Propellerhead Software
  #1  
Old 2011-09-22, 22:14
Tokeijikaku's Avatar
Tokeijikaku Tokeijikaku is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 337
Polyphonizer

TL;DR: A Combinator-like device which turns a monophonic chain polyphonic.

EDIT: I made an illustration to... well, illustrate. I'll post it here first, and JP probably wants it in the MoM thread.
EDIT AGAIN: Moved the illustration to the top of the post as to spare viewers the wall of text. Original post is down below and more detailed.
EDIT ONCE AGAIN (2013-03-10): Reuploaded the illustration for original size.



---

Original post:

Here's my idea (or at least, one of them, this is my most parsimonious one) for polyphonic modular synthesis in Reason. Well, it's not exactly modular synthesis, in fact pretty far from - it's modular in the sense that Reason itself is kind of modular. You'll get it. Much can be guessed from the name alone.

I call it the Polyphonizer, and it's a wrapper/container/nesting/whatever device like the Combinator, except you can put this inside Combinators. To have it make sense visually I propose that the device section of it have thin sheet edges with flaps that extend over the Combinator's sides.

Other than the pitch and mod wheels and the patch window, the device itself has only a voice count dial and a button for showing or hiding the device section. On the back are CV inputs for the wheels, a main output and a "from devices" input.

This is how the thing works: Everything inside the device section is "cloned" in real time a number of times according to the Polyphonizer's polyphony count. These "clones", or "voices" as one could call them, are identical in configuration and out of sight, and what one edits in the rack is a "prototype voice". MIDI signals introduced to the Polyphonizer are allocated to the appropriate clone, and presto - the whole chain becomes polyphonic. Any automation to any of the devices in the prototype voice is automatically reflected in all the clone voices.

All the instruments inside this wrapper should probably be monophonic by default. Audio routed to a device in the prototype voice from outside the Polyphonizer is distributed to each voice. Audio from within to the outside is instantly compiled at that stage. CV from outside is handled the same way as audio (external CV will probably be the only practical way of getting the same effect on all voices, since internal LFOs will tend to dissynchronize, random modulators definitely so), and the tricky part comes with CV from within to ouside (I'd go with latest-voice-basis, but one could argue for other ways). I still haven't figured out what the meters and indicators of devices inside the prototype voice should show.

So, this thing would basically make possible polyphonically everything that can already be done monophonically. We could use distortion devices as shapers as well as using the shapers on Thor and Malström as stand-alones, we would get polyphonic chorus and unison, we could create voice-independent gated effects and keyboard-tracking EQ, we could pan voices individually, create endless chains of stand-alone filters with envelopes, keyboard-tracking and filter modulation, and much more. And it would all be forwards-compatible.

Wait, isn't this wasteful and inefficient??
I don't think so. Let's consider why Reason is so efficient in the first place: It has a limited selection of devices which you use over and over again. It's redundant and contained in its own environment - it couldn't be more obvious how this software is structured. One way to think of it is that basically, there's only one of each instrument. Every instance of each instrument follow the same rules, uses the same functions and calculations. In other DAWs, most plugins are loaded independently, and each incarnation constitutes a full dose of memory and cpu usage, whereas with Reason, that kind of waste can be brought down to almost naught.

But it gets better - It's testable. I won't claim that I did so thoroughly or accurately - limited sample size - but the fact that my system didn't go up in flames is good enough. I compared four 32-voice Thors to one hundred and twenty eight monophonic ones, all-in-all 128 voices of the same basic thing. Although the latter tacked on two conspicuous percent of idle cpu usage, the increase in active cpu was about a tenth, to a grand average of about 9% cpu usage. The idle cpu taken into account, it didn't take any more whatsoever. Also, this raw configuration wasted cpu and memory for reasons that could be optimized away with the Polyphonizer. And for one thing, the UI got really sluggish... Those cables...
Admittedly, it got a bit heavier when I started creating 128-piece chains of effect devices just to see how many could be handled, if three bars on the dsp meter can be considered heavy (and no, by the way, I don't have a Deep Thought space computer - I run Windows 7 with an i7 930 and six gigs of RAM).

So yeah, I think this is a great idea and that I'm a bloody genius, but tell me what you think.

