Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

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afta8
KVRist
30 posts since 13 Nov, 2017

Post Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:02 am

Just wondering what people's go-to sound generator is for MPE sounds and why?

John the Savage
KVRist
275 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:45 pm

Ha, I'm still looking. Most of the good ones are software based. Cypher 2 would be my go-to if it weren't trapped inside my computer, but I don't want a laptop onstage with me, so... And all the hardware options I've seen are either too big, too limited, or both. So, ya... Still waiting for the perfect solution to come along. A hybrid analog/digital synth like Novation's Peak, but no bigger than Blofeld, with a good number of knobs, a USB host port, and dedicated MPE modulation options would be a dream come true.

I think I just saw a Unicorn (smirk).

Anyway, until then, I've resigned myself to using Animoog and Model D on my iPad. They work. The sounds I'm getting are undeniably awesome. The iPad and the dongles and Apple's ever-changing protocols, however... Bleck!

I've been piecing together a small, duophonic modular system around an Expert Sleepers FH-2 module; but it's a slow-going (and pricy) endeavor that has yet to prove itself, so I hesitate to make any recommendations there.

Cheers!

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aMUSEd
KVRAF
30793 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:14 pm

John the Savage wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:45 pm
Ha, I'm still looking. Most of the good ones are software based. Cypher 2 would be my go-to if it weren't trapped inside my computer, but I don't want a laptop onstage with me, so... And all the hardware options I've seen are either too big, too limited, or both. So, ya... Still waiting for the perfect solution to come along. A hybrid analog/digital synth like Novation's Peak, but no bigger than Blofeld, with a good number of knobs, a USB host port, and dedicated MPE modulation options would be a dream come true.

https://www.audiothingies.com/product/micromonsta/

? Maybe lacking in knobs?

John the Savage
KVRist
275 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:15 pm

Thanks, aMUSEd!

Yes, indeed the MicroMonsta has been on my radar for a while now. I personally think it sounds great for a VA, and it is certainly capable of a wide range of sounds. However, it is missing some key features for me: i.e. a USB host port for starters, and I would prefer an analog amp/filter/drive circuit to compliment those digital oscillators and wavetables. It also lacks MIDI channel filtering, which means that (when it's in MPE mode) it listens to all 16 channels at once, and in the context of my larger setup, that poses a paradox. And last but not least, it would be nice (given that it's a fully digital synth) if it offered more modulation options that were specific to MPE control (like release velocity, variable modulation curves, etc.). The screen is also a tad small and dull, and the knobs could be a little more inviting too; I mean, they're pretty close together, and there's nothing distinguishing one from the other... I'm a touring musician, so the interface matters a lot in the context of live performance.

That said, I've nearly buckled and bought one a couple times already (grin).

Cheers!

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2473 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:02 am

Does the desert island have electrical power? I would most likely take my Macbook Air and the LinnStrument of course...

afta8
KVRist
30 posts since 13 Nov, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:23 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:02 am
Does the desert island have electrical power? I would most likely take my Macbook Air and the LinnStrument of course...
Of course, it just so happens some solar panels were left stranded with you :D

So what plugin would you be running on the Macbook?

Rimwolf
KVRist
54 posts since 15 Feb, 2012

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:57 am

My longtime favorite LS synth has been Bazille -- I've developed a few really choice expressive patches for it, and tend to play them all the time.

But I'm inclined to cast another vote for Cypher2. I haven't had it all that long, but I'm excited about its possibilities. At heart it's a virtual analog, which in itself isn't all that interesting to me, but has some extra tricks up its sleeve -- useful oscillator FM, waveform modulation, waveshaping, comb filters -- which make it a lot more versatile, and the modulation system (including definable curves for the MPE dimensions) is outstanding. It comes with hundreds of MPE presets, some of which are promising starting points for the kinds of sounds I like to make. I now spend almost all my making-new-patches time exploring it.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2473 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:07 am

afta8 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:23 am
Tj Shredder wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:02 am
Does the desert island have electrical power? I would most likely take my Macbook Air and the LinnStrument of course...
Of course, it just so happens some solar panels were left stranded with you :D

So what plugin would you be running on the Macbook?
All I have now. It does not eat more space anyway, I‘d rather get rid of all the other stuff. No Google on the island yeah...
Max/MSP if it could be only one, if it could be two add Bitwig, then Mainstage, Reaktor, Equator, Cypher 2, all Madrona Labs, Diva...
I‘d certainly would want to bring my Tibetan bowls and a frame drum, in case the sun doesn‘t shine and the windmill doesn‘t turn...

t-IB
KVRist
47 posts since 2 Jul, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:13 am

Oberheim Xpander is the best I've used so far in hardware. Had the Micromonsta, currently enjoying the modor NF1m but not to the point of overtaking the xpander. Very keen to try the parva one day...

