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Thread To Break The Forum Silence



Kel, listen, lets simmer this down a little shall we? I apologize if I’ve been incendiary with my comments, they were meant in jest, and were not meant to be personal.

Let me also make it clear, that I’m not trying to advocate a SSP so as to replace a rack, but rather to fully support and extend it. You can have a 9U system that is able to be more like a wall o’synth. That is the main attraction to me. I gravitate to modular synthesis because of the flexibility and the ability to plug stuff in anywhere and route things. The more powerful a modular synth is, the larger it usually is.

The SSP perfectly compliments that while also bolstering the size of your options significantly. That is the key point.

With regard to your challenge, and to be in line with the crux of this discussion (hardware matters), let me just point out that the processor used in elements cranks out about 500-1000 DMIPs of DSP processing power. The SSP does 20,000 DMIPs. This is say that whatever any of the MI modules do, the SSP can do. Especially since the code is open sourced, it can be ported and made into a module within the SSP. So at some future time, possibly, I can answer your challenge by using the exact same code on the SSP, in parallel with multiple instances of the same module. This is the main point of what I’m trying to convey. The hardware that makes Elements (for example) tick are done better and with superior components on the SSP. Not only can the SSP run it, but the code can have a lot of streamlined and rounded portions of the DSP meant to help aid the processor on the Elements module run it smoothly, removed, and this can potentially improve the fidelity. This is not to say that Olivier did anything wrong, we all know he is a DSP genius. I’m just saying that the shortcuts he had to take because of the hardware aren’t necessary on the SSP.


Honestly, I can’t comprehend why you seem to assume that everyone who wants something else from a module but raw power and general computation ability doesn’t comprehend what it can do or is somehow incapable of dealing with a complex module. It’s a deliberate choice.

Even if the SSP could run the code of elements exactly, it would still be inferior to an actual elements in being elements - it doesn’t have the carefully crafted user interface to steer user interaction into the direction that makes sense with this particular instance of a synthesizer. Yes, if you abstract all this away, you can always argue that something that is able to run as general as possible code as fast as possible is superior to everything else and an obvious choice, but most of us don’t live in that universe where everything human can be abstracted away. And those that do would honestly be better off just running max on a fast computer. That’s why you get this argument so often (as you’ve noted earlier): If you follow your own line of reasoning to its conclusion, you end up with a computer.

It is an utterly pointless debate and I particularly don’t understand why you seem to be on such a crusade to explain to everyone why they don’t understand the SSP and why they need to have it. I think I perfectly understand the SSP and that’s exactly why I don’t need it.


Maybe you need to simmer down, but I am perfectly calm and very happy and confident in my assertions - I know that technically the SSP can do all that, but the reality is a million miles away because it requires an immense amount of work to get there and even then you are never going to be able to reproduce the experience of using a very well designed UI.

I disagree with several key points of your arguments, words mean nothing at this point, demos of gtfo :smiley:

You’re also gravely misunderstanding the relevance of fidelity here, Elements is designed to be organic sounding and therefore higher fidelity is an unwanted quality. Rings went from my rack because it goes too far with audio quality, theoretically it sounds better, but in practice it doesn’t work as well as Elements, again just my opinion, others disagree and that’s okay :slight_smile:


I don’t assume this at all. I’m merely trying to convey what is significant to me. I have acknowledged in numerous places the importance of interfaces and workflow.


I see your point, but would offer that the er-301 has been in development for many many years, we are .3 on the way to a 1.0 release, and no one here will question that the 301 is capable of so much, and that there is still much more to be seen.

The same can be said of the SSP, and it’s development is not even beyond a year at this point. There will be videos and already are. I keep pointing at the hardware for this very reason. The platform gives development so much head room that the sky is the limit. This is what is exciting to me personally.


There’s nothing wrong with being excited about the SSP platform, I totally get why you are excited about it; if the ER-301 didn’t exist, if I had the cash to spare, if I wasn’t 98% happy with the setup i’ve spent years putting together, I’d possibly be excited about it too :slight_smile:

I have to keep a 2% window, because you know, new things! I have to admit that while I have been completely happy with my MI box for ages, I did change things up, for the better, with Marbles and Stages - they are both amazing - Marbles especially so - that is an instant classic design and I encourage everyone to at least check it out. I might still make a little tweak here and there to the rack, but it would be small changes to maximise flexibility of patching, not changes to the core setup. This is an instrument I have owned in one form or another for years, I know it intimately, it has association of memory and a comfort factor that no new thing could ever touch even if it was theoretically a million times better. Muscle memory is a large factor in this, I can blindly reach for things and know my hand will connect - again almost impossible with a fluid interface. It’s an interesting point as Olivier has been talking recently about just this problem with flexible modules, even if a nob does multiple things, it shouldn’t ever fundamentally change it’s operation - the new designs reflect this well - say in comparison to Peaks which is quite problematic form a UI point of view because the same knob does many fundamentally different things depending on the mode it is in.

