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 Post subject: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 12:35 pm 
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Approx 10:00PM last night:
I spotted potential perfect synth goodness!

Approx 10:30PM last night:
I had to pinch myself to check I wasn't dreaming!

Approx 2:00AM this morning:
I strongly believe I ordered the perfect synth!

It's true, I mean I cannot believe it either but Arturia just improved the MicroFreak in exactly the way I had wished for! Forget about only four paraphonic voices with just one analogue filter, no, the MiniFreak has six analogue filters and that means no more paraphony, it means proper polyphony, that's right, proper six voice polyphonic analogue filter goodness on a complex digital oscillator synth!!!

And that is not all, because unlike on the MicroFreak, the oscillator is now two part, meaning you can assign a different synthesis model to each and have one model drive another (this is what I explained to ellaguru was sadly missing from the MicroFreak).

So what we have here is a proper, six-voice polyphonic synthesizer where the oscillator is two-part and can dirve the other, after which each note gets piped through a proper six-voice polyphonic filter architecture. I'm not even going to attempt to go into the possibilities with such an arrangement, needless to say I did not waste any time in ordering one!

It was already a versatile synth, but the sort of stuff you can do when using one model to drive another is just limitless really, and like I said, proper polyhonic real analogue filters as well.

Cannot wait to get my hands on that thing, I even like the styling of it, and thankfully they have done away with the touch-keyboard and replaced it with a physical after-touch keyboard. Icing on the cake is that it has a powerful key-transposable step sequencer and even a chord function!

I've honestly never been so excited waiting for a synth to arrive in my life (seriously). People should never judge these complex synths by their presets, because as with the MicroFreak, the MiniFreak presets do not do it anywhere near justice - not even close.

By combining synthesis models and driving one with another, putting them through proper analogue filters, and wow, even the three independent effects processors on board now, man, that is one serious power-house of a synth and like I said, I seriously cannot wait to get my 'Freakin' hands on it!

At £560 it's more expensive than, say, the HydraSynth Explorer, but it has way more possibilities with those vastly varied oscillators to be mixed, and having proper polyphonic analogue filters on a synth like this is just perfect! I'd even go as far to say it's quite a bargain and I reckon it'll jump up to around £600 after the pre-orders have exhausted.

PS: Connectivity is percect too: full-sized MIDI DIN and even Audio Input that can be processed by the analogue filters and the three on-board effects processors etc!

Arturia MiniFreak:
https://www.arturia.com/products/hardwa ... k/overview


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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 5:39 pm 
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i have the microfreak, i like the way the keys are, this modulable way is great feature for me. I also like its portability. And its weird parameters. I bought it 4 months ago by occasion. Ok, secondhand, anglophonically speaking:) . And, plus, there were summer vacations.
So i stiil have to study and try it more.

Saying this, this new artruria synth is possibly more complete. I don't express myself about its own sound, i don't mean the variety of waves/tones, i specially mean how the machine sounds. Iwant to hear more exampels or hear it by myself in some shops.

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:10 pm 
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I actually didn't mind the keys on the MicroFreak but the blacks on mine would not respond to aftertouch. That's the only reason I returned it, I'd still have the MicroFreak if it wasn't for that.

Sure I was annoyed at not being able to modulate one synthesis model with another, but even so, I still got a heck of a lot of enjoyment out of sound design on it (even during the short time I had it). Funny enough, one of the reasons I got a refund and not a replacement is because I suspected that they would release a "MiniFreak" further down the line.

When I found out that they had actually done that, that it fixed the shortcomings and even added proper polyphonic analogue filters I just could not resist it. It took no selling to me at all and that would not have been the case had I not experienced a MicroFreak.

I know exactly what I'm getting with this one and cannot wait, I feel like an excited kid that cannot sleep on the night before Christmas!

I am especially looking forward to creating some believable human choir sounds on it because there are specific abilities in there now that should facilitate it very well, perfectly well in fact. I'm also looking forward to playing around with some Strings and Brass, especially now that we can use one model to modulate another. Organs, Flutes and Harpsichords are going to be epic on that thing too!

