ReNews | Konarie Music - chirp synth

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Noel G.
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26 Nov 2017

Introducing “chirp”, Konarie Music’s debut Rack Extension for @propellerheadsw Reason. It is the first RE synthesizer designed specifically for optional hardware control - the first RE synthesizer you can actually touch. Coming soon!

https://www.konarie.com/
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MannequinRaces
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27 Nov 2017

Always great to see a new RE developer enter the fray. The hardware aspect while nice doesn't really tickle my fancy. Seeing as how this RE is sample based (but looks like a synth) I'm curious to hear more of what this can do.

TritoneAddiction
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27 Nov 2017

Interesting concept and nice to have a new developer entering the RE market. Never played with a hardware synth before. But the main the question is will the sound interest me. Seems like a very basic synth.
Sample based synths has been both hit and miss for me in the past. The best ones in that category has been Skrock Music synths for me.

I wonder what the price will be for this if you buy the optional hardware control.

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MannequinRaces
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27 Nov 2017

TritoneAddiction wrote:
27 Nov 2017
I wonder what the price will be for this if you buy the optional hardware control.
The hardware is a Behringer BCR2000 with stickers that you buy from Konarie. As of now I don't see the point in buying hardware to control this... I could be wrong though and maybe it's a match made in heaven. Call me cautiously optimistic at this point.

TritoneAddiction
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27 Nov 2017

MannequinRaces wrote:
27 Nov 2017
TritoneAddiction wrote:
27 Nov 2017
I wonder what the price will be for this if you buy the optional hardware control.
The hardware is a Behringer BCR2000 with stickers that you buy from Konarie.
Ok, stickers feel a little cheap for a hardware unit actually, or is that common? I will be more interested to check out the RE itself anyway so it probably doesn't even matter to me.

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MannequinRaces
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27 Nov 2017

TritoneAddiction wrote:
27 Nov 2017
MannequinRaces wrote:
27 Nov 2017

The hardware is a Behringer BCR2000 with stickers that you buy from Konarie.
Ok, stickers feel a little cheap for a hardware unit actually, or is that common? I will be more interested to check out the RE itself anyway so it probably doesn't even matter to me.
I think it's common if the hardware is made by a different manufacturer than the one making software unless they are partnered up (which doesn't sound like the case).

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jayhosking
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27 Nov 2017

It's a neat idea, and the BCR2000 isn't prohibitively expensive. I probably wouldn't buy hardware for a single RE, BUT if other developers got on board with using the BCR2000, this could be potentially interesting. Imagine if you had different overlays for the BCR2000, and could use it to control something like the Legend as well!

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Catblack
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27 Nov 2017

There's a BCR2000 remotemap on the forums here that's the next-best/complete remotemap. (Besides the one for the Nektar Panorama.)

I find this synth to be interesting, though I have two general trains of through about it, without really thinking about it's sound.

First, it's an IDT device, and why the heck hasn't Propellerhead updated the IDT SDK to include CV in/out?

Second, I applaud the developer for coming up with a novel solution to what is really the most common problem when it comes to Reason, which is "what does this knob on my controller actually control on screen?" (I am tackling this problem from a different angle, but nothing public yet.)

I hope the price point on this synth isn't too dear, because I'm totally wanting it try it out.
"Let us at all costs preserve this magic peculiar to music, since of all the arts it is most susceptible to magic." - Monsieur Croche

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joeyluck
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27 Nov 2017

It's a cool and fun idea for sure.

I've been holding off for Behringer to release an X-Touch equivalent of the BCR2000. It must be in their plans right? It would be a similar layout to the BCR, but with the better build and knobs of the X32 line. Just the same as the X-Touch Compact is to the BCF2000. And now the The BCF is discontinued. I had a couple of my knobs on my BCF2000 go bad and don't have as much faith getting a controller of nothing but those knobs.

I like the sticker idea, but might be better as laminated overlays? That way you could more easily switch it up and repurpose it...and a dev could make multiple synths with the same layout ;) And then issue the different laminated overlays.

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jayhosking
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27 Nov 2017

joeyluck wrote:
27 Nov 2017
I like the sticker idea, but might be better as laminated overlays? That way you could more easily switch it up and repurpose it...and a dev could make multiple synths with the same layout ;) And then issue the different laminated overlays.
This is exactly what I was thinking, and what I had meant above. Only I would love to see plenty of developers doing it. Hah.

KonarieMusic
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27 Nov 2017

Hello, and thanks for all the great feedback!


The Chirp has many strengths:

- It is laid out in such a way that transitioning from the software RE to the hardware midi controller is familiar and seamless.

- All controls can be automated and are accessible from the front panel. No hidden menus or mod matrix. Simply sculpt (and/or play) your sound.

- The experience of using a hardware synth opens creative possibilities that are only quantifiable through experience. The user is more likely to adjust parameters and explore different aspects of synthesis with a hardware controller vs. a mouse.

- The BCR2000 (optional) was chosen as the controller of choice for many reasons - total recall capability (when you change a patch - either in the software or on the hardware - it is a 1 to 1 ratio. What you see on the controller is exactly what is going on in the RE), rotary controls with LED indicators (again, most controllers are limited in this area), universal compatibility with Propellerhead Reason (global controls like transport and track selection), economy of scale (the BCR2000 is mass produced, still available, affordable and within reach to most users). There seems to be a large quantity of them available for around $149 USD from several on-line retailers.

