Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket, MicroMonsta, Uno

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martinjuenke
KVRAF
2361 posts since 28 Dec, 2015 from Germany

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:08 am

At least Equator is NOT the Xth emulation of a vintage subtractive whatever...

Flowing atmospheric music
http://www.sonoryth.bandcamp.com/music

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7126 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Roli Equator released

Post Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:41 pm

Hallelujah! I've fallen for the emulation thing a few times now and all it's done is make me realise how overblown my recollection of those very average synths were. The only exception would be Korg's ARP Odyssey - I have no idea how faithful it is to the original but I love that thing. Sadly, it kills my CPU so I hardly ever use it.
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, Win10), Zoom U24, Orion 64 bit, Maschine Mikro, Elektron Analog Keys, Ultranova, Rocket, MicroMonsta, Uno

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