Zoia



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Re: Zoia

Postby Heraclitus Akimbo » Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:29 pm

Paul_C wrote:I'm thinking about getting one once I have some spare funds (in the next few months, with a bit of luck), so I shall return to this thread later today (once my daughter is out of the way) to have a proper listen.

I doubt I'll need much convincing once I start listening to what can be done (I've avoided doing so up until now to keep me from spending money I don't have ;) )

I've got a midi controller which I've used to run Fruity Loops out of my PC and into my pedals, so being able to include that would add to the fun, by the looks of things.


Yeah, I think you'd have fun. It does take some time commitment to getting the basics, but to too much time to be at a level where you can go to patchstorage and download dozens of cool patches.

ZOIA's midi is 1/8" in/out (and comes with adapters to 5-pin), so it doesn't deal with the newer USB-midi style connections — just a heads-up if that's what your controller has.

qersty wrote:Do you Zoibois think zoia is worth it over full on mad scientist equipment? (modular, max/PD) sometimes i get nord modular nastalgia when i see this


Yes but no? For me it 100% was/is.

It really exists at the centre of a venn diagram between three kinds of musical thinking (pedals, modular, max/PD) so you can bring the logic of each of those as you please, and it can also complement any of those worlds if you're semi-invested already, given that it can send/receive midi/cv/audio. If you want to get super into modular or max, this won't get as deep, and if the visuals/tactility of those are super-important to you this might not satisfy. You can't get the thrill of starting with unwired Eurorack case and live-patching something.

But all that said, it's quite mindblowing and open-ended. The biggest limit is the CPU capacity, but if you're building stuff from the ground up (modular thinking instead of pedal thinking) you can do a lot (you can get a lot of LFO and VCA's as opposed to, say, slapping a computationally-demanding fancy reverb module in there).
solo (mostly ambient): https://heraclitusakimbo.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Zoia

Postby Paul_C » Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:49 pm

Because I don't need to use it live and rarely want reverb (which seems to need the most processing power) I reckon I could have a lot of fun with one.

I've got to wait a month or two for my Dad's flat to sell (a price has been agreed but there's no guarantee it will get done) and then I can start looking, in the meantime I can watch a few more videos and make up my mind.
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Re: Zoia

Postby Paul_C » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:44 pm

The Zoia arrived and has been plugged in and tested, with a very quick run through of the factory patches.

I found a couple of patches I liked and that was enough to start with as I was feeling a bit spaced out, which might have been vaccine-related.

As my PC is old and runs Vista, it may turn out that I have to find a solution for updates and downloading patches - I'll have a look later this evening.

My midi keyboard has a USB socket, but I might be able to hook up my MicroKorg as a controller, maybe my Tenori-On too.

Off to patchstorage.com
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Re: Zoia

Postby Heraclitus Akimbo » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:00 pm

If it works on your machine, definitely recommend the Librarian utility (found on the Zoia sub-reddit). I was glad to not have to manually add/remove patches.

I think I kept, like, two of the factory presets.

Possibly useful tip: the micro-SD to SD adapter that came with the Zoia did cause me some brief aggravation, til I noticed that the copy-protect toggle of the one edge was super loose and it kept sliding to read-only when I was plugging it into the computer, preventing me from saving any patches to the card. I was happier when I switched to a different one I had laying around.
solo (mostly ambient): https://heraclitusakimbo.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Zoia

Postby Paul_C » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:35 pm

I've ordered an adapter so I can plug the Micro SD into my PC, which should mean no need for the other adapter.

I don't think there are too many patches I'd choose to keep, so I'm sure I shall do a lot of downloading and making of patches - if nothing else it should stop me adding to my ridiculous number of Bandcamp albums for a bit !

If I'm feeling ok tomorrow I might start doing more than just scrolling through the patches and fearing touching any of the buttons.
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Re: Zoia

Postby Heraclitus Akimbo » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:42 pm

You'll probably outpace me in no time... every time I get into it and get pulled in for a couple days of ZOIA-ing I then get distracted by something else and trail off. Focus is not my #1 quality at this stage of the pandemic.
solo (mostly ambient): https://heraclitusakimbo.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Zoia

Postby Paul_C » Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:10 pm

Heraclitus Akimbo wrote:You'll probably outpace me in no time... every time I get into it and get pulled in for a couple days of ZOIA-ing I then get distracted by something else and trail off. Focus is not my #1 quality at this stage of the pandemic.


I doubt it, I'm not that focused at the best of times :)

I've got a Moment Machine and an 856 for Z back in their boxes and haven't got that far into discovering what my Ilfmas Shruthi can do, so I'm easily discouraged at the moment.

