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#1597392 - 01/14/11 01:47 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
Richard Stark Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 278
Loc: Hälsingland, Sweden
4,7 GB sampled piano! smile
12 GB total...



Edited by Richard Stark (01/14/11 01:54 PM)

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#1597500 - 01/14/11 04:39 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
Hideki Matsui Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 786
This seems like a great product I may consider buying, but I wish Korg used a better action. Any news on release date and prices?
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#1597631 - 01/14/11 08:59 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Anotherscott,
Is Korg executing code directly from the SSD that is used for sample storage? If not, then my assertion stands, I would have thought. (if it is, please give a reference - I'm interested)

Thanks,
Greg.

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#1597671 - 01/14/11 09:47 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
Scooby Hoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/10
Posts: 56
Korg Audio Sample

Audio Demos are on the right. Can someone find an all-piano sample?

That said, the piano in this sample does not sound "Korgish", which is a good thing. To my untrained ears, it sounds full, rich, and clear.

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#1597708 - 01/14/11 10:41 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Anotherscott,
Is Korg executing code directly from the SSD that is used for sample storage? If not, then my assertion stands


As I understand it, the answer is no... it is not possible to execute code directly from SSD which is NAND flash RAM.

But if your assertion is that any keyboard can have "4 gb of real-time accessible memory" for $5, no, that assertion does not stand. That's the assertion that I'm disputing.

As I understand it, the Nord/Yamaha/Kurzweil approach uses NOR flash which is directly real-time accessible, but very expensive. The processor addresses NOR flash as if it were RAM, executable code space. This RAM is not $5 for 4 gB, but the advantage is that their keyboards see it as real RAM.

SD cards and SSD drives use NAND flash which is *not* directly real-time accessible, but is much cheaper. The processor addresses NAND flash as if it were a disk drive, storage media. This is the kind of flash that may be $5 for 4 gB, but it is not directly addressable as memory by the processor, it could not be seen by a Nord/Yamaha/Kurzweil as real RAM. For that you need the more expensive NOR flash.

Korg is using a virtual memory system to stream data off the SSD as needed. Like Mac and Windows, virtual memory allows the system to rapidly swap data from a storage device in and out of real RAM, but it is not directly executing the code on the storage device. Korg is probably able to do this because the Kronos is probably LINUX based (as the OASYS was), so there's a full Intel computer in there with a sophisticated OS that already had the underpinnings to support virtual memory. Most keyboards are probably not LINUX based, and don't have as much computer power in them.

This is why I think you cannot simply put $5 of "cheap" flash RAM into a keyboard in order to have a 4 gB piano sample, if that's your assertion... you have to either put in very expensive flash RAM, or you have to have an operating system that supports a virtual memory implementation and all the rest of the hardware that goes with it... either way, it's not $5.

Lastly... 4 gB for $5 would imply 30 gB for about $38... but that's far less than what a 30 gB SSD drive costs, maybe half. Based on what Dewster explained, the SSD drives get their speed from running multiple flash units in parallel. A plain $5 4gB "SD card" would not be fast enough to stream from. So this is yet something else which raises the cost well above $5.

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#1597715 - 01/14/11 10:54 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: anotherscott]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 846
Loc: Lakewood, CA
Well after viewing this demo, I would say this is the ultimate king of keyboards. Lots of forward thinking went into this thing, and I can't wait to try one of these. I can't see myself owning one of these as it is beyond my needs, but it sure would be great to see some of this technology trickle down to an affordable board some day. Really amazing stuff here.

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#1597725 - 01/14/11 11:10 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Anotherscott,
I don't think they have made enough effort to use cheap FLASH storage for sample storage in digital pianos. (yes, needs seperate memory for code) I do NOT think it would be that hard to design the necessary infrastructure. I'm wondering whether perhaps one reason for this is licensing costs of the larger sample libraries themselves, rather than the hardware cost? I've seen Dewster's comments on this issue (FLASH - not sample licensing) from time to time, and I wholeheartedly agree with him.

