One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (schiing wins!)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
bjporter
KVRAF
2608 posts since 19 Dec, 2010 from North America

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:43 am

Submissions:
https://soundcloud.com/kvrosc/sets/one- ... -122-surge

Welcome to the One Synth Challenge #122! OSC is a friendly music competition where you can win cool prizes but most importantly, meet amazing musicians, and learn a lot about mixing, sound design, and more! :)

Want a chat room with other OSCers? Join our slack here


A powerful Subtractive hybrid synthesizer formerly by Vember Audio, now open sourced. It should work on Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are even a few contributions by Oscers z.prime, and rgvhdberg!
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Prizes:
(Would you like to be a sponsor / prize donor? Contact me via PM or go ahead and post your intended donation here! Get a cool mention on our donator wall of honor)


Special Note:
We are offering a secondary prize (on top of the normal prize): FXB Project, or JRR Shop (Uncle E)
Spotify: If you would like your winning track on spotify, please specify so as well, or you will be contacted by rghvdberg.



KV331 Audio : Bundle of Synthmaster One + Synthmaster 2.x!
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Wusik : 1 bundle of Wusik Station V9, Wusik 8008, Wusik SQ200 and Wusik P2000
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SoundGym : 6 Month Subscription. (SoundGym is a
"technological, personalized and gamified audio learning environment")
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Sonimus : Any one Plugin (This prize may be chosen no more than three times)
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JRR Sounds: Any 1 soundset (This is a secondary prize, you may pick it as well as your main prize)
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Synthmorph: Any 1 soundset
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Audio Thing : Outer Space (vintage tape echo plugin)
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NUSofting : 1 Copy of Modelonia v2 Synthesizer
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JRR Shop : UVI: Digital Synsations (vintage 90's synth sample library and player)
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Dmitry Sches : Tantra Multi-Effect + 3 Expansions
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Dmitry Sches : Diversion
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Touch The Universe Productions: LuSH-101 Cloud Layers soundset
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The FXB Project by alvfaria : 1 commercial sound bank as an extra prize on top of the regular first prize. See the main site here
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Guda Audio : Euterpe XL
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Abstract Cats Music : AbiTron Bank for Synthmaster
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satYatunes : One of any commercial product
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Xenos Soundworks : Choice of any 1 product
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Ghostwave Audio : Any two soundsets of Choice
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Twolegs Toneworks : Any one soundset
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The Unfinished : Any two soundsets of Choice
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Rob Lee Music : A soundset for either: Sylenth1, Predator, Largo, Blofeld, PPGV3 or Dune. Unfortunately his main site is down, but if you still want these, let us know!
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Luftrum : One soundset free of choice.
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Kreativ Sound: RAW Bundle
(RAW Bass, RAW Drums, RAW TranSID, RAW Textures)
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Aiyn Zahev Sounds: Any 2 Soundsets of choice from the website (Uplifting Trance Presets)
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Studio 13.37: Pro audio studio on a USB stick
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Pooya Payvar (Stonail) : 1 custom made Max for [Ableton] Live: controller, midi or audio effect
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Mulperi : 1 Soundbank of Choice
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Dream Audio Tools : 1 Indie Fingers bundle (Indie Fingers volumes One and Two)
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Bjulin : Inspire soundset for Zebra²
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LeapIntoTheVoid : Enchantment Of Absynth Trilogy
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Bluff Munkey - 2 soundsets of choice
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Solidtrax : 1 Soundset of choice
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Any other offers of prizes will be greatly appreciated. :hail: :hail: :hail:


Questions? Comments? Concerns? You want some love? Just post here in this thread :)


Want to try out your skills in other contests / competitions /challenges?
  • DiHalt Demoscene competitions
  • Indaba - Has a mix of popular and indie artists with various contests like remixing and song writing. Some people from OSC have had success here.
  • Mix Challenge - Who can mix a song the best (Without adding extra recordings /musical additions)? Each person starts out with the same stems.
  • Mix Challenge: Song Writing Competition - A thematic monthly competition. Use recording, real instruments, synths and samples.
  • Skio Music Contests - Lots of remixes you can join (Mostly EDM) - big prizes.
  • Soundevotion (SDCOMPO) Competition - Even longer running than the OSC, the SDCOMPO is even more niche in that you must use a tracker, and set of specific effects. Great community.
Last edited by bjporter on Thu May 16, 2019 10:21 am, edited 13 times in total.

User avatar
schiing
KVRist
299 posts since 27 Oct, 2015

Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:59 am

Hey, this is very cool!

I've been working with Surge for the last couple of months and I love it.

