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  • Question for all Manufacturer Representatives

    In the past synths, sequencers, drum machines, excreta were all separate devices. The advantage was you only pay for what you want to use, but the disadvantage was getting everything together was a clunky multi-device solution.

    Enter work stations. They combine everything into a single device, but the disadvantage is you have to pay for everything whether you use it or not.

    What if a manufacturer released a board that had everything possible from a sound/midi/electronics standpoint. BUT

  • #2
    I've long proposed they just need to either make modules or keyboards that you can slap cards into and then use them either stand alone or via USB as a VST.

    You kinda get that with the integra, but not really. I'd envision building a card with it's own DSP so you don't bog down the CPU. The host device would just mix the cards, provide sequencing ect. So you get a roland fantom with a jp8000, D50 etc slot. What's not to like?
    Give me my moog, but **** off you american techno rockstar! people in countries I've never been to do it better than you!

    Computer Music Guide


    • #3

      Quote Originally Posted by RetroVintageOld
      View Post

      - Someone could find a way to


      • #4
        i've often thought about a sort of 'digital modular workstation' concept like this. i think having a keybed/power supply/standardized signal distribution is the first step. whichever manufacturer decides to produce that will also have to introduce at least 3 or 4 physical 'modules' to get the product line going. think 'modular synth' but with normalizations made under the hood, via very large ribbon cables. large modules with separate displays and pertinent controls per module. it would be glaringly expensive for anyone but the big names to embark on, and knowing them they would probably want to keep the format proprietary.

        i think producing a device with much more potential than is 'unlocked' out of the box would be a no - go - unless it's just sort of a generic synth UI + keyboard running DSP, for which you could purchase and download new instruments that automatically map to the generic UI. that i think would be pretty cool. but that's essentially where the iPad is headed, so there would be a lot of crossover.



        • #5
          The hard part would be, how to make it expandable, without making it hackable. Might as well just release software.


          • #6
            I'd like to see a 2-manual MIDI controller. Bottom weighted (either 73/76/88) and top 61-note waterfall with drawbars, pitch/mod wheels or xy stick, lots of knobbage for adjusting soft synths, a ribbon controller, poly aftertouch, A place above the top board to plug in an iPad (or touch screen) to control and assign whatever sound to whichever manual ala MainStage/Forte/Cantible and store these as the Kronos does the Set List feature. Obviously, I'd also wish for a stable computer inside that would run ALL my favorite plug-ins and VSTi's (and my DAW). And make it light, roadworthy, & classy.

            I think the Receptor and the Open Labs were/are onto something - just going in different directions or they haven't come far enough yet.

            Okay, one can hope, right?
            Korg Kronos 88 :: Korg M3-73 Xpanded (w/Radias board) :: Yamaha MOXF6 :: SpaceStation V3 :: Behringer B212A Powered Speaker :: Akai EWI USB :: Variax Guitar :: PODx3 Live! :: Martin Acoustic Guitar :: Mandolin :: Steinberg Cubase 7.5 :: Omnisphere :: Trilian :: V-Collection :: Korg Legacy Collection :: SampleTank 3 :: Sonik Synth 2 :: Ravenscroft 275 Piano :: Komplete 9 Ultimate :: VB3 :: Just Way Too Many VST's


            • #7
              K; glaring oversights:

              Centuries ago, a synth clinician by the name of Don Muro IIRC pointed out that programmed vibrato fell short of convincing. Well it still sucks. All your super duper natural phenomenon modeling replications suffer from triangle or that other wave - itis. How hard can it be to do anything about it? 265 bit vibrato algorithms? And shudder, manual vibrato as well? ???

              And continuing on control, duplicate bender/control wheels on the BOTH sides of the keys. Why?

              Don't bass lines deserve some tweaking?

              And then the sounds. Reedy, cheesy, one dimensional. Dun matter what, brass, winds, strings, synthetic, individually or in sections, most tend to sound like some kind of accordion. All this and more for your - "starting at 1K".

              And then maybe some of the proposed packaging^^^ 'll have meaning.
              Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...

              Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...


