Some small indepth informations from Musikmesse 2007

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Compyfox
KVRAF
14401 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:03 pm

It sure was a long day at the fair today as the last couple of years were too. Now that I'm back and my feet rested a bit, let me hook you up with some stuff I discovered while being at the fair. It won't be much, but still

Keep in mind though, that I only focused on stuff that was interesting me the most. The fair is just too bug to cover everything. This is what magazines or the KVR database is for. So I'm sorry if I can't answer your "Fender" question, or why Behringer still sucks goats butt, why I didn't bug ImageLine about their last FLStudio release or whatever the heck. If you want to know all that stuff, please go to a similar fair yourself.


Now on with the show:

LINE6 VST Pack
Sure is an old one, indeed. But a couple of people were wonderin what this fuzz was all about. The VST plugins are nothing else as the GearBox GUI you get with either the POD XT, the Port or the other recording modules. So far so good. It was however stated as "fact" that all these modules run as DSP solution for the VST plugins. This is not the case!

The software (GearBox on GuitarPort for example) all runs native on your PC according to one of the lead programmers. The only exception where GearBox is running as DSP solution (and not clogging the CPU power of your PC) is the POD XT and POD XT Live. This makes all other devices "hardware dongles" only with recording functions and inputs for guitars. In short, GearBox was the first GuitarAmplifier all-in-one "rebuilt" solution that ran with only like 5%-20% CPU power on an Intel PII-600MHz (I have the Port for that long now) without barfing and excellent sounding. Way before Amplitube was optimized and NI Guitar Rig even ran on a 1,2GHz Intel (with a CPU load of 70% btw).



YAMAHA AND THE VSTi MARKET
If you follwed the threads at KVR, you certainly noticed a discussion about Yamaha's Software Synth Series (who are now discontinued). I was sked to forward a request to revive the S-YXG100 again for the international market and raise the banhammer from illegal action to patch SOL2's integrated SYXG50 and the MidRadioPlayer6's included SYXG2006LE.

The response was a joke. First of all, Yamaha takes distance to every sold unit of XGWorks, XGEdit and the SYXG series. According to the German salesman for Sofware (and co-operation with Steinberg) the software was only sold "directly from Japan, but never in Europe or USA", while cutting of the support for that with the same breath. So I gave all infos away as printed out pages stating that SOL2 (which is totally unknown to Yamaha Europe) features the XG50 and the MidRadio Player the newer synth, however it's a grayzone to "abuse the bundled VSTi". After like 20 minutes of discussing I asked them once again (at this moment it was the 5th time in a row) to forward the infos I got and think about a rerelease. Here is what I got to hear:

"I can talk with the Steinberg crew if they can do anything about it", in other words meaning, if it'll be ever released, then only bundled with C4, because without taking a further breath and before I could even ask he said "however it won't be sold seperately. For something like that is no market available. It's not worth a dime, doesn't sell". The funny thing on it however, with my research (see my page) I showed the second PC correspondent that there is INDEED a market and the outcry far bigger than they expect. So I said "if there're rebuilts from Roland and Moog, and if there're synths who can load Yamaha SYSEX data which can let those synths sound like the old real deal, including FM8 from NI, why not rerelease this old thing?".

The second PC technician was a bit more open minded and was like "you're right, thanks for the link to your page - I can't promise much, but I try to bring this to the pannel next time". In the same content however, Yamaha releases a new "learning software" called "Digital Music Notebook". It's more or less a player for scores and you can also learn how to play this stuff. The player itself is free, only the score sheets cost 3USD extra per song. However, the soundcore included with the software is (take this) the Yamaha SYXG50 once again!

You can get some more infos about that thing here:
www.digitalmusicnotebook.com/messe



ROLAND SoundCell
KVR already covered this new desktop synth by Roland, however there're still a couple of questions open, like "what is it?" "which core?" "how does it sound like?" "what's the price?". I can answer all that.

