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Author Topic: My experience with my new Laboratory 61  (Read 5921 times)

trappar

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My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« on: June 01, 2012, 09:09:17 am »
Just picked this up on Hello Music for what I thought was a pretty good deal. Now after using it for just a day I can see that in its current state, I should not have bought this.

I know there is already a running list of bugs, but I thought I'd share mine anyways (power in numbers).

1. When starting the Analog Laboratory VST inside Ableton Live 8.3, it hangs about 50% of the time, and will only respond by manually killing the ableton process in the task manager (Windows of course). Once I attempt to kill it, Ableton asks if I want to save my work and the Analog Factory VST suddenly responds.

2. Sometimes loading an Arturia VST while another one is playing a note throws a fatal error.

3. Category and Preset knobs will not work unless I'm using the stand-alone mode (but what use is that really?).

4. The keys feel good, but their velocity curves are all kinds of messed up. It seems like they respond well between 0-80 or so and then jump straight up to 127.'

5. Analog Factory says "Click on PREFS to enable full plugin" on all plugins, even if they are enabled in the preferences.

6. I've had more DAW-crashing errors since trying to use your software than any time I can remember.

I can't even quantify the number of problems I've had (and in one day!): hanging notes, loud popping while switching between presets (possibly damaging my monitors because I didn't think to put a limiter on what I thought was decent software), crashes, feedback loops, inconsistent UI (popup windows that should explain features seem to come and go as they please)

Overall the most annoying thing is the Category and Preset buttons. I wouldn't care at all if this wasn't supposed to be an integrated hardware/software combo. I bought this specifically so I wouldn't have to touch my computer keyboard while selecting and tweaking synths... and that entire feature is worthless without the use of the category and preset knobs.

I'd sit on my hands and wait for an update, but just looking through your responses in this forum, it doesn't seem as though one is coming (or it already came?). Due to the software bundle (the four free soft-synths one), I highly doubt I will be able to return the keyboard. I'll probably be posting about this on my blog so as to warn potential buyers of this money trap.

Koshdukai

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Re: My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 02:58:20 pm »
Reading all of these complaints about the software (because I don't own that controller) I must consider myself the luckiest user out there... because I have no issues whatsoever with Analog Factory 1.3.1 VST2.4(32bit) running under Ableton Live 8.3 (32bit) on a Windows 7 64bit with various ASIO audio interfaces and other controllers (one of which is in fact a Factory32).

So... when I read these posts I kinda cringe a bit not knowing what to say about it but that.

About the only Arturia keyboard controller I have, the Factory32, the only "complain" of sorts that I could have is how the Channel Aftertouch is triggered (I love the way the M-Audio Axiom implementes physically the Channel Aftertouch triggering) but I consider those as model/brand characteristics so I can't complain that much about this.

Another "complaint" that I would love to see fixed (in fact, it's a suggestion that I would love to see implemented) relates to the Shift button not sending anything out, no CC nor SysEx msg which is a lost opportunity when using this keyb as a generic controller.

And that's about all I have to say on this matter... if asked :)

Manuel

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Re: My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 11:06:14 pm »
Hi trappar,

first I have to say: I totally agree with your oppinion! Even if the sound is great and the controller is nice, the comunication between them is pretty much a mess in many ways!

1. When starting the Analog Laboratory VST inside Ableton Live 8.3, it hangs about 50% of the time, and will only respond by manually killing the ableton process in the task manager (Windows of course). Once I attempt to kill it, Ableton asks if I want to save my work and the Analog Factory VST suddenly responds.

This is probably a RAM or CPU issue. The Analog Laboratory software needs a lot of your CPU capacity and therefore you should turn off every unneeded backround process. If possible configure a second hardware profile for music production (WinXP only!)

Read this thread for more infos! You'll maybe find some good ideas there.

2. Sometimes loading an Arturia VST while another one is playing a note throws a fatal error.

Thats pretty much the same probleme as the first one.

3. Category and Preset knobs will not work unless I'm using the stand-alone mode (but what use is that really?).

This is an translation issue between the host and the hosted plugin.
If you want to move through the library in VST mode, you can use two buttons to go up and down the preset-list. Only the "filter-section" on the left is not controllable via MIDI.

FunctionButtonModeCC Number
Move UpCategory Button   Control
20
Move Down   Preset ButtonControl
21

4. The keys feel good, but their velocity curves are all kinds of messed up. It seems like they respond well between 0-80 or so and then jump straight up to 127.'

I can't say much about this, because I usually post-adjust the velocity in Live after recording, but there are different velocity curves available in setup mode. (Setup>7/Curve/Velocity)

5. Analog Factory says "Click on PREFS to enable full plugin" on all plugins, even if they are enabled in the preferences.

This is something new to me, but hey I can't have all the problems... we have to share!  ;D

No seriously, is this happening only in VST mode or in standalone mode too?

6. I've had more DAW-crashing errors since trying to use your software than any time I can remember.

This is something I can absolutelly confirm and I know it sucks and kills all the fun, but you have to be prepared for system crashes too maybe. Different setups can cause a lot of trouble when you switch between them and then open the plug in again! Be carefull!  8)

I can't even quantify the number of problems I've had (and in one day!): hanging notes, loud popping while switching between presets (possibly damaging my monitors because I didn't think to put a limiter on what I thought was decent software), crashes, feedback loops, inconsistent UI (popup windows that should explain features seem to come and go as they please)

Mostly CPU and RAM related things! I use the The Laboratory + V-Collection 2 and The Player on a 2003 build singl core Pentium4 with 2.8GHz and 3GB RAM under Windows XP SP3, but I have configured two hardware profiles to get the most out of this very (very very) old machine. ;)

Overall the most annoying thing is the Category and Preset buttons. I wouldn't care at all if this wasn't supposed to be an integrated hardware/software combo. I bought this specifically so I wouldn't have to touch my computer keyboard while selecting and tweaking synths... and that entire feature is worthless without the use of the category and preset knobs.
....