              • #8
                i don't follow...



                • #9
                  Who me? Set translate to plane inglische.
                  Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...

                  Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...


                  • #10
                    my take would be for something totally modular with a kronos or oasys on top but also able to run 3rd party plug-ins like receptor.

                    so the computer hardware could come with different atom or i5/i7 x86/64 processors, ram, etc. then you can kit it out third party for more ram, ssd/hdd, etc or add the upgrades from the factory. advantage is to play live

                    you could either use a $299 10" touch screen from them or optionally an ipad, surface, android, etc also optionally plug in another monitor or two over vga, dvi, mini display or hdmi.

                    then offer flagship quality 61, 73 or 88 key controllers so people can use them with their existing daw over usb. so instead of having flagship workstations and cheap midi controllers it would be the same keyboard.

                    have the option to buy the keyboard without the computer and add it later as a user installable upgrade. like put it in a box that goes inside the keyboard and connects relatively easily inside.

                    or buy the computer without the keyboard like a receptor rack. integrates with your daw like a virus ti.

                    the OS would be proprietary like korgs linux build in oasys. then instead of having all 9 or so engines only buy the ones you want and mix and match with other plug-ins. for example i'm only interested in mod-7, so sell that separately for $300

                    cost to consumers:

                    i5, 4g ram, hd 4000 integrated graphics, 1tb hdd, 4 x usb 3: $700

                    i7, 8g ram, hd 4000 integrated graphics, 2tb hdd, 4x usb 3: $900

                    comes with proprietary OS pre-installed

                    fatar 88 key hammer action: $1200

                    fatar 73 key synth action: $900

                    fatar 61 key synth action: $600

                    fatar 61 key "waterfall" action with draw bars: $800

                    10" touch screen: $300

                    bring your own controller and/or tablet or mix and match

                    engines like hd-1, cx-3, ep-1, sgx-1, mod-7, al-1, ms-20ex, polusixex, etc would be between $300-500 each or various bundles plus whatever costs of 3rd party plug-ins.

                    example systems:

                    lets say a full kronos is around $4000

                    fully loaded 88 key system:

                    - i7, 8g ram, 4000 gfx, 2tb hdd: $900

                    - fatar 88 weighted keys: $1200 + $300 touch screen

                    - all engines 9 x $400: $3600 +30% bundle discount = $2520

                    total: $4920 + 30% total bundle discount = $3500

                    my system:

                    - i5, 4g ram, 4000 gfx, 1tb hdd: $700

                    - fatar 88 weighted keys: $1200 (use my own tablet)

                    - mod-7 engine: $300 + rob papen albino 3 $240 + tremor $150

                    total: 2590 + 10% bundle discount = $2300


                    • #11
                      In my opinion, manufacturers would need first to agree on a joint platform, in which the system that runs the instrument is written. It is easy to have all those stuff on PC at once, because the platform is the same. Than we can talk further about this topic.

                      Also, I would not completely exclude hardware expandability (on USB stick), because hardware is not anymore that expensive. If they also can agree on the standard for it, the half of the work would be done. Hardware dongle key could also in theory solve the problem for hacking, or world register of synth user.


                      • #12
                        Other than plugins like vsti as mentioned above, the main reason they don't do this is simple marketing/manufacturing.

                        A high quality keyboard that's capable of doing all the above but with some of the features disabled is just as expensive to make as the one with all the features enabled. So, the manufacturers would very likely lose money selling the cheaper versions.

                        But with the concept of software plugins (which could be possible on hardware like Kronos), it does open up the possibility. Manufacturers could sell a range of boards that have different memory, processor speeds, and actions (and action quality), and let the customers buy different modules or feature packs (containing plugin software, samples, and GUI software). I do suspect we'll see this trend in the future.

                        It works this way today, for products like the Receptor. Add your MIDI controller, buy the plugin instruments you want, voila. It also works this way today for a laptop plus MIDI controller.

                        I'd like to see more ala-carte series. Personally, I want most of the sound modules, but have no use for the sequencers that are built into most keyboards that have wide arrays of sounds ("workstations").