Should be able to make them all sound very old and characterful with that sort of synthesis power, it's a beast of a synth, it really is!


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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2022 11:07 am 
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[quote="SP-USER"]

I know exactly what I'm getting with this one and cannot wait.

[quote]

Do you?

No diss but here we go again with the dream piece of equipment talk..just don't get your hopes up,then devour the manual etc if all you're gonna do in a few weeks time is return it .

With the sheer amount of kit you've gone through already in the last 2 years you've been on here you could have made a fuck ton of music dude .

I honestly can't understand why you don't physically go to stores that sell music gear and try stuff out in person rather than searching endlessly online for something that you'll inevitably find a fault with and end up returning it within the space of a month or so.

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2022 11:34 am 
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Danswift wrote:
I honestly can't understand why you don't physically go to stores that sell music gear and try stuff out in person rather than searching endlessly online for something that you'll inevitably find a fault with and end up returning it within the space of a month or so.

that's important stuff, at least for me.
sometimes even the phisical approach ( i mean not only the sound, but also the colours, the materials used, the mouvement of sliders etc) + the workflow, could make you change opinion

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2022 10:23 pm 
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Danswift wrote:
Do you? ...

Absolutely, and in fact what's common about the synths I've had (and actually been very fond of), it's always the ones that permit the most interesting synthesis that I'm most fond of (like I said before, I'm more into sound design and production, I'm not a musician). This is why I like the OPSIX, the RoAT (which of course I still have), the MicroFreak and of course now the MiniFreak.

I learnt decades ago the secret to choosing a good synthesizer, it's all about the models of synthesis and filtering available to you, and just as importantly, how they are able to interect. Another aspect (which you have no doubt heard me going on about many times), is the beauty of digital piped through real analogue filters.

Believe me bruh, that MiniFreak is one very beautiful synthesis tool, and the sounds and tonality it is capable of producing is truly droolworthy. The MiniFreak (just like the MicroFreak) is one of those synthesizers where if most people were to try it out for real before buying it, they would probably never buy it. Unfortunately for those poeple, what they do not realise is that another beauty of the MiniFreak (again just like the MicroFreak), is that it sounds very pure and flat by default (this is actually a very good thing).

I was listening to Daniel Fisher playing with some of the presets the other day, and just like the MicroFreak, the presets do not anywhere near do it justice, but again, I can tell it has that flat default sound about it that is actually beneficial in sound design. It's a bit like shooting a movie in Log, much better to shoot in Log than not, and it's no different with synthesis, the Freaks are not artifically boosted or EQ'd in the way I think a lot of other synthesizers are.

Listening to Daniel Fisher playing with those presets, I was able to determine that the Freak must be using an FPGA, and that FPGA must be running at an insane speed to have a reverb of that quality. There was one preset where the reverb sounded very 'close' and smooth even though it was very subtle. I've not heard reverb like that on any reverb unit costing less than two and a half grand!


ellaguru wrote:
that's important stuff, at least for me.
sometimes even the phisical approach ( i mean not only the sound, but also the colours, the materials used, the mouvement of sliders etc) + the workflow, could make you change opinion

As explained before, it's just not viable for me to do that. The closest music retailers to me are both situated in Preston on the outskirts of Blackpool, with the next nearest retailers situated in Manchester. It's actually quite expensive (and in some cases very awkward) for me to reach some of these places despite how close they are. And on top of that, they hardly ever have in stock (or on display) what I want to see when I want to see it.

Like I said though, I know exactly what I'm getting with this one, even down to the physical attributes, like controls that are so lightning fast and smooth they feel like analogue. This is because, again, they will very likely be using an FPGA that is running at insane speeds. I'm guessing this is why neither the MicroFreak nor the MiniFreak run on betteries. If they were to run on batteries they would probably last about 10 minutes at most.

