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  • #91
    Even after all this, there are still some additional features of interest. Rapture is multitimbral in the sense that each element can be driven from its own MIDI channel. Click on the attachment to see the multitimbral dialog box - simple, eh?

    I'll admit that when I first saw this, I wasn't exactly impressed - it's not like Rapture is a workstation. But as I worked more with Rapture, I realized that each Element is its own little synthesizer/step sequencer. As one example of how you'd use multitimbral operation, you could set up some very complex loops for each element, load Rapture into Ableton Live, and use a controller to bring these complex loops in and out of a larger composition. There are so many control options within Rapture there are some definite advantages to setting up a multitimbral hardware controller to exploit them.
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    • #92
      One aspect we didn't really cover was the Step Generator "extras." It's possible to randomize, reset, invert, mirror, and reverse steps. This provides a quick way to generate complementary sounds with a second (or third, or fourth, or...) Element. You can also copy and paste steps, as well as snap steps to 10, 12, and 24 levels. Why 12 and 24? For doing pitched sequences, of course. What's more, you can enter the steps with a MIDI keyboard starting at C4 (notes lower than C4 move to the previous step). But there's no way to generate a rest; you need to enter those manually by dragging the step to zero.
      CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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      • #93
        I think Rapture is brilliant, but more on that under conclusions. Following is my wish list for version 2.0 (or 1.5 if Cakewalk sees fit!).

        * Higher contrast. I bumped up contrast and brightness on some of the screen shots because the image was just too dark otherwise. From an art standpoint I like the current color scheme; from a programming standpoint, it would help to be more legible.

        * The LFO doesn't seem to be able to sweep the full Amplitude range. If you use a waveform that goes from full on to full off, the Amplitude is not fully off when the waveform is at minimum. I've tried using the modulation option to scale it down, but then the peaks aren't as high, either. I suspect I might be missing something and Rene has the solution; but if not, this should be fixed.

        * When using a MIDI keyboard to enter steps in the Step Generator, I'd like to see a way to enter rests. How about moving pitch bend up full then hitting a note to create a rest?

        * Also with the Step Generator, I'd like to see grid lines every 4 or 8 lines (or both, with different colors). When you're using the Step Generator for complex rhythms, it would really help to see an overlay of that rhythm.

        * The Global Page FX aren't part of the modulation matrix, although they will do MIDI Learn. This isn't even close to being a dealbreaker, but I did say this was a wish list.

        * The X-Y pad is a cool controller, but it doesn't have a MIDI Learn mode, so you can't drive it from MIDI controllers. Logically this makes sense, as the X-Y pad is itself a controller; still, I'd like to see a way to control the X-Y pad without having to drag it with a mouse.

        * I'd already mentioned that I'd like to see the Envelope Generator nodes snap to rhythmic values, and have an EG grid that displayed those values.

        * Undo function.

        That's pretty much it.
        CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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        • #94
          I liked Rapture as soon as I started playing with it, but also found what I thought were limitations. It turned out there were provisions to deal with most of these, like where I started using LFO waveforms to “chop” sounds instead of the Step Generator. In many cases, the “limitations” were just a result of my not fully understanding the program.

          This is a construction set for those who like synchro-sonic effects. If you just want to do instruments and standard sounds, Dimension Pro would probably be a better choice. Rapture is incredibly fertile for sound design, dance music, experimental electronic music, hip-hop, and more. Although I’ve emphasized the pattern and sequencer-based possibilities, with six elements and a batch of waveforms, Rapture is also an extremely capable synthesizer – especially because you’re not locked in to either the oscillator or LFO waveforms that come with the program. I came up with a lot of programs based around Minimoog waveforms and custom LFO shapes (thanks, Wavelab!).

          This review has gone on for a long time, with a fair amount of time between some posts. There’s a reason for this other than leading a busy life . The more I played with Rapture, the more I developed a profound respect for just how much you can do with it. With most programs, you learn the big features – then as time goes on, you pick up on the details. Rapture keeps delivering big surprises. Just when I thought I’d figured everything out, Rapture would reveal another cool, major feature (like multitimbrality and pitch options for the Step Generator). Exploiting these features to the fullest extent took some serious exploration.

