The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

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The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by muleskinner » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:09 am

The DSI Tempest has been officially retired.

Mine will still be used all the time for the absolute sonic workhorse that it is. Still don't think there's anything out there that really competes in terms of a six voice, fully multitimbral analog poly. Most misunderstood and underrated synth of the millennium maybe?
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by lisa » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:38 am

Elektron Rytm can give it a run for the money, no?
909, manic trilling courtesy of Make Noise René and DPO, wavetable bass by Disting and some soft melodies by the Korg Minilogue. I mainly sat and watched it all unfold. :eek:


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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by ObsoleteModular » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:43 am

lisa wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:38 am
Elektron Rytm can give it a run for the money, no?
I think the Rytm's a better drum machine but the Tempest a better synth, maybe?

Did they ever finish the OS? :lol:

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by rowsbywoof » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:46 am

I thought they retired the Tempest a while back. At least, I could have sworn I remembered reading that on here a while back. Maybe it was just they were officially stopping software updates/support? Either way, I still have mine, but it's been away in storage for a while. I keep thinking I'll sell it, but I never do. I should drag it out and play with it for a bit. I never did do the last update for it with the slew of fixes. Guess I have a project for the upcoming long weekend.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by rowsbywoof » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:13 am

Oh man, I had forgotten how shitty the vibe around last OS update release was, and Dave's response of basically, we're done with this, bugs or not. Shame that it never got to the state Roger Linn wanted, or that they couldn't actually address everything that needed addressing. Makes sense, and from a business standpoint it was the right move, but it was pretty shitty communicating a lot of that publicly. That announcement from Dave in the final OS post, circa 2017, was basically the same as today's: https://forum.sequential.com/index.php?topic=586.0

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by muleskinner » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:50 am

ObsoleteModular wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:43 am
lisa wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:38 am
Elektron Rytm can give it a run for the money, no?
I think the Rytm's a better drum machine but the Tempest a better synth, maybe?
I think that's it really. Tempest should never have been marketed as a drum machine, it's too good a synth!

Rytm's sounds (as I understand it anyway) are more like tweakable presets designed for drums whereas the Tempest's can be pretty much whatever you want them to be. The very thing that puts a lot of people off and causes them to say rubbish like 'It can't do a good kick' is actually its strength IMO.

Six voice fully multi-timbral analog poly with two analog oscs and two (workmanlike) digital oscs per voice, plus five envelopes per voice, a very flexible mod matrix and an excellent sequencer (for a synth). Twelve distinct audio outputs too!

The vast majority of the bugs have been ironed out of the OS. It still leaves a lot to be desired in a few areas (mainly the MIDI implementation) but I never really find anything that problematic any more. It was a shitshow for a while though.

I think this is different to the previous announcement in that that was announcing an end to firmware updates. This time they're discontinuing the hardware.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by lisa » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:31 am

As a synth? Ok. I’ve never before heard the claim that it has that quality. Got any good links to videos where this is shown off?

Also, you could more or less get two Elektron Analog Four for the price of one Tempest. Two more voices (sans the digital oscillators).
909, manic trilling courtesy of Make Noise René and DPO, wavetable bass by Disting and some soft melodies by the Korg Minilogue. I mainly sat and watched it all unfold. :eek:


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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by whyfarer » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:44 am

muleskinner wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:50 am
It still leaves a lot to be desired in a few areas (mainly the MIDI implementation)
Yea, I wish the midi was better. Being able to use it to control other midi instruments would be great, but what I really want was it to be fully midi-controllable. Given that it is 6 voice multi-timbral, it could have been a truly stunning MPE instrument. Instead we'll never know. That's my only big gripe. There are a few small things too. Like I wish that the "roll" setting was savable with either the sound or the beat. But that's pretty small potatoes. I don't think mine will ever leave my studio

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by folpon » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:09 am

I always found myself really attracted to the Tempest in theory. I sort of thought it seemed like the "Pro" version of the TE OP-1. But in practice I never got along with it. Over the years I bought and sold the Tempest more than any other synth, I think. Anyway -- hope they're going to try again to make another drum machine.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by th0mas » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:39 am

One time a local Salvation Army type thrift store listed one locally for $750 CAD. I called and called, their phone was off the hook. So I drove across town, found the person in charge and asked about it. They walked me over to it and then said the fatal words.. "are you Steve who called earlier?"

Nope. And I didn't lie about it. Dude wouldn't budge with my cash in hand, didn't want to disappoint Steve.

Steve had it listed for $1500 next day.

Fuck Steve, that store, and the Tempest

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by folpon » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:22 pm

Wow. Fuck Steve for real.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Bath House » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:11 pm

The greatest missed opportunity in the entire history of music gear. I was one of the first owners - had a very low serial number, and contributed a ton to the community. I even used the Tempest to teach a creative drum synthesis workshop at the very first Knobcon. I don’t think I could have been more excited about it if I tried.