I'll repeat something I've said here before. There's not a heck of a lot of difference between my new Casio DP and the Kurzweil PX1000 module I had, which was designed some 30 years ago. There are forces at play other than hardware, I am sure.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (01/14/11 11:14 PM)

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#1597760 - 01/15/11 12:27 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: sullivang
I don't think they have made enough effort to use cheap FLASH storage for sample storage in digital pianos. (yes, needs seperate memory for code)


It's not just needing separate memory for code. If you're going to store a 4 gB piano in cheap (NAND) flash, you need 4 gB of real RAM to load it into. (And you'll have to deal with long loading times.)

If you don't want to put in that 4 gB of real RAM, then you either have to

a) use much more expensive (NOR) flash, OR

b) use the less expensive (but still not cheap) SSD-implemented flash in conjunction with an OS that can support virtual memory/streaming, and the rest of the hardware needed for that OS.

At least that's my understanding, and that's my point in a nutshell.


Originally Posted By: sullivang
I do NOT think it would be that hard to design the necessary infrastructure

Well then by all means, do it, or hire someone to do it, and get rich! :-)


Originally Posted By: sullivang
There's not a heck of a lot of difference between my new Casio DP and the Kurzweil PX1000 module I had, which was designed some 30 years ago.


I could be wrong, but wasn't the PX1000 something like $2000 back then? Which is probably about $4000 in today's dollars? If you can get a $700 Casio that's pretty similar today, I'd say that's progress, too.

But it is an interesting idea to consider that we just have come to *expect* things to keep getting better and cheaper. The last tonewheel Hammonds, original Rhodes, etc., really weren't all that much better than their first iterations decades earlier (though they did get more expensive). Computer technology has spoiled us!


Edited by anotherscott (01/15/11 12:33 AM)

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#1597794 - 01/15/11 02:28 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
Psalm23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 71
Loc: Boston
I am sick,

I brought the Motif XF two months ago.

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#1597818 - 01/15/11 04:24 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: anotherscott]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: anotherscott

It's not just needing separate memory for code. If you're going to store a 4 gB piano in cheap (NAND) flash, you need 4 gB of real RAM to load it into. (And you'll have to deal with long loading times.)


Even low speed (10 Megabytes/s) FLASH is suitable for streaming, ESPECIALLY when you consider that they could employ sample compression. (not enough bandwidth? Add some more!)

However, it doesn't cost that much extra for high speed (circa 30MB/s) devices, and we haven't even started to talk about SSDs yet - this is just dirt cheap USB dongle stuff.

Yes, it may still need a bit of RAM for the attack storage, and that would increase load time. (although it would be a lot better than a rotating disk - not as much memory would be required, and the access time would be better, and it would be possible to optimise the attack load as well)

The code is easy - just load THAT into memory.

Now, the cheapest SSD I can find on my local generic computer supplier's web site is AU$124.00 for 40GB. Assuming it is possible to use a tenth of the capacity of the storage (by using discrete memory chips rather than an entire SSD), that means it's $12.40 for $4GB. (ok, yes, add some for the more advanced sample engine etc) So I was out by $7.40. :P
SSDs, with their excellent access time, apparently may not even need ANY attack caching, and the bandwidth of SSD storage is sky high.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (01/15/11 05:51 AM)

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#1597840 - 01/15/11 05:11 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
And it's a sampler that can load SF2 and Akai formats.

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#1597848 - 01/15/11 05:33 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Jake Jackson]
hpeterh Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 824
Loc: Germany
I wonder if their PA series arranger keyboards or their high end pianos will use the same technology in future...
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#1597883 - 01/15/11 08:01 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Psalm23]
TonyB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 314
Loc: Twin Cities
Originally Posted By: Psalm23
I am sick,

I brought the Motif XF two months ago.


