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  • #31
    Craig, I love these interactive pro-reviews, and am delighted you're looking at Rapture.

    I hope you'll devote some space to comparing what it can do with other somewhat similar soft-synths besides Dimension, which never particularly interested me... Can you address what are other similar soft-synths from other makers? Off the bat, it seems like Motu's MX4 is comparable, since it's a wavetabler and has some serious mod options. It's the modulation options that really set Rapture apart, right? At least, that's what's got me most interested So ARE there any other soft synths/romplers/samplers with modulation capabilities that put them in the running with Rapture?

    I guess there's no point in saying "Keep up the good work!" since you so obviously have been doing just that for decades now...so, thanks!

    David

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    • #32
      Hey, why no Rapture posts?

      Well, I've been getting ready for the Frankfurt Messe. But part of that was installing Rapture on my new LiveBook, along with some of my samples. Hopefully I'll have easy net access over in Europe, but if all else fails, at least I can prepare the sound examples, screen shots, etc. and upload them as soon as I get a chance.

      Thanks for your patience, there's LOTS more to come!
      CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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      • #33
        craig,

        thanks for the detailed review of rapture. i would really like to see cakewalk put out a demo version that could be tried out before plunking down my cash. i and others have raised this issue on another board. i don't know if you have the ear of cakewalk...but if you do, maybe you could pass this along. i would think they would be doing this anyway in an attempt to keep people from "trying it out" via p2p....but maybe there is another reason why there is no demo?

        thanks

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Anderton

          Rapture, on the other hand, is a wavetable-based synthesizer – no French horns, no violins. In fact I’m pretty sure the wavetables are single cycle. (Okay Ensoniq ESQ-1 owners, you can stop being depressed that yours quit working several years ago!) The Big Deal here is the variety of step sequencing and tempo-related options that can add incredible motion to the patch…which we’ll explore during the course of the review.


          I have been playing around with Rapture for a few hours. I was expecting, but haven't found anything "wavetableish"," ala Microwave or Prophet VS wavetables, about it. I wish we had a single definition for "wavetable." There is a lot of modulation fun for all, especially with the up to 128 step sequencer, but nothing like wavetable sweeps, or other typical wavetable fun. The included audio samples are all single-cycle. I keep wanting to combine them sequentially in a wav file, but I don't know of any way Rapture could use something like that. Unless I am missing something of course. There is a reference to sample offset, but That doesn't look like what I want either.

          BTW, It is a lot of fun playing with the step sequencers. There could be more documentation.
          My Music is on my Site
          _________________________________

          Opteron 175 with 2 G RAM, PATA Seagate Drives
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          Nord 3, PER, Voyager, G2, JP6, V-Synth, XOXBOX (soon), M3000, Eclipse, more

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          • #35
            <<I was expecting, but haven't found anything "wavetableish"," ala Microwave or Prophet VS wavetables, about it. I wish we had a single definition for "wavetable.">>

            Very good point. Strictly speaking a wavetable-based synth uses very short waveforms as the basis of the sound. The type of thing you're talking about is a more complex iteration of wavetable-based synthesis.

            With six elements, though, it shouldn't be too hard to do sweeping-type things. Let me see what I can cook up Seems the "joystick" modulator might also do what you want.
            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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            • #36
              I was working quite a bit with Rapture back at my hotel room while staying in Frankfurt for the Messe, and in addition to the cool stuff I'll cover soon, I did want to point out two limitations:

              1. I can't find an undo option, so I end up "saving as..." a lot under different names.
              2. When you're using multisamples, the voice multiplying/spreading option where you can get 3, 5, 7, or 9 voices out of a single sample doesn't work. It works only if you've loaded a single sample, although it doesn't have to be a really short sample.

              One very cool feature is the LFO, and the fact that you can add your own waveforms. I use the LFO a lot to create staccato lines with pulse or sawtooth LFO waves that sync to tempo.
              CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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              • #37
                If I remember, the .sfz format allows unlimited (meaning 128 I assume) velocity switching levels. I wondered about inserting different waveforms for each velocity, and then using velocity switching them in Sonar based on the velocity I programmed. It would be very weird when playing, but could be precisely controlled in the sequencer. One wave per note-on, but with legato (or not), you could simulate some traditional wavetable stuff, in a kind of crude way. Maybe?

                Boy, it is real easy to insert your own waveforms in this program.
                My Music is on my Site
                _________________________________

                Opteron 175 with 2 G RAM, PATA Seagate Drives
                Sonar 5 - Sound Forge 8, UAD-1 - Echo Layla 24
                Nord 3, PER, Voyager, G2, JP6, V-Synth, XOXBOX (soon), M3000, Eclipse, more

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                • #38
                  Actually there are a ton of ways to get wavetable variations, it depends on whether you want these changes to be automatic, tempo-synched, or manual.

                  For example, one cool way is to tie step sequencers to amplitude for different elements so you can bring waveforms in and out at different times. I plan to try this later and hopefully can post an audio example.

                  You can also use the mod wheel or X-Y controller to morph between waveforms...
                  CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                  • #39
                    First, apologies for taking so long to get back to this…it’s taken a bit longer to debrief from the Musik Messe than I expected. Anyway, I’m back and Rapturing away.

                    As I was intrigued by the question about wave sequencing, I did indeed fire up Rapture to see what it could do. It turns out that it’s very easy to string together wave sequences, or at least, seuqence up to six waves. This experiment is also a good introduction to the flexibility of the step sequencer options.

                    Here’s what I did. Click on the attachment to see a screen shot of one Element’s parameter settings. The basic idea is to load a different wave into each Element (I used four Elements), then assign the step sequencer for each Element to Amplitude. Then, you can turn the amp sections for the different Elements on and off sequentially by altering the step sequencer sliders. I used four of the FM waveforms because I didn’t want the sounds to be too different, but I later found that morphing between really different waveforms produced some useful sounds too.

                    In this patch, each step sequencer is set to 16 steps. For Element 1, the first four sliders are up all the way, and the rest are down. For Element 2, sliders 5-8 are up all the way and the rest are down. For Element 3, sliders 9-12 are up all the way, and for Element 4, sliders 13-16 are up.

                    So you can picture what happens: As you hold down a note, first you hear the wave from Element 1, then the wave from Element 2, and so on for the four elements. To avoid an overly abrupt “switching” effect as the waves change from one to another, note on the screen shot that the Smooth control for each step sequencer is set to maximum (1000). This lets the waves “morph” into each other. Also note I set the sync to 8, so each wave plays for two beats. This seems like a good value for pads.

                    My next question was whether I’d be able to add an envelope to the overall sound, as I figured the step sequencer would take priority. I hoped there was an envelope option on the Global Effects page; no luck. However, I needn’t have worried. I set up a simple EG for each Element’s Amplitude parameter with a short decay, sustain, and release, and this was “superimposed” on whatever the step sequencer was doing. Cool.

                    For the final touch, I went to the Global page and added two effects: Chorus followed by Large Hall. I gotta say, considering that I put the sound together in under five minutes, it’s an evolving, lush pad that I like a lot…and shows that yes, Rapture does indeed to wave sequencing.
                    CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                    • #40
                      ...and then I thought hey, why not post an audio example? Click on the attachment to hear the wave sequenced sound. It's not very long, but it will give you an idea of what I mean by an evolving sound, where the waves morph into each other.
                      CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                      • #41
                        I should also add that a Group Edit option would be really welcome here. When you're treating each Element as really one big Element, if you make changes in one you probably want to make changes in the others as well. It was really helpful to be able to copy envelopes among Elements, but when I made changes to the step sequencer, I had to make those changes to each one as copying would also copy the slider positions -- which I didn't want to do.

                        Speaking of which, there are up to 128 possible steps in the step sequencer, so you could create some really interesting amplitude variations for the various waveforms being used in the Elements. My sequential switching thing, while useful, just scratches the surface -- the waves could morph polyrhythmically, for example.

                        It just occurred to me that review-wise, I've gravitated toward programming cool sounds and getting into applications rather than describing features and offering opinions on them. So next, I'll step back a bit and give an overview of Rapture's capabilities.
                        CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                        • #42
                          IRT my earlier post regarding a demo, i have been asking on my own and have it from a cakewalk rep that a demo for rapture will be available within the next few weeks.

                          ...ask and you shall receive!!!

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                          • #43
                            So, can someone sum up the advantages or major differences between Z3+A and rapture?

                            I dont know much about either.. but I do know they are both wavetable based. So Im really curious what the differences between the two are!

                            thanks!
                            "If I could ever, truly define the moment where my life went astray,
                            it would be the time my mom let me wear my bathing suit as underwear."

                            I'm not durnk, I have dyslexia !


                            http://www.metro-sonus.com

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                            • #44
                              One of the important point to remember about Rapture is that every Element (there are six of them) has the same basic structure. For example, each one has a DSP section, and that’s what we’ll investigate now. Click on the attachment to see the modules that make up the DSP section.

                              There are five DSP “modules”: Two filters with resonance, Bit Reduction (in case you miss the sound of your Mirage!), Decimator (lowers sample rate), and Drive (distortion).

                              We’ll get into those in the next post, but one of the interesting features is the ability to route these modules into one of four configurations (as well as bypass). These are:

                              * Decimation/Bit Reduction > Filter 1 > Drive > Filter 2
                              * Filter 1 > Decimation/Bit Reduction > Drive > Filter 2
                              * Filter 1 > Drive > Filter 2 > Decimation/Bit Reduction
                              * Filter 1 > Decimation/Bit Reduction > Filter 2 > Drive


                              Why is this useful? Well, every guitar player knows why sometimes you put the wa-wa before distortion and sometimes after, and it’s possible to get the same type of effect with Rapture. For example, if you throw Filter 2 in front of Drive, you get a nasty, hard sync type of sound. Put Filter 2 after Drive, and you can tame the Drive’s harmonic response.

                              Following Decimation/Bit Reduction with Filter 1 allows filtering the Decimation/Bit Reduction sound, but reversing the order produces strange, unpredictable noises, especially with lots of filter resonance. Any Drive, Decimation, or Bit Reduction effects become even more pronounced with chords instead of single note lines.
                              CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                              • #45
                                The filters are definitely a strong point, especially because you have two of them with resonance and multiple response options. Click on the attachment to see the filter section responses.

                                As you can see toward the left portion of the screen shot, if you adjust the filter frequency knob, you get a readout of the frequency – nice. Toward, the right, the filter response is being selected for Filter 2. The 1-pole options are highpass, lowpass, bandpass, band reject (notch), and all pass. The bandpass and band reject filters are made up of 1 pole highpass and lowpass filters in series, which if you spent any time with old modular Moogs, should bring back some memories: Creating a bandpass response required “coupling” high and lowpass filters. All pass isn’t very spectacular but the manual says you can use it to “phase align samples between different Elements.

                                2-pole options are highpass, lowpass, bandpass, band reject, and “peak.” This is similar to bandpass, but boosts the resonant frequency by 6dB and brings up the skirts a bit. There are also 4-pole and 6-pole lowpass and highpass responses. You don’t run into a 6-pole filter response very often, but it’s excellent for making very dramatic filtering sweeps.

                                The Comb filter introduces multiple notches, whereas Pink simply tailors the response via lowpass filtering to create the type of response associated with Pink noise. With Pink selected, the controls are disabled as the characteristics are not adjustable.
                                CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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