In b4 "If they add this they will never add a proper modular synth"
__________________
"Toi" is the preferred shorthand among my gaming buddies.
The Loudness War

Last edited by Tokeijikaku; 2013-03-10 at 22:17.
  #2  
Old 2011-09-22, 22:27
selig's Avatar
selig selig is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,489
My vote is for scripting, but my reasons are to recreate the early poly voice synths like Oberheim where each module was a voice.



I would prefer to have access to each module/voice with nothing hidden. By using scripting for this it's simple, really. Just have an 'overflow' mode where each note gets sent to the next individual synth inside the combinator.

Scripting allows all sorts of other really cool stuff, and any feature that can be used for unlimited applications probably has a better shot at being implemented than a 'one trick pony', especially as most folks don't even want such a feature as this in the first place!

But by approaching this feature suggestion as a part of a larger and more universally applicable feature like scripting, you have a better shot at actually seeing it show up in a released version of the software! :-)

Love the idea, just think it's doable in a better way considering all factors.
__________________
Giles Reaves, aka 'selig'
Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
USA
  #3  
Old 2011-09-22, 22:42
Tokeijikaku's Avatar
Tokeijikaku Tokeijikaku is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 337
The Polyphonizer could have eight or so note/gate cv output pairs on the back. And voice muting.
__________________
"Toi" is the preferred shorthand among my gaming buddies.
The Loudness War
  #4  
Old 2011-09-22, 23:17
Reason1O1's Avatar
Reason1O1 Reason1O1 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,096
Maybe I'm being a bit dense here, but what's the difference between this concept, and "Copy & Paste" of the devices in place inside the Combinator?

Granted, you have to remap the new device settings in the Combi programmer, and if there isn't a thread out there to do this automatically, there should be.

As soon as I heard "Clone," that's what I think of first (copy, paste, copy, paste). Or some "smart paste" command that allows you to insert the number of copies you want and presto, there they are all lined up for you.
  #5  
Old 2011-09-22, 23:17
Tokeijikaku's Avatar
Tokeijikaku Tokeijikaku is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 337
Yeah yeah, missing the point again.
I don't know, "scripting" just sounds a bit out of place, perhaps even counterintuitive. Another thing is that I don't particularly want to micromanage sixteen instrument chains to maintain their sameness. If scripting is used for that as well, how much time and effort would it take to make sixteen identical chains each consisting of three mixers, three thors, a malström, two screams, one halfrack filter, a unison and six equalizers synchronize with each other in real time? What about scripting to handle the addition or removal of devices in said chain and including them in the overflow setup?

...I'm missing something, right?
__________________
"Toi" is the preferred shorthand among my gaming buddies.
The Loudness War
  #6  
Old 2011-09-22, 23:25
Reason1O1's Avatar
Reason1O1 Reason1O1 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by selig View Post
My vote is for scripting, but my reasons are to recreate the early poly voice synths like Oberheim where each module was a voice.



I would prefer to have access to each module/voice with nothing hidden. By using scripting for this it's simple, really. Just have an 'overflow' mode where each note gets sent to the next individual synth inside the combinator.

Scripting allows all sorts of other really cool stuff, and any feature that can be used for unlimited applications probably has a better shot at being implemented than a 'one trick pony', especially as most folks don't even want such a feature as this in the first place!

But by approaching this feature suggestion as a part of a larger and more universally applicable feature like scripting, you have a better shot at actually seeing it show up in a released version of the software! :-)

Love the idea, just think it's doable in a better way considering all factors.
Selig,
It would be really interesting to see scripting inside Reason (a la Max/ISP or Max4Live or something along those lines), but I guarantee it would be a monumental flop for 99.9999999999999% of Reason users. They tried it in Adobe Photoshop, and nobody but the braniac team at Adobe use it.

Don't get me wrong. I would LOVE to see ANY advanced capability added to Reason (scripting included). Just not sure how much traction it would gain.

-Rob
  #7  
Old 2011-09-22, 23:27
Tokeijikaku's Avatar
Tokeijikaku Tokeijikaku is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 337
@Phi

The difference is the abiltity to play them from one source in a coherent manner. That and not having to micromanage or paste-patch-sweep repeatedly.

