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Synapse Obsession is out!
Old 1 week ago
  #211
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
If Repro came in a desktop module I’d buy it. There’s a controller for it, but I don’t know how well it works:

http://sound-force.nl/?page_id=2412
The SoundForce controllers are ace. I have the new Prophet controller and have it working with RePro-5. They have announced a Jupiter programmer which I will be buying to use with the Roland Cloud JP-8. I find this solution much better (and less costly) than having the S8 or other hardware. You get the best of ITB and hardware feel.
Old 1 week ago
  #212
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by rasseru View Post
I'm looking at Legend now and its milliseconds, semitones etc, so its not all synapse plugins
Argh, you're right! I should've checked screenshots of Legend too before commenting... thanks for the correction.
Old 1 week ago
  #213
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
I’ve had this problem with every plugin I’ve used where I own (or have used) the original hardware. There are always at least a few knob/slider positions that are way off and have to be tuned by ear. I do appreciate plugins that report the actual units of parameters instead of just a number, but it doesn’t really help when copying patches from hardware anyway.
I find the key to copying patches from hardware (or even between plugins) is to keep a spectrum analyzer on each synth’s output and look at it. Use it to tune your filter and get the resonance amount right, but don’t forget to use your ears as well. Getting envelope amounts is more tricky, but you can get pretty good at listening. Sometimes it’s just not possible to match synths, but that’s fine. I’ve often tried to come up with a matching patch and after a bit of frustration wandered off and found a new sound that was even better. I remember I had the idea that my Prophet 12 would take the place of my MoPho, and I was having a hard time matching one of my favorite lead sounds, but when I stopped and began exploring the 12’s Character section’s Drive effect, I ended up with a similar sounding lead patch that was actually a bit better.

The moral of this story is this: if you want to be sad, always compare everything to everything else. My friend Lao Tzu always is reminding me of this, but I still forget.
Old 1 week ago
  #214
Lives for gear
 
Stormchild's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
The moral of this story is this: if you want to be sad, always compare everything to everything else. My friend Lao Tzu always is reminding me of this, but I still forget.
Yeah…he was a cool guy. If you look closely at my avatar you can see my only tattoo. I got it somewhere I can’t see it because — to quote Morpheus’ succinct summary of Lao Tzu’s first lesson — “there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”.
Old 6 days ago
  #215
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
Yeah…he was a cool guy. If you look closely at my avatar you can see my only tattoo. I got it somewhere I can’t see it because — to quote Morpheus’ succinct summary of Lao Tzu’s first lesson — “there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path”.
Next time I'm in Japan, we should hang (if travel is ever a thing again). I have a rather unnatural affinity to the Matrix movies. Even the bad ones.
Old 6 days ago
  #216
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

No matter how "close" a software emulation of a synthesizer may sound, playing them is always a little weak and anemic. Whether that is worth the cost of admission is up to you. In many instances it is not but for players as opposed to programmers it often is.
Old 6 days ago
  #217
Lives for gear
 
Stormchild's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Next time I'm in Japan, we should hang (if travel is ever a thing again). I have a rather unnatural affinity to the Matrix movies. Even the bad ones.
Yeah, let me know when you’re headed out this way.

I just rewatched the trio again recently. Tried to forget everything and just watch them fresh. Still love the first one and think it didn’t need sequels, but I think the second one is okay. Third one…well…I enjoy the performance of the dude who plays Smith in human form (seriously, he did a great job), and I’m over the disappointment, so I can at least laugh at the unintentionally hilarious parts without also being sad.

Don’t know what it would be like to watch these for the first time in 2020, but in 1999 the first one was truly groundbreaking in cinematography and effects. Not just the bullet time trick (love the mad genius of actually setting up ~100 cameras in a path to shoot a three second effect), but the color grading, which casts the simulation world in a perpetual green tint, and the real world in a cold blue. I remember thinking the color cast was a brilliantly subtle touch — not actually that subtle, but even if you notice it, it just seems stylized, and only when he wakes up is the meaning of the green tint revealed. I bet many people never consciously noticed this but it definitely registers in your mind, and plays a part in the sense that something is just…off…in this world. Like a splinter in your mind.

Whatever people think of 2 and 3 as stories, they did step up their visual effects game and pull a few more rabbits out of their hat on that level. I have no desire to play any role in making movies but I love and appreciate the craft.
Old 6 days ago
  #218
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
Yeah, let me know when you’re headed out this way.

I just rewatched the trio again recently. Tried to forget everything and just watch them fresh. Still love the first one and think it didn’t need sequels, but I think the second one is okay. Third one…well…I enjoy the performance of the dude who plays Smith in human form (seriously, he did a great job), and I’m over the disappointment, so I can at least laugh at the unintentionally hilarious parts without also being sad.

Don’t know what it would be like to watch these for the first time in 2020, but in 1999 the first one was truly groundbreaking in cinematography and effects. Not just the bullet time trick (love the mad genius of actually setting up ~100 cameras in a path to shoot a three second effect), but the color grading, which casts the simulation world in a perpetual green tint, and the real world in a cold blue. I remember thinking the color cast was a brilliantly subtle touch — not actually that subtle, but even if you notice it, it just seems stylized, and only when he wakes up is the meaning of the green tint revealed. I bet many people never consciously noticed this but it definitely registers in your mind, and plays a part in the sense that something is just…off…in this world. Like a splinter in your mind.

Whatever people think of 2 and 3 as stories, they did step up their visual effects game and pull a few more rabbits out of their hat on that level. I have no desire to play any role in making movies but I love and appreciate the craft.
Agree on all of that. A girlfriend at the time worked for a company that was a subsidiary of the company who did the effects and she worked in the building where a lot of the stuff was shot. I’ve stood in that Telephone booth. Stood under a squiddy too. (Though I think the ones in the movie were all CGI)

I actually have a theory that there’s enough good in the second two movies that could be edited into a single good movie. I always think that it would be fun to take it on as a project. They’re currently working on the 4th, so we’ll see what happens. Probably had to freeze production due to the pandemic.
Old 6 days ago
  #219
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I did a little more a/b testing between Obsession and OB-Xa and I’ve come to a few conclusions.

They were modeled after fantastically different synths. Maybe one wasn’t modeled after an OB-Xa at all.

Overall, Obsession has a more open and “natural” sound. My guess is, it’s way closer to a correctly calibrated OB-Xa.

The Arturia version has a more “boxy” sound to the 2 dB filter. Not sure how that works, because if you look at it on a spectrum analyzer the Arturia doesn’t look like it’s range is truncated. They seem a lot closer on the 4 dB filter.

Things like cutoff range and mod amount are crazy different.

The extra resonance on OB-Xa V is really nice. I love it for some sounds and it’s a bit disappointing that you can’t get it on Obesssion. I’d love it if Synapse added a way to extend that in a future update. Maybe something like how U-He does Repro’s tweak page (but without the stupid unnecessary circuit board graphic, please) It makes it a worse emulation, but opens things up for sound design by a lot.

Stereo LFO with offset is brilliant on OB-Xa V. WIIIIIIIDE.

Arturia’s cross mod sounds terrible in comparison. I mean, leave it off if you don’t want to do it right.

Overall, I like the UI of OB-Xa V more, though the per voice editor in Obsession is great. I need to explore that a bit more. Being able to see the mod matrix/effects/function generator and main UI at the same time is great. Flipping back and forth sucks.

I can’t comment on the effects, I mostly ignore them.

That’s my updated comparison. I’d say that if I was into some more heavy duty sound design with a vintage flavor, the Arturia would be the one to go to. If I wanted something more authentically vintage sounding, Obession will win.
Old 6 days ago
  #220
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
No matter how "close" a software emulation of a synthesizer may sound, playing them is always a little weak and anemic. Whether that is worth the cost of admission is up to you. In many instances it is not but for players as opposed to programmers it often is.
It’s awesome that your listening audience can so clearly tell - and also care about - the difference between a top quality emulation and a hardware synth after effects and compression etc are applied.

Now, whether you as the musician find one or the other, both, or neither, more inspiring and productive is another issue.

But none of that has anything specifically to do with Obsession, which you merely implied didn’t pass the cork sniffing test.
Old 6 days ago
  #221
Gear Nut
 

I bet these guys would miserably fail a blind test between the hardware and a good emulation like this one.
Old 6 days ago
  #222
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Sounds to me like you’ve not been paying attention. Massive X sounds fantastic, and a lot of their Reaktor instruments, aside from Monark, sound great too. Actually even their legacy stuff like Absynth and FM8 sound pretty good, though Absynth could use a face-lift and some love on it’s filters.
Agreed. Really love Super 8.
Old 6 days ago
  #223
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
The extra resonance on OB-Xa V is really nice. I love it for some sounds and it’s a bit disappointing that you can’t get it on Obesssion.
You can! It's in the individual voice card settings. It goes up quite high, though not quite self oscillation.
Old 6 days ago
  #224
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfc83 View Post
You can! It's in the individual voice card settings. It goes up quite high, though not quite self oscillation.
Yeah, I looked at that can of worms. I’ll try it. I wish there was a way to do them all at once if you want.
Old 6 days ago
  #225
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone123 View Post
It’s awesome that your listening audience can so clearly tell - and also care about - the difference between a top quality emulation and a hardware synth after effects and compression etc are applied.

Now, whether you as the musician find one or the other, both, or neither, more inspiring and productive is another issue.

But none of that has anything specifically to do with Obsession, which you merely implied didn’t pass the cork sniffing test.
There are those among us who believe in talismans and charms. They’re magic is ineffective without them.
Old 6 days ago
  #226
Lives for gear
 
Benj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I did a little more a/b testing between Obsession and OB-Xa and I’ve come to a few conclusions.

They were modeled after fantastically different synths. Maybe one wasn’t modeled after an OB-Xa at all.

Overall, Obsession has a more open and “natural” sound. My guess is, it’s way closer to a correctly calibrated OB-Xa.

The Arturia version has a more “boxy” sound to the 2 dB filter. Not sure how that works, because if you look at it on a spectrum analyzer the Arturia doesn’t look like it’s range is truncated. They seem a lot closer on the 4 dB filter.

Things like cutoff range and mod amount are crazy different.

The extra resonance on OB-Xa V is really nice. I love it for some sounds and it’s a bit disappointing that you can’t get it on Obesssion. I’d love it if Synapse added a way to extend that in a future update. Maybe something like how U-He does Repro’s tweak page (but without the stupid unnecessary circuit board graphic, please) It makes it a worse emulation, but opens things up for sound design by a lot.

Stereo LFO with offset is brilliant on OB-Xa V. WIIIIIIIDE.

Arturia’s cross mod sounds terrible in comparison. I mean, leave it off if you don’t want to do it right.

Overall, I like the UI of OB-Xa V more, though the per voice editor in Obsession is great. I need to explore that a bit more. Being able to see the mod matrix/effects/function generator and main UI at the same time is great. Flipping back and forth sucks.

I can’t comment on the effects, I mostly ignore them.

That’s my updated comparison. I’d say that if I was into some more heavy duty sound design with a vintage flavor, the Arturia would be the one to go to. If I wanted something more authentically vintage sounding, Obession will win.
The thing about the 12db filter is that each card has a calibration amount for resonance. The service manual says to turn it up until the filter is self resonating and then back it off until it stops. But one can definitely leave it self resonating and I personally enjoy the extra omph on the OB-Xa this way. With Obsession, a voice with all of it's controls centered will be an ideal calibration and one can adjust it from there. On a real OB-Xa voice card, one can completely put everything way out of bounds in terms of tuning, pitch tracking, filter tracking, resonance, etc. Obsession doesn't give this amount of control, which is fine since I don't think anyone wants to have to calibrate a soft synth... That being said, the resonance controls here do not go as far as I think they should.

Obsession definitely sounds much more like my OB-Xa than the Arturia OBXaV, but I think the Arturia is still a very decent soft synth and capable of some wonderful Oberheim like sounds. There is still something about the top end on the Arturia that feels a bit artificial, but I feel like it can be worked around and overall, it feels like a good improvement in terms of their modeling and I would eventually like to own it because I personally like the Oberheim-esc sound (I'm a fan and have an OB-Xa, Xpander and a modded Matrix 6r).

The Arturia does have subtle differences per voice in tuning (at least in pitch, possibly in filter and elsewhere) but the flexibility of Obsession allows results that are much more realistic in terms of inconsistencies between voices and individual oscillators (which is part of the OB-Xa charm). On both emulations you can put each oscillator tuning on a voice at zero and the oscillators are perfectly in tune without any drift. My OB-Xa is a basically incapable of doing this. Even if you get it extremely close, there is still some movement and you can watch each oscillator on a tuning scope and see subtle shifts and bits of dancing that I'm not seeing on any soft synth, including Obsession (turns out the Organic setting does emulate this - correction below). The OB-Xa really has a wonderful sound with that slow phase between the oscillators (or faster detune or modulating one oscillator against the other). Dialing in subtle pitch differences in Obsession gets you very close to this sound. I was able to make patches in Obsession that sound very convincing... it's not exact, but it feels as close as Repro-1 to Pro-one, Repro-5 to Prophet-5 and Legend to Minimoog. I've compared all to the corresponding hardware and while none of them have as many sweets spots, or the effortless interface of the hardware, they are very close and full of nuance and details that are very capable of making great music. I've heard other OB-Xa's that sounded a little more solid, tune wise, than mine but I really don't think a never ending perfect phase between oscillators is really possible. The OB-8 and later Oberheim instruments had much tighter tuning, but this is what makes the OB-Xa and OB-X more complex, organic and alive even for basic synth tones.

Correction: The Organic setting in Obsession around a value of .15 - .25 does have the movement similar to my OB-Xa! The tuning of Legend, Repro-1/5 also appear to have random movement... just different than what the OB-Xa does.

Last edited by Benj; 5 days ago at 01:12 AM.. Reason: Correction
Old 6 days ago
  #227
Gear Nut
 

Great post! Obsession is good enough for me then (as is RePro, Legend and very few others). It can get really close to the corresponding hardware, and for $99 and ITB it's even better to me.
Old 5 days ago
  #228
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benj View Post
The thing about the 12db filter is that each card has a calibration amount for resonance. The service manual says to turn it up until the filter is self resonating and then back it off until it stops. But one can definitely leave it self resonating and I personally enjoy the extra omph on the OB-Xa this way. With Obsession, a voice with all of it's controls centered will be an ideal calibration and one can adjust it from there. On a real OB-Xa voice card, one can completely put everything way out of bounds in terms of tuning, pitch tracking, filter tracking, resonance, etc. Obsession doesn't give this amount of control, which is fine since I don't think anyone wants to have to calibrate a soft synth... That being said, the resonance controls here do not go as far as I think they should.

Obsession definitely sounds much more like my OB-Xa than the Arturia OBXaV, but I think the Arturia is still a very decent soft synth and capable of some wonderful Oberheim like sounds. There is still something about the top end on the Arturia that feels a bit artificial, but I feel like it can be worked around and overall, it feels like a good improvement in terms of their modeling and I would eventually like to own it because I personally like the Oberheim-esc sound (I'm a fan and have an OB-Xa, Xpander and a modded Matrix 6r).

The Arturia does have subtle differences per voice in tuning (at least in pitch, possibly in filter and elsewhere) but the flexibility of Obsession allows results that are much more realistic in terms of inconsistencies between voices and individual oscillators (which is part of the OB-Xa charm). On both emulations you can put each oscillator tuning on a voice at zero and the oscillators are perfectly in tune without any drift. My OB-Xa is a basically incapable of doing this. Even if you get it extremely close, there is still some movement and you can watch each oscillator on a tuning scope and see subtle shifts and bits of dancing that I'm not seeing on any soft synth, including Obsession. The OB-Xa really has a wonderful sound with that slow phase between the oscillators (or faster detune or modulating one oscillator against the other). Dialing in subtle pitch differences in Obsession gets you very close to this sound. I was able to make patches in Obsession that sound very convincing... it's not exact, but it feels as close as Repro-1 to Pro-one, Repro-5 to Prophet-5 and Legend to Minimoog. I've compared all to the corresponding hardware and while none of them have as many sweets spots, or the effortless interface of the hardware, they are very close and full of nuance and details that are very capable of making great music. I've heard other OB-Xa's that sounded a little more solid, tune wise, than mine but I really don't think a never ending perfect phase between oscillators is really possible. The OB-8 and later Oberheim instruments had much tighter tuning, but this is what makes the OB-Xa and OB-X more complex, organic and alive even for basic synth tones.
Thanks for that download. I’m always hesitant to say anything sounds like anything because my last hands on time with an OB-Xa (and most vintage synths) was in the 80s, and I didn’t even own them. They were owned by the music store that I worked in or by people I worked for. I’d say most of my idea of what an OB-Xa sounds like is from Prince albums, as I’m a big fan. I guess the closest thing to an Oberheim that I’ve ever owned is the SEM filter clone in my ATC-X and the SEM based filter in my Pro 2. I had a Boomstar SEM for a time. Lovely sound... but totally different synths.

But even so, I can hear what you mean about the Arturia’s high end. All their stuff sounds a bit boxy... it’s their way. At least you don’t have to hit them with as much EQ to carve out a spot, and they always add something interesting to their plugins. It’s almost like an apology. “We couldn’t really figure out how to get it to sound closer to the original... so here’s a function generator!” I love that kind of stuff, though.

One thing I’m surprised at is that you said the pitch on Obsession was stable in a way that your OB-Xa isn’t. That seems like something that would be relatively easy to model.
Old 5 days ago
  #229
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
One thing I’m surprised at is that you said the pitch on Obsession was stable in a way that your OB-Xa isn’t. That seems like something that would be relatively easy to model.
Obsession has the “Organic” knob, which seems to introduce some randomness, albeit to more than just pitch.
Old 5 days ago
  #230
Gear Maniac
 

A quick comparison of various Oberheim emulations, including Obsession:

Old 5 days ago
  #231
Lives for gear
 
Benj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbone1313 View Post
Obsession has the “Organic” knob, which seems to introduce some randomness, albeit to more than just pitch.
Ah yes, this indeed does the trick and a very subtle amount... maybe .15 - .25 does have the movement similar to my OB-Xa!

Thanks for posting. I double checked and it does seem like, Legend, Repro-1/5 do have varied movement in pitch stability. All of these great emulations!
Old 5 days ago
  #232
Lives for gear
 

It's also nice that Obsession responds to PC messages. Man, what a PITA on those synths that don't. Even u-He's oddball implementation seems really counter-intuitive, so kudos to the team at Synapse Audio.
Old 5 days ago
  #233
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
u-he's implementation is actually quite easy and ensures consistency. Any other implementation (except manual PC lists like in, say, NI Massive or FM8) is prone to failure if you add patches in any folder at any random time. u-he preloads things and you can specify the order of patches yourself and that's it. IMHO that's the perfect way of dealing with it.

EDIT: Also just managed to crash OBsession by sending it program changes in succession. u-he's implementation never crashed.
Old 4 days ago
  #234
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
u-he's implementation is actually quite easy and ensures consistency. Any other implementation (except manual PC lists like in, say, NI Massive or FM8) is prone to failure if you add patches in any folder at any random time. u-he preloads things and you can specify the order of patches yourself and that's it. IMHO that's the perfect way of dealing with it.

EDIT: Also just managed to crash OBsession by sending it program changes in succession. u-he's implementation never crashed.
Adding a patch to a special list is indeed easy. And no doubt the consistency is there because it's the same across Diva and Repro. Having to quit the program and reload to recognize and use those changes isn't intuitive and miles away from anything I'd ever call "perfect". But it is what it is and I've learned to work with it and be happy the facility is there.
Old 4 days ago
  #235
Gear Guru
 
EvilDragon's Avatar
It's that way because the whole list is preloaded into RAM as you instantiate the plugin. I suppose there could be a way to force the refresh, but priorities.
Old 4 days ago
  #236
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
It's that way because the whole list is preloaded into RAM as you instantiate the plugin. I suppose there could be a way to force the refresh, but priorities.
It's a list. Ideally it would just be a list of pointers to the patches being referenced and I see the utility of having the MIDI programs "always there" to deal with the issues of loading/unloading user banks while maintaining things like garbage collection and avoiding dereferenced pointers, it's still just a list. Even discounting the possibilities of bank select handling, having this list active (you can still add to and remove from the MIDI bank) but not accessible is weird.

But like you said, priorities...
Old 3 days ago
  #237
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
OK found the updates. Very nice indeed. Pity they didn't touch the Legacy Cell yet. Also the Odyssey still only allows to switch between company, normal or extended but you can't make the entire GUI bigger it seems. I still struggle with the tiny sliders and markings on that one.
Where did you find the updates for the Korg Legacy plugins? I can download old versions from the deprecated KORG USER .NET site. But I don't see where I can download the latest versions from the newer KORG Shop.

Thanks in advance for your help. :-)
Old 3 days ago
  #238
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
What is the copy protection for this plug in..? ilok or just licence number..?
Old 3 days ago
  #239
Gear Nut
 

Synapse does license numbers I think. Definitely not iLok.
Old 3 days ago
  #240
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooderson View Post
Synapse does license numbers I think. Definitely not iLok.
thanks, that's good news.
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