The Sequential synthesizer of your dreams

Which features would urgently bust your wallet open?

I know more than a few people that have lusted for a Sequential Pro 8, a synthesizer like a Sequential Pro 3 but with 8 polyphonic voices. I am one of those people, but I’m going to take it a step farther.

I would merge the Sequential Pro 2, Sequential Pro 3, Sequential Prophet Rev2, Sequential Prophet 6, Sequential Prophet 12, and Sequential Prophet X synthesizers.

I would discontinue the entire Sequential line, with the exception of the Sequential Prophet 5/10.

The Sequential Prophet Pro

These are the models I would offer instead:

  • Prophet Pro 1688 – 16 voices, 88 keys – $5999
  • Prophet Pro 1661 – 16 voices, 61 keys – $4999
  • Prophet Pro 861 – 8 voices, 61 keys – $3999
  • Prophet Pro 16M – 16 voices, module – $3999
  • Prophet Pro 8M – 8 voices, module – $2999
  • Prophet Pro 437 – 4 voices, 37 keys – $2499
  • Prophet Pro 437P – 4 paraphonic voices, 37 keys – $1999
  • Prophet Pro 237P – 2 paraphonic voices, 37 keys – $1499
  • Prophet Pro 2PM – 2 paraphonic voices, module – $999

No models would upgrade to another, sorry folks.

I would expect the paraphonic models to have some features trimmed due to cost considerations. Here’s the feature list of the 4/8/16 voice polyphonic models.

6 oscillators total per (polyphonic) voice

  • 2 analog, voltage-controlled oscillators
    • Analog oscillators produce four classic wave shapes: (sine, triangle, saw, variable-width pulse) with variable shape modulation on each
  • 2 digital with wavetable oscillators
    • Digital oscillators produce 64 digital wavetables of 5-128 waves each, wave morphing, sample lengths of 256/1024/2048, plus classic wave shapes (sine, triangle, saw, variable-width pulse) and super saw
  • 2 sample instrument oscillators
    • Compatible with the Prophet X and all its samples and features
    • 1TB SSD
    • Improved sample utilities

Screen

  • I love the Sequential workflow/screen, but I think a screen perhaps double the vertical size with graphic representations even live, of envelopes, LFOs and waveforms would be a real useful upgrade.

Filters

  • Serial, parallel and oscillator split modes
  • 4 analog filters – LP 12db, LP 24db, HP, and BP
  • 6 digital filters – Including comb filters and bit crushers
  • 6 user & 3rd party installable digital filters, set a sysex standard!

Envelopes and LFOs

  • 6 envelopes
  • 6 LFOs

Sequencer, Arpeggiator

  • Essentially the same as the Pro 3 with 8 note polyphony

Mod Matrix, and CV

  • Essentially the same as the Pro 3

Digital Effects

  • Dual digital effects
  • Stereo delay, BBD delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, ring mod, vintage rotating speaker, distortion, high-pass filter, super plate reverb

Well, that it for a basic framework, tell me what you want in comments.

Thanks!
Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

Support & reinvest earnings in musicians that share their Bandcamp music on Revolution Oscillators

Let’s roll our own snowball down the hill: Support a deserving & underappreciated musician today!

Anyone that knows me, knows Trent Reznor is my favorite musician. If his name is on it or connected to it, I want it. However, I don’t ponder if he can pay his gear bills, pay his rent or has grocery money.

Unfortunately, and especially during Covid-19 times, almost all the other musicians I listen to are not in that fortunate place. They need fan support. You know the story, without gigging many musicians are hurting, at this point for nearly a year without traditional sources of revenue and promotion.

Bandcamp to the rescue. Face it, a musician can make on Bandcamp in a day, week, or a month what they would make in a year, on likely all other streaming platforms combined.

Musicians and fans alike can create their own much needed economy

The key to a healthy economy is reinvestment. Billionaires bank the money and it helps no one. You and I get money, we spend it and the person we give it to spends it and so on helping everyone, until it gets stuck static in a rich person’s bank account. Sad but true.

