Melbourne Instruments NINA

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Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by t-sun »

https://www.melbourneinstruments.com/

12 Voice Polyphony.

Fully analog signal path.

Motorized recallable and automatable control panel using long lasting zero wear encoders with the feel and precision of analog pots.

Variable shape triangle oscillators. Continuously morph wave-shape between triangle and sawtooth to find new timbres. Different to a traditional blend.

4 pole transistor ladder VCF with modulatable resonance.

Huge voice-level filter overdrive.

Digital Wavetable Oscillator.

Sampling capability.

Deep Modulation Matrix. 16 sources to 27 destinations.

Patch morphing for complex expressive effects.

Stereo 4 Quadrant VCAs with Infinite Panning effects.

Onboard digital effects.

Multitimbral, layered, split, or overlapping.

Hackable Open Source software built on a powerful Raspberry Pi 4running Elk Audio OS.

https://elk.audio/audio-os/
https://github.com/elk-audio

4 x assignable combo audio + CV inputs, including 1 Mic.

Connect class compliant USB MIDI controllers directly.

Connect NINA as a class compliant USB MIDI and audio device for direct automation and integration with a DAW.

Standard DIN MIDI IN, OUT, and THRU.

4 x assignable line outputs.

Headphone output.

https://melbourne-instruments.myshopify ... ducts/nina

There was some discussion about this a few months ago, with some (including me) apprehensive about a small company putting out a synth with motorized knobs and the support that would be needed. Now we have more info:

US$3000 for the first 500 units, US$3500 after that point.

Also, it's an add-on for a Raspberry Pi 4. I have no idea how they're squaring that with a claimed 'all analog signal path'.
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Wonks »

t-sun wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:59 pm Also, it's an add-on for a Raspberry Pi 4. I have no idea how they're squaring that with a claimed 'all analog signal path'.

The signal path can easily be all-analogue with the settings being digitally controlled.

Just think of something like the first SSL 4000 series desks with computer automation from 1979. All-analogue signal path but a lot of the settings could be saved and automated. Analogue desk, but (partly) digitally controlled.

Things have got more sophisticated since then, but basically you simply replace potentiometers with rotary encoders and faders with linear encoders and switches as digital inputs which are read in by the DSP and either that value or a value from memory is sent as a suitable control voltage to control the gain of an op-amp or change the signal routing.

It’s easy to arrange for an all-analogue signal path that’s fully digitally controlled. The basic signal itself never passes through an A/D or D/A process. More complicated than having analogue controls, but if you want memory presets and computer editing, it’s necessary.

The only caveat to that may be the onboard effects, which are probably digital (but so would most outboard effects units you’d run a synth output through). But the sound generation to that point would be analogue.
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Arpangel »

My second reaction to this means that I can see advantages, the synthesis section isn’t anything new, by any means, but I’m imagining what my Moog would be like with patch memories, and these motorised knobs, amazing.
But is it worth the money? Depends what it sounds like.
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Wonks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:47 amThe signal path can easily be all-analogue with the settings being digitally controlled.

Just think of something like the first SSL 4000 series desks with computer automation from 1979. All-analogue signal path but a lot of the settings could be saved and automated. Analogue desk, but (partly) digitally controlled.

Without wanting to detract from the very valid point being made, this particular example is a poor one since the SSL4000 was not digitally controlled. It was manually controlled with a digital note taker to log (analogue) control settings.

Examples of genuinely digitally controlled consoles would include the world's first, the amazing Calrec VCS (and much later the T-series) consoles, or the Euphonix CS2000 and later CS3000 consoles.

In all of these the analogue signal path parameters (gains, faders, eq, dynamics, routing etc) were all controlled directly by digital means.

The SSL4000 simply had an additional level on every pot and switch which was used to generate positional data that could be stored and displayed on a CRT screen — a system known as Total Recall. The studio assistant could use this facility to manually match the position of every control to that of a stored condition when resetting the console for an ongoing recording or mixing project.

It was a revolutionary and very helpful facility at the time, but it really wasn't digital control, just digital note taking!
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Wonks »

Bugger! :D
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Guest »

It can't be a fully analog as two of the oscillators for each voice are digital, I guess from that point on though it may well be?
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Wonks »

I see.

“3 Oscillators per voice.
1 Analog, 1 High Resolution FPGA, 1 Digital Wavetable.”

You could argue that the signal path can still be all-analogue, even though the signal itself may be 2/3 digitally generated.

It’s all down to semantics.

The important thing is what it sounds like. There have been quite a few all-analogue synths that have sounded underwhelming, and some all-digital synths that have sounded great.
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Wonks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:28 amYou could argue that the signal path can still be all-analogue, even though the signal itself may be 2/3 digitally generated.

You don't need to argue: it's a fact. The signal from a D-A is analogue... :lol:

The important thing is what it sounds like...

THIS!
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Guest »

I think I read somewhere that they are going to open up the digital oscillator (which I think is running on the PI) so that anyone can write oscillators for it and install them onto the machine.
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by The Elf »

Seems like a shed load of money to watch knobs turn. For me it will be all about how it sounds.
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by Folderol »

[ACCOUNT DELETED] wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:03 am I think I read somewhere that they are going to open up the digital oscillator (which I think is running on the PI) so that anyone can write oscillators for it and install them onto the machine.

Well if you're running this on a Pi you might as well go the whole hog and stick Yoshimi on it - you'll get all the oscillators you could possible want :bouncy:

OK, OK got my coat. No need to shove :tongue:
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Re: Melbourne Instruments NINA

Post by t-sun »

Wonks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:47 am
t-sun wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:59 pm Also, it's an add-on for a Raspberry Pi 4. I have no idea how they're squaring that with a claimed 'all analog signal path'.

The signal path can easily be all-analogue with the settings being digitally controlled.

*NESTED QUOTE BREVITY SNIP*

The only caveat to that may be the onboard effects, which are probably digital (but so would most outboard effects units you’d run a synth output through). But the sound generation to that point would be analogue.

I should have also included the further info from elk.audio:

https://elk.audio/elk-pi-basic-dev-kit/
https://elk-audio.github.io/elk-docs/ht ... l#features

Elk Pi hat for Raspberry Pi

Texas Instruments PCM3168 audio codec, 24 Bit, 48 / 96 / 192 kHz
6 fixed analog audio inputs (2 configurable audio/CV inputs)
6 fixed analog audio outputs (2 configurable audio/CV outputs)
Headphone stereo output w/ adjustable volume
Stereo Input jack
2 fixed Control Voltage outputs
2 Gate/Trigger inputs
4 Gate/Trigger output
16 analog sensor inputs
32 digital inputs
32 digital outputs
5-poles DIN MIDI In/Out
1 I2C interface


and this, somewhat buried in the Nina specs:

Upgradable VST3 effects algorithms built on an Open Source architecture.

96kHz 24bit resolution

Parallel or Series mix modes. Parallel mode retains analog sound.

Without pictures of the actual internal hardware or specific spec listings for the chips for the VCO/VCF/VCA, there's nothing that's being offered that the Elk Audio RPi hat wouldn't be fully capable of running on its' own.

Folderol wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:33 am
[ACCOUNT DELETED] wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:03 am I think I read somewhere that they are going to open up the digital oscillator (which I think is running on the PI) so that anyone can write oscillators for it and install them onto the machine.

Well if you're running this on a Pi you might as well go the whole hog and stick Yoshimi on it - you'll get all the oscillators you could possible want :bouncy:

OK, OK got my coat. No need to shove :tongue:

You joke, but it's already capable of running Dexed and OB-XD:
https://github.com/elk-community
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