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Author Topic: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle  (Read 4307 times)

Sedan Love

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Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« on: April 27, 2014, 10:38:46 pm »
Hello - Just registered to ask these.
I have Windows 8.1 / Studio One / Kontakt + various NI plugins and other vst's. I also have Reason 7.
Although I have all the above I'm just a hobbyist, and wait for specials etc to save cash.
I have some Guitar Center gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and almost came away with an Alesis SR 16 a couple of weeks ago, but declined.
Had never thought of any kind of groove machine/drum sampler but on seeing the Alesis and now the Sparkle - I'm interested.
I've expanded my interest to NI's Maschine Mikro too, as it would sync well with the NI stuff I have. But I suppose I want to be convinced that the Sparkle will also do a good job with vst synths etc. I get the quality of it's drum creation - but how well and how easy is it with a plugin like Kontakt? And other vst's?
Is it possible and if so can someone give me a quick rundown of how it's done?
I like what I see in the demo videos but mostly it's the drum creation.
Any pointers appreciated.



Kosmology

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 12:10:23 am »
Well at heart Spark is a drum machine and if in past you have used and enjoyed hardware drum machines, Spark is a dream come true. It can also be used to Sequence pitches with either samples or Modeled Sounds, as well as at least 12 other parameters per track/instrument. With v2 which is a beta at the moment (but developing nicely) it gets much more power as you can build your own synths/modeled drums using the same engine as Origin which is really exciting stuff! The GUI workflow has also been improved a lot too and has Rex support.

But, the real power with Spark is using the controller, it's very intuitive and fun. I have the big CDM version and so can't really comment on the SparkLE but I think many people prefer it due to it's small footprint (CDM is large and heavy but very knobby)

If I were you I would get hold of the Demos of VDM and Dubstep which will give you a good insight into what the modeled and Sampled engines can do, they are fully functional for 15 days. You will know very quickly whether Spark is for you.

http://www.arturia.com/evolution/en/downloads/demo-spark-vdm.html
http://www.arturia.com/evolution/en/downloads/demo-spark-dubstep.html

I started with VDM and soon realised that I 'needed' the hardware, the sound of the modeled kits is superb! I love drum machines and have a few and soundwise the VDM kits hit the nail for me.

I don't think you can really compare it with Maschine as it has a different agenda, it is probably more comparable with something like the DSI Tempest. In terms of use, you use it just like any other VST Plugin, it will sync with your daw. The hardware is actually directly connected to Spark so no matter what you are doing in your DAW it will always work, which is really good.

Try the demos :)

Monsta

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 12:19:28 am »
I don't think you can really compare it with Maschine as it has a different agenda, it is probably more comparable with something like the DSI Tempest. In terms of use, you use it just like any other VST Plugin, it will sync with your daw. The hardware is actually directly connected to Spark so no matter what you are doing in your DAW it will always work, which is really good.

Try the demos :)

Yep... what he said  :)
I have Maschine and Spark they are both different beasts in their own right
Spark can't host VST's like Maschine.
Spark V2 is going to be awesome and if you are into creating your own sounds you cant beat it for the price.

Sedan Love

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 12:41:07 am »
Thanks for the replies.
I've never used a drum machine before. I liked the Alesis, had they not been out of stock (they only had the shelf demo), I'd have picked it up.
Then, on research I saw the Alesis SR 18, which seemed to get good reviews, and had a bass line as well as drum option. I suppose that was what got me looking at more groove players, as I need all the help I can get  :)
Perhaps the Beatstation is actually more what I'm looking for. I'll go have a look as well. As stated I was looking to use other instruments as well as drums.
Thanks again.
Edit: Beatstep.

Kosmology

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 01:10:33 am »
Beatstep is a controller and sequencer, it doesn't make any sound.

Spark has 16 channels you can use them as drum sounds or any samples/loops you want, there are 6 sample slots per instrument that can be trigger a different sample based on velocity (plus other modes such as round robin). With V2 You will be able to use it for just 16 modeled mono synths if you so wish using the same synth engine used in Origin, the point is it doesn't have to be drums, it can be any samples you want, but the workflow is the same kind of intuitive flow you find on a hardware drum machine, but even better.

Just looked at the specs for the sr18 and except for the fact it won't use any CPU and it's standalone hardware, I can't see how it would even begin to touch the power of Spark. I don't mean that as a diss against the Alesis as I'm sure it's a good drum machine, but Spark at a push can produce complete tracks, has 64 patterns per preset that you can switch on the fly. It's a great performance machine, you can record your performance inside your DAW as VST Automation. Not to neglect the 2 insert Effects per channel with a great selection of FX, 2 send effects, and 2 master effects, plus you can sequence all the insert parameters within Spark.

