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Novation Peak Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 17th January 2019
  #2791
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eXode's Avatar
 

I don't own a Peak, but downloaded the manual and had a look. Posting for reference.

Diverge

Displayed as: Diverge
Initial value: 0
Range of adjustment: 0 to 127

Peak is an eight-voice synth, and each voice has three oscillators. Diverge applies very
small pitch variations independently to each of these 24 oscillators. The effect of applying
this is that each voice will have its own tuning characteristic. This adds a further interesting
colouration to the sound quality and can be used to bring the synth alive. The parameter
sets the degree of variation.

Oscillator Drift

Displayed as: Drift
Initial value: 0
Range of adjustment: 0 to 127

Peak has a dedicated very low frequency oscillator which can be used to apply a very
slight meandering detune to the three Oscillators. This is to emulate the oscillator drift of
traditional analogue synths: by applying a controlled amount of detuning, the oscillators
become slightly out of tune with each other, adding a “fuller” character to the sound. Unlike
Diverge, the drift effect changes over time.
Old 17th January 2019
  #2792
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totty's Avatar
With the Peak, I don't fully understand the unison spread. I thought if I added it with, say 2 or 3 note unison that each oscillator would be panned left/right and maybe centre for the 3rd. When I do so the sound stage is quite inconsistent, especially on headphones. The voices seem to jump around as well as in some instances the stereo balance being skewed. On this occasion this might be due to voice stealing/allocation. Despite this the point remains that the unison and spread don't behave as I'm used to hearing.
Old 17th January 2019
  #2793
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Synthpark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by totty View Post
With the Peak, I don't fully understand the unison spread. I thought if I added it with, say 2 or 3 note unison that each oscillator would be panned left/right and maybe centre for the 3rd. When I do so the sound stage is quite inconsistent, especially on headphones. The voices seem to jump around as well as in some instances the stereo balance being skewed. On this occasion this might be due to voice stealing/allocation. Despite this the point remains that the unison and spread don't behave as I'm used to hearing.
well, there is also another overlooked problem:

if you have two voices panned left and right, and one is slightly higher in tune, the image is slightly shifted to that side. I know that because I programmed such stuff.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2794
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totty's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthpark View Post
well, there is also another overlooked problem:

if you have two voices panned left and right, and one is slightly higher in tune, the image is slightly shifted to that side. I know that because I programmed such stuff.
I just checked it because I needed to be sure. No it's something else. On an init patch, 2 note unison and full unispread and the signal is stronger in the right hand side to the left.
Attached Thumbnails
Novation Peak-screenshot-2019-01-17-13.05.29.jpg  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2795
Deleted d9d8020
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by totty View Post
With the Peak, I don't fully understand the unison spread. I thought if I added it with, say 2 or 3 note unison that each oscillator would be panned left/right and maybe centre for the 3rd. When I do so the sound stage is quite inconsistent, especially on headphones. The voices seem to jump around as well as in some instances the stereo balance being skewed. On this occasion this might be due to voice stealing/allocation. Despite this the point remains that the unison and spread don't behave as I'm used to hearing.
It seems like the voices are panned semi-randomly. There might be a pattern but I have not experimented.

Since the pans behave this way, you can end up with a stereo image that is lopsided. Play a few more notes and it changes.

With more voices going at once it probably averages out to a more even balance.


I don't think per-oscillator panning is possible with the mono VCA/VCF architecture, just bouncing the entire voice balance at the L/R output stage.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2796
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXode View Post
Okay, thanks! Have you been able to deduce if it's a static difference? I.e. drift is moving and diverge works more like an offset?
With both drift and diverge, speed of beating depends on pitch. Also seems like the beating on diverge is consistent, same speed all the time for each note, whereas beating on drift seems speed up and slow down sorta randomly.

Last edited by mjudge; 4 weeks ago at 05:43 PM.. Reason: Finally understood the question!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2797
Gear Addict
 

Does anyone have any good recordings with resonance on the 12db lpf? And 12db resonant bpf? (Can it do that??)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2798
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bobborries's Avatar
 

Looking at mjudge's requested feature list Id'e like to 2nd the following features.

LFO tunable to standard pitch and tracks keyboard
Filter cutoff tunable to standard pitch and tracks keyboard
Expand range of fixed pitch for oscillators so each can function as an LFO
Envelope segment slopes or option for Logarithmic/linear/exponential envelopes
Ability to set oscillator phase start position
Density and detune for all waveshapes, including wavetables
Variable glide time for each oscillator

I'm quite shocked these features weren't there in the first place. I'll be purchasing this synth very soon.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2799
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobborries View Post
Looking at mjudge's requested feature list Id'e like to 2nd the following features.

