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My Impressions of the Integra 7 after a few weeks Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 23rd August 2017
  #241
Pip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
In this day and age I just don't understand why anyone would want an Integra-7 when there are amazing software instruments that can do the same and more for much less while being completely integrated in your DAW workflow. For a live performer, I get it - and that's the Jupiter-80, but a rack module in today's world doesn't make any sense IMO.
I have loads of software instruments, it's convenient, has a great engine, and most of the legacy sounds, as a 2080 user for many years it's a no brainer. Add to that great supernatural sounds, no cpu load.
Old 23rd August 2017
  #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
In this day and age I just don't understand why anyone would want an Integra-7 when there are amazing software instruments that can do the same and more for much less while being completely integrated in your DAW workflow. For a live performer, I get it - and that's the Jupiter-80, but a rack module in today's world doesn't make any sense IMO.
No-one at all? You really can't think of any type of synth user who might prefer to have a set of thousands of great sounding instruments in one simple hardware box. All available with no load times, no latency, and no chance that the latest DAW/driver/OS update renders it flakey/unusable.

You can't think why someone might want that? Not just one or two oddballs, either, but many thousands of them? In studios across the world?

(And, FWIW, you must be trolling because your sig lists plenty of hardware that can be replaced by software - according to you.)
Old 23rd August 2017
  #243
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Originally Posted by manalishi View Post
(And, FWIW, you must be trolling because your sig lists plenty of hardware that can be replaced by software - according to you.)
Is latency such a big deal? I can get down to 32ms on my DAW so I really don't feel anything. And yes, I do have hardware, but you'll notice none of it is ROMpler fare. And that's my point - rack based ROMplers are designed just to have tons of presets available and not for realtime sound creation, so at that point I really don't see any advantage to using plug-ins like Omnisphere, Kontakt, etc. My computer is blazing fast so I don't experience any load time issues, latency, etc. In fact it's faster to use these than recording a hardware synth onto a track for further processing. And as I said, I can think of a use for this type of device and it's for live performance, but in the studio. Nope.
Old 23rd August 2017
  #244
Gear Maniac
 

I think here that there are many unspoken assumptions waiting in the wings here. Some people like to play an instrument just for the sake of playing it. It is not just a work tool used for a final outcome. Some people like to play an instrument without having the need to record what is played. I think that there is room for all.
Old 23rd August 2017
  #245
Registered User
My main reasons for liking my Integra are these:
1 - i've played with Roland gear since the 1980's, and this is pretty much a round-up of all things Roland in one box. Not quite, but pretty much. There is something about Roland sounds that I like - and a bit part of that is because they have been layered into so many hit records over the decades. Compared to other synth makers, I find that Roland sounds are big and bright and cheesy and sort of 'obvious'. But that can be a good thing ....

2 - Yes there are hundreds of software makers out there, but most don't have the years of development and the vast sound library that Roland has. Roland have always been careful not to give away their sounds in software form - because software always gets pirated. Always. So basically - if you want Roland sounds, hardware basically is their protection. One that won't bite you in the ass in the near future.

3 - i've spent thousands of dollars on software which has effectively just gone down the sewer. OS changes - DAW changes - compatibility and dependency issues. Software is never an investment ... it's necessary, but it's temporary. At least with hardware you have an object that will probably still work in 20 years time, with or without computers.

4 - but here is the big one for me. For some reason, I find soft synths and samplers are just not quite as 'finished' as hardware sounds. I know - i've thrown up all the academic arguments in the past as to why software rules and can do anything hardware can do, and there is no scientific reason why hardware should sound better. But actually there is.

Apart from the protection issue and synth makers keeping their best sounds for their high end hardware products ... I think there is a lot to be said by letting digital audio out into the analog realm so that real electrons can run about, obeying the laws of physics and thermodynamics, and turning the numbers into real voltage. I know that's going to happen in the consumer's playback DAC anyway ... but I there there is an advantage in doing it before, and even after, the mixing stage.

Specifically - I find that real hardware FX like stompboxes and modulation FX and filters ... as good as software is, I can usually find an analog or hybrid box that just sounds better to my ears. Some of this is because of designers talent and taste. But I think a lot is about the effect that running electrons through circuits has. It's the sound of recorded music we've been listening to for 100 years. It's about noise and distortion and phase shifts and generally distressing the signal which makes it more appealing to our ears.

