What ASB Would you like to see next?

Discuss the Creamware ASB and Klangbox hardware boxes

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music251
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Post by music251 » Sat May 06, 2006 1:23 am

Interesting thread.
What I REALLY would love to see is a 4-octave keyboard that looks very good and is very portable (something like a nord lead with some wood maybe?) and the combined dsp code of prodessey, minimax and pro1. That would be the ultimate VA without a single doubt in my mind...
Apart from the sound, it really needs to look great. Playing a solokeyboard/VA should be fun and inspirational, so the design must be very good (unlike the boring design of the noah keyboard). It must be hands-on, intuitive and good-looking (again like nord lead, also the little phatty design is great IMO.
And yeah, a Solaris synth would also be incredible. :smile:

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Post by SekondThought » Sat May 06, 2006 3:34 am

Okay - let me set this straight (especially for astroman who seems to quote me out of context).

"you've found a way how to CV control digital 'circuits'?"

ANSWER: Ha ha, very funny!

"each synth was a fortune...that Odyssey in the shop which I couldn't afford as a schoolboy had a price equivalent to 4k Euro today"

ANSWER: Many synths today still are a fortune! You as a "school boy" looking at an Odyssey which you could not afford then is much the same as my 14 year old daughter looking at a Minimoog Voyager or Korg Oasys that she can't afford now!

"you may have noticed the 'sold out' labels in the online shop....but you probably have no idea how long it took them to sellout a handful of items".

ANSWER: Actually, yes I do as I was in contact with the maker of them over a year ago. He made 10 of them. The difference is (and I'll try to be "clear" for you), is that it was a controller, and not many people wanted to pay out that much for something that looked like a moog, but that had to be hooked up to a computer all the time to make a sound like a moog. My point was, that if such a keyboard was to have the Minimax ASB BUILT IN TO IT, it WOULD have sounds and thus be much more attractive!!!!

You may like to know that the top selling Virus in the Access product line (since it's introduction) is the three octave version (now called the Polar, before that was the Redback (limited edition of 500), the Indigo-2 and the original Indigo). I have done my homework on what sells and what doesn't (one of my previous day jobs was market research), so I kindly suggest you get informed facts from industry contacts (as I have done) if you are going to make a valid point because if you simply make humor out of someone else's point of view, you may start to look somewhat foolish!
SekondThought

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Mr Arkadin
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Post by Mr Arkadin » Sat May 06, 2006 4:13 am

How about this new Korg keyboard. i don't mean the crappy synth, but the rack/keyboard - could you fit two ASBs on that for live use? i wonder if it's available separately? Perhaps CWA could make a rack adaptor for it.

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astroman
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Post by astroman » Sat May 06, 2006 4:16 am

On 2006-05-06 04:34, SekondThought wrote:
...My point was, that if such a keyboard was to have the Minimax ASB BUILT IN TO IT, it WOULD have sounds and thus be much more attractive!!!!...
ok, maybe the humorous point didn't come over as intended - so let me be as clear as yourself above:

whatever ASB you have is midi controlled - pick your controller of choice, even a custom built-in keyboard:
It will remain a midi controlled box and not like the instruments from the 70s you were talking about.

it's really not my point to make jokes about you and I trust your statement about your long time passion in synth design - it's eventually what made me wonder how you could develope this idea.

we probably had different teachers in marketing or is it just in the local difference ?
My point is (and has always been) that it's the image of a product that sells it big style (today) - and imho Access and Nord are excellent examples, or do I have to say iPod ?

What do you see on stage and in Videos ?

I agree completely on your facts-based-marketing-research, which applies on niche markets (imho)
So there's nothing to say against a custom built ASB (Anna Lüse isn't joking when asking for requests, imho) with or without a keyboard - comparable to 'custom' guitars.

But it will not gain CWA any more shares in mass market, let alone be profitable.

btw I have no problems making a fool out of myself - don't mess the # of posts with claim of authority, there isn't any :wink:

cheers, Tom

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Post by Shroomz~> » Sat May 06, 2006 5:17 am

There's CV to midi conversion circuits, kits (pre-populated & not) & various dedicated CV to midi (and vice versa) hardware available all over the internet. There's an absolute world of CV>MIDI>CV in synth & modular synth DIY. Our Kenton control freak has 2 CV to midi converters onboard. That's just one example, but there's dozens more. So, to answer the question about CV to midi control.. eh .. don't make me larf :grin:

BTW, I don't think the ASB's in their current form should be considered 'synths', as they are actually 'virtual synths' in a 'module' format. Making them into synths with keyboards (as a 'synth' should probably have) is a totally different ball game for any small company & I'd imagine the key is to be sure of definate order numbers (possibly even deposited orders) unless you know it can't fail in the market.

