Hello… Im struggling with whether I should go for the ZDSP or the OWL. I am particularly interested in the Grain de Folie for ZDSP and wonder if there is any similar or equivalent patch for the OWL forthcoming? anyone know of any? Also, is the OWL processor faster than the Arm one in the ZDSP?
I know there’s some sampling and granular patches in the works, but I have no idea when they might be available.
The Z-DSP is a different beast altogether. AFAIK it doesn’t have an ARM, instead it uses the specialised FV1 chip from Spin, same as in some other Eurorack modules like the Flame FX6. You can read more about it here , though I think development on the technology has stopped.
It can’t really be compared to the ARM Cortex M4 in the OWL, which is a state of the art, high performance RISC processor. So yes, it’s much faster. For comparison, the FV1 does 128 instructions per sample at 48kHz, whereas the OWL manages 3500. FV1 has 128kB of audio buffer, the OWL has 1024kB – plus 192kB on-chip RAM. The instruction sets are different so you can’t really compare side by side, but it gives you an idea.
Saying that, there’s some really nice programs available for the Z-DSP, and it’s a mature product. OWL is modern and built on an entirely open-source platform, meaning no extra fees for updates and new patches. The ambition with the OWL is not just to create a great product, but also to grow an active community of musicians and developers around it. If you look at the amount and range of contributions in the patch library you might agree.