New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
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Pashkuli
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155 posts since 9 Sep, 2019

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:01 pm

Let's stick to the Osmose.
Half a dozen people on the planet can play the Pashkuli Keyboard. It is not suitable for marketing, there is no client base, not justified as a profitable device at all.

I really like this Osmose instrument and if they do not find the idea of combining it with Touchkeys plausible, maybe a more functional design for the keys would be a nice feature. As I said, I can give it to them for free (and it's got nothing to do with the Pashkuli keys).

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pdxindy
KVRAF
16112 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:34 pm

I look forward to using the Osmose. Then I can have an opinion formed by some hands on experience.

I might be just fine without the Y axis. The thing I imagine I’ll miss are the pitch slides. It can do some vibrato on the X axis... besides that it is Z axis only... but a very well implemented Z axis.

On both the Rise and Linnstrument it’s hard to make use of all 3 axis while playing fluidly... particularly the Y axis.

It’s still early days in the development of such expressive controllers. We are still learning what works well in practice for the human being and not just in theory.

deastman
KVRAF
7271 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:47 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:34 pm
I look forward to using the Osmose. Then I can have an opinion formed by some hands on experience.

I might be just fine without the Y axis. The thing I imagine I’ll miss are the pitch slides. It can do some vibrato on the X axis... besides that it is Z axis only... but a very well implemented Z axis.

On both the Rise and Linnstrument it’s hard to make use of all 3 axis while playing fluidly... particularly the Y axis.

It’s still early days in the development of such expressive controllers. We are still learning what works well in practice for the human being and not just in theory.
The Y-axis works very well on the Continuum, IMHO. As for giving up X-axis pitch slides, that is really entirely the point of going to a piano interface... giving up continuous, fluid pitch in exchange for easy, consistent note selection and increased playability for anyone with piano training.

I find I can make good use of the Y-axis on LinnStrument, but that it usually requires careful tweaking of individual patches to get it to a playable range. With that controller, I usually find that less is more, like only opening a filter cutoff by a small, subtle amount rather than the full available range.

On the Seaboard, well... I have specific complaints about the usability of each axis.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

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Pashkuli
KVRist
155 posts since 9 Sep, 2019

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:03 pm

Not really interesting subject, though regarding the Y-axis (ok, it is a dimension).
Trust me, you do not need inches to do Y-axis modulations. Why, you might ask? Because the human hand is not suited for that, especially if you'd like to use the Y-glides with different fingers.
The only exception would be the thumbs - they can pretty much cover quite substantial amount of area.

Also on those Y-axis you get the whole depth of Y to host the parameter, unless made relative to the initial area of contact (strike) as 0 point, thus having +Y and -Y (and they will be different in length most of the times).

Therefore, with both those (the limited relative movement of the fingers and the ±Y directions) we would only need a small (10~15cm range for the Y). It is not ergonomic to have to slide all the way to achieve a certain modulation (hence the +Y and -Y will be always close to equal → good for control). Mod wheel can do that pretty well (although globally). It should be adjusted to be slightly larger than a Vibrato or Pitch Bend in terms of distance for the movement. This can be accomplished with specially designed keys. Nothing else is needed.
Same by the way – for the X-axis.

JCJR
KVRAF
2895 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:11 pm

So long as x axis pitch bend pushing a key side to side might be somewhat controllable with practice up to +/- a semitone or flatted third would suit me. Guitarists or even sax players rarely bend farther.

I wonder how much practice would it take for instance to hit a C with thumb and Eb with forefinger, and pull the Eb up to an E without changing the pitch of the C note?

Maybe easy, dunno. If the x wiggle has some tactile feedback so you have to work a little to spread the keys, the hand might want to pull the C flat as it pulls the Eb sharp?

I mean it would be easy to hit the two notes then spread both fingers opposite directions like a two finger zoom on a pad. But it might be harder to just move the forefinger laterally while keeping the thumb "right down the middle"?

Sure anything is learnable otherwise there would be no violin or mandolin players. :) Just thinking about it.

himalaya
KVRAF
5162 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:28 pm

Pashkuli wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:03 pm
Trust me, you do not need inches to do Y-axis modulations. Why, you might ask? Because the human hand is not suited for that, especially if you'd like to use the Y-glides with different fingers.
I’m afraid that we should not trust you. By your own admission you are not a keyboard player, nor do you own a Seaboard.

