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  #1  
Old 2011-02-22, 09:30
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Lightbulb Rant - Or things I think is missing in Thor

eXode's Thor rant
I understand that most of the subjects I'll bring up is on the smaller scale and not giant feature requests. Still these are things that I think should have made it into Thor in the first place. And to props, if you read this please concider it for a future synth (if you choose to do one).

Master Pitch: This is the strangest omission of all features in Thor. The ability to do simple vibrato by affecting all three oscillators at once with just one destination. Keep the individual pitch destinations too though.

Multi Oscillator: I'm sorry but I can't really see the usefulness of the rounded square and rounded pulse waveforms. I would have preferred to see a "regular" 35% pulse and a 15 % pulse instead of those two rounded waveforms. Why did props make the decision of including rounded square and pulse over regular pulse variants? I doubt I'll ever know why.

Analog Osc A: Just like the LFO's I would have loved to see all the waveforms of the Analog Osc available simultaneously, at least from the modmatrix (as sources). Also inspired by modular world. Imagine being able to output a sawtooth wave as audio but using the sinewave output of the same oscillator for FM duties.

Analog Osc B: A second analog style oscillator with waveshaping capabilities like that found on Moog Voyager, Moog Little Phatty and the french synth PolyKOBOL. It shapes smoothly from triangle to saw to square and finally on to a pulse. Great stuff!

LFO: I think both LFO's should have been selectable between mono/poly instead of how it is now. Also I would have liked the LFO's being like on the Alesis ION/MICRON. That is, you have access to all LFO waveforms simultaneously (as sources) from the modmatrix. Like a modular almost.

Envelopes: The Global Env should also have been selectable between mono/poly as well as Filter 3. Also the Mod Env should have had a sustain stage! All the envelopes should have had switching between linear and logarithmic response curves and finally all the envelopes should have had a "free run" switch.

Modulation Sources: I would have loved different modulation sources to choose from in the modmatrix. Stuff like white and pink noise, a slow random "drift" source as well as a "rotating" key source for use with i.e. pan so that each key you press takes a new direction in the stereo field. The white and pink noise would be great for having noise accessible without having to sacrifice an oscillator slot or a LFO.

Shaper: I'm a bit annoyed with the choice to put the Shaper between the filters. I would have loved to have more freedom to place the shaper before Filter 1 or after Filter 2, etc. Best would have been two individual shapers that you could choose to place either before or after Filter 1 & 2 respectively.

Mixers and panning: I would have loved individual pan on Filter 1 & 2. It would have been so easy to make a cool stereo patch without having to resort to the modmatrix and the stereo trick that we now have to use. On the subject of the mixers I would have preferred individual levels for all three oscillators and not this strange balance thing between 1 and 2 and then the two faders. I also think that there should have been a balance crossfader or individual faders on the Filter 1 & 2 outputs situated in the amp section (or right before it).

Filter: Like I've said before I would have loved a multimode filter with LP, HP, BP, Notch modes in 1, 2, 3 and 4 poles. Also I would have loved to see the modular approach on the filters with all pole/state outputs available simultaneously from the mod matrix. This together with possible negative outputs would enable the user to create 'new' filter modes (a'la Oberheim Xpander).

More filter models for Thor: I would like to see loads of new filter models for Thor. The Alesis ION and MICRON and also the Akai MINIAK all have some great filters modelled after vintage stars. I'm removing the ones already present on Thor and adding other ones not featured on the ION/MICRON/MINIAK but that I'd love to see:

ARP - Modelled after the Odyssey and/or the 2600's filter.
JP8 - Modelled after the Roland Jupiter 8.
TB3 - Modelled after the 4 pole diode ladder filter found in the tb303.
OBXP - Modelled after the Xpander. 15 different filter modes.
CS80 - Modelled after the Yamaha CS-80, 12dB HP and 12dB LP in series with individual cutoff and res.
MS20 - Modelled after the Korg MS-20, 6dB HP and 12dB LP in series with individual cutoff and res.
LPG - Modelled after the Don Buchlas Low Pass Gate. A vactrol based filter.

Unison: I understand that the Multi Oscillator was a way to try and compensate for the lack of unison but I would have preferred a polyphonic unison mode over the Multi Oscillator any day of the year. Also I've mentioned this many times before but a unison section that is similar to that found on the Korg Mono/Poly software would have been great. I can't even imagine how cool it would sound with the Wavetable or FM oscillators stacked in 8 voices and with 8 voices of polyphony, detuned and spread in the stereo field.

Chorus: The chorus should not have been faux stereo like it is know. Bad, bad props!

Like I wrote in the beginning, these are features that I think should have been in Thor from the start but due to compatibility reasons I doubt I'll ever see in a Thor update. My hope is that props seriously concider some of these features IF they decide to design another va softsynth for Reason in the future (call me, I'll be your advisor! ). Also I apologize for the length of this rant and thanks if you could be arsed reading this far.

Cheers! =)

Last edited by eXode; 2011-11-10 at 12:50. Reason: some text was merged from another thread to keep it all in one place
  #2  
Old 2011-02-22, 11:57
jengstrom jengstrom is offline
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If we tried to stuff all those things into Thor, would he still be merely polysonic?