It's been very stable for me, except for one issue: I'm getting some big sound explosions / dropouts that don't sound very healthy - especially with a lot of tracks. I think the developers are working on it. I don't know if it can blow your speakers or anything, but the first thing I do on every project is to put a limiter on the master, so I have control over the output. I recommend you do it, too!

I have a pet theory that it's connected to the release times of the amp envelope, because a short release is the only thing that directly removes the problem for me, but I have no idea, really...

Have fun!

User avatar
Guenon
KVRAF
1601 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:32 am

Yeah, I would advise caution as well. [Edit: see the discussion below, the fresh nightly build works wonders!] It's not quite ready for stress free operation in many hosts just yet :) ... [Edit: except... yep, see below etc, I'm just leaving the rest of this post as is for historical consistency, haha.] Live and Logic are some of the affected ones.

Z.prime kindly forwarded my description of the error from the last OSC thread to the project's issue tracker; this was the first time I used Surge, and I got exactly those overloading nasties you describe there, schiing. Had to reload many, many times -- and also remember to save your patches when you have changed something, that way you can just reload a failed Surge instance and the patch, instead of reloading the whole project and hoping every single instance loads okay. A successful complete load like that didn't happen at all in Live 10 for me after the project got fully going :P

I peeked at the issue tracker recently myself, and it seems this might be related to multiple possible error states that can arise, but I think the most important one is initializing the plugin without explicitly setting a sample rate in the instance (at least that's what I gathered from how it's described by the devs). This refers to the internal workings of the plugin and how it interacts with a given host, and isn't something the user can solve through the plugin interface. It's being looked into at present, and currently this means Surge instances can fail when loading your project in some hosts, making some copies of it play those loud popping noises in Live 10 for example, instead of containing(?)/sounding the patches they were supposed to.

So... protect your ears and your speakers (with a limiter and keeping the levels relatively quiet) and your nerves (by keeping current saves of individual patches up to date) :D. With some luck, you won't see these issues, and with some MORE luck this might even be fixed before this OSC round is over.

But yeah, imo the optimal way to go about it would be to wait until this is fixed, Surge is a great great synth and at the moment this makes it somewhat unfairly cumbersome to use for some. That being said, the OSC has seen some extremely challenging synths in the usability department before, anyway, so I don't think this poses that much difficulty. Would just be nice if it worked as intended, hah.

If I enter this round, I might go with Reaper this time, as I wasn't able to make Surge fail there in the same manner :) ...
Last edited by Guenon on Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

baconpaul
KVRist
78 posts since 25 Dec, 2018

Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:48 am

schiing wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:59 am
Hey, this is very cool!

I've been working with Surge for the last couple of months and I love it.

It's been very stable for me, except for one issue: I'm getting some big sound explosions / dropouts that don't sound very healthy - especially with a lot of tracks. I think the developers are working on it. I don't know if it can blow your speakers or anything, but the first thing I do on every project is to put a limiter on the master, so I have control over the output. I recommend you do it, too!

I have a pet theory that it's connected to the release times of the amp envelope, because a short release is the only thing that directly removes the problem for me, but I have no idea, really...

Have fun!
I found and fixed this today. (Seriously. Not April fools). If you grab the nightly as opposed to beta 7 it shouldn’t happen.

The problem I fixed - but which I think is the one you see - was a bit different; one of the filters wasn’t properly initialized so read random memory. It would then eventually go unstable and send a massive signal down the pipe and then remain basically broken.

We’ll cut beta 8 soon enough but if you are cursed by this the nightlies are your friend. Also the nightlies contain a few other fixes since beta 7, mostly involving MPE but also one memory leak gone.

User avatar
schiing
KVRist
299 posts since 27 Oct, 2015

Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:58 am

baconpaul wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:48 am
I found and fixed this today. (Seriously. Not April fools). If you grab the nightly as opposed to beta 7 it shouldn’t happen.

The problem I fixed - but which I think is the one you see - was a bit different; one of the filters wasn’t properly initialized so read random memory. It would then eventually go unstable and send a massive signal down the pipe and then remain basically broken.

We’ll cut beta 8 soon enough but if you are cursed by this the nightlies are your friend. Also the nightlies contain a few other fixes since beta 7, mostly involving MPE but also one memory leak gone.
Wonderful news! You're a (bacon) angel (the best kind!) Thanks so much. Probably a silly question, but I thought I'd ask, just in case:

Is there a chance installing the latest build will affect sounds and presets in my ongoing projects? I usually like to finish my current work before I start messing with the dll's, but it would be great to get rid of those bursts.

