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Several issues with Bitbox 2.0.1 - 2.1.3

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  • Several issues with Bitbox 2.0.1 - 2.1.3

    I have been working as intensively as possible with bitbox to understand the features and unintentionally, discovered bugs. I have also been reading through the forum to understand some of the common issues. As a result I have written a list of issues/bugs , that I consider to be serious in terms of function and feature performance as well as missing features. They are as follows:

    Bugs/Issues
    • Previewing samples will play at a different pitch than when they are loaded. All samples loaded have a bit crush/ring mod sound to them. This can be mild to quite obvious
    • When looping samples there is a audible lag before the sample plays in time with the other material
    • Crosstalk/Electronic noises in the output. I can hear high pitched noises when the bitbox is operational.
    • Reliable clock sync via CV and not only MIDI

    I have tried different firmwares to eliminate these issues but nothing seems to help.


    Missing features:
    • ADSR for Samples. I think this goes without saying
    • Normalising samples after recording
    • Be able to change screen brightness
    • Basic Destructive sample editing (Truncate/Reverse/Gain)
    • Sample playback after recording with an option to play sample and not Clip
    • Resampling outputs
    • Better time stretching algorithm
    • Different them options - If I can't dim the screen could there be different colours?
    • Choose Preset for startup (Template)

    For a sampler that costs 629euros I find it hard to believe that some of these features are missing. I don't really need a multifunctional 3 in 1 device. That, in my opinion is a nice to have. But a piece of hardware that feels unfinished it really a shame. I had high hopes for this module but somehow the issues along with the replies seem to fall short of the mark.

    Have other people also noticed similar issues?


  • #2
    I very much agree with this list of issues and feature requests. We saw a nice improvement between v1 and v2 firmwares. A v3 would need at least these issues implemented imho. For me, especially the basic destructive editing (and I really only need the basics, not a full fledged sample editor) and the sound Q (better AA on pitch change) would be the top.

    Comment


    • #3
      808Ba$$boy,

      Sorry to disappoint you. I just got back from Knobcon and I can confidently say that there is a wide range of opinions on what is good enough and what is missing.

      Regarding some of your items:

      Originally posted by 808Ba$$boy View Post
      [*]Previewing samples will play at a different pitch than when they are loaded.
      There is a known problem with previewing material that uses a sample rate other than 48K. For example, 44.1kHz material previews at a slightly higher pitch than normal. We have this on our list.

      Originally posted by 808Ba$$boy View Post
      All samples loaded have a bit crush/ring mod sound to them. This can be mild to quite obvious
      Please give us an example. Is this still previewing? Have you tried the FX1/2 outputs that don't have the master compressor?

      Originally posted by 808Ba$$boy View Post
      [*]When looping samples there is a audible lag before the sample plays in time with the other material
      Under what circumstance? Is this the lag from the quantization?

      Regarding the missing features, let me paraphrase one of my heroes, Dave Smith from Sequential Circuits: "There will always be something missing." We look forward to improving over time.

      Comment


      • #4
        I appreciate your efforts. I have tried most of the above. As mentioned I read through reports and followed some bug solving replies. I think one of the things that really shocked me is that the MIDI provided better sync than analog clock. I was particularly surprised when a forum member wrote that using Pamelas New Workout was less stable than MIDI. Part of the purpose of Eurorack and CV is to move away from MIDI at least if possible or desired.

        For a moment, Bitbox really made me believe that something could be so sophisticated with a simple interface. However, to me, it is riddled with basic issues and simple missing features that are accustom to most samplers from the 90's.

        To quote someone like Dame Smith is a tall order. He invented MIDI and some of the most influential, feature rich synths of our time. On the other hand, he also made the Tempest, which was good on paper but never finished and fell to the synth wayside! Sure something is always missing but samplers haven't changed much since 90's. Most simple engine a la Akai EMU or Akai mpc have remained pretty much simple in function and options.

        My issue is that, like most eurorack gear it is very costly when you want to have something sophisticated. I believe most musical equipment nowadays falls into or in-between one of two categories: Trying to do too much or an unfinished works in progress where the user pays for a rollercoaster emotional experience that usually ends in a better version being released with no specific date and the current hardware/software obsolete and/or unfinished. As a simple analogy If I need a hammer to simply nail something ,what use is a swiss army knife with the distant promise of a hammer attachment currently being developed.

        I could easily spend the equivalent amount of money on a hardware sampler or pedal looper and have more reliable results. I find it a real shame. I shouldn't have to dig around for clues and be content with support standard answers that don't really satisfy my basic need to have a module that simply works in all its basic functions. So with a heavy heart, disappointed in what I thought Bitbox could be, (which was basically seamlessly recorded loop and payback material in the same audio quality as recorded with out having to sync midi), I have sent it back to the store and will write an honest open review on my experiences in the forum and with the hardware.

        Peace!

        Comment


        • #5
          I’m sorry to hear that you sent it back. Although I commented above that a V3 of the bitbox firmware would need at least some of your requests, I am actually quite happy with the V2 already. I also waited until buying it until V2 was released because I would not have been happy with V1. And although I agree that looper pedals are more mature, there is still no other eurorack module that comes close in easy of use and feature set to what a bitbox V2 offers. Anyways, we all have our own opinions. As we should have ;-)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 808Ba$$boy View Post
            ...Sure something is always missing but samplers haven't changed much since 90's. Most simple engine a la Akai EMU or Akai mpc have remained pretty much simple in function and options....
            Thanks for bringing up a point of reference. You have have seen that the new Dave Rossum (one of the founders of Emu) sampler doesn't even have MIDI. Like us, he is enjoying building a fresh take on sampling. Matching or surpassing the pro gear of the 90s was not our goal. We aspire to build something that has the essence of sampling without all the complexity that most people don't use. Remember SCSI drives and tiny internal RAM? I don't miss that part.

            I appreciate you sharing your objections. We always strive to do better and are well served by knowing why people don't buy our gear. Take care.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by yrn1 View Post
              I’m sorry to hear that you sent it back. Although I commented above that a V3 of the bitbox firmware would need at least some of your requests, I am actually quite happy with the V2 already. I also waited until buying it until V2 was released because I would not have been happy with V1. And although I agree that looper pedals are more mature, there is still no other eurorack module that comes close in easy of use and feature set to what a bitbox V2 offers. Anyways, we all have our own opinions. As we should have ;-)
              I am sorry too. I love innovation. I agree. If I bought V1 I think I would have been mind blown. This was a huge disappointment but I learned a valuable lesson to also to realise that with a basic iPad, moderately priced software and an interface, I can get better results, allows for even more audio processing, AND I don't have to wait for something to be "finished" not to mention saving approx 200-300euros. Just had to think out of the eurorack box for a moment.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aaron View Post

                Thanks for bringing up a point of reference. You have have seen that the new Dave Rossum (one of the founders of Emu) sampler doesn't even have MIDI. Like us, he is enjoying building a fresh take on sampling. Matching or surpassing the pro gear of the 90s was not our goal. We aspire to build something that has the essence of sampling without all the complexity that most people don't use. Remember SCSI drives and tiny internal RAM? I don't miss that part.