Edit: the matrix 12 would be my all time desert island synth.

SteveElbows
KVRist
126 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:35 am

John the Savage wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:45 pm
Anyway, until then, I've resigned myself to using Animoog and Model D on my iPad. They work. The sounds I'm getting are undeniably awesome. The iPad and the dongles and Apple's ever-changing protocols, however... Bleck!
Have you tried Volt? Thats another ipad favourite of mine.
I've been piecing together a small, duophonic modular system around an Expert Sleepers FH-2 module; but it's a slow-going (and pricy) endeavor that has yet to prove itself, so I hesitate to make any recommendations there.
I've done similar, but am still experimenting with that setup. Mostly with wavetable oscillator modules so far, like the Waldorf NW1 and Dove Audio WTF. Cant decide whether to take this further or not, need more time.

After thinking more about the sort of sounds and playability I love, I'm now giving the Deckards Dream a try. Only got it yesterday so havent formed an opinion yet but I do love that CS-80-like sound.

afta8
KVRist
30 posts since 13 Nov, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:49 am

Is the Xpander MPE capable?

Looks like Cypher 2 is the front runner from most replies so far, I would have to agree with this. In my experience it is the best for just switching on and playing with minimal setting up for MPE. Although for some presets some adjustment is needed for the Y-Range on Linnstrument

Everything else just doesn't have the depth and range of bundled sounds so a fair bit of time will be needed to program sounds. Model D looks interesting though so will give that a try, I just hate synth programming on touch screens too fiddly for my fat fingers! It would be nice if there was a cross platform MPE synth where you could program patches on a desktop and then use the iPad as a playback/performance device.

John the Savage
KVRist
275 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:31 am

SteveElbows wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:35 am
John the Savage wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:45 pm
Anyway, until then, I've resigned myself to using Animoog and Model D on my iPad. They work. The sounds I'm getting are undeniably awesome. The iPad and the dongles and Apple's ever-changing protocols, however... Bleck!
Have you tried Volt? Thats another ipad favourite of mine.
I've been piecing together a small, duophonic modular system around an Expert Sleepers FH-2 module; but it's a slow-going (and pricy) endeavor that has yet to prove itself, so I hesitate to make any recommendations there.
I've done similar, but am still experimenting with that setup. Mostly with wavetable oscillator modules so far, like the Waldorf NW1 and Dove Audio WTF. Cant decide whether to take this further or not, need more time.

After thinking more about the sort of sounds and playability I love, I'm now giving the Deckards Dream a try. Only got it yesterday so havent formed an opinion yet but I do love that CS-80-like sound.
I have not tried Volt yet, and honestly, I probably won't. Not that I wouldn't, but I've got all the synths I need on the iPad already. Contrary to most iOS musicians, I only have about 25 apps total on my iPad, including FX and utilities; only 5 of which are actually synths. I like to keep a clean work space. I'm a big fan of the Eno/Lanois mantra of fewer tools, more creativity, and much concentration (wink).

Like you, I'm also using wavetable oscillators as the core of my modular: a pair of Erica Synths Graphic VCO's. They cover so much timbral ground that a filter is practically redundant. And I'm a big fan of paraphonic/legato articulations, so I'm mixing both voices through a single low-pass gate, which makes patching much quicker, and saves a ton of space and money too. It's like stuffing Animoog inside of a Sub 37, only with full MPE control over the wavetables (grin). I have to say, my design has shown much potential thus far, but I'm still several modules (and the better part of 2 grand) away from fully realizing my vision. In the end, it will all fit neatly into a single 88hp rack, and that will be my LinnStrument touring rig for the foreseeable future. That's the plan anyway (smirk)...

Cheers!

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
2473 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:55 am

afta8 wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:49 am
It would be nice if there was a cross platform MPE synth where you could program patches on a desktop and then use the iPad as a playback/performance device.
Synthmaster One does it...
The Wolfgang Palm synths might as well, I can‘t afford the desktops at the moment to test it...

If Roli would be smart, they would allow it for the Equator, but there is no sign so far to even hope that they become smart...
(They believe it would hurt sound pack sales, but I either program myself or buy sound packs...)

My Macbook Air 11“ is about the size of an iPad. The main reason why I would prefer it. My iPad mini is the perfect companion for the park though...

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c0nsilience
KVRist
91 posts since 17 Oct, 2005 from Edmond

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:24 am

UVI's Falcon and (now) Serum are both good. Not to digress completely, but I've been working on Steinberg to get HALion 6 properly MPE-compatible, as well as, Softube's newest synth Parallels. Rob Papen is working on it, which would be stellar as most of his plugins are top-notch.
Duality without regard to physicality

BobDog
KVRian
594 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Re: Whats your favorite/'desert island' MPE sound generator?

Post Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:11 am

Interesting that Papen is looking at MPE, do you know if they are updating all the synths?

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