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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Arturia Synths
arturia moog modular sequencer problem
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matttech



Joined: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 11
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:20 am    Post subject: arturia moog modular sequencer problem
Subject description: "repeat" function doesnt work properly
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hi there

have been trying to use the moog modular sequencer within logic 8 (mac pro/ leopard) and it doesnt seem to work properly. it is ok if you only use equal length steps with no variation in note length. however, when you try to put the odd longer note in (by changing the value in the "repeat" field) it sometimes plays the note longer, sometimes doesnt. it exhibits the same inconsistency even if you set the step to repeat (rather than pause/hold on). this is with "midi sync" turned on.

you can hear what i mean by selecting one of the presets (which, funnily enough all have steps set to equal lengths....i wonder why!) and changing the "repeat" field to something other than "1". stop and start the sequencer a few times and you'll hear that it plays inconsistently - sometimes just ignoring the altered step and playing them all the same length.

the only other alteration i have done to the preset is that i have set keyboard trigger off" to stop the sequencer when you lift off a note.

anybody out there with any suggestions/ experiences of this issue? or is it working for you?

it is doing my head in as, without having lfos that can be retriggered with each note on message, this is the only way of doing predictable rhythmic patterns and it would seem this option is a no-go as well. very disappointing really.

also....is this the best place to get help with arturia stuff? it was recommended to me by a mate, as the Arturia forums are virtually dead, and their technical support is patchy to say the least.....
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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 3846
Location: England
Audio files: 32
G2 patch files: 15

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome Matt,

I think this is one of the many bugs, there used to be a nice list on the Arturia forums with all the Modular bugs but with the release of the Origin Arturia have removed many of the bug type posts and complaints about non-existent support.

There are meant to be new versions of the plugins com,ing out that fix various issues, the minimoog one is already out but strangely enough is buggy as hell yet again.

I had a play with an origin the other day and managed to get it to fail twice in a couple of hours so it looks like they are pretty buggy as well.

Andy
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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 3846
Location: England
Audio files: 32
G2 patch files: 15

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi again,

Just had a go with Logic 8 and it seems ok to me.

I made a sequence with different repeat values and set the off trigger to keyboard off and everything plays as I would expect.

Have a look in the "Audio Units Manager", what version of the plugin do you have?

Cheers

Andy
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matttech



Joined: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 11
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

my version is 2.2.0

did you try retriggering the sequence repeatedly from logic's transport? with midi sync on? mine works ok a few times, but then just randomly ignores the repeated/lengthened notes for some reason.....playing just straight 16th steps all the way through - it is doing my head in! i really hope they sort some of these bugs out in the new updates.

also...have you found any way of getting an lfo on either the arp2600, moog modular or minimoog to retrigger with each note on? it does my head in that you cannot do this, as you can make loads of awesome patterns using the lfos (or the tracking generator in the arp2600) but every time you play a note it catches the lfo in a different place in its cycle - the lfo just runs continuously. this is really annoying as you never know what it's going to do.

any ideas? have tried all sorts of things to try to solve this, but with no joy
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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 3846
Location: England
Audio files: 32
G2 patch files: 15

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mines 2.2.0 as well.

Mine is working fine from the Logic transport.

Can you zip up a simple Logic project that shows this problem and attach it to a post.

As far as I know the LFOs are free running I do not know a way of syncing the start point to a note down.


The only other thing I can think is to use host automation like GridLoc does:

http://www.keyfax.com/keyfax/masterGridlok.htm
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matttech



Joined: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 11
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hi there. have zipped a 2 bar logic file which was (intermittently) displaying the problem. if you let it loop round a few times, then use the space bar to keep stopping and starting logic from bar one you will (hopefully) hear that occasionally it just ignores the longer notes and plays them all as 16ths.

it is very hit and miss - i found i could get it to work reliably for ages at one point, then it started messing up again. seems well flaky to me.

that lfo thing you mentioned looks useful. thanks for that...will investigate further. is it just a load of different automation curve templates....some of which simulate the shape of various lfos? sounds like a good idea


seq test.zip
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  seq test.zip
 Filesize:  27.21 KB
 Downloaded:  205 Time(s)

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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 3846
Location: England
Audio files: 32
G2 patch files: 15

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I have tried the project, if I play it as it is I get the odd problem with it sometimes playing one of the sequenced notes wrong on the first pass.

Have you tried starting everything from bar 2, I always do this in Logic as it seems to take it a while to get things in sync.

If I play from bar 1 with the clip starting at bar 2 I get no problems.