Here’s what I propose, let’s make this a win situation for Revolution Oscillators, a win situation for musicians, and a win situation for fans.

FYI, the next Bandcamp Friday isn’t until February, so please don’t wait, the standard Bandcamp artist’s cut is still the best on the block, generally more than 80% goes to an independent artist.

Musicians: post your Bandcamp (now) on the Revolution Oscillators Facebook Group. There are no posting limits, do it every day if you like, and I will also share your music on the Revolution Oscillators Facebook Page and Twitter.

Musicians and Fans: Share this post on all your social media, invite musicians and music-oriented people to join the group.

Fans: Buy the music. Even $1 on a name your price selection helps and adds weight to the algorithm as well.

Musicians: Buy some shared music, when someone buys it from you, reinvest at least 50% if you can, in other artists that share their music on Revolution Oscillators.

I’ve already started the ball rolling and bought some music. I drink my own medicine and will reinvest Anxiety Forest sales 100% back into the Revolution Oscillators community.

We can do this!

Thanks!
Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

What would today’s ultimate mid-level amplification system for synthesizer, guitar & bass musicians be?

What is your -singular- amplification solution for recording, jamming or even live performances?

A few days ago I bought myself a Gibson SG Standard electric guitar. Promptly, I started to think about an amplifier and effects.

Full disclosure, I’m 95%+ all about keyboards and synthesis, a home producer, and even then more of a sound curator and programmer than a talented musician. Most of the time, my music world is a Sequential Prophet X, a Sequential Pro 3, a Waldorf Quantum, a Focusrite interface, an Ableton Live DAW, and a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. I also have a set of Tannoy studio monitors that I would love to get rid of, that I use for minimal open air analysis of my Anxiety Forest tracks. The mass majority of the time, it’s a headphone world for me.

Back to the guitar, I have a Blackstar ID Core 20 amp, which for $159.99 is a practice amplifier with a little bit of everything: solid state stereo; 6 variable overdrives; phaser, chorus/flanger, and tremolo modulations; linear, analogue, tape, and multi delays; and room, hall, spring, and plate reverbs. It is what I consider a great training amplifier. You can play it open air, with headphones or send it to your mixer/interface line level for recording. It is useless for gigging or jamming with friends though.

OK, now the macho in me, the emotional harkening back to my youth, wants a tube amplifier stack. I do want to jam live with some friends in a post-virus world. My crazy brain imagines a tube Blackstar stack with hundreds of watts and $5000 worth of pedals. Of course, this will never happen and it’s as useless as the training amplifier for my needs anyway. I need something in the middle.

I’m not even thinking about synthesizer amplification yet. I should also mention, I do have acoustic guitar recording/amplification needs as well.

I think it is impossible to come up with a multi-instrument gig/stack level type amplification system. At that level you are just going to need instrument specific equipment. If you are playing auditoriums, you are just not going to be moving equipment from your living room to the auditorium, so we’ll completely skip that angle.

So the moderate in me (what me moderate?), decides I could get a Blackstar HT Stage 60 MK2 combo tube amp with 60 watts OR 6 watts and direct out, maybe in the summer. That should be enough to record well with and flood the various room sizes available to jam with friends… then I keep thinking about effects, maybe modeling instead of tube or some combination.

Concurrently, in a semi-private Facebook conversation, my friend Jason Cooper, admin of the Sequential Pro 3 Synth Facebook group really cracks my head open by suggesting the Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx III MKII Preamp/FX Processor pictured in the header image on this post. This is cool, but it is pricey and sold direct only to my knowledge, so no credit terms. Seems like a lot for just my guitar needs. Still, it lights my fire, ha!

So now the concept of FRFR speakers (full range, flat response), studio monitors, and PA speakers is back in my head, and I think well, if I’m gonna go there, I might as well include my synthesizer amplification and effects needs…

AND just how many amps and speakers do I want in my relatively small studio area? AND what about something portable for jamming?

ARGH!!!

