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BillB
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Joined: 07/04/03
Posts: 116
Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor
      #1001852 - 05/08/12 10:50 AM
Hi folks

I have Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor (version 9) from a few years ago and am considering upgrading to version 10XL to manage about 4 hardware synths on its compatibility list.

The PC is Windows 7 64bit, DAW will be Acoustica Mixcraft 6 (32 bit), and I am looking to use MIDIQuest primarily as a VST within the DAW. I haven't been able to find any substantial, recent comments about MIDIQuest, but I have noted various people over the years saying it is unreliable, stay away. Also, I don't particularly expect any comment about Mixcraft, it isn't the most common of DAWs.

In priciple, it is a great idea for a hardware synth / DAW user. I'm just about to try the demo, but it would be very helpful to hear from folks who are successfully using it under W7 as a VST, or those who have tried and failed.

Many thanks

Bill


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BillB
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Joined: 07/04/03
Posts: 116
Re: Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor new [Re: BillB]
      #1001856 - 05/08/12 10:56 AM
OK, first problem is that the 10XL demo doesn't work in VST mode, so I can't try it the way I want to use it!

So your experience is even more important!


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17213
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor new [Re: BillB]
      #1002038 - 06/08/12 08:30 PM
Hi Bill!

I haven't had any personal experience with MIDI QUEST for some years now, but I did use it before I started writing for SOS way back in 1996, and in those days was reporting strings of bugs to the UK distributor (they even sent me the next update free for all my efforts )

I too thought MIDI QUEST was a great idea, but in practice found so few of the devices that I wanted to use it with had editors (only librarians to load/save presets, but no way to tweak them on my computer) that I eventually gave up.

Your mileage may vary of course, and the latest version may also be absolutely rock solid, but do make sure that it provides all the templates you need


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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BillB
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Joined: 07/04/03
Posts: 116
Re: Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor new [Re: BillB]
      #1002075 - 07/08/12 08:12 AM
Hi Martin! Thanks for your comments. There was a time before you wrote for SOS???? I'm amazed it ever got off the ground!

Yes, MQ does have the necessary templates for me (Yamaha AN1x, AN200, Korg MS2000R, Novation Nova, Ensoniq SQ80) although they can be a bit variable. The AN1x and AN200 are very similar machines internally, but the MQ AN200 control page is about one third that of the AN1x - no step sequencer control, for example. The MQ templates are also not as pretty as many of the dedicated software editors.

SQ provide a list of compatible devices http://www.squest.com/Windows/Instruments.html but you are right, it is necessary to load up the demo and see what the editor/librarian pages actually look like, rather than just assume that because a device is on the list, you are covered.

It is also fairly clear that development of templates seems to have stopped somewhere in the early-mid noughties! For example, there is the Korg MS2000 template (2000-2002), but no Microkorg (essentially the same guts, 2003) and actually the Microkorg would benefit from an editor more than the knob-laden MS2000. DSI doesn't get a look-in... Maybe enough hardware started being bundled with software in the mid-noughties to reduce demand on template production, but it seems contrary to the concept of "one editor to rule them all" to have stopped making templates.

Even so, it covers my bases in theory. The latest version (10) is sold as VST and W7 32/64 compatible, so it would be great to hear about that from users. If there are any...


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Keith_in_AZ



Joined: 07/10/05
Posts: 100
Re: Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor new [Re: BillB]
      #1004256 - 18/08/12 09:02 PM
I bought MQ8 (when it was the current version) a few years back based on a positive review in EM by an writer who now makes his living writing books about Sonar. I quickly realized that the review was either:

a) the results of an incompetent test strategy
b) industry propaganda

(As a result of the above experience, I do not trust product reviews in publications that have advertising and have cancelled my subscription to EM.)

Initial installation problems aside, I had problems with the following editors:

a) Matrix-1000
b) Emu Planet Earth
c) Wavestation A/D
d) Wavestation S/R
e) Korg M1/R
f) Korg EA-1
g) Korg ER-1

There were no editors that I used that had no problems.