This seems to be an interesting thing about technology. Over in the Motifator forums, this new Korg keyboard is likewise being discussed. I have to admit that it is a "game changer". However, its presence does not change anything about the keyboard workstations we already own. They still do what they do, and therefore the reasons that we chose the specific models we chose, does not change.

I own a Motif XS8. The Motif XF is the newer version of a fine workstation. I am not compelled to get one because the XS still does what it did when I got it. It sounds good and, more importantly, I am familiar with it and can get around on it.

It is interesting to read all those threads over on the Motifator forums about people wanting firmware upgrades. We don't buy a keyboard workstation (a sizeable investment worthy of serious consideration prior to purchase in view of what our needs are) for what it might do in the future. Yamaha never promised at the time of purchase that it would do anything other than what it does. Yet, people are demanding firmware upgrades to add this or that feature. It is commendable of a company when they do provide firmware upgrades that add features, but that was not something promised at the time of purchase.

To me, it seems that any of these workstations made within the past 5 years or so (or even further back) are still perfectly fine today. I know people who are still using their Kurzweil K2000 to make fine music. Just watch. After a year or two, when the Kronos has been in circulation for a while, people will become aware of its "shortcomings" and will loudly complain in various forums how this or that doesn't live up to the hype. If the videos still exist from when the Motif XS and the Motif XF were introduced at NAMM or some other similar event, go back and watch them. These sounded REALLY compelling and people HAD to have those workstations too. After the honeymoon is over, people see the keyboard for what it is and start complaining about what it can't do, rather than making use of what it CAN do.

I suspect that most of these workstations, regardless of who made them, can be used to make incredible music. But it is easier to focus on the perceived shortcomings than it is to dig in and really learn to work with the tool and do something worthwhile with it. I would say that the learning/productivity cycle for any of these workstations is far longer than the product lifecycle. There will always be something new just around the corner, and it is the job of the company who makes the product to get us to drool over it and think seriously about throwing what we have overboard to get the next big thing.

From my perspective, that new Motif XF (as does the older XS) has a lot of potential to make some very decent music, and so will the Kronos. Any new keyboard that is being shown and hyped at a show such as NAMM will look like the "best thing since sliced bread". But that excitement will certainly dim when the fervor dies down and reality sets in. This has been true for every workstation made, and I have no reason to believe it will be different for the Kronos. It is also true that, in the hands of a truly creative musician, any of these workstations can make amazing music, and I am likewise sure that will be true of the Kronos.

Tony



Edited by TonyB (01/15/11 08:05 AM)
_________________________
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#1597907 - 01/15/11 09:07 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Just a thought - for those cases where the FLASH memory is not fast enough to obviate the need for attack caching, why not burn JUST the attacks into expensive high speed FLASH? It might not be suitable for an advanced workstation like the Korg, if it needs to be able to start playback from an arbitrary point in the sample, but it might be suitable for simpler instruments such as DPs. I think we have discussed this type of idea here before.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (01/15/11 09:07 AM)

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#1597924 - 01/15/11 09:53 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Just a thought - for those cases where the FLASH memory is not fast enough to obviate the need for attack caching, why not burn JUST the attacks into expensive high speed FLASH? It might not be suitable for an advanced workstation like the Korg, if it needs to be able to start playback from an arbitrary point in the sample, but it might be suitable for simpler instruments such as DPs. I think we have discussed this type of idea here before.


You still need an underlying operating system (and possibly related hardware) that supports streaming... i.e. beginning a sample in RAM (or in flash that is designed to simulate RAM) and completing it by getting the rest out of a storage device (whether hard drive or flash storage device), in real time. Note that even people who are doing this today with their PCs sometimes complain about glitches... it takes a lot of computer power to pull it off well. I'm sure it could be done better with dedicated hardware than on a generic PC, but dedicated hardware tends to be more expensive to design and manufacture too, i.e. if you can't simply use off-the-shelf PC parts.