The synthesizer world is mostly a studio phenomenon, live amplification is probably the most under-discussed subject

I’m cool on headphones and studio monitors in the studio, however there is no portability or live performance usefulness. Most of the time when I think of portability or jamming, I’m thinking of a combo amp with two 12″ speakers or a single 15″ speaker. For guitars and bass, plenty of options. Of course, the effects pedal rabbit hole still exists, and face it, pedals can be messy and pricey collectively. For synths, there are not a lot of options that I know of for a dual 12″ or single 15″ combo amp. Roland has some keyboard amps. Know of any others? If you want grab and run combo amps, there seems to be little option other than instrument specific.

What are you gonna do though, have 4 combo amps?

One each for guitar, bass, acoustic, and synthesizers? Not in my world or room.

So far, the best solutions or compromises I can think of or know about, are something like that Axe-FX III, a pair of powered PA speakers and maybe a subwoofer, along with a pair of studio monitors for the studio. It’s still difficult for me to shed my traditional yearn for stacks or combo amps… but there is no simple solution I know of.

To save money, the Axe-FX III does have a smaller sibling, the FM3 and the Line 6 Helix family has a range of modeling/multi-effects for line level output and of course, pedal options.

And there is a wide range of power and price in PA speakers.

What do you think? What do you do?

Please share your thoughts, experiences and solutions! If we can expand my preliminary thinking, we’ll do a follow up post.

Thanks!
Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

Post images on Instagram with a laptop or desktop

Absolutely no phone or extra software needed

You probably know this, but the header image above shows Instagram running in a laptop window, and it has no functionality for uploading images. Yeah you can add kludgy software or extensions but you can do it without those with a few simple clicks.

Note: this tutorial uses the Chrome browser.

Step 1

From the ellipsis (3 vertical dots) in the upper right corners, select ‘More tools’, then select ‘Developer tools’.

Step 2

As circled in red above, be sure the phone icon is highlighted blue.

Step 3

Refresh your screen and you will see, as circled in red above, the upload icon has magically appeared.

Step 4

Voila!

You are now posting images as though you were on a phone.

Now, go follow Revolution Oscillators on Instagram!

If you’d like to say special thanks Yehuda, follow my music production project Anxiety Forest on Instagram too.

Thanks!
Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

Common hardware issues to look for when purchasing a used, b-stock or unopened 2018-2019 Waldorf Quantum

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Waldorf Quantum is so unique and so amazing, it is worth a few rough edges in my opinion. Nonetheless, a consumer should be aware of product characteristics, good and bad. If you are going to buy a new or used Quantum made in 2018-2019, you should be aware of some common hardware issues.

I stress these issues do not apply to Quantums manufactured after 2019. All computer based technology including the greatest synthesizers ever made, of which the Waldorf Quantum is one, have probably a 1% defect rate. This post is not about standard technology defects and it is not about firmware issues either. Ordinarily, if you have a brand new synth of any type that is DOA or has some hardware flaw in at least the first 30 days, send it back to the reseller for an exchange or refund. If they won’t do that, cease doing business with them in the future.

I had 2 Quantums manufactured in 2019. The first one fell into that 1% defect rate, and went back for reseller exchange right way. Initially I was reasonably satisfied with the replacement. After 8 months however, I chose to send my mid-2019 purchased Quantum in for repair in February 2020 to protect my resale value. The following is quoted from my post 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum, It is important to note point 1 below is super easy to resolve, point 2 would be easy to ignore and point 3 you probably wouldn’t know if I didn’t tell you.

