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It's All About the Scan Rates

Scan rates are important in two contexts- digital synthesis and MIDI controllers.

With synths, it usually refers to how often the synth engine calculates modulation changes. The result of high scan rates is smoother LFO modulations-- especially with fast LFOs, and snappier envelopes, (as well as other stuff). I really appreciate with developers mention their scan rates. In the case of Zeeon, they mention audio-rate modulation- and when you edit sounds on that thing, it is obvious that it is doing what it does VERY well!!!

With MIDI controller keyboards, high scan rates for the keyboard will result in more accurate velocity calculation-- especially at the higher velocities. It also results in smoother slider & wheel resolution. Recently, Novation started to tout their higher scan rates with their keyboards (Impulse, and SL mkiii), which is smart because I don't know of any other maker that is even mentioning it. And I know of at least one keyboard that had serious issues with slow scan rates (StudioLogic Numa series).

For years, I had been aware that not all keyboard produced true 127 steps of velocity-- and I knew that it was related to scan rates, but I didn't realize that the slower clock also would affect the range of velocities at the high end.

I hope that in the future, digital synth makers and MIDI controller makers will consider adding their scan rates to their published specs. It's a useful piece of info.
December 15, 2018  | favorite_border stub
I asked the AudioKit developer about SynthOne's modulation scan rate, and Matthew replied quickly that internally, the scan rates were at audio rates. I assume that means that the scans for external MIDI controls at rates that would be appropriate for the rate at which MIDI messages flow.

Nice to hear that SynthOne is rocking audio rates for internal mods!
January 31, 2019  | favorite_border stub
SynthMaster also has very fast scan rates. The envelopes sound super snappy.
February 02, 2019  | favorite_border stub

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