The SoundCell is a (ugly if I might add) desktop version of a Roland Fantom at heart, but with limited editing possibilities. Yup, we get yet another Fantom *sigh*. This thing can be connected, as the old SoundCanvas and the XV2020, via USB. Both the Audio and MIDI data of the synth can be recorded and controlled via a seuqencer of your choice. The VSTi GUI was not finished for the fair, so I couldn't test it, but Roland promised to include it within the next month. Another "cool" feature *cough* is the possibility to abuse this thing as recording device and audio module (much like the old Edirol USB devices). Futhermore it has an USB slot to play MP3s and MIDI files directly from a stick without using a PC. Veeeeery handy. :roll:

The price for this ugly piece of garbage - sorry but this is just my impression - is ridiculus: it's aimed to be 750Euro. A lot of the core sounds are already known by the Fantom series, however I don't know if the demo devices were also loaded with SRX modules, but I guess not. It sure is nothing special, the only two good things IMO are: you can use up to 2 additional SRX boards (however most of that is already covered either with samples or with synth, so why get this one?) and you can use this synth as VSTi without CPU usage and the recording is dead easy. At least on the paper.

To my question, whether or not Roland decides to rerelase the SC88 in proper VSTi form (not as VSC1 to VSC3 and the HyperCanvas - which bundled are still no SC88), I only got as answer "who knows, but this is not our section, Edirol is in charge of everything that's PC based". Boo-friggin-yaaah - seems like all major firms give a damn in terms of the VSTi section, even if people would buy it.



BEST SERVICE ANNOUNCES RealStrat, WHICH IS MUSICLAB REALGUITAR E-EDITION IN REALITY
Yup, cat's out of the bag. Finally if I may say so. One of the highlights of the fair (at least in my opinion) was meeting with Sergey from Musiclab and take a closer look to the release candidate of RG-E, now tagged RealStrat. The Instrument is built up like RG2L, however with a different skin, and way more functions than before.

One of the new features is a fully customizable keyswitch pannel, that can even be saved as "custom patch". The internal routing engine from RG2L was massively enhanced, which makes the add-on "ToolBox" now outdated and useless for RealStrat. And THANK GOD it did. Everyone who's seen the video of Prominy's LPC Guitars, knows that it needs 6 octaves and 2 keyswitch ranges. Musiclab made that a bit more slick. You have the controls like the used RealGuitar (strumming, repeat, palm mute, etc), but you also have more keyswitches for tremolo, glide, scrapes (yup, 3 octaves of them!), dead simple control to trigger mutes with lower velocity play, but only if the foot pedal is pressed, etc.

Definitely hard to describe, so I really hope Sergey considers a rundown demo to show the new features. The specs are also impressive. While Prominy needs 70GB for a handful of guitars and a similar ammount of play modes, RealStrat only uses 1GB(!) of HDD space if used in 44kHz mode. This includes: slides, scrapes, noise, picking, pickup position, alternate tuning (low note D or E) etc, etc, etc. The planned price for RealStrat is aimed at the same ammount like RealGuitar2L. The release is planned to be in a month (end of April), at least hopefully according to Sergey, as there're still a couple of bugs to fix.

Also good news for the RG2L users. I recommended Sergey to maybe include the Keyswitch system from RealStrat into RG2L and he wasn't against that idea at all. It'll take a while, but RG2L might see a v2.2 (if not v2.5) release with the included enhanced keyswitch mode, as RG2L only has 4 switches available. If this happens, ToyBox is really just a little helper only, but not necessarily needed anymore. Sergey also mentioned that he maybe wants to include a "Solo PlayPattern" mode instead of the Pattern Manager for RealStrat. While "patterns" can be good for E-Guitar too, soli's are still essential. He didn't mention any date, but it's a considered update. For those who ask for an upgrade pack in terms of playpattern, Sergey said "that won't happen - at least not that soon". Same goes with additional guitars for either of the players, or creating "RealEthnic" - but he wasn't against the idea of maybe creating a bass VSTi.

In case you're asking, RealStrat is provided in clean samples - no amplification, no guitar amp bundled. You can use whatever you like. (I heard it with a clean amp patch and harsh distortion, parallel to a real guitar, there's barely any difference if you know how to handle it!)
!)



