jjonas

MBSEQv4 Beginner's user manual (draft)

44 posts in this topic

Ok, like I mentioned in passing over there on the MBSEQ forum, I've been writing a beginner's user manual for the MBSEQv4 (firmware 4.090) since last December. This is the second draft and I'm perhaps halfway through, so it's looking alright. I'm not planning on touching every function and detail in it, as I don't even use all the functions myself that actively, and some – like the button-LED matrix – not at all, so I couldn't write anything about them even if I wanted to.

The original idea was to make a pdf layout of all this with a few images thrown in to clarify some of the concepts and functions, i.e. something you can print and keep next to your workbench for reference away from the computer, and I still think I'm going to do that. The layout job is going to be child's play compared to the work of writing the text and trying to check that everything I write is accurate and that I've understood everything myself :-)

I'm not going to dump the whole text here at once, so here's just the table of contents, 0. Introduction, and 1. The basics. If someone has the time to read this through, great, and even greater if someone has the time to comment and/or try out whether what I'm written actually holds any water. Or if something should be added, or if something doesn't make sense the way it's written. All I ask at this point is that this not be copied anywhere (like the wiki) yet, as it's not really finished. For example, almost all the paragraphs beginning with "Example:" have to be rewritten completely so that they're consistent all the way through, now I've just left them there as place holders.

However, once the whole thing is finished, anybody can do anything they like with it :-)

The information here is mostly based on the "official" user manual, the wiki entries (I think they're mostly Borfo's) and my own experiences.

Maybe I'll post the next part in a week's time or so.

============================================
|                                                                                     |
|        Midibox SEQv4 user manual for the basics          |
|                      for firmware version 4.090                      |
|                                                                                     |
============================================

Table of contents
-----------------

0. Introduction
1. The basics
    1.1. User interface
    1.2. Basic concepts
        1.2.1. Groups, tracks and patterns
        
2. Basic settings
    2.1. Track EVENT
        2.1.1. Track types
            2.1.1.1. Note tracks
            2.1.1.2. Chord tracks
            2.1.1.3. CC tracks
        2.1.2. Port
        2.1.3. MIDI Channel
        2.1.4. Track Event and Track Instrument
        2.1.5. Setting parameter layer functions
    2.2. Track LENGTH
    2.3. Track DIVIDER and tempo
        2.3.1. Tempo
        2.3.2. Divider
        
3. Trigger layers and parameter layers
    3.1 Trigger layers
        3.1.1. Gate
        3.1.2. Accent
        3.1.3. Roll
        3.1.4. Glide
        3.1.6. Random gate (R.G.)
        3.1.7. Random value (R.V.)
        3.1.8. No FX
        3.1.9. Roll gate (RollG)***check

    3.2 Parameter layers
        3.2.1. Note
        3.2.2. Velocity
        3.2.3. Length
        3.2.4. Roll and Roll2
        3.2.5. Chord
        3.2.6. Control Change (CC)
        3.2.7. Pitch
        3.2.8. Probability (Prob)
        3.2.9. Delay
        3.2.10. Nth1 and Nth2

    3.3. Drum tracks
        3.3.1. Drum track instrument layers
        3.3.2. Drum track trigger layers
        3.3.3. Drum track parameter layers
        
4. Entering notes
    4.1. The Jam page
        4.1.2. Step recording
        4.1.3. Live recording
        4.1.4. Edit recording mode
    4.2. Working on the EDIT page
        4.2.1. Copy, paste, duplicate
        4.2.2. Clear, Move, scroll, undo    
            
5. Working with patterns and songs
    5.1. Saving a pattern
    5.2. Phrase Mode and Song Mode
        5.2.1. PATTERN page
        5.2.2. Chaining patterns into a song
    5.3. Copying Patterns
    5.4. Measure
        5.4.1. Sync to Measure in phrase mode
        5.4.2. Sync to Measure in song mode
    5.5. Guide Track
    
6. Some advanced features
    6.1 Using a bus to control a track
        6.1.1. Setting up sending and receiving tracks
        6.1.2. Receiving track mode: Transposer
        6.1.3. Receiving track mode: Arpeggiator
    6.2. Force to Scale
    6.3. Random generator***completely unwritten
    6.4. Euclidean rhythm generator***completely unwritten
    6.5. Mixer maps***completely unwritten

Appendix 1. Customising function buttons 1–4.***completely unwritten

---------------
0. Introduction
---------------

This user manual is intended to cover the basic operation of the MBSEQv4. It does not include instructions on how to make the most out of all the features of the sequencer, or what each of the options on every menu page means, but I believe it does give a good overview for the new user.