The extra range on the Y-axis is extremely helpful. It allows a much finer ‘travel’ along the Y-axis and the assigned modulation. The shorter the Y-axis the less range, the less fine control you get.

As to the ‘human hand’ comment, the success of sliding on the Y- axis depends on the playing technique. I have highlighted it numerous times in some Seaboard related threads and I won’t do it in this thread, but suffice to say it all depends on the finger position. Once seen, and experienced it’s a very easy thing to understand and implement in ones playing technique.

The same applies to the X-axis.
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deastman
KVRAF
7271 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:29 pm

I don’t want to talk down the Osmose, because I think it’s great and I’ve already put money down on one. But just for the sake of comparison, the Continuum encourages you to approach the playing surface in fundamentally different ways. I often find myself thinking more in terms of gestures, which isn’t really doable on a conventional keyboard. As a simple example, I often perform gestures which sound sort of like polyphonic brass falls- with eight fingers on the surface and in varying amounts, I’ll gradually increase volume pressure as I slide forwards, making the sound brighter, while simultaneously sliding all the more pitches up for a moment and then bending way down the other way, pulling back on brightness and easing off of volume pressure until it trails off to nothing. And each finger is doing that a bit differently. I could never replicate that with, for example, aftertouch and a pitch bend wheel. And that is just one momentary gesture. The fingerboard inspires you to explore different forms of musical expression which a conventional keyboard simply isn’t designed for.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

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BONES
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9058 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:43 pm

deastman wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:47 pm
On the Seaboard, well... I have specific complaints about the usability of each axis.
Care to share? I have none, I absolutely love it.
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himalaya
KVRAF
5162 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:57 pm

Well said, deastman about those gestures. That’s why some of us think that certain MPE instruments compliment each other really well.

Those ‘gestures’ you speak of are the crucial part here. Crucial to understand how to implement them/ perform them and crucial to be able to teach others about them.
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BONES
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9058 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:24 pm