By "cloning" I mean the device basically acts like X (voice count) copies of the prototype chain with MIDI being sent to them from the core device in the same way as MIDI signals are sent to the different voices of a polysynth.
__________________
"Toi" is the preferred shorthand among my gaming buddies.
The Loudness War
  #8  
Old 2011-09-23, 00:21
selig's Avatar
selig selig is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhiSequence View Post
Selig,
It would be really interesting to see scripting inside Reason (a la Max/ISP or Max4Live or something along those lines), but I guarantee it would be a monumental flop for 99.9999999999999% of Reason users. They tried it in Adobe Photoshop, and nobody but the braniac team at Adobe use it.

Don't get me wrong. I would LOVE to see ANY advanced capability added to Reason (scripting included). Just not sure how much traction it would gain.

-Rob
I'm pretty sure it's one of the main attractions for Kontakt. And when you see what can be done with scripting first hand (if you haven't already) you'll know what I'm talking about.

The main point I can make in favor of scripting at some level, is that I LOVE using scripting in Kontakt, but I've NEVER even looked at a single script! I would imagine most folks would use scripting in that way; not ever even knowing what's going on behind the scenes (and not needing to know), but totally digging what they are able to do with all that power.

Such a general approach is SO powerful at so many different levels, take the lowly Combinator for example. In the case of scripting you can do things like create an Oberhiem style modular poly synth, patch alternating setups like the TX802, polyphonic arpeggiators, scale conform, harmony conform, auto harmony, key switching, bizarre (non-contiguous) key splits like on every other note, re-mapping of controllers, live CC scaling, and probably stuff I've never considered! :-)
__________________
Giles Reaves, aka 'selig'
Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
USA
  #9  
Old 2011-09-23, 00:25
JiggeryPokery's Avatar
JiggeryPokery JiggeryPokery is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 5,081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokeijikaku View Post
@Phi

The difference is the abiltity to play them from one source in a coherent manner. That and not having to micromanage or paste-patch-sweep repeatedly.

By "cloning" I mean the device basically acts like X (voice count) copies of the prototype chain with MIDI being sent to them from the core device in the same way as MIDI signals are sent to the different voices of a polysynth.
I know I'm oversimplifying a bit here, but get down to the nitty gritty and you're asking for a proper Unison device with user selectable number of voices instead of that rather hoary old red box we've put up with for a decade, and more Combinator knobs.

After all, no matter how you cut it, cloning a mono source does not polyphony make.

@selig. Would still love to see scripting though!
__________________
www.jiggery-pokery.com
Vintage Keyboard & Guitar ReFills for Reason
  #10  
Old 2011-09-23, 00:30
selig's Avatar
selig selig is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokeijikaku View Post
Yeah yeah, missing the point again.
I don't know, "scripting" just sounds a bit out of place, perhaps even counterintuitive. Another thing is that I don't particularly want to micromanage sixteen instrument chains to maintain their sameness. If scripting is used for that as well, how much time and effort would it take to make sixteen identical chains each consisting of three mixers, three thors, a malström, two screams, one halfrack filter, a unison and six equalizers synchronize with each other in real time? What about scripting to handle the addition or removal of devices in said chain and including them in the overflow setup?

...I'm missing something, right?
I think that what you're missing (IF anything) is that this is a huge undertaking to allow polyphonic distortion or compression, which seems to be it's only advantage over the current system. IF allowing polyphonic effects is important, you should consider solutions by others including myself that have addressed this issue and so much more with a single device. See my ReRack and other similar suggestions in this thread:
https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/...4&postcount=41

Again, the only problem I would see with your approach is that it's a one trick pony, and that trick isn't anything that's going to explode anyone's creative potential. In my suggestion for the ReRack, polyphonic processing is an after-thought (wasn't my original intention at all!), a bonus for taking that approach, and it happens at the modular level which would allow MUCH more flexibility IMHO. You could put a reverb between the OSC and Filter, or a limiter after the Filter but before the VCA to control high resonance settings. These things wouldn't be possible with your approach and would leave you with only a few things that could be useful, again totally my opinion and without time to properly think through every possible situation. :-)
__________________
Giles Reaves, aka 'selig'
Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
USA
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT +2. The time now is 14:52.