Most of this manual is based on what can already be found on the ucapps.de website's MBSEQv4 section, and it's not intended to replace that. But I believe this manual will nevertheless be of value for new users who are not looking for information on some particular detail, but instead would prefer to have an *overview* of the basics, organised in the manner of a printed manual which you can take to your synthesizer workbench in the other room – you have a hardware sequencer so that you can get away from the computer, at least for a moment, right? :-)

What this manual does *not* cover, however, is building the unit, the control surface, where to get the parts etc. It is intended to be useful when you have a completed and working unit at your disposal, preferably with Wilba's front panel design.

Also, this manual is based on the premise that you have a MIDI controller connected to the sequencer's MIDI IN1 and a polyphonic synthesizer (mono- or multitimbral) connected to MIDI OUT1 of the sequencer. If you don't, I believe the manual will still be useful, but you'll have to find out yourself where you need to do things differently.

-----------------
1. The basics
-----------------

Before starting with the basics, it's useful to create a new session so that you're be able to explore the sequencer's functions in practice. After switching the sequencer on, press EXIT until you reach the top menu, where you can choose options like Open and New on the right LCD. Choose 'New', and then wait until the sequencer has created the session.

The default new session has sixteen tracks that are almost similar.
- All tracks are Note tracks
- Track length is 16/256 steps
­- Timebase setting is 16

Only the MIDI channel setting is different, each track having its own MIDI channel (1-16) on which the track is sending data.


1.1. User interface
-----------------------

The physical user interface consists of buttons, indicator leds, two LCD displays, and 17 knobs. In this manual the buttons are referred to with their names in ALL CAPS, i.e. MENU means the menu button, STEP VIEW mean the step view button etc.

The sixteen numbered buttons immediately below the LCDs and knobs are referred to either with their button names (LENGTH, DIVIDER, FX etc.) if they are used together with the MENU button; or if they are used without the MENU button, they are called general purpose buttons, or GPBs for short (usually with a number, e.g. GPB7 for the 7th GPB). Likewise, the knobs are called general purpose knobs, or GPK for short (also with numbers) with the exception of the big knob in the middle of the panel, which is called the datawheel. The displays are called the left LCD and right LCD.

The unit should have at least one physical MIDI IN and one physical MIDI OUT port, and that's taken for granted in this manual. These will be called MIDI IN1 and MIDI OUT1, or just IN1 and OUT1.

Any menu can be reached by pressing EXIT (once or a few times, depending on where you are) to get to the top menu, then using the datawheel to browse the options on the left LCD and finally pressing a GPB to select the menu you need. But with Wilba's frontpanel layout most menus are only one or two button presses away. Some menus/functions have their own dedicated button, while many others can be summoned by pressing MENU together with one of the GP buttons. The MENU button, along with several others, can be configured in the HW setup file (see Appendix 1) to be momentary or toggle. You can choose whatever you prefer; the notation in the manual will be of the form MENU + [BUTTON_NAME].

Many buttons have indicator LEDs associated with them. These LEDs will tell you whether something (out of many possible options) is selected, or whether some mode or function is toggled 'on' or 'off'. The 16 LEDs directly below the knobs are step indicator LEDs which will tell you something of the state of the step. In addition, when the sequencer is running you will see a red cursor LED indicating which step is being played and how fast the progression from one step to another will be. Above the datawheel, there is a tempo LED, blinking quarter notes.

On the left side of the front panel there's two groups of buttons which deserve special mention. The eight buttons on the top left are the *group and track selection buttons*. The left column selects a group, the right column selects a track within the selected group. (More on groups and tracks in section 1.2.) The LEDs indicate which group and track is currently selected, though the information is often available on the LCDs as well. You can select multiple tracks within a group at once by pressing & holding one track selection button and then pressing the others one by one; press another time to deselect.

Below the group and track buttons there are six more buttons for *layer selection*. The left column is used to select *trigger layers* of the selected track, and the right column is used to select *parameter layers* of the selected track. (More on layers in section 3.)

In a new session, the trigger layer button A selects the gate trigger layer, button B selects the accent trigger layer and button C summons a menu or all the trigger layers, allowing you to choose the one you need with the GP buttons. You can have a maximum of 8 trigger layers, except on drum tracks, where the maximum is two.

