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Will the New Fantom Motivate Korg ?
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SKung
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not about assigning a single controller, it's about workflow in sound design.

Just compare AL-1 with the MS20EX or any hardware or software synth:

You can modify oscillators, filters, LFOs and other parameters on one surface. On AL-1 you have to switch between different pages.

Example: There is one page for OSC settings. You want unison and change stereo width? Go to another page.
More drive? And a 3rd page.
One oscillator too loud? Navigate to a 4th page.
Now you want to tune the oscillators. If you're on unison, the parameters are on two different pages. Have fun with tweaking.
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Devnor
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:

But that's not the point.
It takes someone at Mike's caliber to truly harness all this ability effortlessly.
For most mere mortals, the Fantom workflow is a winner.

Roland wins in integrating it all into a user-friendly, if limited and expensive way.
For many, that's probably the exact combo that will sell.
Power users are a smaller minority.


However a person desires to work has nothing to do with experience so lets not try to conflate the two. Creatively speaking the best option is the simplest one. I could spend hours on a karma GE to play other instruments or I could just play the other instruments. I could spend hours programming a lead in MOD7 that at the end of the day, at least to other listeners, would sound better to them if played on a moog.

Kronos is a powerhouse workstation that does absolutely everything but at a cost. You can produce a complete track inside and I've done but. I just think there are better ways to get there. Fantom broke the barriers and kinda took the "work" out of previous Roland workstations. Let me give you one example:

Working in Kronos SEQ mode, you want to edit a voice. What happens next? First you need to remember the patch location/name and enter program mode, find the patch then find the parameter you want to adjust. But what happens when you restart the sequence? Nothing because you aren't in SEQ.

Fantom you press the parameter button of the section you wish to edit. Sequence still plays. This is what i love about working with external instruments in Logic is because I can edit and shift things without effecting much else.

That's one small example. Lots of other little short cuts its pretty brilliant synth. If this level of flexibility was built into the next gen Kronos it would be heralded a game changer indeed. Maybe Roland's game changer - for them.
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Scott
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

psionic311 wrote:
Scott wrote:

Now look at the dedicated synth knobs.
Look how ADSR is switchable among pitch, filter, and amp. You would need 12 knobs instead of 4.

The Kronos Control Surface has 9 sliders and 8 knobs.
Plenty for immediate, hands-on control all 3 envelope types.

Fantom gives you the equivalent of those 12 ADSR knobs AND the oscillator and filter knobs (and some fx knobs), all WITHOUT using up ANY of the 8 sliders and 8 multifunction knobs. Sure you can use some combination of the Kronos 9 sliders and 8 knobs to get your 12 envelope controls, but unlike on the Fantom...

...it will leave you with almost no real time controls available for anything else
...you'll have to program those knobs/sliders to do those things every time you want them, instead of them just being "there" (or at least load different templates)
...you'll have to remember what the knobs/sliders do (they are not labelled to do these things; and if you make your own labels, they'll be wrong when you want those controls to do OTHER things)
...they're not neatly laid out and grouped according to function, they are just a bunch of of undifferentiated controls

Many of the rest of your comments explain how to do things with the Kronos control surface, but because of the above reasons, you're starting with a lesser surface to begin with, and the only way around those things is to add an external control surface, and once you do that, those other things I mentioned again become issues (i.e. replicating parameter buttons or having to use many more controls; where you will place this extra box of knobs for convenient performance operation; getting feedback back to the new control surface; assigning the knobs to different programs within a combi). Of course you can do these things on the Kronos' own control surface, but then you're stuck with those limitations I listed out above (the lines that begin with the ellipses), which are what I'm trying to get around, along with other ones, like the lack of continuous encoders (meaning that every knob starts in the "wrong" position) and LED indicators (meaning you can't instantly tell how something is set by looking at the controls).

psionic311 wrote:
This is one reason why the Kronos is the best knobby FM synth on the market.
It's more fun and instructional to move sliders and knobs to hear changes right away.