LFO tunable to standard pitch and tracks keyboard
Filter cutoff tunable to standard pitch and tracks keyboard
Expand range of fixed pitch for oscillators so each can function as an LFO
Envelope segment slopes or option for Logarithmic/linear/exponential envelopes
Ability to set oscillator phase start position
Density and detune for all waveshapes, including wavetables
Variable glide time for each oscillator

I'm quite shocked these features weren't there in the first place. I'll be purchasing this synth very soon.
You have filter keytracking. It even has a dedicated knob. Turn it to max and it tracks to your oscillators.

If you want logaritmic or exponetial slopes on the envs you can just do this in the mod matrix now. Just use mod env 1 as source, and set destination to mod env 1 attack. Positive values gives logaritmic slopes. On the next mod matrix slot, set ut mod env 1 as source, and mod env 1 decay as destination. Positive values gives exponetial slopes. Its not as "easy" as having a dedicated setting for different slopes, but you will get the exact same effect.

Peak is very "modular" when using the mod matrix.

But yeah! Ive been dreaming of keytracking LFO's! They already goes up into the audio range. So i guess it should be possible to do.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2800
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomachine View Post
You have filter keytracking. It even has a dedicated knob. Turn it to max and it tracks to your oscillators.

If you want logaritmic or exponetial slopes on the envs you can just do this in the mod matrix now. Just use mod env 1 as source, and set destination to mod env 1 attack. Positive values gives logaritmic slopes. On the next mod matrix slot, set ut mod env 1 as source, and mod env 1 decay as destination. Positive values gives exponetial slopes. Its not as "easy" as having a dedicated setting for different slopes, but you will get the exact same effect.

Peak is very "modular" when using the mod matrix.

But yeah! Ive been dreaming of keytracking LFO's! They already goes up into the audio range. So i guess it should be possible to do.
Thanks for the tip on the envelopes, I thought that might be how to do it but I wasn't clear if the default was linear, how the modulation amounts scale, etc. Still, if anyone from Novation is reading, I think it'd be cool to have a simple linear/exponential/logarithmic option.

On the keytracking, the main thing is the oscillators aren't tuned to standard pitch. If you modulate filter cutoff with mod wheel a tiny amount you can get it in tune and depending on where you are on the keyboard it's within +/- 10 cents -- good enough for rock 'n roll. I just think it'd be cool to not have to mess with the mod wheel thing and be able to count on rock solid pitch up and down the keyboard, but I realize these are analog components and that just may not be possible...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2801
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lost_the_peace View Post
Does anyone have any good recordings with resonance on the 12db lpf? And 12db resonant bpf? (Can it do that??)
Sorry for the .mp3 but here's me knob twiddling, first with the LP12 at 0, 1/3, 2/3, and full res, and then the same with BP12.
Attached Files

Peak LP12 and BP12.mp3 (4.99 MB, 2285 views)

Old 4 weeks ago
  #2802
Just got a Peak, I like it, it's far more interesting than the Prophet Rev2 that it's replacing. It can be really dark though, and I knew that before buying it. I have it hooked up to EQ, I just wish it had programmable bass and treble like my Nord Wave, that's such a great and simple thing to have in a synth for that final tweak to the sound. I'm finding I want different levels of EQ per patch. I was curious to look at the circuitry itself but it's a mystery how to open the thing up.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2803
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by friction909 View Post
Just got a Peak, I like it, it's far more interesting than the Prophet Rev2 that it's replacing. It can be really dark though, and I knew that before buying it. I have it hooked up to EQ, I just wish it had programmable bass and treble like my Nord Wave, that's such a great and simple thing to have in a synth for that final tweak to the sound. I'm finding I want different levels of EQ per patch. I was curious to look at the circuitry itself but it's a mystery how to open the thing up.
By "dark" do you mean it does not have enough "highs", it has too much bass?
I own a Prophet 5 Rev 3.2 that I bought new in 1981. I find the "highs" in some of today's synths lacking in bass and the highs can be irritating. Much to bright for my taste.

I am not a fan of the Rev 2. Its an entry level Sequential keyboard, apparently the build quality is not all that great, the pots are cheap and the reverb is cheesy. One filter. Nah.



