The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Thorsday » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:47 pm

Tempest slaves to external MIDI sync perfectly.

Playlist mode, simple stereo outs is how I use mine because I play other instruments.

Synth engine is so strong.

Yes it crashed in the beginning, a lot... It is stable now. Has portamento, too!

If DSI releases a new version of this beast, I would buy one, and keep Tempest.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Sinamsis » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:08 pm

I always wanted a Tempest. I finally bought one a couple years ago. I was pretty disappointed. I wanted to try it out as a drum machine, but definitely dug the notion of it as a successor to the PolyEvolver in some ways. I found the sampling side was damn near impossible for me to use efficiently. I spent forever looking for a sample I liked. Over all the UI felt clunky. And as a hybrid poly it was not remotely as fun to program as the PolyEvolver. I quickly sold it and bought a PolyEvolver haha. It has fewer voices, and fewer envelopes but it is a joy to program comparatively. And yeah, for a drum machine I would use the Rytm hands down ANY day over the Tempest. And you could get an A4 and AR second hand for the price range of a Tempest. Ha, seems like a no brainer to me.

But yeah I'm interested to hear what Dave has to offer this summer. He could do a drum machine based off of the Prophet X; that might be sweet. But it seems like the 8Dio partnership isn't great. I'm holding out for an update/replacement to the Prophet 12.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by dubonaire » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:15 pm

anselmi wrote:
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
That space he had on the desk was about the right size.

By the way, speaking of Roger Linn:

LD2 prototype.jpg
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Last edited by dubonaire on Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by GuyaGuy » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:20 pm

dubonaire wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:15 pm
anselmi wrote:
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
That space he had on the desk was about the right size.
He’s said it’s going to be something simpler to design though. So if it’s a Tempest it’ll be a Tempest Jr.

The Tempest is really cool. It has a few bugs (like any synth with software), which apparently bothered some people a lot more than me. I ended up swapping it for a Rytm because I wanted a sequenced drum machine more than a rhythm synth performance tool.

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Diabolik!
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Diabolik! » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:36 pm

i was so glad when i finally got rid of mine. thing was a goddamn albatross

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by anselmi » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:42 pm

GuyaGuy wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:20 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:15 pm
anselmi wrote:
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
That space he had on the desk was about the right size.
He’s said it’s going to be something simpler to design though. So if it’s a Tempest it’ll be a Tempest Jr.
I would be happy to see a module with something similar to the PX but less keyboardist-oriented approach...I dunno about the "groovebox/drum machine format though...I think sequencers are not Dave´s most interesting stuff

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by rew_ » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:25 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?


Keep in mind that poly mode was implemented before many of DSI's modern polys were released, so at the time it seemed like not only a neat feature but also one of only a couple of options for a modern analog poly.

I do think there's something to be said for it being more a synth than a drum machine—a rhythm synthesizer maybe?

I find the thinking behind the voices to be weirdly modular-inspired in that you start with a couple of oscillators and a filter and then you have a bunch of envelopes and LFO's to plug into different inputs. There are a couple of normalizations—an envelope dedicated to amplitude—but very few guard rails when it comes to making sounds.

The pads rule—inputting steps and performing with them is among the nicest and most natural gear experiences I've had.

After a couple of years I finally had to admit that it's difficult to get really great sounds out of. It's incredibly versatile, and it can get pretty weird, but my mBrane and mBase—acquired years later—put it to shame for punchiness and utility.

The Tempest is really amazing if you want to learn how to synthesize a snare drum, and less amazing if you just want a kickass snare drum.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by chvad » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:50 am

The Tempest just sounds dope. It's not a sampler. Being being stuck on that... I don't even understand the point in mentioning it. It was never going to have user samples. It's a completely non-existent argument. It's a synth. It's a synth with a ton under the hood. It's a lot to work through. It's not as immediately ingraining to work with. I think there's a real place for stuff like the Elektron stuff and Jomox stuff and Vermona stuff with fixed drum voices to work with. 100%. It's also completely true that the Tempest is singular in it's game. There's nothing else like it and like others have said... I agree.. it's a straight up classic waiting to happen. Anyhoo... I like all drum boxes so whatevs.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by muleskinner » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:26 am

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?
Well, I'm sure much more can be achieved with it in more capable hands than mine but here's a couple of things I've done with it.

All the FX and most of the music for this game were created on the Tempest with a smattering of outboard FX. No way could I have done this on the RYTM.



Tempest doing all the heavy lifting here...


lisa wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:31 am
Also, you could more or less get two Elektron Analog Four for the price of one Tempest. Two more voices (sans the digital oscillators).
I think the A4 is probably the closest thing really. They are £1100-£1200 here in the UK as opposed to £1700-£1800 for the Tempest so roughly the same cost per voice I guess.