          And even though this review is winding down, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple months from now I bump it back with just one more cool feature…and then maybe another one…

          Now let me make one thing totally clear: Rapture is my kinda synth. It’s deep, it’s novel, it’s clever, it’s perfect for electronic music genres. If this was Keyboard magazine, I’d give it a Key Buy without a second thought. There’s nothing quite like Rapture, and for those who like to tweak, you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts.

          But I also recognize that’s not what everyone wants from a synth. If you want to load up a bunch of presets, fine…the presets are cool. There are even nifty drum kits, analog brass, you name it. But if that’s all you want, you can do better – starting with Dimension Pro. Where Rapture excels is in doing things other synthesizers can’t do. I have no idea how you’d market something like this, but hey, that’s not my problem.

          I suspect that the same type of people who love Ableton Live will flock to Rapture like flies to honey, as Rapture is the first synthesizer I’ve met that excels at creating multiple, self-contained loops. Rapture would also be an exceptional addition to Acid (now that its MIDI instrument implementation is up to the task), as well as Cakewalk’s own Project5. On the other hand, for those who use more “straightforward” programs like Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer, Sonar, and the like, Rapture instantly converts those otherwise “neutral” programs into dance beat monsters, with a side of synths.

          If all of this sounds good, you’ll definitely become a Rapture convert. No matter how much I’ve described here, it seems like there’s always more to discover. I think it's a superb musical instrument that is both brilliantly designed and executed.

          As always with a Pro Review, just because I’ve posted my conclusions doesn’t mean the review is over. Got questions? Suggestions? Something cool you want to post? Want me to post more of my custom LFO waveforms? Feel free to speak up.
          CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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          • #95
            How about loading up a whole tune in Rapture? Sound silly? If you did it you'd see what I mean. Apart from the obvious LFO madness you could inject into your master you can snag some killer phase effects that phase really deep. You could turn rapture into a DJ's dream machine. That is if you took the time to ferrit out all it can do.

            If Cakewalk were to add standalone to this puppy and maybe tweak it a tad it could grab the DJ market strong. I think of it as the most innovative effects machine "maskerading as a synth" around +)

            Don't get me wrong. I use Rapture AS A STRAIGHT UP SYNTH. And I agree wholeheartly with you synopsys that's it's a truly unique synth in and of itself.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Anderton I came up with a lot of programs based around Minimoog waveforms and custom LFO shapes (thanks, Wavelab!).


              There's a freebie VSTi that's very handy for
              generating waveforms to use in synths like Rapture.

              Sonic Assault Rndwave! 1.1
              16/24-bit Wave Shape Generator

              Click here to check it out

              Comment


              • #97
                I'd like to see a way to control the X-Y pad without having to drag it with a mouse.
                In the exposed VSTi or DXi parameters, there is both an X and a Y parameter available to external MIDI Remote Control. (Host-dependent, of course). I use these to bind MIDI messages from a physical X-Y pad (Novation) to that of the X-Y in Rapture. Works great: snap to center, return to 0,0, or no snap,. X-Y Acceleration (Desaccel) is also controllable.

                I haven't had the same difficulties with the outer ranges of user-defined LFOs. My waveforms are created in Sound Forge, and using them in Pitch modulators appear to nail targeted 'notes' directly. I'll check this again..
                the Amplitude is not fully off when the waveform is at minimum.
                I wonder if the 'hidden Amp EG' is playing into this.

                The UD-LFOs are a breeze to create, offer up bipolar control, and finer resolution than available to a Step Generator. So many unique approaches to choose from within Rapture. I haven't found a parameter yet that isn't externally controllable in some manner

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                • #98
                  Well I guess that's it for this review. I must say I've been using Rapture a lot, it's particularly wonderful in multi-timbral mode with Live because of its "loop-oriented" mentality. Great stuff!! I wish Rene would have commented on my wish list, but I guess I'll just wait to see what version 1.5 or 2.0 brings....
                  CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                  Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                  • #99
                    Hey Craig,

                    I'm sorry. I didn't see the wish list till now, when I received the notification message. Gosh where have I been...