What about Montage?

psionic311 wrote:
Scott wrote:
And in the end, how do you get that clear, uncluttered, well-labeled, well differentiated, well placed control layout on a generic surface?

These are apt descriptions for the existing Kronos Control Surface.

There are some labels that are sometimes right. Wink But a series of identically sized, identically spaced, black controls on a black background, with few status indicators, IMO, does not meet my description. I've already shown you the synth knobs, which don't exist at all on the Kronos, you'd have to repurpose other knobs. But to further emphasize the points, let's look at some other controls:



Starting on the left, the Kronos buttons butt up right against each other, there is no differentiation, it is easier to hit a button you don't intend to hit, and there's less indication of current status on all those controls. Proceeding to the right, the Roland has 6 MORE knobs under the screen, for the functions you're likely to want on a given screen, labeled with text that appears on the bottom of the screen. Sure, the Kronos can control those same functions with other knobs but then, again, those knobs are not simultaneously available for other things (and there is no instant visually adjacent relabeling and current setting indication of those buttons as their functions change).

Then look at all the controls on the other side, again well differentiated for different functions, easier to see (dark stages!), and well spaced (to avoid accidental mis-hits). I know, the functions of these controls are entirely different on the two machines, but I'm just using it as another example of ergonomic differentiation of controls.

You may not care about any of these things, but I think there are plenty of people who will see the sheer number of controls, the visual feedback provided, the benefits of continuous encoders, the ability to control so many things without specifically programming anything, etc. to be significant benefits.

My overall point is simply: If you're happy with the Kronos sound and control surface, great. If you're happy with the Fantom sound and control surface, great. But if you look at the two and wish for a board that could sound more like the Kronos but operated more like the Fantom, it's easier to add (for example) some great multi-sampling, clonewheel, EP and FM engines to a Fantom (i.e. add a tablet or laptop and some VSTs) than it is to add a Fantom-style control surface with the kinds of advantages listed above to a Kronos.


Last edited by Scott on Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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theshinenz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And these are some of the reasons I never gel'd with the Kronos, the user interface just doesn't flow IMO, too many page changes. Sure it sounds great and can do almost anything you wish, but its not much fun to program... plus I hated waiting almost 2 minutes for it to start up. I have however gone back to Kronos a few times in the last 5-6 years when I've needed a reasonably priced used board to cover most bases. My fantom turns up later this week.
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KK
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But if you look at the two and wish for a board that could sound more like the Kronos but operated more like the Fantom, it's easier to add (for example) some great multi-sampling, clonewheel, EP and FM engines to a Fantom (i.e. add a tablet or laptop and some VSTs) than it is to add a Fantom-style control surface with the kinds of advantages listed above to a Kronos.

That's only 4K$ for the new extra-weighty synth and its supposedly advantageous interface. Plus let's say another 2K$ for a decent laptop and a few basic VSTs to get what you don't have in the Kronos. A bit expensive if you ask me, but hey more power to anyone who wants it. As psionic311 mentioned earlier, on the Kronos you have immediate access to whatever you want with minimal effort. Can't remember which controls do what ? Remember there are several lines of text you can add in Setlist mode.

Not enough buttons ? In Polysix and MS-20 modes, you can access any of the 50+ knobs/buttons (Polysix) or 60+ knobs/buttons (MS-20) pushing one and using the slider. Big deal. So complicated ! Not to mention you can draw wires on the MS-20 49 jack patch panel. Want the same for the AL-1 ? There's Christer's great AL-1 freeware for PC and it is... 0$. Actually worth a lot, since you can edit onscreen any of the 1000+ knobs and controls offered. But hey, it's not as eye-candy looking as the new Roland interface, which also offers a sampler with a maximum polyphony of 8 (according to the specs).