User avatar
Guenon
KVRAF
1601 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:59 am

baconpaul wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:48 am
I found and fixed this today. (Seriously. Not April fools). If you grab the nightly as opposed to beta 7 it shouldn’t happen.
! :D

Thank you very much, for this particular fix and also for working so actively on this synth.

functionform
KVRist
352 posts since 13 May, 2017 from Virginia

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:13 pm

I could trigger the loud popping issue when I duplicate tracks on Reaper with a Surge instance and start using the new instance. Surge would send to only a left or right channel and basically pop. Restarting Reaper would magically fix the issue.

Feature request: please save Zoom level. When I restart Reaper my Surges are all tiny again.

User avatar
z.prime
KVRAF
1726 posts since 29 Sep, 2011

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:24 pm

@functionform -- use 'default first zoom' in the menu
Last edited by z.prime on Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
z.prime
KVRAF
1726 posts since 29 Sep, 2011

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:26 pm

I've been involved getting Surge running on Mac and some other aspects of the project, so I'll try to help where I can.

@baconpaul is the mastermind who's done the majority of fixes/work (especially zoom -- so thank him loudly)

also from @baconpaul, on slack:

basics on surge:
1/ Opensourced last september
2/ First version had loads of bugs and only built win64
3/ Group of us been fixing up bugs and adding thigns since nov or so
4/ Now works pretty well on Mac, Win and Lin all
Known problems include
1/ If you set zoom, quit DAW, and restart DAW it forgets zoom. You can set a “default first zoom” in the menu
2/ There’s a big “click and pop” in beta 7. I just fixed that today and we are building a nightly
3/ Lots of small bugs with things like midi program change
4/ If you open your own wave tables and you haven’t made them .wt files it will probably crash (win) and not work (mac/lin)
There’s another 119 github issues though so lots of other problems
the website surge-synthesizer.github.io/ contains beta 7 (and soon beta 8); but also has nightlies which (once we have them working again in an hour or so) are the latest greatest build.
Finally: Big thanks to kurasu / Claes of bitwig for chosing to make Surge GPL3 rather than just letting it rot. Nice synth and fun project!

User avatar
z.prime
KVRAF
1726 posts since 29 Sep, 2011

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:26 pm

oops, dupe

User avatar
Guenon
KVRAF
1601 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:17 pm

z.prime wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:26 pm
surge-synthesizer.github.io/ contains beta 7 (and soon beta 8)
The shades emoji never fails to amuse when it pops up in contexts like this :lol:

I grabbed the 2019-04-01 nightly, fingers crossed :tu:

User avatar
Guenon
KVRAF
1601 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:23 pm

functionform wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:13 pm
Surge would send to only a left or right channel and basically pop. Restarting Reaper would magically fix the issue.
Hey yeah, that's a good point (the overloading not being symmetric, and instead always spiking in the left or right channel much more than the other). It was exactly like that in Live for me, I forgot to mention that detail previously. Interesting that it's doing this in Reaper there, I wasn't able to reproduce it in that one.

Anyway, here's to hoping these pops are just history in a moment :D

baconpaul
KVRist
78 posts since 25 Dec, 2018

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:05 pm

Guenon wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:23 pm
functionform wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:13 pm
Surge would send to only a left or right channel and basically pop. Restarting Reaper would magically fix the issue.
Hey yeah, that's a good point (the overloading not being symmetric, and instead always spiking in the left or right channel much more than the other). It was exactly like that in Live for me, I forgot to mention that detail previously. Interesting that it's doing this in Reaper there, I wasn't able to reproduce it in that one.

Anyway, here's to hoping these pops are just history in a moment :D
The problem was that the filter history and coefficient were set to random memory and usually that random memory was high frequency and small enough to get damped by the filter. But if you got unlucky one channel got a value which sent the filter off the deep end. Hence an asymmetric non predictable one side pop. I was able to trap it in the headless mode and once I fixed it I ran 20,000 surges with random patches playing a c major scale and got no pop. So I’m pretty confident... but really welcome reports!

baconpaul
KVRist
78 posts since 25 Dec, 2018

Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:06 pm

schiing wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:58 am

Is there a chance installing the latest build will affect sounds and presets in my ongoing projects? I usually like to finish my current work before I start messing with the dll's, but it would be great to get rid of those bursts.
No. With all the 1.6 we are keeping patch streaming compatibility. So unless I blew something up it should just work. I tested exactly the scenario you mention and got identical sounds (except no random pops).

User avatar
Guenon
KVRAF
1601 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #122: Surge (Win/Mac/Linux friendly!)

Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:10 pm

Haven't been able to get the nightly build popping yet! Whoo!

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