Mike T.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2804
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by friction909 View Post
Just got a Peak, I like it, it's far more interesting than the Prophet Rev2 that it's replacing. It can be really dark though, and I knew that before buying it. I have it hooked up to EQ, I just wish it had programmable bass and treble like my Nord Wave, that's such a great and simple thing to have in a synth for that final tweak to the sound. I'm finding I want different levels of EQ per patch. I was curious to look at the circuitry itself but it's a mystery how to open the thing up.
Novation could probably implement simple digital shelf EQs in the FPGA and I'd be happy to have it as a feature. That said, the Peak doesn't strike me as particularly dark, though you're not the first person to say that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2805
Gear Nut
 
psyclone001's Avatar
 

The Peak filter still slightly attenuates the signal even when fully wide open.
It can be confirmed on a spectrum analyser, the highs very mildly attenuated.
This may account for some referring to the Peak as having a slightly ‘dark’ sound signature
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2806
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclone001 View Post
The Peak filter still slightly attenuates the signal even when fully wide open.
It can be confirmed on a spectrum analyser, the highs very mildly attenuated.
This may account for some referring to the Peak as having a slightly ‘dark’ sound signature
Yes, if you want to fully open the filter use the mod matrix (or env amount to an envelope with zero attack and max sustain)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2807
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjudge View Post
Sorry for the .mp3 but here's me knob twiddling, first with the LP12 at 0, 1/3, 2/3, and full res, and then the same with BP12.
Awesome, thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2808
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjudge View Post
Thanks for the tip on the envelopes, I thought that might be how to do it but I wasn't clear if the default was linear, how the modulation amounts scale, etc. Still, if anyone from Novation is reading, I think it'd be cool to have a simple linear/exponential/logarithmic option.

On the keytracking, the main thing is the oscillators aren't tuned to standard pitch. If you modulate filter cutoff with mod wheel a tiny amount you can get it in tune and depending on where you are on the keyboard it's within +/- 10 cents -- good enough for rock 'n roll. I just think it'd be cool to not have to mess with the mod wheel thing and be able to count on rock solid pitch up and down the keyboard, but I realize these are analog components and that just may not be possible...
I dont think i get what you mean about the filter tracking. Its been a little while since i used the filter as an oscillator, but im pretty shure it tracked decent. Its an analog filter, so it doesnt track well enough to use it with FM from osc 3.

Have you calibrated your peak recently?

Ill try again when i get home.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2809
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
Yes, if you want to fully open the filter use the mod matrix (or env amount to an envelope with zero attack and max sustain)
It also has something with how the filter keytracking works. On all other synths ive had it works like this: If you have the filter at a set value, the filter opens when you turn on keytracking. But on the Peak the filter closes. Like they have adjusted it for the highest note, and not the lowest noe like the other synths ive used. You can hear this if you turn down the keytracking.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2810
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjudge View Post
Novation could probably implement simple digital shelf EQs in the FPGA and I'd be happy to have it as a feature. That said, the Peak doesn't strike me as particularly dark, though you're not the first person to say that.
I'd say lt depends on one's point of reference is to say whether a synth sounds dark or not. Compared to some of the other modern synths, to my ears the Peak sounds more like the vintage synths that I own and have owned. To my ears, some modern synths are too bright for my taste. However, it could be the settings in the demos I've heard, and the frequency response of the components in a particular synth. I don't know.

Some of the custom patch programing I've heard on youtube of the Prophet 6 are much too bright. My Prophet 5 would be considered dark compared to the P6. But I really have to sit down with one in a music store to give it a whirl. Youtube is compressed and is not the best audio but certainly an improvement over what we had to deal with years ago.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2811
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomachine View Post
I dont think i get what you mean about the filter tracking. Its been a little while since i used the filter as an oscillator, but im pretty shure it tracked decent. Its an analog filter, so it doesnt track well enough to use it with FM from osc 3.

Have you calibrated your peak recently?

Ill try again when i get home.
I'm just saying that if I run Peak into a tuner and set key tracking to 127 and move the cutoff knob so that C3 on the keyboard is C3 on the tuner, I can only get so close because of the knob resolution, at least 20 cents off for most notes, more for others. You can fine tune it using the mod matrix by setting mod source to mod wheel and depth to +1 and then moving the mod wheel a little.

At that point the keytracking works well enough that any pitch is within 10 cents of perfect tuning and it's basically playable. I was just thinking maybe Novation could tune the filter a bit to get us closer in tune out of the box, but it may be a limitation of analog filters.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F5D View Post
The Peak is in the rack now. I used the Denon MC6000 rack mounting brackets + drilled new holes to fit the Peak. The fit is really tight when installing to a rack, the screws need to be flush with the surface of the rack mounting brackets (need to countersink them). In the case of my studio desk, the Peak just fits the rack space of the desk. There is absolutely zero movement sideways, because there is zero extra space with the rack brackets. However, luckily it fits. The end result is fine. These Denon rack mounting brackets are almost perfect fit for the Peak, only about 2 cm too long. I decided not to cut them afterall.

