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Korg Oasys PCI vs Yamaha VL1
Old 27th July 2011
  #1
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Korg Oasys PCI vs Yamaha VL1

Hi

From what I've searched the Korg Oasys PCI seems to be even better than the Korg Z1 or Prophecy, making it likely the top Physical Modeling polyphonic synth available.

In terms of monophonic/duophonic, the Yamaha VL1 seems to be quite well rated and from the demos I've heard, it seems indeed an amazing machine.

I was wondering how do both compare?
Is the VL1 much more advanced in terms of Physical Modeling, or can the Oasys PCI achieve the same quality?


Thanks in advance

Paulo
Old 27th July 2011
  #2
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acreil's Avatar
 

At the risk of asking an overly obvious question, why not use modern software? I don't think the "vintage high end halo" gives these products much of an advantage in 2011, especially if you have to use Win98 or OS9.
Old 27th July 2011
  #3
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Nothing in 2011 really does what the VL1 and Oasys PCI does unfortunately.
VL1 is a better packagae in that it's all self contained, and you have all the controllers in easy access. And I do think it has the edge for acoustic simulation and hybrids, but Oasys PCI does the VA thing too.

VL1 can't be deeply edited on the synth itself, need software editors.
Even then you need a physics degree to get any meaningful results
Due to the fact it really does model acoustic physics, half the time you end up with no sound or something that won't play in tune
Old 28th July 2011
  #4
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Have you looked at the Harm Visser oasys pci offering ? There are many physical modeling algorithms there and audio demos that should give you an idea. That and the old korg audio demos. I have one but have not used the Yamaha VL-1. I'd say compare whatever audio demos you can find.

I guess the thing is physical modeling is kind of broad. How do you want to use the unit when you get it? Are you a wind player using a wind controller which is what the VL-1 seems to be geared towards? When you talk about sound quality are you talking about accuracy of reporducing the instrument it's supposed to be?
Old 28th July 2011
  #5
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I've checked some of those demos and liked it.

But since there aren't that many demos of either the Korg and the Yamaha, I'm still not sure how they stand against each other...


The use I want to give them is to create new sounds that resemble acoustic ones.
Don't need them to emulate perfectly acoustic instruments, just need the sounds to get that "alive" feeling.

At least with my Alesis Fusion I can obtain really interesting sounds with the physical modeling engine (which unfortunately only has reed and wind models), and I bet with a more complex engine, some really nice sounds must be possible.
But most of those sounds I've made so far, are really synthetic sounds, just with some extra "alive" feeling.

Not really intend to use a Wind controller with them, as I already have an EWI3020 with the EWI3030m which is good enough for those kinds of sound, and the EWI has more resolution with its own module than with MIDI.


For this propose, would the Oasys PCI be good enough, or still be many miles away from the Yamaha VL1?

I guess I won't be able to use the breath controller easily, which I guess makes the VL1 even more spectacular, but for synth sounds, that's probably not too bad, right?




P.S. - Are the Harm Visser available for free now, since they aren't supported anymore?
Old 28th July 2011
  #6
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I posted a some VL1 demos here - Oasys can't match that organic quality IMO, but it can do other things
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/6712665-post6.html

more here
Yamaha VL1-m Audio Clips

Just read this, and you can see how complex it is
Yamaha VL Programming Guide by Manny Fernandez

If you get the VL1 and have Sounddiver, I can send you a big bank of patches culled from everything on the net, most you can't find anymore
And a very nice VL1 profile

VL1 only really has string and wind models as well, but it adds filters ontop of that for synth sounds

I have some Oasys demos too. I'll upload some later
Old 28th July 2011
  #7
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Oasys demos, I collect demos, so it's nice to have them now

Sounds good, and I know someone who has one. Just the issue being stuck on an old PC
I don't know if the Kronos even matches the breadth....

I guess a lot of the tech got distilled into the various Z1, VA, beat boxes and what not in the aftermath
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Old 28th July 2011
  #8
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
Oasys demos, I collect demos, so it's nice to have them now

Sounds good, and I know someone who has one. Just the issue being stuck on an old PC
I don't know if the Kronos even matches the breadth....

I guess a lot of the tech got distilled into the various Z1, VA, beat boxes and what not in the aftermath
Although I don't like judging a synth on demos alone, those Oasys PCI demos you just posted, (that are from a 10/15 year old synth) sound sooo much better/alive than any of the JP80/Kronos ones that have been posted recently.

