Pulsar 900 Series

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
perpetual3
KVRian
1188 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:23 am

I totally agree with you, mate. You’ve picked up on a big problem with ITB synths especially, the envelopes and resonant behavior.

To bring this back to Pulsar, Now that it seems there is more direction and future I’ll be purchasing by the end of the month.

Cinebient
KVRAF
4434 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:17 am

For me a few software synths actually do that organic/analog thing for me pretty good and there are even some cheap iOS synth which do this well but mainly it works for some special sweet spots while for me P900 can do really complex things and while i modulate OSC with others, sync them and add audio rate modulations to filter and then some polyphonic LFO´s on top, drive the resonance up and then add saturation....etc. Here P900 mostly still sounds really musical, vibrant and even at the very high end it has a nice sound. Add now the delay and reverb and it just pronounce that already great sound to a super great sound. This is how i feel it at least.
Of course you can totally overdrive this or bring aliasing up if you turn off oversampling and use a ton of audio rate stuff and play the higher octaves.
BUT, it is interesting that even some aliasing can sound musical within P900 for me. And sometimes i like a preset more if i turn oversampling from 4X to 2X or off (you can do 8X, 4X or off) since it gets some "noise" which is to my surprise not like in many other synths just a distorted hell but still sounds organic and musical.
So i never had a synth where i stumbled over so much happy accidents while connecting things and play with knobs. This is what sets P900 apart for me.
There are indeed synths which can do certain sounds better of course and are also on par in general maybe for what they emulate (f.e. Repro is an amazing emulation, and i also find the Moog Model D app outstanding good, then there is The Legend which is good too and many others) but the sweet spot from P900 is so much bigger for me and so it can f.e. replace any Minimoog emulation since it can do the same (just better for my taste) and a lot more.
Other modulars are more complex and have 1000´s of wonderful and weird modules or a new and great modern workflow or something else but they just loose that wonderful analog tone for me when they get too complex and it all ends like "interesting noise", bleeps and bloops at some point where i think i could just use a standard substractive synth plus some FX or some obscure physical modeling with a few modulations to achieve the same.
Nothing of this is a fact and just my personal experience. I have nothing to do with the company and i even find they did some things wrong and there are still some nasty bugs for me with P900 (the worst is still the dangerous feedback/peak thing due to the analog delay modules sometimes....so NEVER forget your limiter behind P900).
Then i would have some feature requests of course to workaround some limitations which would make it even more awesome.
But still i say that P900 is the freaking best sounding synth i ever played with :)
....and that includes some analog Moog as well.
I find it also pretty easy to use while something like Reaktor drives me crazy and is a fun killer.
Oh i would die for the sampler module i saw many moons ago the original developer once planned but if any new module or conversation/port or whatever would alter the sound in any way....please let it as it is :wink:

perpetual3
KVRian
1188 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 am

No doubt, in some context aliasing is very pleasing. And while audio rate modulation brings up lots of possibilities, I don’t always find the results very musical, especially in higher frequencies, even with analog gear.

And yes, I bought the Beepstreet IOS synths (based on your praise), the mini Moog iOS and even the Model 15. Repro is good (but intentionally limited), as is most UHE stuff, most of the time.

I don’t want to derail the thread away from the P900, but I think it has the envelopes and core sound generation and shaping down. I think the developer could be interested in examining the non linear behavior between the components, tolerance deviations, and especially the behavior as gain increases along the signal path. I think it’s these little details which add up to a big difference.

I don’t know what goes into P900, but already it sounds amazing. And I suspect it is because many of these little details have been addressed and incorporated. Otherwise, I doubt it would sound very good.

chk071
KVRAF
22723 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:38 am

perpetual3 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 am
No doubt, in some context aliasing is very pleasing.
Yeah, definitely. :) Some rather oldschool VA's have some nice noisy and airy sound to them, especially when the highs are dampened as well, like the older Waldorf synths. That's another of those things: I feel like many soft synths these days just sound too hi-fi and bright. I'm sure there are use cases for this, but, I really don't feel like it has to be that way. Makes me wonder if it's not also to please people who are immediately impressed by some shiny top end, and super clean sound, while that kind of sound is pretty clinical, and the opposite of character for me.

Cinebient
KVRAF
4434 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:00 am

perpetual3 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 am
No doubt, in some context aliasing is very pleasing. And while audio rate modulation brings up lots of possibilities, I don’t always find the results very musical, especially in higher frequencies, even with analog gear.

And yes, I bought the Beepstreet IOS synths (based on your praise), the mini Moog iOS and even the Model 15. Repro is good (but intentionally limited), as is most UHE stuff, most of the time.

