Rowan

MPC style Note Repeat Function

55 posts in this topic

I'm curious if there is an Akai MPC style Note Repeat function in the MB SEQ firmware. I've had a look about and there doesn't seem to be an option mimics this.

If you aren't familiar with Note Repeat it's a very simple but powerful feature. It works like this, you hold down the note repeat button and a window opens that allows you to select the note interval (1/16 Note, 1/8Note etc) and swing percentage (57% is the magic number). You then hold down a pad and notes are triggered at the selected interval on the beat, ie. If you don't hit the pad on the beat it doesn't start triggering notes until the defined note interval is reached. The pads also transmit polyphonic aftertouch which controls the velocity of the notes being triggered thereby making it very easy to creat expressive patterns quickly and in real time.

The Sonic Potions LXR implements a similar feature in its performance mode that works really well.

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I like the idea, and it shouldn't be so difficult to implement this.

 

I added it to the wish list.

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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The pads also transmit polyphonic aftertouch which controls the velocity of the notes being triggered thereby making it very easy to creat expressive patterns quickly and in real time.

 

This is the key feature of note repeat that makes the MPCs so magical and expressive!

Edited by stuartm

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Woo I would love to see this!

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Great feature indeed. I don't have any MPC but on the Akai XR20 it's even possible to change the repeat rate on the fly while holding down the beat pad(s) and repeat button. Next to the pads is a 1-10 numpad and the first 7 or 8 buttons allow you to switch the rate while playing (1, 1/2, 1/2T, 1/4, 1/4T, ...). Really cool for twisted drum rolls or rhytm fluctuations. It would be a dream feature on Seq4.

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I've been think about this further and how the famous Akai Note Repeat could be improved based on my own experience.

One idea I have come up with that would open a new world of possibles would be to be able to select repeat interval on a midi note level

i.e

C-3: 1/8 Note Repeat

C-3#: 1/16 Note Repeat

D-3: 1/4 Note Repeat

... etc

This would be amazing for drums and absolutely killer when the output is triggering arpeggios.

Being able to adjust gate length as a percentage or interval per note would also be good.

Edited by Rowan

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The way Roland implemented the arpegiator is way more flexible. To mimic the note repeat on the mpc you just select 1/4 1/6 1/8 etc. There is a knob to change octave intervals, note length. Then you can also change swing and Vario's note orders. Then there are many many other ARP types. I mean the note repeat is nothing more then a simple ARP? Or am I missing something?

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Don't forget MPC 16 Levels feature combined with Note repeat is a great secret weapon

 

Please implement that as well :)

 

 

The 16 Level feature, let you use the 16 pads (or buttons in the Seqv4's case) to select either 16 levels of velocity or 16 different Note values.

So essentially you would make it so buttons 1 - 16 would trigger 16 different levels of Velocity. or 16 different Notes

 

 

 

When combined with the Note Repeat and 16 levels provides great live possibilities

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I already see some conflicting requests... changing parameters on the fly, triggering notes or vel level of a note with the existing MBSEQ V4 CS is too cumbersome.

 

Would it be acceptable to use an external keyboard (or MIDI controller with drum pads) for note/vel entering, and to use the GP buttons for on-the-fly parameter changes?

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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^ Absolutely! :-D

 

Thanks for even considering this feature!

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Would it be acceptable to use an external keyboard (or MIDI controller with drum pads) for note/vel entering, and to use the GP buttons for on-the-fly parameter changes?

Yes, that is what I had in mind, the Seq CS isn't really suited to triggering the notes. A big part of the vibe of the MPC is the pads, I think something like a korg nano pad or akai LPD8 connected via USB OTG would be ideal, unfortunataly neither of these devices transmit polyphonic aftertouch.

As long as there is the option to assign the repeat function to a CS button and the behaviour of this button can be set to latching and momentary. Maybe press and hold the button it behaves in a momentary way and two quick sussesive presses it latches on, press again once and it latches off. Also the option to have an LED assigned to the button, I think I would personally use the "Fast" button and LED because I haven't found myself using it yet.

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It seems that the Arturia Beatstep transmits polyphonic aftertouch in response to pad pressure, has a hardware midi output, A CV/Gate interface and 16 encoders thrown in all of less that €100. It looks like it will be the ideal add on pad controller. I'm borrow one this week from work to confirm it does transmit polyphonic aftertouch and report back.

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Ok, I will try to create some kind of mockup this evening and then let's continue the discussion. 

 

Just noticed that my CME X-Key sends polyphonic aftertouch as well, which should give me a nice testing basis:

mbhp_core_stm32f4_usb_host_1.jpg

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Ok, here a quick & dirty implementation as a starting point, and to identify potential issues:

http://www.ucapps.de/mios32/midibox_seq_v4_088_pre7.zip

 

Usage: enter the Utility->Live page, then press GP8 to enter the (hidden) "Repeat Config" page.

On a common track you will see a "Repeat" on/off switch and the repeated note length at the left side, and 8 repeat configurations at the right side.

On a drum track you will be able to select the drum instrument in addition at the left side, means: each drum instrument can get it's own configuration.

