latigid on

BLM feature requests

30 posts in this topic

Winter is coming and it will soon be time for BLM builds. I'd like to start a thread for possible new modes and features.

1. Remote update. This might be my limited understanding of MIOS Studio, but is it possible for the SEQ to route a sysex update to the BLM? Because the MIDI connector is non-standard one would have to open the case and either transplant the PIC into a standard Core or use odd cables connected to the 2x5 IDC or DIN8. It may also be interesting to have direct access to the 16x16+X matrix from apps on the computer/MIOS studio etc.

2. Scale editor. Custom scales are really cool  but a little clunky to program in using drum mode. I'm wondering if scales could be set up using a new "mode" where the 4 sliders set note, octave (velocity, gate length?). Maybe the notes could be "built" from one of the many scale templates, choosing a root note, and then modified from there.

 

 

 

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To 1) a remote update is already possible with the MIDI router, e.g. take an USB port != USB1 (USB2, 3 or 4) and take one USBx->OUTy, and one INy->USBx connection

To 2) added to wishlist, but it's unlikely that I will allow to modify parameters with the sliders, because 99% of the users don't have them, and they will need an alternative solution anyhow. In order to avoid complexity, I would prefer to allow only a single way of configuration.

Best Regards, Thorsten.

 

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Is the Looper or echo will be implemented?

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Duophonic keyboard? In keyboard mode, hold two X column buttons to select two tracks e.g. 1&5 (aka G1T1 and G2T1). Track 1 is controlled by the top 8 buttons, track 5 by the bottom. Damn, I'm not sure how the transpose works then!

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Added to the wish list

Best Regards, Thorsten.

 

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Simple, feature reduced, stand-alone percussion sequencer running on the BLM's Core?  To MIDI Out and/or DOUT triggers?  (ie, like drum mode of MBSEQ, or the MB808)

Edited by DrBunsen

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Hmm, this should already be doable with a drum track assigned. You do lose resolution in 16 voice mode though (maximum step length of 64); I wonder if it could be enhanced with the SEQ V4+?

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Supported features by MIDIbox SEQ V4

MIDIbox BLM doesn't provide any intelligence to play sequences by itself, instead it only acts as a control surface enhancement for the host application such as MIDIbox SEQ V4. This means in other words, that all features are implemented at the host side.

Hardware and Connection to MIDIbox SEQ

The MIDIbox BLM firmware is running on a MBHP_CORE module, and communicates with MIDIbox SEQ via MIDI.

http://ucapps.de/midibox_seq_manual_blm.html

What I'm talking about is integrating a percussion sequencer - however limited - into any space that might be left on the BLM Core itself.
 

Edited by DrBunsen

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I'm very sure that I won't start with this - it's like opening pandoras box.

You come with a simple request, next people will come up with even more requests, etc... and this based on an outdated microcontroller which is difficult to program and limited in memory -> not with me!

However, if I would be a marketing guy, I could just handle this the same way like commercial companies
E.g. like Novation: http://createdigitalmusic.com/2015/07/hack-grid-novation-releasing-launchpad-pro-firmware-open-source/

So - actually BLM16x16+X is open source as well, it's well documented (MIOS API), users can "hack the firmware"

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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I'm very sure that I won't start with this - it's like opening pandoras box.

BLM16x16+X is open source as well, it's well documented (MIOS API), users can "hack the firmware"

That makes perfect sense.  I realise it's not a simple feature to add.

Just out of curiosity, how much code space / CPU time is left over in the current BLM Core?

Edited by DrBunsen

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And I realise of course the simpler solution is to just build an MB808

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Something that isn't documented as far as I can see: Shift+3 and Shift+4 toggle Mute and Solo modes. Could we think about a more optimal way? It seems like the best usage is described on the ucapps page above but not implemented yet?

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I'm having fun with the BLM today. :) I have a track where the notes cover a range over a few octaves -- C1 through C3. The BLM is not showing the notes below C2 because it can only display a 16 note range in the vertical column. Is there a way to shift this display range up or down for a track? It might be cool if you could assign one of the sliders to do this dynamically.

While I'm thinking about sliders, how do you use the sliders to control parameters in the sequencer?

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I remember that I added the possibility to shift the note view for lower/higher note ranges.

But to be honest: I forgot the special key combination - and I always warned the requestors, that we shouldn't add too many of such combinations, because most users won't remember the keys anymore after certain time - a typical "dead feature".

I handle this differently at my side: I just transpose the track to ensure that the played range is visible in the 16x16 grid.
This way I'm also sure that I can still play the intended range after a reboot
And I don't need to switch between different views when I change the track

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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TK, yes I found something in the BLM docs suggesting it was possible to change the key range:

  • ALT+Extra Row: selects the octave

However, I couldn't figure out what this meant. It looks like you need to hold shift and then the #16 button in the control column to enable ALT, but I don't know what is meant by "Extra Row". Everytime I enabled ALT and then selected a row key the track number would change.

Here's another UX issue I encountered while working with the BLM today (loving it BTW!!). Let's say you have two tracks, first track with a 32 note length (lead melody) and second track with 16 notes (bass drum). The BLM is currently displaying track #1 in grid mode. You click on the second part of the track to view steps 17-32 and you edit step 30 on the BLM grid. Now, if you change to track #2 by clicking the appropriate row button, the BLM grid is empty. This really confused me at first until I realized that I had to change the current step position on the sequencer to show steps 1-16 because the length of track #2 is only 16.The current behavior seems reasonable when working with the standard sequencer interface, but less optimal when working with the BLM. If I were playing live and switching tracks on the BLM, I'd prefer the sequencer to either: a) reset the current viewed step location to the beginning of the track, or b) change the step view location to whatever step (or superset group of steps) is currently playing. Regardless, I'd prefer not to have to touch the sequencer to change the track step view position while working with the BLM. 