In a new session, parameter layer button A selects the note parameter layer, button B selects the velocity parameter layer, and button C alternates between length and roll parameter layers. Each of the default session's tracks has four parameter layers, but if your track has more than four parameter layers, button C summons a menu, allowing you to choose the layer you need with the GP buttons. You can have up to 16 parameter layers, except for drum tracks where the maximum is two.


1.2. Basic concepts
-------------------

1.2.1. Groups, tracks and patterns

MBSEQv4 is organised into *groups*, *tracks* and *patterns*.

There are four *groups* of tracks, and *each group has four tracks*, so all in all there is 16 tracks. Group 1 always holds the tracks 1–4, group 2 always holds the tracks 5–8 and, group 3 the tracks 9–12 and group 4 the tracks 13–16. In MBSEQv4 shorthand language, groups and tracks are referred to with the formula GxTx. For example, G1T3 means "Group 1, Track 3" (i.e., track 3 out of 16), and G3T4 means "Group 3, track 4" (i.e., track 12 out of 16).

[image of patterns divided into tracks]

Tracks contain the data – gates, accents, notes, note velocities, CCs etc. – that you've programmed in them and that is sent over to your MIDI equipment. The data is in *trigger layers* and *parameter layers*. (For details, see section 3.)

In addition to the musical data, tracks also contain settings data. Defining the settings for each individual track is one of the most complicated operations a new user has to face, because of all the interconnections that are not immediately self-evident. The flipside is that track setup offers a lot of possibilities.

Most of the time one track is selected and visible on the screen. This is the *active track*, the track that's ready for editing. You can always tell which track is selected by looking at the group and track selection LEDs (on the left of the frontpanel); most of the time the active track is also named on the left edge of the left LCD (G1T1, G2T4 etc.). By selecting several tracks simultaneously (with the track selection buttons) you can also edit several tracks simultaneously, e.g. to set their length. In this case the selected track on the left LCD will be of the form GxTM, where 'M' stands for 'multiple'. It is not possible to selected multiple groups simultaneously.

*A pattern* is a collection of musical and other *data on four tracks*. Each group always has one *active pattern* in it. Because there are four groups, you will always have four simultaneous active patterns. (Whether or not all the active patterns have any practical data in them is another matter.) Groups and patterns overlap in the sense that a pattern in group 1 will always be made up of tracks 1–4, a pattern in group 4 will always be made up of tracks 13–16 etc. But the group is just an organisational concept, a receptacle, and the pattern is the content that fills it. The same pattern can be played in any of the groups, also simultaneously.

Patterns can be chained to form *songs*. Songs are several patterns played one after the other. A maximum of four patterns can play in parallel (one in each group). It is not possible to put *individual tracks* one after the other; a pattern is made up of four tracks, and that is the smallest unit that can be chained.

A totality of tracks, patterns, songs and settings (and a few other things like groove patterns and mixer maps) is called a *session*. One session can have a maximum of 256 different patterns (64 per group) and 64 different songs (i.e. different sequences of the patterns in the session).

Example:
It makes sense to organise your groups (and hence the four tracks they contain) around a principle. For example, group 1 could be for lead sounds, group 2 for keys and pads, group 3 for bass, and group 4 for drums. This way it is possible to just switch the pattern in group 1 if you want to have a different lead line while keeping the other groups playing the same patterns. If you had only four tracks in use (say, one for lead melody, one for a pad or arpeggio, one for bassline and one for drums), you could, in principle, put them all in one pattern in group 1. But if you then wanted to change just the lead melody, you couldn't change just the lead melody track, because tracks can be changed only in bundles of four; you would need to have a second pattern where the lead melody would be different and all the other tracks were the same as in the first pattern. However, if the whole group 1 is dedicated to lead melodies, you just need to add one track (the new lead melody) to a new pattern in group 1 (the group I've dedicated for lead melodies), and all the other patterns in the other groups could remain untouched.
[kuva: song1: pattern1 – pattern2 – pattern3 tms.]
However, this is just one way to organise things, and ultimately it's up to you to decide which setup makes the most sense to you. For example, maybe you will find it easier if everything you need *is* focused in one group.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that helped me understand the groups-tracks-patterns division much better. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The second chapter of the user manual draft. The relevant section of the table of contents is:

2. Basic settings
    2.1. Track EVENT
        2.1.1. Track types
            2.1.1.1. Note tracks
            2.1.1.2. Chord tracks
            2.1.1.3. CC tracks
        2.1.2. Port
        2.1.3. MIDI Channel
        2.1.4. Track Event and Track Instrument
        2.1.5. Setting parameter layer functions
    2.2. Track LENGTH
    2.3. Track DIVIDER and tempo
        2.3.1. Tempo
        2.3.2. Divider

Drum tracks are left out of the Track types because they have their own separate section later. The information on predefined chords for the chord layer is probably going to change before this manual is finished, but I'll change them at some point before that and when it's official.

