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Kurzweil - the future?

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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby CS70 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:17 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
johnny h wrote:In this case it was manifest -- whether consciously intended that way or not -- in your comments "Sadly for us, Ray decided to use his great talents to make gazillions in the stock market...." and "What is it with these crazy geniuses?"

For what's worth, that sentence didn't really seem much political at all to me. It actually made me curious to look up mr. Kurzweill. I remembered the brand name from the 80s when even in guitar magazines there were commercials hailing their keyboard as a revolution in piano sound, but as I've never been interested in piano sounds, I didn't know there was a Mr. Kurzweill. The comment seemed to express admiration of the guy, and a bit of sadness for his choices (as seen by the poster).

It's a shame, of course, because this has detracted from what would, from anyone else, have been a useful contribution, and distracted the thread in general.

I see where you're coming from, but don't you think it's a bit of a problematic attitude? Maybe I'm missing something, but I think what matters is what is posted, not who posts it.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:12 pm

It's nothing more than a tedious storm in a teacup from our two favourite storm-makers. It's distracting from an otherwise interesting and informative thread, which is a shame, but nothing that warrants a great debate. One chap takes offence, arguably on a misreading of a post; the other insists on defending his position ad nauseum apparently unable to see the underlying cause. No one wins, but the thread loses.

Fortunately, it's a lovely sunny day and I'm off out to help celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday in the real world where real people matter rather more to me.

H
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby CS70 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:33 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Fortunately, it's a lovely sunny day and I'm off out to help celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday in the real world where real people matter rather more to me.

Have a great one! :)
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby One Horse Town » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:06 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It's nothing more than a tedious storm in a teacup from our two favourite storm-makers. It's distracting from an otherwise interesting and informative thread, which is a shame, but nothing that warrants a great debate. One chap takes offence, arguably on a misreading of a post; the other insists on defending his position ad nauseum apparently unable to see the underlying cause. No one wins, but the thread loses.

Fortunately, it's a lovely sunny day and I'm off out to help celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday in the real world where real people matter rather more to me.

H

Well Hugh, I certainly agree writing comments at all hours pales into insignificance in relation to life out there but I don't agree with your attempt to conflate my post history with another 'storm-maker' as you put it. Before generalising to that extent you need to study both our respective comment histories. I don't use abusive, inflammatory or politically repetitive language at every opportunity. Incidentally, that last sentence contains adjectives you have previously used to admonish the other poster in a futile attempt, it turns out, to put an end to it.
Perhaps I overreacted and for that I apologise - again. But unlike some here, I chose to respond to a situation that in my opinion, hasn't been adequately challenged by you or your staff. In fact your latest interjection reminds me of a supply teacher I once came across that, because he couldn't deal with a particularly disruptive pupil, he decided to take the easy way out and put the whole class into detention.
However, I wish you and the rest of your readership all the best.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby johnny h » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:10 pm

CS70 wrote:I see where you're coming from, but don't you think it's a bit of a problematic attitude? Maybe I'm missing something, but I think what matters is what is posted, not who posts it.
Yeah its something about different political opinions about Brexit and the election, nothing to get that upset about! In days gone by posters were quite happy to go at it hammer and tongs in the lounge yet be perfectly civil and respectful in the rest of the forum. I think part of the problem is that Facebook and Google's algorithms only show you stories you are likely to agree with and that narrows your view of the world. It makes it harder for people to deal with alternative views without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

Getting back to Ray Kurzweil, he's quite a controversial figure. Some people think his futurism writing is pure science fiction, but he fairly accurately predicted the rise of the internet, the fall of the Soviet Union and that computers would beat humans at chess by the year 2000. Personally I think people are too quick to canonise or demonise those unafraid to stand out. The world is a much greater place with people like him in the world.

It makes you wonder how VAST would have looked today if he'd stayed with the company.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby illegal colors » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:02 am

johnny h wrote:It makes you wonder how VAST would have looked today if he'd stayed with the company.
For Ray Kurzweil musical instruments was a relatively minor project. He spent most of his time working for 'black projects' financed by UFC (United Fruit Company) also known as CIA or Chiquita Brands.
Ray Kurzweil made very serious progress in Optical Character Recognition and Text to Speech even before microchips were invented. Ray Kurzweil needed absolutely massive amounts of computer power for his research. Computer power was very expensive and CIA was awash with untraceable cocaine-cash (CIA didn't deal with heroine at the time). It was a win-win situation, good for everybody but the bad guys.

Much later when Ray Kurzweil met Stevie Wonder and they became friends they often had conversations about all sorts of things and when Ray Kurzweil explained how his Text to Speech synthesizer works Stevie Wonder said that if they will attach keyboard to this synthesizer it can be used to play music.
Ray Kurzweil agreed. And since all the important components were not only designed but put on chips it made perfect sense to release it as a musical instrument.

Ray Kurzweil made some money. CIA were happy that they could postpone channeling cocaine-cash through the stock market, and Stevie Wonder had his first Kurzweil keyboard.
Everyone was happy, but the work on the keyboards was finished.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Zukan » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:12 am

Dave B wrote:Kurzweil owners have debated this on their own forums for years.

So a couple of points worth considering :

1. Kurzweil has been a 'boutique' manufacturer now for a long time - well over a decade. It's not anywhere near the same league as the big three. But then so is Nord. And both companies are producing instruments that people still want, despite not being everything to everyone. They simply don't have the resources to launch a new synth or major update every year. But their gear is stable and well known. And sound great. There is something to be said for longer product lifespans and I know people who have been burned when 'failed' products have been ditched and no spares / repairs are available a couple of years later.

2. Saying that, VAST has had a few tweaks over the years. When the PC3 launched, they updated it so that layers could also process other layers and added algorithms to handle that. Plus they now have very high resolution, non-aliasing oscillator blocks so creating more traditional synth sounds is lovely and clean all the way up the keyboard. (and associated filters - basically all the work they did with creating a VAST-based VA synth that never got made).

But, tbh, VAST has been a programmer's wet dream now for over 20 years. It's pretty darned good ;)

Yes, you do have to learn their way of programming, and to know it fully is a daunting prospect, but there are YT tutorials out there for wave sequencing, FM, all sorts of mad things.

In some respects, their new kit is ahead of the game : I weep that my Kronos doesn't retain samples after power down. But then rejoice that my Forte does. (all 3.3Gb of it and that's quite respectable). Polyphony is 128 notes same as most - but then the whole (fully polyphonic) organ emulation is free on the Forte. Nice.

Back to VAST, as I said earlier, the user base has discussed this for a while. And that includes the occasional Kurz staff member. The general consensus of that speculation is that any next gen VAST will probably not have much in the way of programming tweaks, but might see some macro based editing as a 'simple view' to get you started and allow you to go under the hood and use full VAST for trickier stuff. Sounds sensible to me - I'll wait and see if it happens.

In the mean time, for a boutique manufacturer, they do ok. And the OP is right - they are definitely big in the Theatre. I've just sold one to pro who does time in the pits and he pointed out that a certain high profile show, which made a big deal of the fact that the main keys player uses a Kronos, is actually coming off Kurzweils behind the scenes...

I was hoping you'd chime in Dave. Top drawer.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:12 pm

Just looking at Ebay prices again- the TG77 seems to go for more than the EX5R. Both are wonderful IME, but surely the EX5 is superior? Or does the TG have a bigger library of third party patches? Kevin?
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:46 pm

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:Just looking at Ebay prices again- the TG77 seems to go for more than the EX5R. Both are wonderful IME, but surely the EX5 is superior? Or does the TG have a bigger library of third party patches? Kevin?

I think that's just fashion - yes, the EX5 is a much better machine I think, but it is pretty ugly!

ebay is a bit weird. I see CZ-101's going consistently for significantly more that a CZ-1 goes for. A DX-100? The same price as a real DX7... :headbang:
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Dave B » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:31 pm

desmond wrote:ebay is a bit weird.

Always has been, always will be. We knew it was wild when people started paying more for Behringer Composer Pros on eBay than you could buy them new.....
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:42 pm

desmond wrote:I think that's just fashion - yes, the EX5 is a much better machine I think, but it is pretty ugly!
LOL yes it is ugly. I didn't even notice having spent so much time in front of O2Rs!
desmond wrote:ebay is a bit weird. I see CZ-101's going consistently for significantly more that a CZ-1 goes for. A DX-100? The same price as a real DX7... :headbang:
I guess the hipsters want something that'll fit in the rucksack, not a decent keyboard with velocity and aftertouch ;)
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby mick.n » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:11 pm

desmond wrote:
I think that's just fashion - yes, the EX5 is a much better machine I think, but it is pretty ugly

Ouch Desmond............ you have just insulted the love of my musical life & I demand satisfaction!


EDIT...... just realized you may be referring to the EX5R, so gauntlet picked up & stored away. :beamup:
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:40 pm

mick.n wrote:Ouch Desmond............ you have just insulted the love of my musical life & I demand satisfaction!

Heh!

mick.n wrote:EDIT...... just realized you may be referring to the EX5R, so gauntlet picked up & stored away. :beamup:

At least the rack looks sorta professional...

You'll need to go get the gauntlet again, I'm afraid...

:round1:

:bouncy:
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby forumuser910887 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:59 pm

interesting debate, as a long time kurz user i can see where people are coming from but the argument about dumbing down the interface is not easy, thats like taking a big modular rig and saying,, i want to control it with a handfull of sliders.. just isnt feasible. vast is more in common with reaktor and nord modulars than a system 8 so is going to appeal to a different mindset anyway.
for the money the pc3 series and above is one of the best sounding and solidly built boards you can get, ive owned a lot of digital synths over the years and they are all fairly interchangeable and replaceable ( virus included) but vast is capable of sounds you just cant get on any other boards, ( and in some ways can compete with kronos in that regard)
seems im in a minority of kurz users who actually wants to create sounds with dozens of anti aliased osc, filters and lfos in ONE patch, not many boards that can do that.. if any?!
i do find it frustrating that kurz do aim towards the 80s cover band acts and pretty conservative players when the engine can do so much if it was polished up a bit..and yes, touchscreens should be standard, or at least a working ipad editor.. but nothings perfect
:)
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Dave B » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:54 pm

forumuser910887 wrote: thats like taking a big modular rig and saying,, i want to control it with a handfull of sliders.. just isnt feasible.

So what's been happening recently, is that Kurz have been issuing programs for the Forte which actually _are_ just the sliders controlling parameters of a few choice synth patches. It's a 'starter for 10' approach, but they seem to have been well received. You and I may be happy to dive under the hood, but to people who just want to play, patches like these are a great way to get into creating sounds.

Yes - I'd like a few more banks of sounds that stretch the engine a bit and even some novel ones that give things like the Kronos a run for it's money (rather than just keyboard sounds). But there are always 3rd party banks for that. (same on the Kronos in fact)
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby forumuser910887 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:46 pm

sad fact is that most people either think kurzweil have gone bust or havent released a synth since the k2500 series.
with the right programming ,forte could be a hardware omnisphere in many ways but i guess they arent interested in the modern synth market and want to shift stage pianos.
thats an issue for most manufacturers though, even nord say the piano side of things keeps them profitable, not the synths. for me ive found that i can emulate most other synths with vast, but no other synth can do what vast can. now if they would just release the sysex data and let third partys make editors for them.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Escapegoat » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:21 pm

So I watched the videos linked above, and the long Jordan Rudess K2500 tutorials, and ... it's clearly not the synth engine for me. It really does look like it's got every possible routing and parameter that the engineers could think of and all dumped into a series of tiny pages.

The pages themselves have all of the "explore-me" aesthetic of a mini-Excel spreadsheet. I do like the use of real parameters (Hz, dB, etc - like the Nord Leads). It must take the patience of a saint to do the programming.

No wonder so many people have treated these as great-sounding ROMplers. Is this also why they are hard to sell (judging by their bargain used prices)?

I don't know what the middle ground is. Decent editor? Or some 'mezzanine' level of interface that thinks outside of the box as to how to allow owners to quickly manipulate the parameters without having to find the right page. Someone above mentioned the Nord Modular; at least that was fun to explore (but now abandonware, I think).

Meanwhile, I've opted for a used 88-key controller (Oberheim Viscount MC2000 - cheap as chips!) to occupy the space that a 2500X-PC3X might have taken.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby forumuser910887 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:53 pm

no it isnt for everyone, and that's fine too, one board-fits -all never works, some people are happy making minimoog leads all day and tweaking a couple of knobs. and there's a shedload of boards for those folks. but its nice to have the option to explore different architectures, like samples.FM, VA all in one board and mix and match things/route different osc to different FX, chain filters together..etc
because of the shortcomings of kurzweil screens and no software editors you have to already have an idea in your head of what goes where.. so if you're the kind of person that can build flat pack furniture without reading the instructions, then v.a.s.t is great! ;)
the fact that kurz market their boards as controller keyboards rather than fully fledged synths is telling though and i don't expect to see a K3500 anytime soon, times have changed as you can do more with a cheap laptop than any hi-end workstation now.
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Dave B » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:57 pm

Er ... they've had a desktop editor since the original PC3 release (SoundTower jobbie and they do editors for loads of folks). That's at least a decade if my memory is right.

Re: small screen ... it's funny. When I first started with VAST, all I wanted was a big screen and editor. And when I got one for the PC3, I actually found that I could whizz about the tiny screen faster than I could click the mouse. Very odd. Still .. could just me being weird!

The Forte is an odd beast. When it was released, it was a stage piano. Then they updated the OS and it was a strange 'stage piano / monster synth engine' hybrid. I never feel that it's comfortable with what it is - but I do like what they've done. I don't need a full sequencer, but love the step sequencing on the arp. Multi mode is a bit odd (and importing Setups can be iffy) but can be kicked into working right. I do love it, but it's kind of like the iPad .... "I love it to bits .. I just don't know what it's _for_ ..."

:D
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Re: Kurzweil - the future?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:47 am

...and MIDIQuest has K2000 and K2500 editors.
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