Was the Tempest overhyped, or did it fulfil expectations?
cuckoo.old
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#1
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #1
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Thread Starter
Was the Tempest overhyped, or did it fulfil expectations?

As a matter of curiousity, I am wondering how good the Tempest is now that there has been enough time for all the dust to settle. Like the Minibrute, there was an enormous amount of hype and fervid discussion about the Tempest. I still hear a lot about the Minibrute whereas things appear to gone very quiet, at least for those of us not giving our dedicated attention to the Tempest.

As always, I am interested in new gear, and this interested me a little more because it had a DSI synth built-in which was not solely dedicated to making drum sounds. I've heard little follow up with regards to people using it for more melodic synth purposes - is it difficult to operate and program, or is there too much squeezed into too small a space? Alternatively, is it the best thing ever but people are being very hush-hush so-as not to drive the cost up on the second-hand market?

I read a review by Chris Randall, and he mentioned Dave Smith needing to send in an army of Ninja midgets (something like that) to get the review copy of the Tempest back from him, but I believe Mr Randall has stripped back his set-up, and the Tempest appears to be AWOL (not 100% certain but it seems to be the case).

So those of you who bought or used the Tempest; was it/is it a worthwhile machine, or was it over-hyped? The Minibrute appears to be one of those items where the worth of the instrument is equal to (or better than) the hype. Did the Tempest meet expectations, or was it something of a letdown?
#2
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #2
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pearlywhites's Avatar
 

compared to the poly evolved?
#3
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #3
I own a Tempest. Some of the limitations of the synth engine got to me at first, but I stuck with it and I rather enjoy it.

On the other hand I demoed a Minibrute today at a shop here in town, and I was less blown away by it than expected. I like it's oscillator and keyboard, dislike the filter. (also they had to open 2 before they got one that worked properly.)

The Tempest is a drum machine with benefits. Like being able to do quite good synth sounds and even fill polysynth duties, albeit with some limitations like LFOs that retrigger, no legato mode, etc.

But it's sound is fantastic and programming it is a treat. The pads are magnificent and expressive. There's still work to be done, but overall it's a great instrument.
#4
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #4
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MrTechno's Avatar
 

I was one of the guys who had this when it was first released.

My whole Tempest experience was a funny one, I love it when I first got it, then had regrets then liked it again now love it. Not sure why this is.

It is not your typical drum machine that is for sure.
I was comparing the kicks to my Roland 909 and 808 yesterday just for a little fun and whilst it's not a 909 or an 808 Pym managed to pull of some great sounding 808 kicks on it.

I think it is a good machine with really bad presets. The sequencer is to die for and love everything it offers in terms of sequencing.
The sounds well I think you either like its sound or hate it.
There is no in between with this machine I think.

I like the snares and crazy glitch percussion I can get from this machine, in terms of anything else I believe my chops are not good enough yet to really comment.

It is most certainly a very deep and detailed instrument.
Quote
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#5
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #5
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Greg_KPX's Avatar
 

Great drum machine but a let down if you take all the hype into consideration.

This is mainly due to the bugs/unfinished features at the time of release and the voice assignment system which is slightly too unstable for solid pounding kicks. (you can get some good kicks out of it with a bit of effort and external processing but it's not a simple task like with a dedicated "voice per drum" machine)

Having said that, my experience was similar to Mr Techno.

I wasn't sure when demoed in the shop but bought it for further testing. Then liked it, then HATED IT and now its grown on me again.

It's a strange unit...
#6
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #6
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by natrixgli View Post
..The pads are magnificent and expressive. ..
I only tried for for half an hour at the store, so it's hard for me to give a proper review, but I was blown away by the pads, they really feel just right and very well engineered.
#7
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #7
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MrTechno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_KPX View Post
Great drum machine but a let down if you take all the hype into consideration.

This is mainly due to the bugs/unfinished features at the time of release and the voice assignment system which is slightly too unstable for solid pounding kicks. (you can get some good kicks out of it with a bit of effort and external processing but it's not a simple task like with a dedicated "voice per drum" machine)

Having said that, my experience was similar to Mr Techno.

I wasn't sure when demoed in the shop but bought it for further testing. Then liked it, then HATED IT and now its grown on me again.

It's a strange unit...
It is a strange unit for sure and I would have to say I agree with what you have to say here.

It most certainly requires you to get in deep with this machine.

I am still working on perfecting my sound on this thing and messing about with external processing to shape the sound even further.

There is allot of techno in this machine which I do like.
I find it can really compliment other drum machines so not relying just on the tempest can work really well also.
#8
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Some seem to have bought the Tempest with totally unrealistic expectations, i.e. that Tempest would somehow magically make-up for their lack of programming skills and would sound mint without any processing. And use samples. And sequence all their other gear. And, and, and....

I also found it amusing and somewhat depressing that people are able/willing to blithely drop 2K on a machine, the specs and operation of which seem totally beyond them.