I've been doing a lot of research into pedals at the moment ... pedals are not all created equal. Something as simple as a distortion, a delay or a chorus ... there is a world of choice, and some sounds just hit an emotional nerve and others just don't. I can speculate on some things - but at the end of the day it's a bit of a mystery why some boxes have mojo and others don't.

The same applies to plugins of course - but I find more of a same-ness with software.

So basically what i'm saying is ... I love the sounds I can get out of the Integra by processing with pedals and amps and basically treating it like an instrument in the real world. Especially the Supernatural EP's and the Tonewheel organ engine ... they are very bland in the box, and begging to be processed externally where they really come to life. And other sounds are just too big and bright and hifi in the box ... which is begging for some dirtying up and messing around with.

I suppose it helps that i'm mainly a guitarist and have a lot of guitar gear, because guitar is all about processing a very bland pickup sound into something magical. I view synths the same way, and don't expect them to be finished and ready for use.

Software is amazing though ... there is also no reason why you can't reamp soft instruments anyway.

The Integra is by no means perfect. In the old days of romplers, Roland and others put out a lot of nasty buzzy short loops and bad sample stretching and problem sounds. Even with the Supernatural stuff - it's not perfect. But that's part of the charm ... I tend to have perfectionist tendencies, and when I achieve perfection I get really bored with it ...

Sometimes it's not to have to reinvent the wheel again. I know I can find just about any bread and butter sound I want in the Integra .... people like the comfort of familar sounds. It's a good workhorse synth.

Would I buy it again? Probably ...
Old 23rd August 2017
  #246
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???? It's a bit bizarre to wander into a thread about a hardware synth and try to tell people who are happy with it that they're all fools for having the 'wrong' workflow.
Old 23rd August 2017
  #247
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Originally Posted by JustAnybody View Post
I think here that there are many unspoken assumptions waiting in the wings here. Some people like to play an instrument just for the sake of playing it. It is not just a work tool used for a final outcome. Some people like to play an instrument without having the need to record what is played. I think that there is room for all.
Sure, but isn't that what the Jupiter-80 and Jupiter-50 are for? With a rack module you still have to connect an external MIDI keyboard to control it, so again at that point why not just use your MIDI keyboard to play a plug-in if you are at home in the studio? I guess some people really just don't want to turn on a computer...
Old 23rd August 2017
  #248
Gear Maniac
 

Yes that would make sense. We all have what we have and use it the way we do. Is it necessary for you to understand what people do rather than just accept that they do?

I do not turn my audio computer on that often. I mostly use it to only record what I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
Sure, but isn't that what the Jupiter-80 and Jupiter-50 are for? With a rack module you still have to connect an external MIDI keyboard to control it, so again at that point why not just use your MIDI keyboard to play a plug-in if you are at home in the studio? I guess some people really just don't want to turn on a computer...
Old 23rd August 2017
  #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manalishi View Post
???? It's a bit bizarre to wander into a thread about a hardware synth and try to tell people who are happy with it that they're all fools for having the 'wrong' workflow.
Don't mind him, he's always like that.
Old 23rd August 2017
  #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
so again at that point why not just use your MIDI keyboard to play a plug-in if you are at home in the studio? I guess some people really just don't want to turn on a computer...
No the I7 is way more than that. If by plugin samplers you mean? The I7 can run through and demo like 20 or 30 samples before even one full sample set is fully loaded into a DAW plugin sampler (using Kontakt as a reference here). Not all the I7's samples are great the but same goes for ITB sample sets imho. That's why I use both. Though you can imagine the I7 saves me a lot of time.

Other gems? The built in synth. Absolutely f'n amazing. One hell of a VA synth. It can be warm or super glassy and everything inbetween. Makes me jones for a JD-XA, and I'd probably already have one if they weren't so f***ing butt ugly.

And... All those vintage Roland rompler cards. And in true rompler fashion, the ability to create new patches using the rompler filter/envelope section to mangle those samples. I can get entirely lost just messing with that.

