Seer Systems Reality (Uberheim Demo)

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popfuture
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Seer Systems Reality (Uberheim Demo)

Post by popfuture » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:39 pm

Hello, synthesizer fans. Good news. Seer Systems Reality is back from the dead!

As PCs of Reality's vintage become increasingly rare, the problem over the years has been finding an obtainable PC that can actually run this softsynth without experiencing some sort of audio degradation, such as clicks and pops, audio dropouts, unwanted sample rate conversion, and horribly long latencies. Well, I have been experimenting with semi-modern PCs capable of running this excellent piece of software, and I have found much success. I have been in touch with Seer Systems and have been providing Reality support and/or systems to those that want them.

What is the degree of interest? Does anybody on here have nostalgia for this great synth like I do?
Last edited by popfuture on Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality

Post by madtheory » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:53 pm

What does it sound like? Any demos, apart from that weird MIDI player thing?

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Re: Seer Systems Reality

Post by greggybud » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:26 pm

popfuture wrote:Hello, synthesizer fans. Good news. Seer Systems Reality is back from the dead!

As PCs of Reality's vintage become increasingly rare, the problem over the years has been finding an obtainable PC that can actually run this softsynth without experiencing some sort of audio degradation, such as clicks and pops, audio dropouts, unwanted sample rate conversion, and horribly long latencies. Well, I have been experimenting with semi-modern PCs capable of running this excellent piece of software, and I have found much success. I have been in touch with Seer Systems and have been providing Reality support and/or systems to those that want them.

What is the degree of interest? Does anybody on here have nostalgia for this great synth like I do?
Not much nostalgia with me because it isn't a VST. Didn't BT and his dog advertise this just like every other device where he sold his soul? Well, I decided to buy this instead of the Retro AS-1.

To be honest, I'm not even sure how to interface it today. Does it work with Windows 7? The GUI is quite basic. I still have the owners manual and CD if someone wants to buy it.

I read this was the turning point for Dave Smith to go back to hardware. :mrgreen:

I remember being fairly impressed with the sound, but considering this was one if not the first major commercial VSTI it would be easy to be impressed.

I used Reality for a few months I think on Windows 98, and then one day in 1999 a guy gave me a demo copy of Reaktor. I immediately purchased Reaktor and gave up on Reality.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality

Post by popfuture » Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:16 am

madtheory wrote:What does it sound like? Any demos, apart from that weird MIDI player thing?
Here's a little tiny demo I made a couple months ago:

SeerSound Demo

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Re: Seer Systems Reality

Post by popfuture » Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:38 am

greggybud wrote: Not much nostalgia with me because it isn't a VST. Didn't BT and his dog advertise this just like every other device where he sold his soul? Well, I decided to buy this instead of the Retro AS-1.
You have a right to be disappointed. Reality didn't really survive the technical transitions that have been happening over the years. Modern PCs can't even run it. This was an expensive piece of software!
greggybud wrote: To be honest, I'm not even sure how to interface it today. Does it work with Windows 7? The GUI is quite basic. I still have the owners manual and CD if someone wants to buy it.
It won't work on Windows 7, I'm afraid. In fact, it won't run on XP, or even 2000. You need Win9x (95/98/Me). Yep, I did just say that. You heard me right. But, if you're running a dedicated PC for it, which isn't that expensive these days, it's actually doable. I tend to treat it more like external hardware. I connect to it via MIDI. Now, I imagine you wouldn't want to waste your time fiddling with an old PC, but I can help you. You're still a Reality customer until someone buys that disc from you and I will help you set it up if you want, or help the person you sell it to.
greggybud wrote: I read this was the turning point for Dave Smith to go back to hardware. :mrgreen:

I remember being fairly impressed with the sound, but considering this was one if not the first major commercial VSTI it would be easy to be impressed.

I used Reality for a few months I think on Windows 98, and then one day in 1999 a guy gave me a demo copy of Reaktor. I immediately purchased Reaktor and gave up on Reality.
Makes perfect sense. Synths like Reaktor were the next logical step. Reality wasn't old enough to be "retro" back then. Time has to go by. Now I find that I like Reality for different reasons then I used to like it for back in the day. I've changed. Retro is an interesting bug to catch, and once it gets you. You're smitten. Peace, my friend.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality

Post by greggybud » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:39 am

[quote="popfuture"
It won't work on Windows 7, I'm afraid. In fact, it won't run on XP, or even 2000. You need Win9x (95/98/Me). [/quote]

After my post I googled Reality and read the sad story of why it died and the legalities of why it will never be revived even if it did posses something special. Honestly, considering this was one of the first if not the first polyphonic commercial VSTI, it was very impressive. Just the concept that you had a synthesizer originating from a Windows 98 PC was to me...mind boggling.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality

Post by popfuture » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:21 pm

I don't know about never, but you could be right. It remains to be seen. If enough people buy hardware boxes, then we should be able to attract capital for a modern VST/AU version. In the meantime, it is a very cool and rare retro synth that sounds different from most modern instruments. Users can take advantage of it now, while it's rare. It also happens to be very affordable for now.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality

Post by greggybud » Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:40 pm

popfuture wrote:I don't know about never, but you could be right. It remains to be seen. If enough people buy hardware boxes, then we should be able to attract capital for a modern VST/AU version.
Thats right! Never say never!