It launched with features not completed, and it very rapidly became obvious on their forums that there was ONE person working on it, a great dude named Chris Pym. Pym talked openly about his struggles with it on the forum - basically just being pulled in 20 directions - and how certain issues with it were “unfixable,” including some sort of sync lag that meant it would always start up a little late when MIDI slaved - yet it didn’t have robust master features and clock on its own either.

It’s a great synth voice, though for some reason the samples sound bad compared to the same samples elsewhere like the evolver and some of them were out of tune. The step sequencer and editor was one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever used - it actually has the capability to do full parameter locks like an Elektron device, yet that’s hidden behind an awful etch-a-sketch interface that almost exclusively uses menu diving instead of letting you use a combination of the pads, knobs, and slider strips to program. The individual outs and the way that the voices work was so illogical than even when I understood it I would routinely find the wrong voice coming out on the wrong channel - total nightmare.

It ends its life with bugs unfixed, features never implemented or implemented in really awkward and illogical ways not deserving to be associated with the Linn brand and its history of ergonomic and thoughtful interface design, and a giant middle finger to people who paid a premium price for something that was supposed to be a best-in-class instrument and the meeting of two minds.
Last edited by Bath House on Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Bath House » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:13 pm

Bath House wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:11 pm
The greatest missed opportunity in the entire history of music gear. I was one of the first owners - had a very low serial number, and contributed a ton to the community. I even used the Tempest to teach a creative drum synthesis workshop at the very first Knobcon. I don’t think I could have been more excited about it if I tried.

It launched with features not completed, and it very rapidly became obvious on their forums that there was ONE person working on it, a great dude named Chris Pym. Pym talked openly about his struggles with it on the forum - basically just being underresourced and pulled in 20 directions - and how certain issues with it were “unfixable,” including some sort of sync lab that meant it would always start up a little late when MIDI slaved - yet it didn’t have robust master features and clock on its own either.

It’s a great synth voice, though for some reason the samples sound bad compared to the same samples elsewhere like the evolved and some of them were out of tune. The step sequencer and editor was one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever used - it actually has the capability to do full parameter locks like an Elektron device, yet that’s hidden behind an awful etch-a-sketch interface that almost exclusively uses menu diving instead of letting you use a combination of the pads, knobs, and slider strips to program. The individual outs and the way that the voices work was so illogical than even when I understood it I would routinely find the wrong voice coming out on the wrong channel - total nightmare.

It ends its life with bugs unfixed, features never implemented or implemented in really awkward and illogical ways not deserving to be associated with the Linn brand and its history of ergonomic and thoughtful interface design, and a giant middle finger to people who paid a premium price for something that was supposed to be a best-in-class instrument and the meeting of two minds.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Licudi » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:21 pm

Bath House wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:11 pm
It ends its life with bugs unfixed, features never implemented or implemented in really awkward and illogical ways not deserving to be associated with the Linn brand and its history of ergonomic and thoughtful interface design, and a giant middle finger to people who paid a premium price for something that was supposed to be a best-in-class instrument and the meeting of two minds.
Obituaries are rarely so truthful or sentences so long. The Tempest was on my 'hmmmthatseemsinterestingmustcheckthatoutsomeday' list for a long time but it never seemed to get fixed. Oh, and if the self-righteousness still want to change Muff's name then Fuck Steve gets my vote.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by muleskinner » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:10 pm

Bath House wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:11 pm
It ends its life with bugs unfixed, features never implemented or implemented in really awkward and illogical ways not deserving to be associated with the Linn brand and its history of ergonomic and thoughtful interface design, and a giant middle finger to people who paid a premium price for something that was supposed to be a best-in-class instrument and the meeting of two minds.
I think this is a little harsh. There are really very few bugs in the final OS, the only serious one I'm aware of affects the 'playlist' functionality (which I never use) and, with a couple of minor exceptions, everything that was promised at the start has now been implemented. It was a painful ride getting there, though. I was there from pretty early on but not right at the start.

I find it syncs fine when slaved. I wouldn't trust it as a master though and it drifts if not synced.

I also find the way the voices/outputs work a tad confusing at first but never have a problem with it now. I do wish you could add/remove voices from the 'main' output without having to physically plug/unplug a cable though.

There are a lot of things that could have been better implemented for sure, entering 'parameter locks' in 16 timesteps mode rather than having to do it through the awkward 'etch a sketch' interface with the sliders seemed like a no-brainer to me, and then there were really weird additions like the compressor envelope which literally no-one ever requested. None of this really bothers me any more though, you learn the workarounds. For instance, there are 32 sounds per beat, way more than one probably ever needs, and each one of these is effectively a sequenceable parameter lock.

The thing that frustrates me the most, as mentioned above, is that you can only sequence one 'melodic' voice externally. It would be so nice to run it as six independent monosynths. I work round this by recording parts into the internal sequencer which works fine in most cases but it's not ideal.