The ER-301 handles this side of UI design extremely well - although there ae definite improvements made over the firmware iterations and more to come. It’s not easy.

I will be very interested to see how the SSP handles this knob function switching :slight_smile:


I disagree and that isn’t my crusade. What the SSP is, and why what it is, is important is all I’m concerned with. There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to digital, and particularly digital modules.

Why does someone have to either want a computer or not? Why can’t one want a computer and analog at the same time? You are telling me that interface and workflow are so important, so why if someone prefers a computer are they suppose to just deal with using max when they prefer the tactile feedback and patching of modular synthesis?

All I’ve been trying to express is that digital synthesis relies on the hardware it runs on. BTW by the time you have a powerful enough computer to run max, and have bought an audio interface and control surfaces and the like, you are going to have spent more than 2 grand. I think there is nothing wrong with this route but to act like if you want powerful DSP in eurorack you have to go this route is just nonsense.


Heheh, honestly…

So, you don’t need a sound card/mixer and control surfaces with SSP?

Unless I am grossly mistaken, always possible, I think you do! Oh and a modular case and power!! Which adds the the cost again, all you are really doing comparing SSP with a computer is literally comparing SSP with a computer - all the other peripherals are still needed, for both.

With a computer you get decades of audio software to choose from, with the SSP you’re restricted somewhat, at least at the moment.


In other news, I have repaired a Benjolin and a Mutant Bassdrum this week - my module repair chops are getting good! I feel great, it’s an awesome feeling to take a dead module and bring it back to life, almost better than building modules for folk :smiley:

How good is that! :heart_eyes:


I’m saying that it comes with encoders and buttons, it also is able to be an audio interface itself. You could also route all of your signals to the SSP, and it could record it on anyone of the 16 inputs. So you don’t need really anything if you didn’t want to. The SSP has a sequencer module you could use to drive modules, and so yeah, I guess you really don’t have to use another controller. I think this would suck personally.

Also the SSP is a computer, but one specifically made for the modular synthesis world.

Sure. Software takes time. But I can say that the SDK is going to be based on the VST standard, and that porting VSTs for example to it is not going to be too complicated. I hope you and I will be pleasantly surprised by just how much software becomes available for it.


That is interesting for sure, for example, if the Fabfilter plugins can run on the SSP, multiple instances, flawless operation, visually identical - enough IO to be able to control the parameters in a meaningful way then colour me interested!


I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that following your flow of argumentation for as open, as powerful and as general platforms for computation and dsp as possible logically leads to a computer. A computer is more open, more powerful and more generally applicable than any module can be. You like to argue in terraflops or similar units of computational power. If you measure only performance, a computer will always win. But that’s not at all what one should measure a musical instrument in. That’s my entire point.

And I honestly don’t see where the interface of the SSP is better than say expert sleepers modules plus an ipad controlling max via osc. It’s entirely generalized, so there’s not really any difference anymore.

But I think we should drop this topic. I’m just a bit annoyed by the fact that I’ve gone out of my way to never look at a single thread about the SSP and yet seen you preach and argue about how great the SSP is to people who clearly don’t care at length on multiple occasions. It’s always the same tiring debate. It’s great that you’re excited for it and I’d like to share that excitement, but it always has an aggressively preachy tone to it, which I just can’t stand.


Come on now, no need for personal comments like that - we don’t do that here!

Do keep arguing though, your points otherwise are good and I largely agree :slight_smile:

and by arguing I mean, carry on the discussion not fighting, it’s worthwhile and interesting!


Curse the internet right?

I might just remind you that I responded to someone else, and that I don’t just bring it up here.

I’d also add, that while you don’t care, and you assume other people don’t care, there are others who might, and a false claim or misinformation does them no good.


Honestly, I’ve kinda forgotten what the original point was :joy:


I’m all for righting wrong claims. I just don’t see that happening in this thread apart from the very first response you wrote.

@Kel I don’t think that was very personal at all. I don’t know anyone here enough to get personal. Just tried to explain why I even react like this. And I think sometimes a bit of feedback on the way you come across can help.

Sorry if I worded that too harshly. Did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings.


No offense taken, even if it was a silly complaint and a first world problem.


That it definitely is.


Yeah fair enough, it’s just a thin line between feedback and someone taking something personally, lets just keep it about the gear, or how to use it, or the art in general :wink:


Getting back to the UI side of things, this is my biggest struggle with the ER-301 - not the unit itself, for programming it it is great, I love the way it all comes together, how to navigate round etc… while building patches. That side is good, very good!!

It’s the performance side of things, I just can’t settle on a way to interact with them. It’s always a bit of a hodge podge of controllers, I never seem happy. Think this problem exists for all abstracted modules like this.

To wit, I have started designing my own controller - it’s really exciting :smiley: