After 4 months of waiting, it's time to unleash the G-Stomper VA-Beast Synthesizer for the first time!
As already informed, the first BETA (as well as the first final release) is the introducing the standalone synthesizer.
Want to join the BETA tests?
If you meet the requirements below, feel free to register to the forum and send me a pm, ideally containing your device model and Android version.
Requirements and conditions for the BETA tests:
- Minimum Android Version: 3.1
- Minimum CPU: Dual Core 1ghz
- You must be a Google Play User with a Google Play supported device. The BETA is bound to the google licensing and is working only on Google Play enabled
- Optional for MIDI Support: Your device must support USB Host Mode
- The BETA build is working until the final release has gone live.
The BETA comes with a basic Factory SoundBank (48 patches of all various soundtypes)
It provides basic MIDI support (Note ON/OFF, velocity, start, stop, continue, Mod Wheel, Pitch Bend) for Android devices with USB Host Mode support.
Technical Specs and descriptions:
2 oscillator assemblies, each with 6 waveforms:
saw, pulse, triangle, sine, noise, dual sine
The dual sine is an assembly of 2 sines with different frequencies
Oscillator 2 provides additional Tune controls with 3 different modes:
Pemitones, Partial No, KB off Fixed
Furthermore you can finetune OSC2 -50cents..+50cents
When using the Dual Sine waveform on OSC2: Tune1 controls sine1 and Tune2 controls sine2
When using the Noise waveform on OSC2: Tune1 is mapped the noise filter frequency and Tune2 can choose the filter type (LP, HP, BP) for the noise wave.
Every waveform can be shaped with its own shape algorithm:
saw: can be morphed from sawtooth to pulse
pulse: adjustable pulse width
triangle: as more shape as more get the peaks cut off (more timbre)
sine: can be morphed from sine to (almost) saw
noise: adjustable noise color (on OSC2 the shape controls the noise filter resonance)
dual sine: as more shape as more gets the secondary sine mixed in
Ever waveform can be synchronized:
In this special case, every waveform has a secondary (inner) sync sine aboard, which is responsible to sync the main waveform: Furthermore in sync mode the shape amount controls the main waveforms pitch (rather than the waveform shape). This will create the typical sync sounds known from many synthesizers.
In sync mode the dual sine waveform has its own behavior, the first sine modulates the second using frequency modulation (rather than syncing the waveform).
OSC MOD (Modulation between the 2 oscillators):
Dist RM, Dist, Filter FM, FM, Diff FM, RM
- Distortion RM:
A special modulation type to create very unique and raw sounds. It's a combination of amplitude/ring modulation and distortion. The modulation signal is generated by a third (hidden) oscillator assembly whose pitch gets controlled by the modulation amount. This modulation signal modulates the output of osc1 and osc2 (depending on the osc mix setting)
Passes the the output of osc1 and osc2 (depending on the osc mix setting) through an overdrive distortion.
- Filter FM:
Yes, of course there are filters (at least 7 types, maybe more). Using Filter FM means that osc2 modulates the filter cutoff frequency (controlled by the modulation amount). Filter FM creates a wide range of sounds from weird effects to crazy resonant sounds.
- FM and differential FM:
The FM setup features two types of frequency modulation: FM and differential FM.
The difference between FM and DFM is as followed: In DFM the modulated frequency range is the same in all tone frequencies, which means in other words, it's easier to control than normal FM and the results are usually tonal playable all over the keyboard range. FM on the other side is rawer and creates brighter sounds. Since everything is implemented as phaseFM (at least in the default setup), almost every FM sounds are tonal playable.
In FM and DFM, osc1 is the carrier and osc2 is the modulator.
The combination of FM/DFM with the dual sine waveforms is very powerful. Using dual sines on both oscillator assemblies turns the synth in a 4 operator FM engine, which allows to create very complex FM sounds.
As already mentioned, the base FM setup is implemented as phaseFM (like in DX7) which is the easiest to control. Additionally the FM framework supports log+FM, log-/+FM, lin+FM, lin-/+FM; all of these additional modes produce sounds that are not usually tonal playable, but they're very useful for effect sounds.
Ringmodulation is typically used to create disharmonic and metallic or bell-like sounds. Also in RM, osc2 is the modulator and osc1 the carrier.
Osc Mix 1/2:
Simply mixes the both oscillators together.