SLiC wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:34 am
OK, so you are saying there is no point to having a hardware synth at all, being tethered to a computer with virtual instruments is all thats ever needed and a powerful hardware synth engine that has been designed from the ground up for MPE is pointless...(I wonder why own hardware synth and in other threads try to convince people there is a benefit in hardware synths?)
No, what I'm saying is that both are equally valid and, therefore, the built-in engine of the Osmose does not provide it with any advantage over a Roli with its bundled software. In fact, any advantage it might have is countered by the large and cumbersome size of the Osmose. This is not something you are going to take to the park on a bright sunny day, whereas going to the park with my Surface Pro and Seaboard Block is very easy. I don't even need a bag, I can just tuck 'em under my arm and head off. (To be clear, I point this out only because the perceived advantage of having a built-in synth engine would be portability and ease of set-up, which Osmose does not provide over a Seaboard Block.)
Overpriced? I will pay £800 for the Osmose (actually, quite a bit less as I dont pay VAT). Thats less than the cost of joining 3 Roli Seaboard Blocks together and if you did that you will still have 'mini keys' (just more of them) which is what I dont like.
So slightly less than three times the cost is acceptable? You're kind of making my point for me, I think. I love mini keys, they are a doddle to adapt to and make things so much more compact. I don't even have trouble playing full size keys with one hand and mini keys with the other and, as I said, in the case of Roli, the smaller keys make the Seaboard Block easier to play consistently. They aren't even that small, they kind of sit between standard and mini keys.
Obviusly you also dont get a powerful hardware synths either, but you dont think hardware synths are having do you...(What did you pay for your Electron Analog Keys?)
About US$600 (second hand) but it is four synths, loads of effects, a very powerful sequencer (which I don't use) and an excellent software application that integrates it into my set-up better than any other hardware I own.
PS- I though the software that came with Roli was very average (even Cypher)
Equator is one of my favourite and most used synths. I've made more patches for it than any other synth, except maybe Wasp. It's in pretty much every song we've produced since I got it and forms the backbone of several of them. i.e. It's the synth that inspired the song or makes it work. I've not really looked at Strobe or Cypher, they seem far too fiddly. When we play live I can run the standalone version of Equator and get realtime performance without hogging the ASIO driver because it uses WASAPI (I think). Equator's two sample oscillators and three digital oscillators make it so versatile, there are virtually no limits to what it can do.
Do you want to buy my Roli, I doint need it anymore
Counting your chickens before they've hatched> Yeah, that's the mark of someone who knows what they're doing. Just remember all the teething problems Roli had. I'd be waiting to see how it goes before I jumped onto anything, especially looking at how rough the keyboard in the videos look.
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:31 am
You can't compare a seaboard block with a full synth. First of all the block is a fun little toy thing. The miniature keys aren't great for normal sized hands.
Of course they are. In fact they make playing much easier. If I take my hand in it's resting pose, finger comfortably spread, and lay it on a normal keyboard, with my pinky on C, my thumb will rest on A. With my Seaboard Block it covers an octave perfectly, C to C. If it put my fingers together, they rest one finger per "white" key, exactly. It's like it's perfectly designed for the average human hand and that makes it way easier to play. You guys are just so resistant to change that you refuse to adapt.
Full Rise 49 is a different story I think.
Yeas, you have to stretch your fingers a lot more, which makes it much harder to STRIKE each key in a chord with the same force, so it is not nearly as easy to play consistently. I mostly played my Rise with my two index fingers, I play my Block with all the fingers of one hand or the other.
But of course still no internal engine.
So what? It don't need one as you get three or four virtual instruments when you buy it, plus phone apps and all the rest of it. If you have any kind of computer set-up, Roli will be a better bet.
And yeah, including a free plugin isn't really the same, even though that;s what I would prefer.
Why isn't it? If anything, it's better. The hardware synths I keep are those with plugins for my PC. In fact, if you look at all the stuff I have bought over the past three years - Roland Ju06, Jp08, Korg Minilogue, Monologue, Waldorf Rocket, Pulse 2, Analog Four, Micromonsta, Uno, Trueno, Skulpt and Craft Synth 2.0 - Micromonsta is the only one without an app or plugin that I have kept and I haven't sold any that do come with an app/plugin. I think that speaks volumes for the advantage of having an editor/librarian.
Klinke wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:13 am
That statement is so banal, no wonder I didn't get your message. Actually you have to "learn to play" with every preset to get the best out of it.
Not if you learn to patch your synth, which is what I tend to do. Much easier to make the synth respond to the way I play than it is to learn to play a different way for each patch. An observation can be banal, yet still be accurate.
When you play guitar, you have to practice techniques like bending. In this picture Osmose keeps at least a guitar with strings, but the Seaboard would be a guitar without strings and with a smooth surface instead.
Who cares about what a guitarist does? I have never so much as picked up a guitar in my life.
himalaya wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:01 am
Yes, that's unfortunate, but that's how it is when the revolution is started by small independent companies or designers....often starting from the ground up with no prior experience and no resources.
Hasn't Haken being doing their Continuum thing for 20 years? Even Roli have been around for long enough now to be considered a mature technology, but their prices haven't fallen much, if at all.
pdxindy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:34 pm
On both the Rise and Linnstrument it’s hard to make use of all 3 axis while playing fluidly... particularly the Y axis.
Definitely, which is why I tend to play mono lines on my Roli. Even in the Osmose demos when they are trying for per note vibrato you can hear vibrato sneaking into other notes because it's just too hard to wobble one finger and not the others on that hand. You could probably master it with practice but it's not a natural thing that will just flow from your hands.
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BONES
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9058 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:26 pm

