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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

ATV aFrame electronic percussion instrument
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author ATV aFrame electronic percussion instrument
dan_p
I just got one of these, it is amazing. It's everything the Wave Drum should of been and then some. Its the most expressive electronic instrument i've ever played (I am a percussionist though so naturally it feels better than a keyboard!!) The editing is really deep too, you can edit pretty much every aspect. Not only the sound parameters but the way they effect the feel of the drum and the response to different techniques. I am seriously impressed with it. Beautifully made too.

http://www.aframe.jp



jcn7
Very cool...so how much does this baby cost?

I used to have the original Wavedrum (the wood one) back in the day but sold it and latter bought the silver version when it came back out on the market.

But this looks and sounds great! thumbs up
dogoftears
what's the deal with the synth on that? can you create patches or is it all preset based? any editing on the device itself? i love some of those sounds, reminds me of kaivo.

looks really cool. congrats. website has very little info... how'd you get it?
Pugilistas
Interesting. Saw the original report of the aFrame, but it didn't pique my interest. Your post did. Did some reading. Watched the videos that are out. Contemplating... High dollar though, for me.

You mentioned the depth of editing: Is it possible to get the dsp to deliver really unusual electronic sounds that still respond to your playing technique? Does pressure on the bamboo rim effect any sound change? Seems like a lot of the video displays finger technique; can full hand conga or djembe playing still pull out interesting sound nuance?

This is more interesting to me the better it allows for electronic or unearthly style sounds. Obviously there's a bit more focus on traditional sounds for the release. What's your take on it?

(I've played Wavedrum old and new, drumkat, zendrum, etc, so comparisons are just fine)
mrcharles
dan_p...

Can you share comments regarding the character of the aFrame's construction?

I've been watching how it is played and wonder how well the polyC skin will hold up to continued use and if it becomes necessary, if it can be retensioned and/or replaced by the user.

I've heard a number of interesting sounds that it can produce... any comment on creating customized sounds with the editing tools?

This looks to be an intriguing instrument.

Thanks in advance..... for your comments.
dan_p
Sorry for the delayed reply, its been a busy couple of days.

@dot - yes you can create your own sounds, its geared up for this. You really hit the nail on the head with the Kaivo comparison, its a DSP driven by impulse from the 2 pickups.

The sound editing is pretty flexible, There is a sound generator and effects section. You have 4 parts to a sound. Main / Sub / Extra / Natural. The main and sub sections are the same and consist of a single tone, there are several to choose from (note that these are DSP driven and not sampled). Extra has different noise tones, jingles and a couple of sines for clicks. All these parts have editing parameters like Pitch, Harmonics, High freq damping, dynamic response pressure pitch, scale and damping. They also all have a parameter that alters the amount of each pickup (centre/edge) used in the section. Natural lets you blend in the sound of the pickups with the DSP sound, these have parameters such as cutoff, Q, Gain etc. You also have parameters relating to the pressure sensor and how that responds. Its all pretty flexible.

The effects section has fairly standard but well made effects, chorus flanger phasor delay wah/filter etc. They sound really nice but also have a couple of tricks in that they have a selectable parameter that can be controlled by the pressure sensor. You can use the effects critical as part of a sound, not just to add a bit of reverb. Pressure sense on the reverb for send is really nice to play with. You can apply a little pressure to add a little more verb to an accent etc.

So sound wise, it excels at electro acoustic, I wouldn't say it was traditional, it has some factory sounds that are clearly aiming for emulation of acoustic drums but I think it is a new instrument in its own right rather than being a way of emulating an array of "real" percussion like the wave drum did. The fact that you have access to all the sound editing parameters means it is fairly open ended. There aran't different DSP algo's for each sound set (apart from the effects section). Every sound you hear is made up of the same blocks with the same editing parameters. It would be possible to spend a bit of time and create some really interesting new sounds. So far I've made a few sounds but these have mostly been frame drum type sounds, its quite easy to make these sort of sounds.