                    First of all, thanks for the super in-depth review. Everyone who knows my knows that I've been a long-term follower of your work, and it's a fundamental motivational impulse to get an overall positive evaluation from such a guru as you are.

                    But now, as they say in the old MKII "Round one... Fight!"

                    /*
                    * Higher contrast. I bumped up contrast and brightness on some of the screen shots because the image was just too dark otherwise. From an art standpoint I like the current color scheme; from a programming standpoint, it would help to be more legible.
                    */

                    I have heard this before, but it looks to me like it's a CRT thing only, it's really defined and with great contrast on every LCD I tried. In any case, I have relayed the comment to bitplant (the graphic artists behind Rapture, Dimension Pro, PSYN, z3ta+, Reason, Arturia, etc.) for more in-depth analysis.


                    /*
                    * The LFO doesn't seem to be able to sweep the full Amplitude range. If you use a waveform that goes from full on to full off, the Amplitude is not fully off when the waveform is at minimum. I've tried using the modulation option to scale it down, but then the peaks aren't as high, either. I suspect I might be missing something and Rene has the solution; but if not, this should be fixed.
                    */

                    That is correct. The design concept was that the Volume LFO is centered, so when it moves you get a variation in dB which is symmetrical: if you set 6dB, you get 6dB of reinforcement, and 6 dB of attenuation.
                    The idea was to create a 'tremolo oriented' LFO instead of those sound-cutting devices like the one in z3ta+, provided that Rapture gives you the StepGens which do control amplitude, so you can cut the sound using those.

                    It would be still possible to have a full excursion LFO in dB if we'd add a "center" parameter for the LFO, so the sound designer could select if she wants the LFO centered or only in one direction, with all the middle stages. FR duly noted.

                    /*
                    * When using a MIDI keyboard to enter steps in the Step Generator, I'd like to see a way to enter rests. How about moving pitch bend up full then hitting a note to create a rest?
                    */

                    Well, the Step Generator is controlling the pitch, so there's just no easy way to get a silence by just controlling pitch. It might be sync'ed with the Amplitude StepGen to enter a zero step there, but then it'd require the user to have it turned on and with the same number of steps and depth. I see this would be cool but I'm worried about how users would understand it.


                    /*
                    * Also with the Step Generator, I'd like to see grid lines every 4 or 8 lines (or both, with different colors). When you're using the Step Generator for complex rhythms, it would really help to see an overlay of that rhythm.
                    */

                    I've heard this is already in for next version


                    /*
                    * The Global Page FX aren't part of the modulation matrix, although they will do MIDI Learn. This isn't even close to being a dealbreaker, but I did say this was a wish list.
                    */

                    Si. The mod matrix expansion with several things is in my own personal wish list, so expect it to improve in future releases.


                    /*
                    * The X-Y pad is a cool controller, but it doesn't have a MIDI Learn mode, so you can't drive it from MIDI controllers. Logically this makes sense, as the X-Y pad is itself a controller; still, I'd like to see a way to control the X-Y pad without having to drag it with a mouse.
                    */

                    Righto. z3ta+ introduced the X-Y pad MIDI Learn in a dot version, so it is very likely that Rapture will as well. BTW, you can use a PC joystick to control it


                    /*
                    * I'd already mentioned that I'd like to see the Envelope Generator nodes snap to rhythmic values, and have an EG grid that displayed those values.
                    */

                    Yes, this has been the #1 FR for DP and RP envelopes. We'll see what we can do...


                    /*
                    * Undo function.
                    */

                    This is by far the feature where all of us devs put less attention in plugins. The truth is, it's a mega work to implement this well, but sooner or later we'll do it. It's not top in the priority list, but it is in the list for sure.


                    Again, thanks a lot for the review, and thanks to everyone who participated.