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Post by SekondThought » Sat May 06, 2006 11:13 am

Astroman - You have your oppinion and I have mine.

I HATE controller keyboards and I do know that no matter if it's a keyboard attached to the unit or a seperate MIDI keyboard, it's more or less the same thing. My point still stands and is valid. I believe that a true synthesist makes more of a physical (spiritual, mental, bond...call it whatever you like) to a synth that has it's own keyboard than to a module with a seperate (bland, boring, none discript) controller keyboard and you will not change that fact in my mind after 19 years of synth buying and playing. I know what I have enjoyed and I know what I have hated and I know the reasons I have behind them.

So we shall just agree not to agree, okay? As you are not going to change my mind and I (quite clearly) am not going to change yours.
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Post by Anna Lüse » Sat May 06, 2006 11:28 am

I know some people who have sent their Minimoog and Prophet-5 to Studio Electronics to rack their instrument and paid quite a lot of money to miss something. Strange?

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Shroomz~>
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Post by Shroomz~> » Sat May 06, 2006 11:32 am

That would certainly suit the desktop module paradigm.

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Post by Clamhead » Mon May 08, 2006 12:43 am

The thing I like about synths that have their own keyboard is that they are self-contained. I don't want to be messing about with too many power supplies, midi cables etc.

Furthermore, self-contained synths have a longer life. In 20 years time, if someone happens upon an ASB box at a junk fair (it could happen) they may no longer have the equipment (midi keyboard, cabling etc) to get any sound out of it at all. But if you are lucky enough to happen across a synth with its own integrated keyboard (such as the new Evolvers) you'll easily be able to plug it in and play it.

Can anyone point to a "classic" synth that isn't self-sufficient in this way?

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Post by King of Snake » Mon May 08, 2006 1:44 am

A keyboard synth will still have it's own powersupply (and midi cables if you wanna integrate it into your studio). And I would also think that most real keyboard players (which i'm not, i'd hasten to add!:)) would prefer to have the choice of their own high quality master keyboard rather than having to deal with various, possibly inferior in-built keyboards.
And of course for those who do not have unlimited studio space, using one keyboard and several modules is a much more practical way of working.

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hubird

Post by hubird » Mon May 08, 2006 3:52 am

exactly :smile:

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Post by Clamhead » Mon May 08, 2006 4:24 am

Possibly in the studio several modules and one keyboard is better. My point was that a synth with its own keyboard has more integrity than a desktop module, and will stand the test of time better for that reason. Not that it matters much.

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Post by HUROLURA » Mon May 08, 2006 5:09 am

Another idea for what should be the next ASB unit, a fusion of MINIMAX/PRO-12/PRODYSSEY/PRO-ONE with some extra features.

I gave a short description other there:

http://www.planetz.com/forums/viewtopic ... t=0#143485

The main idea would be to offer an improved version rather than a "simple" clone of old but good synths.
The over idea would be to also offer something which let you load preset from the differents over synth units.
My dream would be a 4 slot multitimbral solution.
Target price under 2 standard ASB units price (in the range of an acces Virus TI desktop).

Just a personnal delirium or anybody else would be interested ? :eek:


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Post by SekondThought » Mon May 08, 2006 6:24 am

Clamhead - you said a major point there in your first post - and one that I agree with as I'm sure you can tell. There are not many "classic" synths from the 70's & 80's that don't have keyboards attached (or at least had a keyboard version of them).

I don't care at all for master keyboards...I agree that from the point of view of a Grade-8 player, who just has to have the best quality available, they are better...but then I'm more from the William Orbit and Vince Clarke school of synth playing anyway (which so many "million notes per second synth solo freaks" look down upon).