I've never used the A4 so I couldn't comment on how they compare sonically but the Tempest has all the heritage of the DSI Evolver/Tetra type synths. Each voice is basically that architecture with some additions. It sounds f-ing great. I never really use the digital oscs for synth-type sounds (other than for noise) but the onboard samples can come in really handy for crafting drum/percussive sounds.

The thing that would really seem to separate them to me is just how inherently playable the Tempest is. The pads feel great, a league above the pads on my (now sold) Maschine Studio and better than any Akai MPC-style pads I've tried. I really enjoy just playing it, both banging out beats and playing melodies in '16 tunings' mode. The sliders are great too. Can't imagine those little buttons on the A4 could even vaguely compete.

But... the A4 has loads of other stuff going for it including what's probably a vastly superior MIDI implementation, the onboard FX, and the CV/gate connectivity. So it's horses for courses really. I'm not saying the Tempest the best thing out there for everyone, my point is really that it's incredibly underrated as a synth and it's remarkable how little competes with it almost ten years after its release.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by ObsoleteModular » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:22 am

anselmi wrote:
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
I’m sure I remember reading Dave and Roger Linn were still working on something based on ideas that didn’t make it into The Tempest though I may have imagined that

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:41 am

th0mas wrote:
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
folpon wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:22 pm
Wow. Fuck Steve for real.
Yea! .... Fuck a damn Steve! That needs to be a bumper sticker ... and a signature! Fuck Steve.


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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by syncretism » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:47 am

I’ve been using Elektrons since the MachineDrum, and I’ve gotten on rather well with them, but the Tempest was a real joy to use. Different feeling from the Elektrons’ workflows, and I liked the balance of compositional flexibility and somewhat limited options compared to the Swedish machines. I’ve struggled with parameter locks and onboard effects over the years - cool beats can turn into sonic mush so easily - but the Tempest sounded good and was usually very fast to work with. I was fortunate to start with OS 1.4.x, though; it sounds like a lot of users got sick of waiting for it to resemble the machine it was supposed to be and bailed.

I sold mine for stupid reasons and regretted it almost immediately. I think about picking another up, sometimes, despite the buzzy samples that they never fixed and frustrating sound storage/browsing interface.

Lunchtimes with the Tempest were a joy. This was a half hour well-spent with the Tempest and Pro-2:


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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Licudi » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:13 am

rew_ wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:25 pm

Hmmm, I like the look of the controller in that. A modified Arturia (Minilab?) according to the blurb.

Probably not what I should be taking away from watching a Tempest demo...

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by deltaphoenix » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:04 am

I have had an on again and off again relationship with the Tempest over the years. I was a fairly early adopter and did have some frustrations but could have fun using it by itself. I never have understood how the Midi implementation is so weak considering Dave's involvement in it's creation. I think I tried it two more times. It is an awesome instrument but it doesn't work in my current music making situation. Ultimately, I am the father to several small children, have a demanding career, etc. - so time is my main bottleneck for music making. So as I evaluated gear, I went with AR as well - I wanted a drum machine that I could dial in pretty quickly and I wanted to use a built-in sequencer.

I really enjoy the pads/jamming aspect of it. I do think it would be most fun in the right live/jamming situation (meaning not playing out solo).

My ideal v2 would keep the pads, update the voices/filters and maybe settle in between current tempest sound design and the AR. At least sample upload/ playback. Dedicated digital/hybrid voices for pads, dedicated mono bass voice, and of course the more drum focused voices. quality midi implementation so the Tempest could really sequence another synth or two. Obviously this is not happening.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Bath House » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:10 am

It’s also worth not forgetting just how LONG they left users waiting, to the point where people started a petition and it was only after that that they fixed “some” fo the problems. https://www.synthtopia.com/content/2016 ... os-update/

I swore I’d never buy another Dave Smith thing after that - I’ve never experienced such contempt for the customer/user from a gear company, not even old Moog when they were shittier.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Leviathant » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:22 pm

I've spilled a lot of positive words about the Tempest elsewhere, I don't think I need to repeat most of them here too.

Releasing it before it was done was, uh, brave. I thought the samples that came with it were weak until I decided to use them as elements in a larger patch, and not, "I will use this snare drum sample as my snare drum." Then they became an interesting way to build out transients. I've also written extensively about how bad the initial preset drums were. I've made more compelling percussion farting through a sock into a microphone. The preset refresh a few years later was much, much better, but I had been so focused on building my own sounds that I didn't bother loading them. And yeah, poor Pym, yeesh. That dude's job had to suck. I hope Sequential's health insurance covers therapy.

