eXpanse, buy or not?

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kinkujin
Posts: 97
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 07 Mar 2019

Excellent choice. This is the problem (?) is there are so many good choices, and some of them lie within the included synths. I tend to overlook them which is quite silly. Don't do what I do ... learn the stuff within Reason first, then go for the REs. That would be my only advice, from a guy who should practice what he preaches. hehe

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Reasonable man
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Post 07 Mar 2019

Been a while since i opened expanse or Zero . I struggled with the envelopes first time around when trying to design a sound with a specific amp/filter envelope in mind. I eventually lied to myself that i understood them and went by ear. i will continue to lie to myself until something clicks . This is the part i hate when trying to make a sound in blamsoft synths ...still dont get the envelopes i'm afraid

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reddust
Posts: 358
Joined: 07 May 2018

Post 08 Mar 2019

I got Complex-1 as rent-to-own yesterday, and I'm very glad I did, just navigating through the presets showed me how much potential this RE has and many of the features are. also things I can imagine using on creating songs, I'm glad I gave it a second try and payed more attention to its features this time. It looks like I'm going to have some fun getting to know it better :)
kinkujin wrote:
07 Mar 2019
Excellent choice. This is the problem (?) is there are so many good choices, and some of them lie within the included synths. I tend to overlook them which is quite silly. Don't do what I do ... learn the stuff within Reason first, then go for the REs. That would be my only advice, from a guy who should practice what he preaches. hehe
Very true, I just started to watch more reason tutorials instead of watching tv series or movies a couple of weeks ago, there is still so much useful stuff in Reason I've never used or even known of. But it is also the reason why I am investing some more money in REs now too. As you said, there are many good choices, so I put a limit on my budget for rent-to-own products, which I reached yesterday purchasing Complex-1 and will save now some money until May Madness to get expanse and I think I'm good to go for a while, have now enough to learn and experiment.
Reasonable man wrote:
07 Mar 2019
Been a while since i opened expanse or Zero . I struggled with the envelopes first time around when trying to design a sound with a specific amp/filter envelope in mind. I eventually lied to myself that i understood them and went by ear. i will continue to lie to myself until something clicks . This is the part i hate when trying to make a sound in blamsoft synths ...still dont get the envelopes i'm afraid
For me almost every synth feels like that by now, as I'm a newbie using synths, but the sounds I hear on the demos are so nice that I'm just willing to learn and fight against my bad skills on using keyboards, oscillators, automations, ADSR... I hope I get to know expanse also good enough to get some nice sounds out of it :)

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Reasonable man
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Post 08 Mar 2019

Reasonable man wrote:
07 Mar 2019
Been a while since i opened expanse or Zero . I struggled with the envelopes first time around when trying to design a sound with a specific amp/filter envelope in mind. I eventually lied to myself that i understood them and went by ear. i will continue to lie to myself until something clicks . This is the part i hate when trying to make a sound in blamsoft synths ...still dont get the envelopes i'm afraid
For me almost every synth feels like that by now, as I'm a newbie using synths, but the sounds I hear on the demos are so nice that I'm just willing to learn and fight against my bad skills on using keyboards, oscillators, automations, ADSR... I hope I get to know expanse also good enough to get some nice sounds out of it :)
[/quote]

Oh yea its great sounding and probably a must have synth, but what you will notice when trying to sculpt a sound is that expanse dosn't have adsr envelopes. I think the envelopes are based on some iconic hardware where you can put the sustain stage anywhere within the envelope (even before the attack) and this gets some getting used to . If your trying to create a bell shape envelope in expanse you will scratch your head wondering how/where/or if you should put the release stage. I personally find them offputting but i havn't spent enough time on em either.

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reddust
Posts: 358
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Post 08 Mar 2019

Reasonable man wrote:
08 Mar 2019
Oh yea its great sounding and probably a must have synth, but what you will notice when trying to sculpt a sound is that expanse dosn't have adsr envelopes. I think the envelopes are based on some iconic hardware where you can put the sustain stage anywhere within the envelope (even before the attack) and this gets some getting used to . If your trying to create a bell shape envelope in expanse you will scratch your head wondering how/where/or if you should put the release stage. I personally find them offputting but i havn't spent enough time on em either.
Interesting, I hope I get to understand it when I get it and have enough time to work with it, I guess it will be the only way as I don't have almost any knowledge on iconic hardware :oops:

On the other side your definition of these envelope features sounds to me like expanse may have an advantage over other synths by offering more freedom when applying this filters, or did I understand this wrong?

zoidkirb
Posts: 100
Joined: 18 Nov 2018

Post 08 Mar 2019

reddust wrote:
08 Mar 2019
Reasonable man wrote:
08 Mar 2019
Oh yea its great sounding and probably a must have synth, but what you will notice when trying to sculpt a sound is that expanse dosn't have adsr envelopes. I think the envelopes are based on some iconic hardware where you can put the sustain stage anywhere within the envelope (even before the attack) and this gets some getting used to . If your trying to create a bell shape envelope in expanse you will scratch your head wondering how/where/or if you should put the release stage. I personally find them offputting but i havn't spent enough time on em either.


On the other side your definition of these envelope features sounds to me like expanse may have an advantage over other synths by offering more freedom when applying this filters, or did I understand this wrong?
The envelopes in eXpanse (and Europa and many other such synths) are superior in every way imo to a bog standard adsr in terms of options and nuanced control.

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dusan.cani
Posts: 96
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Location: Slovakia

Post 10 Mar 2019

zoidkirb wrote:
08 Mar 2019
The envelopes in eXpanse (and Europa and many other such synths) are superior in every way imo to a bog standard adsr in terms of options and nuanced control.
But the downside is that you cannot automate attack and decay stages. As I noticed in the Expanse, you can only route envelope rate as modulation destination in the matrix. And then you can control it by MW for example. But it is not the same as automating attack or decay envelope stages. But maybe there is some way how to automate attack or decay, any thoughts ?

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aeox
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Post 10 Mar 2019

dusan.cani wrote:
10 Mar 2019
zoidkirb wrote:
08 Mar 2019
The envelopes in eXpanse (and Europa and many other such synths) are superior in every way imo to a bog standard adsr in terms of options and nuanced control.
But the downside is that you cannot automate attack and decay stages. As I noticed in the Expanse, you can only route envelope rate as modulation destination in the matrix. And then you can control it by MW for example. But it is not the same as automating attack or decay envelope stages. But maybe there is some way how to automate attack or decay, any thoughts ?
There is a way to automate ADSR for eXpanse env.

You have to record automation and move it manually with mouse and it will make an automation lane for them

zoidkirb
Posts: 100
Joined: 18 Nov 2018

Post 10 Mar 2019

aeox wrote:
10 Mar 2019
dusan.cani wrote:
10 Mar 2019


But the downside is that you cannot automate attack and decay stages. As I noticed in the Expanse, you can only route envelope rate as modulation destination in the matrix. And then you can control it by MW for example. But it is not the same as automating attack or decay envelope stages. But maybe there is some way how to automate attack or decay, any thoughts ?
There is a way to automate ADSR for eXpanse env.

You have to record automation and move it manually with mouse and it will make an automation lane for them
very true. and there's always the good old combinator programmer, or just simply creating the lane you want from the automate menu in the sequencer. sadly i think you can't automate level, only time. it'd be quite nice to be able to automate the envelope "editor presets" too.

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Oquasec
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Post 10 Mar 2019

Tbh anything past subtractor is overkill. Doesn't matter what synth you get it will be overkill compared to the subtractor.
The expanse is nuts, get it.
Producer/Sound Designer.
Currently checking out peff & hydlide's archives
https://audiomack.com/artist/cricksyn/playlists

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dusan.cani
Posts: 96
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Location: Slovakia

Post 10 Mar 2019

aeox wrote:
10 Mar 2019

There is a way to automate ADSR for eXpanse env.

You have to record automation and move it manually with mouse and it will make an automation lane for them
Great, it works, thanks !

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dusan.cani
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Location: Slovakia

Post 10 Mar 2019

Is it possible to do the same for Europa ? The automation doesn't exist if I hit record and move the envelope stages. BTW Europa also does not provide automation for all ON/OFF parameters which is really strange. Especially if you build some combi patch and want to assign "toggle on/off" for various sections of synth.

zoidkirb
Posts: 100
Joined: 18 Nov 2018

Post 10 Mar 2019

dusan.cani wrote:
10 Mar 2019
Is it possible to do the same for Europa ? The automation doesn't exist if I hit record and move the envelope stages. BTW Europa also does not provide automation for all ON/OFF parameters which is really strange. Especially if you build some combi patch and want to assign "toggle on/off" for various sections of synth.
afaik no. and that's just something that set's expanse apart from europa even though overall they're both capable of similar sounds, eXpanse has a big advantage when it comes to mod/automation/cv options.

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dusan.cani
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Location: Slovakia

Post 11 Mar 2019

Despite of its full arsenal of features, I miss one thing in the Expanse:

Post filter per voice drive/shaper.

Although its distortion at the end of the chain sounds delicious and can be used for mono sounds the per voice drive/shaper is far more flexible as it is usable for polyphonic sounds as well.

