WTT: Xpander for Nord Modular??

From mager
Sent Wed, Oct 29th 1997, 07:24

Chad Gould writes:

>My opinion is doubtful that a Nord Modular will be able to capture the fullness
>an real analog can, if the Nord Lead is any indication. I think the Nord
>looks like it is competing with some other systems - from Reality to Kyma -
>not only have the analog simulation, but have other weird ways of processing

I'm wondering: has it been established that the Nord Modular will have audio
inputs?  Standard?  As an option?  S/PDIF?  If it has the envelope followers
and such to permit variation in processing relative to input signal
characteristics then it could get truly crazy.  There was talk by one of the
Clavia guys about doing a VOCODER module, right?  That takes inputs, filters
& envelope followers to properly accomplish.  Must all come standard?

>The "virtual modular" IMHO has considerable more appeal than a "virtual analog"
>since the virtual modular has an advantage of being able to capture a large
>amount of processing power in a small amount of space. You don't need to devote
>an entire studio wall to your sound processing system. You can actually save
>patches and recall them, which is a plus for many. And you can do different
>types of warping than you can with a real modular. OTOH, I am positive that
>there will be a small degree of quantization, as any patch-storage analog has
>(versus a modular). 

Anybody have specs for the Nord Lead regarding timing resolution and
latency?  I've had this feeling (don't ask me why, maybe it was the Keyboard
review where they spoke of zero attack equaling zero samples) that the Nord
has a 'tighter' calculation of various paremeters (i.e. virtual envelope an
other "cv" levels) and their effects (momentary oscillator pitch, momentary
filter cutoff, etc) than other 'virtual' contenders.  It definately does a
better job with quick envelope sounds than the K-2000's VAST engine, which
apparently slices things up into  20 ms intervals (way too slow for FcM, but
it does a nice job with AM type stuff, and not too bad with FM
(shapemodosc)) and can be a pretty convincing pseudo-analog sound destroyer
with the caveat that it only works on sampled material in it's memory.  How
about bit depth?  I assume it's 32 bit processing, but what about patch
storage?  They'd better give you more than 127 filter cutoff frequencies for

>And, at the price Nord's offering it, though, it isn't a big
>cost savings. You can get a basic Doepfer modular system for that price.

Sounds like you can get more than one 'modular' up and running at once on
the Nord.  The versatility (sp?) is the advantage with the Nord ("hm, I
think I need to patch ten of these just downloded virtual frequency shifters
in series to get the type of chorusing I had in mind on this el-wacko matrix
1000 synthetic trumpet preset.")

>Myself, I don't see either option in my price range. That's why I'm thinking of
>building a semi-modular ASM-1 for $600. (:

Also very valid (is there still someplace to get the Faceplates and Circuit
Boards from ?  How 'bout a little reminder for the list?)  I know I won't be
dumping my ShockAD patcherized Obie 2 voice (you still out there dave d?) to
pay for a Nord, but I might sacrifice the Xpander.

>I don't think the fact that the Nord Modular can store and recall patches makes
>it unworthy simply because it's not something you spend oodles of time
>restringing patches on, as you imply, FYI. This would put an awful lot of good
>synths into that unworthy category: Prophet 5, Jupiter 8, Matrix 12, Xpander...

Xpander, there it is again.  Could I really dump the prize I sought for 18
months just like that?  How fickle I am.  It all depends on the timing
resolution of the DSP operations.  If I can run a PAiA sawtooth into a Nord
input and use it to FM the filter cutoff of a filter that is filtering the
sound of my girlfriend's cat purring into a Mic connected to another Nord
audio input then I may be sold.  If it's fast and acurate enough to use
input audio rate signals as virtual control voltages in it's synthesis, then
It's fast enough for me.