Cheers

Andy
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matttech



Joined: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 11
Location: uk

PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sorry i took so long to get back - the email dropped onto the second page of hotmail and i only just found it! well....i'm glad that you had the same problem as me (that sounds a bit snide actually doesn't it....wasn't meant in a bad way! Smile) - i will try the "play from bar before trick" - i know what you mean about logic - takes a little while to sort itself out. i just heard the modular's sequencer doing wierd things and thought "excellent - another reason to feel slightly disappointed with arturia"....i'll just chalk that feature up as a non-starter too."

i started this off as just a private message, but then i thought "f**k it", i'll air my grievances in public seeing as arturia's "forum" seems to be about as popular as the 80's gentlemans' mag of the same name. it's like shouting into an abyss full of other people shouting back a different problem you've not had the pleasure of encountering yet. my mate who plays with Faust (legendary 70's Krautrock band) recommended this site as being populated by knowledgeable types, so here goes...

i'm starting to get really fed up with the v-collection, and arturia in general - they never get back to me about any technical queries any more....despite me having sent several extremely detailed bug reports (at their request!) - eg: step by step descriptions of EXACTLY what caused a crash, and in what order the steps were undertaken (no small job on a modular synth!). all i was doing was trying to be helpful, but now they simply ignore all my emails, or say "that's something that we will maybe look at in a future update....but probably not the next one (ie: "we're going to completely ignore it and instead spend all our time on something new instead"). when i had pre-sales technical enquiries - during my demoing of the synths - they got back to me EXTREMELY promptly, and gave me the impression that i would not be on my own if i purchased these (extremely complex) products. if i was cynical, i would say that they only responded when it was in their interests to (eg: when i had money in my pocket for them). the last time i got a response from them i had to resort to emailing every single department on their website with the same message. obviously the problem didn't get solved, but at least i got a reply. when you're dealing with complex instruments like the moog modular and arp2600 (which have thousands of user-configurable permutations) it's so frustrating to hit a problem and not have any idea whether the issue is A: a limitation of the original that has been faithfully emulated, or B: a software bug/ current limitation: or C: something that you are patching together in slightly the wrong way (there are often a multitude of ways to achieve the same end result on these machines and going about something a certain way can mean that options that CAN be available become closed off to you due to limitations of the particular signal path you have chosen to follow. at this stage i'd even settle for somebody confirming whether something is actually a bug/limitation or not, so i can stop wracking my brain trying to think up a long-winded CV/gate/trigger/etc..etc solution to something that can in reality not be achieved at present (notice how i say "at present" - always the optimist!). i am by no means a synth novice, having spent the last 20 years or so making music, and having written, produced, mixed, engineered and performed on commercial releases that i like to think pushed some sonic boundaries in their time. i also lecture in Sound Creation and Manipulation and work as the sole technician for a busy college music department. but these synths have really got my goat. i just stare at them helplessly sometimes.

i really wanted to love the v-collection as i was smitten when i demoed it, but am rapidly going off it. it SOUNDS great, but there are so many niggly annoying/ frustrating isues with it that often end up giving up on it. how do you find it? do you end up using it much in tunes? do you program your own sounds from scratch, or just use/ edit presets?

having never owned the original machines i am maybe blaming arturia for things that are simply emulations of how the original units operated (eg: the inability of any of the synths - with the exception of the cs80 and the "galaxy" section of the jupiter 8 - to produce anything predictable with their lfos. and by "predictable" i don't mean "boring" - i sit and spend ages making some crazy bendy/modulating sound that would work awesomely as a riff in a track, only to be scuppered by the fact that every time you hit a note, or press play in logic, the "riff" starts in a different place (or is slightly offset by some annoying amount if you put "midi sync" on - eg: a square wave lfo modulation the pitch of an oscillator up and down every 8th note will not re-trigger on the start of a note, or even on the start of a bar. it will be at the same TEMPO as logic - but is in a state of constant motion, so whether it comes in on a high pitch or a low pitch is totally down to luck. it is also down to luck whether the first pitch will be an 8th in length....or something shorter..thereby creating an annoying, "not in time with the rest of the track" effect. i'd call that "out of sync" if i wanted to be pedantic! pretty much every other software synth i've used can manage midi sync in one form or another - whether it is by being retriggered at the start of each note or by locking to the bars and beats of logic's timeline...but not arturia's. what i don't understand is that they spend all this time emulating enormous beasts like the moog modular, but ignore this simple issue that renders many of the exciting functions useless in a compositional context (unless you are creating random textures/ extremely experimental music). it's not as if they have stayed true to the originals, as they have tacked on all sorts of additional stuff to every single one.....the tracking generator in the arp2600 would be awesome if it could be tamed a little.....as would the additional modulation sections of the minimoog. i realise that one could simply bounce down sections as audio and then just crop out sections at the right point, but i've just bought an 8-core mac pro specifically so that i can run everything in real time as i constantly return to parts and edit them during the course of a track (and went through so much audio bouncing and re-bouncing tedium with my old G4 that it turned me off making music for a while)

oh well....hopefully they will sort some of this stuff out in the "summer updates" - wherever they have got to! but i don't hold out much hope.

