Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture...

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JohnrC
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2006/01/28 18:25:14 (permalink)

Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture...

Please don't yell at me. I did my searches, but remain perplexed.

I've just started scratching the surface of Dim Pro. Wonderful. Aside from Pentagon that came with SONAR 5, I now see a special discount on z3ta valid til Jan 30. Pressure's on. And Rapture is on the horizon.

I'm presuming that all synths have their strengths and weaknesses, but where's the overlap and redundancy? Anyone care to offer advice on perceived differences?
#1

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    lawapa
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/28 20:18:34 (permalink)
    Pentagon was my first rgcaudio synth. Powerful. If you like the pentagon I tend to think you will be blown away by the z3ta. Since you have Dimension no need to go there and Rapture has yet to hit the shelves. Rapture is like Dimension but then it has features that take it to another level. Some overlap yes and that would be the same for z3ta but Rapture does not have wave shapping? like the z3ta? If it does it would not matter because it has things you won't find around that easy. So I have Pentagon and the z3ta from the rgcaudio days along with Dimension Pro from cakewalk and I will be getting the Rapture when it comes up. Why, well each one is a great synth in it's own right. And each step up the ladder adds some really great features. But I am a fan so you can sumize I'd be a tad on the get it side ;)+) I like the support that comes with these and well that's it for me. If your on a budget you could slide on a purchase or 2 but I'm betting once you hear what these babies can do you will be sorly tempted. Better yet download some demo tunes from the synths you don't have. You'll see what I mean.
    #2
    Paradroid
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/28 22:16:18 (permalink)
    I'm presuming that all synths have their strengths and weaknesses, but where's the overlap and redundancy?

    There will be some overlap between Dimension & Rapture but overall they'll make a stellar pair. Dimension does some wavetable synthesis but Rapture looks set to go way further than Dimension can. That said, Dimension will remain king for sample playback. Considering they both load sfz files, much of their content will be interchangeable.

    If I were you, I'd get Rapture before Z3ta+ and then see if you're still hungry for more after that!Rapture will be a fun ride when everyone lays hands on it for the first time… don't wanna miss that particular wave of enthusiasm.
    #3
    JohnrC
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/29 21:25:20 (permalink)
    Thank you both for your time.

    I managed to find a screenshot of Rapture and see the resemblance to Dimension Pro. Whereas looking at the Z3ta+ it appears to be controlled and modified differently... and possibly different 'types' of parameters to muck with. But from this thread, it seems that I'd do well to wait for the release of Rapture. (I don't know enough about synths that specifications tell me much.)

    Cheers!
    post edited by JohnrC - 2006/01/29 21:29:25
    #4
    fac
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/29 22:08:34 (permalink)
    I own z3ta+ and Dimension (not Pro), and they are quite different. Dimension is more like a rompler - I don't mean it in a bad sense, but it has the typical layered architecture where each layer has its own multisampled oscillator going through a filter and some fx. Sure, there are envelopes and LFO's for most common stuff (pitch, cutoff, reso, panning, and amplitude), and for most sounds that is enough.

    However, z3ta+ has a complex modulation matrix that lets you do crazier stuff, like FM, AM, RM, osc sync, filter FM, waveshaping, modulation of various parameters with the same source but different depths/curves, two filters in serial/parallel configuration.

    Both have decent effects but Dimension has effects per layer (element), and z3ta+ lets you modulate effect parameters.

    In short, I'd say there's not much overlap between z3ta+ and Dimension, although there's a good range of sounds you could produce with any of them.

    Rapture seems like a "middle point" between DP and z3ta+. It loses the huge DP soundset but introduces two more layers (as z3ta+'s six oscillators), ring modulation, and dual filters. And it has something neither DP or z3ta+ have: step sequencers. Unfortunately, it leaves behind some cool modulation possibilities found in z3ta+ (I can understand that most people wouldn't use them, anyway).

    IMO, having Pentagon, z3ta+, DP and Rapture could be overkill. Since you already have Pentagon and DP, you have to think what are you looking for in a new synth: if you like to do crazy sounds with near-modular routings, you should consider z3ta+ (there's a demo version available at www.rgcaudio.com); if you know your way around DP and would like ringmod, dual filters, and step sequencers, then Rapture might be it.