I don’t want to derail the thread away from the P900, but I think it has the envelopes and core sound generation and shaping down. I think the developer could be interested in examining the non linear behavior between the components, tolerance deviations, and especially the behavior as gain increases along the signal path. I think it’s these little details which add up to a big difference.

I don’t know what goes into P900, but already it sounds amazing. And I suspect it is because many of these little details have been addressed and incorporated. Otherwise, I doubt it would sound very good.
Indeed. The envelopes are playing a big part. I also remember that the developer said here a while ago that there are always slightly randomizations going on within the envelopes and some other stuff. Whatever these little things are, they add up and glue together so well. Another thing for me is when i gain stage P900 to the sky and then use a limiter to avoid to blow my ears it just works. When i crank up other synths the same way and try to limit it the same way to actually could use the sounds within a musical context it mostly do not work great. P900´s combo of the envelopes, saturation and whatever is going on in the background just let me use another level of dynamic sound i just cannot get out of my other synths. In similar situations tehy just sound distorted or the limiter (whatever i use) just take all the dynamic away.
Maybe i have no clue what i´m doing but it just works with P900 for me.
In would think that modern software modulars or other synths with audio rate modulations and multi stage envelopes or other drawable curves you can use as amplitude modulation could do the same and more. We often talk about "snappy" and such things but maybe it works just better with these "fixed" envelopes if they are just right.
Like i also already said i find that the FX just fits perfect for the raw sound and everything is just working really well together while i find in some other synth it´s like using salt in the coffee instead of sugar (well, maybe someone even like this :) )
Maybe its all placebo now but P900 reacts like an acoustic instrument to me.
Just in case....what i hard miss also are reversible attenuators.

perpetual3
KVRian
1188 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:03 am

chk071 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:38 am
perpetual3 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 am
No doubt, in some context aliasing is very pleasing.
Yeah, definitely. :) Some rather oldschool VA's have some nice noisy and airy sound to them, especially when the highs are dampened as well, like the older Waldorf synths. That's another of those things: I feel like many soft synths these days just sound too hi-fi and bright. I'm sure there are use cases for this, but, I really don't feel like it has to be that way. Makes me wonder if it's not also to please people who are immediately impressed by some shiny top end, and super clean sound, while that kind of sound is pretty clinical, and the opposite of character for me.
Totally agree. And aliasing can be good. Download the demo of PortaFM, check out the hip-hop sine bass preset.

perpetual3
KVRian
1188 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:05 am

Cinebient wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:00 am
perpetual3 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 am
No doubt, in some context aliasing is very pleasing. And while audio rate modulation brings up lots of possibilities, I don’t always find the results very musical, especially in higher frequencies, even with analog gear.

And yes, I bought the Beepstreet IOS synths (based on your praise), the mini Moog iOS and even the Model 15. Repro is good (but intentionally limited), as is most UHE stuff, most of the time.

I don’t want to derail the thread away from the P900, but I think it has the envelopes and core sound generation and shaping down. I think the developer could be interested in examining the non linear behavior between the components, tolerance deviations, and especially the behavior as gain increases along the signal path. I think it’s these little details which add up to a big difference.

I don’t know what goes into P900, but already it sounds amazing. And I suspect it is because many of these little details have been addressed and incorporated. Otherwise, I doubt it would sound very good.
Indeed. The envelopes are playing a big part. I also remember that the developer said here a while ago that there are always slightly randomizations going on within the envelopes and some other stuff. Whatever these little things are, they add up and glue together so well. Another thing for me is when i gain stage P900 to the sky and then use a limiter to avoid to blow my ears it just works. When i crank up other synths the same way and try to limit it the same way to actually could use the sounds within a musical context it mostly do not work great. P900´s combo of the envelopes, saturation and whatever is going on in the background just let me use another level of dynamic sound i just cannot get out of my other synths. In similar situations tehy just sound distorted or the limiter (whatever i use) just take all the dynamic away.
Maybe i have no clue what i´m doing but it just works with P900 for me.
In would think that modern software modulars or other synths with audio rate modulations and multi stage envelopes or other drawable curves you can use as amplitude modulation could do the same and more. We often talk about "snappy" and such things but maybe it works just better with these "fixed" envelopes if they are just right.
Like i also already said i find that the FX just fits perfect for the raw sound and everything is just working really well together while i find in some other synth it´s like using salt in the coffee instead of sugar (well, maybe someone even like this :) )
Maybe its all placebo now but P900 reacts like an acoustic instrument to me.
Just in case....what i hard miss also are reversible attenuators.
I mean, random envelope variations and proper gainstaging are key features. Every synth should do this.