I don't remember it generating any really unique sounds, but it held it's ground compared to my hardware. But keep in mind I'm not one of those users who listens critically to a filter sweep and complains how it doesn't measure up to my Prophet 5. If the sound fits in...I use it. No one at that time was even thinking of doing comparisons because Reality was so new. As a matter of fact, it seems like I didn't take notice of any VSTI vs. hardware comparisons until Electronic Musician Magazine (notorious at that time for giving 5 stars to everything they reviewed) did an article on Native Instruments Prophet 5 and how incredibly close it sounded to the real Prophet. :lol: Obviously as time passes we get more critical.

Do you have any samples? Is there a website somewhere with demos? I did use it in the late 90's on my own instrumental tracks, but my problem is after over 18 years trying to remember what was generated by Reality, and what was generated by all the rest of my hardware. That itself is interesting because just a few years later...say 2002...I can listen to my old tracks and instantly hear Reaktors WeedWacker, Accustring or Transformator. But tracks by Reality I'm thinking were closer to a basic analog synth such as Prophet 5.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality PC

Post by popfuture » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:50 pm

madtheory wrote:What does it sound like? Any demos, apart from that weird MIDI player thing?
greggybud wrote:Do you have any samples? Is there a website somewhere with demos?
Ok, guys. You wanted Reality demos. These are vintage demos from the Reality Demo CD. Enjoy.

http://www.seersound.com/index.php/demos/

Let me know what you think! They are cool.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality (demos posted)

Post by crystalmsc » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:29 am

I remember the very impressive demo CD, which is still one of the best until now. It's impressive what it could achieve 25 years ago. It was so advanced back then, a new vst version with modern features and interface is going to be interesting. But it won't be easy with so many competitors out there. Only if it's a total breakthrough once again.
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Re: Seer Systems Reality (demos posted)

Post by popfuture » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:17 pm

Yes, competition is tough these days and it may take a total breakthrough to bring Reality back. As you point out, the demo CD still sounds good today, but to make a comeback it needs to not be just good, it needs to be amazing.

Staying alive is much easier than coming back from the dead. To give an example, Reason has some synths that haven't changed in years like Subtractor for instance. It is still there, though, and people still use it. Over the years Propellerhead seems to have shifted its focus toward other things that fuel sales and that has allowed this synth to survive. It's there for you when you need it, which is occasionally, but could it have survived a death? Not likely.

Is Reality better than Subtractor, I believe so, but Subtractor doesn't stand on its own. Reason is a huge product now. For Reality to make a comeback it has to grow. I think it has potential. The code base needs to be updated, but it can evolve into more. If it is at all possible I want to try.

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Re: Seer Systems Reality (demos posted)

Post by clubbedtodeath » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:07 pm

popfuture wrote:Is Reality better than Subtractor, I believe so, but Subtractor doesn't stand on its own.
Hi Jaymes,

(Lovely demos there, by the way)

I believe these days soft synths don't have to stand on their own, and it's a lot to take on to make them do so. Many people are comfortable in their own production environment (eg. Ableton Live), and are reluctant to learn a completely new package; moreover, they will prefer to blend analogue/digital hardware with software synths in that environment. Myself, I have a few VSTis that I draw in for particular sounds, such as the very pleasant-sounding Ultra Analog VA-2, which I use here and there depending on the track.

If you believe it's worth reviving, I wish you all the best -- but it will really be a hard sell to distinguish itself from today's competition.

Regards

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Re: Seer Systems Reality (demos posted)

Post by crystalmsc » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:32 pm

I remember thing that impressed me the most about it is the image of Advanced Technology. It's so impressive that 25 years ago, it suddenly came with multiple type of synthesis including PCM wavetable, subtractive, modal synthesis and FM, as well as physical modeling via the Sondius WaveGuide technology licensed from Stanford University. Also from the Wikipedia, it was supported by Intel and Creative Labs back then. But the bad thing is that it suddenly disappeared.

To be honest, based on the product alone it's almost impossible for a total breakthrough with what's available in the market and the past image of the company. But maybe a decent strategy to standout will make it possible. For example, it will be interesting if it comes back with a support from Intel again. With a solid roadmap of the synth future and updates. It even didn't have to come with too many contents at the beginning. But focusing on the "Advanced Technology" side of the whole thing. Like turning it into the most CPU effective, with great quality or something related with Intel advanced benefits. Updating the old engine with fresh new and innovative features with monthly updates of new and interesting features. With Intel support, maybe It could be sold for cheaper than the competitor, with a free lifetime update. To make it an authentic technological product and to refresh the company's image.

Just some late night ideas, hope it can be useful. All the best with the come back and I can't wait to listen to the great new music demos.
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Re: Seer Systems Reality (demos posted)

Post by popfuture » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:14 am

crystalmsc wrote: Just some late night ideas, hope it can be useful.
I do appreciate your thoughts, and I agree. It will take a miracle. Miracles can happen if enough people want them.

I have another demo hot off the presses:

Uberheim Demo

I composed this using only Reality with Cakewalk Pro 3 driving it (flames welcome!). No external processing was done. It came right out the digital output of my Reality box right into Logic Pro where it was recorded and exported as wav.

It's an 80s riff that showcases Reality's emulation of an Oberheim synthesizer such as the OB-Xa or OB-8. This synth patch doesn't use any samples. It's purely composed from the analog synth section. The drums are samples that come with Reality. There are also some other ambient patches that add life to the mix, such as a synth string patch, a light "FM growl" you can barely hear, etc.

You may notice that it doesn't quite sound perfectly 80s retro yet for some reason. If I were to continue production of this piece, I would probably run it through a vacuum tube and then on to tape. If you watch an 80s movie with one of these types of riffs you can practically feel the tape warming its way out the speakers, through your consciousness, and into your very soul. Pardon the poetry, but alas, it's the only way I can describe.

I will keep doing these if interest continues and as I find time.

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