    And of course, there's a myriad of other synths you could try, too. It all depends on what you're looking for.

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    #5
    fac
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/29 22:19:46 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Paradroid
    Dimension does some wavetable synthesis but Rapture looks set to go way further than Dimension can.


    I still don't get this. Why is Rapture considered more "wavetable-ish" than Dimension? I can't see what extra wavetable features Rapture has over DP.
    post edited by fac - 2006/01/29 23:25:50

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    #6
    lawapa
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/29 23:20:32 (permalink)
    I think soon, what this will deliver, will be better explained. The list of features does not have as much meaning as what it will sound like. What can you do with it? Yes I expect some overlap with it. And this has been addressed to some degree. And yet I still get that sneaking feeling Rene has put something in the mix here that's hiding in the feature set under the guise of geek speak that will translate into something so totally different sound wise. So speculation is expected. And we all are on the edge of our seats.
    #7
    Paradroid
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 06:10:07 (permalink)
    I still don't get this. Why is Rapture considered more "wavetable-ish" than Dimension? I can't see what extra wavetable features Rapture has over DP.

    If you take a close look at the GUI you'll see some obvious ones — the ability to play multiple voices at once (Multi) and also control the amount of detuning (Detune). That's a trick that was possible with Dimension but only using advanced sfz tricks.

    Really, with the power of the sfz engine, Cake could just keep releasing spin off products that feature a specialized GUI that only focuses on one aspect of sfz for years to come.So far we have a ROMpler, RX2 player, wavetable synth… what's next? I figure they'll keep expanding sfz until one day the only logical step is to release an “all in one” with full graphical sfz capabilities and kill off Kontakt and a few other samplers & synths in one TKO king hit.That's what I dream about at night, at least.
    #8
    fac
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 08:55:03 (permalink)
    I'm sorry but to me a "wavetable" synth is not only one whose waveforms are read from a table (like every rompler), but one where one some realtime control over which table is being read, so one note can sweep through different waves. It doesn't look like Rapture (or sfz) can do that (it would be great if they did). Sure, you can use the envelopes to crossfade the six layers/elements, but that's quite cumbersome and not really what my concept of a wavetable synth should do.

    I'm sure Rapture will make amazing sounds and it also has great specs but I was a bit deceived because when I saw "wavetable" and "step sequencers" I instantly thought it could be kind of like a Waldorf XT or Korg Wavestation, and it doesn't seem like it. However, it looks like a great synth, and to be honest, it's more *my* kind of synth than Dimension (ie.- more a "programmers" synth than a "presets" synth), but I already have too many synths and Rapture would mostly overlap with them.

    Now I'm really looking forward to see what libraries come out for Dimension Pro. IMO, this is a key sales point for DP. If Cakewalk manages to convince more developers to use the sfz format, then DP will finally compete against Kontakt, Gigasampler, etc.

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    #9
    MIDIMONSTER
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 09:56:12 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: fac
    It doesn't look like Rapture (or sfz) can do that (it would be great if they did). Sure, you can use the envelopes to crossfade the six layers/elements, but that's quite cumbersome and not really what my concept of a wavetable synth should do.


    I believe that sfz opcodes will allow for almost unlimited control of wavetables within Rapture.

    - Unlimited X-fades on CC values...
    - Input cntrls such as changing wavetables on velcity, pitch range, randomness, polyphony...
    - lfo control via sfz opcodes
    - RING MOD!

    I could go on and on really... I though you enjoyed programming patches in synths?

    #10
    fac
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 10:51:15 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: MIDIMONSTER

    ORIGINAL: fac
    It doesn't look like Rapture (or sfz) can do that (it would be great if they did). Sure, you can use the envelopes to crossfade the six layers/elements, but that's quite cumbersome and not really what my concept of a wavetable synth should do.


    I believe that sfz opcodes will allow for almost unlimited control of wavetables within Rapture.

