[Bug]s & [Feature Request]s 2!

Hello All! I am documenting a few bugs and sharing a few ideas for upcoming features.

First of all, I’ve been a huge fan of Arturia products since I first purchased my first VCollection 3 in 2014. I am pleased to report that the keyboard sounds almost as good as their software counterpart. I say “almost” because there is less than a 5% quality difference between my studio converter (Neuman MT48) and the synth’s internal converter. I was worried that the DA conversion would be bad, after hearing a ton of YouTube demos that honestly sounded less defined than what I’ve experienced with the VSTs and what I’m hearing at home in my home studio from the Synth directly. What made me purchase the synth are the demos on Arturia’s site, that sounded far more 3D than the YouTube reviews and also the fact that they didn’t manage to squeeze the power supply inside the synth. So koodos for not cheaping out on the converters!

In the past years, I used a Yamaha DX7 II for my live shows with a pedalboard for effects, so my requests will reflect features that I am used to have from a proper master keyboard. If I am I misunderstanding something, please let me know!

Features that would be nice:

  • The expression pedal and the mod wheel should be integrated as Macro 5 & 6 or have a function to have the Expression Pedal or the Pitchbend mapped to one of the 4 macros. I use expression pedals a lot, and it’s an awesome luxury to have my hands free and control elements of the mix or sound design by foot. I usually control parts volumes, the cutoff, and effects Mix with one push for each performance patch. As of version 1.1.6, I am not able to map more than one BROAD mix effect to the expression pedal. As soon as I’d like to map the cutoff or an LFO amount to the expression pedal, I am brought back automatically by Analog Lab to the broader mix features (tracks volumes, effects, pan, etc.). I know that there is a filter effect that I can insert in the mixer view, but it’s not the same as having a filter per voice with each its own envelope.

  • There should be a master BPM function per song or per patch. Unless I am mistaken, right now, if you want to switch between songs and use the arpeggiator, you need to change the tempo on the keyboard, which eats time between songs in a live setting. Having different songs at different tempos with delays and modulation effects on time would also be nice!

  • Midi Filter should also have an option to output Program Change data only. This is super useful when you hook your pedals to the synth through Midi, and one click on the keyboard changes all the patches together (so less need to dance around to change patches on the pedal board). The midi filter is useful if you don’t want played notes to trigger midi CC events on pedals (such as the Strymon Timeline), where playing the G2 triggers an awful distortion effect.

  • While I am in the program change topic, each patch or song should have an option to send out a specific program change instruction through midi. On the DX7 ii, you can, per example, have patch 03 output program change 06. This is super useful when navigating through pedal banks (like the Strymons etc). Right now, with my Astrolab, scrolling through songs and patches in the Playlist won’t send any program change command to my pedals. The good news is that the arturia FX are super awesome, so I will maybe even quit using pedals if I figure out a way to mimic the Strymon Timeline “Hold” effect.

The bugs that I have been experiencing:

  • The USB connection between the computer and the synth are not reliable enough. Yesterday, I stopped working on both simultaneously and switched to working on the computer only, as my connection to the computer kept dropping. At the end of the day, I wasn’t able to transfer my patches to the syntheziser with my M2 Mac. I will try again today with my M1 laptop (which seemed to be more stable).

  • Editing a part’s instrument will drop the volume of one or both parts dramatically. Once I exit the part edit, the proper gain structure comes back 95% of the time. On 5% of the time, I need to reload the patch to fix the gain issue. This is a bit frustrating, as the gain drop influences greatly sound design decisions. Sometimes, I will need to do a couple of back and forths to re-adjust settings to taste.

  • Some part edits can only be heard once you’re done editing, you saved the performance patch, and you reload it in the synth. This is kind of time consuming and not a pleasant real time experience of the synth. This happened to me when adjusting the “Tines Volume” on the STAGE 73. You go on with your editing and 10 mins later, after you reload the patch, the Tines are in your face. This also happened to me with the Synclavier’s ADSR and with the DX7’s onboard FX section. In short, there seem to be a few communication errors between the synth and my computers (M1 Macbook Air, M2 Mac Studio).

  • In order for the Astrolab to load my expression pedal Mapping, I need to save the performance patch into my library, then re-add it to my setlist and delete the previous one. If I want to go back and edit a patch with an expression pedal mapping, I need to re-map it again, because if I forget it, it will get removed automatically once I transfer the performance back to the synth. This is super inconsistent, and I am thinking of not using the expression pedal at all for the moment because of this (I have a custom programmable MIDI pedal that I will map to Macro 1 instead). Again, if I am mistaken somehow, please let me know!

Anyway thank you for making an great sounding synthesizer!

1 Like

Hi @novalis and welcome to The Sound Explorers Forum!

That’s quite a list you have there! I’m sure our team will be only too keen for your feedback on such a new and amazing instrument!

Ps,
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Subscribe everything, it seems that every youtuber got one but no one is really using it for playing live, these issues are big as an elephant in the room…

and personally add:

  • BT latency around 2-3 secs, bt audio out of tune

  • Missing features from the manual: tuning, voice count for example

  • Preset loading time-o-rama when switching sound, garbage between the 2 sounds occurs if you play during patch load

hope we get major fixes SOON!

Hi, I also get frequently small sound dropouts especially when playing the piano sounds with sustain pedal, it happens very often even if only very few notes are played and sustained, so it can not be due to voice stealing. I hope this gets fixed quickly because it makes it really impossible to play piano parts.