Futuresonus Parva Polyphonic Analog Synthesizer

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mmp
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Post by mmp » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:19 am

I would call it an extended beta. The OS & firmware remain under .70. I would consider 1.xx and above a released product. This is not so unusual with KickStarter products. The plus side is you get some input into the final version of the instrument.

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lilakmonoke
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Post by lilakmonoke » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:52 am

i just sold mine ... i really wanted to support this guy but there are too many design issues with this synth that i think cant be fixed.

the main one for me was that the voice boards sounded all different so no matter whats in the OS every note was different from the next. thats a hardware calibration issue that cant be fixed with software ... just my opinion and i still still think developer like this need major support.

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Post by Panason » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:10 pm

lilakmonoke wrote: the main one for me was that the voice boards sounded all different so no matter whats in the OS every note was different from the next. thats a hardware calibration issue that cant be fixed with software ...
Is that a known issue or could it have been a fault with your particular unit?

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Post by lilakmonoke » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:32 am

i dont know but there are 8 voice boards in there and its highly unlikely that i had 8 strange ones. i bought this synth for precision sequencing and then its noticeable immediately. i did test recordings to figure it out and noticed the envelopes are different and the waveforms, especially the triangle wave which is notched to begin with.

i posted it on the forum and asked if this is a calibration issue but never got an answer. i never took it apart but im assuming its the components and cant be fixed easily because otherwise why wouldnt it be calibrated? its not that apparent if you are just slamming "fat chords" so many dont seem to mind?

it works well if you use it as 8 monosynths but then thats not the point of a poly to me. again that are just my experiences with the parva, yours might be different.

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Post by Panason » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:43 am

lilakmonoke wrote: i posted it on the forum and asked if this is a calibration issue but never got an answer.
Well, that's no good!

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lilakmonoke
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Post by lilakmonoke » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:24 am

the weird thing is i feel bad complaining about the parva. its otherwise such a well designed package but synths are first of all about the sound and there it misses the mark considerably.

that goes to tell you what genius was behind the roland polys of the 80s. ive replaces it with an alpha juno and couldnt be happier and that thing is 30 years old. you would think its a lot easier to build something like this nowadays but apparently not because none of the new stuff is even close ;-)

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Post by oldgearguy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:36 am

lilakmonoke wrote:i dont know but there are 8 voice boards in there and its highly unlikely that i had 8 strange ones. i bought this synth for precision sequencing and then its noticeable immediately. i did test recordings to figure it out and noticed the envelopes are different and the waveforms, especially the triangle wave which is notched to begin with.

i posted it on the forum and asked if this is a calibration issue but never got an answer. i never took it apart but im assuming its the components and cant be fixed easily because otherwise why wouldnt it be calibrated? its not that apparent if you are just slamming "fat chords" so many dont seem to mind?

it works well if you use it as 8 monosynths but then thats not the point of a poly to me. again that are just my experiences with the parva, yours might be different.
I know that for other owners Brad has had no problem swapping out bad/bricked voice cards. So if you were able to isolate which one(s) were a problem, he would send you replacements. His semi-recent updates also included more detailed calibration/tuning procedures that allowed you to really dial in the VCO tracking and filter response across the cards. It was much tighter than earlier versions of the OS.

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Post by lilakmonoke » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:40 pm

thats good news that he is including more calibration routines but i think there is limits as to what you can do in software. if you look at the voiceboards there seem to be no trimpots and that is a design fault in my eyes, even the behringer model D has trimpots and its 250$.

like i said i dont think i had defective voiceboards as they all seemed to be different. if i ran a sequence through it in poly mode you would always get a distinct 8 pattern as the voices cycled through the voiceboards.

all that could maybe tolerated if you are happy with the sound, but the state variable filter saturated in a strangely metallic way, the triangle wave was faulty, the software envelopes didnt sound right and i could never figure out a decent gainstaging or how to get a clean sound out of it.

im a total synth sound nerd so that might explain things further ... it would be great if you could get a really good sounding synth voice out of a small pcb like that but it probably takes a lot more research and analog experience.

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Post by galanter2 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:36 pm

I'm not 100% certain of this, but pretty sure…

Because the frequency of the oscillators is produced by a DCO, trim pots for 1 v/oct tracking would be easily replaced by software. For cases where the self-calibration doesn't quite cut it, there is also a manual option using the regular interface and not requiring a tiny screwdriver. :)

The bad news, and for most it might go undetected forever, the VCF tracking can be set to 1 v/oct, but it's not accurate enough to play tonal music using the VCF as a sine wave oscillator by turning up the resonance. It *will* produce sine waves, and they could be used to create atonal sounds, but if you try to "play" them using a keyboard it will sound like it needs tuning. The tracking is close enough for use as a filter, but not a keyboard oscillator.

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Post by galanter2 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:40 pm

FWIW I can get clean sounds, but you have to keep things dialed back so as to not distort going into the filter (unless you want to), and you need to have the "clean" option selected for all the oscillators. It's easy to overdrive at various stages of the patch, but very clean is indeed possible.

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