Super 8 - New polysynth by Native Instruments

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Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 8:11 pm Both HALion and Falcon are clearly superior synthesis and arguably better sampling platforms. Of course, if musicians limit their use to sample libraries developed by Native Instruments and various third parties and don't have any interest in creating their own inventive hybrid synthesis/sampling instruments, then Kontakt is probably still the best choice.

But from my perspective, that's really the only thing that Kontakt still has going for it, i.e., strong sample library support. Its relatively limited filters and FX mostly sound dated and weak to me.
In a few months Yamaha is going to release the full version of it's Montage plugin. As an owner of a Montage M it's enhanced AWM2 engine and filter blow away what's in Kontact. I think Yamaha/Steinberg will release the Montage plugin with specific Montage editor librarian features, but I also think they will release AWM2 as a standalone Rompler plugin with a deep factory library and integrate AWM2 into HALion like they did FM-X

Yamaha is spending way to much money and resources into the Montage plugin to only make it available as an add on to the hardware

As part of HALion however it becomes a ridiculously powerful sampling workstation with all kinds of fantastic filter, modulation options, and effects

And becomes a very compelling environment to make libraries for as they would work on both hardware and software instruments and in multiple different plugin formats.

I have to wonder at this point what the market is for giant expensive 3rd party libraries for Kontact. While a lot of people have a lot invested in them, how many people are investing in new Kontact libraries? I think the market is ripe for a new/different kid on the block. A single platform for both hardware and software

And you could of course build everything in either hardware or software and/or use your Montage as a controller or Yamaha could just make a controller based on Montage hardware with it's fantastic keyboard and hands on controls

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sacer wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 5:21 am
Reaktor 6.5 is also discontinued - in order to utilize its development resources in the best interest of its wider userbase.

Not sure if it’s only super 8 or also Reaktor

https://thesoundboard.net/viewtopic.php?t=5530
That's not what the thread said. It said at that time resource was needed for Apple compatibility which was taking all their time.

It also said the work was aiming to set a good base for future, presumably, feature work.

Can't be an easy task to keep such a big program running while Apple keep moving the goal posts.

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Not sure if library providers who got burned by one toxic monopoly are so eager to invest into the next.
I'm actually happy that so many alternatives pop up now finally.
As convenient and attractive as a monopoly can be on one hand, it's also a trap for all involved.
So let those behemoths die and make room for new growth from smaller and more agile devs.
Its the natural way of things for a reason.

Cheers,

Tom
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Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 8:11 pmOther than perhaps scripting capabilities (a subject on which I am admittedly not well-versed,) in what ways do HALion and Falcon not compete directly with Kontakt (and pretty much eat its lunch these days)?
In the way that they are not competing directly in things that matter for majority of users which use sample libraries available out there for anything. Neither support background loading of patches or lossless sample compression. Performance of large instruments is worse than with Kontakt (Falcon being way worse than Halion since it doesn't do multicore processing, which Halion does), they are not as optimized for big orchestral libraries (OT tried with Iconica but it ended up being a bit of a joke).

For reference: I own all three products and have used them quite extensively.
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 8:11 pmBoth HALion and Falcon are clearly superior synthesis and arguably better sampling platforms.
Synthesis, sure, agreed. But in this regard I would call them complimentary rather than competing (because Kontakt does not market itself as a multi-synthesis workstation, so it's apples vs oranges comparison).

Sampling playback-wise, Kontakt is still the most optimized to my knowledge.
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 8:11 pmOf course, if musicians limit their use to sample libraries developed by Native Instruments and various third parties and don't have any interest in creating their own inventive hybrid synthesis/sampling instruments, then Kontakt is probably still the best choice.
Sales still support this fact, too. People want the vast and varied 3rd party library ecosystem the most.
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 8:11 pmIts relatively limited filters and FX mostly sound dated and weak to me.
You haven't checked what's in Kontakt in a long time, then. The newer ZDF filters added in Kontakt 5 are much much better than the old legacy filters (and to me better than any filter in Halion), and effects have been continuously added so there are super high quality delay, modulation, distortion, etc. effects in there these days, with topnotch DSP in there.

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EvilDragon wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:00 am In the way that they are not competing directly in things that matter for majority of users which use sample libraries available out there for anything. Neither support background loading of patches or lossless sample compression. Performance of large instruments is worse than with Kontakt (Falcon being way worse than Halion since it doesn't do multicore processing, which Halion does), they are not as optimized for big orchestral libraries (OT tried with Iconica but it ended up being a bit of a joke).
In my experience, gone are the days where even "massive" sample libraries place any significant demands on computing resources. The latest Apple M3 Max laptops can be expanded to 128GB of super fast RAM and 8TB of blazing fast storage. Even on my M1 Max MacBook Pro with 64GB of RAM and 4TB of NVMe storage, I simply never think about CPU performance when loading up a template of large orchestral instruments in Kontakt, HALion, Falcon, Play, or VSL Syncron player. It's totally a non-issue. I don't notice any significant performance differences between any of these sample playback platforms.
EvilDragon wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:00 am Synthesis, sure, agreed. But in this regard I would call them complimentary rather than competing (because Kontakt does not market itself as a multi-synthesis workstation, so it's apples vs oranges comparison).
That's a bit disingenuous. How many Kontakt-based Komplete "instruments" are marketed as synth/cinematic libraries? And yet the synthesis capabilities of Kontakt are a bit of a joke compared to the competition.
EvilDragon wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:00 am Sales still support this fact, too. People want the vast and varied 3rd party library ecosystem the most.
Here we agree. But as I mentioned, that's the ONLY reason from my perspective to even bother using Kontakt these days. Plus, East West, Spitfire, and VSL provide their own sample playback engines for their top of the line orchestral libraries. So if you want the best of these types of sample libraries, Kontakt isn't even necessary any more.
EvilDragon wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:00 am You haven't checked what's in Kontakt in a long time, then. The newer ZDF filters added in Kontakt 5 are much much better than the old legacy filters (and to me better than any filter in Halion), and effects have been continuously added so there are super high quality delay, modulation, distortion, etc. effects in there these days, with topnotch DSP in there.
I'm specifically referring to the filters and FX added in Kontakt 5. The State Variable filters in particular sound absolutely awful. The "Ladder" filter is just okay. And compared to Falcon, Kontakt's FX are quite limited.

Kontakt is pretty much a dead platform, IMO. I certainly won't be investing in any more Kontakt libraries (or ever upgrade my Komplete 14 Ultimate bundle) because NI will most likely continue to limp along as a shadow of its once innovative self (if it survives at all). It's quite sad, actually.

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EvilDragon wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 8:00 am

You haven't checked what's in Kontakt in a long time, then. The newer ZDF filters added in Kontakt 5 are much much better than the old legacy filters (and to me better than any filter in Halion), and effects have been continuously added so there are super high quality delay, modulation, distortion, etc. effects in there these days, with topnotch DSP in there.
Funny , because a couple of months ago you weren’t sure if the filters were zdf , any new info which made you change your mind ?
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gentleclockdivider wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 3:52 pmFunny , because a couple of months ago you weren’t sure if the filters were zdf , any new info which made you change your mind ?
viewtopic.php?t=607293
I was talking to Vadim about these filters in the meantime. :)

These filters were all done by Mike Daliot with the ZDF framework in Reaktor, then ported over to C++ with some optimizations.
Last edited by EvilDragon on Mon Apr 15, 2024 10:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:58 pmPlus, East West, Spitfire, and VSL provide their own sample playback engines for their top of the line orchestral libraries. So if you want the best of these types of sample libraries, Kontakt isn't even necessary any more.
All these other players come with their own set of issues too. Ask how many Spitfire player users have random issues where the libraries need to be pointed to their location every two days, for example. EW products are not really top of the crop when it comes to quality of legato sampling and just in general their products aren't really streamlined for use, they overwhelm you with hundreds of patches instead of having a few good ones you can use straight up. It's all a tradeoff. VSL is a mixed bag and extremely polarizing.
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:58 pmI'm specifically referring to the filters and FX added in Kontakt 5. The State Variable filters in particular sound absolutely awful. The "Ladder" filter is just okay.
Well, that's, just, like, your opinion, man. Many disagree.

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EvilDragon wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 10:37 pm
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:58 pmI'm specifically referring to the filters and FX added in Kontakt 5. The State Variable filters in particular sound absolutely awful. The "Ladder" filter is just okay.
Well, that's, just, like, your opinion, man. Many disagree.
As opposed to what? Someone else's opinion?

Regardless, it's an opinion formed by nearly 40 years of music production experience having owned too many classic analog and digital synths to count, practically every classic hardware sampler ever made, and close to every synth and FX plugin worth having on the market. So yeah, it's just my opinion, man.
Last edited by Hallo Spaceboy on Tue Apr 16, 2024 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Welcome back!
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I have plenty of criticism of NI, but some of this is faintly absurd. I often see this on forums, and especially KVR. You have a perfectly vaild perspective, but then use hyperbole to the point where any sensible points you make get dismissed along with the absurd.

Picking over the ashes...
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:58 pm In my experience, gone are the days where even "massive" sample libraries place any significant demands on computing resources.
Nope, not gone. Some plugins and libraries can still bring a system down, though of course things are improving all the time. I read of plenty of composers on silicon with performance issues. And there's more than CPU and RAM to be considered - some plugins are still very sluggish to load, which over multiple projects in a day gets tedious.

Bottom line - good efficient coding and use of resources is still A Good Thing.
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:58 pm How many Kontakt-based Komplete "instruments" are marketed as synth/cinematic libraries? And yet the synthesis capabilities of Kontakt are a bit of a joke compared to the competition.
The proof of the pudding. Stuff like Lores and Fables is best in class at what they do. I'm sure devs would make use of more synthesis, but depending on what you are doing there's already a lot in Kontakt.

The wild hyperbole of Kontakt being a joke is telling.
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:58 pmEast West, Spitfire, and VSL provide their own sample playback engines for their top of the line orchestral libraries. So if you want the best of these types of sample libraries, Kontakt isn't even necessary any more.
East West and VSL are both terrific players. Sine is getting very good now. Spitfire and Musio works in progress, nowhere near on the same performance level. Engine Player is barely a month old and very basic. All these are single-developer only, so there simply is no competition here for a range of third party support.

Ironically you don't mention the biggest real world competitor, UVI, who are slowly building a pretty impressive arsenal. However in my book it's only a small fraction of the Kontakt treasures, and most libraries are fairly basic (and however atrotious K7's new browser is, at least the side pane and QuickLoad are far better than UVI's terrible browser brought to us from the year 2000).
Hallo Spaceboy wrote: Mon Apr 15, 2024 2:58 pmKontakt is pretty much a dead platform, IMO. I certainly won't be investing in any more Kontakt libraries (or ever upgrade my Komplete 14 Ultimate bundle) because NI will most likely continue to limp along as a shadow of its once innovative self (if it survives at all). It's quite sad, actually.
You've obviously convinced yourself Kontakt is dead. Good for you. K7 has utterly exasperating elements - a new browser still not fit for basic purpose and awful load times on many Windows systems - but rumours of its death are not merely exaggerated but ridiculous.
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The awfull load times of Kontakt 7 plugin are the main reason, that I don’t use Kontakt 7 and don’t update my libraries.
I‘ll stick with Kontakt 6, guitar rig 6 and downgraded versions of Maschine and KK from the end of 2022 until they fix this issue.
For me Kontakt 7 is real big step in wrong direction.
I don’t know if it’s scanning all my plugins, but after I have done a fresh new windows 11 installation, Kontakt 7 was starting as fast as Kontakt 6, but with more and more plugins I installed, the loading time increased and now it takes again one minute to open this damn plugin.