P900
KVRer
17 posts since 15 Dec, 2019 from Turkey

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:01 am

[/quote]
Ditto
I'm sick of people saying daft shit like the difference is in the conversion (i've done AD/DA loops to rule this out and whilst there are differences it doesn't account for the large portion of differences i perceive between outboard VA's and plugins, let alone analog and plugins)so if you have any insight on the programming side of things that can shed some light on the differences to dispel some of the people who doubt there being differences,i am all ears :hyper:
[/quote]
I am responding based on my own deduction and might not be 100% correct; so here we go: 90s Virtual Analog (VA) synths while virtual, still used a big chunk of analog circuitry before hitting the output. Fast forward 30 years, and most of that in-between analog circuitry has disappeared, add to that, an improved D/A. This led to new VA synths becoming perfect, linear, predictable, soulless- approximating the same sound of a plugin. Manufacturers suddenly noticed the problem, so they went back to re-introduce some Analog behavior- some placed analog filters, others put a 12Ax7 tube at the amplifier stage and recently one put a heat sensor, so as to emulate oscillator drift!
Now under the hood, most VA manufacturers and Plugin developers are using the same audio libraries. To write your own, means you need a PHD in Math. Search for C++ audio library and you will find such open-source libraries. This means, when you call these libraries, they generate a discrete Signal that represents the intended continuous-time signal. So plugin A will sound the same as plugin B when they call the same library to supply that particular signal, or filter. The difference will be the GUI, believe it or not, it affects us and plays a part in perceiving the sound. The other difference is in what you do with the sound after it comes pre-packaged from these libraries. Do you leave them as-is or start implementing "analog behavior" that is sweet to your ears? And what is sweet to one developer ear might not be the case for the other. So each dev. tweaks differently, and similarly, users will like the sound of one soft synth over the other based on their ear preference.
Last edited by P900 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

filulilu
KVRist
53 posts since 27 Aug, 2009

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:20 am

P900 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:01 am
still used a big chunk of analog circuitry before hitting their D/A converter.
Is this possible? How do you process a digital signal with analog circuitry?
Yorgos Simeonidis

P900
KVRer
17 posts since 15 Dec, 2019 from Turkey

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:19 am

You are correct; I should have said before hitting the output. I am trying to speculate what could make a difference other than the D/A.
See Korg -8000 hybrid synth inside look https://www.google.com/search?q=korg+dw ... t3w-8UHkMM

Compare to modern ones https://www.google.com/search?q=roland ... lwvOA_6dNM
Last edited by P900 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

P900
KVRer
17 posts since 15 Dec, 2019 from Turkey

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:35 pm

:help: Getting myself in trouble.

filulilu
KVRist
53 posts since 27 Aug, 2009

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:45 pm

P900 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:19 am
You are correct; I should have said before hitting the output. I am trying to speculate what could make a difference other than the D/A.
See Korg -8000 hybrid synth inside look https://www.google.com/search?q=korg+dw ... t3w-8UHkMM

Compare to modern ones https://www.google.com/search?q=roland ... lwvOA_6dNM
I don’t know how much the output stage (post dac) can contribute to the sound.
Yorgos Simeonidis

JerGoertz
KVRAF
2622 posts since 20 Feb, 2004

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:45 pm

P900 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:52 pm
JerGoertz wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:17 am
Sorry if this was already stated somewhere earlier, but are there plans for a Windows port?
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: P900 was written under x-code IDE (uses Objective-C) ,as such, can only generate Apple related plugins. We are taking a baby step approach to migrate few modules to the JUCE framework. This will allow us to create cross-platform plugins. However, the challenge is to make sure that we don’t loose, alter or dilute the sound of the p900 during this conversion and end up with that particular sound we hear from Soft synths...I can only describe as soulless (lacking character and individuality). Once we deliver the first port of the Effects modules, we would then be able to estimate the time needed to deliver The full P900 Windows port.
Well, this is encouraging. Will keep my eyes peeled for it!
A well-behaved signature.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
16318 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:59 pm

chk071 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:35 am
Yeah... maybe I finally get a answer to the question which pretty much bothers me since I started to fiddle with soft synths. :D

Not that it applies to all soft synths, but, I really think many just lack character, depth and punch.
I assume you mean compared to digital hardware...

There are plenty of hardware synths that are lacking in character

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16318 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Pulsar 900 Series

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:07 pm

Cinebient wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:17 am
So i never had a synth where i stumbled over so much happy accidents while connecting things and play with knobs. This is what sets P900 apart for me.
These things are very much individual... the way you feel about P900 is how I feel about Bazille... Bazille just does it for me. It sounds more alive to me than other soft synths.

I'd like to explore P900 more but there is not an OSX VST version so it cannot be used in Bitwig.

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