All this without even turning on a computer.
Old 24th August 2017
  #251
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
Is latency such a big deal? I can get down to 32ms on my DAW so I really don't feel anything.


Well, at least that helps put things in perspective as to where you're coming from as a player which helps to better frame your opinion.
Old 24th August 2017
  #252
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
In this day and age I just don't understand why anyone would want an Integra-7 when there are amazing software instruments that can do the same and more for much less while being completely integrated in your DAW workflow. For a live performer, I get it - and that's the Jupiter-80, but a rack module in today's world doesn't make any sense IMO.
Tell me which amazing software instruments you are referring to that can replace the Integra like for like?

There isnt any, which is exactly why the Integra is such a beast.

The only reason you posted that is because you dont use one, otherwise you wouldnt have posted something silly like that
Old 24th August 2017
  #253
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Originally Posted by VinceWatson View Post
Tell me which amazing software instruments you are referring to that can replace the Integra like for like?

There isnt any, which is exactly why the Integra is such a beast.

The only reason you posted that is because you dont use one, otherwise you wouldnt have posted something silly like that
To start, just the instruments included in Logic Pro X could do anything the Integra can, but aside from that Omnisphere 2, Kontakt and Diva come to mind. Again, if you're just going for presets which I think most rack/ROMpler users do.
Old 24th August 2017
  #254
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Originally Posted by manalishi View Post
???? It's a bit bizarre to wander into a thread about a hardware synth and try to tell people who are happy with it that they're all fools for having the 'wrong' workflow.
Did I call anyone fools or say they have the wrong workflow? I simply said I don't understand why people would need rackmount ROMplers in this day and age. Happy to hear reasons why - I just honestly don't get it.
Old 24th August 2017
  #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
To start, just the instruments included in Logic Pro X could do anything the Integra can, but aside from that Omnisphere 2, Kontakt and Diva come to mind. Again, if you're just going for presets which I think most rack/ROMpler users do.
I use O2 and Diva extensively and they are nothing like the Integra. Totally different animals.

If you think Logic Pro X sounds like an Integra then you obviously havent even played one, let alone own one.
Old 24th August 2017
  #256
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Originally Posted by VinceWatson View Post
I use O2 and Diva extensively and they are nothing like the Integra. Totally different animals.

If you think Logic Pro X sounds like an Integra then you obviously havent even played one, let alone own one.
Admittedly I have not owned an Integra-7 but I have played the Jupiter-80 extensively and have owned both an XV-5080 and JV-2080 with all the cards that are in the Integra, so I think I do know essentially what this box sounds like. But really, it's OK if you like it. Not trying to talk you out of it, just really wondering what's the appeal.
Old 24th August 2017
  #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
Did I call anyone fools or say they have the wrong workflow? I simply said I don't understand why people would need rackmount ROMplers in this day and age. Happy to hear reasons why - I just honestly don't get it.

Workflow and speed, I have O2 and some nice Kontakt libraries too but they load sounds slow.. O2 is not bad but I hate Kontakt's workflow and slow loading of sounds, total buzz kill for me! Auditioning 10 different pianos in the I7 takes 1 minute, Auditioning 10 different pianos in Kontakt takes all day....
Old 24th August 2017
  #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
Admittedly I have not owned an Integra-7 but I have played the Jupiter-80 extensively and have owned both an XV-5080 and JV-2080 with all the cards that are in the Integra, so I think I do know essentially what this box sounds like. But really, it's OK if you like it. Not trying to talk you out of it, just really wondering what's the appeal.
Old and long existing Synth manufaturers like Yamaha, Korg and Roland, possess many decades of experience and knowledge concerning building instruments and assertive and playable sounds, their connection and interaction with the player and the settings in which such sounds are used, especially in the studio or in live settings on stage with other live played instruments, resp musicians.

Many software instruments offer a really outstanding sound in the studio or with headphones, but don't offer the immediate connection with the player and are useless, when used in a mix in the studio or listened with loud PA speakers played in a band in a live setting, where they lack the necessary assertiveness.

History proofs that building good instruments is an art form, which is based on many decades of experience and tradition. Many software manufacturers don't play in that league. There are just a handful of them, like Spectrasonics.