 

Repeat configurations: 1th, 2th, 4th, 6th, 8th, 16th, 24th, 32th note

 

What is already working:

- once enabled, notes won't be played immediately, but will be repeated according to the selected repeat raster

- in drum mode, an individual raster can be specified for each instrument. Notes which are not defined as an instrument in the drum track will be passed immediately and won't be repeated

- channel aftertouch controls the velocity of all repeated notes

- polyphonic aftertouch allows to control the velocity of the corresponding note

 

What is not working & known limitations:

- no support for recording yet

- no overdubbing takes place yet. Which means: if the sequencer step plays the same note, it will be sent twice

- probably won't work properly if sequencer plays glided or sustained notes

- triplets and dotted notes can't be specified directly, because the repeated note has to match with the track raster. Means: if the track is configured for triplet modes, you will get triplet notes for all notes played by the track. There is no solution to overcome this limitation

- due to the same reason, 32th notes will only be played if the clock divider is configured for 32th notes in the "track divider" config page

- due to the same reason, 6th and 24th notes result into funny patterns - I left it as it is, because it results into an euclidean-like effect (try it ;-)

- configuration won't be stored on SD Card (because it's a moving target...)

- the same configuration is used for all tracks

 

 

There is no way to overcome the "track raster" limitation due to conceptional reasons.

However, we can also see this as an advantage: euclidean-like patterns can be created this way ;-)

A possible extension would be to add a note offset, e.g. to shift certain instruments into the off-beat

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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That was quick!

 

I have loaded the firmware but I can't "activate" the repeat function. I have configured a track as a drum track and enable repeat on all the instruments. Im using a Akai LPD8 running into Ableton live the being sent to the SEQ via USB and then back to Ableton to trigger an instrument.

 

The MIDI routing is fine as I can trigger the instrument with the controller, I just can't get any repeats to happen.

 

Am I missing something?

Edited by Rowan

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Probably the sequencer is still in STOP mode?

Press the PLAY button :)

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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Doh! It's working now. It seems that the first repeat triggers immediately. Is this happening for you?

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The MIDI message shouldn't be sent immediately (it could be an option in future, but I added added some code which prevents this).

 

Check your MIDI router and bus settings - only a single router node & MIDI bus should forward MIDI events.

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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It's working correctly now after a bit of messing with the router/bus settings. I can already see this is going to be a great feature. I like the 1/6th and 1/24tn settings, they provide some new options that no existing (the I'm aware of) can do. It makes me think that it would be great to be able to chose a Euclidean as the repeat rate. All in all its really good, thank you for taking the time to do this.

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As mentioned by flyweight303, the feature would be more powerful if it would work like an arpeggiator.

What I've in mind are 16 or 32 soft-configurable patterns with:

- gates

- accent

- delay (for swing)

 

how many steps would be required for such patterns? 8 or 16 or even 32?

Memory consumption would be 3*(steps/8) bytes per pattern - no problem for STM32F4, could work with STM32F1 as well, but problematic for LPC17 (since RAM is almost fully allocated)

 

But: for LPC17 I could at least provide pre-configured patterns (stored in flash)

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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What I've in mind are 16 or 32 soft-configurable patterns with:

- gates

- accent

- delay (for swing)

 

how many steps would be required for such patterns? 8 or 16 or even 32?

 

This sounds great. I think 16 steps would be enough.

 

You mentioned in a previous post that note offset could be introduced, this would also be useful. Maybe it could work like the rotation parameter in the Euclidean generator?

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With the pattern based approach a step offset wouldn't be required anymore (one reason why I find it useful :)

The Euclidean generator could be used to generate a pattern.

 

Usage could be the following way: create a pattern in EDIT page as usual (this allows you to use the euclid generator as well)

Once you are happy with the pattern, transfer it into an ARP pattern slot and play it with the keyboard.

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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That sounds like a far more flexible approach to pattern generation.

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Here another mockup:

http://www.ucapps.de/mios32/midibox_seq_v4_088_pre8.zip

 

Instead of the repeat raster, a pattern can be selected.

In the same page, the pattern can be edited by pressing (& holding) the SELECT button + the GP buttons (or encoders)

 

I got rid of the idea to provide a "delay" trigger, because it conflicts with the already available groove function.

So: it's better to use the groove function independent from the pattern selection.

 

Instead, only gate and accent are editable.

 

The "copy track to pattern" function isn't available yet, on the other hand it could complicate the handling too much.

Of course, it would be nice to use it for taking over existing patterns, or transfer generated euclid patterns...

On the other hand: where to place such a copy function? And is it really worth?

I mean: a 16 gate/accent pattern is easy to remember, just enter it again with the pattern editor - something what don't has to be done so often, because I guess that once somebody found well working patterns, he won't edit them anymore.

 

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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The copy function would be very useful. Being able to use the Eucliden generator could provide some really interesting repeat patterns.

Maybe pressing the copy button in the edit window copy's the selected track then in the repeat config you press paste and the contents of the clipboard are pasted into the selected pattern?

If the copied track is longer than the destination pattern the extra data is discarded. i.e. A 32 note track is copied into a 16 note pattern notes 1-16 fill the pattern and notes 17-32 are ignored.

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