If you don't try the demos you will never know :)

Sedan Love

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 01:49:17 am »
Thanks Kosmology,

Yes, I'll download the demo's kindly mentioned above. I certainly wouldn't compare the Alesis to Sparkle. I've discounted both Alesis' since I saw what other instruments can do - they were the sort of catalyst for me being here right now.
I do understand Beatstep doesn't produce sound, but I liked the idea of the sequencer, and the scale feature. If it can be used to control items other than drums then great.
But I also like the Sparkle, and my gift cards come close to having enough. I'd only have to cough up around $60 myself, especially as I just completed a Guitar Center questionnaire that gives me a egiftcard for $10. Normally I wouldn't have bothered but every little helps of course!  ;D
I appreciate the input.

ikt

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 11:24:42 pm »
Hello - Just registered to ask these.
I have Windows 8.1 / Studio One / Kontakt + various NI plugins and other vst's. I also have Reason 7.
Although I have all the above I'm just a hobbyist, and wait for specials etc to save cash.
I have some Guitar Center gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and almost came away with an Alesis SR 16 a couple of weeks ago, but declined.
Had never thought of any kind of groove machine/drum sampler but on seeing the Alesis and now the Sparkle - I'm interested.
I've expanded my interest to NI's Maschine Mikro too, as it would sync well with the NI stuff I have. But I suppose I want to be convinced that the Sparkle will also do a good job with vst synths etc. I get the quality of it's drum creation - but how well and how easy is it with a plugin like Kontakt? And other vst's?
Is it possible and if so can someone give me a quick rundown of how it's done?
I like what I see in the demo videos but mostly it's the drum creation.
Any pointers appreciated.

You probably wont like it. I have Reason 6.5 and have also owned NI stuff. NI's sequencing software is superior. And, like others said, you can't really do much more with the Sparke software than make drum/synth stuff with it. Version 1.7 feels about 10 years old, and version 2.0 is still beta, far after it's supposed launch date, and it's really not very good.

As far as a midi controller, it's great hardware. Sturdy, smooth, gorgeous. The software though...it's nothing you don't already have.

ikt

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 11:27:56 pm »
Oh, and as much as I don't really like the Sparke software for anything other than beats...the  sr18 is nowhere even close, like, it's a joke compared to the Arturia. Don't even buy it, there's really no reason an all to get it unless you don't want to use a computer at all. The Spark will run circles around it.

stuey

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2014, 03:52:08 pm »
Quote
Version 1.7 feels about 10 years old


Isn't that kind of the point with a vintage drum machine emulator?
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stuey

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2014, 03:59:22 pm »
Quote
As far as a midi controller, it's great hardware. Sturdy, smooth, gorgeous. The software though...it's nothing you don't already have.

Very true, but then that could be said for almost anything in that list. For me, it's about the hardware user experience.

Spark is a tactile experience that you won't have with other with other software only programs. There's also is NI Maschine, or for twice the price is the Tempest, but that is pure hardware.

Stu 
Mac 10.7.5
2.3Ghz Quad Core 'Clovertown'
8 Gb 667 RAM
SSD Boot Drive
Lynx Aurora 8
Lynx AES16
UAD LA 610 Mk 2
UAD 2 Duo
Arturia Spark
Arturia Analog Laboratory 61
Pro Tools 10.3.7
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Reason 6.5
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stuey

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Re: Some Questions - thinking of getting the Sparkle
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2014, 04:22:42 pm »
Quote
it is probably more comparable with something like the DSI Tempest.

Mmm, Kind of.

The tempest is a beautifully crafted, lovely bit of kit. Sounds amazing and doesn't have the added 'techy-ness' of being associated with a computer, although it has USB connectivity. But then it's 1000 more than the Spark, so for the money Spark is the winner

Yes, although Maschine is a slightly different bea(s)t, out of the box it does do what the Spark does

Stu

 
Mac 10.7.5
2.3Ghz Quad Core 'Clovertown'
8 Gb 667 RAM
SSD Boot Drive
Lynx Aurora 8
Lynx AES16
UAD LA 610 Mk 2
UAD 2 Duo
Arturia Spark
Arturia Analog Laboratory 61
Pro Tools 10.3.7
Arturia V Collection
Arturia Analog Laboratory
Arturia Brass 2
Ableton Live 8
Reason 6.5
Melodyne Studio 3

 

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