It can be argued whether messing around with the divider is "basic" settings or whether it should rather be included in the advanced features section, but at the moment it's included here as it was originally one of the more difficult concepts that I first started writing about.

As before, the "Example" paragraphs are unchecked at the moment, and have to be rewritten for consistency later. The feedback I'm interested in at the moment is whether the text is 1) accurate, and 2) understandable.

A question for TK (or others with the information). Below, I write about importing presets:

"On the left LCD, you can recall saved presets. Selecting one of them brings up a menu where you can delimit which track data you want to import. Name and Chn. are self-explainatory, Maps means mixer maps (see section 6.5.), Cfg. means ***check, and finally Steps means trigger layer and parameter layer data."

What exactly are the configurations that can be imported this way? And does importing Steps mean trigger layer and parameter layer data, and nothing else?

-----------------------------8<--------------------------

-----------------
2. Basic settings
-----------------

2.1. Track EVENT
----------------

The track EVENT page is the central page for track settings. In a new session, each track will have some default settings, but it's likely that you will have to change them to match your setup. Changing the track type settings on the EVENT page require you to *initialise* the track for the changes to take effect. The sequencer will tell you when this is needed by displaying a message in the right LCD. A track is initialised by pressing GPB16 ('INIT') on the EVENT page for a few seconds.

Initialising the track erases all data in the track's parameter and trigger layers and replaces them with default initialisation values for the chosen track type. Initialisation won't affect Port, MIDI channel, and Program Change command (on the Track Instrument page), but all other settings such as length, divider value, name etc. are reset to default values.

By default, initialisation switches the gates 'on' for each fourth step. On the options menu (UTILITY -> Opt. -> Option #11) you can disable the gates, so that initialisation inserts no notes in the track.

Initialisation works for only one track at a time, even if you have several tracks selected. Only the track that's being displayed on the LCDs will get initialised.

Example: Let's suppose for the moment that you're only interested in the first two tracks in group 1 (i.e. G1T1 and G1T2). At the very least you need to set their type, length, port and MIDI channel. These settings are made on the EVENT page (MENU + EVENT).
The following settings should be made for G1T1 and G1T2:
– Track type should be "Note"
– Maximum length should be 128 steps
– Port should be "Def." (or "OUT1")
– the MIDI channel should be whatever your synth is listening to (you must know the right channel yourself)
The port (that's where your synth is physically connected to) is going to be the same for both tracks in this example, but it still has to be set separately for each track. As to the MIDI channel, the simplest solution is that you set both tracks to the same channel, so they're both playing the same (polyphonic) synth, and this is what is going to be done here. If you have a multitimbral synth, you could use G1T1 to play a lead sound on one synth and G1T2 to play a bass sound on another, but it's ok if both tracks are playing the same sound (as long as your synth is polyphonic).
If your synth is monophonic, you will have to apply the following according to your best judgement, because it's written for, and has been tested with, a polyphonic synthesizer.
For the tutorial, you need a track that is of the type "Note" and 128 steps long, so on the EVENT page, turn GPK2–4 until the type is "Note" and "Steps" is 128. This will automatically set the correct layer numbers as well. Initialise the track by pressing GPB16 for a few seconds.
Next, select the correct port and MIDI channel. Use the GP knobs to set Port to "Def." and Chn. to whatever channel your synth is listening to (you will have to know yourself what the right channel for your equipment is).
Then push track selection button #2 to select G1T2. You will notice that you stay in the same menu page (the EVENT page), but the information you see now pertains to track G1T2. Make the same Type, Steps/Layers, Port and MIDI channel selections for G1T2 as you did for G1T1, and initialise the track.


2.1.1. Track types

On the MBSEQv4, track selection possibilities are organised into several predefined options based on track type, length (number of steps), number of parameter layers, and number of trigger layers (the options are listed below).