When I say it's a "DREAM SYNTH" I'm talking strictly in terms of synthesis. Obviously I'm not a fan of three octaves or mini keys, but I intend to MIDI it up to an M-AUDIO HAMMER 88 via the proper MIDI connectors they both have. Physically, the MiniFreak will even sit nicely on that big blank panel of the HAMMER 88!

There's even an extra bonus for me in both those purchases because I'll get the latest version of Ableton Live with the HAMMER 88, and even a VSTi version of the MiniFreak that comes with the MiniFreak that can also be used inside Ableton Live. It's even 100% patch compatible with the hardware so that means I have three ways of working with the same gear.

I can either use 'All Hardware' or 'All Software' or a 'Hybrid', but what really matters is that the hardware is truly 'Stand Alone' which thankfully it is. Extra cool is that no matter what I choose to use, I'm using the same synth!

I would much rather be a master of one very capable synthesizer than be average with a whole bunch of others. I prefer the minimalist approach and that's what this setup will give me, power AND minimalism.

There's no point me kidding myself, I absolutely have to have a proper full-sized keybed and that HAMMER 88 is a beast! So in a nutshell I'll be connecting a beast of a keybed to a beast of a synth, and to record it all of course I will get an SP-404MKII, and until then I will record to my cassette multitrack recorders in real analogue.

I can do that cause the MiniFreak also has an awesome 64-step step polyphonic step sequencer on board, meaning I can record phrases, set up the recorder and just hit record on the multitrack a track at a time. That's all I need, I don't need anything else, although I'll pick-up a Behringer SX3040 as well cause I really miss that little wonder-box!

But yeah, when it comes to synthesis, I prefer synthesizers capable of recreating orchestral instrumentation, and strange variants of it, but also very important to me personally is that I prefer synthesizers that will let me create sounds with 'character' to them, stuff that sounds 'old', and the MiniFreak, due to the types of synthesis models and modulation possibilities it has, it totally capable of that.

What the MiniFreak does is only possible because it's using an FPGA. It's hard to explain what this means, but in a nutshell, the MiniFreak is doing stuff that you simply cannot do with standard sampling rate synthesizers. Most synths run at around 48K whereas the MiniFreak is probably running an FPGA at 100 times that speed. If you listen carefully to this video you will hear a tonality to it that you just do not get from other synthesizers, and a lot of it is down to the type of processing that is only possible using FPGA running at INSANE speeds.

There's a very alive, eerie presence to the sound of the MiniFreak, it's a truly beautiful sounding synthesizer and it's all down to what is possible when running at those insane speeds. Close your eyes even while listening to this video and you will be able to tell it does not sound like a standard synthesizer - there's something very 'close' and 'present' about it.

Don't forget to close your eyes for this vid, lose yourself in purity :wink:

Daniel Fisher losing himself in a bit of Freak:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TEbPmtc-LU


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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 12:34 am 
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SP-USER wrote:
As explained before, it's just not viable for me to do that. The closest music retailers to me are both situated in Preston on the outskirts of Blackpool, with the next nearest retailers situated in Manchester. It's actually quite expensive (and in some cases very awkward) for me to reach some of these places despite how close they are. And on top of that, they hardly ever have in stock (or on display) what I want to see when I want to see it.

ah d'accord, i understand, that's a pity; anyway in case you are not really in a hurry to buy it, listen the more audio examples you can

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 2:49 am 
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@spuser u might have all these synths and gear, but where do u intend to put these together and make music to share, this forum flows a lot through the sharing of what we can accomplish through the use of sp devices so after all this time I want to hear what you have to show for it lol

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 10:26 am 
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SP- User wrote

"I learnt decades ago the secret to choosing a good synthesizer".....


If you learned that then how come you can't seem to keep hold of any of them and make some actual music?

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 11:16 am 
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Homies, I know my posts are serisously long but one of the reasons they get that long is because I take the time to explain things the best I can hoping that it clarifies to the reader why I make the decisions I make and why I do the things I do. I already explained how nice it sounds and the synthesis power it has, so I don't need to hear anything else and already ordered one two days ago (and for as low as £529 on pre-order now btw).