  1. Squeaky keys – This one is the easiest to fix. You don’t have to tolerate it or take pass on a used machine with the issue. This condition is common to many brands which use Fatar keybeds. The keybed just needs lubrication, check with Waldorf support or your dealer.
  2. Touch screen sensitivity and/or dead zone – Most of the issues with this are firmware design, fixed in OS 2.0+. You may notice in the image above, the 6 control areas on the left and right sides of the screen are redesigned to reflect more accurately that there are no buttons for selections like normal and mod; the whole rectangular area is a touch area/button, which once you understand that, makes selection a snap. The middle selector knob between save and previous has been programmed to scroll through selection choices much more accurately and easier than previous touch only selections. You could get a new screen through warranty that is purported to be more sensitive, however the firmware changes make a world of difference and you may not care. Likewise, many Quantums have a dead spot on the right 1/4″ of the screen that can be fixed with a screen firmware update (not to be confused with the OS firmware, this is completely distinct and not currently upgradable from SD or USB. A user upgradable screen firmware may become available in the future, but there is no guarantee at this point). I think many people will not bother to deal with repair of these screen issues since the beta take almost all the pain away. To replace the screen or update the screen firmware, you will need to ship the synth to a warranty center.
  3. Touch screen bubble – I’ve heard no reports of this visual bubble underneath the top layer of the screen affecting the operation of the screen, but it is annoying. Ultimately, it is what pushed me to send my Quantum to be repaired.
  4. Voices with inconsistent resonance – See image above. I wouldn’t have even noticed this if I hadn’t read about it. Thanks to Paul Cotton, who provided these issue confirmation instructions and .wav files: Boot, load a patch > Init the patch > Turn off OSC1 in the OSC MIX (so audio will be just filter self resonance) > Left of the screen, change analog filter 1 cutoff to 67 and resonance to 85.5 , then repeatedly play middle c to cycle the voices. Before fix .wav / After fix .wav To fix this, you will need to ship the synth to a warranty center.

In repair, my Quantum was swapped out for a new one. This Waldorf Quantum rocks. It looks and feels like all $4000 of it should. Be sure to read New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty for more details. More than 6 months later from that post, I can tell you I am still in awe of my Quantum. Currently I am running a beta version of OS 3.0 and that awe continues to grow.

I want to stress that I believe all currently manufactured Quantums are at this same level of high quality control. I would not hesitate to buy a new Quantum today. Waldorf is a top notch company, I have nothing but high regard for them and the Quantum. The true mark of a company is what happens when there are problems. Waldorf and Sweetwater pass with flying colors.

Thanks!
Yehuda

More revolutionOSC Waldorf related pages
Updated periodically – Wavetable Synth Comparisons
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Wavetable Editing Tools
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Presets
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Wavetables & Utilities
Updated periodically – Waldorf Quantum
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium

More revolutionOSC Waldorf Quantum related posts
June 30, 2019 – Waldorf Quantum joins “Studio”
July 28, 2019 – First month thoughts about Waldorf Quantum
October 2, 2019 – Inside the Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer
December 15, 2019 – 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum
April 20, 2020 – New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

Hacking a Windows 10 administrator password

Irreplaceable music and/or video files of priceless value could be yours again, if you know what to do next.

Maybe you just forgot your own password…

If you are in physical possession of a Windows machine, you can easily reset the passwords with a small amount of technical direction.

Download Ubuntu 16.04.05 GNOME LTS

Download Linux onto a non-target Windows system. If you have preference to download another Linux distro, feel free. The important facet here is that it has a Live or Test mode so you can run Linux from the USB drive (2GB+) without installing on a hard drive.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGNOME/GetUbuntuGNOME

Create a bootable USB drive on Windows

Again, do this on a non-target Windows system.

https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

Shutdown Windows with shift key

Do this with the actual target Windows system that you need to replace the password on. Hold the shift key down and select shutdown. It is important to hold the shift key down so the drive is fully released from hibernation. If you do not do this it may cause complications mounting the drive from Linux.

Insert the USB drive in target system

Boot with the USB drive, immediately upon power on tapping escape until it lets you select boot device. Select the USB drive to boot from.

Start a Linux terminal session.

$ sudo fdisk -l
$ sudo cd /media
$ sudo mkdir mnt
$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 mnt # <– substitute bold with your drive name from fdisk above
$ sudo cd Windows/System32 # <– case important
$ sudo cp -a osk.exe osk.exe.orig
$ sudo cp -a cmd.exe cmd.exe.orig
$ sudo cp cmd.exe osk.exe

Exit and shutdown the Ubuntu session, remove the USB drive.

