Finally tried to really use nPulse but....

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Digital Aura
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2005/07/17 19:35:52 (permalink)

Finally tried to really use nPulse but....

okay... Today was the first time I actually spent more than half an hour farting with the nPulse analog drum synth. I couldn't get it to sound phat if my life depended on it. Limp is the best description. What gives?
Not only is it completely useless to me, but its extremely quiet in comparison to the other synths like Velocity. Now I understand all about Compression and Limiting, but why is this necessary when Velocity does the same thing with basically one click!?
And why are we limited to just one stupid bass drum sample ( I say one, because Subsonics and RoomBoom are essentially useless to me too!)
Someone shed some light or, better yet, upload a p5p file where nPulse is bringin' da house down so I can have a look under the hood!
#1

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    CloudWalker
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/17 19:40:38 (permalink)
    Im with u on that one DA. I think npulse is a waste of time. I hope someone proves me wrong.

    -C W
    #2
    b rock
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/17 20:38:02 (permalink)
    Greg, the nPulse isn't sample-based; it's an analog synthesizer that's set up to emulate a drum machine. As such, you have to get your hands dirty and program it to taste. The included presets do kinda suck, so get in there and twiddle the knobs a bit. You'll see that each module has different features than the one next to it, and the sounds that you can get from those modules don't necessarily have to reflect the 'drum' name that it carries.

    As a drum machine, I think that the value of nPulse often lies in doubling a sample-based plugin with another layer. You can get two complimentary drum sounds from each plugin to trigger on the same input note, and add some depth to the final sound. A while back you were looking to add some 'kick to your kick'. This would be one way to do it, as (for example) you could add a 'low sine' sound to an existing kick sample.

    nPulse exposes a lot of parameters to MIDI Remote Control. Try controlling some of the 'Tune' parameters with velocity from your KB, or FM/Ring some of the toms together and modulate one or both of the tunings. You have to treat this more like a synth, and you can get some very unique FX sounds out of it.

    I use it mostly for doubling and as an analog synth like I would PSYN, rather than as a go-to plug that carries a percussion line on its own. But then again, I use Velocity for guitars & bass samples and the Trigger Finger for melodic lines, so what do I know? <g>
    #3
    ucacjbs
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/17 22:35:42 (permalink)
    Hi DA,

    Your questions brought about an unfortunate response from me, and if you like, can listen to the resulting nPulse-only test track by clicking this link. OK, so it's one instance of nPulse plus some effects (blockfish, tempo delay and alias factor), but you get the picture. Tom's right - you can get some pretty odd noises out of it, and I've made a couple here.

    It's the result of an hour or so, so the mix is terrible, and it's only a minute or so long, but by around the 50 second mark it's at least making 'da house' an unpleasant place to be, if not exactly bringing it down...
    #4
    ba_midi
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/17 22:45:56 (permalink)
    FWIW, while I agree with B-R that it can be used for layering, I, too, was never impressed with NPulse.

    Billy Arnell (ba-midi)

    http://www.ba-midi.com/music/files
    Music gives me life, so I give life Music.
    Thanks for listening - Let's Dance to the rhythm of life! :)
    #5
    MurderDethKill
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/18 02:42:53 (permalink)
    I kinda liked it Ben.
    Can you Post the P5 File?

    My site i guess;)
    Monstruousubergeekyhardcorefunkytrancepolkaoptimism Lives!!!
    #6
    :10:
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/18 06:42:36 (permalink)
    I still like npules...i used to use it in all of my tracks...but now i use drumatic2...it booms alot more. maybe i will dive back into it...I know that you do have to use a compressor on it...but you can get some great sounds out of it....it just takes time to tweak it...

      
    #7
    xylyx
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/18 14:42:36 (permalink)
    The only time I got any really good sounds on it, was when I put Ephonic's LoFi plugin on the outputs, that certainly gave it a lot more life! But I have Microtonic 2, so I can't say that nPulse is something I bother with too much...
    #8
    Digital Aura
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/18 19:38:44 (permalink)
    I've tried all manner of tweaking and layering...and I have to put it through a compressor AND a limiter just to get any volume out of this thing. I hate to dis' a P5 component but I'm just not diggin' it for drums. It is soooo limp. No punch at all, it certainly couldn't have helped me achieve a beefer drum kick! I had to add another sample to my kick and build on the harmonics of the sample to trick the ear into hearing more bass than what was really there. But as you say, nPulse can't get more sounds...and so the bass kick is very limited.

    I listened to the song that Ben made and while I can appreciate it in some IDM I just can't find a use for it in my material. The plugin sounds like a hip hop kick maker with poor self-esteem!

    Sorry but it will always be noPulse to me!
    #9
    burkek
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/18 19:50:21 (permalink)
    I'll also vouch for microtonic 2 - it sounds amazing and is so easy to use:

    http://www.soniccharge.com/products

    Try the demo version.