The Tempest is what you make of it, but it requires patience and work. A few annoyances remain but hopefully will be fixed in the OS updates, which have resumed. I have no doubt whatsoever that this instrument will be in the annals.
#9
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #9
Gear interested
 

I bought it about a week ago, and it indeed is a magical unit. You have to put effort in it to create your own sounds by learning a bit about drum synthesis and create patches by some trial and error.

As he presets are shit, you really shouldn't judge this machine by them!

Furthermore, the software is still in development and you should keep up to date with the new OS versions and follow the DSI forum where new features/bug fixes will be discussed and announced. You can propose new features and improvements on this forum as well which is quite nice.

Although it can do a lot more than function solely as a drum machine, don't expect it to be a full sequencer/sampler/(melodic) synth, it's not ment to be a groovebox or workstation as the center piece of your setup.
#10
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #10
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GeorgeHayduke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarlywarly View Post
.. I have no doubt whatsoever that this instrument will be in the annals.
Do you own one?
#11
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
Funny - I also went through a love it, dislike it, then love it again phase. It takes some getting used to. Now that I've spent a lot of time with it I can get some great, solid subby kicks out of it and crazy percussion/fx. Good synth sounds too, especially when combined with the digital oscillators. IMO the Tempest is really dependent on your own synthesis abilities. At first I was frustrated but once I got the hang of it and found some sweet spots I now have a ton of faith in this mistress. I love some of the quirky sounds it can make and as stated, the sequencer and pads rock.
#12
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #12
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hazabikit's Avatar
 

I think the reason things have been getting quiet is because it's a really deep instrument, and it takes time to dive into the synthesis and layering capabilities.

I'm also going through the "love it - frustrated with it - love it" cycle, and it will be at least a few more months before I've figured out where it fits in my music.
#13
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #13
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cramseur's Avatar
 

I like mine. I find it worthwhile.

Overhyped? I didn't really pay attention to the hype, just the sound, the features, and discussions about user-friendliness.

oh, and have a look here:

Does Anyone Regret Buying The Tempest?
cuckoo.old
Thread Starter
#14
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #14
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by chembros View Post
Funny - I also went through a love it, dislike it, then love it again phase. It takes some getting used to. Now that I've spent a lot of time with it I can get some great, solid subby kicks out of it and crazy percussion/fx. Good synth sounds too, especially when combined with the digital oscillators. IMO the Tempest is really dependent on your own synthesis abilities. At first I was frustrated but once I got the hang of it and found some sweet spots I now have a ton of faith in this mistress. I love some of the quirky sounds it can make and as stated, the sequencer and pads rock.
Aha, you still do have it (assuming I have the correct person).
#15
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
^ yes, no plans on ever getting rid of it either.

IMO it excels at electronic & futuristic sounds and can do but struggles a bit with classic/realistic sounds. I love it but I can still totally see myself getting the new MFB 523 or Vermoma DRM mk3 for those dedicated drum circuits.
#16
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuckoo.old View Post
. Did the Tempest meet expectations, or was it something of a letdown?
Far beyond my expectations

I've bought mine a few weeks ago and I have to say that the Tempest gives me so much more than I was thinking of.
#17
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeHayduke View Post
Do you own one?

yes
#18
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #18
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balma's Avatar
the sound is OK.... Not absolutely the second Jesus Christ comming, but it´s OK

the design? well, the sequencer/patch database manipulation, just made me feel like a baby.... it totally overpassed my expectatives. Is simple a new concept on the synth area....

I´ve used tons of drum machines during several years, and I can say, the Tempest reunites the best of each one of them.

the 512 "reatime" patches is something . You don´t need to save patches, they are merged with the sequencer. Any knob movement or programming is saved at the moment you do it. This is brilliant, but requires to remake your mind.

the hability of navegating through all the patterns on realtime (without waiting for the pattern´s last bar), is a wonder.

Dave says is the most complex instrument he has built.... well, those words mean a lot....

Now, if you have the BALLS to design an instrument like this, wich breaks boundaries, be prepared to get some tomatoes.... I´ve read so much reviews of the Tempest expressing dissapointment. Reason? Tempest breaks the status quo of the drum machine/ live performance sequencing design.


Only one complaint: those "Gonzalo, Fernando, etc" projects (forgot "PEDRO!!!!")..... first thing I erased from the Tempest...
#19
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #19
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Agreed with Balma 100%
#20
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #20
Banned
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg_KPX View Post
Great drum machine but a let down if you take all the hype into consideration.

This is mainly due to the bugs/unfinished features at the time of release and the voice assignment system which is slightly too unstable for solid pounding kicks. (you can get some good kicks out of it with a bit of effort and external processing but it's not a simple task like with a dedicated "voice per drum" machine)

Having said that, my experience was similar to Mr Techno.

I wasn't sure when demoed in the shop but bought it for further testing. Then liked it, then HATED IT and now its grown on me again.

