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does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Discussion of issues related to MOTU's Sysex Editor/Librarian program.

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does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby pounce » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:00 pm

I was surprised by the announcement of the DP update at this past NAMM. I was hoping that perhaps that could give some hope to the idea that Unisyn could be updated to run on Lion at least.

I was lucky enough to have a lunch with Magic Dave in the recent past. He was coy on the matter only noting that they don't sell many copies of Unisyn anymore. I am not sure if the interest just needs to be expressed. I'll be using hardware synths for the foreseeable future (in addition to me respectable collection of soft synths). The mac really no longer has a good option. I always liked Unisyn the best, especially with it's integration with DP. I was hoping with all the extra coding going on in Cambridge that perhaps this old gem would finally get a nod so I could run it on my main production machine. I've had the original and the second version of Unisyn and would really like them to port it to run properly on intel boxes. Please, Please, Please.

I suggest anyone else with this interest should express it to MOTU so they get reminded that there are folks with hardware synths and macs chomping at the bit to get things playing nicely again.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby Michael Canavan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:51 am

The only reason I haven't bought it is because it doesn't support one of the two hardware synths I have, in fact it doesn't support any Moogs at all? I have an Oberheim Xpander and a Lintronics modified Memorymoog, only the Xpander is supported.

The sad thing is Apple gave up on the Emagic/Logic SoundDiver as well, it got to beta on PPC OSX and then just died. I've lost presets with it learning how to use it, so I'm reluctant to use it, and Unisyn again only supports the Xpander.

Fortunately for me I guess, both synths are great interface wise, super intuitive and well laid out, so all I really need is a librarian. SysEx Librarian works and is free.

http://www.snoize.com/SysExLibrarian

Thing is the Memorymoog has no names for the patches, and you could add names to the xx numbers that the Memorymooog produces in SounDiver, and I imagine that would be true with Unisyn.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby monkey man » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:29 am

I use that app too, Michael, but as you'd know, it's a far cry from Unysin. No editing, for one thing.

There's another app out there that's been around for a while, but the add-on (by necessity) modules are huge. I tried to demo it but had insufficient download bandwidth.

http://www.squest.com/

One of Unisyn's advantages was that all the support files were included; it was sleek and elegant in comparison.

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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby Michael Canavan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:01 am

monkey man wrote:I use that app too, Michael, but as you'd know, it's a far cry from Unysin. No editing, for one thing.

Yeah really the only advantage to Unysin for me is that it could 'name' the xx numbered Memorymoog slots.

When it comes down to it, I opted to go with programmable poly synths that had good control surfaces. The synths that Unisyn would be good for I don't own but want: Matrix 6, Super Jupiter, Waldorf Pulse etc. So yeah, I would buy it if it was being updated, but it's not. Soundquest looks good, but I haven't heard a lot of good things about them.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby FutureLegends » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:37 am

Why were you surprised by the DP announcement? Apart from the windows bit it was totally expected...

I would imagine the market for Unisyn not being very big anymore and shrinking... My guess is MOTU feels their resources are better spent elsewhere...
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby monkey man » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:30 am

Michael Canavan wrote:Soundquest looks good, but I haven't heard a lot of good things about them.
As I suggested, it seemed like a universe too big to justify getting into, Michael. Overkill, perhaps. Oh, and those whopping-big modules I mentioned have to be bought separately. Ridiculous!

I s'pose they'd justify it by claiming that more resources are required to programme them than, say, Unysin's profiles, what with their fancy-schmancy graphics and what not. I think there's more DAW integration too in the form of control plug-ins, and perhaps even audio routing - yet more things that can go wrong. No matter; it was daunting and over the top IMHO. A patch librarian with MIDI editing (over sysex) should be more than enough to get the job done. All that other stuff, to me, would be more hassle than simply switching to VIs.

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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby bayswater » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:59 am

I tried the demo of MIDIQuest a while ago. I didn't get the impression that it was that "huge". You only download the modules you need for the synths you have. They seem to keep up with the newer synths, and are pretty much the only game in town. It's quite expensive, but there is a discount for Unisyn users.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby monkey man » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:10 am

Well, I was on dialup at the time, Baysey, and the first module I looked at was at least 30mb (or was that 300?). If you've a decent rack of MIDI modules, the size and cost could add up.

