Subtractive

Discussion about: tracktion.com
Watchful
KVRist
241 posts since 9 Jan, 2018

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:29 pm

Waveform 10 now includes a new plugin, Subtractive. There hasn't been a whole lot of substantive discussion about it, so I thought I'd at least describe it for folks still using W9, W8, or T7.

Subtractive is a four oscillator synth, with each oscillator featuring Triangle, Pulse, Saw, White Noise, Pink Noise, and Spinal Saw waveforms. You can't load samples or use sine waves, but I guess you can use Collective for those types sounds.

Subtractive is purely a subtractive synth: there's no FM, additive, or other types of synthesis in here, again remembering that Collective provides you FM and S+S synthesis. In addition to the four oscillators, you get four LFOs, with a dozen different waveforms, as well as multiple ways to assign or integrate them into your sounds.

And, like Collective, there are four envelopes, assignable, with up to 12 stages. You can punch in specific values, or use the graphic editor to stretch and pull your envelope to an exact shape. I really like this.

There are a pair of filters, like Collective, but with more options, settings, and things to screw around with. Given this is a subtractive synth, I think that makes sense...although the filter section is a bit busy in terms of its layout.

The bad?

Unfortunately, I was disappointed to see so much repetition with Collective's presets: there are a lot of sounds to try out and experiment with, but I was disappointed that so many are already in Collective. I hope Tracktion considers a content update, eliminating the duplicates with Collective (well, you can keep a few duplicates for the educational value if they provide alternative ways to synthesize the same sound) and having almost fully unique Subtractive sounds.

Also, there can be a delay of up to 4 seconds between dragging an instance of Subtractive to a track and being able to click on anything in its window. Given all it can do, that's probably a necessary evil, but keep that in mind.

Also, I did suffer two crashes with Subtractive: the first when clicking in its window--the fonts went corrupt (this was reported before by Stuttaton, and his picture here is basically what happened to me).
Image

And right as I clicked on this jazzed-up font screen, Waveform shut down hard.

Secondly, I went through another crash to desktop when opening Collective on a second track while Subtractive was open on the first.

So there might be some risks...

Overall, I'd have to say Subtractive, by itself, isn't nearly reason enough to upgrade to W10. However, the workflow improvements (ah, that Actions window!) and the ease of positioning windows and frames is a definite winner for W10.

Given a little more time, I think Subtractive can be as impressive as Collective is. Get some fresh content for it (rather than copies of Collective's presets), simplify the filter page layout, and keep an eye on its stability, and I think it would be a great partner to Collective.

Welp, those are my quick thoughts. I haven't dug deep (or really at all) into its raw synthesis capabilities like I have with Collective, but I don't see anything that will lead to me think Subtractive would be anything less than impressive.

User avatar
rhydermike
KVRist
52 posts since 4 Nov, 2016 from UK

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:33 am

I haven't nailed the problem down enough to file a bug report yet, but I've found that it sometimes cuts out like Collective used to when it was first released.

One question: does anyone know how to initialise a fresh patch on it? I've feeling that this must be stupidly simple if you know where to look.

It certainly looks like an interesting instrument.

User avatar
Stuttaton
KVRist
418 posts since 24 Jan, 2004 from Sweden

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:43 am

I think one of the best features of Subtractive is the unison function. You can select how many voices per voice you want and can adjust the detuning between these to taste. This is an easy way to add character to the factory patches and make them really lush. And it should make it easy to program really atmospheric patches from scratch.
Last edited by Stuttaton on Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cheve
KVRer
21 posts since 11 Dec, 2018

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:59 am

Important to note that Subtractive is not a vst. Is an internal plugin like multisampler or fmsynth... so not usable in other DAW.

zzz00m
KVRAF
2016 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:31 am

Cheve wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:59 am
Important to note that Subtractive is not a vst. Is an internal plugin like multisampler or fmsynth... so not usable in other DAW.
ummmm... wonder why that decision was made?

I understand why you may want tight DAW integration with a sampler, but for a synth? What advantage could there possibly be?
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

fde101
KVRist
157 posts since 16 Mar, 2017

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:05 am

zzz00m wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:31 am
I understand why you may want tight DAW integration with a sampler, but for a synth? What advantage could there possibly be?
It should help to reduce the amount of tech support that needs to be provided for getting it to work with a competitor's product? :help:

It also means that two major versions from now when W10 becomes the "free" version (assuming the pattern holds) Subtractive will likely still be included :party:

zzz00m
KVRAF
2016 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:09 am

fde101 wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:05 am
zzz00m wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:31 am
I understand why you may want tight DAW integration with a sampler, but for a synth? What advantage could there possibly be?
It should help to reduce the amount of tech support that needs to be provided for getting it to work with a competitor's product? :help:

It also means that two major versions from now when W10 becomes the "free" version (assuming the pattern holds) Subtractive will likely still be included :party:
That really brings up another good question. What happens to Collective when W8 goes free??? Will there be a version integrated for W8 use only???
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

