feature proposal: strum / phrase editor changes

OS_CE Forums Octopus New features feature proposal: strum / phrase editor changes

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    Adam Wilson

    Hi all, I’d like to see (and implement) the following changes to the note strum editor in order to get more strum levels and to move it partly towards phrase editing:

    32 levels (now 18)
    I’ve found that a step can hold a strum level number between 0 and 31, so I’m proposing to use the full range. When turning the tempo knob to select the strum level for a note, the value is shown similar to how tempo is shown, with red LEDs for the tens.

    strum level = phrase
    When we’re talking about strum levels, we’re also talking about phrases. The 32 strum levels can be seen as 32 phrases, some of which are used for strumming, some of which are used to apply a rhythmic pattern to a step.

    No negative strum levels
    Half of the currently used 18 levels are the negative (red) strum levels, used to strum the notes backwards. I’m proposing to only have positive levels, which would also eliminate the backwards strumming feature. This gives us extra space of new phrases.

    Strum editor changes
    The strum editor is going to be changed. In the new layout, you get to see the VEL, PIT, LEN and STA values for the currently shown strum level (where tempo is normally shown), and for the currently shown note number, like you’re already used to.

    The VEL, PIT, LEN, and STA values are simply shown together, like in Track mode, in the upper 4 rows. This will probably nicely match with the Nemo layout. Instead of the Mixer knobs, the Edit knobs are used to change the attribute values (again, like in Track mode).

    To edit these attributes for another strum level, simply turn the tempo knob. This is new behavior. To edit for another note number, simply select the associate note knob, the way it was.

    Auto note repeat
    When a step is given a non-zero strum level, and the step only has a single note defined (as in most cases), the step is automatically given the number of repeats needed to ‘satisfy’ the number of notes defined for that strum level.

    I’m not fully clear on this yet, but I’d like to see the strum level as the only needed ingredient to apply a phrase to a step.

    48 PPQN STA resolution option
    I’m considering a switch associated with a strum level that, when set, will cause the STA offset to interpreted as a 48 PPQN offset, instead of the currently used exponential STA offsets, perfect for strumming, but not ideal for phrases. That means that you get ‘logical’ values to offset notes at a 32th or 16th of a note.

    For example, we could say that all strumlevels from 10 on get the ‘normal’ STA offsets, while the first 9 maintain the exponential STA values.

    Not sure yet about the ideal resolution, maybe 48 PPQN is too much/little. We have to be sure that we can have good triplet values as well.

    Phrase presets
    We now get a default set of strum presets. We should also have a nice number of phrase presets.

    What do you think?

    Adam Wilson

    Okay, I have nice idea for the STA values. Negative (blinking) values are interpreted as strum offsets and use the exponential scale that we are used to. Positive values are interpreted as 48 PPQN values, used for phrases. This way we are free to use the 31 slots any way we like.


    The idea of strum phrases sounds very good – and useful – i guess this would be sort of like a faux arpeggiator that you find in many synths these days…

    the only problem may be in no negative strum levels – i don’t really use that feature myself, but i can see how others might find it very useful to have both ‘forwards’ and ‘backwards’ strumming.

    Post edited by: machina, at: 2008/08/20 04:13

    Adam Wilson

    The phrases are not meant to be used as an alternative to an arpegiator, but more as a replacement pattern to be played where normally a step would be played. The step ‘triggers’ the pattern.

    This way you can run at a relaxed tempo where each step represents a 16th of a bar, and have a step trigger a pattern of 32nd notes.

    It’s probably even possible to combine the pattern with the random note pool feature and have the pattern play partly.


    ehm… let’s say that… one could in fact enter manually the negative "strums" if really needed…

    True a bit of a pain to set up, but if one really wants could still achieve the effect manually. In this case you would need 18 exponential PPQ phrases to mantain the current functionality, but it’d be a bit of a waste of patterns…


    Sounds really good Robert!

    Please note though (for the sake of clarity) that currently there is up and down strumming. Not forwards/backwards. So it is about note order (top-bottom or bottom-top) not about timing.

    Adam Wilson

    Understood, and correctly implemented. ;)

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