Roland Integra-7 Sound Module OR Spectrasonics Omnishphere?
Old 23rd March 2013
  #1
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Roland Integra-7 Sound Module OR Spectrasonics Omnishphere?

I'm moving in the direction of being a music producer and have limited funds to start off.

I am thinking of acquiring either the Roland Integra-7 hardware rackmount sound module OR Spectrasonics Omnisphere software instrument.

Both of these instruments have thousands of sounds.

With the exception of drum sounds for which I think there are much better alternatives, the idea is to constrain myself to one instrument with a well known workflow and a good set of sounds, to improve my efficiency.

If funds were unlimited, I'd buy both.

I'd like your thoughts on this choice.
Old 23rd March 2013
  #2
Gear addict
 

Integra-7 will cover all bases - meat and potatos, ethereal, vintage etc...
Also it's hardware so no software BS - it just works - even on an under-powered machine. And it has plenty of FX. Some sounds are dated but that may be a good thing.


Omnishpere (created by the creator of many or most of those Roland sounds) is beautiful, state of the art and really big and deep. You won't find all the meat and potato stuff that you'll likely need.

If I was to choose only one for production it would be the Integra-7 hands down. (YMMV)
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Old 24th March 2013
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dino321 View Post
Integra-7 will cover all bases - meat and potatos, ethereal, vintage etc...
Also it's hardware so no software BS - it just works - even on an under-powered machine. And it has plenty of FX. Some sounds are dated but that may be a good thing.


Omnishpere (created by the creator of many or most of those Roland sounds) is beautiful, state of the art and really big and deep. You won't find all the meat and potato stuff that you'll likely need.

If I was to choose only one for production it would be the Integra-7 hands down. (YMMV)
Thanks Dino321.
Old 25th March 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 

The Integra-7 has polyphony limitation that prevents you from running more than a couple of parts before you'll have to render staff to audio. For that reason itself, I wouldn't even consider the Integra-7.
Old 26th March 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel S View Post
The Integra-7 has polyphony limitation that prevents you from running more than a couple of parts before you'll have to render staff to audio. For that reason itself, I wouldn't even consider the Integra-7.
I appreciate your pointing this limitation out to me. Thanks
Old 26th March 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel S View Post
The Integra-7 has polyphony limitation that prevents you from running more than a couple of parts before you'll have to render staff to audio. For that reason itself, I wouldn't even consider the Integra-7.
The specs state "128 voices (varies according to the sound generator load)".

Have you had some real world experience with this?
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Old 26th March 2013
  #7
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128 voice polyphony is more than adequate and you can run more than a couple parts, 16 to be exact. Each Patch in a Roland can be up to 4 tones deep.
I have the Roland XV5080 here. Most hardware synths have 128 max polyphony. The cheaper boards are still at 64 voice and even some at 32. Your not playing both hands full of chords for each of those 16 parts.

I always render to audio here for everything midi, your crazy not to
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Old 26th March 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanabit View Post
128 voice polyphony is more than adequate and you can run more than a couple parts, 16 to be exact. Each Patch in a Roland can be up to 4 tones deep.
I have the Roland XV5080 here. Most hardware synths have 128 max polyphony. The cheaper boards are still at 64 voice and even some at 32. Your not playing both hands full of chords for each of those 16 parts.

I always render to audio here for everything midi, your crazy not to
That's what I was thinking.
Old 26th March 2013
  #9
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ionian's Avatar
Another vote for the Integra.

Roland sounds are classic and in tons of productions from dance to hip hop.

Don't underestimate what dino321 said about it being hardware. No messing around with installations or bogging down your computer. Turn it on and go. And you own it - always. When you update your computer it'll always work.

I only pointed that out because if you have limited funds, spend it on something physical that you'll own and will never give you problems and you'll be able to resell at a later date and still get something decent for it.

Good luck,
Frank
Old 26th March 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
Another vote for the Integra.

Roland sounds are classic and in tons of productions from dance to hip hop.

Don't underestimate what dino321 said about it being hardware. No messing around with installations or bogging down your computer. Turn it on and go. And you own it - always. When you update your computer it'll always work.

I only pointed that out because if you have limited funds, spend it on something physical that you'll own and will never give you problems and you'll be able to resell at a later date and still get something decent for it.

Good luck,
Frank
Well said. I have more software instruments than I'll ever fully use but I would still love to have the Integra for the immediate no BS hardware experience, variety and quality.


@ frank: "A Commodore 64, 2 1541 Disk Drives, Dr T's Music Studio" was my first setup!
Old 26th March 2013
  #11
TNM
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Well i read some reviews that you can run into polyphony problems quite easily and reviewer can not for the life of him understand why it wasn't made as 256 polyphony.

To be honest, i hope they some day release a supercharged extra dsp version that is 512 or 1024 polyphony.. i am serious..

I LOVE roland sounds and to have an unlimited smorgasbord of them would be epic..

And even better if they designed a total integration type plugin for it. Or at the very least a 64 bit AU editor and you can just record the sounds when the time comes, but the editor can save as a plugin and recall all the settings for you.