At the end of 2 years of corresponding with Squest via email and migrating to MQ9 with the hope of seeing an improvement, I can state the following:

a) Matrix-1000 editor is working
b) Emu Planet Earth editor is unusable
c) Wavestation A/D is improved but buggy enough that I still use the front panel for programming
d) Wavestation S/R is improved but buggy enough that I do all programming on the A/D front panel and transfer patches to the S/R
e) Korg M1/R editor is fixed
f) Korg EA-1 editor is actually great
g) Korg ER-1 editor is actually great

Here are some points I would like to make about the most frustrating software experience that I ever had:

1) SQ often would not respond to my technical support requests unless I eventually posted them on public forums.

2) I provided SQ with a copy of the Wavestation sysex specification so that they could fix the bugs.

3) SQ actually gave me attention and fixed many bugs for me; although they were ultimately unsuccessful in my estimation, they sometimes tried, so SQ deserves credit for attention that other larger SW vendors would not have provided.

4) SQ purchased a Wavestation S/R on ebay in an attempt to solve my issues, with the agreement that I would not speak publicly about my problems. That was a few years back, and I consider the "statute of limitations" to have expired, especially since many problems were not resolved, and I gave up a few years ago.

5) After some time, Psicraft/Vyzor promised a Wavestation editor to fix my problems (again, under a gentlemen's agreement of silence), but this never materialized. I understand this, however, since the KDLE made its appearance, severely reducing the sales potential of the hypothetical Vyzor Wavestation editor.

Bottom line: MQ8 and MQ9 were very poor quality (the poorest that I had ever experienced), but SQ put some effort into resolving my issues with partial success. I considered myself to have provided uncompensated part-time test engineering services for two years. Maybe they have improved in the past several years. Maybe MQ10 is greatly improved, and my experiences are not germain to this discussion, but I feel obligated as a consumer to inform other consumers of my experiences.


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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17213
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor new [Re: Keith_in_AZ]
      #1004265 - 19/08/12 01:04 AM
Hi Keith,

Thanks for your detailed reply on this thread!

I also found Soundquest very helpful when I reported issues to them, even thought I never posted anything on a public Internet forum (this was back in the mid 90's when most of us were lucky to get a 56k modem )

I ended up creating a few basic librarians for some of the synths/effects I had at the time that didn't have existing MQ templates, but ended up with hundreds of pages of sysex manual. Creating editors (which is what I really wanted, so that I could tweak any of the individual synth/effect parameters from my PC) was just too much hard work.

I finally gave up when I got a Wavestation SR and switched to dedicated software editors or just used the built-in features of Cubase to load/save presets and banks


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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BillB
member


Joined: 07/04/03
Posts: 116
Re: Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor new [Re: BillB]
      #1004281 - 19/08/12 08:35 AM
Keith, as Martin says, thanks for the detailed response. What is interesting is that the software itself doesn't seem to be the issue so much as the variable quality of the device profiles. That suggests that what I need to do is to thoroughly test my MQ9 profiles with the gear I have. If they are OK, an upgrade to MQ10 may be on the cards. But I might also test SQ and ask if there is any way to trial MQ10XL, or a money-back guarantee - no mention of it on their website.


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fatbenelton
member


Joined: 22/08/02
Posts: 610
Loc: Liverpool, UK
Re: Soundquest MIDI QUEST universal editor new [Re: BillB]
      #1004369 - 19/08/12 08:42 PM
According to this thread:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-mus ic-production/492948-sounddiver-other-legacy-midi-editors-setup.html

Emagic Sounddiver is working ok on Windows 7......I hope I am not breaking forum rules by mentioning I could be persuaded to part with my (original) copy complete with manual........

In any case, it may be useful to know that Sounddiver works ok.......

According to this 64 bit is ok too:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sounddiver-users/message/18418

--------------------
Jonny

Edited by fatbenelton (19/08/12 08:46 PM)


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