The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Novation Peak
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3901
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Been watching some more videos and I think I'm going to pull the trigger

I guess the filter is OK as it doesn't sound steppy in all of the videos.

But the FX bus seems to have low headroom? On many videos, the fx cause poly sounds to clip when their osc levels are near the max? Strangely enough, most youtubers dont even seem to mind I hope its just a matter of turning the osc levels down.. But if not, I can live without the fx

All in all, its looking like a really solid workhorse VA

EDIT: Read this thread from page 51 until now. Seems like the Peak has been silently tweaked towards a more optimal form in consecutive firmware updates. Both the filter and the internal gainstaging has been tweaked, resulting in less filter stepping (parameter control of the cutoff is now smoothed) as well as lower "noise gain" (internal gainstages have been attenuated in order to improve headroom). So my earlier observations might not resemble the Peak in its' current state.

BTW, gotta love that A/B test someone made against the Prologue And what do you know, about 40-50 pages after that A/B, some Peak owner (who obvsly missed that A/B!) chimes in and claims "Prologue sounds more like an analog synth" - priceless! Just goes to show that going OCD on the modmatrix is where its at for making Peak sound "analog"
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3902
Lives for gear
 
Synthbuilder's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SerErris View Post
I also would not know any reason why you would want to do that, but anyhow ... taste is allways different.
Actually I've been thinking about swapping out mine too. Firstly, I am having some trouble navigating my way around the front panel. For example, I keep turning up the FM control level instead of the VCO level. With all the knobs in a grid and no obvious delineation between 'modules' I struggle to find the right one. So I'm thinking about replacing them with different coloured Davies 1900H clone knobs. Like those on the Schmidt but in different colours to demarcate the oscillators, filters and so on.

Secondly, I don't trust these rubbery finishes. So many rubbery 'soft touch' surfaces turn to goo over time.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3903
Lives for gear
 
Synthbuilder's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2c View Post
But the FX bus seems to have low headroom?
I think the headroom is fine, but there are a variety of ways to overload the signal pathway, so you can get nasty pretty quickly when you play a bunch of notes. I tend to keep the oscillators on the Summit below 150 (256 is maximum) and the VCA gain to about 50 (128 is maximum). But even then you do have to watch your levels with certain patches.

On the Summit I have a suspicion it's not the effects that are clipping but the output stage. One of these days I'm going to have peak inside to see what's actually happening.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3904
Gear Maniac
Apologies if this has been covered before in this thread, I haven't read all of it. But is anyone else running into a voice stealing bug in the Peak? I run into it annoyingly often, where one note of a chord just doesn't sound while I am playing it. I have had to re-record MIDI sequences several times because of dropped notes. Firmware revisions have not addressed it.

Here is a simple way to repro it if interested - look at the voice lights, the pattern changes when the voice drops out. The trick is to play overlapping chords on patches with longish release times, something I guess I do often. (The arpeggiator is not needed, happens via MIDI too, this is just for repro purposes and to take MIDI issues out of the equation)



I went back and forth with Novation for a while sending these videos and sysex files and such, and they had trouble reproducing. Eventually they did, and this was their response via email:

"I can reproduce this issue on the Peak that we have here in office. This is now looking like normal behavior for the Peak. If you would like, I can log this case and forward it to our specialists in the area."

WTF... and I never heard anything back from these 'specialists'
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3905
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savagery View Post
Apologies if this has been covered before in this thread, I haven't read all of it. But is anyone else running into a voice stealing bug in the Peak? I run into it annoyingly often, where one note of a chord just doesn't sound while I am playing it. I have had to re-record MIDI sequences several times because of dropped notes. Firmware revisions have not addressed it.

Here is a simple way to repro it if interested - look at the voice lights, the pattern changes when the voice drops out. The trick is to play overlapping chords on patches with longish release times, something I guess I do often. (The arpeggiator is not needed, happens via MIDI too, this is just for repro purposes and to take MIDI issues out of the equation)



I went back and forth with Novation for a while sending these videos and sysex files and such, and they had trouble reproducing. Eventually they did, and this was their response via email:

"I can reproduce this issue on the Peak that we have here in office. This is now looking like normal behavior for the Peak. If you would like, I can log this case and forward it to our specialists in the area."