I was thinking just like you, but fortunately I own the AE 25 The Player too and just tried the settings that are used on this software, and they are working... pretty much!  ;D

I'd sit on my hands and wait for an update, but just looking through your responses in this forum, it doesn't seem as though one is coming (or it already came?). Due to the software bundle (the four free soft-synths one), I highly doubt I will be able to return the keyboard. I'll probably be posting about this on my blog so as to warn potential buyers of this money trap.

There was an update for the Analog Series (The Player, The Factory, The Laboratory) announced to be released in April or May, but I've not yet heard any news about it. I guess it takes the developers a little bit longer to weed out all the bugs. Hopefully we get news this month!

Best regards,

Manuel

trappar

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Re: My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2012, 09:15:42 am »
Thanks for the comprehensive response Manuel!

I would be okay with accepting that many of these issues are CPU/Ram based.. but here are my computer's specs:

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
CPU: Core i7 950 3.07gHz (overclocked at 3.4gHz stable)
RAM: 12GB triple-channel DDR3 1600

As for the issue of not being able to get into the full plugins, I'm now not sure if that's an issue or just bad UI design. If I click "Edit" on a sound, and then "Open", it pulls up the actual version, but even on that page it says (directly adjacent to the open button) "Click PREFS to enable full plugin".

I hope they do release an update, but  these problems really shouldn't have gone so long without being fixed. I just can't imagine releasing a product like this with some many issues! The hardware itself seems too high-quality to have small issues like this be its downfall.

Koshdukai

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Re: My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 08:50:17 pm »
I would be okay with accepting that many of these issues are CPU/Ram based.. but here are my computer's specs:

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
CPU: Core i7 950 3.07gHz (overclocked at 3.4gHz stable)
RAM: 12GB triple-channel DDR3 1600

As I said, have no issues on both an i7 1.7~2.0GHz laptop with 8Gb running Win7 Home
and on a even less powerful Core2 Duo T7300 2.0GHz with 3Gb running XP 32bit, so... maybe there's something going on with your setup, drivers, what's running in the background etc, relating with Live+Arturia's instabilities.

It's really kinda weird, reading about all these issues and fortunately not experience them.

Numanoid

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Re: My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 12:54:38 pm »
Reading all of these complaints about the software (because I don't own that controller) I must consider myself the luckiest user out there...

So... when I read these posts I kinda cringe a bit not knowing what to say about it but that.

About the only Arturia keyboard controller I have, the Factory32

But didn't you read the topic ???

This is issues with the 61 key version. Good for you that the Factory 32 keys works, but that is a completely different machine

Koshdukai

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Re: My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 02:39:51 pm »
Reading all of these complaints about the software (because I don't own that controller) I must consider myself the luckiest user out there...

So... when I read these posts I kinda cringe a bit not knowing what to say about it but that.

About the only Arturia keyboard controller I have, the Factory32

But didn't you read the topic ???

This is issues with the 61 key version. Good for you that the Factory 32 keys works, but that is a completely different machine
I thought your issues were with the software *and* hardware.

I commented on the same software you have, Analog Laboratory that I use without any issues.

Then, I added, the the only hardware from Arturia that I have is Factory32 and Spark and those too work flawlessly, knowing that those aren't the 61 keys controller you have.

So, if you want, forget what I said about the hardware, and just read about what I said about my laptop specs running Analog Laboratory... *THE SOFTWARE*.

Which makes me wonder if you have your (software) setup well configured and optimized to run professional music applications in there without any needless background processes stealing resources (CPU+RAM).

trappar

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Re: My experience with my new Laboratory 61
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 04:43:29 am »
My system is quite stable. I've rarely had issues with Live crashing (before this), but those have all been due to unstable VSTs. Live doesn't sandbox VSTs to their own threads/processes so any error a VST makes will crash Live. In this respect, the Analog Laboratory VST and Arturia's other emulated synths crashing are an exception, not the norm.

As for my computer, I have enough memory and CPU to go around. For example, I just started Live (with the following VSTs loaded: Analog Factory, ARP2600, Jupiter, MiniMg), I'm listening to music, and I have a web browser open with quite a few tabs -  here are my current stats:
CPU: ~10% used
RAM: 6.4gb free (and 8.6gb available)

The computer this is running on is the absolute best case scenario. Loads of CPU, RAM, and blazing-fast hard drives. (system is running off a SATA3 SSD, music files are being loaded from a RAID 5 array), so please stop patronizing me with the incessant comments about how my computer must not be able to handle this software.

The software is buggy and is crashing, and the hardware does not communicate with the hardware properly. The category/preset bug in Live is actually known by Arturia (their tech support commented on the fact that Live aggressively denies repeated MIDI commands, causing relative controls to not work), but these are all Arturia's issues, not mine.

For example, if Arturia wrote a MIDI remote script for the Laboratory 61 (in python using the Live Framework), they could have complete control over how those encoders work. It's not exceptionally difficult. In fact, if they don't fix it themselves and I'm unable to return this hardware I'll probably write it myself.

Your experiences with your Factory32 and the same set of VSTs are out of context and pointless. Your software doesn't crash, but plenty of other people have reported issues with crashing. Your setup simply may not be causing you to run into the bugs that mine is running in to. And yes, of course you can make other hardware work with this software, but that has nothing to do with this.

 

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