                    Cheers,
                    -René

                    Comment


                    • <<I have heard this before, but it looks to me like it's a CRT thing only, it's really defined and with great contrast on every LCD I tried. In any case, I have relayed the comment to bitplant (the graphic artists behind Rapture, Dimension Pro, PSYN, z3ta+, Reason, Arturia, etc.) for more in-depth analysis.>>

                      Say hi to Mr. Merkle for me Actually I've tested Rapture ONLY on LCDs, three different ones actually.

                      <<The design concept was that the Volume LFO is centered, so when it moves you get a variation in dB which is symmetrical: if you set 6dB, you get 6dB of reinforcement, and 6 dB of attenuation.
                      The idea was to create a 'tremolo oriented' LFO instead of those sound-cutting devices like the one in z3ta+, provided that Rapture gives you the StepGens which do control amplitude, so you can cut the sound using those.

                      It would be still possible to have a full excursion LFO in dB if we'd add a "center" parameter for the LFO, so the sound designer could select if she wants the LFO centered or only in one direction, with all the middle stages. FR duly noted.>>

                      Okay, good, then I'm not going crazy and it IS the LFO! I know you can do the same sort of thing with the step generator, but I seem to get "cleaner" results with the LFO.

                      <<Well, the Step Generator is controlling the pitch, so there's just no easy way to get a silence by just controlling pitch. It might be sync'ed with the Amplitude StepGen to enter a zero step there, but then it'd require the user to have it turned on and with the same number of steps and depth. I see this would be cool but I'm worried about how users would understand it.>>

                      I didn't think about that. You can pull this one from the list!

                      <<I've heard [grid lines] is already in for next version>>

                      That's great!! It will also allow using all those 128 steps more easily.

                      <<[Undo] is by far the feature where all of us devs put less attention in plugins. The truth is, it's a mega work to implement this well, but sooner or later we'll do it. It's not top in the priority list, but it is in the list for sure.>>

                      Well, that explains why I don't see Undo very much in virtual instruments! In some ways not having undo is good, because it forces me to "Save As" a lot...sometimes I end up saving something that I end up using after all.

                      <<Again, thanks a lot for the review, and thanks to everyone who participated.>>

                      It's a great synth, thanks for making these kinds of tools available to fanatics such as myself!!! You're very welcome in this forum any time.
                      CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                      • It's been quiet for awhile, but with the 1.1 release hopefully I can jump start this for a minute to get a couple questions answered: I've been playing with Rapture quite a bit the past few days but I can't figure out how to do a couple typically obvious things. One is to modulate the DSP / various FX. The manual indicates the modulation matrix is for MIDI sources, and indeed that's all I see, but all the EGs, LFOs and step sequencers have hard coded destinations. If I just want to set up an LFO on the amount of tube saturation, how would I do that? Along the same lines, the mod matrix is where I would typically go to patch one LFO to another, but again, only MIDI sources. Are these things possible and I'm just not seeing it or was Rapture not designed to do this? I've looked all through the manual and all over the web and I haven't seen this mentioned as either something that's possible or not, seems like a kind of obvious topic so now I'm scratching my head. It's hurting me to have all those banks of modulators sitting there doing nothing in my 1-element patch.

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                        • This sounds really stupid, but how do you start this program. My girlfriend just bought it for her daughter, and we can't figure out how to get it up and running after installing it on a laptop with Windows XP. Can't find an .exe file or anything like that. From the start menu, we have a choice for Rapture Help, Release notes, and uninstall. Can somebody please help, we will be eternally grateful.

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                          • Rapture is a plugin, ie. it requires a compatible host in which to run. Track down a copy of Tobybear's MiniHost to start you off.

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                            • Herman Seib's SAVIhost is also a good one to use......

                              Wikipedia has some good info about VST plugins on this page.


                              Also on wikipedia is this generic page describing "plugins"...

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                              • You can run Rapture as a stand-alone instrument (you need the latest update, free to legit owners) by going Start > Programs > Cakewalk > Rapture > Rapture Microhost. Set up your MIDI and audio, and you're good to go.

                                Funny that this thread got dredged up...I'm putting the finishing touches on a Rapture expansion pack called "Minimoog Tribute" that I'm told will be released at NAMM.
                                CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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