I certainly don't see myself spending an hour deciding on what colour and brightness each button needs to be !
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Re: Zoia

Postby qersty » Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:51 am

Thank you for the take. It feels still like it's a pedal that could be really cool or I'll never use it. I wish I could try it out first. Does it have good pitch shifting capabilities? I would use that alot but it's as CPU heavy as verb, right?
imagine finding out your son is your daughter & she's into noise music
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Re: Zoia

Postby resincum » Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:11 am

the more I look into this thing, the more I'm enamored by it. I'm also curious about it's pitch shifting capabilities. this over a microcosm? you can apparently get freaky with the MIDI out, too :evil:
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Re: Zoia

Postby Heraclitus Akimbo » Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:54 pm

qersty wrote:Thank you for the take. It feels still like it's a pedal that could be really cool or I'll never use it. I wish I could try it out first. Does it have good pitch shifting capabilities? I would use that alot but it's as CPU heavy as verb, right?


I myself am more interested in wonky pitch shifting than in good tracking, etc. so I'm not a perfect source, but my understanding is that the pitch-shifting is considered "not great". Like: the reverbs are considered a pretty good effort from a company that makes prestige reverbs. The pitch-shifting, not so much.

If you want outside-the-box pitch shifting, it could be amazing, 'cause you could design whatever you want: envelope-controlled? midi triggered? Pitch-shifted audio connected to loopers/reverbs? Reversed sound run through a ring-mod and then pitch shifted?

As for the orthodox use-case, I believe it's something Empress has said they plan to upgrade, and I know in the user community there are people working on doing an end-run around the pitch-shifting module and using the granular engine instead.
solo (mostly ambient): https://heraclitusakimbo.bandcamp.com/
band (spontaneous kosmische): https://stargoon.bandcamp.com/
trio (tapes/voice/clarinet/synth/poems): https://ourwaytofall.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Zoia

Postby Heraclitus Akimbo » Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:15 am

More ZOIA synth-ing. I got one of those bendy camera mounts to try and get a better angle on my ironing board, so this is testing that out as well.

solo (mostly ambient): https://heraclitusakimbo.bandcamp.com/
band (spontaneous kosmische): https://stargoon.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Zoia

Postby Paul_C » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:09 am

I spent a little time running the Zoia through Mod Rex, Mood, Fabrikat and Stamme[n] (IIRC) using just the factory presets and made this:

https://sonickoalas.bandcamp.com/album/a-phantom-limb

I'm hoping the adapter (which will allow me to download some of the user-created patches) will turn up soon, but I'm also thinking about creating things as I go and then deleting them, as I like the idea of not being able to precisely recreate things that I've recorded (which is why I delete all the raw wav files I record once I've finished with them).

If I'm honest, I'm not a huge fan of pedals that need a lot of effort to get the best out of them, but rather than send it back (it's not the shop's fault) I'm going to do my best to explore the Zoia and see what daft noises I can find in it.
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Re: Zoia

Postby Paul_C » Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:08 am

The adapter arrived in the post and I've copied 19 of the 804 (!) patches onto it, so the next couple of albums (at least) will be me messing around with them and my current set up.

Looking forward to seeing what nonsense I can come up with :)
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Re: Zoia

Postby Paul_C » Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:14 am

A quick run through of the patches revealed that:

1. So far almost every step involves me looking at the manual and occasionally pressing buttons, frowning and then looking at the manual again.

2. I can get things working, though sometimes I'm not sure how.

3. Some patches don't appear to work, but random button presses result in something happening. So they do work, but I don't know how yet.

4. The patches that work straight away are sometimes too loud or too quiet, but this can probably be adjusted once I've worked out how.

5. The patches that work straight away and aren't too quiet or too loud and don't need random button pressing are mostly fabulous and make me think that I'm going to have a lot of fun making music with this, even if it will most likely be with those patches that don't need too much effort on my part, as I'm really not in the mood these days to spend hours understanding the subtleties of this sort of pedal.

6. I probably don't need to buy the Possessed now but will do anyway, because it's a lot simpler to use than the Zoia so it'll come in handy for days when I really can't be bothered.

So, my early feeling about the Zoia is that it's way too complicated for me to get the best out of it, but I'm going to really enjoy owning it despite that.
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Re: Zoia

Postby Invisible Man » Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:18 am

I've owned two and sold both.

Zoia is a really incredible idea, and a wonderful pedal. I still think about it sometimes, and miss it. The pastabilities are endless, which is really intoxicating for me.

But: I'm really trying to create music more and to doodle around less, and Zoia is the ultimate doodle pad. You can sketch out any idea you want. And, sadly, the sketching process isn't that enjoyable, even if the UI for 'playing' the pedal is pretty novel and fun.

The looper, granular objects, and reverb are really gorgeous and interesting. Some of the synth voices and waveforms take a lot of effort to get into interesting territory. They're pretty basic, but can be manipulated via FM or other left-field methods. If you've ever wanted to hear 7 voices stacked up on one another in a kind of exponential FM cluster...Zoia can do it, and without a lot of hassle.

If I had to choose only one hardware device on which to make music, it'd probably be Zoia. But I don't have to choose.
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