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noiseboyuk wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 12:15 am And there's more than CPU and RAM to be considered - some plugins are still very sluggish to load, which over multiple projects in a day gets tedious.
That's why I use Vienna Ensemble. This way I'm not constantly loading and unloading the same orchestral palette.
noiseboyuk wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 12:15 am The wild hyperbole of Kontakt being a joke is telling.
But Kontakt has always been a joke. It has maybe the worst interface of any software instrument, ever. Only an engineer who is FAR along "the spectrum" could have designed something that convoluted and counter-intuitive. That's what is ridiculous and absurd. Thank God there are now better (but far from perfect) alternatives.
noiseboyuk wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 12:15 am Ironically you don't mention the biggest real world competitor, UVI, who are slowly building a pretty impressive arsenal. However in my book it's only a small fraction of the Kontakt treasures, and most libraries are fairly basic (and however atrotious K7's new browser is, at least the side pane and QuickLoad are far better than UVI's terrible browser brought to us from the year 2000).
That's why I didn't mention UVI. Until they implement a decent browser, I can't see myself using Falcon regularly even though I own a few of the company's "Vintage Vault" synth libraries.
noiseboyuk wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 12:15 am You've obviously convinced yourself Kontakt is dead. Good for you. K7 has utterly exasperating elements - a new browser still not fit for basic purpose and awful load times on many Windows systems - but rumours of its death are not merely exaggerated but ridiculous.
But ask yourself, given the sorry state of NI these days, would you invest in a new Kontakt library knowing that Native Instruments might not even be around in a few years? People might think that NI is "too big to fail." But is it? FAR bigger companies with a far greater impact have failed before. So it's not inconceivable. In fact, if I was a betting man, I'd say it's actually likely if not inevitable. Through poor decision making, NI has set a chain of events in motion out of which I don't think they can recover. A software instrument developer simply can't abandon half or more of its product lineup and expect users to have faith in their stewardship and plans for the future.
Last edited by Hallo Spaceboy on Tue Apr 16, 2024 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Spaceboy - I use VEPro too. It's great. Doesn't change anything about the need for well coded plugins though.

No, I don't buy that NI is about to fail. They would get bought out / whatever, but I reckon they're doing just fine with the DJ market as a bedrock.

I'd say the chances of the Kontakt ecosystem being simply abandoned are extremely low. Civil War / Nulcear War / Climate Change / AI overlords are all much more likely to get us first.
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sacer wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 12:53 am The awfull load times of Kontakt 7 plugin are the main reason, that I don’t use Kontakt 7 and don’t update my libraries.
I‘ll stick with Kontakt 6
Yes same - and you're right on updating libraries, many have needlessly become K7 in updates. It's not the end of the world (or NI), but since K6 is still a much smoother and less irritating experience it makes sense to just keep using that.

I think that eventually they'll sort out the loading time issue - it sounds like they haven't bothered even thinking about it until relatively recently. The browser is another matter, because its common to many other NI products and they've invested a ton of time and resources into it. It can be improved a bit in its current form (FFS harvest the folder structure for tags if there are none), but I think fundamentally they've backed the wrong UI horse. A tabbed interface where you can't see multiple fields at the same time is the dumbest of dumb ideas, and they are in a class of one on this. But they won't back down on such a fundamental blunder, I reckon we have to wait 5 years til they come up with a brand new browser and sell it as an exciting new feature.

The main thing to watch for is them deprecating either the side browser or Quckload in K8. They likely want to do both, but if they tried either they'd be met with such a torrent of fire it would make the New Instruments For You debacle a storm in a teacup. That, by the way, is the good news - they've rowed back on several stupid decisions lately, which means they do listen to users if they protest loudly enough. They're not (quite) the monolith frequently portrayed.
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