Of course the new Roland can appeal to many people. More power to them if they want one. But to compare it to the Kronos is totally pointless. It's a matter of what your priorities are. If you have the budget, don't try to convince Kronos happy campers and just go get one.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="KK"]
Quote:
But if you look at the two and wish for a board that could sound more like the Krono

Of course the new Roland can appeal to many people. More power to them if they want one. But to compare it to the Kronos is totally pointless. It's a matter of what your priorities are. If you have the budget, don't try to convince Kronos happy campers and just go get one.


Some of the comparisons seem theoretical. I would need to see video/audio proof. Anyway, I see and hear far more diff's between the 2 beasts.

My attitude is for both. Not 1 or the other.

Roland and Korg keyboards have been mostly different in sound character for some decades.
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19naia
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep... All that is true about the control surface difference and how Roland brings more tactile function to the control surface.

But Roland has only just now shown up with a touch screen as part of the control surface.
And it may be a need for compensation for that history of lacking in any touch screen control, that has Roland packed full of tactile options on the control surface of the board.

And Kronos touch screen is a huge part(still the biggest touch screen in the game) of the control surface.
Maybe that is compensation for Kronos being slim on the tactile control surface?
Switching control modes on Kronos is as easy as a simple press of the tone adjust button or the timbre control button, or karma control button. Nothing too involved with that once all the control assignments are set up.
Just one touch of a button and a whole new control surface opens up on Kronos.
And regardless of what control mode the kronos control panel is in, you still have the touch screen controls to use.
Touch and drag on the screen to increase value or decrease value, it is as quick as any other type of control, but maybe not as big a surface of virtual knobs as the Roland Analog style panel sections for synth control knobs.

I think Kronos should be given more regard for the touch screen aspect of its control. I do just about everything on the touch screen, even doing the virtual sliders on screen and totally forgetting there is even a panel of real controls.
And when the screen gets a bit clumsy, i compensate with the dial.
Touch screen and dial is 75% of my interface for control of kronos.
And don’t forget that Roland is just now showing up with a touch screen and the screen iis so small that it justifies compensating with a packed control surface.

Roland has the 16 pads as an advantage, but never had the touch screen option that kronos had when Korg decided to make the pads virtual on the kronos screen.
And still korg offers externally, a dongle of tactile pads, 16 if you need. And the external pads can be programmed to more functions than just chord trigger. For the price of kronos and the korg external pads+extra sliders and knobs, you still come in less than the cost of fantom...... and Kronos has room on the right side surface, to place the external control pads+sliders+knobs.
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DAZZA3483



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you had a Kronos AND the new Fantom what a devastating combination that would be Twisted Evil .....Would you ever need to add another synth to that Armoury!!
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benny ray
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I played the new FANTOM and really liked it. Very different from the KRONOS imo one is not better than the other just different. I do like the keybed better and the pianos better as well.

I think both are great workstations. The fantom is in early stages and I am sure they will add more sounds or tones which I hear is already in the process.
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Scott
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KK wrote:
Quote:
But if you look at the two and wish for a board that could sound more like the Kronos but operated more like the Fantom, it's easier to add (for example) some great multi-sampling, clonewheel, EP and FM engines to a Fantom (i.e. add a tablet or laptop and some VSTs) than it is to add a Fantom-style control surface with the kinds of advantages listed above to a Kronos.

That's only 4K$ for the new extra-weighty synth and its supposedly advantageous interface. Plus let's say another 2K$ for a decent laptop and a few basic VSTs to get what you don't have in the Kronos. A bit expensive if you ask me, but hey more power to anyone who wants it.

Lots of folks already own the laptop (or tablet), so the additional expense might not be much. And if you do want a more Fantom-like control surface on the Kronos, what would THAT cost, and how much work would it take to integrate, and how would you ergonomically place it, assuming you could do it at all? That's my point... it's easier to make a Fantom sound like a Kronos than it is to make a Kronos operate like a Fantom (or an OASYS, which is something like a Kronos with a more Fantom-like control surface).

