Peaks (and Braids) Discontinued?


#21

I don’t buy the “muscle-memory” argument without evidence to back it up. However, recognising what mode a multi-functional module is in can be an issue, especially if you have, say, six of them, each with identical knob and jack placement. But colour versions of the OLED displays are now available (albeit more expensive), and thus, say, the colour of the text labelling could be used to indicate what mode a multifunction module is in, at a glance and even in peripheral vision.

Just look at avionics. Aircraft cockpits used to be festooned with one-knob-per-function or one-button-per-function controls, each individually labelled in increasingly small fonts as the density of controls increased. Now, modern avionics uses either touch screens, which have self-labelled soft buttons, or hardware buttons positioned around the edges of screen which soft-label their functions.

The same for oscilloscopes. They used to have one per switch or knob. These days, they still have a few knobs, but even more buttons, positioned around the edge of the display, plus one or more encoders, allowing them to provide a large range of functions, which, if laid out in the old one-control-per-function style, would require one square metre of control panel space and a price equivalent to a mid-range motor vehicle. Instead, oscilloscopes are now smaller, lighter and cheaper than they ever were.


#22

Muscle memory applies to conventional instruments (keyboards, guitars etc.), where repeated complex series of movements are necessary, but I think is less a factor in a modular synth context.

a|x


#23

There is no doubt that polymorphic interfaces are superior when it comes to function density. And sure enough, with screens and dynamic labeling things get easy and fool proof to control.
However, unlike oscilloscopes and aircraft control panels, electronic instruments are designed not only to be functional but also inspirational. Visual design is as important as the functionality itself.


#24

It’s interesting that you say this, because in cars the trend has been very interesting. At one point everybody started to fill car dashboards with touchscreens and the likes, but lately everybody has moved away from it going back to good ol’knobs (especially the expensive cars). There’s various reasons for that, but one is: while driving you often rely on muscle memory to reach a control so you can do stuff without moving your eyes from the street.
Do I have scientific proof for that, nope. Not yet.

Is it really? I think it depends on the approach one has with the modular. When your aim is to create self-playing patches, then it might not be necessary at all, after all the musical creation process is somehow disconnected from the actual sound production, you can take all the time you want. But I find that if you like to play the modular, jam with it, have a more “live”, hands-on approach to patching it, then muscle memory does come into play.


#25

It’s interesting that you say this, because in cars the trend has been very interesting. At one point everybody started to fill car dashboards with touchscreens and the likes, but lately everybody has moved away from it going back to good ol’knobs (especially the expensive cars). There’s various reasons for that, but one is: while driving you often rely on muscle memory to reach a control so you can do stuff without moving your eyes from the street.
Do I have scientific proof for that, nope. Not yet.

Dynamic labelling of knobs and jacks isn’t antithetical to developing muscle memory. The knobs and the jacks don’t move - just the labelling of what they do changes as you switch from one function to another in a multi-function module. And each time you use the module for function A, the labels for the knobs and jacks are in the same places as last time you used it for function A…

But muscle memory also applies to soft buttons on touch screens. My son can write text messages and Facebook posts very rapidly on his iPhone without even glancing at the on-screen keyboard.


#26

However, unlike oscilloscopes and aircraft control panels, electronic instruments are designed not only to be functional but also inspirational. Visual design is as important as the functionality itself.

There’s no reason why InspiroBot couldn’t be hooked up to the OLED display on a nextgen multifunctional eurorack module…


#27

So, has Peaks been un-discontinued? Recontinued? Continued? It’s no longer listed under the “discontinued” section of the website.


#28

Back by popular demand, perhaps?

a|x


#29

If dealers want them you gotta say okay I guess.


#30

Discontinued forever. git merge issue in the website repo :confused:

Would never happen!


#31

Ah, OK.

I suspect it will live on in the niche world of sDIY-enthusiasts-crazy-enough-to-hand-solder-0603-smd.

a|x


#32

Not sure I fit into that category myself, though I do have several mostly-0603 PCBs in my current backlog, including a Peaks board someone gave me as a gift.

a|x


#33

Given the newest facebook post, Braids will fall into that category, too.

I must admit it hurts a little to hear a Mr. Gillet judge one of his most famous modules that way, though I applaude that (and how) things move forward.


#34

The difference is Mr Gillet knows what is coming next, we don’t :slight_smile:


#35

I know what you mean. He’s often said Braids was a false step, though, so I’m not surprised. I don’t necessarily agree, but I understand the reasoning.

I wonder which Braids algorithm will be next to be expanded into a full module, with all the CV and knob control it deserves…

I’d love to see/hear Olivier’s take on digital percussion, or a dedicated 2D wavetable oscillator, to beat the NW1.

Let’s see what he comes up with.

a|x


#36

Or a pitch and envelope-tracking module that reliably tracks voice and other monophonic instruments.

Just a random thought.

Or whatever other weird and wonderful tool to emerge from Mutable Towers.

a|x


#37

Yes, I remember the pitch tracking module was discussed before. Sounds like a typical mutable thing to do.


#38

There are a bunch of upcoming releases that are simply going to patch the holes left by the discontinued modules. It won’t be before 2019 that I’ll be able to tackle new functions/concepts.


#39

Plug the gaps but with some improvements too, especially around interface and CV control?


#40

Regarding improvements: no point releasing modules that do not take advantage of the recently available MCUs…

Oh and it doesn’t mean 1:1 replacements. The disappearance of Peaks means there’s a need for some modulations and envelopes generation. Doesn’t mean there should be a module with “option a: be an LFO. option b: be an envelope with a completely different set of controls. option c: be something that has nothing to do with envelopes”.