Current machines are just not powerful enough to do everything, synths and effects, i would honestly need (on an imac I7 3.4 at present), say, the equivalent of 4.5ghz of actual core speed , and about 16 of them.. to truly feel i could do what i needed withotu choking all the time.

So i am saving for a UAD and a virus. Can't wait.
Old 26th March 2013
  #12
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In either or I would choose the integra. But for 2k I would do Omni + Trillian + Komplete 9U hands down.

You could easily constrain yourself to learning the Omni engine, and then just Kontakt for now for bread and butter sounds.

Cloning your boot disk and regular backups should be considered mandatory for a professional situation (was just trading with my accountant to get her's to this place), rather you have a external sound source or not.

I would also spend the remaining $200 on SSD's for the libraries.
Old 26th March 2013
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNM View Post

Current machines are just not powerful enough to do everything, synths and effects, i would honestly need (on an imac I7 3.4 at present), say, the equivalent of 4.5ghz of actual core speed , and about 16 of them.. to truly feel i could do what i needed withotu choking all the time.

So i am saving for a UAD and a virus. Can't wait.
Have to disagree here. My i72600k / 16gig can easily run the ENTIRE EWQL Orchestra with all articulation loaded with PLENTY of CPU to spare. I just sold my UAD because it became an expensive dongle that kept me from running as many instances as I needed. If you are doing the highest end Hollywood production you will likely need more than one system but, for most, affordable CPU (for the first time in history) easily exceeds current software demands in most situations.
Old 26th March 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dino321 View Post
Have to disagree here. My i72600k / 16gig can easily run the ENTIRE EWQL Orchestra with all articulation loaded with PLENTY of CPU to spare. I just sold my UAD because it became an expensive dongle that kept me from running as many instances as I needed. If you are doing the highest end Hollywood production you will likely need more than one system but, for most, affordable CPU (for the first time in history) easily exceeds current software demands in most situations.
Agreed. I sold my TDM rig and replaced it with two 3930k's with 10Gbe. Dollar for dollar there is no contest in the performance ceiling compared to UAD octo or HDX. HDX card can run ~120 d-verbs per card, my machines can run 850 ea. The VEP slave can do 3,000 + voices of 1928 scoring grand. I don't even know what voice stealing is anymore. I might have 5-6 instances of NI session drummer running @ 128 buffer with 80 voices each and the machine isn't even breaking a sweat, the host machine can still have a huge HD|N mix on it.

And all that said, single chip 12-core lga 2011 and haswell are right around the corner. With the shift to native having the larger amount of CPU overhead the era of the high end dsp plug that can't run native is gone. Where are the dsp equivalents of 2caudio or exponential audio?
Old 26th March 2013
  #15
TNM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dino321 View Post
Have to disagree here. My i72600k / 16gig can easily run the ENTIRE EWQL Orchestra with all articulation loaded with PLENTY of CPU to spare. I just sold my UAD because it became an expensive dongle that kept me from running as many instances as I needed. If you are doing the highest end Hollywood production you will likely need more than one system but, for most, affordable CPU (for the first time in history) easily exceeds current software demands in most situations.
How is that possible when i have the exact same specced machine but a mac, with logic that is very efficient, and just 4 instances of really modern synths will use up four cores? let's say one lush, one diva, one diversion, One Dcam...

and i'd want to maybe use 10 synths in a project.. and LOTS of effects.. ! yet just with examples above half my cpu is already GONE.

I mean.. wow...

Maybe you guys aren't using cpu hungry algorithmic virtual analogs?
Old 26th March 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
In either or I would choose the integra. But for 2k I would do Omni + Trillian + Komplete 9U hands down.
*snip*
This
Old 26th March 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNM View Post
How is that possible when i have the exact same specced machine but a mac, with logic that is very efficient, and just 4 instances of really modern synths will use up four cores? let's say one lush, one diva, one diversion, One Dcam...

and i'd want to maybe use 10 synths in a project.. and LOTS of effects.. ! yet just with examples above half my cpu is already GONE.

I mean.. wow...

Maybe you guys aren't using cpu hungry algorithmic virtual analogs?
Using sample libraries and VA's is two completely different things. VA's should and will always use more CPU power than libraries. Libraries in 99% of cases only eat RAM, so it's not a good way to compare those two things. They are different...
Old 27th March 2013
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxMulderFBI View Post
Using sample libraries and VA's is two completely different things. VA's should and will always use more CPU power than libraries. Libraries in 99% of cases only eat RAM, so it's not a good way to compare those two things. They are different...
VA's aren't any more CPU intensive than amp sims or convolution and I use plenty of these.
Old 27th March 2013
  #19
Brb
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Be aware you can only use 4 srx cards at a time for the integra
Old 27th March 2013
  #20
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

I would buy the Integra-7 over the Omnisphere. I have an Integra-7 in my rack and really like it. I use a lot of VI's but still depend on modules, mix-and-matching as I go along.
Old 27th March 2013
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNM View Post
How is that possible when i have the exact same specced machine but a mac, with logic that is very efficient, and just 4 instances of really modern synths will use up four cores? let's say one lush, one diva, one diversion, One Dcam...

and i'd want to maybe use 10 synths in a project.. and LOTS of effects.. ! yet just with examples above half my cpu is already GONE.

