17 thoughts on “A Blast From the Past!

  • 08/28/2017 at 14:23
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    Hi Bill,

    You’ve missed the point. I was making a clear distinction between a product that has been designed and marketed to an initial specification, and one that has been enhanced from that initial specification. All the products you mentioned will have been designed to an initial specification, and once this has been sucessfully completed, the design will move into an enhancement activity. This is standard practice. And you’re quite right, the potential for enhancement of software based systems is considerably greater than that for hardware.

    It’s clear what Wersi are doing with the Sonic, they’re creating an OAS replica. The initial specification they are using is that of the OAS architecture which they are progressively implementing in the OAX bit by bit. How many times have we heard an OAS owner who has upgraded to OAX complain that a feature that was present in OAS is not there in OAX. The response is always the same, it’ll be coming down the line in a future OAX update. The fun begins however when the initial specification of the Sonic is fully implemented and the capabilities of both OAS and OAX align, because then, and only then, are we into the Sonic’s enhancement phase. It will be interesting to see what future expansion might occur.

    With regard to hardware and software, I wasn’t comparing the capabilities of either, merely commenting on the difference in the way that they are designed. There is no equivalent of the ‘bug’ in hardware design. The requirement to get the design right first time has resulted in the establishment of a number of strict design methodologies and procedures which design engineers follow and which are built into the design tools that they use. There are equivalents developed for software design that are intended to ensure that a piece of software is reliable and robust, but many programmers choose to employ the traditional method of bunging a few instructions together, and if it doesn’t quite work then issue a patch. It would appear that Wersi have a liking for this approach.

    Needless to say that until the Sonic gets well into its enhancement phase and we can clearly see what develops, my chequebook will remain firmly closed !

    Jeff

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    • 08/29/2017 at 09:47
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      Unless the next update adds a slew of new features, it is still far from superior to the OAS as far as it’s capabilities are concerned. For me it’s like I traded a Cadillac for a Volkswagen.

      Jerry

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  • 08/28/2017 at 07:56
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    Dave, I completely agree with your assessment of Wersi’s dubious business practices.

    I bought my Scala near the end of the OAS development cycle when the product was in a relatively stable and settled state, but early adopters of the instrument had an absolutely torrid time. The product was being sold with an incomplete specification, the software was continually being updated, the OAS was riddled with bugs, many features and functions weren’t working properly and dealers were being continually hassled by dissatisfied customers and pressurised by the company to sell more instruments in order to finance the continued development of the product. Does any of this sound familiar? It’s bad business practice and there’s no excuse for it. Any reputable company would finance and complete the development of a product in-house before launching it on to the market. And if any subsequent updates were to be issued these would be minor bug fixes and enhancements to an already complete specification. This is totally different to what Wersi are doing. They are taking huge amounts of money off customers on the pretence of selling them a product, and then using this to finance the completion of the specification. And yes, I know that this is presented to the customers as “many new and exciting developments still to come”, but come on, that’s like buying a new car with only two gears on the promise that gears 3, 4 and 5 will be coming later, and if you’re lucky you might even get reverse!

    Interesting that you mention the Helios model. I built the big brother to that, the Concerto, from Wersi supplied kits. Every kit had precisely the right type and number of components, all the circuits worked and the design was solid and reliable. So why can’t Wersi achieve this with the OAX models. The answer is that the Helios was a hardware based design whilst the Sonic is software based. Hardware engineers have always had to conform to the discipline of getting the design right first time. Modifications are difficult and costly to implement, particularly these days where many designs are committed to silicon. If just one transistor amongst millions is incorrectly specified, the chip is useless and hundreds of thousands of pounds have been wasted. Software engineers have never had this degree of discipline because software can be changed easily. But there is a cost associated with this, both to the reputation of the company having dissatisfied customers and to its finances with spiralling development costs. Given that Wersi has been struggling now for the best part of seven years to get this thing working properly, the incurred development costs must be considerable. And we are nearing the point in the development cycle where Music Store will be wanting to see a return on their investment. If this is not forthcoming then they could very easily pull the plug. It’s a music retail company, they have no established provenance with this product.

    A month after I bought my Scala, Wersi went out of business. Development work on the product came to a complete standstill and my three year guarantee was worthless. We’re lucky that Music Store came to the rescue and provided some continuity. But as a wise person once said, “History never repeats itself, but it does have a tendency to rhyme!”.