Many notes do not a great song make! Just listen to Japan, OMD, Yazoo, Goldfrapp, Madonna, Bjork, Human League, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Depeche Mode, William Orbit, Visage, Soft Cell, Ultravox, Kraftwerk or anyone else who's been original with synth's in the last 20 or 30 years

Those people who rip a vintage synth apart just to rack it up only spoil it in my oppinion - and I imagine, in years to come that if they came accross a fine example of the keyboard they butchered to put in a rack, they would look at it, look at what they had and regret doing it! I know I would.
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astroman
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Post by astroman » Mon May 08, 2006 8:01 am

On 2006-05-06 12:13, SekondThought wrote:
Astroman - You have your oppinion and I have mine.
...
So we shall just agree not to agree, okay? As you are not going to change my mind and I (quite clearly) am not going to change yours.
yeah, I perfectly accept yours :smile:
actually I read your other post too late, the one where you commented your ASB as '... more like a mirror than an emulation...' and which expressed your full satisfaction with the performance of your box.
So my point becomes rather pointless, as you don't care about that part of technology difference (which I had assumed).
If it does for you what you expect - then there's nothing to argue :wink:

cheers, Tom

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Post by kobayashi » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:44 pm

the OSCar or the WASP would be absolute killers....

these are extreme rare synths and absolutley nice sounding...

they would be a great deal....

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Post by alfonso » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:31 pm

On 2006-05-08 05:24, Clamhead wrote:
Possibly in the studio several modules and one keyboard is better. My point was that a synth with its own keyboard has more integrity than a desktop module, and will stand the test of time better for that reason. Not that it matters much.
I would say the opposite, the part that is more likely to be damaged by time is the mechanical part, my technician is always full of old keyboards and I've seen several prophets and minis needing keyboard repairs...with an integrated solution you break a key or you loose the spring of a wheel and you have to bring the whole thing for repair, maybe you must wait 20 days for the spare part, maybe the morning of a gigging day....

With an ASB module you get another controller easily, also lent or rent for almost nothing and you're safe....

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Post by HUROLURA » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:45 pm

OK, let's go for something gathering the features of the full range of CW ASB boxes (Minimax/Pro12/Prodyssey) with additionnal features of the OSCAR and SYRINX (in term of original filter) mix all this in a shaker and provide with otehr units preset upward compatibility... :wink:

One step has already been done toward this direction with the Prodyssey Filter selection switch...

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Post by HUROLURA » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:54 pm

On 2006-05-02 16:46, johnbowen wrote:
On 2006-04-30 14:04, FRA59-HELP wrote:
Why real dream would be a Modular III with Flexor inside as a blackbox (just as what provide the G2 engine from Clavia).

Just think about it: a modular ASB !!!
The problem here is same as with my Solaris and the dynamic DSP aspect - for these ASB type products, the DSP code block is downloaded into the board, and cannot change as needed. A Modular synth approach would require you load into it the customised desired config from your computer, but as you say, this is same as with Nord Modular. From what I can tell, the way the ASB digital code is loaded is not over a standard connector (i.e., it's not done over USB), but done once, and permanently. So, I don't know the viability of this approach given the current ASB configuration.

cheers,
john b.
A few embedded electronic design consideration. What John seems to point out is that the ASB executable code is executed from a flash memory which cannot be updated from the USB interface. But there could be a simple workaround which is used in other electronic device (I am involved in embedded control unit design): the "standard" flash memory commonly used in that field of application is often sector erasable. Then the first sector could be a boot sector dedicated to firmware update whereas the other sector could be dedicated to application code and presets. By the way, how do CW guy achieve preset update (stored in the same type of memory I guess) and not application code ???
Am I wrong anywhere ?

I definetly would like to get this modular engine ASB BOX to set it close to my clavia micromodular...

Cheers

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Post by Eric Dahlberg » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:06 pm

On 2006-04-30 12:43, SekondThought wrote:
1. I'd like the Pro-One (ProTone) to be made into an ASB box.
It wouldn't sell because the digital version would cost more than a real analog one.
2. The Korg 800DV is a great synth and very hard to find and something that would be great as an ASB. So would the Mono/Poly.
Same comment as with the Pro One, yet to an even greater degree with these.
3. Another classic synth maker (that still gets overlooked, even for software plugins) that's synth's would make great ASB's would be Oberheim. An OB-1 ASB would be a great collection to anyones setup.
Agreed, I miss my OB-1 quite a bit. I think the SEM & Matrix 12 would be better for marketing purposes, though.
4. Roland...ther are a lot of Roland's that would make great ASB's...SH-101, SH-5 and the synth expander from the System 100, the Model-102.
Again, as with the Pro One comment, most of the original Roland synths are available cheap enough that CW would lose their shirts by releasing digital versions of them. The exceptions are the Jupiter 8 & 6, the System 100, & the TR-808 & -909 (that was a great suggestion about doing a drum machine, btw). An SH-5 would also be cool but I'd be afraid it's a little too esoteric.

How about doing the Sequential Circuits Studio 440? It's a super rare & expensive box, used by many of the major hip hop guys, yet should be very simple for Creamware to do.
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