- The decal set was designed with performance in mind. Several different types of overlays were tested in the process and the final product is high quality, works well in performance, and is affordable.

- Unplug the hardware. Spend a few hours creating some live automation and then disconnect. Hardware is not required for the sound you create and can be tweaked at any time, even when disconnected from the hardware.

- Great sound. A custom analog oscillator was recorded using high-end equipment per-key throughout the entire standard scale (128 samples).

- Over 150 presets based on studying popular synth patches from classic hardware.


Creating music is an emotional experience. Too many obstacles can often interfere with bringing a song idea into fruition. The purpose of the Chirp is to give musicians, producers and sound designers a fresh outlook on how sound can be sculpted. Take your eyes off the monitor and focus on the sound. Disruptive ideas are what bring change.


I appreciate this community and look forward to continue to develop musical tools for the current and next generation of creative individuals.

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Faastwalker
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28 Nov 2017

Very interesting. I love this idea. I've toyed with the idea of getting a BCR2000 on many occasions. There are not too many MIDI controllers out there that offer this many knobs - the majority seem to be Ableton Live focused or combinations of keyboard + 8 knobs, sliders & buttons. That's not enough knobs for synth control! Plus the BCR2000 is very affordable & a decent build quality from what I understand. I'd love to see Behringer make a new model of the BCR2000. Maybe a better design (it's a bit of an ugly thing), slightly more compact, around the same price. I'd snap it up in a heartbeat.

As for Chirp - I understand it's an IDT, which is a little disappointing. But I really love the idea of this. Great project. I hope it works out for the developer as it's great to see this kind of focused, hardware linked device. Anything that works to get away from the mouse deserves credit in my book.I don't think we've ever really achieved the early promise & potential of hardware MIDI controllers over software instruments. There's some great devices out there, especially if your an Ableton Live user. But for hardware control of soft synths I think there's a lot of room for improvement. Chirp is certainly moving this idea in the right direction ;)

KonarieMusic
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30 Nov 2017

Here’s a video of some knob tweaking with the Chirp:


Enjoy!


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Data_Shrine
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05 Dec 2017

Cool video ! You might want to make a full track with a bunch of Chirps layers to show it off, and put some sounds examples on soundcloud for the synth' page on PH shop.

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MannequinRaces
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05 Dec 2017

Agree that this needs some audio only demos of what this thing can do... seems lazy that there aren't any yet.

TritoneAddiction
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05 Dec 2017

Just tried it. It's alright, just not the kind of sounds I'm personally looking for.

Ejectzero
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06 Dec 2017

Wow! This is an amazing concept! Imagine having all your synths in that layout and using this hardware midi device!

I don't have the faintest idea what I'm doing when turning knobs, but the 8 knob and pads of the launchkey just doesn't cut it. Its mapped nicely, but once you switch from synth a to b you got a whole new layout. This is the one feature softsynths require - hardware compatibility and similar layout!

Can't believe nobody has done this before, well done man!

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Faastwalker
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06 Dec 2017

Ejectzero wrote:
06 Dec 2017
Wow! This is an amazing concept! Imagine having all your synths in that layout and using this hardware midi device!

Can't believe nobody has done this before, well done man!
Yes, it's a great idea I think. Maybe the full price of $49 for an IDT synth will be a hard sell. I don't have a BCR-2000 .... yet! But if I did I reckon I'd give this a go just to support the concept & the developer. I still think the area of hardware / MIDI control over soft synths, which has been around almost as long as soft synth themselves, has never been close to fully realised. It's not that easy to do well for a variety of reasons. But this idea represents one very plausible solution.

Ejectzero
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Joined: 04 Dec 2017

08 Dec 2017

Faastwalker wrote:
06 Dec 2017
Ejectzero wrote:
06 Dec 2017
Wow! This is an amazing concept! Imagine having all your synths in that layout and using this hardware midi device!

Can't believe nobody has done this before, well done man!
Yes, it's a great idea I think. Maybe the full price of $49 for an IDT synth will be a hard sell. I don't have a BCR-2000 .... yet! But if I did I reckon I'd give this a go just to support the concept & the developer. I still think the area of hardware / MIDI control over soft synths, which has been around almost as long as soft synth themselves, has never been close to fully realised. It's not that easy to do well for a variety of reasons. But this idea represents one very plausible solution.
Exactly. I don't see myself ever getting any of those Ableton Push 2 like devices ever for music making, but having a desktop module that controls a softsynth is a very nice concept! I mean many softsynths sound identical to their analog counterparts for most people's purposes. I am seriously considering to get myself one of these behringer devices., I am just too broke to buy something like a korg miniglogue now.

KonarieMusic
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Joined: 27 Nov 2017

10 Dec 2017

MannequinRaces wrote:
05 Dec 2017
Agree that this needs some audio only demos of what this thing can do... seems lazy that there aren't any yet.
Thanks for the feedback! Here's a few sound clips of some of the patches from the Chirp

https://soundcloud.com/user-844024479

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