It's a strange unit...
dont sounds like a real smash hit :-/ especially considering the price tag

is there some hidden properties not discovered yet? seems that the machine drum had a bigger impact on production.. in its peak times it was an almost any minimal record quite like a 808 or 909..

but to be fair.. that MD peak time was years after its first release..

tempest is still quite recent thanks to the super delayed release...
#21
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
dont sounds like a real smash hit :-/ especially considering the price tag
Not for the "Loops and Presets Lovers" crowd
#22
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #22
Banned
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spip View Post
Not for the "Loops and Presets Lovers" crowd
hard to get a decend kick out of it is not what i want to hear about a drum machine really..
#23
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
seems that the machine drum had a bigger impact on production..
The MD is a killer machine for sure, but the Tempest has three big things on the MD:

1) Chunkier sound. I often put a simple Tempest kick/snare beat behind Addictive Drums just to warm it up and give it a bit more heft. DSI sacrificed a bit of flexibility by insisting on a 100% analog signal path, and it certainly comes through in the sound.

2) Pad programming vs chicklet keys. The MD uses the familiar x0x style of programming which leads to a lot of repetitive and non-dynamic beats. On the Tempest, even x0x style programming is velocity sensitive. And even if you're cheating and programming with the roll feature you can get really nice accents by exerting more pressure on the pad at certain times.

3) Can enter pitched sounds without having to put a P'Lock on every pitch change.
#24
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
hard to get a decend kick out of it is not what i want to hear about a drum machine really..
Hard for whom? I haven't had any trouble getting great kicks out of it. (pun intended)
#25
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #25
Banned
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by natrixgli View Post
Hard for whom? I haven't had any trouble getting great kicks out of it. (pun intended)
i dont know.. for the guy in this thread? and when i saw it in other peoples studios lately it always made some weard glitchy noises and the kick came from a small mfb or other analog rythm box..

is it a drum machine ?
#26
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
hard to get a decend kick out of it is not what i want to hear about a drum machine really..
That's what I was thinking before having it.
First of all, as said by natrixgli, it's not so a big deal if you know a little about synthesis. Sadly it is not always the case of those making electronic music these days...
And, mainly, and that's also why it's hard to find some great and simple demos on the web of the Tempest, it's that you discover a whole new world of possibilities for making beats or sounds that are so much appealing and useful than making a kick with it...
#27
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #27
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rids's Avatar
 

To the OP (and maybe someone has mentioned this), just a reminder that when you say something is overhyped and then is found to not be to everyone's liking (which is every product out there), it doesn't mean/imply the product failed or is less good.
#28
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #28
Banned
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spip View Post
it's that you discover a whole new world of possibilities for making beats or sounds that are so much appealing and useful than making a kick with it...
ok.that explains why i never heard it making drums ;-)
#29
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 

This thread kind of thread seems to be commonplace when discussing today's gear. Announcement is made, people lose their minds thinking it will be the item that changes electronic music forever, pay whatever the asking price is upfront.

Product comes out. Whining begins about it not sounding like the product its impersonating or what's not in the box even though such features were never promised in the first place. Or company overpromises and underdelivers on features because it turns out the box actually can't do everything they promised it would. Or do it in the manner that was promised. Haters continue to hate it claiming they were right the whole time, others express disappointment at it not being the greatest thing ever while others talk themselves into keeping it because they don't want to lose hundreds reselling an item they just bought.

When was the last time something came out and everybody loved it? Other than the editor and the fact that some people don't like that it only goes up to C4, people seem to love the Minitaur most this year of new stuff. It seems to be the least sold new thing although who knows how many were sold in the first place. It's the only one of the year's hyped things I actually own. I'm fine with what the Minitaur does. I wouldn't have wanted its sound compromised for half assed features hastily added to please others. Although some may argue that Moog did this anyway although they can't argue its sound.

Even then, I still waited for a used one to come up in my city before buying it. Including tax on new, the guy selling it to me lost about 200 on it within a matter of weeks.

Sometimes I think it's why I've gravitated towards vintage gear. Things that have truly stood the test of time while others fell away. I don't have the most popular stuff, it doesn't need to be loved by everyone. Just needs a few staunch fans that find a given 30-40 year old synth irreplaceable.

Also, there's a certain finality with old gear. There's no point whining about features it doesn't have because it will never get them. These days with programmed OSs everyone seems to think that everything will be fixed in future updates if they just yell loud enough. As long as it works, you're getting everything you were expecting with an old synth. It makes me laugh when people buy old things and then don't like them. In 2012 how do you buy an old synth without knowing what exactly you are getting from it?

I just don't like that so many things get released with so many bugs and QC issues. And if the product isn't an instant success the company abandons it completely. They figure they've made all they're going to make from it already why invest more time and money in a product once they already have your money?

Tempest, Minibrute, Minitaur, Analog Four...rinse, lather, repeat...

I mean there are people that don't like 808s, 303s, Odysseys or Minimoogs but the detractors seem to be a much smaller percentage than the supporters.

The Minibrute seems like the perfect new mono, but then I read the reviews. I was going to have one mailed in but now think I will just have to go to a store and try one first.
#30
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 

I love mine, its now sitting happily next to my new analog four and they work in beautiful harmony. I make more IDM/Glitch and industrial noise style music and find the tempest to be awesome for non standard left of centre style beats.
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