Technique. I think that frame drum type technique is clearly the most efficient way of playing it, for me anyway. You can put it in a snare stand but then it wold be a pain to edit and change sounds. Conga/Djembe technique. Well, I think you'd have to spend a good bit of time messing with the setup of damping etc to get it to respond well to conga technique, but would be OK. Djembe, less emphasis on muting so OK but worried about getting too heavy with it. Also, I think with any full hand technique your going to miss a few of the nuances. Not sure, I haven't tried it, I may still have my Tumbao chops and used to play a mean Guaguanco so I'll try it out. Still think that a Frame drum style would be best. Anything that is more finger based than full hand. The aFrame is very sensitive, you can tailor this and set the thresholds and levels for the sensors.

Build quality is very nice, the frame itself is a thing of beauty. The head seems robust, its an odd material, it doesn't appear to be tensioned, more like the material is thicker and is naturally resonant. One thing that was a concern when I got it but hasn't been a problem is that there is a lip around the edge, it is literally like a picture frame. This is actually fine when playing as its quite small, It may even add to the sound when playing the edge?

So my summary is, its freeking awesome. I was at the London Music Show when Korg released the original Wave Drum, it was pretty exciting. I couldn't afford one though. The years later they released it again in a cut down format but with more "ethnic" sampled instruments, I bought one and it was really underwhelming. I remember thinking that I wished it was 2 grand and worked well rather than 300 quid and was sh!te. Well, as far as cost goes I certainly don't think the aFrame is expensive, personally I would of paid more for it.
mrcharles
Thank you, dan_p - I appreciate your extensive commentary...

Do you envision any problems with the "skin" developing with continued use? Does it appear that it can be serviced if the skin needs replacing? Does it seem fragile?

I'm looking forward to finding more information about this instrument - I've been through the website, youtube videos, and all the English language reviews that I can find...
dan_p
No, the head looks pretty sturdy. Its quite thick. I doubt it would ever wear out with normal use. It is not really a drum head in the traditional sense, like on the wave drum for example. its like a piece of perspex sheet but textured on one side. You won't be going through it and I don't think the texture will wear.

The head itself looks like its bonded in to the frame, I can't see a way of getting it out. But I've not poked about too much. Construction of the frame is ridiculously good. I've not actually seen many things as well made as this in my lifetime. It is that good. The electronic housing is easily removed by the looks of it, 4 allen head bolts holding it in. Its an all metal casing that looks well made. Buttons feel OK, not awesome but OK. Pots for pickup sensitivity are a bit wobbly as is the headphone volume pot. The data jog wheel feels OK too.


mrcharles wrote:
Thank you, dan_p - I appreciate your extensive commentary...

Do you envision any problems with the "skin" developing with continued use? Does it appear that it can be serviced if the skin needs replacing? Does it seem fragile?

I'm looking forward to finding more information about this instrument - I've been through the website, youtube videos, and all the English language reviews that I can find...
mrcharles
dan_p...
I'm not sure if the "honeymoon" period is at an end... But I was wondering if the glow of your previous commentaries has in any way tarnished as you have continued to explore the aFrame.

I have a particular interest in what ATV and others have referred to as cinematic sounds. The percussion aspect is interesting, but I am more intrigued by the idea of an electronic instrument that embraces sensitivity to carefully nuanced performer inputs to create complex soundscapes.

I have read the quickstart and user guides several times now.... I note that inst/effect are duplicated in the " ' " groups. I cannot discern if edits to an instrument or effect are confined to all instances in a given group or if they are globally applied to all groups. Regardless, it seems that edits are not confined to a single tone, but propogate to other tones. Any insights on how this actually works in practice and any comments you care to share would be welcome.