The solos and string pads have so much more charactor.

Real shame it was never released as a keyboard other than the prototype. (another huge f*ckup made by Korg imo, even if it cost too much at the time, releasing it a couple of years later when component cost became more realistic, they would have had a/the legendary digital synthesizer)
Old 28th July 2011
  #9
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Nice demos

I have a Korg Oasys PCI too, but haven't been able to test it yet as I don't have OS9 for my PowerMac G4 (bought just for the Oasys) yet...

All the Oasys demos are from the original programs, or extra programs, like the Harm Visser ones, too?
Old 28th July 2011
  #10
Korg Oasys PCI in a Mac running OS9 and with the synthkit software is a pretty amazing instrument if you are in to sound design. You can literally design your instrument from the ground up. I've never tried the Yamaha VL1, but a friend of mine had one back in the 1990s and loved it. Don't know if he still uses it much these days though.
Old 28th July 2011
  #11
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I have Oasys PCI and it sounds fantastic. The Prophet 5 emulation is superb. Harm Vissar's patches are very nice. I have it in a W98SE machine that crashes all the time. BSOD. I have reinstalled a few times now and am giving up. Will look for a cheaper OS9 box and say goodbye to Microsoft for the last time. Oasys has amazing FX and does a good job as audio I/O as well. I can't wait to start using it again.
Old 28th July 2011
  #12
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Don't forget Harm's physical modeling toolkit is now on Kyma.

I have extensive experience in Physical modeling from hundreds/thousands of hours individually on:
- oasys via synthkit
- vl1 via expert editor
- nord g1 & g2
- csound, max, stk
& some experience with kyma on the capy320 platform.

I am *not* experienced with bidule, scope or reaktor.

When I start using DSP again I'll be focus on the Kyma platform because it sounds best.

These old machines are fun, but lacking. The vl1 doesn't have much high end, but has oodles of body. Oasys has some sparkle but it's midrange is thinner than the vl1 and less realistic (good for percussion and plates and stuff but not for reeds and horns). Max is inefficient at processing single samples and is basically impractical for the task, the Nord Modular synths always have a heavy signature sound that can get in the way of free expression (from a sound designers perspective). The precision of processing in Kyma really shines for physical modeling and provides a digital palette that doesn't have much of a sound signature allowing more possibilities to be explored without mud or character getting in they way.
The only compromise is the UI which they continue to improve... I've written about this on GS before.

I feel Kyma is the top choice, but it requires a sig time investment to learn.

A
Old 28th July 2011
  #13
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paugui View Post
Nice demos

I have a Korg Oasys PCI too, but haven't been able to test it yet as I don't have OS9 for my PowerMac G4 (bought just for the Oasys) yet...

All the Oasys demos are from the original programs, or extra programs, like the Harm Visser ones, too?

Their official Korg demos, so factory sounds
Old 28th July 2011
  #14
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Zombie H's Avatar
 

alot of folks at the korg forums (in the oasys section) seem to be pretty pissed about the Kronos being such a good board when they just dropped 8k on their Oasys synth

and you even get the better piano with Kronos
Old 29th July 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSPaudio View Post
These old machines are fun, but lacking.
Yeah, and both physical model technology and computing power have come so far since then. If you're not happy with the available products, you can read a few recent Julius Smith papers and make it yourself.
Old 29th July 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
At the risk of asking an overly obvious question, why not use modern software?
What modern software did you have in mind? Kyma is a high end hardware system for instance, with a considerable learning curve and level of commitment required to get into it.

What is the best native software offering for physical modeling? I know there's Tassman and some basic physical modeling stuff is starting to become available here and there. Where is there a wealth of various physical modeling algorithms all in one place available to start playing around with?

If you have a win 98 machine you could use it to host some other pci based audio hardware to make the machine do more. Oasys pci is a bit more stable on the mac platform when browsing through 3rd party patches.

