User feedback – thoughts exchange

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  • #13192 Reply


      Hey people 🙂

      So I finally got to spend some time with my Terra. I really enjoy playing / learning it, as the controls really invite you to explore playing techniques and it really feels as an instrument. Softly swelling one note while rhythmically tapping another one with the same hand for instance is really not that easy at first but very satisfying when mastered somewhat. I also play some other instruments since I’ve been a child, thus I know it’s difficut to practice “sound” and “expression” on any other instrument as well. I just say this, because I want to stress out that I have no problem with “learning” an instrument and spending time practicing certain aspects of it.

      Eventually, I feel that Terra has some shortcomings though, and I’d really like to hear opinions from other Terra users and Soma on that.

      • rhythmic LFOs / Sequencers retriggering can’t be turned off – could be very useful while playing with other musicians via a MIDI-Clock
      • tapping in a tempo is almost impossible while playing (as you currently need to press a modulator / also playing notes at the same time disrupts the whole thing)
      • activating some modifiers (on the triangle) while playing can lead to unwanted clicks and pops – could there be a fade option?
      • knob positions change values after 10% movement – a catch-up function would be a lot more useful, especially while jamming live.
      • when you ‘hold’ a bass note and you would want to transpose the very same note, you need to turn off ‘hold’ press the same note + the pitch modifier and then press hold again – I think this is a bit tedious.
      • Also a held note (via hold button) can’t be triggered again, not even when it’s actually a different pitch (via a pitch modifier) – this takes a lot of functionality out of the pitch modifiers in my opinion.
      • I would love to have a dedicated scales bank with some predefined scales I can load onto the machine, also experimental ones (like a gamelan-ish scale or smth) – I know, I can tune everything I want on the machine and load scales from other presets — but yeah … it is tedious. Especially when I try to play along with ‘classical’ instruments at jam sessions. The tuning process would be a little more inspiring if I would have the option to actually see / hear the interrelations between the pitch modifiers and the notes as well, especially when rang out. – I know, this would be a little off the initial concept of Terra, but a thoughtful tuning platform / editor for the computer would be very helpful (with visualization or maybe a selected set of tuning relations and scales to start with)
      • Master Tune is fine and useful – but why is there no Master Transpose as well? so I don’t have to transpose each preset by hand (again, would be useful in a band / jam context)
      • The FX Section sounds great! But is surprisingly “unplayable”, which came to me as a surprise being an instrument from SOMA 🙂
      • It would have been nice to have at least some option to change the modifiers a bit (maybe as well in an Editor) – for example the “pitch down until full stop” modifier is a lot of fun, but in lots of presets I find it too overused and it would be nice to have the option to exchange it with something else.


      • The last thing I want to mention is a far stretch, I know: But after a while I started to love using Terra with a looper, sending a dry (no FX) Signal and using external Delays and Reverbs for individual loops. In a perfect world, Terra would have a built in MIDI-Looper (see BASTL) controlled via a foot pedal – like this you could use the pitch modifiers even further down your performance and still use the great sounding internal effects without the need of an external audio-looper.

      Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy this machine, I do not regret buying it so far. This is just a summary of thoughts I had while playing this instrument. I know that electronic instruments always have the issue with not being clearly limited, unlike a double bass for example – no one would complain about missing “features” there like I did here 😀 But after reading through my post again, I think it wouldn’t really destroy the concept of Terra, rather extend the already great immediacy it gives.

      I do get the idea that Terra should get you off the “tweaking” and “refining” patches until you stop making music path 😀 But I would really wish for some of those aspects being addressed in updates.


      #13193 Reply


        Hi Hermansmasher!

        We carefully read your feedback and really appreciate this type of input, it’s very helpful.

        Unfortunately, implementing any of this would require hardware changes, small and large, so currently it is not possible.

        Hopefully this won’t prevent you from enjoying your Terra!

        Big thanks from the Soma team

        #13194 Reply


          Hey 🙂
          Thanks for the swift response!

          Really “any” of them?

          • Tap Tempo (other key combo)
          • LFO retriggering (on/off)
          • pick-up function of the parameter knobs
          • Master Transpose (additionally to the already existing tuning function)
          • Loading pitch-mod and scales from external flash drive is already kind of possible (just an editor would be needed)

          Those points seem to be fixable within the software, to my understanding, aren’t they?

          Greets 🙂

          #13813 Reply


            Master transpose would be super convenient

            #13971 Reply


              The keymaster’s response to legit concerns ,  pose a basic question..: should I even bother to write anything else on this forum ? Should I go somewhere else for help with Terra ? Even with the newest firmware there are plenty of  things to improve and hermansmasher nailed a few of them.

              #13973 Reply


                Hi Funktree,

                Thanks for your post. We really appreciate your passion for Terra! The feedback from the community about Terra has been one of the highlights for us, that people feel so invested in the instrument and want to improve it makes us truly happy.

                The truth is that each and every suggestion submitted on this forum (and even on Modwiggler:) and via email to us is run by Vlad and the design team. They make a note of it and see what is possible to implement. All user feedback has already enhanced Terra a lot, as you can see in the firmware history notes:

                The truth is also that Terra is incredibly complex, so some changes that may seem like they would be simple to implement, in reality aren’t that straight-forward due to how Terra works. It can’t really be compared to any other synth, it’s designed differently from the ground up, from a technical point of view.

                So please keep submitting your ideas here or via email to [email protected], because users do come up with new ideas that we had not thought of yet. And then we do our best to implement that which is possible to do in future firmware updates!

                -the Soma team

                #14002 Reply


                  Thanks for quick response.

                  How about creating new engines, is it a  steep curve to write an engine ? I have some embedded C/atmelxx/ ESPxx coding experience, and plenty of sound design skills. I Do understand that translating the capacitive  touch properly to have the right attack and plenty of expression after the initial hit is very complex and well done on Terra  You guys achieved almost  0-ms latency.

                  What else besides signing NDA do I need to do to  help you with new engines ? The Bass/Solo engines are pretty weak compared to poly and experimental which are awesome.

                  Terra has incredible opportunities and I know b/c I own ALL the expressive controllers that are out there (besides continuum that is too expensive) I own: LinnStrument, some Roli boxes, Osmose, KeithMCmillen, Push2, Medusa (what a story)  and most of my keys have poly after touch…. I do create patches almost daily (not for public yet:)

                  The concept that you introduced with Cosmos by having 4 firmwares is genius and instantly I have 4 pieces of hardware. I hoped for same paradigm carry for Terra. Especially with engines,..  Am I too far with my dreams ?

                  BTW I was on original list for Terra before ti even hit beta stage 🙂 I knew it would be a bomb especially with touch of romantic engineering 🙂

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