Changing the track type allows you to select different kinds of track presets that best suit your purposes. The track types are Note, Chord, CC and Drum, and each of these types has subtypes based on a combination of maximum track length, number of parameter layers and number of trigger layers. (For the difference between parameter layers and trigger layers, see sections 3.1. and 3.2.) Because of memory limitations it's not possible to have the longest possible track (256 steps) with the maximum number of parameter and trigger layers (16 and 8 respectively), so each subtype is a compromise within the overall limitations.

Note, Chord and CC tracks always have 8 trigger layers, so in effect the track has to be balanced between maximum length and the number of parameter layers. Drum tracks are somewhat different from the other types, so they are dealt with separately. (See section 3.3.).

[chart of track types and lengths]

When changing track type, the track needs to be *initialised* for the changes to take effect. Press GPB16 for a few seconds to initialise the track. Initialisation erases all data on the track's layers!

Note that even though initialising a track to the selected preset fixes the number of parameter layers, you can freely change what *kind* of parameter layers you have. The difference between Note, Chord and CC type tracks is just in what the *default* parameter layer functions are; a CC type track contains only CC parameter layers, while Note type tracks contain none of them, but nothing stops you from from changing the parameter layer functions to whatever you like after initialisation (naturally within the maximum overall number set at initialisation). Only drum type tracks are different in this respect. (See section 3.3.)

Indeed, you will have access to many parameter layer functions (like Pitch, Delay and Probability) only this way, as they won't be available in any of the presets. On the EVENT page, use GPK9 to choose which parameter layer you want to edit (from A to H), then turn GPK10 to set which function you want to control with that parameter layer. You need to confirm the change of function by pressing GPB10.


2.1.1.1. Note tracks

In a default session, all tracks are of the same type: they are Note tracks that are 256 steps long and have four parameter layers. This kind of Note type tracks have one velocity layer (parameter layer B), one length layer (parameter layer C, for note length, not track length!), one roll layer (parameter layer D), and at least one note layer (parameter layer A). If you initialise a shorter Note track, you just get more note layers (parameter layer E and onwards); if you want other kinds of parameter layers, you have to set them manually on the EVENT page (see section 2.1.1.). Maximum length of 128 steps gives you four extra note parameter layers compared to the default, allowing you to enter up to five note chords, and should already be enough for most purposes.

The setting Sustain on the MODE page is good to keep in mind when setting up a track to play chords or long single notes. Sustain holds each note/chord until another one is played, and this spares you the trouble of having to set the length of each individual note/chord.


2.1.1.2. Chord tracks

Chord tracks are set up length and layer wise just like note tracks. However, in a chord track parameter layer A is a chord layer instead of a note layer. The chord layer doesn't take normal notes as input, but instead a value from A-P to a-p (plus octave value from 0 to 3), each of which represents a pre-defined chord. The list of the predefined chords is found below.

The advantage of this to using several note layers on a note type track to play chords is that you can have the chord data on a single layer, even if the chords are made up of 4 notes. Because you only need a single parameter layer for chords, you can increase your track's maximum length to 256 steps. A disadvantage is that the value names don't make musical sense, though the names of the chords do appear on the right LCD (top row). A bigger disadvantage is that in order to play chords with different root notes (and not just different chords of the same root note, like C major, Cm, Csus4 etc.), you need to set up a loopback track to transpose each chord. (See section 6.1.)

List of predefined chords
A-C: Major I, Major II, Major III (transposed variants)
D-F: Root note, 3rd note, 5th note (single notes)
G,H: Root+3rd, Root+5th
I-N: Maj6, Maj7, Maj8, Maj9, Maj10, Maj12 (4-note chords)
O,P: Sus4 and Maj+
a-c: Minor I, Minor II, Minor III (transposed variants)
d-f: Root note, 3rdMin note, 5th note (single notes)
g,h: Root+3ndMin, Root+5th
i-n: Min6, Min7, Min8, Min9, Min10, Min12 (4-note chords)
o-p: Co7 and Min+

If the length of a chord track allows for more than 4 parameter layers, by default all the extra ones will be note layers. However, it is not really possible to play chords and melodies simultaneously on the same track, because each parameter layer shares the one and only gate trigger for that track. Thus you cannot trigger individual gates for the notes of the melody in a note layer, while leaving the gate untriggered for the chord layer at the same time. If you go to Layer View (press & hold EDIT + GPB3), you can insert notes in the note layers by turning a knob, but it's only feasible in the same steps where there is already a chord and where the gate is already on.

The setting Sustain on the MODE page is good to keep in mind when setting up a track to play chords (whether transposed or not). Sustain holds each note/chord until another one is played, and this spares you the trouble of having to set the length of each individual note/chord.

Given the disadvantages of the chord track, for the beginner it is easier to just initialise a note type track with four or more note layers (maximum length 128 steps or less), and record the required chords there as several simultaneous notes. (For recording, see section 4.)


2.1.1.3. CC tracks

CC tracks allow you to send Control Change messages to your MIDI equipment. By default, all parameter layers of a CC type track are CC layers that do the same thing, i.e. send a CC message. By default, each newly initialised CC layer is off. On the EVENT page you can switch them 'on' and set which CC number each layer is sending. Use GPK9 to choose a CC layer and GPK11–13 to choose which CC number that layer sends. Confirm your selection by pressing GPB10.

Example: For example, if you want the first CC parameter layer (layer A) of your newly initialised CC track to send modulation wheel messages, select layer A with GPK9. Then turn GPK11–13 all the way to the left to choose CC number 001, and then confirm the selection with GPB11–13. Then go back to the EDIT page and choose the CC layer you just set up (press parameter layer selection button A). You can see your CC number selection on the top row of both LCDs: "PA:#001" (instead of PA:COff) on the left, and "CC#  1" (instead of "CC#off") on the right. Now you can use the knobs to enter a CC value for each step, simulating the position of the modulation wheel at that step.

Note that you don't necessarily have to have an independent CC track to send CC messages. Instead you can change one of the note layers on a "normal" note type track into a CC parameter layer on the EVENT page.


2.1.2. Port

Port value on the EVENT page defines which physical port the track's data is sent to when the sequencer is running. The default value is "Def.", which means the track gets its port value from another page. To get to that page, press MENU + MIDI and select Midi Router on the left LCD. The right display will now show the default port on the right edge.

Example: For the examples in this manual, the default port on the MIDI Router page should be OUT1.

Back on the EVENT page, in addition to the Def. (or OUT1) port options, there are several others, the (real) availability of which depends on the hardware choices made when your sequencer was put together. However, if you scroll to the end of the value list, you will find values Bus1–4. These are *virtual* outputs that can be routed *inside* the sequencer, so that one track of the sequencer sends its data on, say, Bus2, which is listened to by another track. (See section 6.1. for details.)


2.1.3. MIDI Channel

MIDI Channel (Chn.) defines the MIDI channel on which the track's data is sent. Naturally you want to match this with the MIDI channel(s) of your synth(s). The options are straightforward: channels 1–16. If Port is set to one of the Buses, MIDI channel setting has no effect.


2.1.4 Track Event and Track Instrument

While on the EVENT page, you can switch between two pages by pressing GPB8: Track Event, which is the default when entering the EVENT page, and Track Instrument. On the Track Instrument page, the port and channel settings will be the same as on the Track Event page (and will be automatically copied between the pages), but in addition you can set a Program Change command and name for the track so that you remember better which synth and what kind of line the track is playing, for example.

Example: When you've reached a point where you have many songs saved on the sequencer, it would be awkward to dial in the right synth patches by hand on every synth whenever you change to another session, so it's super handy that you can use this page to set program change messages to switch to those patches automatically, when you press PLAY and start the sequencer.

The Program Change command is saved with the track when you save a pattern, so when you chain patterns into a song, the Program Change command can be used to change the patch on the synthesizer that is listening to that track at the same time as the pattern is changed. Note that smooth live functioning of this feature depends on how quickly your synths can load new patches.

If you press GPB9 on the Track Instrument page, you go to the Edit Name page. Naming the track has two components. The first component of the name is a *category* like lead, bass, pad, FX, drums, keys, synth, or whatever you can fit into 5 letters. The second component is a more detailed name for the actual sound/patch/whatever that is played on that track.