And, thanks again for all you have shared thusfar!
dadek
Yes, and if you could share where you got it. I can't find anywhere to actually get one. Guinness ftw!
mmp
Sweetwater lists them.
mrcharles
So does Kraft Music... And Full Compass...
dadek
Thanks guys! I should have re-googled before replying. I had instantly tried to buy one after watching the videos and such linked on synthtopia a couple/few weeks back and they were nowhere to be found.
Got busy... so glad these got made. Ordering now!! Dead Banana
mrcharles
dadek wrote:
..... Ordering now!! :deadbanana:


Please keep us posted on your impressions.

I may be joining the club once I hear from the acct re. '16 taxes...
dan_p
dadek wrote:
so glad these got made. Ordering now!! Dead Banana


nanners Awesome, one more for the party.

mrcharles, I'll come back with answers later tonight as I'm super busy today but after a couple of weeks I am still in awe of the aFrame.
Pugilistas
Yeah, I am being strongly tempted as well. Got to try and figure out a plausible niche for this for me. Oh well, love to hear more.

Helps that it's development was overseen by the elder statesman of synths and Roland, a scholar and a gentleman of the old school.
dan_p
mrcharles wrote:
dan_p...
I'm not sure if the "honeymoon" period is at an end... But I was wondering if the glow of your previous commentaries has in any way tarnished as you have continued to explore the aFrame.

I still love this thing, my only issue is that I'm too busy to play it all day every day!


mrcharles wrote:

I have a particular interest in what ATV and others have referred to as cinematic sounds. The percussion aspect is interesting, but I am more intrigued by the idea of an electronic instrument that embraces sensitivity to carefully nuanced performer inputs to create complex soundscapes.


It's an unbelievable instrument if your a percussionist, no doubt about it. It is most definitely a percussion instrument but its a very different instrument. Its capable of very interesting timbres and is highly sensitive and reactive. It responds so well to different techniques and can be played with very small and light movement. gentle tapping and scraping combined with pressure can work very well.

mrcharles wrote:

I have read the quickstart and user guides several times now.... I note that inst/effect are duplicated in the " ' " groups. I cannot discern if edits to an instrument or effect are confined to all instances in a given group or if they are globally applied to all groups. Regardless, it seems that edits are not confined to a single tone, but propogate to other tones. Any insights on how this actually works in practice and any comments you care to share would be welcome.


The guide is a bit misleading. Basically an sound is made up of the instrument and an effect, you can tweak and save an instrument and you can tweak and save an effect. Then you can match an instrument with an effect. if you make an instrument and save it as say1 and then use it in 4 slots but with 4 different effects then if you change the instrument it will effect all 4 slots that instrument is loaded into. This is useful if you want say a frame drum sound set up but be able to switch different delays or a flanger, maybe different reverb settings etc. If you tweak the frame drum sound then it is tweaked in all of the slots so the instrument sound stays the same throughout. But, you could save the frame drum instrument sound as 4 different instruments and load a different one to each slot, then changing parameters of one does not effect the other. So its really flexible. I'm just saving each sound and effect combination seperately so far. Hope this helps, its not the easiest to explain !!!



mrcharles wrote:

And, thanks again for all you have shared thusfar!


No Problem
mrcharles
Thanks for the clarifications.

One last Q for now...

Are the "Line Outs" running at modular levels or are you needing to run through a preamp?

(My question comes from the aFrame demos that use the TC Ditto stereo looper (a guitar pedal)... perhaps the pedal is good with line level inputs and not just high-impedance guitar type inputs...)

I've a Allen and Heath mixer, my eurorack, an Elektron Heat, an OTO Biscuit and BIM, and a C/L Coco that I would love have play nicely together.

My Fishman Loudbox Artist amp has a stereo line level input (1/8" and 1/4" TRS)... so I could use the headphone out and use the aFrame volume as a gain control if needed - yes?

Come morning time... I'm gonna spend some money.

Thanks again and btw - nice youtube demos of the aFrame (and others).

All the best across the big water...
dan_p
The outputs are low, I'm not too clued up on audio specs etc but would suggest that they are at consumer level (-10), you would want a preamp to get a nice strong signal. If I record into the computer I use a couple of preamp inputs on the audio interface and give it a bit of gain.
The outs work very well with pedals though. I've just put a peddle board rig together specifically for the aFrame. Its been working nicely with everything I've put it through. This is using a mono out from one of the main outs.

Get it done, its a great instrument, and if by some chance you don't like it it will make a nice modern art piece hung on the wall!

mrcharles wrote:
Thanks for the clarifications.

One last Q for now...

Are the "Line Outs" running at modular levels or are you needing to run through a preamp?

(My question comes from the aFrame demos that use the TC Ditto stereo looper (a guitar pedal)... perhaps the pedal is good with line level inputs and not just high-impedance guitar type inputs...)

I've a Allen and Heath mixer, my eurorack, an Elektron Heat, an OTO Biscuit and BIM, and a C/L Coco that I would love have play nicely together.

My Fishman Loudbox Artist amp has a stereo line level input (1/8" and 1/4" TRS)... so I could use the headphone out and use the aFrame volume as a gain control if needed - yes?

Come morning time... I'm gonna spend some money.

Thanks again and btw - nice youtube demos of the aFrame (and others).

All the best across the big water...
mrcharles
Thanks again for your responses.

I just placed an order for one (to ship out the end of next week). I'll be on spilkies until then.

dan_p wrote:

Get it done, its a great instrument, and if by some chance you don't like it it will make a nice modern art piece hung on the wall!


I appreciate the suggestion - it does look a bit like some modern art works over the years...

My livelihood comes from commercial photography/illustration and art production...

for example:



While I can appreciate some aspects of minimalist work it is not the path that I follow in my own production - but I do appreciate the suggestion.

I hope to add my "lessons learned" to the post once I get one in my hands. I'm a bit surprised that this thread hasn't got more attention (posts) than it has so far - I would think it a natural fit within the broad range of interests here on muffs...
mrcharles
Hot damn - my aFrame has arrived and I am happy. I've got it hooked up with a Montreal Count to 5 on one channel and a Red Panda Particle for the other and then connected to an Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run and ending in my amp.

Lots of fun exploring the diverse presets.

I've been in touch with an ATV rep and he shared the following in answer to some questions...

Impedance & Output:

The aFrame output impedance is approximately 20-30 Ohm.

aFrame output level is the most important factor concerning distortion being introduced on input to you system.

The output level is Fixed (-10dBm). However, depending on how hard you hit the aFrame, output will become hotter and may introduce break-up / distortion.


For the 1/4 inch L&R outputs you should use TS unbalanced instrument cables.


SUGGESTION:

Our Headphone is the identical signal circuit as the LR Out, plus it has Volume control.

Same high quality sonic output.

Use the Headphone out and make output signal lower by volume control, with a TRS cable to split L & R - with the independent leads you can connect L or R or ST directly to a guitar pedal or looper.

..................................
I'll continue to post any additional information I receive in the days ahead.

This was also posted yesterday by ATV...



.
.
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scottmoon
I have to get one of these. Smash!
deltaphoenix
This is an interesting instrument. Does anyone know when the computer editor is supposed to be released?

Not ready to buy one but definitely watching this thread.
dan_p
mrcharles wrote:
Hot damn - my aFrame has arrived and I am happy. I've got it hooked up with a Montreal Count to 5 on one channel and a Red Panda Particle for the other and then connected to an Earthquaker Devices Avalanche Run and ending in my amp.
.


Cool, glad you got it and your happy. You have pretty much the same pedals as me to run it through LOL,





Sounds like this -
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/315539659" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

And another vid below. (Without all the pedals)

deltaphoenix
YESSSSSSSS!

That must be a ton of fun Dan. Nice pedalboard too.
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