Using software instruments in a mix in the studio or on stage, usually calls for a lot of additional sound processing to reach usable results. Many good hardware instruments, like those from Roland, don't need that. They offer everything a musician really needs in many different musical settings in the studio or on stage right out of the box and this needs many decades of experience, which most young software manufacturers don't have.

These are some of the reasons why an instrument like the Integra-7 cannot be easily replicated with exisiting software instruments.
Old 24th August 2017
  #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drxcm View Post
If you don't have a DAW workflow, the Integra makes a ton of sense.

I love switching it on and having my banks of zero latency sounds ready to go straight away.

Plus it really does sound great.
I disagree ; I had one for ages, and eventually sold it due to non-use. My Omnisphere, Keyscape, Zebra, Diva, Komplete 10 Ultimate and Logic Pro synths blow the Integra-7 away. So glad I got rid of that overpriced, overhyped thing.
Old 24th August 2017
  #260
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Sometimes I'm glad I have hardware when I pull up older projects and decide to rework them. The ones with VSTs are usually beyond hope. But where I used hardware, everything comes up and works perfectly.
Old 24th August 2017
  #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFoster View Post
I disagree ; I had one for ages, and eventually sold it due to non-use. My Omnisphere, Keyscape, Zebra, Diva, Komplete 10 Ultimate and Logic Pro synths blow the Integra-7 away. So glad I got rid of that overpriced, overhyped thing.
You admit that you didn't use the Integra-7, hence you can't know its useful qualities.
Old 24th August 2017
  #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Leaves View Post
You admit that you didn't use the Integra-7, hence you can't know its useful qualities.
Incorrect ; when I first bought it, I used it daily for about 2 years. I finally gave up on it after becoming fatigued with the sonic and editing compromises I was continuously making. Editing and polyphony are completely ridiculous. So many needless limitations, and to suggest that it was the successor to the XV5080 is absurd. The lack of sonic clarity on it compared to the 5080 was very noticeable.
Old 24th August 2017
  #263
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Originally Posted by Smack Dammit View Post
Auditioning 10 different pianos in Kontakt takes all day....
Not with Komplete Kontrol.
Old 24th August 2017
  #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFoster View Post
Incorrect ; when I first bought it, I used it daily for about 2 years. I finally gave up on it after becoming fatigued with the sonic and editing compromises I was continuously making. Editing and polyphony are completely ridiculous. So many needless limitations, and to suggest that it was the successor to the XV5080 is absurd. The lack of sonic clarity on it compared to the 5080 was very noticeable.
I don't own an Integra-7. I know only the SN-Synth and SN-Acoustic engines by own experience from the JP-80 (256 poly). I don't have experience with the I7's other engines.

The strength of those engines is the connection with the player and the extraordinary responsiveness and expressiveness.
The SN-Acoustic engines have that quality but the sounds are far beyond realism. They are a kind of surreal and like perfect instruments, which don't exist in reality.

In the studio, they are nevertheless useful by mixing them with good software instruments, which of course offer unsurpassed realism. But this realism can also turn out as a weakness in some situations.

I rarely use software instruments without mixing them with some hardware (Rompler) sounds, concerning acoustic emulations.
It gives me usually the best results for the listener's ears, which do not care, how I managed to get a certain sound or soundscape, which has a certain irresistible appeal to the listener's ears.

Last edited by Autumn Leaves; 24th August 2017 at 10:33 PM.. Reason: more useful sentence structure... ;)
Old 24th August 2017
  #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Leaves View Post
I don't own an Integra-7. I know only the SN-Synth and SN-Acoustic engines by own experience from the JP-80 (256 poly).

The strength of those engines is the connection with the player and the extraordinary responsiveness and expressiveness.

The SN-Acoustic engines have that quality but the sounds are far beyond realism.

They are a kind of surreal and like perfect instruments, which don't exist in reality.

In the studio, they are nevertheless useful by mixing them with good software instruments, which of course offer unsurpassed realism.

But this could also turn out as a weakness in some situations.

I rarely use software instruments without mixing them with some Rompler sounds, concerning acoustic emulations.