    Jeff

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    • 08/28/2017 at 09:01
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      HI Jeff

      So what you are saying is that Microsoft should have never released any OS until all features were complete, and when done should never be upgraded again but should remain the same for life, and it would be the same for Apple iOS, Linux, DAWs, VST’s or any computer program ever released. (I think you will find most of the world’s population would disagree with you on that)
      Comparing Software to Hardware is totally nonsensical, as once designed hardware is fixed, (There is no way to upgrade without complete replacement) whereas Software is a base that can be further developed without requiring complete replacement. (Although as with everything even software comes to a point where it is more cost effective to design anew)
      Think about it, how many organs, keyboards, etc. have still been in production and up to date after a 16 year lifespan? (The lifespan of OAS which was originally only ever designed with an estimated 11 year lifespan)
      If you are looking to purchase something and then forget about it, don’t buy anything that uses software as its base, but if you are looking for something that can expand with you as you move forward, then software is the only way to go. (And you will have accept that it will never be finished)

      Bill

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    • 08/28/2017 at 17:03
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      Sorry Jeff I had not read your post before I commented on Bill’s.
      I agree that before the product is released in the market it should be in full operational condition. Then software enhancement updates should follow. Other brands like Yamaha etc work straight out of the box, with minor software updates after release.
      However I feel we are now past the major issues and Wersi apart from Bohm is the only product that I am aware off that offers 3rd party software updates like VST’s and some Yamaha styles etc. to continually add more features to your instrument. Not to forget the lifespan of the instrument, Yamaha, Korg and the old Technics bring out replacement instruments every 2-3 years. I have been on that treadmill all my life and it gets very expensive replacing them. I love Wersi and get super excited when a new update is released. I understand there is a huge update soon to be released.

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  • 08/27/2017 at 08:20
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    Everything comes back to the Helios which started it all in the first place, nothing comes
    close to that sound, no amount of VST’s can get near it and whilst I applaud all you are
    doing, you should not have to sort out Wersi’s problems, they should have done that
    before the Instrument was released other manufactures can get it right but Wersi have
    never managed it, when you consider the price you are paying for a Wersi you expect it
    to work in all departments.

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    • 08/27/2017 at 14:03
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      HI Dave
      All manufactures have to bring out fixes (Whether it be keyboards or TV’s, (Can’t remember the last time something came out that didn’t need to be fixed with an update) due to the complexities making full testing impossible)
      In addition a Wersi is never complete, as it is constantly being updated with new features and sounds. (The only time you get new features and sounds with other instruments (Apart from Bohm & Bemore) is if you buy a new one)
      Where Wersi do fall down is that they do not always fix the problems (Via an update) that are found in a short enough timescale. (This is not just confined to Wersi though)
      Regarding the Helios sounds, if you have OAS get the Helios/Galaxy sound packs (I believe they are included in OAX) and I guarantee you will not be able to tell the difference. (The only downside is that they are pre-set sounds rather than real-time sounds)
      VSTs are used in professional film and music production studios (VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology) so it’s hardly surprising it takes a little time to figure out for the domestic user. (I have been using them since they came out which is why I am quite familiar with how they work)
      Bill

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    • 08/28/2017 at 21:47
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      For an additional 20,000 you could get a Lowrey. That is why cars, appliances just about anything comes with a warranty. Been making those things for a hundred years and they haven’t made a perfect one yet.

      Reply
  • 08/26/2017 at 16:49
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    Gee his fingers playing, swapping between manuals and registration changes are lightning fast. Registration changes are necessary to keep interest in the tune. I think Franz is a mega organist, no auto assistance required when he plays. Give the man some credit guys.

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  • 08/26/2017 at 10:26
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    He plays well but I just find it annoying how he is constantly adjusting the tabs through the entire piece. He does this on every piece of music that he plays…. It is as if he can’t keep his hands on the keyboard. And he does this regardless of the model of organ that he is playing….Wersi, Hammond, Lowrey, etc.

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    • 08/26/2017 at 15:42
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      I agree Gary, however I just listen and not watch…wonder what he would fiddle with if he played a piano – he’d probably be tuning it!

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      • 08/27/2017 at 09:08
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        I know that registration changes are required to keep a piece interesting but he goes to the extreme….. Seems like he is always fine tuning a registration when that should have been done before playing the piece for an audience.

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        • 08/27/2017 at 14:07
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          Hi Gary
          You forget that everything was manual with those types of instruments (Pre-sets (Particularly programmable pre-sets) were very limited in that era) unlike today where you can set everything up beforehand.
          Bill

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  • 08/26/2017 at 06:38
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    Yes ! This Franz Lambert , a big star indeed !

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  • 08/26/2017 at 04:11
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    Great, just made me realized how bad I play!!.

    Reply

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