Pashkuli wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:03 pm
Not really interesting subject, though regarding the Y-axis (ok, it is a dimension).
Trust me, you do not need inches to do Y-axis modulations. Why, you might ask? Because the human hand is not suited for that, especially if you'd like to use the Y-glides with different fingers.
True for playing chords, completely untrue for playing mono lines. I know MPE is all about polyphonic expression but I fail to see the need for it, which is probably why I almost never use my Roli in MPE mode. Even in the Osmose demos, they mostly play a chord with one hand and do their bending or whatever with a single note on the other hand. To my mind that is just as easily achieved with a keyboard split - one side doesn't respond to pitch bend, the other side does. No MPE required. But that, of course, opens up a whole different can of worms that we've discussed to a standstill on previous occasions, so we shall say no more on it today.
Also on those Y-axis you get the whole depth of Y to host the parameter, unless made relative to the initial area of contact (strike) as 0 point, thus having +Y and -Y (and they will be different in length most of the times).
I have no idea what you are trying to say but from my perspective, SLIDE is like the Mod Wheel so long travel makes sense and feels natural.
It is not ergonomic to have to slide all the way to achieve a certain modulation
So you program the patch to give the desired result with the desired amount of finger travel. It's all extremely easy to set up. You can make it change at a specific point. e.g. Switch from a string sound to a brass sound at a specific Y (SLIDE) value or have it transition over a range of values you set. We are talking about synthesisers here, we can make them work exactly the way we want them to, we don't have to adapt to them.
Mod wheel can do that pretty well (although globally). It should be adjusted to be slightly larger than a Vibrato or Pitch Bend in terms of distance for the movement. This can be accomplished with specially designed keys. Nothing else is needed.
Same by the way – for the X-axis.
As I said, though, there is no reason to limit things that way when you can patch the synth to respond the way you need it to.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Straylight, Quanta, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7308 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:40 pm

BONES wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:24 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:31 am
You can't compare a seaboard block with a full synth. First of all the block is a fun little toy thing. The miniature keys aren't great for normal sized hands.
Of course they are. In fact they make playing much easier. If I take my hand in it's resting pose, finger comfortably spread, and lay it on a normal keyboard, with my pinky on C, my thumb will rest on A. With my Seaboard Block it covers an octave perfectly, C to C. If it put my fingers together, they rest one finger per "white" key, exactly. It's like it's perfectly designed for the average human hand and that makes it way easier to play. You guys are just so resistant to change that you refuse to adapt.
I'm glad you like mini keys. Most of us like the keys to be the size of a normal keyboard. Had a seaboard block for a while and it just felt like it was difficult to be accurate. Rise 49 feels perfect. To me and my normal sized hands.
Full Rise 49 is a different story I think.
Yeas, you have to stretch your fingers a lot more, which makes it much harder to STRIKE each key in a chord with the same force, so it is not nearly as easy to play consistently. I mostly played my Rise with my two index fingers, I play my Block with all the fingers of one hand or the other.
When you say "You have to stretch your fingers", I think you mean "I have to stretch my fingers", because I don't really feel that way about it. It feels like the chord shapes of a normal keyboard. I had a much harder time playing consistently on the block, especially chords. But thankfully they have both versions so we can both be happy!
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Pashkuli
KVRist
155 posts since 9 Sep, 2019

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:15 pm

BONES wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:26 pm
To my mind that is just as easily achieved with a keyboard split - one side doesn't respond to pitch bend, the other side does. No MPE required.
Well, then apparently when you've got the keyboard split, you do not need MPE (extremely doubtful). But maybe on those Seaboard splitting it can give you completely separate data flow, but even then MPE should be necessary to get the proper channels from the split. Have not tried it, can't tell with enough certainty.

I still think that 15~20mm of Y-travel is more than enough for Modulation. Ok, make it double that ~40mm. More than that is just a waste of energy, time, effort, control. My point of view, my preference. Also I look at those type of instruments as linear grids (Ok, the Linnstrument is a cell grid). Maybe I am old school, but still think that when the actual key has been designed properly and with care, skilfully equipped with the necessary triggers... there is not that much need for software (let alone synths). Would make it expensive otherwise. I restrict myself to MIDI controller/keyboard only.

I understand that without the dedicated software Osmose or Seaboard are simply low resolution touch panels.
Last edited by Pashkuli on Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

himalaya
KVRAF
5162 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:22 pm

Well, without the strings, the pianoforte is just a cupboard. Right? What are you on about again Pashkuli?
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VSTi and hardware synth sound design
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Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
7308 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: New ExpressiveE instrument: Osmose

Post Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:31 pm

himalaya wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:22 pm
Well, without the strings, the pianoforte is just a cupboard. Right?
Bingo.
What are you on about again Pashkuli?
Nobody ever knows really. But do we really want to?
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