Hi there. I am a very happy Creamware soundcard user. I would like to know if there is more people here using Scope platform and their opinions.
I used to have the original Pulsar card, with a Sonic Rocket Booster expansion card. My experience of it was that it was fantastic when it was working; the quality of the synths and effects was really great.
Unfortunately it was also very unstable for me. It would constantly claim it had run out of DSP power at random times, when I was actually well short of pushing it - often even before I loaded anything at all into the environment. Annoyingly the machine had to be restarted every time this happened, in order to reload the drivers.
Support was absolutely crap. I remember after one update of the environment I discovered a bug which caused my machine to go to a BSOD every time I closed Cubase whilst Pulsar was open. Basically it meant at least one BSOD per session. I emailed them and for several weeks they swore that it wasn't anything to do with the update, and that I was the only one having this difficulty. Then they conceded it might be because I'd installed the update patch and suggested that I try uninstalling my card and reinstalling a clean install of the latest environment. (Bear in mind that this meant going in my machine a lot, since the SRB card had to be installed after the environment). This didn't work, and I insisted it was a bug, but they continued to tell me that nobody else had had this problem, and suggested I reinstall Windows and then reinstall the card. I tried this - twice - but to no avail....
...then I spotted this very bug in a list of known bugs, in a review of the upgrade, in Computer Music Magazine. Given that the magazine takes some time to come to press it would seem that the nice Creamware people were just lying, causing me a whole load of stress and work in the process.
Finally, the free upgrades for life promise fell through. When I bought the card a whole bunch of synths and effects were a given part of the environment, and Creamware promised that updates to the environment would be free for life. Well according to the letter of the law they stuck to their word - the environment continued to be free, but they started clawing back modules that had been a part of it. For instance in one upgrade they suddenly ceased to include the vocoder, then produced the 'vocodiser' which you could buy for a rather substantial extra sum. Don't get me wrong - I didn't object to the fact that they also produced synths and effects that weren't free - but the sneaky way they clawed back some of the ones that had been free really annoyed me. They quite deliberately engineered things so that older modules could not be imported into newer environments - for instance the vocoder and minimoog emulation from version 2 would not run in version 3. So you were left with a choice of either buying again the synths and effects that you had recently owned, or sticking with the older environment which wouldn't support any newer modules you did want to buy. I think this was one of the sneakier business models I've come across.
So I sold the lot and used the money to buy NI Komplete2 and CrusherX, and haven't looked back.
I researched for quite some time and kept coming back to Creamware for my needs. I own a classic analogue synth and comparatively most of the Vsts sounded like toys to me. The Creamware stuff just blew me away...so I built two machines one running three boards and one machine dedicated to Gigastudio. I haven't had one moment of trouble and found all my questions answered within hours by the PlanetZ forum and had prompt response from Creamware whenever my registration changed with the addition of new synths or effects. Yes they maybe a little slow due to downsizing with new updates and such, but my thing is not the last and greatest but the best to be had with stability and that's what I have right now. Just my two cents worth.
Hi Tari, I have been using a Scope/Pulsar 2 for some years now and I am still amazed of how good it sounds... the routing options are infinite and it's quite simple to use...
Unfortunately, when I've had some installing problems or any audio related problem I found tech support non existing... I finally gave up, hoping that my audio card will never break... so far, so good, but tech support is the worst I've ever seen in pro audio...
Thanks for your answers . I never needed the tech support, so I don't know how fast and good they are.
I have updated for 98€ to Scope 4.5 with a a lot of new devices...incredible!!!
Ivan, as you say the routing options are amazing, and the mixers are very easy to use and with all the options you can imagine.
I remember that two or three years a go Hans Zimmer said that he used creamware for years. He composed Gladiator with Scope. I think that a lot of people don't know all the possibilities of this card.
Thanks again for your commentaries!!
In case someone wants to know, I toured for 6 months in Asia and USA with Scope/GS3 Orchestra live without a hiccup. I had them installed on the same box. I was nervous about both of them being finnicky apps. on the same box, but the second box wasn't necessary. CWA GSIF drivers are working flawlessly w/ GS3. I use to use much more hardware,i.e. Matrix 12 w/ XPander, Line 6 Echo Pro, Lexicon PCM-41, and PCM-70, Emulator and Akai samplers, Hammond B3 w/ twin 147s. Now I use Scope cards w/ John Bowens Solaris,B2003,Celmos Tape Simulator,Motion-Sound Pro 3t, and the kick ~~~ GS3 w/ Gigapulse. The only hardware I use is the Lexicon MPX-200 through the S/PDIFs into Scope.
My FOH man loves the control he has now better than before with all the miking. Now when we record it sounds just as fat, but cleaner. I do miss my Oberheims a little still. But they were given proper burial in my project studio in Las Vegas.
Strength Through Superior DSPs.