Propellerhead Software
  #1  
Old 2009-12-03, 11:31
Koshdukai's Avatar
Koshdukai Koshdukai is offline
 
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Lightbulb micro Step Sequencer

When Thor was announced, I was quite surprised to see the amount of built-in "extras" like the Delay, the Chorus and the Sequencer sections, because it showed me that Reason was going exactly in the opposite direction that I would like and expect it to: Modularity through discrete smaller integrable virtual devices.

But I understood the reasons why Thor was built like a self-contained-modular-synth. I was also glad because of the well thought out input/output choices (at the back) and of course, the powerful modulation matrix.
I still believe Thor could live without the above mentioned sections, but to some users, it could look like a less powerful synth, that would only get to its full sound generation potential inside a Combinator.

Anyway, after all this, my simple suggestion relates to a still missing sequencer device: a MIDI programmable Step Sequencer. One that we could enter the sequenced notes through the MIDI keyboard, step by step (hence the "Step" in Step Sequencing).

I would imagine such a device with the size of the microMix 6:2, and with a very simple User Interface:
(at the front)
  • 1 Run button
  • 1 Step Selector button -/+ pair (like a step cursor, to select the step)
  • 1 Step Record mode button (to start Step recording from the select step onward, with auto Next-Step each time a Note is entered through the MIDI keyboard)
  • 1 Speed/Tempo knob selector
  • 32 "back-lit" buttons to quickly turn on/off the Gate Output (at the back) of each Step (it would be great if somehow, the intensity of the button light would vary according with the Velocity set at the back)
  • 32 "LCD-like" displays above each button showing the Step note (doubling as a tiny Note edit field for direct typing the step note).
  • 1 (33th) button to trigger a 33th step, starting the next slave sequencer
  • 1 Mode button, when On, would stop that sequence waiting for a new CV Trigger (at the back) and it would also disable the auto-Run state of the Run button when inside a Combinator or when the Transport Play is used.
(at the back)
  • 1 CV Trigger input (to start the sequence)
  • 1 CV Step select input (so steps can be CV selectable)
  • 32 CV Note outputs
  • 32 Velocity knobs
  • 32 CV Gate outputs
  • 1 CV Trigger output (corresponding to the 33th step/button at the front) to trigger the next sequencer
With such tiny step sequencer we would achieve 2 goals:
1) Finally get a step sequence device that would free us from doing step "drawing" on the main sequencer.
2) Daisy-chain as many devices as needed to make longer sequences, of variable sizes (one can trigger the next sequence at any of the 32+1 available steps) running in parallel or in serial sequence.

This would let us make a multi-track sequence matrix to easily trigger ReDrum channels/samples or any other CV accepting device.


(maybe I'll come up with a mock up pic, time permitting)
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Last edited by Koshdukai; 2009-12-22 at 17:56.
  #2  
Old 2009-12-03, 12:00
dioxide's Avatar
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I know it's not what you're after, but Thor's sequencer can be programmed via MIDI.

Also having a separate device for sequencing would mean you lose control of the sounds via Remote. When I use Thor with an arpeggiator I can only control the arp, not Thor's sound.

Last edited by dioxide; 2009-12-03 at 12:05.
  #3  
Old 2009-12-03, 12:16
Koshdukai's Avatar
Koshdukai Koshdukai is offline
 
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Yes, but not through direct Note input from the MIDI Keyboard.

I find it seriously distracting and time consuming to sequentially choose Notes instead of simply and quickly pressing the correct note on the MIDI Keyboard.
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Last edited by Koshdukai; 2009-12-22 at 17:56.
  #4  
Old 2009-12-03, 12:31
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Koshdukai Koshdukai is offline
 
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I wouldn't mind to see a detachable version of the existing Thor Step Sequencer, but at least with the added feature of direct MIDI Keyboard input of Notes... at least that.

...and 16 Note/Gate CV outputs at the back
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  #5  
Old 2009-12-03, 16:58
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this step sequencer idea sounds interesting. it reminds of a simplified version of an mpc and other drum machines.

i agree that there needs to be some sort of direct note input on a reason device for sequencing for several reasons:

reason is supposed to be targeted for studio, but also live use. having a controller that would create sequences and edit them on the fly, with visual feedback from the device, is almost essential. i'm surprised that there isn't a device that is similar to a korg electribe, that has synthesis, sampling, various types of sequencing, and in depth midi control of the device and its parameters.

changing the note number on thor using a knob gives me a headache!