Boot the target Windows system

  • Select the Ease of Access icon.
  • Next select the On-Screen Keyboard.
  • This will execute the renamed cmd.exe and bring up a command prompt as shown below.
  • Now you can type ‘net user’ to show all user accounts.
  • Then type ‘net user Administrator *’ to reset the password for Administrator as an example.
  • Do this for all user accounts and login with the new password, you should be set.

Be sure to copy cmd.exe.orig to cmd.exe and osk.exe.orig to osk.exe to undo the backdoor you created.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

Essential Social Media Information Technology for Musicians and Activists: The Facebook Scraper

https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug

Sharing without it can be less than optimized

Everyone has seen it or had it happen to them. You share a web page you know has a photo/video and Facebook does not see it. Another common issue is that you change the photo/video or edit the headline/text and Facebook does not see the changes.

Facebook Scraper to the rescue. Using this tool to clear Facebook’s cache is indispensable in my opinion. In a perfect world Facebook’s auto-scraping of your shares would precede display, but in the real world it often fails to keep up, so you need to manually reset the cache. Super easy.

  1. Enter the URL
  2. Press the ‘Debug’ button
  3. Press the ‘Scrape Again’ button (Occasionally you will have to do this several times. I had to do it 3 times for this article)

There may be other issues which cause bad image display. Generally Facebook prefers something close to a 2:1 aspect ratio for the image. A Facebook scrape on a near 2:1 ratio image usually does the trick.

The Facebook Debugger/Scraper also shows various other Open Graph settings which may be beyond your ability to change unless you have admin access to blogging software like WordPress which allows customization of these settings.

Social media posts with good images ALWAYS get significantly more views and shares, it is a fact.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

revolutionOSC Diversification Campaign

Looking for people of color or non-Americans with an eye towards becoming moderators. Revolution Oscillators needs racial, ethnic and geographic diversity.

Are you synthesizer or electronic music savvy and not a white American?

Do your politics fall between Democratic Socialist and Revolutionary?

Do you have time to be more than an administrator, and be a near daily participant, sharing your gear, music and local politics?

If so, Revolution Oscillators wants you.

We are looking to build a world of equals. If you are a POC anywhere in the world, including the United States OR any race/ethnicity outside of the United States in Central or South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, or Oceania, Revolution Oscillators needs your fellowship and guiding participation.

Join our Facebook group today and let me know you want to help us grow together.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

Deluded musician thinks he has enough synthesizers now, Sequential Pro 3 joins studio

Will 4 flagship level synths satisfy?

Think so, hope so.

Adding the Sequential Pro 3 to the Sequential Pro 2, Sequential Prophet X and Waldorf Quantum really touches all sound worlds I need to touch. Now I desperately need some Jaspar stands and new studio monitors.

Like any synthesizer addict, I’d love to have hundreds of all synth persuasions, but space is at a premium, as is time to effectively learn and use the synths.

Thanks!
-Yehuda

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revolutionOSC Facebook Group

New Waldorf Iridium Page

Waldorf 16 voice all-digital Iridium desktop

The Waldorf Quantum and the Sequential Prophet X are like the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster of the synthesizer world. It’s a BIG deal for an all digital desktop version of the Quantum to be released.

Hover over ‘Synthesizers’ on the menu bar or go direct:
https://revolutionosc.com/waldorf-iridium

Thanks!
-Yehuda

More revolutionOSC Waldorf related pages
Updated periodically – Wavetable Synth Comparisons
Updated periodically – Sequential Prophet X or Waldorf Quantum?
Updated periodically – Wavetable Editing Tools
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Presets
Updated periodically – Quantum/Iridium Wavetables & Utilities
Updated periodically – Waldorf Quantum
Updated periodically – Waldorf Iridium

More revolutionOSC Waldorf Quantum related posts
June 30, 2019 – Waldorf Quantum joins “Studio”
July 28, 2019 – First month thoughts about Waldorf Quantum
October 2, 2019 – Inside the Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer
December 15, 2019 – 6th month thoughts about the Waldorf Quantum
April 20, 2020 – New Waldorf Quantum Synthesizer is a Beauty

Be sure to join the
revolutionOSC Facebook Group