WTF... and I never heard anything back from these 'specialists'
Yes this seems like normal behaviour to me. It is an 8 voice synth and you’re playing 3 note chords, so when you set the release long enough, you will have 2x3=6 overlapping voices, then 3 more notes and 1 will be cut off.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3906
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
Yes this seems like normal behaviour to me. It is an 8 voice synth and you’re playing 3 note chords, so when you set the release long enough, you will have 2x3=6 overlapping voices, then 3 more notes and 1 will be cut off.
I'm only playing 2 note chords in the video. Old notes being cut off due to voice stealing is fine, but the issue is new notes not sounding at all. I've never had a synth that handles voice stealing by refusing to sound new notes (other than note priority on monosynths), though it's possible that's an accepted technique and I've just never come across it.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3907
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savagery View Post
I'm only playing 2 note chords in the video. Old notes being cut off due to voice stealing is fine, but the issue is new notes not sounding at all. I've never had a synth that handles voice stealing by refusing to sound new notes (other than note priority on monosynths), though it's possible that's an accepted technique and I've just never come across it.
Oh yeah now I see, sorry my bad. Hmm that is indeed weird. How about single notes?

I never noticed this before btw.. can try to reproduce tonight
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3908
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthbuilder View Post
Actually I've been thinking about swapping out mine too. Firstly, I am having some trouble navigating my way around the front panel. For example, I keep turning up the FM control level instead of the VCO level. With all the knobs in a grid and no obvious delineation between 'modules' I struggle to find the right one. So I'm thinking about replacing them with different coloured Davies 1900H clone knobs. Like those on the Schmidt but in different colours to demarcate the oscillators, filters and so on.

Secondly, I don't trust these rubbery finishes. So many rubbery 'soft touch' surfaces turn to goo over time.
That is actually something for me as well.. I suffer from the exact same issue with the FM controls, esp. as I normally never want to touch them ;-)
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3909
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthbuilder View Post
I think the headroom is fine, but there are a variety of ways to overload the signal pathway, so you can get nasty pretty quickly when you play a bunch of notes. I tend to keep the oscillators on the Summit below 150 (256 is maximum) and the VCA gain to about 50 (128 is maximum). But even then you do have to watch your levels with certain patches.

On the Summit I have a suspicion it's not the effects that are clipping but the output stage. One of these days I'm going to have peak inside to see what's actually happening.
I see. Thanks for the reply
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3910
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savagery View Post
I'm only playing 2 note chords in the video. Old notes being cut off due to voice stealing is fine, but the issue is new notes not sounding at all. I've never had a synth that handles voice stealing by refusing to sound new notes (other than note priority on monosynths), though it's possible that's an accepted technique and I've just never come across it.
Isn’t there two different poly modes that decides how the note stealing works? Tried both?
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3911
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomachine View Post
Isn’t there two different poly modes that decides how the note stealing works? Tried both?
Yep, same happens with Poly2. Note that if you were to recreate what I did in the video with Poly2 set, it DOES appear to fix it, since it's just going to retrigger the currently playing voices rather than assign new ones (how Poly2 works is it looks for voices playing those same notes and steals from them, rather than assign other voices. So you can't overlap a C3 with a C3 for example, the new one cuts the old one off).

But if you do this in Poly2 with a midi sequence where notes/chords are changing (which is a more real-world test anyway) and thus new voices are assigned, it'll fail occasionally just like the video.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3912
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savagery View Post
Yep, same happens with Poly2. Note that if you were to recreate what I did in the video with Poly2 set, it DOES appear to fix it, since it's just going to retrigger the currently playing voices rather than assign new ones (how Poly2 works is it looks for voices playing those same notes and steals from them, rather than assign other voices. So you can't overlap a C3 with a C3 for example, the new one cuts the old one off).

But if you do this in Poly2 with a midi sequence where notes/chords are changing (which is a more real-world test anyway) and thus new voices are assigned, it'll fail occasionally just like the video.
Have this observed on Summit... Same thing. Had 4 note cords playing with unison 2 and every now and then (due to release) not all the 4 voices are playing... but there are actually allways 8 voices to steal from (the least played) .. but not all of the 4 notes are playing...

Another of those bugs.

I am not sure. I have no feedback from Novation, when and if they are planning to fix those bugs. Even asking on Facebook, they replied, but no answer actually.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3913
Gear Maniac
 
tsrono's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2c View Post
Been watching some more videos and I think I'm going to pull the trigger

I guess the filter is OK as it doesn't sound steppy in all of the videos.

But the FX bus seems to have low headroom? On many videos, the fx cause poly sounds to clip when their osc levels are near the max? Strangely enough, most youtubers dont even seem to mind I hope its just a matter of turning the osc levels down.. But if not, I can live without the fx

All in all, its looking like a really solid workhorse VA
filter is great imo. don't know that i've ever noticed it stepping. really always impressed with it when i dial it in just right for the sweet spots on a new patch.

shouldn't try and live without the fx if you do get this...the fx are f*cking lovely. not the most versatile in the world, but they sound absolutely great, really enhance the core sound on most any sound. there was plenty of gushing about the fx earlier in this thread, they're much, much better than most synth's included fx.

also going to echo the love for the knobs, they feel classy. can't imagine them getting icky over time, but i've only had my synth about a year.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3914
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsrono View Post
filter is great imo. don't know that i've ever noticed it stepping. really always impressed with it when i dial it in just right for the sweet spots on a new patch.

shouldn't try and live without the fx if you do get this...the fx are f*cking lovely. not the most versatile in the world, but they sound absolutely great, really enhance the core sound on most any sound. there was plenty of gushing about the fx earlier in this thread, they're much, much better than most synth's included fx.

also going to echo the love for the knobs, they feel classy. can't imagine them getting icky over time, but i've only had my synth about a year.
I dont have a gripe with the knobs for their functionality - I'm quite sure they are fine in that regard. But I don't fancy the way they look. On a synth like this, the way it looks boils down to how the knobs look since there are so many of them. I'm sure I will like the looks much more once I find replacement knobs (and get rid of the wooden sides).

Just bought a Peak this morning, should have one sometime next week
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3915
Gear Nut
It's an analog filter, there's no stepping when you're turning the knob.

Of course, although the pot positions can be thought of as infinite, when it comes to saving a parameter in a patch, or receiving a filter midi cc, it's going to get quantized into one of 128 steps.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3916
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2c View Post
Do I understand this right - every oscillator can have different microtuning!? If so, this will be great for FM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SerErris View Post
No, tuning table is an OSC common setting ... so it is one for all OSC.
They can if one sacrifices a couple of modulation slots. Then all oscillators can have different keyboard scaling. The downside is that it's limited to equal temperaments of different sizes.

I did some research on this when I needed 24-tone ET, before the tuning tables were implemented. By using two modulation slots with different scaling, it's possible to get about 5-38 TET.

But separate tuning tables for the oscs would be great, IMHO.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3917
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Z View Post
It's an analog filter, there's no stepping when you're turning the knob.

Of course, although the pot positions can be thought of as infinite, when it comes to saving a parameter in a patch, or receiving a filter midi cc, it's going to get quantized into one of 128 steps.
There used to be audible stepping with the filter, but seems that a subsequent firmware update fixed this by adding param smoothing to the cutoff control.

Now that I've caught up with the thread, I'm even more excited about the Peak, and can hardly wait until it gets shipped to me! Depending on how I get on with it, it could make some more of my existing gear redundant. M+ and a Peak will already cover so much ground, add behringer RD's, analog heat + zen delay and I'm
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3918
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2c View Post
There used to be audible stepping with the filter, but seems that a subsequent firmware update fixed this by adding param smoothing to the cutoff control.

Now that I've caught up with the thread, I'm even more excited about the Peak, and can hardly wait until it gets shipped to me! Depending on how I get on with it, it could make some more of my existing gear redundant. M+ and a Peak will already cover so much ground, add behringer RD's, analog heat + zen delay and I'm
I have never felt any stepping on the filter. Even on the first firmware.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3919
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomachine View Post
I have never felt any stepping on the filter. Even on the first firmware.
Ok then. I'm just talking about what I observed from watching some videos. Anyways, not concerned about it anymore.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3920
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

The Peak arrived this morning.

The distortion in the fx section dominates heavily in the SNR department. I can hear lots of noise in the signalpath if I crank the distortion up. Something tells me the whole "noisegate" scandal with the Peak is at least partially due to the distortion fx having such a big gain range

The factory presets mostly sound terrible by the way! Lots of muddy and harsh patches.. Thankfully this one is a breeze to program

More impressions once I have had some proper time with it.. And once I've grabbed the Alphacode presets

EDIT: Seems I was a bit hasty (a habit of mine, apologies!). I connected the Peak to components and it wanted to update firmware as well as FPGA.. And after both updates (FPGA update took a lot longer btw), the SNR of the Peak is substantially changed! Now even if I crank the distortion fx to maximum, the noise floor is less than it used to.. So maybe there indeed was something that was "fixed" down the line..? Anyhoo, all good now!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3921
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2c View Post
The Peak arrived this morning.

The distortion in the fx section dominates heavily in the SNR department. I can hear lots of noise in the signalpath if I crank the distortion up. Something tells me the whole "noisegate" scandal with the Peak is at least partially due to the distortion fx having such a big gain range

The factory presets mostly sound terrible by the way! Lots of muddy and harsh patches.. Thankfully this one is a breeze to program

More impressions once I have had some proper time with it.. And once I've grabbed the Alphacode presets

EDIT: Seems I was a bit hasty (a habit of mine, apologies!). I connected the Peak to components and it wanted to update firmware as well as FPGA.. And after both updates (FPGA update took a lot longer btw), the SNR of the Peak is substantially changed! Now even if I crank the distortion fx to maximum, the noise floor is less than it used to.. So maybe there indeed was something that was "fixed" down the line..? Anyhoo, all good now!
And just to get you going .. after doing a firmware upgrade run a calibration, otherwise the filters and volumes will be off (noticable).