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Loque
Posts: 5519
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Post 11 Mar 2019

dusan.cani wrote:
11 Mar 2019
Despite of its full arsenal of features, I miss one thing in the Expanse:

Post filter per voice drive/shaper.

Although its distortion at the end of the chain sounds delicious and can be used for mono sounds the per voice drive/shaper is far more flexible as it is usable for polyphonic sounds as well.
You can build a filter in the EQ section where you also find the additive part.
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

two shoes
Posts: 232
Joined: 13 Jul 2018

Post 11 Mar 2019

antic604 wrote:
07 Mar 2019
reddust wrote:
06 Mar 2019
BTW, what do you people think of Robotic Bean Resonans? I know is pretty different from eXpanse and the others we've talked about but as I want to mix traditional sounds (using VSTs) with electronic sounds (using all kind of synths, and here is where eXpanse came as an option) in my music, this one seems to be like the perfect tool to make transitions between these kind of sounds or create sounds that are kind of in the middle of both worlds.
On the face of it, Resonans seems like a very interesting idea - the demos certainly sound very appealing.

But once I actually tried it, I somehow only could come up with one type of sound - metallic, bell-like timbres no matter what I used as a source and which resonator I chose... It's very likely I don't understand it though, as I know it has many fans around here. Definitely try it out!
i hadn't used Resonans much prior to it's recent 2.0 update, but i gave it another look following the update and it's really grown on me. it's definitely not a do-it-all synth like Expanse, but it's easily my favorite RE synth for what it specializes in which is seems to be plucks, stabs, bells, and percussive hit type sounds. it's capable of some very realistic sounds as well as attacky short envelope sounds with very rich timbres which is something i've struggled to make in other types of synths - i know FM synths are capable of that type of stuff as well but i can't program them myself to get sounds i like as much as the stuff Resonans makes very easily unless i just kind of stumble into it. i'm also a complete newbie when it comes to physical modeling synthesis, but if you use a lot of the plucky sounds Resonans excells at it's definitely worth a look in my opinion. that said, if it's a choice between Expanse and Resonans I'd go for Expanse as it's just a much more versatile synth by design.

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reddust
Posts: 358
Joined: 07 May 2018

Post 11 Mar 2019

two shoes wrote:
11 Mar 2019
i hadn't used Resonans much prior to it's recent 2.0 update, but i gave it another look following the update and it's really grown on me. it's definitely not a do-it-all synth like Expanse, but it's easily my favorite RE synth for what it specializes in which is seems to be plucks, stabs, bells, and percussive hit type sounds. it's capable of some very realistic sounds as well as attacky short envelope sounds with very rich timbres which is something i've struggled to make in other types of synths - i know FM synths are capable of that type of stuff as well but i can't program them myself to get sounds i like as much as the stuff Resonans makes very easily unless i just kind of stumble into it. i'm also a complete newbie when it comes to physical modeling synthesis, but if you use a lot of the plucky sounds Resonans excells at it's definitely worth a look in my opinion. that said, if it's a choice between Expanse and Resonans I'd go for Expanse as it's just a much more versatile synth by design.
Yeah, I've put it in my rent-to-own list of purchases and have been testing it on the weekend as well as listening to the demos on the internet. I really like that feature of Resonans and it suits perfectly my needs as I'm trying to mix some traditional instruments and realistic sounds together with more modern and electronic types of sounds, so this is a must have for me. And I've seen that Parsec also does a very good job with this :)

Expanse is one of the synths I plan to use when getting into more pure electronic parts, as my idea is to mix both worlds (classic and electronic) in different ways, meaning there will be parts where the sound might pretty much electronic. Expanse seems to be a nice choice when getting into that kind of sounds.

scratchnsnifff
Posts: 1256
Joined: 21 Sep 2016

Post 14 Mar 2019

Reasonable man wrote:
07 Mar 2019
Been a while since i opened expanse or Zero . I struggled with the envelopes first time around when trying to design a sound with a specific amp/filter envelope in mind. I eventually lied to myself that i understood them and went by ear. i will continue to lie to myself until something clicks . This is the part i hate when trying to make a sound in blamsoft synths ...still dont get the envelopes i'm afraid
I click in the bottom part of the envelope and set it to editor. From there just draw your shape, and set it as a sync’d rate

And in the mod matrix just route mod env 1 to something like the modifier knobs, table position or filters.
If you are having trouble with anything expanse related just shoot me a PM and I could send some example patches 👍 expanse really is the most in depth synth in the shop.

Fm,RM, wavetable, a hint of additive, and karplus strong all in one box. Subtractive being there as well.