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#1597938 - 01/15/11 10:19 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: sullivang
Even low speed (10 Megabytes/s) FLASH is suitable for streaming

Are you sure? I don't know the speed specs, but are you talking about the kind of flash used in regular SD cards? I doubt that's fast enough for streaming... SD cards seem much slower than hard drives, and slower hard drives are not fast enough for reliable streaming.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
they could employ sample compression. (not enough bandwidth? Add some more!)

Remember also that on-the-fly decompression adds more processing time, requiring that the media be even faster.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
it may still need a bit of RAM for the attack storage...The code is easy - just load THAT into memory.

It's easy to put the code for the attacks in RAM, it's easy to put the code for the entire sample on a storage device. The hard part is getting it to work together seamlessly in real time. That's the whole streaming thing I just talked about.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
Now, the cheapest SSD I can find on my local generic computer supplier's web site is AU$124.00 for 40GB. Assuming it is possible to use a tenth of the capacity of the storage (by using discrete memory chips rather than an entire SSD), that means it's $12.40 for $4GB

Dewster explained that they get the high speed by running multiple units in parallel. That being the case, saying that the availability of 40 gB for $124 means you should be able to get 4 gB for $12.40 would be like saying that, since a set of 4 tires on my car runs for 40k miles before they wear out, I should be able to drive my car on one tire for 10k miles. The fact that there are, in fact, no 4 gB SSD drives for $12.40, or anything remotely like that, implies that you're talking about technology that does not exist. High speed SSD simply does not exist in cheap, low capacity versions.

Originally Posted By: sullivang

SSDs, with their excellent access time, apparently may not even need ANY attack caching, and the bandwidth of SSD storage is sky high.

As I said, SSD code cannot be executed "in place", it needs to be copied into RAM. Either in its entirety, if you don't have a streaming system, or at least a piece of it, if you do implement a VM streaming system. If you want the code in flash RAM to be executed in place, you're back to having to use much more expensive NOR flash RAM.

Wikipedia isn't the ultimate authority, but a good starting point is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_ram

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#1597955 - 01/15/11 10:56 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: anotherscott]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
[quote=sullivang]Even low speed (10 Megabytes/s) FLASH is suitable for streaming


Are you sure?

Absolutely. (and haven't you seen reports from others here who are doing just this?)

I've just tested my 16GB USB dongle ($50.00 - I was ripped off ;), and it performs wonderfully.
Performing 32Kbyte random reads, the transfer rate is about 18MB/s, which is only slightly less than the SEQUENTIAL transfer rate of 20MB/s. The average i/o response time was 1.6ms.

This is better than my 7200rpm internal 2.5" disk, which only seems to give me about 10MB/s when using Kontakt or EWQLP, despite a high sequential rate of about 70MB/s plus.

Note that it was other PW'ers that opened my eyes to this. Until recently I assumed the same as you.

Quote:
Remember also that on-the-fly decompression adds more processing time, requiring that the media be even faster.


For simple decompression, where the decompressor only needs to process a few samples before it can start streaming, I doubt whether this would be much of a hurdle.

Quote:
It's easy to put the code for the attacks in RAM, it's easy to put the code for the entire sample on a storage device. The hard part is getting it to work together seamlessly in real time. That's the whole streaming thing I just talked about.


When I said "code", I was referring to the processor instructions (DSP, general purpose CPU, or whatever). I was not referring to the sample data. I.e - the processor could execute instructions out of very high speed memory, seperate to the sample storage, which does not always need to be so fast.

Quote:
Dewster explained that they get the high speed by running multiple units in parallel.


Yes, understood. However, it may well be possible to source FLASH chips that create a memory bank that has sufficient speed (whilst perhaps not being AS fast), but with a lot less storage. (I don't know though - it just seems plausible)

Quote:
The fact that there are, in fact, no 4 gB SSD drives for $12.40, or anything remotely like that, implies that you're talking about technology that does not exist.


You might be right, however I am by no means convinced. There is less of a market for such small amounts of storage, however I am not convinced that it would not be possible yet.

Quote:
High speed SSD simply does not exist in cheap, low capacity versions.


"SSD" means a "Solid State Drive". We don't necessarily need a whole drive. I agree that there is the speed vs capacity issue.

I'm curious to know how fast my 16GB dongle would be if it were accessed as directly as possible, without using USB. (anyone?)

Originally Posted By: sullivang

As I said, SSD code cannot be executed "in place", it needs to be copied into RAM. Either in its entirety, if you don't have a streaming system, or at least a piece of it, if you do implement a VM streaming system. If you want the code in flash RAM to be executed in place, you're back to having to use much more expensive NOR flash RAM.


Again, I never said to execute code from the SSD. You seem to be confusing code with sample data.

Now, lets look at the performance of my 16GB dongle again.
For 24-bit stereo samples, this 18MB/s of throughput represents a potential polyphony of 68 voices. With simple 2:1 compression, that's 136 voices. Split the samples across two of these devices (trivial in hardware), and that's 272 voices. $100 for 32GB of high polyphony high definition sample memory. Yes, the sample engine will be more complex, due to attack caching.

Will test a 4GB device tomorrow.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (01/15/11 11:31 AM)

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#1597986 - 01/15/11 11:54 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: galaxy4t]
Scooby Hoo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/10
Posts: 56
Quote:
it sure would be great to see some of this technology trickle down to an affordable board some day.


Understandable wish, and I wholeheartedly agree. It is not a matter of if it will happen, it is a matter of when.

Not all the software pianos with larger sample sets sound great to my ears, so it would still be important to try it. And, we know little about the action (not a Korg strength in the past, IMHO). But, so far, the audio samples of the piano sound amazing.

The one hour video at NAMM shows a demonstration of a "Japanese Grand". I like the idea they included a piano known for bell-like clarity along with a deeper richer piano. And, the samples use 12GB of that 30GB drive, according to the presentation -- this piano could hold an even more extensive set of samples.

For Korg to create an updated next version of this piano, they may only need to add a larger SSD in a few years and more samples -- and they can always just let hardware changes lessen future costs or production and increase power of future releases. What are the economies of scale for Linux? Huge.

Though it seems like a lot of work/pressing against inertia to develop something new in DPs/workstations, by going down this path, Korg may cut their future development time and increase their flexibility. They are using hardware that will enjoy huge economies of scale and massive amounts of research/development in years to come.

Korg can also respond quickly to their customers, because software can be updated rather than waiting for the "next board".

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#1598004 - 01/15/11 12:30 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: sullivang
When I said "code", I was referring to the processor instructions (DSP, general purpose CPU, or whatever). I was not referring to the sample data.

I am using the two interchangeably for brevity. Program code and the data it manipulates are all just ones and zeroes. They are the same to the extent that the parts that are "active" at any given moment must be in space that the processor sees as RAM. Executable code is more often entirely in RAM, but many computer programs do swap out different bits of code during the execution of a program. Data more commonly resides in storage when not in use, but still must be copied into RAM for actual use.

So again, to play that piano note, the "code" for that note (speaking in this case of data, rather than processor instructions) must be in RAM, or in very high speed flash (not SSD) that the processor directly sees as RAM, or it must be accessed via a program and architecture that can support real-time streaming from "storage device" into RAM.

This is the crux of the matter. To use the cheaper flash, you must have that entire streaming infrastructure. I don't think that's trivial. Kronos is the first keyboard to do it. Lots of computers do it, but not cheap ones, and often not very well. So to say that any piano manufacturer should be able to add the function to their pianos for another $5 in manufacturing cost seems like sheer fantasy to me. And if Yamaha, Nord, and Kurzweil could have used the cheap RAM instead of the pricey stuff, I imagine they would have.