I agree that it seems to be "TOGIT". If it weren't so, shall we rather say, "comprehensive"?, I'd have snapped it up in a jiffy. Only, one can't snap it up in a jiffy 'cause it's so effin' huge. Hang on... I'm going 'round in circles here. MOTU... please help! :shock:

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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby bayswater » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:56 am

It's OK. Circle on. Linear thinking monkeys are not good.

If you really wanted it, someone could dump it to a disk and send it. Or you can just order the boxed version with printed manual for about $200 after discounts.

As a side note, I used to live near the postal address for Soundquest in a rural area just outside Victoria BC. I'd have to assume this business is being run out of a garage. The level of support in the long run is something to consider.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby stubbsonic » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:00 am

I was re-acquainting myself with Unisyn as a possible solution to a particular problem.

I can see why it would be difficult for MOTU to justify spending resources on Unisyn when they don't sell it much, and the technology seems to be moving in a different direction. However, it still has a big role to play for some artists.

I wonder if there would be a way, .. a project... to put Unisyn into a DP bundle-- OR... to make it an open-sourced community developed project. Not exactly a revenue maker, but certainly a nice way of passing this highly developed resource on to a dedicated set of users.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby bayswater » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:02 am

The proposal to open source Unisyn has come up a few times. I supposed there could be code in it that has been used for other MOTU products, even if Unisyn itself is dead end.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby pounce » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:06 pm

yeah, my surprise was only that they did in fact do all the work to come up with a version of DP that could be ported to windows.

I still think that the process of making Unisyn into a universal binary, if not a total cross platform product would at least get a reasonable sized user base. there are so few options, and Unisyn -could- become the best option on windows or mac with a little effort.

Sure, I have the snoise librarian in the meantime, but I really liked the editing and patch management in Unisyn and would love to have that working in full force again. MOTU doesn't need to make all of unisyn open source, just make is so that the community of users could upload their own editors to the program and we could fill in some of the holes ourselves.

So I still want to see a version of Unisyn singing again.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby bayswater » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:20 pm

It might be nice to have Unisyn updated, but consider that the Unisyn section on Motunation has less than 700 posts in 8 years. I can't see any further investment coming.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby James Steele » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:31 pm

bayswater wrote:It might be nice to have Unisyn updated, but consider that the Unisyn section on Motunation has less than 700 posts in 8 years. I can't see any further investment coming.


Agreed. I don't see it happening. It was on borrowed time in Snow Leopard. And also, don't see the reason for any linkage to DP in the subject header. They're two different products with very different purposes. I would love to see UniSyn handed off or sold to an individual developer who MIGHT be able to update it. I can imagine however, that the product is so "niche" that POSSIBLY one individual programmer MIGHT be able to augment their income enough to make it worthwhile. I seriously doubt Editor/Librarians have a big enough market. Notice my emphasis on "Editor." When there is a viable solution that's free like Sysex Librarian, then you're really targeting people who actual EDIT their patches on hardware and that's probably an even smaller segment of the market.
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Re: does the DP update give any hope for an updated Unisyn?

Postby pounce » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:45 pm

my point is that the move to massively recode software on the part of MOTU in order to give them a windows and mac presence suggests something about how they want to be positioned as a company. having the functionality of companion programs, like Unisyn, be cross platform and updated might make sense. all of their other companion products (iirc) are cross platform. So updating Unisyn and making it cross platform is actually more in line with what MOTU is doing across their software line.

I recognize that this software has a smaller market, but nonetheless hardware synths are still going to be around for the foreseeable future. I would use the heck out of Unisyn again particularly if it could be run on my main audio machine. I don't want to purchase an old mac just to run this program. It's the only one I still want to use that wouldn't run on my main machine, and I already have 4 macs at home which is plenty.

None of know the exact economics of this, nor can I guess how hard it would be to port the code over. But, giving a little life to Unisyn again they could easily have the best software on any platform to deal with synth editing and librarian functions. I would welcome that. I mostly wanted to much around in the editor of course. A librarian function isn't as big a deal.

I see the general attitude is that everyone has given up on this happening. While I'm not sure I should have high hopes, I haven't given up on Unisyn yet. And yes, I would happily pay for a new version of Unisyn the second it was available.

Soundiver was good, but I liked Unisyn more. Not really digging Midiquest and not really sure it's being supported anymore.
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