people have been requesting this type of playability for a long time. why can't we create patterns in devices such as redrum and matrix with a controller rather than a mouse?


i think a device that covers several types of sequencing methods, synthesis, sampling, displays wave forms, plays rex files, sets anchor points in samples for stretching and sequencing loops, and has some sort of matrix for modulation of lfos and filters - would be a great solution. it would offer people that use reason live more flexibility and control, it would give people that manipulate samples and create sounds a new approach, it would give people that use loops and patterns more flexibility in reason, it would make programming drum kits more simple and powerful than the nnxt or redrum, it would make creating large sample patches such as strings brass and guitar easier to create (maybe add some sort of simple record or import audio function from the record sequencer, drag and drop?), and it would add sample stretch and pitch modulation (could possibly used as an auto tune device when in "live" mode).

i like your idea, and i think it would be good to expand on it. a new device that is so capable and powerful could be an entire upgrade, or option. i think something like this could be the next recycle. maybe in the sequencer lane there would be more editing capabilities than in regular sequencer tracks. it could possibly add audio recording to reason without the use of record, or advanced editing in record. it would be ideal if it could be used as a stand alone program too, for people that just want to use it for what it basically is (beat slicer, stretcher, sequencer).
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  #6  
Old 2009-12-03, 17:24
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Koshdukai Koshdukai is offline
 
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I keep wishing for more (as in quantity) simpler devices (as in small with basic functionality but very open ended and flexible in its use) just because with such modular components, it's easier to achieve much more complex and unthought/unexpected "devices".

This is my way of asking/throwing hints/giving ideas for ways to expand Reason/Record without the need for VST's or any other external plug-ins. It would also allow the users to make some of the devices they need instead of begging here for new devices.

I keep hoping for such a change of direction, but I see users (and the Props) going for the more all-in-one bigger devices (like Thor, RPG-8, although Thor is more like a do-it-almost-all-in-a-box kinda device), some with limited functionality at birth.

Of course, some devices wouldn't fit in this DIY category (like some you're talking about here) but other simpler devices could be user-made, in a Combinator-like fashion, if only something like what I already suggested on previous posts, existed.

So, this mini Step Sequencer is just another stab at this way of thinking, where, instead of asking for a 32x32 button sequencer matrix (something I also mentioned here) I guess it would be easier to make a modular device that could be used to achieve just that (and more) when daisy-chained or in a master-slave cascade, for those needing it
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Last edited by Koshdukai; 2009-12-03 at 17:36.
  #7  
Old 2009-12-03, 18:11
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i agree that some smaller, more modular devices and fx would be nice.

a single, stand alone sequencer with note input programming and possibly even a collapsible section with an lcd or xox style sequencer that would reflect what has been programmed - would be great.

i seem to often make a connection with users suggestions to a new sampler/sequencer device because it seems the props have moved toward the idea to create powerful devices, such as thor, with sections that can be used in conjunction with other devices. for example, when i create a drum kit using an nnxt and combinator, i often add a thor just for its filters. i don't think a new filter device is really necessary, thor covers that area.

this of course makes the interface much larger, but when used in a combinator, you are limited to just 4 rotaries and 4 buttons, so that evens things out.


i can just about visualize a device that would cover so much, yet be very simple and cover a lot of area.
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  #8  
Old 2009-12-03, 18:39
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Koshdukai Koshdukai is offline
 
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I'm also wishing that the audio/sampling side of Reason gets a boost with Reason 5.

I'm expecting a Thor-like device for real-time audio granularity mangling i.e. a new device that brings to real-time sampling and audio processing (like pitch shifting, time/buffer slicing, etc) what Thor brought to Synthesis. Something the complements the existing samplers with what's still missing in Reason.

That and/or an upgraded Thor with new Sampler/Graintable based OSCs

So, I guess this goes along the lines of what you're talking here too

Let's wait and see (and keep making music while waiting )
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  #9  
Old 2010-10-12, 17:02
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This is still valid for Kong, btw.
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Last edited by Koshdukai; 2010-10-12 at 17:11.
  #10  
Old 2010-10-12, 19:07
jlgrimes jlgrimes is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koshdukai View Post
When Thor was announced, I was quite surprised to see the amount of built-in "extras" like the Delay, the Chorus and the Sequencer sections, because it showed me that Reason was going exactly in the opposite direction that I would like and expect it to: Modularity through discrete smaller integrable virtual devices.

But I understood the reasons why Thor was built like a self-contained-modular-synth. I was also glad because of the well thought out input/output choices (at the back) and of course, the powerful modulation matrix.
I still believe Thor could live without the above mentioned sections, but to some users, it could look like a less powerful synth, that would only get to its full sound generation potential inside a Combinator.