KK wrote:
Not enough buttons ? In Polysix and MS-20 modes, you can access any of the 50+ knobs/buttons (Polysix) or 60+ knobs/buttons (MS-20) pushing one and using the slider. Big deal. So complicated !

It's a different way of working, and something many people find less satisfying and immediate. I think Moog pioneered this with one of their more cost-effective follow-up products to the Minimoog, the Moog Source. Its one big knob would alter whatever function you invoked from its panel. Losing the dedicated control-per-function surface made it cheaper to produce, and arguably made the Source a better value, but it wasn't a Minimoog.

KK wrote:
Of course the new Roland can appeal to many people. More power to them if they want one. But to compare it to the Kronos is totally pointless. It's a matter of what your priorities are.

The comparison is interesting because there is overlap in functionality. If someone has nothing, and is in the market for a high end multifunction boards, it is reasonable for them to consider comparing Kronos, Fantom, Montage, and Forte, at least. But sure, as I said, if Kronos does all you want, or if Fantom does all you want, great, you're all set! I was talking about the situation where you wish you could have some of what one does and some of another.

19naia wrote:
And Kronos touch screen is a huge part(still the biggest touch screen in the game) of the control surface.
Maybe that is compensation for Kronos being slim on the tactile control surface?
...
I think Kronos should be given more regard for the touch screen aspect of its control. I do just about everything on the touch screen, even doing the virtual sliders on screen and totally forgetting there is even a panel of real controls.
And when the screen gets a bit clumsy, i compensate with the dial.
Touch screen and dial is 75% of my interface for control of kronos.

That's great, it's just not the way everyone is necessarily most comfortable working.

19naia wrote:

And don’t forget that Roland is just now showing up with a touch screen and the screen iis so small that it justifies compensating with a packed control surface.

OTOH, the Kronos screens were actually designed for the even larger OASYS screen, and many people find the Kronos screen cramped and sometimes difficult to see/use. Though the Kronos Remote iPad app is a very cool addition!

19naia wrote:
and Kronos has room on the right side surface, to place the external control pads+sliders+knobs.

Not really on the 61. Which is the one I have. Wink
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this topic is fun. I know its normal to zig zag some, and amplify Fantom stuff.
I definitely get a lot of mileage from that discussion or debate.

Lets think long term, 3 yrs ownership, or 5 yrs or 8 yrs.

Given what I am reading, or maybe reading between the lines, some Kronos owners are not that interested in a new concept work station or production performance synth from Korg, lets say $3500-$4000.

And I would really like Korg to answer Fantom, Montage etc.
I think that would be great, interesting, fire up everyone's imagination.

However...I am guessing many Kronos owners are not as adamant that Korg effectively replace Kronos.

Owners, especially those recent and the past 2 yrs, want to get their years into Kronos and are very happy with that time investment.

I understand a new keyboard like Fantom might be distracting. especially
financially. Not everyone has $4000 to spend every year.

I am under the belief that most decisions are motivated by money.

All that said, would you like Korg to bust a move, for $3500-$4000 , in the next 90 days, yes or no ?

Assume it would be great, desirable, really cool. And expensive.
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Scott
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no qualms with the sonic capabilities of the Kronos. What I'd like to see in an improved Kronos would be...

...switch from a standard computer motherboard to a laptop motherboard... i.e. something with a battery-based sleep mode that you could wake in 10 seconds instead of 2+ minutes of boot every time.

...yes, endless encoders with rings for all the knobs. Maybe add OLED displays that tell you what function is currently assigned to the controls (like on the new ASM Hydra)

...no more black-on-black... either change the color of the controls or change the color of the surface. It's an unnecessary impediment when you find yourself working in less than ideal light conditions. And buttons should be well separated from adjacent buttons instead of butting right up against them.

... redesign interface to make it work better on the small display (or go back to the larger display of the OASYS)/ For example, I remember a suggestion of being able to toggle the display from showing all 16 channels to just showing the first or last set of 8, so everything could be bigger. Having the screen angled or tiltable could add visibility as well.