                I appreciate you sharing your objections. We always strive to do better and are well served by knowing why people don't buy our gear. Take care.
                Yep. You are right about all that. SCSI, one line menus and book like manuals. Nothing to be missed. Complexity does not mean it is better but I truly hope that your revisions and hardware stand the test of time like some of those samplers, that are still in use today (mpc60,mpc3000,sp1200,emax,akai s950, aka s1000, akai s3000. the list goes on) There is a reason for that too and it is beyond nostalgia and old school sounds.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to somewhat agree here with the overall complaints by 808ba$$boy. I really keep holding on for things to just work well and make sense. I appreciate all of Aaron's active helping on here, but I also get frustrated considering I have several issues with the module. I get extra frustrated when I see things like synthbox and toolbox being released when there are "known issues" with the original bitbox that are not fixed. Also when some things that would really just make sense aren't implimented. Things can always be improved, I can certainly appreciate that and I appreciate updates to the firmware, but what troubles me for instance is when things like my screen flickering on the newer firmware as well as many others having the same issue but I am being told that it must be a hardware issue. If I dial back to a much older version of the firmware the screen flickering goes away. I am sure it's something stupid, like something with how I am naming my files, as before that was a huge issue, too many characters and all of my files wouldn't load .it was fixed in later firmware, yet now my screen flickers. Only way to get the screen to stop flickering was to turn down the brightness. Now that feature is gone, so it's back to sezuire screen.

                  Anyhow I remain optimistic since I know Aaron is trying to help all of us, as I stated I just get extremely frustrated .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aaron View Post

                    Thanks for bringing up a point of reference. You have have seen that the new Dave Rossum (one of the founders of Emu) sampler doesn't even have MIDI. Like us, he is enjoying building a fresh take on sampling. Matching or surpassing the pro gear of the 90s was not our goal. We aspire to build something that has the essence of sampling without all the complexity that most people don't use. Remember SCSI drives and tiny internal RAM? I don't miss that part.

                    I appreciate you sharing your objections. We always strive to do better and are well served by knowing why people don't buy our gear. Take care.
                    1: Basic ADSR needed

                    2: Ability to 'quickly' .... not several button presets and knob twist ploughing through directory structures..... quickly load up the NEXT sample in the folder that you have loaded.

                    3: Compressor on main outputs??? Most people understanding gain structure, if they do not then they will soon learn to turn down offending overloaded channels. Using a compressor/limiter with no way of turning this off is not a good way to control excessive volume.

                    4: Sample auto slicing is pointless without a simple threshold for when the slicing happens.

                    5: Clock constantly running in background is just annoying... pathetic on my part I know.

                    6: Having to turn the knobs to select something that my finger is already hovering over....when I could just select it ...with said finger.

                    7: Sample amplitude showing square'd out waveforms (clipping) when sample is not clipping in original .wav

                    These are not little gripes and could be fixed. The people like myself mentioning these things are not having tantrums and are experienced hardware sampler users ... myself Emulator 3, EIV, Akai S950 and even Prophet 2000 not to mention library designer for Kontakt 5 player. Instead of battling with those giving good ideas and trying to help you move forward with a mature product... you could hold a poll for certain features for the next update?

                    Or...you could move on with your new projects.......

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sam,

                      The idea of having a poll has come up before. Let me quote from a carefully considered post that addresses that topic:

                      Originally posted by Christine View Post
                      Thank you for the suggestion to create a poll. Aaron and I discussed this and we have decided not to do this for a few different reasons, including:
                      1. It would take a lot of work to create and maintain an effective poll. I know, because I have done things like this in the past.
                      2. This forum is not the only source of input into features. We also get ideas from talking to customers at trade shows, via email, and by speaking with the press.
                      3. Public poll results could potentially lead to false expectations because ...
                      4. ... there are a lot of other factors that go into deciding what features to work on, including work required, architectural complexity, product focus, and usability.

                      We hear you, and we have made some changes to how we will track feature requests in the future.This forum has been an invaluable source of feature ideas in the past and we hope that will continue. Please be patient with us as we find the right balance between delivering new products and improving the existing ones. Thank you for all of your efforts in posting feature requests and bug reports. We truly appreciate all of the effort you put into them.
                      Thank you for keeping the conversation calm and collected. As our product line matures, you are more likely to see big updates that occur less often--as opposed to lots of little ones. For example, fxbox 2.0 covered many of the open requests in one go.

                      Thank you for keeping the requests alive. We will keep them in mind.

                      Comment

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