It gives me usually the best results for the listener's ears, which do not care, how I managed to get a certain sound or soundscape, which has a certain irresistible appeal to the listener's ears.
I've owned both the Jupiter 80 and the Integra-7 ; both are a bear to edit, and the Integra-7 does not sound like the Jupiter. The polyphony is excellent in the Jupiter, and not so in the Integra-7. Pass on both.
Old 24th August 2017
  #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFoster View Post
I've owned both the Jupiter 80 and the Integra-7 ; both are a bear to edit, and the Integra-7 does not sound like the Jupiter. The polyphony is excellent in the Jupiter, and not so in the Integra-7. Pass on both.
To me, the JP-80 is very easy and fast to edit. But I accept your impression, which is a personal matter for each musician.

But what do you mean by saying that the I7 does not sound like the JP-80, as both incorporate the SN-Synth and several dedicated SN-Acoustic engines. Do they differ for you concerning the sound quality or do you mean the lack of layering options on the I7, which limits the sound options compared to the JP-80 with up to 30 Partials and much more effect options per sound?
Old 24th August 2017
  #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Leaves View Post
To me, the JP-80 is very easy and fast to edit. But I accept your impression, which is a personal matter for each musician.

But what do you mean by saying that the I7 does not sound like the JP-80, as both incorporate the SN-Synth and several dedicated SN-Acoustic engines. Do they differ for you concerning the sound quality or do you mean the lack of layering options on the I7, which limits the sound options compared to the JP-80 with up to 30 Partials and much more effect options per sound?
Having owned and spent a lot of time with both machines, I can say that simply because they are labeled by Roland as having the same synth engines, do not make them sound the same, from my experience. The Jupiter sounds much more full and powerful, but the lack of real-time physical controls makes creating new and unique sounds away from the included stock presets, quite a chore. Menu diving and no physical controls make things tough.
Old 24th August 2017
  #268
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Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
To start, just the instruments included in Logic Pro X could do anything the Integra can, but aside from that Omnisphere 2, Kontakt and Diva come to mind. Again, if you're just going for presets which I think most rack/ROMpler users do.
I guess we should all sell our hardware and buy Diva. This would finally end the hardware vs software debate. And music in general would benefit from er um a more individualised approach. No two artists would ever sound the same

I can't believe I just contributed to yet another variant of hardware vs software. Never again.
Old 24th August 2017
  #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFoster View Post
Having owned and spent a lot of time with both machines, I can say that simply because they are labeled by Roland as having the same synth engines, do not make them sound the same, from my experience. The Jupiter sounds much more full and powerful, but the lack of real-time physical controls makes creating new and unique sounds away from the included stock presets, quite a chore. Menu diving and no physical controls make things tough.
Interesting to hear about the difference in sound quality between the Integra-7 and the JP-80. So I am glad to be a JP-80 owner.



The editing via the JP-80's touch-screen with the virtual faders and knobs is certainly not as nice as having physical controllers, but it's sufficient to me, as I'm used to extensively program the DX-7 and SY-99 since the mid 80's / early 90's


Old 24th August 2017
  #270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFoster View Post
I disagree ; I had one for ages, and eventually sold it due to non-use. My Omnisphere, Keyscape, Zebra, Diva, Komplete 10 Ultimate and Logic Pro synths blow the Integra-7 away. So glad I got rid of that overpriced, overhyped thing.
You're way off and I smell bull s***. I run just about all those VST's you mention, they do not "blow" the I7 away. Better in some areas than others? Yes.

I paid like $800 something for my I7 brand new. It wasn't overpriced, and imo I really don't hear any hype for the I7. Just a lot people on here that slag on it. Mostly from people who prefer working with soft-synths.

Good for you, you prefer working with soft-synths to working with the I7. Yay, now it's time for you to move on and stop trolling forums with your hate for a hardware rompler that didn't work out for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFoster View Post
I've owned both the Jupiter 80 and the Integra-7 ; both are a bear to edit, and the Integra-7 does not sound like the Jupiter. The polyphony is excellent in the Jupiter, and not so in the Integra-7. Pass on both.
128 voices is not good polyphony? Ok...

I run so much s*** simultaneously with the I7 and I never have issues. Again time for you to move on and troll somewhere else.
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