Audio Impressions DVZ - LET'S LIFT THE COURTAIN
First of all, I was really impressed by this booth. It was a small one hidden in the corners of the hall, but featured two rigs with DVZ, and one with an organ emulation (3 dials, foot keyboard, etc). Also it was a little bit mindblowing to have LA's elite standing in front of you. Chris Stone (who wrote music for Paramount and Buena Vista, i.e. Talespin, Honey I shrunk the Children, countless TV series, etc), the PC technician who built all rigs for Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson Williams, the PC network for DVZ, etc (sorry Mr, I forgot your name). And a handful of other people where I didn't catch their names as the stupid techno music from the DJ sets was too loud. (I'm definitely not good at keeping names)

Anyway, I could ask Mr Stone a couple of questions about DVZ. The most unbelievable thing that the people were discussing about (even here at KVR) was "is it really only 8GB?". Unbelievable, but it is. He confirmed it, his partners did so too. I mean, let's be realistic. People can create highend sounding orchestra's with SF2s, Siedlaczek Classical Orchestra was only 3-5CDs in AKAI format (now 2DVDs due to a lot of "bonus stuff", same as with Miroslav Philharmonic AKAI (now also 2DVDs), Garritan Personal Orchestra is 3CDs, the first GIGAStudio samples were shipped with like 5CDs only, Kontakt 2's first Library DVD is VSL Opus 1 stripped, also 7GB extracted - I could go on like that.

What the people don't believe is the size for such an ammount of playmodes. But even here I can ask the question "do samplepacks really need to be in solo AND in ensemble in different sizes or frequency rates?" additional to that "does the controlable mic positions need to be surround?". Chris Stone said "funk that" to all that and was like "let's record one instrument, and let the system do the cloning". I wrote it a bit way up, if an electric guitar can be only 1GB big max, why can't an orchestra only be 8GB big with extensive playmodes?

But let's get back on topic. As people have already seen, the DVZ system clones and places the instruments in a room, making out of one violin twenty violins with ease. Much like the system Synful uses lately. This way you have total control over how your orchestra is built up (a placement tool is integrated) - in short you can create whatever the heck you want to!

The next thing that people didn't understand is "why the f*ck does it need extra PC rigs?". The answer is simple, yet not understandable to some. But let me explain. DVZ would, if it's running on normal PC's with ton of custom stuff included, crash due to the heavy CPU load for the placement/cloning and the massive ammount of transporting MIDI CC messages (up to 500-800 per BEAT!) - let me quote Mr Stone "the Frontside bus is just not powerful enough to handle all that". This way, DVZ won't be available as native version (yet), but as turnkey bundle. Yup, you heard right. DVZ's copy protection is the shipped hardware, which is specifically built for this purpose by the person who also setup Harry Gregson William's 6PC GIGA Studio Rig, and Hans Zimmer's PC network where he wrote all of "Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Crest" on it (nothing was recorded in a studio - all digital!). Fully integrateble as VSTi/AU/RTAS. This is it!

Now you'll surely say "OMG, this has to cost a fortune!". Hold your horses - the momentary version (regular edition, updates planned) will be 5 PC rigs including DVZ control software - and this all for only 10.000USD (that's 10grand!). This is the price what Mr Stone is aiming for (don't nail me for it, just quoting what he said). With this setup, you can run DVZ in REALTIME, the full orchestra maxed out. However the Audio Impresisons crew plans to sell the instrument in different flavours. One of them will be a 3 rig version, shipped just with strings and brass, but you can only play either of them realtime and have to bounce. But if you can live with that, you only shell out 6.000USD (that's 6grand). Touchscreen LCD controller extra.

Compared to VSL, fully loaded, it's still 15k cheaper (VSL complete is aimed around 25k), and only a fraction of what you need in terms of HDD space (300GB compared to 8GB?). If I had the money, I'd get it just because of the friggin strings! Seriously. I also askes Mr Stone if there'll maybe a "keyboard split" VSTi adapter thingy dingy for existing samples, but that won't happen till mid next year at least. DVZ is planned to be released in two months, July latest if it goes by Chris Stone.



On a sidenote:
I tried to have a little chat with Nick Phoenix about the new PLAY modules for EWQL samples, and maybe some questions about selling their stuff in Europe (aside from EWQL Platinum). However both Michael Post and Nick Phenix were totally stressed out it seems. Everytime I wanted to ask questions, they didn't have time. And as the booth was finally empty, Nick Phoenix was like "I need a break" and took off for the rest of the day (which was around 4:30pm, 1,5h before the fair closed). Nothing against the EWQL crew, but that sure was a bit unfriendy towards interested customers (and I really wanted to take a look at Stormdrum 2, Voices of Passion and that other new Ethnic thing as longtime EWQL sample user).