Anyway, after all this, my simple suggestion relates to a still missing sequencer device: a MIDI programmable Step Sequencer. One that we could enter the sequenced notes through the MIDI keyboard, step by step (hence the "Step" in Step Sequencing).

I would imagine such a device with the size of the microMix 6:2, and with a very simple User Interface:
(at the front)
  • 1 Run button
  • 1 Step Selector button -/+ pair (like a step cursor, to select the step)
  • 1 Step Record mode button (to start Step recording from the select step onward, with auto Next-Step each time a Note is entered through the MIDI keyboard)
  • 1 Speed/Tempo knob selector
  • 32 "back-lit" buttons to quickly turn on/off the Gate Output (at the back) of each Step (it would be great if somehow, the intensity of the button light would vary according with the Velocity set at the back)
  • 32 "LCD-like" displays above each button showing the Step note (doubling as a tiny Note edit field for direct typing the step note).
  • 1 (33th) button to trigger a 33th step, starting the next slave sequencer
  • 1 Mode button, when On, would stop that sequence waiting for a new CV Trigger (at the back) and it would also disable the auto-Run state of the Run button when inside a Combinator or when the Transport Play is used.
(at the back)
  • 1 CV Trigger input (to start the sequence)
  • 1 CV Step select input (so steps can be CV selectable)
  • 32 CV Note outputs
  • 32 Velocity knobs
  • 32 CV Gate outputs
  • 1 CV Trigger output (corresponding to the 33th step/button at the front) to trigger the next sequencer
With such tiny step sequencer we would achieve 2 goals:
1) Finally get a step sequence device that would free us from doing step "drawing" on the main sequencer.
2) Daisy-chain as many devices as needed to make longer sequences, of variable sizes (one can trigger the next sequence at any of the 32+1 available steps) running in parallel or in serial sequence.

This would let us make a multi-track sequence matrix to easily trigger ReDrum channels/samples or any other CV accepting device.


(maybe I'll come up with a mock up pic, time permitting)

I think a better (and more powerful) solution for note entry would be to totally revamp the piano roll editor.

With a great piano roll editor, step sequencing wouldn't be as important.


Some ideas I have,

1. Midi note style step entry into piano roll using either your midi keyboard or the newly built-in computer keyboard in Reason.

2. More extensive snap to grid options with more flexibility (e.g. being able to change snap to grid resolution using key commands and midi controller info). Also we need crazy resolutions like 1/512, 1/1024, etc. (Live's snap resolution goes all the way down to 1/65535th notes). (Sonar allows you to come up with almost any resolution imaginable by being able to enter resolutions as tick values). A better grid display option itself would be nice as well sometimes. I believe Reason's grid is only dynamic. It would be great to turn off that feature and SPECIFY a static grid size.

3. "Paintbrush" or "Rapid Fire" draw tool. Why do we need this you ask? Well imagine being able to specify a grid size (for this example 1/32), selecting this tool and then dragging your mouse accross the piano roll and instead of just drawing one long note, you will draw a continuous repetition of notes at that specified grid size. This currently can be done with Ctrl C then pressing Ctrl V and holding it, but you would have to stop the sequence to do this, where the paintbrush could work on the fly. The goal of this would be to be able to program Redrum style patterns in the piano Roll.

4. Note naming tool (Reason technically have this, but imagine being able to name your NNXT drum programs and what not).

5. Fold tool. The ability for the piano roll to only show notes that are active in the piano roll. This would make editing easier.

6. Divide tool. Imagine being able draw a whole note and using the divide process to cut this into a specified amount of equal parts. So you could instantly turn a whole note into 1/32nd notes.

7. Glue tool.

8. Note Mute tool.

9. Curve draw tools. Exponential Curves, Sine Waves, Parabolas etc. This would allow you to draw more precise curves.

10. Chord input tool. For inputting chords.

11. Chord inversion tool or command. For inverting chords.

12. Make Blocks triggerable based off of a quantized rate (so you could do live retriggering of Blocks without going into song mode). Doing this in esscence would turn the piano roll into a glorified step sequencer. I believe if all of this was done, Matrix, and Redrum sequencing would be minimized (except for creating live basic drum patterns that could be put into combinators).



I think anyways if a Micro Sequencer was created, it should allow for piano roll style sequencing instead of Matrix style sequencing which IMO can be a bit limiting for inputting notes.
 

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