... enable SST when changing sounds on the Quick Split screen. It's apparent that they intended that as a combi-programming aid and not as a performance mode, but it could also be a nice performance mode if you could be in that screen and seamlessly change the sound for your RH part while continuing to play your LH part.

...simplify the workflow for working with custom samples, among other things that are often confusing

... make a lightweight semiweighted 7x, perhaps based on the chassis of the PA3Xle (which had 76 keys with aftertouch, and weighed under 30 lbs.

For me, Kronos has the sounds. There is room for improvements in interface and ergonomics.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott wrote:
I have no qualms with the sonic capabilities of the Kronos. What I'd like to see in an improved Kronos would be...

...switch from a standard computer motherboard to a laptop motherboard... i.e. something with a battery-based sleep mode that you could wake in 10 seconds instead of 2+ minutes of boot every time.

...yes, endless encoders with rings for all the knobs. Maybe add OLED displays that tell you what function is currently assigned to the controls (like on the new ASM Hydra)

...no more black-on-black... either change the color of the controls or change the color of the surface. It's an unnecessary impediment when you find yourself working in less than ideal light conditions. And buttons should be well separated from adjacent buttons instead of butting right up against them.

... redesign interface to make it work better on the small display (or go back to the larger display of the OASYS)/ For example, I remember a suggestion of being able to toggle the display from showing all 16 channels to just showing the first or last set of 8, so everything could be bigger. Having the screen angled or tiltable could add visibility as well.

... enable SST when changing sounds on the Quick Split screen. It's apparent that they intended that as a combi-programming aid and not as a performance mode, but it could also be a nice performance mode if you could be in that screen and seamlessly change the sound for your RH part while continuing to play your LH part.

...simplify the workflow for working with custom samples, among other things that are often confusing

... make a lightweight semiweighted 7x, perhaps based on the chassis of the PA3Xle (which had 76 keys with aftertouch, and weighed under 30 lbs.

For me, Kronos has the sounds. There is room for improvements in interface and ergonomics.


why sure. A new $4000 keyboard should fit your requirements , certainly the majority, most important etc etc.

I mostly agree with you. There is a very deep wish list for Kronos that I doubt will ever happen on an imaginary K3.

my req's are somewhat different than yours because my context and usage is different.

I suppose its hard to say "yes " or even 'no'. So think about it as if Korg ticked all the boxes for you. For $4000
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Musicwithharry
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a question:

If Korg made another Kronos (or something new that had everything that the Kronos had plus the ability to add more seamlessly), that also featured a better interface (say from like the OASYS or the new Roland Fantom), would we get it? Would this new model knock all of the other workstations out for us and we would get another Kronos (or whatever they would call it)?

If Korg came out with another synth but offered complete backward compatibility with Kronos stuff, would that help too?

Would the offering of a new workstation from another company really mean anything at all?

I think that Korg has had the workstation line in the bag for some time. Roland's new flagship, while very pretty, still is lacking in critical areas. While they are promising upgrades and such in the future, how long in the future will it be before the Fantom does what it is promised to do?

Maybe Korg has something in store and we will not know until NAMM 2020...

Grace,
Harry
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Musicwithharry wrote:
Her
I think that Korg has had the workstation line in the bag for some time. Roland's new flagship, while very pretty, still is lacking in critical areas. While they are promising upgrades and such in the future, how long in the future will it be before the Fantom does what it is promised to do?

Maybe Korg has something in store and we will not know until NAMM 2020...

Grace,
Harry


I am not concerned. If Roland says they will upgrade, they will upgrade. If it takes a few months or a year , thats not on my worry list. It already has a ton of useful functionality.

About a w/s or whatever in the bag, yeah, Korg hypothetically, has to be quite far along on a new product. These complex keyboards are not slapped together in a few months.

Or Korg has no plans beyond Kronos. Thats possible.

We have been speculating like this for 2 years about Korg. No one outside Korg knows whats going on. Or not going on.
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