Some photos of the Peak installed in the rack + my modified Bass Station II above it:


Awesome job! Is this a standard 19-inch rack? How did you sink the screws into the brackets to fit it in?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2813
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikt156 View Post
I'd say lt depends on one's point of reference is to say whether a synth sounds dark or not. Compared to some of the other modern synths, to my ears the Peak sounds more like the vintage synths that I own and have owned. To my ears, some modern synths are too bright for my taste. However, it could be the settings in the demos I've heard, and the frequency response of the components in a particular synth. I don't know.

Some of the custom patch programing I've heard on youtube of the Prophet 6 are much too bright. My Prophet 5 would be considered dark compared to the P6. But I really have to sit down with one in a music store to give it a whirl. Youtube is compressed and is not the best audio but certainly an improvement over what we had to deal with years ago.
I'm finding that I need a fairly wide lift around 10kHz to get it to where I like it. But it can be fairly patch dependent, thus I wish I could program the amount per patch. Right now I'm using a Rane ME-15S, where I can flip between a 6 or 12 db range, that's pretty handy, sometimes I like one range more than the other, without having to change the EQ settings. I never prefer EQ bypass, there's something euphonic going on in the Rane where I always prefer it engaged.

The Rev2 is insanely bright, I had to cut the highs on that thing always.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2814
Gear Nut
From what I know of Rane equipment, they make good gear. The Rev 2 and other "modern" synths sound too bright to me. But other players apparently like more highs. Musicians that play in a band often need to boost the highs to be heard out front.

Even though I have not bought my Peak yet, I have gotten excellent response from Novation when I asked them questions through their website. You might want to contact them and see if you can get the boost your are looking for out of your unit. There's lots of controls, a lot of ways to sound shape with the Peak. i'd guess there's a work around.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2815
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikt156 View Post
From what I know of Rane equipment, they make good gear. The Rev 2 and other "modern" synths sound too bright to me. But other players apparently like more highs. Musicians that play in a band often need to boost the highs to be heard out front.

Even though I have not bought my Peak yet, I have gotten excellent response from Novation when I asked them questions through their website. You might want to contact them and see if you can get the boost your are looking for out of your unit. There's lots of controls, a lot of ways to sound shape with the Peak. i'd guess there's a work around.
Because the digital effects in the Peak are send/receive, keeping the analog signal path analog right to the output, all I can think of is some kind of "exciter" algorithm that could be implemented in the FPGA to add additional high frequency harmonics to the sound, with a new screen to control how you dial it in. I might want to find an exciter plugin to add to the Peak to see if I would even like the sound of something like that, how it compares to EQ.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friction909 View Post
Because the digital effects in the Peak are send/receive, keeping the analog signal path analog right to the output, all I can think of is some kind of "exciter" algorithm that could be implemented in the FPGA to add additional high frequency harmonics to the sound, with a new screen to control how you dial it in. I might want to find an exciter plugin to add to the Peak to see if I would even like the sound of something like that, how it compares to EQ.
The Peak has the option to route the analog signal through the digital fx, using them as inserts with variable routing orders. It should be possible to add eq then as well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2817
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
The Peak has the option to route the analog signal through the digital fx, using them as inserts with variable routing orders. It should be possible to add eq then as well.
Right, but you’d have set dry level to zero unless you want parallel eq, and then all the digital effects would be wet only, and the signal would be 100% digital. It’s a problem I hadn’t thought of initially.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjudge View Post
Right, but you’d have set dry level to zero unless you want parallel eq, and then all the digital effects would be wet only, and the signal would be 100% digital. It’s a problem I hadn’t thought of initially.
You mean, unless you want serial. And that’s exactly what I was talking about.

Of course, in order to apply a digital eq, the analog signal should first be converted to digital.. I was just pointing out, the peak is able to do this, so it could be added as an update.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2819
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digital EQ would not really fit with the existing UI. Just because its "digital" doesn't mean you need to add everything possible in an update. Just use an EQ elsewhere, its not hard
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2820
Actually, from some further reading on parallel EQ, I think you actually can introduce EQ into a send/receive architecture just fine.

This is really easy to generate and test out in a DAW, parallel EQ. Add three identical audio tracks, make sure they are locked in phase with each other. Send tracks two and three to a bus. Set the levels of tracks two and three exactly the same. Invert the phase of track three, now tracks two and three will cancel each other out. Add an EQ boost (or cut) to track three, now you will only hear the EQ part of the audio. Invert the phase of the buss so the EQ sound will be back in phase. Mix the original audio on track one with the EQ audio on the bus, and you've got your parallel EQ. I'm not sure it sounds exactly the same as regular insert EQ but it's pretty darn close.

Last edited by friction909; 4 weeks ago at 05:19 PM.. Reason: clarity
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