The audio demos are of some very basic presets, so if you program it alot you can certainly get into some interesting terrain since there are alot of synthesis and modulation options.
Old 29th July 2011
  #17
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I think the OASYS Pci is the best sounding synth ever made, period.
With that said I wouldn't buy one again.
Unless you get rid of all other gear so you have to use it , it will end up collecting more dust than making noise.
With Steampipe, acoustring and Harm's collection for reaktor I think I would argue reaktor is better for weird sounding PM than either of them.
Old 29th July 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewsc View Post
What is the best native software offering for physical modeling?
I wouldn't know, I've been exclusively using Pure Data lately so I haven't checked any of them out beyond demos. But I've read some papers on it and played with a few physical model-like things. Modeling bars and membranes and stuff (like Tassman) is a good deal more advanced than strictly one dimensional strings and air columns. You're missing out on a lot of possibilities if you're using something that stops there. That's not to say that Tassman (or Reaktor or whatever) have the same degree of design refinement, since the VL1 was a very high end flagship product. But I think it was realized that physical models aren't necessarily the ultimate in expressive realism, since the models have to be properly controlled. To do that plausibly, you have to essentially play the instrument as you would a real one. To play your Kenny G virtual saxophone solo, you'd have to actually be able to play saxophone using a specialized controller, somewhat counter to the idea of a synthesizer being a "generalized" instrument. It's probably better to keep them as abstract models for making acoustic-like sounds. In that case, I don't think something has to attempt to be a "real instrument" the way the VL1 does.
Old 28th February 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
Nothing in 2011 really does what the VL1 and Oasys PCI does unfortunately.
VL1 is a better packagae in that it's all self contained, and you have all the controllers in easy access. And I do think it has the edge for acoustic simulation and hybrids, but Oasys PCI does the VA thing too.

VL1 can't be deeply edited on the synth itself, need software editors.
Even then you need a physics degree to get any meaningful results
Due to the fact it really does model acoustic physics, half the time you end up with no sound or something that won't play in tune
Old thread, but I can't resist adding:
I have a PhD in chemistry/physics and work in the physics dept. at U. Pennsylvania. Doesn't help me program the VL1 one whit! LOL

I actually have both an Oasys PCI & VL1-m as well as VL PLG cards, a Kenton Plugstation, and an EX5r.

The problem with the Oasis-PCI, as well as the K2000 on a card (Turtle Beach PINNACLE), and the Yamaha SW1000XG is that you have to put them into a computer with a REAL old OS.

I'm currently trying to put all three in one computer, without much luck.
Old 20th March 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zentrails View Post
Old thread, but I can't resist adding:
I have a PhD in chemistry/physics and work in the physics dept. at U. Pennsylvania. Doesn't help me program the VL1 one whit! LOL

I actually have both an Oasys PCI & VL1-m as well as VL PLG cards, a Kenton Plugstation, and an EX5r.

The problem with the Oasis-PCI, as well as the K2000 on a card (Turtle Beach PINNACLE), and the Yamaha SW1000XG is that you have to put them into a computer with a REAL old OS.

I'm currently trying to put all three in one computer, without much luck.
So, we have to collaborate.
I'm starting to recover from dust my vl1 m, my oasys PCI and get them connected to a powermac g4.
Waiting forma tour feedback.
Cheers
Old 20th March 2013
  #21
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This thread doesn't load well with all those audio demos.

Can we just use this link instead?

OASYS PCI Effects - Audio Demos


Here is a link to Harm Visser:

Harm Visser Acoustic Modelling

Harm Visser Acoustic Modelling
Old 24th March 2013
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
Nothing in 2011 really does what the VL1 and Oasys PCI does unfortunately.
VL1 is a better packagae in that it's all self contained, and you have all the controllers in easy access. And I do think it has the edge for acoustic simulation and hybrids, but Oasys PCI does the VA thing too.

VL1 can't be deeply edited on the synth itself, need software editors.
Even then you need a physics degree to get any meaningful results
Due to the fact it really does model acoustic physics, half the time you end up with no sound or something that won't play in tune
I have both a VL1-m and an Oasys PCI card, just aquired recently, I'll happily give comparisons, soon, although they are certainly different beasts, which is why I have them both.

I also have a PhD in physics/chemistry and can tell you my book learnin' is of ABSOLUTELY no use in programing these things.

It does help me a little to program my Kawai K5m & K5000m, because at least I know what a FFT is.

A GRAPH! OMG!

The Professor who wrote VLONE has answered me and says that his VL1/VL70m download links now work again. I'll find that thread and post this there also - they'll be fun to play with if I can get them to work!
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