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#1598036 - 01/15/11 01:30 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Online   content
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Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Wikipedia isn't the ultimate authority, but a good starting point is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_ram

Here's a somewhat more comprehensive article:

http://www.eetasia.com/STATIC/PDF/201008/EEOL_2010AUG03_STOR_AN_01.pdf

Parts can be 8 or 16 bits wide. Block size is 128KB. Read buffer size is 2048 bytes (1024 words for 16 bit wide parts). Read buffer load time is 25us, after that each sequential read from the buffer takes 50ns.

Sequential reads for something like a DP sample set would seem to be an ideal thing, as you almost always need the next sample in the series for a particular note that is being played. You would of course have to buffer this in RAM in order to access other unrelated samples in Flash.

For a 16 bit device, reading out the entire read buffer would give ( 1024 / 2 ) / 44100 = 11.6ms of 16 bit 44.1kHz stereo. Reading this would take 25us + ( 50ns * 1024 ) = 76.2us. Assuming full bandwidth utilization of the Flash bus (not all that unreasonable) this is a throughput of 2048B / 76.2us = 26.9MB/s. Comparing real time to access time gives the level of stereo polyphony theoretically supportable: 11.6ms / 76.2us = 152 simultaneous stereo notes (16 bit @ 44.1kHz sample rate).

How much buffer RAM would be needed? I believe each note playing would need 2048 bytes (the size of the Flash read buffer). For 152 notes this is 152 * 2048B = 311KB.

Unless I've made a stupid error somewhere (always possible, and I've never actually designed anything with this interface) I believe I've shown that a single inexpensive 16 bit wide NAND Flash (say 4GB) plus a small amount of buffer RAM could easily support all the polyphony anyone could reasonably want in a DP. Done right it would be one killer DP for very little additional hardware investment.
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#1598065 - 01/15/11 02:16 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: dewster]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: dewster
How much buffer RAM would be needed? I believe each note playing would need 2048 bytes (the size of the Flash read buffer). For 152 notes this is 152 * 2048B = 311KB.


But as soon as you talk about buffer RAM for streaming data from a storage volume in real time, you're back to talking about implementing a virtual memory system. There's a whole infrastructure required for that in both OS and hardware. I'm not the engineer you are, but as I said, "I don't think that's trivial. Kronos is the first keyboard to do it. Lots of computers do it, but not cheap ones, and often not very well." I just don't believe it's as simple as adding a $10 SD card and loading it up with samples.

There is cheap hardware that streams in real time... an iPod, for example. But the initial seek is not instantaneous. If you've tried to stream a sample library in real time on a cheap PC, you know the hardware isn't up to the task, and most keyboards probably don't have as much processing power as a cheap PC. It's all going to add up to a lot more than $10 in parts, I'd bet.

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#1598069 - 01/15/11 02:34 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
sullivang Offline
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Registered: 07/05/09
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Loc: Sydney, Australia
Anotherscott,
The sample data only needs to be in high speed memory (or processor registers) for the duration of any calculations that need to be performed, before the sample processor sends the result to the DACs. So, it's ok to have a vast amount of relatively slow memory for the sample data, as long as it can be read out of that memory fast enough for the required performance.

Yes, I've already agreed with you that to use slow memory for the sample storage is more complicated, due to the attack caching. I just don't happen to agree with you about the difficulty of doing this, though.

Greg.

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#1598084 - 01/15/11 02:54 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: sullivang]
anotherscott Offline
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: sullivang
it's ok to have a vast amount of relatively slow memory for the sample data, as long as it can be read out of that memory fast enough for the required performance.

Fine, but you're still talking about streaming from "storage" to "live RAM" -- i.e. virtual memory. And an extremely responsive virtual memory system, at that.

Originally Posted By: sullivang
I've already agreed with you that to use slow memory for the sample storage is more complicated, due to the attack caching. I just don't happen to agree with you about the difficulty of doing this, though.