Can't be helped, but this is usually the only possibility where you can ask questions directly, as emails are barely getting answered (at least from overseas).



Anyway, this was my coverage for the fair, hope you enjoyed it.
Personally I also took a quick look into the guitar hall (no, there's NO new Helly Kitty Edition from Fender!), but else I focused on Hall 5.1 this time (including a longer visit at the SAE and Deutsche Pop Musicschool booths). Overall it was a bit dissapointing however. No Linplug, I didn't find the Samplitude booth (though Sasha Eversmeier was there), no Altiverb, didn't see the Live crew either. But the usual suspects like Korg, Motu, Steinberg, Terratec, etc. Then again, nothing really new compared to Winter and Summer NAMM. At least nothing that wasn't covered in magazines or KVR already.

It was funny however that 95% of the presentation system were all running on a macintosh, as if there doesn't anything else exist. And compared to the last 2 years, this time the fair was friggin crowded. Hell even school classes (kids with an age of 10 or so) roamed around, on "special customer only" days. And for this I got into the hassle to go at a day where there's barely anything going on. How mistaken I was... *sigh*

Then again it was nice to see that Urs Heckmann (creator of Zebra) had an own booth (greetings to the peeps over there, especially Thomas from Tasmodia.com, rsmus7 and who else hang out there, are "secret KVR members" and had to live with the boring Vienna Symphonic Library presentation every 3/4th hour). Very nice people indeed, and thank god I'm not the only strange person if I start talking about instruments and can't seem to stop. :lol:

Now back to the regular program.

cheers
Last edited by Compyfox on Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Armadillo
KVRAF
2081 posts since 31 Dec, 2002 from London, UK

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:52 pm

Very nice report Compyfox. :tu:
Great to finally get a good idea of what DVZ is about, although way out of my budget.
I'm certainly excited about RealStrat though. Sounds like a must have for us non-guitarists. :hyper:

User avatar
dalor
KVRAF
2489 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from Sydney, Australia

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:06 pm

Thanks Compyfox for the report, especially the RealStrat bit! :)
Cowbells!

Shy
KVRAF
5167 posts since 27 Jun, 2004

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:40 pm

Compyfox, really thanks for all the effort writing all this.
I'll just say one thing, Yamaha never ceases to amaze me. It's amazing how they continue to fail realizing that there is a huge demand for some of their old, and "old" hardware as well as software. They will never learn, it seems. I absolutely love some of the things this company has made, and I can only be very disappointed to see that because of people there who are apparently so very distanced and live in a bubble, things will never develop as they should.

Landphil
KVRian
901 posts since 1 Dec, 2003

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:49 pm

:tu:
Thanks, Compyfox. :)

Gucky
KVRAF
1907 posts since 26 Sep, 2004

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:03 pm

Hi Compyfox,
thanks for your impressions. :-)
>While Prominy needs 70GB for a handful of guitars...
A question: What is "Prominy"? I don't know it.

Fortune
KVRAF
1830 posts since 15 Aug, 2004 from soundland

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:15 pm

well, he forgot some major info which has been not so quite obvious if You did not have a closer investigation:
Antti (yep, Augur etc.) is now with SonicCore from Germany and he wrote the whole code from scratch for John Bowens forthcoming hardwaresynth Solaris
http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/search/ ... h%20Design

cheers
HG Fortune

Armadillo
KVRAF
2081 posts since 31 Dec, 2002 from London, UK

Post Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:45 pm

Gucky wrote:Hi Compyfox,
thanks for your impressions. :-)
>While Prominy needs 70GB for a handful of guitars...
A question: What is "Prominy"? I don't know it.
Didn't search on Google did you? :D
Prominy LPC - 60 GB, where there's a distorted and a clean guitar so in reality it's "only" 30 GB each.

http://www.prominy.com/les.htm

MaliceX
KVRAF
2893 posts since 26 Jul, 2005 from dun unda

Post Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:52 am

Wow. Thanks for recounting on your day in this. I'm quite disappointed Yamaha decided to make a turn to that. (Looks like the Japs are the answer after all...)