If you setup a high resonance filter you will notice that the filter jumps around per voice without calibration and with calibration it will be very tight again.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3922
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SerErris View Post
And just to get you going .. after doing a firmware upgrade run a calibration, otherwise the filters and volumes will be off (noticable).

If you setup a high resonance filter you will notice that the filter jumps around per voice without calibration and with calibration it will be very tight again.
Thanks, will calibrate right away!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3923
Lives for gear
 

Yes they improved the gain staging to reduce noise in a firmware update.

Also, be sure to set the main volume to 12 o clock or lower.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3924
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Had some more time with the Peak now.

After the updates, I find I dont need to fuss over the master volume pot too much. Even if I push it past 12 o clock, the increase in noise is neglible assuming the patch has a sane gainstaging to begin with.

Another thing I noticed - The synth sounds much worse and one-dimensional (dare I say VA-like? ) if oscillator mix levels are too high. The Roland SE-02 suffers from this same "feature" to a degree.. Dialing down the osc mix values to ~9 o clock reveals the true beauty of this synth.. It really can sound quite liquidy and wonderful with some classy programming

So turn those osc mix values down folks
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3925
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2c View Post
Had some more time with the Peak now.

After the updates, I find I dont need to fuss over the master volume pot too much. Even if I push it past 12 o clock, the increase in noise is neglible assuming the patch has a sane gainstaging to begin with.

Another thing I noticed - The synth sounds much worse and one-dimensional (dare I say VA-like? ) if oscillator mix levels are too high. The Roland SE-02 suffers from this same "feature" to a degree.. Dialing down the osc mix values to ~9 o clock reveals the true beauty of this synth.. It really can sound quite liquidy and wonderful with some classy programming

So turn those osc mix values down folks
I think what you hear is the oscillators overdriving the filter. Especially with resonance, it can become a bit harsh if you do that.

Indeed, proper gain staging is key.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3926
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
I think what you hear is the oscillators overdriving the filter. Especially with resonance, it can become a bit harsh if you do that.

Indeed, proper gain staging is key.
I think I'm hearing some sort of cramped high frequency response when the osc mix levels are too high.. No idea what causes it. Monitoring on my trusty Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro's so YMMV but yeh

I'm not sure if I like the fx though.. seems to mask the dry signal an awful lot? Will probably use some outboard fx instead, where I can control the fx mix better.

For gigging, the onboard fx are probably useful though.. cuts down the amt of gear needed to travel with.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3927
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2c View Post
I think I'm hearing some sort of cramped high frequency response when the osc mix levels are too high.. No idea what causes it. Monitoring on my trusty Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro's so YMMV but yeh

I'm not sure if I like the fx though.. seems to mask the dry signal an awful lot? Will probably use some outboard fx instead, where I can control the fx mix better.

For gigging, the onboard fx are probably useful though.. cuts down the amt of gear needed to travel with.
You can regulate dry and wet in the FX menu.. However only works correctly as described in the manual on PEAK. Bugged on Summit.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3928
Gear Nut
I do wish reverb size was a knob rather than a three-switch. You can set it to a specific value in the FX menus if you dive a bit... as far as I can tell they just didn't want to upset the visual spacing of the knobs on each row... which is slightly unfortunate. Even a mini knob there would have been way better than the switch.

Anyway, no big deal, just a small observation.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3929
Lives for gear
 
jm2c's Avatar
 

Been playing a bit more, checking out the Alphacode presets and also making some from scratch.

Its pretty amazing how the Alphacode presets manage to sound the way they do even though most of the patches I've checked didnt even utilize the mod matrix! Excellent handling of the basic parameters by the author. I bet adding subtle movement with mod matrix would yield even livelier results, I cant see why getting really close to classic vintage sounds would be impossible if desired.

The scope of sounds the Peak can pull off is impressive! Versatility of a softsynth in a hardware packeage that sounds the business - a true desert island piece.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #3930
Gear Head
I have huge G.A.S. for a Peak after watching many YouTube videos. I found a good discount at a local store. I already have a Hydrasynth Keyboard but the nice people on the hydra Facebook group assured me the two synths will complement each other well, so I'm about to pull the trigger any moment now... Please, dissuade me now or shut up forever! :D P.S. I have no space for a Summit.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 54 views: 16506
Avatar for mixerguy
mixerguy 21st January 2012
replies: 3371 views: 431717
Avatar for Bobswans
Bobswans 30th January 2019
replies: 91 views: 34479
Avatar for Roodillon
Roodillon 16th June 2015
replies: 9312 views: 1121284
Avatar for akajuan
akajuan 2 weeks ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
🖨️ Show Printable Version
✉️ Email this Page
🔍 Search thread
🎙️ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump