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Author Topic: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?  (Read 8923 times)

machinesworking

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   I was super excited to see that Arturia bothered to get M1 Rosetta compatibility for Spark 2. A glimmer of hope.

I've been lamenting this for years now, despite all of it's shortcomings, for drum programming with a controller inside a DAW, nothing beats Spark. I've tried the MPC Live, Maschine, Geist, all of them really. I keep coming back.

 What would it take to get Arturia to be interested in developing Spark again? I think they're pretty close to being the perfect solution to using a software drum machine in a DAW, and IMO that's a huge selling point, Maschine, MPC etc. are horribly clunky when used in any DAW, and even as is, five years since a big update, Spark is still easier to deal with than it's nearest competition.

 Hardware has serious limitations when it comes to libraries of samples for samplers and drum machines, software has been better, but a good controller like SparkLE and software is a solid solution. Anyway I just hate that I fear an update to the OS might kill it some day. :(

019297

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2021, 09:15:47 pm »
i am with you, spark can be amazing. Much better than Geist, I tried that one!

ArpHowl

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2021, 12:04:59 pm »
Spark 2 is indeed still my favorite Drumcomputer, so to say, for someone that works completely ITB.
compatiblity issues are less on a Windows system, and Spark 2 is still impressive.

i use Spark 2 in combination with the 'old' CDM controller.

a bigger UI, some improvements, et voila; you have it!

i have Maschine (the ecosystem MK3+Jam), Punch 2, both are also great. i also use Noise Engineering for drums. Battery 4 (of course...).

but indeed, in the end i always come back to Spark 2!

the modelling! the kits, the great controller! (hope if there are plans to develop it, it won't break the compatibility with the CDM.... of course).

also for making your own drumkits. i have different approaches for making drums or drumrythms, in the latter case, i don't use a drumcomputer, because, i must control it in other ways.

i can only repaet; for drum programming with a controller inside a DAW, noting beats spark. Maschine is a good second, but still...

Spark 2 is amazing1 give it some attention, Arturia, you can do it!
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Mouette

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2021, 09:05:20 pm »
I was asking about a good drum machine in a Facebook group and when I mentioned I own Arturia software and hardware they mentioned Spark 2. I look around but only see a price for the Spark software but no price for the hardware. I am assuming the SparkLE hardware has been discontinued?
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artao

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2022, 09:55:12 pm »
I'm pretty sure yes.
The software is no longer being developed either.
The CDM controller is much better with which to use the software, tho also a good deal larger. You're best looking for it on eBay. I got a great deal on my CDM there numerous years ago.
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PaulH

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2022, 12:12:31 pm »
Spark is still my go-to drum VST.
Even if Arturia have stopped developing Spark, they still need to have a drum machine as part of their V Collection.
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MajorFubar

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2022, 11:45:54 am »
Much to my dismay Spark has been abandoned since V Collection 5 was launched.
Personally I don't understand it; V Collection was once sold as a virtual studio in a box, everything you need, including the Spark drum machine. Then from V Collection 5 onwards, Spark became omitted, then abandoned with no updates since 2018.
I can only think Arturia thought it overlapped too much with their hardware drum-machines.
But for those of us who produce in-the-box, it's been pretty sad to see it abandoned and watch it rust.
I'm thankful they have at least produced an ARM conversion.
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artao

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2022, 10:54:34 am »
It was like pulling teeth just to get that final update patch, which definitely helped a few things.
Seeing how the SparkLE hardware is still available for sale new, it SHOULD have a notice that it is no longer under active development.
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noou

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2022, 11:08:13 pm »
well, they've just ported Spark to Apple M1, so it's not totally dead

wpostma

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2022, 07:13:32 am »
It is also a shame that the Spark 2 software has no midi learn capability and can't be told to connect to other things.

It is a shame that the BeatStep Pro is even less capable of working with the Spark software than the non-pro original Beatstep was, which was kind of a super cheap and fun way to use Spark 2.

It is a shame that Spark 2 is ignored, relegated to a never updated product,  yet still priced at $149 for just the software, when if you paid for that and then found that it can't be midi-learned to work with your own chosen controllers, it would infuriate you.

Thankfully I just tried the demo and realized what a sad rotten bit of trash this software is in 2022.   Perhaps if you can get the hardware that it goes with, it's still useful.

But as a software application, it's sad that Arturia has let things go to rust and ruin.

GlennH

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2022, 08:51:00 am »
well, they've just ported Spark to Apple M1, so it's not totally dead

It looks like they just made it work in Rosetta, not M1 native.
I've been looking around for drum synths, and Spark 2 is my favorite, but...  :(
Next best thing seems to be Punch 2. Any other contenders? Not a fan of purely sample based solutions.

artao

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2022, 09:52:12 pm »
Yeah. It's pretty shady that they're still selling this, particularly since they don't make it clear that it is no longer developed or maintained.
And yeah. It's WAY better with the hardware. I'm fortunate enough to have the full CDM controller. Very smooth workflow .. mostly.
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telecode

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2022, 12:48:15 pm »
Hello. It would be great to see Arturia inject new life into Spark. I am a machine and Heartbeat user and had Spark in my collection for a long time but only recently started delving into it. Spark 2 has become  my goto drum machine. It sounds great and easy to use.

bkg2018

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2022, 01:17:25 pm »
The way I see it as an experimented developer, Spark2 source code is probably totally isolated from the rest of Arturia's software code. You guess this by the look of its user interface which is very specific and not scalable, but also by the lack of common features with the V Collection instruments.

Making it evolve into a Spark3 is probably not just a matter of injecting some life.

When a software has an independent source code base, it becomes expensive to assign developers to it. You need dedicated peoples for the user interface, the sound engine, support... and they can become totally devoted to a product which doesn't necessarily sells a lot anymore. Arturia V collection instruments shows an consistent user interface and set of features with probably a great proportion of code sharing, making it possible to maintain even the oldest products but Spark2 doesn't benefit from that and needs specific maintenance.

There's also a possibility that major Spark2 developers left the company and depending on the source code state, the code retro-analysis can  lead to "how can it work?" and "what does this code do?" enigmas, if not deadends. Stilll they managed to rebuild the macOS version for the M1, which means that Spark2 code is compatible with recent XCode compilers so the code is not THAT out of maintainability.

In my humble opinion, going for a Spark3 would mean AT LEAST a total re-engineering to integrate the common user interface, sound engine, MIDI management, interfaces to the DAWs, communication with other Arturia products (MIDI control center), compatibility with Spark2 features etc. Considering DrumBrute and their recent hybrid and hardware products, I'm not sure it's in Arturia's strategy - and interest - to spend time and ressources on an isolated software product like Spark.

It can also be a marketing decision not to push Spark2 anymore, in order to push Brute products and V Collection. Or maybe a new software drum machine is in development and Spark2 would be on its way. Or it's a problem with licensing some stuff which forbids Arturia to draw a new product from Spark2. A lot of non-technical issues can stop a product life.

In fact, if I were at Arturia, I would maybe consider rebuilding a Spark 3 from scratch using the common code base rather than re-engineer it, or even orient it as an hybrid product like Microfreak, taking care not to be in competition with DrumBrute though.

It's a shame that Spark2 is at end-of-life as it still rocks as a drum machine even by today's standards but products have to die some day or your product line is frozen and the competition takes advantage of it. Compare this to the cute Analog Factory software I think I bought in 2006, which ultimately became Analog Lab but wasn't maintain anymore by itself at some point so it would leave the place for the Analog Lab line.

MajorFubar

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Re: What would it take for Arturia to start developing Spark again?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2022, 06:07:38 pm »
The way I see it as an experimented developer, Spark2 source code is probably totally isolated from the rest of Arturia's software code. You guess this by the look of its user interface which is very specific and not scalable, but also by the lack of common features with the V Collection instruments.

Making it evolve into a Spark3 is probably not just a matter of injecting some life.

When a software has an independent source code base, it becomes expensive to assign developers to it. You need dedicated peoples for the user interface, the sound engine, support... and they can become totally devoted to a product which doesn't necessarily sells a lot anymore. Arturia V collection instruments shows an consistent user interface and set of features with probably a great proportion of code sharing, making it possible to maintain even the oldest products but Spark2 doesn't benefit from that and needs specific maintenance.

There's also a possibility that major Spark2 developers left the company and depending on the source code state, the code retro-analysis can  lead to "how can it work?" and "what does this code do?" enigmas, if not deadends. Stilll they managed to rebuild the macOS version for the M1, which means that Spark2 code is compatible with recent XCode compilers so the code is not THAT out of maintainability.

In my humble opinion, going for a Spark3 would mean AT LEAST a total re-engineering to integrate the common user interface, sound engine, MIDI management, interfaces to the DAWs, communication with other Arturia products (MIDI control center), compatibility with Spark2 features etc. Considering DrumBrute and their recent hybrid and hardware products, I'm not sure it's in Arturia's strategy - and interest - to spend time and ressources on an isolated software product like Spark.

It can also be a marketing decision not to push Spark2 anymore, in order to push Brute products and V Collection. Or maybe a new software drum machine is in development and Spark2 would be on its way. Or it's a problem with licensing some stuff which forbids Arturia to draw a new product from Spark2. A lot of non-technical issues can stop a product life.

In fact, if I were at Arturia, I would maybe consider rebuilding a Spark 3 from scratch using the common code base rather than re-engineer it, or even orient it as an hybrid product like Microfreak, taking care not to be in competition with DrumBrute though.

It's a shame that Spark2 is at end-of-life as it still rocks as a drum machine even by today's standards but products have to die some day or your product line is frozen and the competition takes advantage of it. Compare this to the cute Analog Factory software I think I bought in 2006, which ultimately became Analog Lab but wasn't maintain anymore by itself at some point so it would leave the place for the Analog Lab line.
All this is true but only because they've allowed it to get that way. Spark 2 had the look and feel of V Collection 4 of which it was a part. V Collection 5 brought a new look and feel, with scalable interfaces and the preset browser in a second behind the scenes screen. And that's when they no longer included Spark 2 as part of the collection. Since then the look and feel of Arturia apps (other than Analog Lab) have really only seen minor revisions.

You're right that the rust is way too structural now for an economic patch-up, and that is unfortunately a big shame.
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