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Re: new editor is here

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:18 am
by DaveDraper
I just got this email - KMI announces Softstep2! And the new software
(no sign of it on the KMI downloads site) is 'compatible with SS1 & SS2' etc. So does it work with v1? Or does it just not crash v1? And where is it? Windoze or Mack? Do I have to buy an SS2 to reap the 'full benefit'?

Well the hardware needed a new design for sure (why put the sensors in the corners when the software pretends a cruciform design?), but maybe YOU SHOULD'VE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU BUILT THE FIRST ONE!

This company makes me angrier with every (unfulfilled) promise.

In retrospect, I suppose I have to thank them for encouraging (forcing?) me to learn a heck of a lot about designing MIDI control software, with the help of Plogue Bidule, but then again, I might have spent the last two years in more creatively fruitful activities. I'll never know.

Dave

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:12 pm
by TheSupport@KMI
Original SoftSteps will work with both the old software (1.21 and below) and the new software when it is publicly released (a group of beta testers are currently trying things out). Currently the new software is Mac only but there is absolutely going to be a Windows version once we get the Mac version solid.

SoftStep 2s will only work with the new software. They would potentially work with the old editor, but since the sensors are now physically in different positions it requires different firmware that likely won't mesh well with the old editor.

Most of the differences between SoftStep 1 and 2 hardware will be Standalone mode related — the SoftStep 2 has a faster processor inside which allows for more features. There will pretty much be little difference feature-wise in Hosted mode. Some new standalone features for SoftStep 2 in standalone mode we have planned (meaning this list is not absolute): state recall, real velocity for notes, 60 modlines, custom tables, pass thru width for X/Y parameters, preset inc/dec destination, modlines as destinations (which means modifying a toggle's state from elsewhere should be possible), and some other things.

The new editors and firmware will be able to tell if it's a SoftStep 1 or 2, and show/hide things accordingly.

Also, the SoftStep 2 uses LEDs instead of EL wire, so bye bye hum.

Sorry if not abandoning the SoftStep makes anyone angry! Updates and improvements are terrible, terrible things!

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:07 pm
by dirk
I can't for the life of me think why anyone with a v2 would want to use the old v1 software. :roll:

Many nice features I would love to see, but I guess it's not all bad at least I get to use my brand new SoftStep1 for a few months until the windows version is done.

Cheers, and here's to progress of any sort.
Dirk

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:56 pm
by Otis Scarecroe
Thesupport@KMI,

Not asking for promises on anything: What will the new software do to improve/upgrade the Softstep 1 ? (You yourself have said that the SS1 needed much improvement in past posts,yes?)

Will you consider trade-ins of the original on the new improved SS 2? I see the original still being sold at full price. ( maybe I'll get lucky and win the SS2 in the weekly giveaway........ )

It would be great to finally use the SS1 as advertised when I purchased it so early on, and now so long ago!

Respect, O

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:56 am
by adamqlw
TheSupport@KMI wrote:Also, the SoftStep 2 uses LEDs instead of EL wire, so bye bye hum.


Is this an admission that the hum is caused by a design flaw, and not actually by shielding issues (and other "explanations" posted earlier)? I think this should really qualify existing SoftStep owners for some sort of trade in...

But then... who cares what I think, right?

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:41 am
by DaveDraper
TheSupport@KMI wrote:
Updates and improvements are terrible, terrible things!

Amen to that!
SoftStep 2s ......would potentially work with the old editor, but since the sensors are now physically in different positions it requires different firmware that likely won't mesh well with the old editor.

and
the SoftStep 2 uses LEDs instead of EL wire, so bye bye hum.

while
adamqlw wrote:
Is this an admission that the hum is caused by a design flaw, and not actually by shielding issues (and other "explanations" posted earlier)? I think this should really qualify existing SoftStep owners for some sort of trade in...

so can I post my v.1 back to you for replacement? :lol:

Dave

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:39 am
by adamqlw
First, I would like to add that TheSupport@KMI has been a real gent here on the forum. He's been super helpful and given us tidbits of information when he was able to, and I appreciate that.

On to the hum issue...

There's an 11 page thread with multiple users having problems
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=53

Direct replies from KMI staff:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=53&start=10#p632
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=53&start=30#p1270

Head honcho himself asserting the problem only affects "a few" people
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=53&start=60#p1365

So... what should we believe, how will this be resolved? I'm not expecting any free stuff mind you... I'd settle for the straight score on what's up with the hum. It seems the least that one could expect for people who spent hours grappling with an issue that they were told was a non-issue.

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:09 pm
by TheSupport@KMI
Otis Scarecroe wrote:What will the new software do to improve/upgrade the Softstep 1 ?


Well, first and foremost the bugs I've been logging for two and a half years are finally going to be fixed (toggles with min+max set to the same value will work, Top+Bottom sources won't constantly retrigger, etc.). We're also going to add settable MSB for bank messages (prior to this it was always at 0 while the LSB would change). There are also plans to at some point add a "CoMA mode" (like in QuNeo and QuNexus) to make mapping keys with multiple modlines less of a hassle.

Really though, the nicest thing (for me, anyway) is going to be not having to use the current editor anymore, which we all know is rather clunky and a huge resource hog. We wrote the editors from scratch in C++ using the Qt framework — so they're not Max/MSP applications anymore. Running in Hosted mode will be much smoother and more feasible for people who may have smaller amounts of RAM or really need to squeeze as much out of the CPU as possible.

adamqlw wrote:On to the hum issue...


Thanks for this post! I would really like it if this thread didn't just turn into another EL hum thread (but it probably will) since it's already been discussed on multiple occasions (and has one of the largest threads on the forum). But when Keith says the hum is only affecting a few people I believe he was specifically referring to the hum actually getting into the audio chain — which does only affect a few people.

Every SoftStep 1 physically hums when the electroluminescent wire is turned on. There is no way around this. I tell people this when they submit a support ticket and ask about the hum.

I'm not sure why we went with EL wire as I was not with the company when this product was made — but the story goes that it was the only way to light up such a large surface area while keeping such a small profile. Why not make it just a little taller and use LEDs? I don't know. Why not make the keys a different shape so there is less surface area? I don't know. But we're going to do that with SoftStep 2. Keith usually has valid reasons for his decisions — and is the sort of person who considers all of the options before going a certain direction.

adamqlw wrote:I think this should really qualify existing SoftStep owners for some sort of trade in...


I think it would be smart of us to offer some sort of trade in, or some sort of discount if you can prove you're a SoftStep 1 owner. Will we do that? I have no idea — I'm not involved in the financial side of things. But it has definitely been brought up around the office by multiple people.

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:20 pm
by Otis Scarecroe
TheSupport@KMI,

Thanks, good answers.

Maybe this topic could be forwarded to Keith and see if he chooses to comment on the Forum.........?

Again--thanks, O

Re: new editor is here

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:38 pm
by adamqlw
Thanks TheSupport. Your answers are frank and honest, and I appreciate that. You rock, and I hope your co-workers recognize what an asset you are to the company. I can promise there's at least one customer who's confidence in KMI and their products is buoyed by you being there