What's the deal with these Creamware synths?

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Bitexion
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Post by Bitexion » Fri May 11, 2007 8:35 pm

Well, Mike T, don't dismiss it because it's VA unless you've played it. The thing about these Creamware boxes is that they don't try to "emulate generic analog sound", they aim straight for perfection at one single analog synth, replicating every single tiny detail and nuance in their sound, with replicated waveforms that look right on an oscilloscope, and as close to the correct filter response as possible. A synth like the Ion (I have one too) is aimed at emulating all kinds of analog synths, which is does great, but is no match for the to-the-guts emulation of the Creamware synths. The Minimax that I have has tons of bottom and punch and clarity. It's not exactly cheap either, the Creamwares go for more or less the same price as a new Alesis Ion or Nordlead 2X did around here years ago.

The words of the Sound on Sound reviewer for the Pro-12 (Dave stewart, a pro musician that owned lots of Prophet-5's during the 80's), were that he instantly recognized the "weight" and power of the Prophet when he turned it on, plugged into his massive studio speakers. Then he replicated old P5 patches, and was very happy with the results.

Go to www.soundonsound.com and search for Creamware, you'll find it. Also mind that is an old review by now, and the OS has been updated to deal with some of the issues they adress.

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Post by DocT » Fri May 11, 2007 11:15 pm

MarkM wrote:Doc,
MaxinDaHouse is wonderful. Great, catchy tune! Very Moogish.
Thanks.
SWAN wrote:Doc T - what does the Minimax sound like alongside the Little Phatty which I see you also own?
Unfortunately I don't own an LP, I only had it for around 2 weeks for a magazine review. Imho the MiniMax still isn't quite a real analogue, but I'd say it's currently the best VA emulation. As always, pros and cons for each.

The Little Phatty is a real Moog with pure Moog sound, unique design and with character If I had one I think there would grow a deep relationship. I'd say "this is my Moog", I'd fondle it occasionally, guard it jealously and, if I listen to it's sound, ask myself if I am worth to play it ;)

The MiniMax is a good sounding tool, solidly built, with additional gimmicks. I'd use it for live playing, enjoy its polyphony, loan it to my friends and, if it fails sometime, buy a new one.

Err, you asked for the sound. Yes, there is a difference, but not that enormous that it would disturb me much during musical work. In particular because the MiniMax isn't an LP emulation but a MiniMoog emulation. The other aspects however make a big difference ;)

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Post by SWAN » Fri May 11, 2007 11:57 pm

Cool. One other thing: Has anybody used a minimax with an up to date OS?

I read Creamware said they were going to sort out the stepping in the freq. knob-which I head today and didnt like to much.......

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Post by gd » Sat May 12, 2007 3:18 am

I am looking fwd to A/B The Arturia Origin with these Creamware synths.
Prophet 08, Mini D, Radias, 2 x JD-990, Juno-60, 2 x JP-8080, Fantom X6, Speakeasy Stereo Rackmount Vintage Tube Preamp ...

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Post by tuf » Sat May 12, 2007 7:03 am

I'll raise my hand as the only one here who doesn't like the Minimax. I (Voyager owner) and my friend (model D owner) spent a couple of evenings playing with one, and I promptly returned it to the store a few days afterwards.

I think the $599 price is about right, but it just didn't do the Moogy thing for me. I know this is contradictory to everything on the net, but what can I say. Didn't have nearly the low end of any Moog I've ever owned. Seemed a bit weak with all the fx off and in mono mode compared to the real deal. I'd say its a fair approximation of a Moogish synth for the someone whos not too picky. In poly mode I felt it was no better or worse than an average VA or softsynth. On the other hand I must say the build quality seemed excellent. The knobs were tough enough and it was a very substantial piece o gear.

On the other hand, I recently put Arturia's JP8V up against a real JP8 and it held its ground admirably. I set up my JP8 using the onscreen dials and sliders as a visual reference from JP8V and the patches were spot on for the most part.

Tuf

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Post by SWAN » Sat May 12, 2007 10:14 am

gd wrote:I am looking fwd to A/B The Arturia Origin with these Creamware synths.
Seeing as the Arturia Origin is basically just the same as their Minimoog emulation (provided you dont swap any modular elements with any or thier others, eg use their ARP 2600 oscillators)-it will sound the same as the Minimoog V softsynth. There is a thread around here with a german link which A/Bs this.......Although realistically I think its difficult to be subjective about MP3 format A/Bs on the internet.........

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Post by Bitexion » Sat May 12, 2007 10:38 am

I have the latest Minimax OS. There is no audible stepping in the filter no matter how fast I turn the knob. And the portamento time has been increased to around 11 seconds from top to bottom of the keyboard. Everything seems very smooth.

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Post by SWAN » Sat May 12, 2007 8:05 pm

Bitexion wrote:I have the latest Minimax OS. There is no audible stepping in the filter no matter how fast I turn the knob. And the portamento time has been increased to around 11 seconds from top to bottom of the keyboard. Everything seems very smooth.
And the oscillator frequency? That was the biggest culprit.....

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Post by Bitexion » Sat May 12, 2007 8:07 pm

-deleted-
Last edited by Bitexion on Sat May 12, 2007 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Bitexion » Sat May 12, 2007 8:08 pm

Can't hear anything, but I don't see why that would be a problem. You're not likely to tweak the osc frequency in a playing situation, are you?

When you set Osc3 to non-keyboard control you get 7 octaves on Osc3..then it steps alot. But you're not going to do that when you play anyways, only when you set up a patch.

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Post by SWAN » Sat May 12, 2007 8:25 pm

Bitexion wrote:Can't hear anything, but I don't see why that would be a problem. You're not likely to tweak the osc frequency in a playing situation, are you?
In dance music anything's fair game..........I might sweep the Osc freq in a build up or something......

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Post by Bitexion » Sat May 12, 2007 11:18 pm

I can see you'd want to do that. But name a single modern synth that will let you sweep across 6-7 octaves with a knob twist? I can't think of any. Usually you get 5-7 semitones on the frequency of osc 2/3. The Andromeda sweeps 7 octaves on the coarse tune knobs, but it is also quantized to semitones (and can be finetuned 100 steps, nearly a semitone). I know of no other synths that will let you do this stepless with a knob other than original Minimoog and ARP 2600, and Prophet 5. Not cheap synths in any way.

On other synths you set the octave of the oscillator with one knob, the finetune with another, usually.

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Post by SWAN » Sat May 12, 2007 11:35 pm

Oh right-my virus TI can do it......Its fun ;)

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Post by Carey M » Sun May 13, 2007 7:36 am

Bitexion wrote:But name a single modern synth that will let you sweep across 6-7 octaves with a knob twist?
Macbeth M3X ;)

- CM

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Post by StepLogik » Wed May 23, 2007 6:37 pm

From what I've read and heard, these Creamware synths are impressive and a very good deal for the money. As someone who used to own a room full of VA's, I think these Creamware synths really stand out.

Does anyone know how well these are selling? Can we expect more "recreations" in addition to the 3 currently available? From my limited perspective, they seem to be very popular. I like the idea of very high-quality detailed modeling in dedicated hardware with dedicated controls as opposed to VST's.

heh, I never thought I'd see the day I'd be considering buying more VA's :lol:

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