If I had to sell everything, the Tempest would be the last to go. It was the first drum machine that I felt like I could actively *jam* with. Not just "variation A" and "Fill 2" and "tap on the clap along to the beat", but dynamic, dramatic realtime changes with instant reversions. The last album I did used the Tempest almost exclusively, and in all but one case, I was looping over a single beat and using beatFX, mutes, beatrolls, etc., to drive changes to the beat. It took me a lot of practice to get good at percussion synthesis, but I've built out a kit that is distinctively ME. I'd spend two weeks designing sounds, and then songs would just flow as I put those sounds together, and if I have an idea for a sound in my head (or something I want to emulate), if I can't get 100% there, I can get 95% there. (Within reason - sometimes I'd come back the next day and realize the sound I made was a little too 90s onbaord soundcard FM...)

It was the first (the only?) electronic instrument that I felt like I had to actively practice on.

I'm always tempted to get a second one at secondhand prices, not to thicken out my mix, but because it's such a ridiculous deal. I don't know that it'll catch Roland style price inflation, but if you look at what a Poly Evolver Keyboard runs today, you're getting a preview of what it'll be like to buy a Tempest in a few years.

----

If they did a follow-up, I'd want them to keep pushing. Comp & Overdrive per-voice. Global reverb & delay with per-voice sends. Patch librarian. (Seriously, open up the sysex format please.) Resonant highpass filter. Sample loading. More noise samples. Sample playback offset. The ability to sequence external devices would turn it into the absolute center of my setup.

All that would probably cost *even more* and the added complexity would turn even more people off, but I'd buy that. I never, ever pre-order hardware, but I made an exception for the Tempest, even knowing that it was unfinished, because it felt like I was investing in a revolutionary piece of equipment, and if I could go back, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by dubonaire » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:22 pm

ObsoleteModular wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:22 am
anselmi wrote:
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
I’m sure I remember reading Dave and Roger Linn were still working on something based on ideas that didn’t make it into The Tempest though I may have imagined that
Roger Linn is apparently working on a LinnDrum 2 - you can see him holding a prototype of it in the picture I posted above.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by lisa » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:28 am

Thanks for the videos! Interesting.
muleskinner wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:26 am
I think the A4 is probably the closest thing really. They are £1100-£1200 here in the UK as opposed to £1700-£1800 for the Tempest so roughly the same cost per voice I guess.
Yeah, I had a look and found the A4 for £1100 and Tempest for £1799. So the A4 is a little bit cheaper/voice. However, this is the A4 mk2 which is a bit more costly than the mk1 was. Meanwhile the Tempest has been lowered in price over the years. At one point, before the A4 mk2 was released, you could get two A4 for the price of one Tempest, as I recall the situation. Not applicable in the current circumstance but said old notion was what I based my statement on. :)
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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by ObsoleteModular » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:49 am

dubonaire wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:22 pm
ObsoleteModular wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:22 am
anselmi wrote:
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
I’m sure I remember reading Dave and Roger Linn were still working on something based on ideas that didn’t make it into The Tempest though I may have imagined that
Roger Linn is apparently working on a LinnDrum 2 - you can see him holding a prototype of it in the picture I posted above.
thanks, yes that's what i was thinking of

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by (((EMP))) » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:27 am

I thought it was a brilliant concept and had the potential to be a true classic, but is flawed for the reasons mentioned in this thread. Still very worth getting IMO, as long as you understand it’s nature. I had been sooooo excited for it going back to the day when it was originally called the ‘BOOM CHICK’ (sp?). I even attended the launch of the Tempest at Robotspeak in SF with both Dave and Roger there to answer questions about it. That’s when I got my whiff of trouble. When pressed on questions about the midi or various other features, Dave basically said “it is what it is, buy or don’t buy it”. And I didn’t buy it initially. Ended up getting one from a client for FREE (!!!! Sweet guy). Thought it was awesome, but with the aforementioned issues. Would love to see them take another crack at.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by jdkJake » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:28 am

dubonaire wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:22 pm
Roger Linn is apparently working on a LinnDrum 2 - you can see him holding a prototype of it in the picture I posted above.
Looks more like an extension/update of the linnstrument vice a new linndrum.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Christopher Winkels » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:33 am

Licudi wrote:
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.
Can I get a "Fuck Steve" t-shirt?

Because I'd wear that.

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Christopher Winkels » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:41 am

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by th0mas » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:33 pm

:yay: love it thanks for the support guys

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Re: The Tempest Is Dead, Long Live The Tempest

Post by Happyanimal » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:12 pm

folpon wrote:
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.
Boxes like this are just too complex for me- as a rhythm machine. Bought and sold too, it’s very capable- I just don’t need that many option when synthesizing drums. Much prefer tanzmaus and tanzbar lite.

I would look at alphabase or tanz 2 if I was looking for a machine that complex.

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