Example: For example, the tracks could be named with the categories Lead (tracks 1–4), Keys (tracks 5–8), Bass (9–12) and Drums (13–16). As to the second component, they could be named them after the synths that are played by that channel, including the MIDI channel that track is sending on, and let the Program Change messages take care of the patch change (many synths snow the patch names on their diplays). Punching in the letters works the same way as writing an SMS on a mobile phone.
For example, one of the tracks could be called "Lead – Synth So-and-so ch6", and this information would be visible when you're on the EDIT page (left LCD, top row). It is handy to have the MIDI channel there too, because the track numbers don't necessary match the MIDI channels they are sending on (it depends on your setup). It's not necessary to name the tracks at all, though. If you don't, you will just see "[Port] [MIDI channel]" as the name, and "NoCat" as the category.

Back on the Track Event page there is finally 'PRESETS', which can be used to save and load content and settings for tracks. Presets are not session dependent, so this is a way to move tracks and track settings between sessions. (This is especially useful for drum tracks, if you've changed the default name and note settings for all 16 drum instruments.) Another way is to prepare and save a "basic" session with common/standardised settings, and then every time you want to start a new session, you can open the basic session and save it under a new name.

Presets can be saved on the right LCD by pressing GPB14–15 ('PRESETS'), then GPB11­­-12 ('SAVE AS NEW PRESET') and then giving it a descriptive 8-character name.

On the left LCD, you can recall saved presets. Selecting one of them brings up a menu where you can delimit which track data you want to import. Name and Chn. are self-explainatory, Maps means mixer maps (see section 6.5.), Cfg. means ***check, and finally Steps means trigger layer and parameter layer data.


2.1.5. Setting parameter layer functions

Finally, the EVENT page allows you to customise your parameter layers. Use GPK9 to select the layer and GPK10 to select the function for this layer. The default sessions has four parameter layers, and by default parameter layer A controls notes, layer B controls note velocity, layer C controls gate length, and layer D controls roll. (For parameter layer functions, see section 3.2.) You can set these functions to any of the available options, if you don't like the defaults.


2.2. Track LENGTH
-----------------

The maximum length of a track is determined when the track is initialised, and cannot be changed unless you reinitialise the track. However, it is possible to make the track play *shorter* than the maximum length. This can be done on the LENGTH page. Turn GPK2–3 to set the length, or alternatively you can press GPB9-16 to quick-select a common length.

Unless otherwise specified, all 16 tracks in the four active patterns will run independently of each other, sharing only the tempo. Different track lengths mean thus that eventually the tracks will end and restart at different times, and the effect is cumulative: a track that is four steps shorter than the others will restart four steps before the others, and on the next round, 8 steps before the others etc. For more on this topic, see sections 2.3. (Track DIVIDER and Tempo), 5.2. (Phrase mode and song mode), and 5.4. (Measure) with its subsections.

Example: Select G1T1 and go to the LENGTH page. Set the length of the track to 16 (so the display will show 16/128), then select G1T2, and set the length to 8 (so that the display will show 8/128).
Now you have two tracks that are of different length. Select G1T1 and press EDIT. Track initialisation has entered some notes in the track which are not wanted, so press CLEAR to get rid of them.
Punch in some notes with the GP buttons under the displays. I propose that for the first track you punch in every other button, i.e. steps 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15. Each GP button press will produce the note C-3, and if you press again, you can delete it. Let's leave the notes there for now, though, so press a GP button for another time if you deleted any notes.
Next, select G1T2, CLEAR the track and punch in the notes as with the first track, but then use the GP knobs under the notes to adjust the value of each note so that the first two become E-3, the next two become G-3, and the four last ones become G-2.
Remember that the second track is only 8 steps long. If you punched in the notes on the right LCD as well (like you did with G1T1), it does no harm, but they will not get played unless the track length is set to 16 steps. However, let's keep the track length at 8 for the purposes of this demonstration, and despite the shortened length, let's keep the notes on the right LCD.
Everything should now be ready. Press PLAY on the front panel to start the sequencer. If you still have G1T2 selected, you will see a red indicator LED running from left to right. It will go up to the eighth step and then start again from the first. Now select G1T1 (while the sequencer is still running), and you will see how the red cursor is running all the way up to step 16, and then starts from the beginning. Try turning one of the GP knobs to change one note one up or down on each track. You can also press MENU + LENGTH while the sequencer is playing and use the quick select buttons on the right display to change the length of a track live.
You can change the length with the knobs as well, but there you'll run a higher risk of making the tracks go out of sync. If this happens, you can always stop the sequencer and hit PLAY again.
The idea of this was to demonstrate in a concrete way that the tracks are running independently of each other, even if they are within the same pattern. You could press STOP, change G1T1's length to some strange value like 11, press PLAY again, and each track would run its length and then wrap back to the start, regardless of where the other track is going.