Plus, I don't understand what Jaytreaze means with "All That Gear" - all what gear?

Lol, all I'll have is just one synth in my setup and a nice keybed to play it with, that's it, so I don't know what you mean. It's you lot who have tons of gear and GAS, not me. I cannot work like that and like I said, I would much rather put the time into mastering one very powerful synthesizer than be less creative with a selection of others, and the MiniFreak will definitely give me that.

Ok I have the RoAT as well (which I can now feed nto the MiniFreak's effects btw), but I don't actually use the RoAT as a synthesizer in the conventional sense, I've kept it because it's an incredibly good drone and noise generator.

Regards posting something for you to check out, like I said, I will absolutely do that but again you need to remember that I am NOT a musician, not by any stretch of the imagination so I'm afraid any anticipation in hearing something good from me is unfounded and y'all will be majorly disappointed I reckon.

I do happen to think I have very good influences and a good taste for music that sounds musical, but that has nothing to do with my own abilities and for some reason I get the feeling that you're assuming it does.

I'm not saying a cannot develop those skills, but don't hold your breath on that one :lol:

Regards what Danswift just asked, like I said, there are only three syntheizers I've had since being here that I would keep. The RoAT (which I have indeed kept), the OPSIX (which was retuned purely because of the limited keybed), and the MicroFreak which I would still have if it were not faulty (the blacks would not respond to aftertouch).

In fact here's a bit of advice from me to you for once, Danswift. I would think twice about a HydraSynth now that the MiniFreak exists. I know the HydraSynth is a very nice, poweful, good sounding synthesizer but the MiniFreak has the edge in terms of synthesis capabilities and the quality of its effects. Sure you get a tiny keyboard but guess what, it's still aphysical keyboard and even has aftertouch, and even when you add the cost of a beast of a keybed like the HAMMER 88 that comes to around £350, that still only brings the total cost to around £860.

Compare that to a HydraSynth with less synthesis power, fake analogue filters and a 49-Key keybed and you're looking at around £150 more than a MiniFreak with 88 Hammer keys. And if you were to go for the larger HydraSynth the price difference becomes almost double of the MiniFrak setup, I mean lol.

And not only that, with the MiniFreak/Hammer 88 combo the ergonomics are much better too. A MiniFreak will sit nicely right in the centre of the panel of a HAMMER 88, whereas the ergonomics on the big version of the HydraSynth would be a nightmare because everything is pushed to the left and you cannot change that.

I appreciate the HAMMER 88 is really a matter of taste and might not be your type of dream keybed, but all that means is you can save even more money and just MIDI connect a MiniFreak to your Juno-G, and when you have no interest in doing that, the MiniFreak is small enough it can sit comfortably besides your SPs (and still have an aftertouch keyboard to hand).

So yeah, awesone as the HydraSynth is, I would think very careful about that now. It certianly is not a better sounding synthesizer than the MiniFreak, that MiniFreak is running at some insane processing speed to sound as pure and smooth as it does. Once you start EQing a MiniFreak you will realise how amazing it sounds.

One final thing to bear in mind is that Arturia are very good at pushing-out pretty damn major upgrades for their 'Freak' synths, so what the MiniFreak has now, amazing as it already is, is probably only the tip of the iceberg compared to what it will end up as (especially as they have the HydraSynth to compete with).

So try not to be too hasty, that's all I'm saying bruh! It's not surprising that these model-based synthesis approaches are coming from a comnpany like Arturia. They're French, and although the French like to steal our English fish, you will notice that a lot of top software synthesis models of instruments are more often than not from French developers.

We should definitely stop those Frenchies from stealing our fish tho :twisted: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 12:32 pm 
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man, écoute, arrête d’embêter les Frenchies, d'accord?:))
ps
i'm listening to the minifreak, i don't know, to me it sound a bit too flaty, i mean, without fx it sounds flat (or a bit weak) to my ears, but maybe that is Artruria aim: as you said when you eq it on the mix, you discoverd its own potential.
But i'll keep listening. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 2:12 pm 
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No, I won't stop bothing the Frenchies until they stop bothering our Haddock :lol:

I hardly ever get a chance to eat Haddock these days, it's nearly always Cod or that tasteless shit I cannot even remember the name of right now. I want Haddock, dammit, but you Frenchies keep stealing it, prolly sticking it between your croissants every morning while poor SP-USER is left eating the other stuff, that is when he can actually afford the luxury of eating fish of course!