I still hope to see blamsoft make another release, but what they currently have is gold
Mayor of plucktown :evil:

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Reasonable man
Posts: 343
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Post 14 Mar 2019

scratchnsnifff wrote:
14 Mar 2019
Reasonable man wrote:
07 Mar 2019
Been a while since i opened expanse or Zero . I struggled with the envelopes first time around when trying to design a sound with a specific amp/filter envelope in mind. I eventually lied to myself that i understood them and went by ear. i will continue to lie to myself until something clicks . This is the part i hate when trying to make a sound in blamsoft synths ...still dont get the envelopes i'm afraid
I click in the bottom part of the envelope and set it to editor. From there just draw your shape, and set it as a sync’d rate

And in the mod matrix just route mod env 1 to something like the modifier knobs, table position or filters.
If you are having trouble with anything expanse related just shoot me a PM and I could send some example patches 👍 expanse really is the most in depth synth in the shop.

Fm,RM, wavetable, a hint of additive, and karplus strong all in one box. Subtractive being there as well.

I still hope to see blamsoft make another release, but what they currently have is gold
Thanks man will do.
I think it was mainly just the sustain and relese on those envelopes that confused me , i think i remember discovering that you can take out the sustain stage out altogether which is appropiate for some kinds of sounds but at the time i think i rememeber just not wanting to re-learn how envelopes work just for one synth.
I did google it but never found a video expalining expanse'e adsr envelope design (usually hydlide would have covered it) still really wish someone would make a video expalining the exact science of em lol

scratchnsnifff
Posts: 1256
Joined: 21 Sep 2016

Post 14 Mar 2019

Reasonable man wrote:
14 Mar 2019
scratchnsnifff wrote:
14 Mar 2019


I click in the bottom part of the envelope and set it to editor. From there just draw your shape, and set it as a sync’d rate

And in the mod matrix just route mod env 1 to something like the modifier knobs, table position or filters.
If you are having trouble with anything expanse related just shoot me a PM and I could send some example patches 👍 expanse really is the most in depth synth in the shop.

Fm,RM, wavetable, a hint of additive, and karplus strong all in one box. Subtractive being there as well.

I still hope to see blamsoft make another release, but what they currently have is gold
Thanks man will do.
I think it was mainly just the sustain and relese on those envelopes that confused me , i think i remember discovering that you can take out the sustain stage out altogether which is appropiate for some kinds of sounds but at the time i think i rememeber just not wanting to re-learn how envelopes work just for one synth.
I did google it but never found a video expalining expanse'e adsr envelope design (usually hydlide would have covered it) still really wish someone would make a video expalining the exact science of em lol
I find that synths like px7 help, because you get the faders with the graphic above. However expanse is different because you just use the graphic.

Also in expanse you can just slide the numerical values instead of drawing the envelopes. Don’t focus so much on sustain timing because it only makes a difference if your sustained point is lower or higher (vertically) highest sustain means it’s at full volume, lowest sustain means lowest volume. In this example your attack and decay will shape the sound and the note will only play according to the attack and decay,

I say just mess with them, and I like to just use the envelopes as LFOs with the loop function

Expanse has so much to offer that it really is worth the time learning :)
Mayor of plucktown :evil:

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Reasonable man
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Post 16 Mar 2019

Cheers apreciate the help

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reddust
Posts: 358
Joined: 07 May 2018

Post 16 Mar 2019

one more short question, now that Reason 10.3 is around the corner and VSTs are supposed to get a mucht better performance, which one would you go for in case that VSTs run near as good as REs in Reason, eXpanse or Serum?

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moneykube
Posts: 1848
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 16 Mar 2019

had many performance issues with expanse re... never tried vst if there is one... always have to bounce expanse, zero vk11, and a few others my pain meds won't allow me to remember... morphine is a weird pain killer for sure

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Oquasec
Posts: 2341
Joined: 05 Mar 2017

Post 16 Mar 2019

Learning subtractor is a good reason to learn expanse.
Worlds apart in how they process & generate audio so expanse is definitely overkilling.
Producer/Sound Designer.
Currently checking out peff & hydlide's archives
https://audiomack.com/artist/cricksyn/playlists

zoidkirb
Posts: 100
Joined: 18 Nov 2018

Post 16 Mar 2019

reddust wrote:
16 Mar 2019
one more short question, now that Reason 10.3 is around the corner and VSTs are supposed to get a mucht better performance, which one would you go for in case that VSTs run near as good as REs in Reason, eXpanse or Serum?
I don't own Serum but have used the demo a bit and seen/read quite a bit and I'd say at this point it's still the best of those monster wavetable synths. Damn expensive though. There is one big advantage of eXpanse of course in Reason and that's the back of the rack cv options. Anyway most typical users can pull similar sounds from both synths especially as you can freely import the waves. Serum has powerful waves table editing, if you're deep diving further into sound design

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