how do you get round these obstacles? or don't you find them an issue? how do you find the manuals too, while i'm at it? i mean, when you're dealing with some of the most mind-boggling units ever made you would at least expect a decent manual to help you out wouldn't you? but no. not only are they written with the presumption that you are familiar with many arcane technical terms from the early days of sound synthesis, but they also appear to have been translated from japanese or something, and have loads of blatant errors in them. they make me want to cry/ scream every time i go near them...

anyway...sorry for the long rambling message, but i've been up all night mixing and am a little the worse for wear - it's made me feel better getting it off my chest at any rate. now to bed, then maybe to start tackling my shiny newly-purchased Komplete 5 in the "morning". i also wanted to put this up on the forum to signpost a few of these issues for potential buyers, and to provide a mini-review!....feel free to message me people if you want to share some arturia woes! it'll be a right grin, you know it will!!

i don't know about the rest of you but the main thing i think of when i envisage the use of a modular software synth is the creation of intricate evolving rhythmic passages that can form the basis of say, a left-of-field electronica track - bendy, squelchy, pulsing patterns that are half riff, half sonic texture...ones that pop out of nowhere through experimentation and inspire whole compositions. arturia MUST have a love for these machines to have painstakingly recreated so much of them so well. if they could only tackle some of these fundamental modulation sync issues i'd be one happy bunny. but as it stands at the moment, you can make the craziest noises - just don't expect to incorporate them into a track unless you're prepared to bounce them don as audio.

in summary.... the arturia (especially the modular) synths CAN sound AMAZING, look AMAZING, will give you a whole new insight into some COMPLETELY unique approaches to sound synthesis, and are fine if you want to create TOTALLY abstract sounds with no discernible rhythmic pulse....or simple instrument sounds (or even sounds with very slight modulation that wouldn't distract the listener if it went up when it was meant to go down, and vice versa)......just don't expect to be able to do anything of a rhythmically modulated nature that will sync properly to the rest of your track (with the exception of modulations that can be achieved using the following: the sequencer on the ARP2600, the LFOs on the CS80 - that CAN BE RETRIGGERED, PRAISE THE LORD!!!! and the aforementioned Galaxy section of the jupiter 8....which unfortunately doesnt allow any negative/ mirrored modulation, and has an extremely limited selection of destinations. as i mentioned earlier, the moog modular's sequencer will not reliably play back anything other than equal measures, unless this kind gentleman's suggestion works (we'll see in time i guess...) ....so it's the moog modular that suffers the worst - it has the most potential, but cannot produce useable rhythmic patterns reliably from either it's lfos OR it's sequencer. the ARP2600 fares slightly better in that - despite its tracking generator and lfos doing their own, "improvised freeform thing" - it at least has a useable sequencer. i was really hoping to be able to enjoy many an hour experimenting with patching together crazy cross-modulations, with multiple lfos creating different, interacting rhythmic motifs.... i CAN do this, but the motivation to do so just isn't there when you know you can't build a track around it.

i'm amazed that not one of the reviews i've read has picked up on the sync issue, with it being a given on virtually every other soft synth on the market - maybe i'm just not "freeform" enough......

anyway,....bring on Komplete!! at least Native instruments understand what "midi sync" should do....jesus they even show it happening in real time in Kontakt in all it's syncing glory with flashing lights round the knobs indicating what's being modulated, and by how much. how cool is that!! (i'm sure this last sentence will be like a red rag to a bull for some poor NI-basher out there who'll be only too happy to ruin my moment of optimism with some Germanic Reaktor-based horror story....well, just let me blunder on in my hopeless naivety for the oh-so-short Komplete 5 honeymoon period. please don't tell me i've just bought another piece of Krap.

i'm a sad, sad man.....and very, very tired

happy troubleshooting!

laters
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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 3846
Location: England
Audio files: 32
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I gave up using the plugins as they use 100% cpu whenever they are displayed on my machine due to some terrible gui code on OSX Tiger/Leopard.

I tried getting support and in the end sent an arsey email to sales about their terrible support, they got back to me immediately and then tech support did saying "this problem won't be fixed as it is complicated"!

I recently warned someone of the Arturia forum about the terrible support and was quickly jumped on by an Arturia employee who said that he would handle my grievances be email, he of course never did.

I also put in a new support all about 3 weeks ago and have heard nothing on that one at all, Arturiaa have the absolute worse support of any company I have ever dealt with.

I have to warn you that NI Support can be bad as well, it took them 2 weeks to get back to me on a support call recently.

NI do update their software regularly though so things tend to get sorted although there are bugs that have been outstanding for a long time especially in Reaktor.


You may be interested in this as well:

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-13881.html&postorder=asc

Andy
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