    - Unlimited X-fades on CC values...
    - Input cntrls such as changing wavetables on velcity, pitch range, randomness, polyphony...
    - lfo control via sfz opcodes
    - RING MOD!

    I could go on and on really... I though you enjoyed programming patches in synths?


    Yeah, that's also my point. I thought Rapture would make more use of these features. The sfz format is the coolest thing to happen sampler-wise in a long time, but as long as this stuff is not implemented with an interface, it would be very tedious to program some stuff. If you didn't like something you have to go back to the notepad (or whatever editor you're using), change some opcodes or parameters, go back to Dimension Pro or Rapture, reload the sfz, and try again.

    I'm thinking that I should start making some sfz-generating programs. One could do sfz drumkits (just select a bunch of samples and the prog generates the sfz file), other could do this wavetable-crossfading thing (again, select a bunch of wavetables and one controller will be dedicated for crossfading).

    http://facproductions.net

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    #11
    MIDIMONSTER
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 13:50:03 (permalink)
    Here is a little something for those who own Dimension /PRO -

    drop this as an .sfz file in \Multisamples\00 - Wavetables folder

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    <group>
    oscillator=on
    xf_cccurve=gain

    // wavetable 1
    <region> sample=square octaved 2.wav
    xfout_locc1=0 xfout_hicc1=127

    // wavetable 2
    <region> sample=triangle multi.wav transpose=-12
    xfin_locc1=0 xfin_hicc1=127
    #12
    fac
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 14:36:44 (permalink)

    http://facproductions.net

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    #13
    AT
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 15:25:57 (permalink)
    Cool! Nice to see it in action.

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    kb420
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 16:58:55 (permalink)
    I really can't wait until Cakewalk updates it's website to include Rapture, and maybe give us some better demonstrations of it's sounds.
    #15
    JohnrC
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 18:36:59 (permalink)
    From what you know, can this question be answered: is it possible to accomplish with Rapture the same that can be done with z3ta?
    #16
    fac
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/30 19:42:16 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: JohnrC

    From what you know, can this question be answered: is it possible to accomplish with Rapture the same that can be done with z3ta?


    Not all of it, but a probably a lot. Some modulation routings in z3ta+ seem imposible to accomplish in DimPro or Rapture (ie.- oscillator output as modulation source, fx parameter modulation). I have to check out the sfz format description carefully, though.

    http://facproductions.net

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    #17
    René
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/31 09:17:00 (permalink)
    Ok. From the original post I take you already have Dimension Pro, and need to decide between z3ta+ and Rapture.

    As you are on PC, I'm glad to tell you that z3ta+ is one of the few synthesizers which keep the Mac users drooling. Unfortunately, it won't be an easy move to make it available for the Mac. I would say it's a must-have, even when I might be a little bit partial on it.

    In all seriousness, Rapture will allow you to create many (say... 80%) of the sounds z3ta+ can do. It will also do those sounds more efficiently, and it will allow for another 100% of sounds that z3ta+ can't do.

    However, z3ta+ has that 20% which no other synth is capable of, and I doubt that will change. It also gives you a bitrigazillion patches created by users, plus the Virus and Muz3um mods. You can with-no-mistake think of those two as other synthesizers capsuled inside z3ta+.

    z3ta+ ships with 1000+ patches, and it's one of the synths you can get more free patches on the web, if not -the- one. I think there's over 2000 patches on the web. So if you're a preset-user, it's a no-brainer.


    -René
    #18
    fac
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/31 09:46:48 (permalink)
    Rene, thanks for dropping by. Are there any plans to port z3ta+ to XP64 in the future (say a year or two) ?

    I guess that even if there wasn't, Sonar 5 users could still use the z3ta+ VST through the bridge, right?

    http://facproductions.net

    Lots of gear. Not enough time.
    #19
    René
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    RE: Sorting Out Synths - Dim, z3ta, Rapture... 2006/01/31 11:38:36 (permalink)
    Rene, thanks for dropping by. Are there any plans to port z3ta+ to XP64 in the future (say a year or two) ?


    Yes.



    -René
    #20
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