I would be more convinced if anyone had done anything remotely like this in a cheap piece of hardware. The closest thing out there might be a V-Machine, and people say that if you're not careful, it chokes all the time. And it probably has more computing power in it than the typical DP.

I don't buy conspiracy theories. If it was this easy, *some* company would have done it to get a leg up on the competition. Korg is finally taking the first step, and it's still a $3k keyboard. And I suspect they were only able to do it because the board is probably linux based like the Oasys was, so a lot of the foundation for VM was already there in the hardware and OS.

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#1598091 - 01/15/11 03:04 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Online   content
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Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I just don't believe it's as simple as adding a $10 SD card and loading it up with samples.

No, definitely not that simple. We're just doing back of the envelope calculations here as a initial feasibility study, maxing out interface bandwidths and such. The Flash part itself seems entirely up to the task, and the RAM buffering doesn't strike me as onerous for products in the price range of even low end (non-toy) DPs.

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
It's all going to add up to a lot more than $10 in parts, I'd bet.

I'm pretty sure I could do a lot or all of this in a $50 FPGA, which is not an inexpensive computing / logic platform. Processors with dedicated RAM and Flash interfaces could almost certainly do it much cheaper. I have no idea what impact there would be on the OS though.
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#1598094 - 01/15/11 03:06 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
JFP Offline
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Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 1317
Loc: The Netherlands
Somewhere I stopped reading this thread; not because I lost it, but because the post became steadily longer and more detailed and dived into the most technical details. Suddenly I remembered the famous words that have too often been repeated , but they just popped up into my mind again; " If it sounds right, it is right !" . In other words - if the Kronos does it's job well and is a real musical instrument that sounds excellent , then why bother if it's SSD, NAND, NOR and 4GB or 13 Terrabite. Let's see what the experiences of the early adopters will be in that respect.

Also I agree with some posters that the amount of GB and technology may help , but are NO guarantee that you have a musical/ well sounding instrument in your hands. Let's wait and see...

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#1598113 - 01/15/11 03:58 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Richard Stark]
sullivang Offline
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Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Anotherscott,
Please note that I have been referring mostly to simpler products, such as DPs. Not very advanced workstations like the Korg.

Greg.

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#1598216 - 01/15/11 07:08 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: Scooby Hoo]
anotherscott Offline
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: Scooby Hoo
Can someone find an all-piano sample?

http://www.korg.co.uk/downloads/kronos/media/Interstices.mp3

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#1598359 - 01/16/11 12:20 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: anotherscott]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4271
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: Scooby Hoo
Can someone find an all-piano sample?

http://www.korg.co.uk/downloads/kronos/media/Interstices.mp3

Thanks! Holy Moses that's frenzied!

Maybe it's the piece, but it sounds too bright and tinkly to me. And that's coming from someone who generally likes bright-ish pianos.
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#1598376 - 01/16/11 01:13 AM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: dewster]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3076
Originally Posted By: dewster
Maybe it's the piece, but it sounds too bright and tinkly to me.


Yeah, it sounds a little bright and percussive for my taste too. Some of the video demo stuff sounded better to me.

There's also a whole second grand piano in there, they talk about a "German" piano and a "Japanese" piano... I don't know whether they are both 4 gig, and if so, which was used for this demo...

EDIT: The Korg site says, "The SGX-1 Premium Piano sound engine offers two distinctive grand pianos; a rich German D piano, and a robust Japanese C model. Each uses superb, un-looped stereo samples sampled at eight velocity levels for each and every key. " So they are probably both 4 gB samples. My guess is that this demo is the Japanese piano, and the one I preferred in the video is the German piano.


Edited by anotherscott (01/16/11 02:50 AM)

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#1626225 - 02/22/11 07:56 PM Re: Korg Kronos, 4GB pianosample in hardware! [Re: sullivang]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
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2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

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