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TOPIC: SuperNatural and Arpeggiator

SuperNatural and Arpeggiator 08 Oct 2017 15:54 #6303

  • Kerry Oki
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The current discussions about Roland vs. Yamaha sound quality throw up questions I would like ask here.

What's your experience with Rolands super-natural (behaviour modelled) sounds? E.g. Integra7 has a really nice super-natural spanish guitar I have missed in new TOTL keyboards (except FA-0x). Are there any disadvantages I have not noted? (Why) Do you prefer PCM sounds instead?

And what is your experience with Yamahas arpeggiator? Is it boring over time?
Last Edit: 09 Oct 2017 19:15 by Kerry Oki.
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SuperNatural and Arpeggiator 10 Oct 2017 22:41 #6307

  • Diki
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Roland's SuperNatural sounds are a mixed bag.

I am MORE than impressed with the guitars... In fact, I find these more playable and easy to control than any others in an arranger I have played. Let me first state, I am not a big fan of squeaks and knocks you cannot control! I am not a big fan of intervallic 'tricks' you cannot control! I am a control freak... I want to be able to dictate a hammer-on or -off, a body thump or a fret squeak. I don't want them added only on high velocity notes (what guitarist only hammers-on on loud notes?!). Roland do, by far (IMHO) the best job so far of creating a PLAYABLE SN guitar that still remains under your control. The icing on the cake, for me, is the jazz guitar, which you can treat rather as a Gibson 335, run it into a cranked up blues amp MFX, and create some of the most enjoyable rock guitar sounds you have ever played! The SN trickery keeps your solo lines nice and clean, easily drops into chording without artifacts, strums chords intelligently, hammers-on and -off when YOU want to, not when some algorithm dictates you MUST.

The only thing bad about the SN guitars? There aren't enough of them! I would LOVE an SN Strat and an SN Les Paul to go along with the Jazz Guitar..! :kiss: (A Tele might be nice for country, too)

The SN horns, though, that's another story. For starters, the default glissando rather than bend behavior with the wheel is terrible. There's no way to scale it, it is next to impossible to control, live, and the truth is, the majority of horn 'bending' is smooth, smaller
intervals. Yamaha have a FAR better implementation, despite the lack of control (jumps above a certain interval throw a gliss on whether you like it or not). I would have liked to be able to throw a small gliss onto a note with a button, but that's not what Roland went for. And, again, it would have been nice to have the same intelligent mono-poly behavior that graces the guitars applied to the horns. Being forced into mono is OK, but not when the results are so unspectacular. I still reach for the BlowAltoVib for 90% of my sax needs, and rarely touch the SN ones.

I'm not really going to review the SN pianos and Rhodes, as whatever they are doing is extremely subtle compared to the standard pianos and Rhodes. They are great, though!

Finally, the xylophone... Great! Adding modulation starts a roll between the notes you are playing (although it is only REALLY authentic if you are playing two notes or one... a four note roll with mallets would alternate between the two lowest and two highest notes struck simultaneously, as each hand with two mallets in it went up and down!), and the modulation also goes from a soft struck gentle roll to a hard roll. Kudos, Roland..! Once again, the only thing wrong with the xylophone is, it leaves you wanting more! This behavior cries out for a steel drum and a marimba with the exact same behavior.

For a first effort, I think Roland SuperNatural behavior nailed guitars but struggles with horns. Hopefully, their SN2 (if they ever get around to it!) will fix the flaws and expand the strengths.
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