Sounds like you have already started designing at least one great new synthesizer.
Having used and mastered so many synths, your design is probably worth a mint!
  #3  
Old 2011-02-22, 12:00
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You Forgot Oversampling - I swear if it's only you and I screaming oversampling till we're blue in the face then so be it. I mean Subtractor fed into a B512 in 4 or 8 band EQ mode with a little tweaking at 88.2 or 96khz sounds damn amazing on it's own - just wish Redrum, Subtractor, Maltsrom, Thor, NN19, NNXT and Octorex all had damn oversampling..... ditto for the FX as the REV7000 is incredibly impressive sounding in 24BIT and @ higher sample rates too but I digress.
  #4  
Old 2011-02-22, 12:01
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If I was to be brutally honest I can live with Thor as it is but would kill for something along the lines of Logics Sculpture in a heart beat.
  #5  
Old 2011-02-22, 12:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomecron View Post
You Forgot Oversampling - I swear if it's only you and I screaming oversampling till we're blue in the face then so be it. I mean Subtractor fed into a B512 in 4 or 8 band EQ mode with a little tweaking at 88.2 or 96khz sounds damn amazing on it's own - just wish Redrum, Subtractor, Maltsrom, Thor, NN19, NNXT and Octorex all had damn oversampling..... ditto for the FX as the REV7000 is incredibly impressive sounding in 24BIT and @ higher sample rates too but I digress.
Yes, oversampling is VERY important!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anomecron View Post
If I was to be brutally honest I can live with Thor as it is but would kill for something along the lines of Logics Sculpture in a heart beat.
Yeah, I'm aware that it's unlikely that Thor will get these features incorporated. I'm practically just moaning!

Last edited by eXode; 2011-02-22 at 12:21.
  #6  
Old 2011-02-22, 12:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jengstrom View Post
If we tried to stuff all those things into Thor, would he still be merely polysonic?
Haha, maybe not. Maybe it's time for Odin to make an apperance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jengstrom
Sounds like you have already started designing at least one great new synthesizer. Having used and mastered so many synths, your design is probably worth a mint!
I have a lot of ideas on synths or which features I'd like in synths. I always think that the best way to do things is to keep the initial UI relatively simple but then to add features and possibilities through modmatrix capabilities or similar. I do like Thor a lot but I also get annoyed at times with some of the design choices, especially since some limitations aren't really warranted in a software environment and that's one of the main things that are so awesome with software. You can have it mimic hardware but you can also have it do stuff that would be either impossible or cost a fortune on hardware.

Ah well, if only I had a programmers head and knowledge (I did study introduction to C++ but I just wasn't cut out for it) then I could build this dream synth myself. This almost became a second rant. I know, I'm unhealthily obsessed. I think I have a light case of autism.

I'm going to do some Thor patch editing tonight so I can blow off some steam. That refill is coming along nicely imho!

Last edited by eXode; 2011-02-22 at 12:23.
  #7  
Old 2011-02-22, 13:24
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eXode's Thor rant

Multi Oscillator: Yup.

Analog Osc: Yup

LFO: Yup

Envelopes: <nods>

Modulation Sources: Hmmm, maybe, but much more of an issue is the number and source/destination arrangements of slots is so limited. The pan thing... can't you do that with "Source: Voice Key>Note" to "Dest: Pan"? Or are you thinking of something more complex?

Shaper: Yup.

Mixers and panning: Yuuuuuup.

Filter: Um, pass.

Unison: Yup.

Chorus: "Bad, bad props!" LOL. What is it was Props and poor Chorus units? The sound is so much "smoother" than the half-rack, but the stereo thing is at best odd and is frequently annoying.... "why does it do that???!! Aaaargh"

"My hope is that props seriously concider some of these features IF they decide to design another va softsynth for Reason in the future (call me, I'll be your advisor! ). " Yup <nods vigorously>
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  #8  
Old 2011-02-22, 13:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eXode View Post
I do like Thor a lot but I also get annoyed at times with some of the design choices, especially since some limitations aren't really warranted in a software environment and that's one of the main things that are so awesome with software. You can have it mimic hardware but you can also have it do stuff that would be either impossible or cost a fortune on hardware.
Yup

Thor was ferkin' awesome when it first appeared, and when Props created it I can easily imagine that they thought it was the last word in Reason synthesis. Limitations only appear when lots of people finally get to play with the toy and push it to the max, that's when the cracks start to appear.

OTOH, as you know perfectly well, having done plenty of cool ReFills, several of the issues can be overcome with varying degrees of success with judicious use of Combinators.
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  #9  
Old 2011-02-22, 14:19
jengstrom jengstrom is offline
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Exode: You have great technical grasp though, and a complete synth design can be made without coding. A good way there is to imagine writing its manual.

C++ would be a good kit for building many logical parts, but that could theoretically be done by someone else.
  #10  
Old 2011-02-22, 15:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiggeryPokery View Post
Modulation Sources: Hmmm, maybe, but much more of an issue is the number and source/destination arrangements of slots is so limited. The pan thing... can't you do that with "Source: Voice Key>Note" to "Dest: Pan"? Or are you thinking of something more complex?
It's not as simple as the Voice Key Note 2 but not really complex either. Key Note modes are locked to the actual notes on a keyboard. On many synths such as Oberheim and Dave Smith Instruments Tetra or Prophet 08 there's a built in voicing that puts the voices in left or right channel either randomly or by a rotating scheme. So even if I press A2 repeatedly on i.e. the Tetra, each press will put the voice in either L or R and depending on the 'depth' of that modulation it will become anything between hard panned L and R or just slightly panned. This type of mode is great for playing chords because it will automatically give you a very wide sound. I hope that somewhat explains the function I had in mind.

Last edited by eXode; 2011-02-22 at 15:29.
 

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