Finally, I still haven't been able to figure out how to configure the BLM sliders to control synth parameters. I can see that the sliders are outputting midi data. Anyone have step-by-step instructions for this config? 

Edited by jbdiver

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Quote

However, I couldn't figure out what this meant. It looks like you need to hold shift and then the #16 button in the control column to enable ALT, but I don't know what is meant by "Extra Row". Everytime I enabled ALT and then selected a row key the track number would change.

It seems that it's currently not possible to access the octave range with the "real BLM16x16+X", it only works with the virtual BLM since it got special handling in the MBSEQ firmware.
I've to work on this (since I was the only BLM16x16+X user for more than 5 years, the interface only works for functions which I use by myself ;-)

Quote

If I were playing live and switching tracks on the BLM, I'd prefer the sequencer to either: a) reset the current viewed step location to the beginning of the track, or b) change the step view location to whatever step (or superset group of steps) is currently playing. Regardless, I'd prefer not to have to touch the sequencer to change the track step view position while working with the BLM. 

Press MENU+EXIT to enable "Follow mode", so that the sequencer always shows the currently played step view.

Quote

Finally, I still haven't been able to figure out how to configure the BLM sliders to control synth parameters. I can see that the sliders are outputting midi data. Anyone have step-by-step instructions for this config? 

You need an unreleased version, here the prebuilt firmware:
http://www.ucapps.de/mios32/midibox_seq_v4_090_pre2.zip

Change to Utility->Opt->Option 13/15 "BLM16x16+X Fader Assignments"

Currently it's only possible to configure MIDI events, the possibility to control internal parameters is on the TODO list, and will later be configured at the same place.

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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27 minutes ago, TK. said:

Press MENU+EXIT to enable "Follow mode", so that the sequencer always shows the currently played step view.

Ah, yes. This is helpful. I'm going to make a recommendation for another behavior. Going back to my example, if you have multiple tracks of varying lengths, sometimes it makes sense to work on one section of a track at a time -- especially as you are building up a pattern. In this case, you don't want to enable the follow mode. However, if you switch from a longer track to a shorter track there is the possibility that the BLM display will be empty because the sequencer is displaying a group of steps outside the length boundary of the currently selected track. In this particular instance, it would be helpful if the sequencer would automatically display the current playing step group for the selected track. This reduces confusion (what happened to my pattern?) and eliminates additional button presses to locate the enabled portion of a track.

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It might be that you just need to play more :) For me it's clear if the track is not in the current 16 step window because the cursor is not scrolling (assumes the sequence is running). I then glance down to the bottom row and choose the appropriate bar. There are also instances where you might want to fill in notes and then expand the track length.

I find the BLM works like a "macro view" of the SEQ. I.e. there is bi-directional communication when a parameter/screen is updated. (Try to fill up a grid and then adjust the scale for instance!) So display behaviour on the BLM can't be fundamentally different from the SEQ without significant changes to the latter (I think).

 

Oh, and don't forget 303 mode for easy access to four octaves! 

 

(May I suggest feature requests are discussed in the thread here? Just to keep this one related to build experiences.)

Edited by latigid on

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I checked this, and it turned out that it isn't so easy to switch to a valid step view within the track range, because some other functions such as scroll, copy+paste, etc. wouldn't work properly anymore.

However, I just release the official V4.090, which provides the possibility to restore the track selections for each individual track (new option: 9/16) which might help.

The other requests haven't been considered in this release yet - as you can see in the CHANGELOG, there are many unsolved items in the wish list which I would like to consider before I can start with (consolidated) improvements for the BLM.

Best Regards, Thorsten.

P.S.: I moved this side discussion to the BLM feature request thread.

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The restore track selection option is excellent and definitely improves the BLM workflow. Thanks!

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a second pair of Midi-IO, to controll a second device (for example triggermatrix), and a switch or Button-Combination - to switch between the ports, and switch between the 2 Matrix-Arrays to visualize them
(the 2 modes are always up to date, they write the incoming midi notes in the Arrays, also when we are in a other mode, when we go in the other mode, the arrays are dumped out to the leds...)

my wish is a stripped down 32bit c-version for the 32bit cores (i know xmas is over...) to study & work with...

 

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24 minutes ago, Phatline said:

a second pair of Midi-IO, to controll a second device (for example triggermatrix), and a switch or Button-Combination - to switch between the ports, and switch between the 2 Matrix-Arrays to visualize them
(the 2 modes are always up to date, they write the incoming midi notes in the Arrays, also when we are in a other mode, when we go in the other mode, the arrays are dumped out to the leds...)

my wish is a stripped down 32bit c-version for the 32bit cores (i know xmas is over...) to study & work with...

 

Could be wrong, but I think this is already possible by using the MIDI router inside the SEQ. You would still need an app on the other end to work with the BLM MIDI notes. It's a cool idea to re-purpose the matrix though! 

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say HELLO to your HACKABLE device! :wink:

Best Regards, Thorsten.

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