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Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby tulamide » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:39 am

The flowstoners version says 1.08, tested with Connie, 10-finger chromatic uses 19 %, which would be the upper limit. Sadly, under production almost each of the presets go up to about 34% at which point sound stuttering occurs. I saw that it takes almost 5 seconds after a note is released, until the processor load is back to idle. Note: Even if the envelope is already fully done (release time), it still takes several seconds to fall back to idle. That is the reason for the high processor load (try playing Connie as a simple 3-note-chord at 120 bpm on 8th) You already played like 15 times the 3 notes when the first 3 notes finally go back to idle, so they all add up to an unneccessary high amount of cpu load (why calculating a note that isn't audible?).

Damn, I so hoped for the best (...and a tear fell from his eye, a tear from deep inside his soul, a tear of unbearable pain; the pain of loss...)
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:04 am

Hi tulamide

Looking at the time of your post I think you caught me mid-update! I uploaded to the forum first and then flowstoners, so maybe you got the previous one on flowstoners just due to timing...

Thank you for the feedback and I'll look into the fall-back time of the cpu after notes are released.

On the Q-50 there are 4 generators (oscillators and ADSRs or wave players) running per note but on the QX7 there will normally be 6 so for most presets the load will be heavier on the QX7 I guess.

I shall investigate further...

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby tulamide » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:55 am

As a musician you might feel my desperation. Here's a little 8 bar chord progression: https://db.tt/ie01YmoL

This is in my head, my ear, my heart and my fingers for quite some time now. It's the QX7, one of your presets. Nothing else. Now imagine me playing this looped and trying to play along (there are so many ideas...), and realizing that I just can't. I really could cry.

I want to do this song, with the QX7!
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:06 am

tulamide wrote: I saw that it takes almost 5 seconds after a note is released, until the processor load is back to idle. Note: Even if the envelope is already fully done (release time), it still takes several seconds to fall back to idle. That is the reason for the high processor load (try playing Connie as a simple 3-note-chord at 120 bpm on 8th) You already played like 15 times the 3 notes when the first 3 notes finally go back to idle, so they all add up to an unneccessary high amount of cpu load (why calculating a note that isn't audible?).


This is down to my shit sound design I'm afraid :oops:

When I'm designing a preset I stop when it sounds good to me and then move on. However, many of the presets have been left with much longer release times set on the modulator Operators than is needed or even heard. The envelope of the carriers is what you actually hear and there is literally no point in having any modulator with a longer release time than the carriers. Also the release phase is the least important for most sounds (with exceptions like bells for example).
Consequently I've gone through the presets and optimised them wherever possible. Below is a zip of the presets I modified. Those not in the zip below were either ok or needed a longish release phase to sound "right".
If you have a few minutes could you kindly test these for me tulamide? If they help I'll do another release with these incorporated. Much appreciated!

Cheers

Spogg
Attachments
Optimised presets.zip
For tulamide to test and others if you want...
(18.93 KiB) Downloaded 442 times
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby tulamide » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:19 am

Yes, these are much better!
Unfortunately Lowla is not part of them (which I used for the chords). That was a quick finding Spogg, very good!
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:06 pm

tulamide wrote:Yes, these are much better!
Unfortunately Lowla is not part of them (which I used for the chords). That was a quick finding Spogg, very good!

That's good news :D
Plus, I've learned SO much from all this. I'll take far more care in the future and maybe go over my older stuff now I have a better idea about what I should do.

I've just managed to reduce the CPU by a further 0.8% and that will affect many presets. Details to follow but the presets will be updated. Also "Lowla" will be affected by the new optimisations.

I'm still inspecting deep so I'll wait a bit before I release the next update until I'm convinced I can do no more (like I thought before at every stage!).

Thanks again for your help tulamide and btw I love the chord progession. This is the first time I've ever heard anyone playing anything on my stuff so I was somewhat moved!

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby tulamide » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:06 pm

How about this: Add a deep calm bass, a soft pad and a short pluck preset - and I'll do the song with just the QX7 and Beater. You could then showcase your synth with audio (in case you like the result). Else I do my own sounds, but it wouldn't be quite as interesting than saying "this is what the QX7 sounds like with its presets". :mrgreen:
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:52 pm

Ok, so I don't think I can optimise further but this afternoon's work has further improved cpu usage. The latest version is 1.10 and is in the original post and the plugin is on http://www.flowstoners.com

Here's what's changed:

    Zero=OFF added to the following controls:
    -LFO to Pitch
    -Glide
    -LFO delay (when set to zero the delay stage is now bypassed)
    -LFO to Amplitude

Many of the presets had too long a Release time set for any Operators connected as modulators. There is no point in setting a modulator release time longer than the carriers and this was my failing ("my bad" as people seem to say these days).
Many thanks to tulamide for drawing my attention to the problem and testing the updated presets. The optimised presets are installed and in the zip too.

I'm still in the market for advice and any is welcome!

I now see this as more of a community project because a lot of people have been involved. If someone could come up with a nice GUI maybe the Flowcom label could be used instead of Quilcom...

tulamide wrote:How about this: Add a deep calm bass, a soft pad and a short pluck preset - and I'll do the song with just the QX7 and Beater. You could then showcase your synth with audio (in case you like the result). Else I do my own sounds, but it wouldn't be quite as interesting than saying "this is what the QX7 sounds like with its presets". :mrgreen:

I remember you once said to me that you were best at sound design when you had a song in mind. For this reason (and nothing to do with laziness- oh no) I think it would be nice for both of us if you made what you had in mind. Of course I will help if you have questions about programming the beast, as I will for anyone else. Maybe start with an existing preset which is in the right ballpark and then experiment. I do like the idea of a demo piece and you would be acknowledged not only as a musician but also for the preset designs, which I could incorporate and publish. Nice idea and I hope you enjoy.

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: Quilcom QX7: Paying homage to the DX7 synth

Postby Spogg » Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:00 pm

Hi all

Although it’s an oldie, Manfred Plümer took an interest in the QX7 and made an extended factory preset bank for it, with many great new sounds. The originals are still there.

So, once again, a big thanks to our Manfred!

I also fixed the envelopes.

The zip contains v1.12 fsm (FS 3.06), 32 & 64 bit plugins in 2 sizes of GUI and the new bank which is already loaded into the schematic and plugins.

Dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8m64vk2fu920h ... 2.zip?dl=0

Also I will amend the first post and I’ve updated the Flowstoners website.

Cheers

Spogg
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