Another competitor?

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HiEnergy's picture
HiEnergy
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Another competitor?

Has anyone yet seen this?

http://www.hexachords.com/orb-composer/

Looks like another competitor for Synfire has emerged...

andre's picture
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It's not yet available, but the screenshots look beautiful. I couldn't find a hint of anything that resembles notes or symbols, though. Just blocks. From its feature descriptions, it seems to be generating music automatically from settings like style, darkness, contrast, tension and such, structuring it into sections that represent question vs. answer, etc. It's a nice concept, but given this extreme level of automation, it will probably boil down to whether you like what it composes for you, or not (built-in styles). It remains to be seen how much individual expression it will support, or if most of a style's output will sound somewhat similar.

By its appearance and claims, interested users will be inclined to compare it directly to Synfire, but it's really an other kind of tool with a completely different approach: Synfire let's you retain control, down to the level of creating, re-purposing and transforming existing material of any kind. The idea of Synfire is to build up from the ground, rather than filling-in a structure from the top with style-generated music.

That said, generative elements are still a nice thing to have, if only to quickly get something refreshing to play around with. We are working on that already for a while  (including the generation of song structures, but not limited to built-in styles). We would never sacrifice the powerful workflow freedom of Synfire for automatically generated music. Therefore, using generators and transformators will always be optional, not mandatory.

HiEnergy's picture
HiEnergy
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It's now on pre-sale: Hexachords Orb Composer

They have an introductory video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgepZSA0cdU

Indeed seems that the user has no direct influence on the music generated by this software.

Something slightly similar to Band-in-a-box... though a very sophisticated one as it seems. 

RobertoD's picture
RobertoD
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I pre-ordered it, there is an introductory offer and I'm fascinated by all the possible applications of AI to the music... :-)

iMac Retina 27” Late 2015, Logic Pro, StudioOne, Synfire, Notion, NI Komplete, Heavyocity, Altiverb, a mate (Ines) and two cats (Oliva&Spritz)

RobertoD's picture
RobertoD
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Should Cognitone produce an intelligent, Ravel-like auto-orchestrator, well: here I am 

iMac Retina 27” Late 2015, Logic Pro, StudioOne, Synfire, Notion, NI Komplete, Heavyocity, Altiverb, a mate (Ines) and two cats (Oliva&Spritz)

sofine's picture
sofine
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They have their first demo videos up now

https://youtu.be/nfWnZ55lk-0

and

https://youtu.be/1HiFF3yFBKo

 

Andre, you referred above that you are working on something generative like this for Synfire, is there an ETA on this?

duderanch's picture
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Just watched the new videos. I tried to convince them to make a demo version but they seem to think the video will be enough. From the Video its hard to determine how much control over phrases the user has. 

sofine's picture
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I asked about a demo version too, but I guess it would divert too many resources away from their team. I do think the videos give a decent feel for the software, plus they have a video coming soon where Orb controls external synths in a non-orchestral context.

I did notice a decent amount of cusomtisation per clip in both videos, where you could put (some of) your own stamp on generative music, which is a good thing. Plus the interface is beautiful. I find working in synfire to be somewhat challenging & difficult, partly due to a complex and non-intuituive UI and design, but that could just be me. I do, however, get nice results from synfire and find myself in awe of it mostly. I do think Synfire is way way more powerful than what I understand Orb to be from those videos, but I can't help wondering if orb would suit me better (again, just for me, IMO!) I'll wait to see more videos.

HiEnergy's picture
HiEnergy
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I've asked the creator of Orb Composer about how chord changes work in his program. He told me that there's one chord for each bar of music. If one needs more chords, the time signature can be changed to 1/4, which allows for one chord per quarter note. Faster chord changes aren't yet possible.

The smallest unit for tempo changes is a "block" of music, so I think that "accelerando", "ritardando", "tempo rubato" and similar tempo changes are impossible with Orb Composer.

Currently in my opinion Synfire is still way ahead of Orb Composer.

sofine's picture
sofine
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Last seen 1 month 9 hours ago

That's not ideal. I like the way you can move chord changes around quite freely in Synfire.

 

Also, from looking through some Facebook messages it seems there will be a demo made available, but just not until after the pre-order special pricing has closed!

duderanch's picture
duderanch
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My concern is what Andre stated " It remains to be seen how much individual expression it will support, or if most of a style's output will sound somewhat similar." Band in a box will create songs and render solos but is limited to what seems to be the same phrases placed at different places in the song. The FAQ says that Orb can import melodies. Would like to see if it will produce good harmony based on the melodic input. So many questions.... 

RobertoD's picture
RobertoD
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Last seen 3 months 3 weeks ago

As I said, I pre-ordered it on trust. Honestly, the music in those videos sounds pretty ugly and lifeless to me, but it could well be that giving to Orb a more genuine, personal raw material, who knows...

I was curious about what I suppose to be the AI side of Orb, i.e. the Intensity and Momentum curves, but they didn’t give any clue about this.

Hopefully in next videos...

iMac Retina 27” Late 2015, Logic Pro, StudioOne, Synfire, Notion, NI Komplete, Heavyocity, Altiverb, a mate (Ines) and two cats (Oliva&Spritz)

HiEnergy's picture
HiEnergy
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Last seen 1 month 1 hour ago

The music in the demos is very simple, almost boring.

I'm sure Synfire can do similar music with ease, too. Just not all by itself.

duderanch's picture
duderanch
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Last seen 1 week 6 days ago

From the questions and answers i am seeing over on gearslutz they havnt figured out that you need rewire to move the DAW playhead. Some VSTs need to synch with the host tempo. It looks like they are trying to do everything with virtual midi cable. really need a video of the inner workings of this thing.

HiEnergy's picture
HiEnergy
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Last seen 1 month 1 hour ago

I didn't find anything on Orb Composer using the gearslutz forum search. Perhaps it's my fault. Where did you find a Q&A on that software?

Nevermind... found it!

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