Right beside the Osc Mix is the Noise3 ON/OFF switch. This allows you to replace the OSC2 main mix output with a simple white noise. The OSC2 gets not turned off with Noise3 enabled, just the audible output on the mix gets replaced. The OSC2 is still fully functional for the OSC Modulation. The Noise3 is very useful to add some breath at the beginning of wind instruments (e.g. with osc mix controlled by a mod env)
Can be used to shift the octave for the current patch (e.g. if you want to have bass sounds deeper)
G-Stomper VA-Beast provides 8 different filter types: LP12, LP24, HP12, HP24, MoogLP24, MoogHP24, BP, NP(notch)
The filter Frequency can be static (as known from most synthesizer) and Keyboard tracked (KBT). With KBT enabled the frequency gets tonally changed together with the played note. This makes filtered sounds much better playable over the full frequency range.
The filter section has its own invertible ADSR Envelope (with attack phase linear or exponential)
Classic ADSR Envelope (with attack phase linear or exponential)
The setup contains 3 LFOs (100sec...263.63Hz) with 6 waveforms: triangle, saw, pulse, random, smooth random, triple peak
Each LFO has its own level and can be assigned to 12 different parameters
Each LFO can be synced with the internal Tempo/BPM (which can be midi synced with an external sequencer)
Each LFO can be synced with the Key press, in other words it gets restarted when you press a piano key (and of course all LFOs are existing per voice as everything else in VA-Beast)
Each LFO can be used as Envelpope (which is bound to KB sync). In Env Mode the LFO makes exact one cycle and then stays at the last position.
All LFOs can be inverted
The setup contains 2 multifunctional envelopes which can be used in AD (Attack Decay), AHR (Attack Hold Release) or AD repeat mode (similar to an LFO but with different waveforms)
Like the other Envelopes, the Mod Envelopes have a switchable attack phase (linear or exponential) and can be inverted.
The Mod Envelopes can be assigned to 12 different parameters, + 6 additional parameters, the amount and frequency of the 3 LFOs (this is making the morphing section very versatile, check out the Filter Morph Heaven Preset as an example)
And Like the LFOs, each Mod Env has its own level
The Vibrato is running on an own, independent LFO with a rate of 4Hz..8Hz.
The amount can be adjusted from +/-0cents..+/-100cents
VA-Beast provides a basic arpeggio which can be at fixed speed or synced to the internal BPM (which can be synced to an external midi clock).
It provides 4 modes: Up, Down, Up/Down, Random
Octave Range: 1..4
The ChordMem section allows you to map complete chords to a single key
To record a chord you have 2 ways :
1. Click on ‘chord rec’ so that it’s enabled. Then play and hold a chord and while you holding it, click the chord rec again
2. Click on ‘chord rec’ so that it’s enabled. Then click on KB hold so that it’s enabled as well. Then press your chord one by one (each key separately).. every key gets added to the chord
Both ways have their own advantages, you'll see.
The maximum chord size is dependent on the max voices setting (settings dialog). You can use the settings to switch between 1 and 8 voices.
Rather than a typical glide function, the VA-Beast Glide supports the morphing of complete Chords (in standard and chordmem mode)
You can use it in 2 different modes: ON (every pressed key gets morphed), Auto Legato (morphing applies only if one or more keys are alredy pressed)
The settings dialog provides controls to set the internal clock bpm (default = 128bpm) and the maximum number of voices (default = 6 voices)
Furthermore it provides the layout controls known from G-Stomper Beat Studio.
Important: Don't miss the portrait mode, it provides a double piano roll with independent octaves which makes the control much easier on tablets.
Note: If you're on a smaller device and still want to use the portrait mode (e.g. with a stylus), you can double tap the upper right corner of the settings dialog to make the orientation controls show up;)
G-Stomper VA-Beast supports MIDI over USB.
To use the USB MIDI connectivity your Android device must support USB Host Mode (most newer devices do, but not all), please check your device specifications for that.
To connect an USB compliant device you need an USB 2.0 A Female to Micro B Male Adapter Cable Micro USB Host Mode OTG Cable and optionally, if you want to connect equipment with traditional midi connectors, an USB 2.0 MIDI Interface Cable.
You can connect external Keyboards, Hardware/Software Sequencers, what ever you up to.
The latency, audio and midi, strongly depends on your device and Android version (e.g. Galaxy Nexus: 39ms, Nexus7 v2: 40ms, Galaxy Tab 10.1 v1: 92ms)
In this version, the following MIDI messages are supported:
Timing Clock (tempo sync)
Start, Stop, Continue (the start resets the LFOs in the efx section)
Note: The current MIDI setup listens to all MIDI channels, this will be changed for the final release (there'll be a setting to choose a channel or listen to all)
Well then, that's it for now.
Every feedback is appreciated