Parva first impression,


#1

Finally got my Parva after the long wait. All I gotta say is this thing is incredibly well built, a huge round of applause to you Brad and everyone else who was involved. This thing is even more well built than most synths and modules you find in store. The matte metal, knobs and overall finish is top quality. I’ve only dabbled with the synth itself but so far it sounds great!

Nothing more to add to this, as I just wanted to let you guys know that the wait so far has proven worthwhile, as this looks, feels and so far sounds like not only a labour of love but a real well built piece of machinery! I really feel that once all the backers get their paws on this beaut and we all start sharing sounds and tips, this synth will become even better.

Best of luck in the future,


#2

Completely agree, this synth is really cool! Sounds, looks, feels great! Its also light and great for traveling. Even with its currently young software version, its amazing, really looking forward to this synth over the next few months as the software matures.

Keep it spinnin!


#3

Finally got my own Parva. Very well packed and arrived in perfect condition. Thanks Brad.
Looks really great, and has a high quality feel to it. Those oled display are very very nice.

Having tried it for many hours now, I can say this though: I probably won’t be using it to make music with it just yet, unfortunately. Why? The badly tuned voices cards.
Despite having the SLOP parameter set to 0, it sounds like it is still at value 1 or 2. I can’t play an out-of-tune instrument like this, sorry.
On a DCO synth, I was expecting NO difference in frequency between each voice. Hence the need for a SLOP parameter.
To be sure that my unit wasn’t defective, I compared it with my good friend’s Parva. Same thing there also.

The Parva press release stated, and I quote: “Each of Parva’s eight voices features three digitally-controlled analog oscillators, with extremely accurate pitch…”.
For the moment at least, this isn’t true. Maybe it can be corrected with future firmware updates ? Let’s hope so.

I won’t even go into details about the numerous other bugs and quirks that I found (like the aliasing-like noises audible when playing higher notes than about C6, for example) because they can hopefully be dealt with later on.

My honest, and very restrained opinion about it.


#4

Finally plugged in mine last night.

In short? It has balls.

What I liked about it initially, and what had me sold, was the matrix modulation that reminds me of Thor from Propellerheads Reason. And using the matrix is pretty much the same and fairly easy to set up… however… noise!

I’m getting a lot of noise from the main volume output. At about 50% its not noticeable, but if I crank it up, I can clearly hear noise with all oscillators muted, or when no notes are triggered.

I am using Audeeze LCD3-XC headphones plugged in straight into the Parva with CME Xkey.

Filter/resonance is waaay too sharp and sounds metallic. I was able to get some good sounding distorted bass sounds while playing around with it… but I also feel it self oscillates in some weird fashion… I have to put more hours in to research this a bit more.

I am sure that as far as the hardware goes, there is nothing wrong/bad about this synth. As stated by many before, construction is top notch, feels great, looks sexy. But software obviously have some things that need to be corrected.

But, as this is a first impression after all, take all this with a grain of salt. I will be spending some more time with it and we will see how things go.


#5

Alright… day 2!!!

Spent about 3hrs focusing only on my previous observations, and yea… noise.

Using single oscillator in its purest form, poly mode, no spread, nothing on envelope other than short decay.
If I turn output volume more than 50% I get audible noise, with or without playing notes.
If I press and hold any single note, I get infinite sustain of some sort of frequency oscillation, different for each note played… even tho the sustain is set to 0. This is low in level, but is audible.

I used C note as reference and just moved one octave up or down. So playing C1-4 it is almost, if not entirely impossible to hear this happening. However, when you go up C5-7, higher you go more audible it is.

Next stop, resonance.
Useless above 50%. No matter how lush the sound you make, it starts screaming when you crank the resonance more than 50%. Screaming resonance is good, yes, when it roars… but this one squeals, not so pleasant.

I just had a thought, perhaps the headphones output is the problem. I will try main outs tonight.

Wish I had a chance to record any of this, but I will not be back into my home studio before end of this month.
In the meantime, if anybody else can confirm any of this is happening with their units, I would be glad to know.

Thanks,


#6

While I had my Parva, I observed all the same things you mention on mine too. But you can take solace in the fact that probably all Prava owners observed the same kind of things on theirs, as on yours.

Yep, that resonance circuitry is rather strangely designed, unfortunately. Maybe with more resolution of the resonance knob (coming in a future firmware update) it could be brought closer to the self-oscillation threshold without going out of control ? But it will still sound the same though.

Have you tried playing higher notes on it ? Have you then heard strange aliasing-type noises ? That too is probably present on all Parvas…

Most of these problems, except the resonance behavior of course, will supposedly be corrected in the upcoming firmware update. I hope so for all you courageous and (very) patient Parva owners out there. I couldn’t wait that long so, I no longer have mine…

Best of luck to all of you.


#7

With a single oscillator set to level 50, sustain at 127, filter open, and the Parva’s volume set so that a single note is 0dB, how loud is the noise?


#8

The Parva’s resonance control spends most of its rotation in the “on-the-edge-of-oscillation” range specifically for that reason – that’s where the interesting sounds are.


#9

Yes & No
To play with the Parva in the region of self oscillating filter is very disharmonic and noisy - and that’s interesting for experimentiell music, noise collages or drone sounds (so it works fine for me… :slight_smile:
But - for a lovely and harmonic sounding melody you have to avoid this range.

Honey sweet spots are available in different styles by different manufacturer at different candy shops.

(ps: the weekly news?)


#10

In case people didn’t notice, there’s a new firmware update V0.50 (mainboard) available for download since earlier today…


#11

But is this something that should be done without the accompanying voice card firmware? That wasn’t clear to me.


#12

I just installed the mainboard OS. It’s nice to be able to play in-tune chords on the Parva.

I know you need the voicecard OS update for some of the new features (like the variable width sawtooth), but the 0.50 mainboard OS fixes the tuning, doesn’t have the MIDI issues some of us experienced, and the synth in general “feels” better when you’re playing it. I did do a VCF calibration afetr about 15 minutes on and the resonant filter will track the keys pretty well across the octaves after that.

At this point, it hasn’t locked up or behaved weirdly, so I’d recommend folks put it on their machines and start banging away at it.


#13

Everything you all said above is true. But even so, I am going to keep it and wait for firmware fixes.

And Brad, even with suggested settings, high pitch notes are aliasing. Also if you turn down all the oscillators, all the envelopes… pretty much everything down… output higher than 50% will bring the noise up. I don’t know how much db that is as I said previously, I am not near my studio and I’m using headphones directly.

But, I didn’t load new OS update yet… going to do it tonight. Looking forward to it.