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Spark (2) or Spark LE?
Old 19th February 2015
  #31
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
So. I've been having a look for some second hand sparks on ebay, gum tree, Ect. The only ones being sold (and there's not that many) are the LE versions. No spark 1's (loads of knobs version controller ). Now these are ether better then the LE version and so people are holding on to them; or, these (spark 1's) didn't sell well so there ain't that many out there? What do you guys think,
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #32
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steveswisher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the synthman ➑️
So. I've been having a look for some second hand sparks on ebay, gum tree, Ect. The only ones being sold (and there's not that many) are the LE versions. No spark 1's (loads of knobs version controller ). Now these are ether better then the LE version and so people are holding on to them; or, these (spark 1's) didn't sell well so there ain't that many out there? What do you guys think,
Combination of both. It didn't sell as well because they overpriced it when it first came out ($499 I think). I have both and plan on keeping both. LE is great for portability and the big brother is built like a tank, has plenty of knobs and stays permanently connected in the studio.
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #33
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveswisher ➑️
Combination of both. It didn't sell as well because they overpriced it when it first came out ($499 I think). I have both and plan on keeping both. LE is great for portability and the big brother is built like a tank, has plenty of knobs and stays permanently connected in the studio.

I only plan to use it with my little bedroom set up. I like the fact that you get more for your money with the spark 1, but the LE takes up less space!. Swings & roundabouts I guess?.

Question. Do the midi ports on the spark 1 controller allow connection of it to a hardware sequencer for midi clock function? If not, how is this accomplished. Couldn't find this out on the Arturia Web site! Or you tube!.

Edit: Ok I just found the answer. Yes it can do it, it seems I should look harder. I found it on the Arturia forum where someone had asked the same question. Cool.

Last edited by the synthman; 19th February 2015 at 10:24 PM.. Reason: text added.
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #34
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teceem's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the synthman ➑️
Ok. So I did a bit of digging around and have now found out that the min ram requirements for spark 1 are 2 GB ram and for spark 2 (LE) are 4 GB ram. My laptop only has 2 GB ram, I've ether got to upgrade my ram or go for the spark 1....bugger lol
It doesn't matter for the hardware, the requirements for the software is all that counts. Windows Post-XP doesn't run that great on 2 GB anyway.
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #35
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teceem's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the synthman ➑️
Question. Do the midi ports on the spark 1 controller allow connection of it to a hardware sequencer for midi clock function? If not, how is this accomplished. Couldn't find this out on the Arturia Web site! Or you tube!.
You're asking if the standalone software sends midi clock to a midi output connected to the PC. (I have no idea since I only use the plugin)
I'm just saying that the Spark hardware (old big one & LE) is just a controller for the software. That Midi port is just a built-in midi interface; the connection software <-> midi out goes through the computer's OS. There's no difference between Spark's Midi Out port and the Midi Out port on a different connected Midi Interface.
Old 19th February 2015
  #36
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jabberwalky's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The Spark 1 looks like a really good way to control Ableton Drum Rack. I wish it was still available. (It seems rare on the used market as well)
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #37
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teceem ➑️
You're asking if the standalone software sends midi clock to a midi output connected to the PC. (I have no idea since I only use the plugin)
I'm just saying that the Spark hardware (old big one & LE) is just a controller for the software. That Midi port is just a built-in midi interface; the connection software <-> midi out goes through the computer's OS. There's no difference between Spark's Midi Out port and the Midi Out port on a different connected Midi Interface.
Now I'm confused, Again. Ok, so this is what I want to do simply, (I hope). I want to connect my Ensoniq Sd1 to the spark and have the spark control the Sd1 sequencer or the other way round. You know start, stop, keep in time. Can it do this and is it the way I described. ?

Edit: ill be using spark in "stand alone mode".

Last edited by the synthman; 19th February 2015 at 10:50 PM..
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #38
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teceem's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the synthman ➑️
Now I'm confused, Again. Ok, so this is what I want to do simply, (I hope). I want to connect my Ensoniq Sd1 to the spark and have the spark control the Sd1 sequencer or the other way round. You know start, stop, keep in time. Can it do this and is it the way I described. ?
I have Spark LE... hang on, I'll try it in the standalone software.
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #39
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teceem ➑️
I have Spark LE... hang on, I'll try it in the standalone software.
Sorry guys if my questions on the subject sound a bit dim. It just takes me a bit of time to get my head round these things, it comes of having Parkinsons you see
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #40
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teceem's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the synthman ➑️
Now I'm confused, Again. Ok, so this is what I want to do simply, (I hope). I want to connect my Ensoniq Sd1 to the spark and have the spark control the Sd1 sequencer or the other way round. You know start, stop, keep in time. Can it do this and is it the way I described. ?

Edit: ill be using spark in "stand alone mode".
Just tried it:
Spark Standalone 2.1 sends midi clock to my Evolver (connected to a Midex8).
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #41
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kcearl's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabberwalky ➑️
The Spark 1 looks like a really good way to control Ableton Drum Rack. I wish it was still available. (It seems rare on the used market as well)
it was flawed, and early versions had build/pad problems...but its built like a tank compare to maschine...and all those assignable knobs are great for tweakability...I reckon folks just hang on to them, I know I prolly wont sell it even if I dont use it that often. Its as close to a drum machine thats actually software.
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #42
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teceem's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I think the Beatstep Pro will be a better way to control other drum software (like Ableton Racks). Spark hardware only sequences other things by using it's software.
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teceem ➑️
Just tried it:
Spark Standalone 2.1 sends midi clock to my Evolver (connected to a Midex8).
That nice to know. Thanks for doing that m8. I have a kenton midi thru 5. I have my Ensoniq Sd1 (the controller) connected to the "in" the "thrus" connected to my other 4 synths. If I want to put the spark in there to run (clock) the Sd1, how would I do this? Any bugs in 2.1 then?