User avatar
Stuttaton
KVRist
418 posts since 24 Jan, 2004 from Sweden

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:20 am

zzz00m wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:09 am
fde101 wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:05 am
zzz00m wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:31 am
I understand why you may want tight DAW integration with a sampler, but for a synth? What advantage could there possibly be?
It should help to reduce the amount of tech support that needs to be provided for getting it to work with a competitor's product? :help:

It also means that two major versions from now when W10 becomes the "free" version (assuming the pattern holds) Subtractive will likely still be included :party:
That really brings up another good question. What happens to Collective when W8 goes free??? Will there be a version integrated for W8 use only???
Isn't Collective already integrated?

zzz00m
KVRAF
2016 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:22 am

Stuttaton wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:20 am

Isn't Collective already integrated?
Collective is a plugin that can be used in any DAW. I also have a separate Collective installer available in my downloadable products.
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

TSC
Tracktioneer
523 posts since 31 Dec, 2012 from Seattle

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:29 pm

Hey guys - great commentary - here's some input from our side

We are working on a bunch of new presets which will be made available over the coming weeks - Taiho already has a good selection that's making its way into a release very soon

Regarding whether it will be a plugin - we are thinking about it. The goal of the synth was to satisfy the needs of our DAW users primarily - but having said that, we all like how it turned out and think it could have some commercial value outside the DAW too. Jury is out on the verdict right now
Tracktion Software Corporation

Watchful
KVRist
241 posts since 9 Jan, 2018

Re: Subtractive

Post Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:57 pm

Thanks, Woody! Great news.

Cheve
KVRer
21 posts since 11 Dec, 2018

Re: Subtractive

Post Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:00 am

I think Subtractive is a great addition to Waveform 10. Even the basic version (which now includes Collective, Subtractive, MultiSampler and one loop pack) is very powerful. Without forgetting that they also run great on Linux

Anyway it would be nice to have Subtractive as a vst. I am just an amateur and beginner in music production, but even so I usually use two DAW (Waveform and Reaper). Sometimes I start a song in one and finish it in the other, sometimes I like to have the same complete version in both. For this reason I try to use plugins that work in both DAW (Collective, BioTeck, DAW Essentials, ReaPlugs, etc) and avoid using those that are linked to a specific DAW (integrated effects, MultiSampler and now Subtractive).

zzz00m
KVRAF
2016 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

Re: Subtractive

Post Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:36 am

Cheve wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:00 am

Anyway it would be nice to have Subtractive as a vst. I am just an amateur and beginner in music production, but even so I usually use two DAW (Waveform and Reaper). Sometimes I start a song in one and finish it in the other, sometimes I like to have the same complete version in both. For this reason I try to use plugins that work in both DAW (Collective, BioTeck, DAW Essentials, ReaPlugs, etc) and avoid using those that are linked to a specific DAW (integrated effects, MultiSampler and now Subtractive).
Exactly what I was about to say! I will vote for the VST as well! :tu:

Not to detract from Waveform, which I think is awesome, but I also like to work with more than one DAW.

I have a couple other DAWs that "lock" their instruments, and I shy away from spending time to learn those bundled tools because they are not portable.

I really like Collective and Biotek 2. And it looks like Subtractive could easily become a go-to instrument for fast workflow in analog style sound design. So set if loose already! :D
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

ForrestH
KVRist
30 posts since 24 Jan, 2019

Re: Subtractive

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:13 am

Um...

Code: Select all

fileMac="/Library/Documentation/Tracktion/Subtractive/Subtractive Manual.pdf"
fileWin="C:\ProgramData\Tracktion\Subtractive\Documentation\Subtractive Manual.pdf"
fileLinux="~/Tracktion/Subtractive/Documentation/Subtractive Manual.pdf"
It'd certainly be nice to have, I look forward to finding out the purpose of envelopes 1-3...4 is amp, I guess one of the others is for the filter...

Wolfram Franke
KVRist
56 posts since 25 Dec, 2009 from Germany

Re: Subtractive

Post Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:27 am

ForrestH wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:13 am
Um...

Code: Select all

fileMac="/Library/Documentation/Tracktion/Subtractive/Subtractive Manual.pdf"
fileWin="C:\ProgramData\Tracktion\Subtractive\Documentation\Subtractive Manual.pdf"
fileLinux="~/Tracktion/Subtractive/Documentation/Subtractive Manual.pdf"
It'd certainly be nice to have, I look forward to finding out the purpose of envelopes 1-3...4 is amp, I guess one of the others is for the filter...
Hi Forrest,

nice find regarding the manual paths :wink:

The LFOs and the Envelopes are colour-coded and the respective destination depth controls have the same colour. However, since these colours might be a bit hard to differentiate (like LFO 3 and LFO 4), the destination depth controls also show the number, like "LFO 1" or "Env 2 Vel" in the Oscillators or "LFO 3 MW" or "Env 3" in the Filters.

Hope that helps.

Best wishes,

Wolfram

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