MATRIXSYNTH: User Petition for the Tempest and Dave Smith Instruments Response

Friday, March 25, 2016

User Petition for the Tempest and Dave Smith Instruments Response



Update: a new OS is coming.

You'll find the petition here. The following is DSI's response from Carson Day of DSI:

"CARSON DAY'S POST:

The description in the campaign is interesting, though somewhat misleading. The vast majority of Tempest owners are happily making music with it. Most importantly, if anybody had contacted us directly at DSI support to ask whether we have quit development on the Tempest, we would have told them no. We do intend to continue, and finish, development of the Tempest.

Separately, the campaign appears to be an inaccurate representation of Tempest users since there’s no way to qualify who is an owner and who is not.

As the Tempest currently stands (OS 1.4), there are some valid and somewhat annoying bugs that are present. Most everything listed on the campaign is on our bug list of items to consider for fixing/implementation. The Tempest is a mature product (Shoot! 5 years is long enough for humans), and there have been many improvements made and features added which were not explicitly called out for implementation when the product was released. Because we are a small company and constantly produce new instruments, we have to rotate between updates for all instruments. I will reiterate, we DO intend to release another update for it.

If users are actually unable to back up their work, please contact us directly at DSI support. This would be a serious problem, but I am unaware of any users contacting us in this regard.

I've addressed the list of issues more specifically below.

1. Tempest not being able to discern between note 'velocity' and pad 'pressure'...

Velocity and pressure are derived from the same sensor, a force sensing resistor. That means that when a pad is played, velocity is the near instantaneous change in resistance from off to on. The question is, when should the continuous change in resistance start acting as pressure? How long do we wait before interpreting the sensor data as pressure? Adding a small fixed delay to onset of pressure might help, though I can imagine situations where you would also want pressure to react immediately.

2. Note sustain without a duration limit...

This is a feature request, not a bug. The duration of a step must be held in memory so it can be saved/reloaded etc. Memory is not infinite.

3. "MIDI sequencer sound" prevents the corresponding internal sound from triggering, yet the 'OFF' setting remains broken...

This is on our bug list.

4. Adding swing to the 'ROLL/ARP' function...

Not really a bug, more of a worklfow/feature request. It's on our request list for consideration.

5. The missing "Env Shape" parameter as seen on page 16. of Operation Manual 1.0...

When the 1.0 manual and 1.0 Tempest was released, it was explicitly stated that the unit was not complete and that it and the manual was subject to change. Most of these changes (all the way to 1.4) were welcome additions and fixes. I was not with the company officially when the Tempest was released, though I would imagine that "env shape" was removed as a design/navigation consideration.

The envelope shape can be modulated via the mod matrix or using the pitch and aux envelops to change its shape.

6. Basic file management...

You already have basic file management. You can save/copy/rename files into a series of directories. It sounds like you want more "organization" functionality which is quite different than stating the Tempest lacks "Basic file management". This is a feature request and not a bug.

7. The envelope/LFO bug that causes the digital oscillators to quit or otherwise not trigger when modulated to, from, or through a relative 'level' of zero...

Just set the envelope amount value to 1. Also see #9.

8. Tempest not remembering the folder-of-origin when saving...

I cannot speak to the reason for this as I have not spoken with Chris about it.

9. 'Key Follow OFF' not working for the digital osc's...

on our list. Not sure if possible due to the SAM chip itself.

10. Glide not working for the digital osc's...

See #9.

11. Pitch Bend not working for the digital oscillators...

See #9.

12. The ever-present but still not functional Glide/Legato modes...

It’s on our list. I'm not personally aware of the reasons for this.

13. The 'Playlist' crash bug...

I'm not sure I'm familiar with this one specifically. If it has been reported to support and reproduced, then it should be on our list. If nobody has reported it, please open a support ticket.

14. Using the 'ROLL' function to record a part causes other pads to randomly trigger - even pads

I've seen this before and believe it's related to a strange issue where the sound initialization procedure and/or file corruption issue. If I had to guess, it could be related to files saved on specific (non official) operating system releases or by users changing the initialize settings in the debug menu. Does this happen on the official 1.4 OS with a newly created file?

15. Using the 'ROLL' function to record in '16 Levels' mode fails to record the correct velocities: i.e. it only repeats the velocity of the lowest pad pressed...

It’s on our list.

16. Recording a 'ROLL' with a sound assigned to a voice results in the pad lighting up as if it is being triggered, yet there is no sound...

It’s on our list.

17. There is an advanced bug that causes the pad names to randomly change when auditioning sounds; it happens most predictably when you have auditioned a sound from one pad and then try to audition a sound from another pad. When this happens the available sound folder also changes, not just the pad name: i.e. the 'Kick' pad, for instance, will suddenly become a 'Snare' pad - *which instantly loads a snare sound by the way (devastating!) - after which you can no longer access the kick folder from that pad at all, unless you "revert" the sound...

Not an advanced bug at all and certainly does not block access to any sound. The description is a bit overblown, however, it’s on our list.

18. If the Tempest receives a RAM sound dump via USB, while also receiving note-on/off data on the MIDI DIN input, then USB MIDI sys-ex is not received correctly half of the time: i.e. it just stands there waiting for MIDI data in those cases.

It is not advised to use USB and MIDI at the same time for MIDI input. This is true for all of our instruments.

20. When switching beats on-the-fly, the first step of the sequencer-out is consistently late; so if you're triggering a sample loop on the one, every time you switch beats on the Tempest, it will be out of sync for the first pass...

I would guess that this initial latency is due to higher priority tasks being performed when changing beats. There's a whole lot of data to load very quickly on a beat change and keeping the internal sound engine in time and performing as expected is of the utmost importance. It's also worth noting that the "sequencer out" parameter was added by Chris on his own accord. Sequencing external instruments from the Tempest was never stated as a feature when the Tempest was released.

21. Pad names need to be added for all the sound folders, and vice versa. And many of the existing pad names need to be properly linked to their respective parent folders, so "Tamb" doesn't default to "Shaker", etc. when auditioning sounds (not to be confused with point 17. which is a completely different bug)...

This is half feature request and half bug, and fairly low priority in the scheme of things. It falls into the “nice to have” category.

22. When triggered via MIDI, sustained ADSR sounds hang whenever the bank those sounds are from is not the currently selected bank...

It’s on our list.

23. The Tempest's timing drifts in 'Slave' mode when using the MIDI DIN input, gradually losing sync with the 'Master' clock source; and this behavior is further exacerbated with use of the 'ROLL' function...

I cannot speak to the accuracy of this statement. I have no information regarding the performed tests, loaded OS versions, settings, and overall method. We have an Innerclock System in the office that we can use to verify this is true. Whoever is experiencing this drift, please open a support ticket with us and provide detailed step-by-step instructions for reproducing this and we will look into it.

For all current and prospective Tempest owners out there, please understand that we are aware of your concerns and appreciate your perspective. We have not abandoned the Tempest OS. Between pushing forward with new designs and refining existing products, there is never a point in time at which we are idle here at DSI. It's a complex balancing act with many variables. We will be revisiting the Tempest OS, and hopefully soon, but the Change.org petition has no bearing on our timeframe, and we can't specifically guarantee when will dive back in.

This will remain our definitive statement on this matter. Thank you for your continued patronage and support."

The petition was originally sent my way via Chris, Berlin.

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