I mean.. wow...

Maybe you guys aren't using cpu hungry algorithmic virtual analogs?
How would an integra solve that problem? A 3930k vep slave should have no problems getting you to 10 instances, but ultimately if you want to use the oversampling and highest cpu stuff on the market, then just like if you have a eurorack, you are going to have to print/freeze some tracks.
Old 28th March 2013
  #22
Gear maniac
 

Yes, the polyphony is a problem, really the only significant drawback on the instrument aside from the inflexible effects routing.

The supernatural acoustic sounds eat polyphony, as do a lot of the SRX sounds (many of the SRX sounds use 8 voices per key: left+right stereo x 4 voices per patch). The supernatural synth sounds aren't bad. If you are trying to do orchestral arrangements, you will run out of polyphony in 3-5 parts, but for any other genre, you probably won't have a problem.

Regarding Omnisphere, if I'm not mistaken, there are quite a few 1990s Spectrasonics CD-ROM library sounds in there too as a bonus. You'd still have some gaps in the piano, strings, brass, and other orchestra instrument categories.

The Integra is a little thin in the ethereal and evolving pads area, and a lot of the synth presets are slightly vanilla (as the sound designers seemed to spend much of their time emulating Jupiters, Moogs, and D-50s), but it is an extremely capable instrument all the same.
Old 28th March 2013
  #23
TNM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
How would an integra solve that problem?
it wouldn't unless it had more polyphony and an integrated plugin version as i said..

i'd be happy to use a virus TI and an integra for just about everything if it was feasible polyphony and integration wise. Then i'd have a whole mac for fx. Or instead, i go the UAD route and have a whole mac for instruments.
Old 29th March 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNM View Post
it wouldn't unless it had more polyphony and an integrated plugin version as i said..

i'd be happy to use a virus TI and an integra for just about everything if it was feasible polyphony and integration wise. Then i'd have a whole mac for fx. Or instead, i go the UAD route and have a whole mac for instruments.
I'm curious why you wouldn't just do a VEP slave. Kinda solves everything...I'm using a cheap 10gbe card I got from ebay and it works great for all the audio ch and screen sharing. Super easy workflow.
Old 29th March 2013
  #25
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by gear_up View Post
Yes, the polyphony is a problem, really the only significant drawback on the instrument aside from the inflexible effects routing.

The supernatural acoustic sounds eat polyphony, as do a lot of the SRX sounds (many of the SRX sounds use 8 voices per key: left+right stereo x 4 voices per patch). The supernatural synth sounds aren't bad. If you are trying to do orchestral arrangements, you will run out of polyphony in 3-5 parts, but for any other genre, you probably won't have a problem.

Regarding Omnisphere, if I'm not mistaken, there are quite a few 1990s Spectrasonics CD-ROM library sounds in there too as a bonus. You'd still have some gaps in the piano, strings, brass, and other orchestra instrument categories.

The Integra is a little thin in the ethereal and evolving pads area, and a lot of the synth presets are slightly vanilla (as the sound designers seemed to spend much of their time emulating Jupiters, Moogs, and D-50s), but it is an extremely capable instrument all the same.
Thanks, your comments are most revealing. I have had second thoughts for the following reasons, on this potential acquisition:

I own and regularly use a weighted 88 note keybaord with my Roland XV 2020, which has an SRX02 Piano card, and also acquired Atmosphere(The precursor to Omnisphere) many years ago. On deep reflection, and based on a lot of keyboard playing recently, I have come to the conclusion that new gear is no longer what I need as a priority. I just need to practice and improve my skills with what have today. After listening critically to quite a bit of music created by many great producers/musicians/audio engineers, I want to focus on making maximum use of what I currently own, until I reach its limits, and the limits of my creativity. As I'll be using these in a DAW, where I can record audio from the XV2020 and freeze tracks from Atmosphere, while slightly inconvenient, this should address my immediate needs. I will put these to optimal use until they and I earn their keep and can generate enough cash to pay for the required hardware to support and upgrade to Omnisphere and acquire additional hardware such as Integra.
Old 29th March 2013
  #26
Gear maniac
 

Cool, that makes sense to me at least.

With that setup, the Integra might not be necessary for you unless you have a fairly immediate need for better acoustic sounds.

Would point out that the SuperNatural piano is MUCH better than the SRX-02, and still quite a bit better, w/ more even dynamics, than the SRX-11, which is itself considerably better than the SRX-02, which has some oddly abrupt velocity layer switches.
Old 29th March 2013
  #27
TNM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
I'm curious why you wouldn't just do a VEP slave. Kinda solves everything...I'm using a cheap 10gbe card I got from ebay and it works great for all the audio ch and screen sharing. Super easy workflow.
You mean on another machine? Latency is one, 2nd is noise.
Old 28th August 2013
  #28
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GYang's Avatar
Both great, 1st Integra, for bread and butter tasks and some experiments, as well.
Old 28th August 2013
  #29
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Integra. But what you can get for that money in software is pretty enticing too.
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