RealStrat, oooh. Clean playing of an actual electric guitar. I actually wondered why I haven't heard such thing. (Most samples or soundfonts existent are final output recordings.)

Compyfox
KVRAF
14401 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:12 am

Fortune wrote:Antti (yep, Augur etc.) is now with SonicCore from Germany and he wrote the whole code from scratch for John Bowens forthcoming hardwaresynth Solaris
To be honest HG, I ran over Hall 5.0 and 5.1 and I didn't see the Solaris (neither this Chess thingy shown on the page you linked - maybe in the Modular Section which was crowded!). This also wasn't my main interest. Like I said it's hard to cover everything with only 8 hours of visiting time, and more than usual overcrowded booths, sorry about that.

Unless you meant the Incram booth, but there was nothing much going on there and only this Moog Theremin-like touch synth.

MaliceX wrote:RealStrat, oooh. Clean playing of an actual electric guitar. I actually wondered why I haven't heard such thing. (Most samples or soundfonts existent are final output recordings.)
A couple of other solutions would have been:
- PettinHouse DirectGuitar
- Chris Hein Guitars
- Prominy LPC

But all three are bigger than Musiclab RealStrat and either need a sampler or are bundled with a Kontakt Player.
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knype
KVRist
54 posts since 23 Feb, 2007 from Texas

Post Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:20 pm

Thanks for the report.

Your treatment at the hands of EWQL comes as no surprise.

K-Slash
KVRAF
1623 posts since 10 Jul, 2006 from Paris, France

Post Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:35 pm

MusicLab RealStrat screenshot : http://fr.audiofanzine.com/news/index,i ... strat.html

By the way, Best Service is announcing Ethnoworld 4, Galaxy 2, Chris Hein Bass, Peter Siedlaczek Complete Classical Collection 2007, Peter Siedlaczek String Essentials 2007... all powered by Kontakt Player 2 !

I'd like to see some screenshots of these :D.

knype
KVRist
54 posts since 23 Feb, 2007 from Texas

Post Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:13 pm

Thanks for the link K-Slash.

I like what I saw. Roll on the end of April.

Compyfox
KVRAF
14401 posts since 19 Oct, 2003 from Berlin, Germany

Post Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:08 pm

K-Slash wrote:By the way, Best Service is announcing Ethnoworld 4, Galaxy 2, Chris Hein Bass, Peter Siedlaczek Complete Classical Collection 2007, Peter Siedlaczek String Essentials 2007... all powered by Kontakt Player 2 !
DUH! I should have asked what's up with the Project SAM/Siedlaczek display . I really hope the 2007 version is not another "updated" collection than I'm already using (but with more samples). This would piss me off indeed, as crossgrade prices sure aren't small.

NYA, damn...


To the RealStrat Screenhot:
To the far left, you see the KeySwitch Configuration window for RealStrat. According to Sergey, it is possible to switch between the modes "on the fly" now (foot pedal for example), this makes the usage of Toybox not a necissity anymore. The grey keys correspondent to the keyswitch zones. And as you can see for the configuration pannel, there're a lot (2x17, saveable as custom patches).
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ViktorW
KVRist
405 posts since 15 May, 2006

Post Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:29 am

Compyfox wrote: I tried to have a little chat with Nick Phoenix about the new PLAY modules for EWQL samples, and maybe some questions about selling their stuff in Europe (aside from EWQL Platinum). However both Michael Post and Nick Phenix were totally stressed out it seems. Everytime I wanted to ask questions, they didn't have time. And as the booth was finally empty, Nick Phoenix was like "I need a break" and took off for the rest of the day (which was around 4:30pm, 1,5h before the fair closed). Nothing against the EWQL crew, but that sure was a bit unfriendy towards interested customers (and I really wanted to take a look at Stormdrum 2, Voices of Passion and that other new Ethnic thing as longtime EWQL sample user).
Today, on the most hectic and annoying day of the Musikmesse, I spent half an hour talking to Nick Phoenix, asking him all the questions I could think of concerning the play engine and the new libraries. He was incredibly talkative and helpful and NICE! Just thought I'd mention that he probably really had a bad day when Compyfox was there. He let me play that amazing percussion controller, forgot the name, with Storm Drum 2, which I just LOVED! Also the Gypsy and the Ministry of Rock libraries sounded fantastic.

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