It's kind of like six DFAMs, or six Medusas, in one box!
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by TruthSerum » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:56 pm

Tempest is one of the best drum machine synths ever made. To those of us who use and make songs using it, and have been doing so since it's inception, we're gonna turn it up to 11 now and it's classic status will be reflected by it's inevitable increase in value. Roger Linn and Dave Smith will probably never collaborate again- think about that.

If you can't, or could never make serious, professional music with Tempest, you can't do it with any synth or drum machine. As it is right now, it can easily be used to make full-length songs- if you know what you're doing.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Zerius » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:01 pm

Would have been the perfect drum machine imo if you could upload your own samples and mix them with the synth engine like in the Rytm.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by TruthSerum » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:12 pm

Zerius wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:01 pm
Would have been the perfect drum machine imo if you could upload your own samples and mix them with the synth engine like in the Rytm.
Tempest is leagues above RYTM in synthesis and production value. Keep an eye on the used market- Tempest will go up and RYTM will come down. I own and use both extensively, and the true classic- the beast, is the Tempest. If I had to lose one, it would be RYTM without hesitation.

Stay tuned...

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by vnsc » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:05 pm

From the other tempest vs rytm thread since it has apparently been abandoned :)
vnsc wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:54 pm
I originally had a Tempest in 2012, and had a pretty good time with it, but sold it after about a year, both because it was insanely buggy at the time and I wanted to fund travel (yeah, I went backpacking in Peru for 2 months with that money :hihi: ) Over a couple years, DSI fixed all* the bugs that were issues before, and I considered getting one again with many projects in mind for it. Finances did not allow that to happen until 2018 when I found one for a decent used price.
...
I ended up getting the Tempest again and truly, I love the damn thing, warts and all. I should also mention I have had a DSI poly evolver before even the first tempest, so I was pretty well aware of the "dave smith synth architecture." I also played hand drums and kit drums in rock and metal bands for many years before for that extra "i'm a real drummer too cred" :razz:

How well does the Rytm integrate with modular? Tempest has 2 CV ins which is great for integrating. I use the tempest as the main clock for several systems as well. Even more fun is sending individual outs to [modular] filters and effects - but of course you can do that with other drum machines and synths too :)

Important note: my tempest would probably sound EVEN BETTER if I were better at programming it - but isn't that just the nature of synthesis? :tu:
*I don't think I have encountered any crippling bugs in the last few years using it regularly, but I don't doubt there are some lurking in deep corners.

I'm also surprised @muleskinner that you find it has a poor master clock? I remember finding a website years ago that had lots of documentation on different synths and drum machines clocking accuracy and I recall the tempest being exceptionally accurate. I use it to clock my whole system (including slaving PNW through a Grandmother lol) and have had no problems.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:06 pm

How much do you want to be that it's going to be replaced this fall. Didn't dave say he was working on something new?

I can't wait to scoop one up for peanuts, just like the Pro-2 and the Prophet 12. Although, if it's a Pro-3 type revision, it might just be worth it to save up for the new one.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by GUM » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:08 pm

I love the RYTM, it's an incredible drum machine, but the synth engine in the Tempest blows it out of the water. I had one on loan for a few weeks and absolutely loved the sound and the bonkers places you could take it, but ultimately I had to stick with the RYTM because I'm lazy and the ability to use / layer samples made more sense for me, personally.

The Tempest is absolutely 100% a classic though, and I can only imagine how high the price is going to skyrocket in the future.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by ObsoleteModular » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:41 pm

lisa wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:31 am
As a synth? Ok. I’ve never before heard the claim that it has that quality. Got any good links to videos where this is shown off?

Also, you could more or less get two Elektron Analog Four for the price of one Tempest. Two more voices (sans the digital oscillators).
It's only what I've heard others say. It's Rytm all the way for me; love mine. Tempest can't sample so it was always a no from me.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by ObsoleteModular » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:44 pm

GUM wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:08 pm
I love the RYTM, it's an incredible drum machine, but the synth engine in the Tempest blows it out of the water. I had one on loan for a few weeks and absolutely loved the sound and the bonkers places you could take it, but ultimately I had to stick with the RYTM because I'm lazy and the ability to use / layer samples made more sense for me, personally.
It's the combo that kills it for me too; sample plus drum 'synthesis'. The engines are limited but I've never wanted my drum machines to be synths, I've got synths for that! Wasn't much tweaking to be had on the classics after all. Cool that they added the bass synth though.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by anselmi » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:30 pm

ObsoleteModular wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:43 am
lisa wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:38 am
Elektron Rytm can give it a run for the money, no?
I think the Rytm's a better drum machine but the Tempest a better synth, maybe?
something like this...yes

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by anselmi » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:35 pm

who thinks that this move have something to do with the next Sequential product that Dave says will be released in August? ;)

Maybe somebody with patent detective skills could find something related to this

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