    KEv

    www.kevinburke.ca

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    #10
    ucacjbs
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/18 21:25:11 (permalink)
    Fair enough concerning the nPulse, DA. I think that you can get some booming kicks from it, but boom + a hard transient? Not from one pad alone. I find it a fun thing to play with, but it's probably an acquired taste.

    I'd follow :10:'s recommendation of drumatic 2 (and version 3 is pretty nice too, with some fun envelope twiddling to be had). I've looked at microtonic and it's on the long list of things I'd like to have when the ratio of disposable income to guilty conscience reaches a more acceptable level.

    MDK: When I'm back at my DAW I'll package up the .p5p for that snippet. I should have guess that the forum's foremost proponent of
    monstruousubergeekyhardcorefunkytrancepolka would have seen something in that peculiar-sounding example.

    Edit: MDK: right-click here and 'save as...' a .p5p file. You'll need the blockfish VST compressor - if you don't have it, it's available for free as part of the 'fish fillets' package from www.digitalfishphones.com.
    post edited by ucacjbs - 2005/07/18 22:03:23
    #11
    RAR
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/18 21:33:07 (permalink)
    I think the CM-505 from Computer Music\Linplug sounds much better, its free with an issue of CM. There is also a lot of great drum machines in the Reaktor library, if you own Reaktor.
    post edited by RAR - 2005/07/18 21:38:13

    I know a room full of musical tunes.
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    Let's go into the other room and make them work.
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    #12
    MurderDethKill
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/19 16:33:50 (permalink)
    Got it, Love it!!! More!!!
    You are now the Grandpa Mojo of nPulse as far as I'm Concerned
    Thanx Bob!!!
    The File also Has Classic Master Limiter From KJÆRHUS AUDIO for those intrested in downloading the file.

    My site i guess;)
    Monstruousubergeekyhardcorefunkytrancepolkaoptimism Lives!!!
    #13
    ucacjbs
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/19 22:15:24 (permalink)
    Hi MDK,

    Glad you like it. The "Grandpa Mojo of nPulse", eh? Not sure I'd go that far, GM tends to add useful "how I did this" commentary (not to mention quite a bit more musical talent), but hey, I'll take a compliment. Not sure if you poked around the file much, but it's worth having a peek around for bits of automation (particularly pitch automation on the cowbell-based parts). Sorry I forgot about the limiter. Nice of you to put a link up.

    ben
    post edited by ucacjbs - 2005/07/19 22:19:12
    #14
    mumpcake
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/20 00:21:26 (permalink)
    I think the CM-505 from Computer Music\Linplug sounds much better, its free with an issue of CM.


    I've said the same thing.
    #15
    wz061s
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/21 14:47:50 (permalink)
    b rock,

    I routinely load up a sub base sine/triangle wave to fatten up selected electric bass samples using Emulator X (overkill for sure). Your suggestion to use nPulse for low frequency enhancement of bass drums (or a touch of electronic color) makes perfect sense, and it sounds like it would not be too hard on my CPU or memory either. I'll have to give that a go soon - thanks.

    wz~~~~

    ORIGINAL: b rock

    Greg, the nPulse isn't sample-based; it's an analog synthesizer that's set up to emulate a drum machine. As such, you have to get your hands dirty and program it to taste. The included presets do kinda suck, so get in there and twiddle the knobs a bit. You'll see that each module has different features than the one next to it, and the sounds that you can get from those modules don't necessarily have to reflect the 'drum' name that it carries.

    As a drum machine, I think that the value of nPulse often lies in doubling a sample-based plugin with another layer. You can get two complimentary drum sounds from each plugin to trigger on the same input note, and add some depth to the final sound. A while back you were looking to add some 'kick to your kick'. This would be one way to do it, as (for example) you could add a 'low sine' sound to an existing kick sample.

    nPulse exposes a lot of parameters to MIDI Remote Control. Try controlling some of the 'Tune' parameters with velocity from your KB, or FM/Ring some of the toms together and modulate one or both of the tunings. You have to treat this more like a synth, and you can get some very unique FX sounds out of it.

    I use it mostly for doubling and as an analog synth like I would PSYN, rather than as a go-to plug that carries a percussion line on its own. But then again, I use Velocity for guitars & bass samples and the Trigger Finger for melodic lines, so what do I know? <g>


    #16
    oroboros
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    RE: Finally tried to really use nPulse but.... 2005/07/21 20:07:20 (permalink)
    Other than for some of the bass sounds and various oddities, nPulse, IMHO, as a pure drum machine, is and always has been crap. Not to minimize what others have managed to finagle out of it, or anything. You could probably make a VW Beetle go 200 mph, too, if you spent enough time & money on it ... But it'd be easier to start off with a Porsche or Corvette ... that's all I'm saying ... If you wanted to produce some interesting drum-esque sounds, nPulse might have something to offer, but if you actually wanted to replicate genuine drum sounds ... horrible, horrible ... My 2¢.

    To think, at one time P5 was a $429 MSRP app.

    I think that technology and music has always been together, and I think music is science, anyway. - Vangelis

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