A different perspective on the frenzied NS2 hype train and BM3 comparisons.
Nanostudio 2 has been released and it’s an excellent app by a Marvel superhero of a developer, however, through a slew of limitations, it has now ironically revealed how advanced BM3 actually is.
I was looking forward to NS2 but then after purchasing, found myself scratching my head. ‘What was I not seeing that everyone else was?’ I spent a couple of days. I put it through it’s paces. And I was left still scratching my head.
I am a relatively seasoned producer from the desktop world of Cubase, logic and maschine, and have a good knowledge base. So it then dawned on me, could this possibly be another case of emperor’s new clothes. People are wowed by the UI and rock solid stability ie the wrapper. But what about the filling.
The software has nice built in fx, but no proper AU FX automation, no au fx per pad, no timestretch, no audio tracks (incoming and will no doubt kill bm3s, unless serious overhauling is done), a very simple sample play back mechanism in the form of slate, but no genuine fully fledged sampler, let alone the bm3 beast, a fun synth in the form of obsidian, but nothing that moves the needle. The synth is another generic sounding analogue synth. More of a sound sketch tool for generic dance sounds to help sketch out your ideas. If you want phatness and a unique inspiring palette though, for me the sounds would need replacing later with sunrizer, poison, noir, Magellan, isymphonic, synthmaster one, d1, aparillo etc. I don’t understand the hype. It’s well built, solid, clean, pretty and has low cpu. But if it contains a sound palette that doesn’t inspire you to use it, then none of that even matters. You always reach for your best synth. Not a filler.
I auditioned all of the presets and nothing stood out to me. Other than a couple of neuro basses. Everything else was average sounding. So I began tweaking lfos, envelopes and oscillators to tease some more out of them. This upped the ante a little and in tandem with the xy pad yielded some more pleasing sounds but nothing that would make this a go to synth for me above all the many others. All the demo songs I have heard built solely with obsidian sound like elevator electronic dance library music. Maybe more time with it will reveal other elements but I’m not yet convinced.
There’s also no scene mode in NS2 which is one of bm3’s many great features for lightening fast idea sketching (you can sketch a full track in literally minutes).
NS2 is clearly slick. In fact it’s kinda glorious in it’s UI implementation and work flow. However BM3 really is not that far off. (Though I wish the dotted line was brought back in midi piano roll with some other finessing. Day one forum users will know what I mean.) I like how NS2 does its midi editor. But I also like bm3s. But maybe that’s because I’m more used to it. NS2 has some nice additional touches but nothing to warrant me swapping daws.
In BM3 I use many plugins and have not had ONE SINGLE CRASH since the bm3 interim update. It is solid stable and reliable.
It’s been a while since I have witnessed such intense hype for an iOS app. Now after playing with NS it has confirmed how much overselling by users happens in this market. Nansostudio was hailed as the second coming. And pretty much by the beta testers who self proclaimed themselves as the beta testing dream team which I thought was an interesting statement. It has definitely laid strong foundations, and I am glad it is here to help move iOS music production forward, but it has a long way to go.
Your software has been the blue print to a world of amazing creative possibilities.
Unfortunately bm3s workflow can be a little daunting for some at first, and in this time of instant everything, some people aren’t interested unless they can hit a button that initiates an instant top ten hit. The original manuals possibly did not travel deep enough on some of the basic workflow mechanisms, but tk’s manual may help supplement that for the newbies.
I am so exited by what more is to come. It would be great if the updates were more incrimental rather than long periods, only because I know that some people get fidgity waiting, and unfortunately start unfairly talking down the software. Also please consider using some of the forum stalwarts for beta testing like @5pinlink and @tk32 as they are valuable in helping to advance this software to it’s greatest potential.
I understand however that it really is a balancing act between PR, business and resources. But you guys are SO talented. One day when you come to london, I’ll get to buy you a pint to say thanks for bringing your vision into this world. Much appreciated. It has massively changed the game. And will for a long time to come.