Oh and I also have a midisport 2 usb/midi interface but I don't use it. Should i?

Last edited by the synthman; 19th February 2015 at 11:12 PM..
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #44
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teceem's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the synthman ➑️
That nice to know. Thanks for doing that m8. I have a kenton midi thru 5. I have my Ensoniq Sd1 (the controller) connected to the "in" the "thrus" connected to my other 4 synths. If I want to put the spark in there to run (clock) the Sd1, how would I do this? Any bugs in 2.1 then?


Oh and I also have a midisport 2 usb/midi interface but I don't use it. Should i?
Connect the Sd1's input to any output on your PC, then select that output in the Spark software & choose 'Master'.
In case you're using Windows (no idea if the following is relevant for OSX); the Midisport is the better choice because it's multiclient. Meaning that other software can use the same output port that Spark Standalone is using.
The Midi driver for my LE is not multiclient, and I suppose it's the same for Spark 1.
Old 19th February 2015 | Show parent
  #45
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djwaxxy's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the synthman ➑️
First. Why would you want both spark 1&2 on you computer I don't know very much about them but aren't they basically the same thing.

Second. Tell me more about what you liked more about spark 1 over 2. Was it the software or the hardware or a little of both?
Spark 1 had a nicer gui and it displayed libary kits with a big picture that looked like a cd cover..spark 2 has a more basic look when browsing kits .

I too didnt like the way once i installed spark 2 it ovewritten spark 1 i really liked spark 1 and using spark 2 was like starting too learn it all over again.

I must say though spark is really good and once you get your head around it its great too create patterns in standalone mode then render those as audio ..integrating it into cubase is a different matter the hardware loses sync with the daw nearly everytime i use it and sometimes the hardware wont work at all with cubase and needs unplugging and replugging many times for it too work so now i dont bother i just record it in standalone.

Another bug theyve never fixed and it affects most arturia products is the inconsistant volumes and the way as your browsing kits the volumes will go way over 0db and distort like mad so you need too check your volume on sparks master..

Also you cant get the fullsize controller anymore arturia discontinued it ages ago you can only buy spark le but even with all its bugs i still really like spark and the spark le controller is well built and comes with a snazzy neoprene case in the box also arturia are throwing in 4 expansion packs for free and once registered they send you discounts too knock money off buying the full arturia catalogue..

Ohhhh yeah and dont forget to check out the user forums for free kits theres some brilliant ones on there.
Old 20th February 2015 | Show parent
  #46
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EDGEK8D's Avatar
I really want to like the Spark 2 software. Told myself if it was a good option I would get the controller. There are some things that I think are great, and some things which drive me to madness. Hence I never bought the controller.

I think its samples and overall sound is nice. I like the sequencer and mixer portions okay. Although I cant's seem to one click "all 16ths, or every down-beat, or every up-beat" or one click "randomize velocities".

I hate the modular thing. Great idea but poorly executed. I don't want to see all the modules floating around looking exactly like Logic's dreaded "environment". I just want to assign an LFO to a high-hat decay and be done. It seems I can't click twice or push a button twice and do it. You have to bring up modules, wire it properly, etc. That isn't fun.

Also there seems to be a lack of automation options which was the nail in the coffin.

Just seems like a lot of things that something as simple and as old as Ultrabeat can do in a snap, that Spark 2 just doesn't have. Maybe its just the difference of experience with each piece of software, but I really spent some good time with Spark 2.

Spark 2 has twice the sequencer length of UB which was way cooler, butUB is just a lot easier to get complex patterns going quickly, with crazy sequenced based modulation of unlimited parameters, and a full on drum synthesis engine with subtractive, FM, sampling, and physical modeling.

Bummer. If they step it up and make it more friendly in the next version I am in. Being able to creat twice the pattern length is really nice. I like using the software drum machines because you can't setup choke groups just dropping MIDI notes on the piano roll.
Old 20th February 2015
  #47
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🎧 5 years
Old 20th February 2015
  #48
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kcearl's Avatar
the best thing about spark, for me, is the user kits...you can round robin 6 layers on 8x2 pads...I have the goldbaby 808 (super analog) and it sounds great, ive a few other kits that Ive sampled or bought...or resampled through my own preamps and they sound great too

I just dont produce enough music to use spark every time and Ive got a few other choices...especially maschine with around 20 expansions...its a preset monster for beats
Old 20th February 2015 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Maniac
 
jabberwalky's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by teceem ➑️
I think the Beatstep Pro will be a better way to control other drum software (like Ableton Racks). Spark hardware only sequences other things by using it's software.
I've heard that the encoders on the original beatstep aren't scaled properly to control ableton macros (take 5 or so turns just to turn up a knob in ableton). Don't know from first hand experience though. Perhaps someone else has tried?
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