Technically that's 'Haddock Stalking' that is, so the French government should be prosecuted for stalking our haddock!!!

Regards the MiniFreak sounding "flatty", well that's good, I even explained why in the other post. It means that Arturia have done something right in the area where all the others have failed. Again, it has to do with the insane processing speeds, because at those speeds there is less chance of distortion artefacts artifically boosting frequencies. What you hear is not flattness, it is purity, and that gives you the most flexibility when it comes to synthesizing and EQing what you synthesize. Like I said, it's a bit like shooting a movie in Log with a digital camera, much better to shoot in Log to give you more flexibility in post.

In other words, the MiniFreak is running at such a high resolution that it does not impart it's own sound upon the audio in the way that standard synthesizers running at 48k do. You have purity, therefore in order to get any characteristic you want, you specifically have to synthesize that characteristic into the sound, and because of the insane processng speeds, it can do that in ways that 48k synthesizers simply cannot do. The MiniFreak is going to be a goddess of a synth at creating old-sounding, characterful sounds, and that's really what I want it for the most.

Once a sound has been synthesized, that's when you EQ it, you just have to separate synthesis from production and try not to confuse the effect of each process. In other words, have a clear mind about what should be synthesised and what should be the result of post production such as EQing etc.


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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 3:00 pm 
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SP- User ...man ,it's all just talk with you dude ..all you do is waffle on and post long self indulgent comments about how great you think the next piece of gear you're going to get is and why we should all get it too.

I've tried to Mini Freak out in person just for your information plus the Hydra and a load of other synths
very recently ..I travelled to Bristol specifically to try out the UDO Super 6 because I know people who know the designers and owners of the company and which is also where UDO are based .

It's good to get out in the world to do this stuff for yourself you see....


I'm also intrigued by your comments in one of the other threads on here about Abelton 5 and your 'old software setup' ..that's a pretty ancient version of that program now for sure so if you were so comfortable in using it where are the results of these musical endeavours? ...surely you must have recorded stuff if you'd mastered the process of working with it so easily.

It's weird...you claim you're not a musician which is why you can't post anything yet etcetera etcetera but you had an old software setup'you thought was the dogs bollocks running Abelton 5 .

What were you doing with it exactly...a soundtrack to an imaginary vampire movie. you've scripted ..a tasteless pastiche of a 1970s Abba homage maybe or even as a musical backdrop for your views on the state of Brexit and the European union?

Again ...your quote .

" I learnt decades ago the secret to choosing a good synthesizer".....

So did Herbie Hancock..Jan Hammer and no doubt a few members of this forum too

But unlike them you also never actually bothered to learn how to play one or any other instrument in all of this time since apparently ...

What a contradiction.

You really are a puzzle of your own making.

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 4:10 pm 
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SP-USER wrote:

Regards the MiniFreak sounding "flatty", well that's good, I even explained why in the other post. It means that Arturia have done something right in the area where all the others have failed. Again, it has to do with the insane processing speeds, because at those speeds there is less chance of distortion artefacts artifically boosting frequencies. What you hear is not flattness, it is purity, and that gives you the most flexibility when it comes to synthesizing and EQing what you synthesize. Like I said, it's a bit like shooting a movie in Log with a digital camera, much better to shoot in Log to give you more flexibility in post.

In other words, the MiniFreak is running at such a high resolution that it does not impart it's own sound upon the audio in the way that standard synthesizers running at 48k do. You have purity, therefore in order to get any characteristic you want, you specifically have to synthesize that characteristic into the sound, and because of the insane processng speeds, it can do that in ways that 48k synthesizers simply cannot do. The MiniFreak is going to be a goddess of a synth at creating old-sounding, characterful sounds, and that's really what I want it for the most.

Well, personally, i'm axpecting some sort of character or personality from the sound of a synth, that's the first thing i'm asking.

Ps
I don't know the haddock
But surely is better with mayonese:))

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 Post subject: Re: A DREAM SYNTH
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2022 5:34 pm 
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Ellaguru, I don't think I ever had mayonaise on fish :lol:

Danswift, bruh, I never bothered to learn how to play. I can knock out a tune but I would not call myself a "musician". That's one of the reasons I want a full-sized keybed as close to a piano as possible cause that's the best sort of keybed to learn on IMHO, it's the standard really, we even had an old upright in the living room when I was a kid and it's the type of keys I prefer.

As for Ableton, I never upgraded it cause there was never anything added to it that interested me. I never used to use it for making music, it was just used as a host to host the VST instruments, and I used to love messing around with VST intruments. At the time I ditched using the PC I had even whittled that down to absolute minimalism and really only ever used to play around with TAL Sampler and the PG-8X - I always got a lot of satisfaction from those two.

I basically just used to like messing around with it all, never actually produced anything with it though. I don't think I ever bothered clicking "Save" on Ableton Live in all the years I used it, no need, it was never used to produce anything. The only thing I ever used to "Save" were presets on the VST instruments, but even they had no real value to me and in fact I don't even know if I still have my presets. I often end up erasing over old USB sticks to save new stuff so I'm guessing they're long gone.

So, not sure what the abruptness is all about, I chose to advise you on the MiniFreak over the HydraSynth as a friendly gesure, because I know from my own adventures in hardware design that it is the superior synth (and why it is the superior synth).

I mean if you don't like it then don't buy it, it does not effect my own decision making in the least. You're cetainly not alone if you don't like it, there will be many. But I know what I'm personally looking for and the MiniFreak has that in abundance, and another thing that attracts me to the MiniFreak over the HydraSynth is that it's a more musical device to play with cause I love the idea of having a 64-step polyphonic step sequencer to play a custom pattern into so that I can just leave it running as I tweak the sounds - all in one unit.

It's important to me that I can play patterns that suit the sort of sound I want to create at the time, and you cannot really do that with arpeggiators. The closest I could get to that on a HydraSynth is hitting hold on the arpeggiator which would drive me absolutely fucking mad!

They should never have dedicated such a large amount of knobs and space to something as mundane as an arpeggiator, and it should have a step sequencer. The arpeggiator so prominent on the HydraSynth that it takes up a huge amount of space. Remove the arpeggiator from the HydraSynth interface and it would look as if half the knobs have disappeared.

Anyway, you're the ones who keep waiting to see something cool from me despite me repeatedly pointing out that I am NOT a musician. I totally want to develop some skills and create an album, and that's the whole idea of me knuckling down and deciding that I need the HAMMER 88, there's no fucking piont me doing anything else because let's face it, these retard manufacturers are going to continue to throw a spanner in the works every fucking time they release something.

If it's not "Mini Keys", they give you full-sized keys but "only three octaves" to piss you fof instead. Or if they give you an aftertouch keyboard they make them mini keys AND only three octave. Or they give you a piano keyboard they miss out the hammer action.

You cannot win with these manipulative corporate fuck-ups, so I'll just have to buy the most versatile synth I can find and the best keybed I can to play it with. I'd rather not have them as separate peices of gear but there is no other option is there.

In this case though I actually quite like the idea cause like I said, the MiniFreak is small enough it can also be sat along-side other gear like an SP and still have a little aftertouch keybed to hand.

I would not be surprised if a "MaxiFreak" or "SuperFreak" arrives next, something with a full-sized keyboard, but at this point I've decided that buying the HAMMER 88 is a route I should take no matter what, so even if that happens I will still be sticking to the HAMMER 88 with a MiniFreak connected to it. I'll actually be majorly fucking glad to finally be able to knuckle-down and concentrate on sounds, song-writing and hopefully an album.


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