2.3. Track DIVIDER and tempo
-----------------------------

2.3.1. Tempo

Even though by default the tracks are running independently of each other, they share the same tempo for reference. This can be set by pressing MENU + BPM. The BPM (beats per minute) setting can be adjusted with GPK3 and GPK4, or alternatively with Tap Tempo by pressing GPB16 five times in a row. Alternatively, pressing & holding MENU and pressing PLAY five time can be used for the same purpose. In both cases, the fifth press will also start the sequencer. Toggling on FAST (left side, bottom row on the frontpanel) you can change how the GP knobs for adjusting BPM behave. An LED on the front panel, above the datawheel, will flash every quarter note.


2.3.2. Divider

You can make your track(s) run faster or slower in relation to the others by changing the divider/timebase value. If you want *all* of your tracks to run faster or slower, it makes better sense to just change the tempo (MENU + BPM), but if you need only a few individual tracks to run faster or slower than the rest, then changing the divider/timebase value for those tracks is a good idea.

The DIVIDER page offers two ways to change the divider value: either by changing it directly with GPK2 (and GPK3 for normal/triplet), or by quick-selecting a common timebase value with GP button. The former allows for great precision, but the latter makes more human sense and is probably the more useful option for most situations.

Normally you would use timebase 16 (divider value 16), which in simple terms means that when you're on the EDIT page, every step on the two displays (8 steps per display = 16 steps altogether) represents a 16th note, allowing for four note events per quarter note. If, on the DIVIDER page, you select timebase 8 (divider value 32), each of the 16 steps on the EDIT page now represents an 8th note, allowing for two note events per quarter note. Timewise, the track lasts twice as many seconds as before, but what is gained in duration is lost in resolution (possible events per quarter note). In the same vein, quick-selecting timebase 4 (divider value 64) means that each step represents a quarter note, and so on.

The divider value can be set to normal or triplet (in the quick select menu triplet is denoted with a T). Triplet option can be used to effect "triplet timing" for that track, but in that case you might want to have the track set to "sync to measure". (See section 5.4.) Of course, you can realise triplet timing with the "normal" divider setting as well and without "sync to measure", provided that the resolution of the track is enough to allow the adequate placement of notes.

If you change the timebase value while the sequencer is running, you risk the track becoming out of sync with the others unless you're right on the beat. This is even more true of changing the divider value *directly* with GPK2, as by default the tracks won't sync automatically when you've reached the right divider value. For ways to fix this asynchrony, apart from simply stopping the sequencer and then pressing PLAY again, see section 5.4. on Measure.

It is probably a good idea to limit divider/timebase changes to a limited number of tracks, otherwise you won't remember which ones were playing a custom timebase (and which custom one).

Example: Two cases where changing the divider/timebase value is useful are 1) fast melody tracks and 2) slow chord tracks.
You might have a lead track where the default 16th notes are not enough for the melodies you want. If the other tracks are 64 steps long and their timebase is the default 16 (divider value 16), you could set the lead track to 128 steps, running at timebase 32 (divider value 8). This way the longer track would reach its end at the same time as the other tracks, but you could effectively write your melody with 32th notes.
If you need 64th notes, quick select options have run out and you have to use GPK2 to change the divider value to 4. You'd get 128th notes with divider value 2, and 256th notes with value 1.
Slow divider settings, on the other hand, are useful e.g. for tracks which play chords that don't change very often. For example, if your "chord track" is 64 steps long, you could set its timebase to 4, i.e. four times as slow, and fit all your chord changes in the two displays on the EDIT page. This way you can see the relevant note information easily, without the need to scroll back and forth around the track.

Example: Set G1T1 and G1T2 dividers to timebase 16, and press PLAY. If you switch between G1T1 and G1T2 with the track selection buttons, you will see they are running at equal speed. (It's good to be on the EDIT page for the best demonstration of this.) STOP the sequencer and select G1T2, then go to the DIVIDER page and quick-select timebase 32 (divider value 8) by pressing GPB16. Press PLAY. You can see the red cursor running twice as fast as before for G1T2, and playing the notes twice as fast. Each step on the EDIT page for G1T1 now represents a 32th note, and G1T1, which has 16 steps, will now run from start to end as quickly as G1T2, which is only 8 steps that represent 16th notes. If you want the tracks to last equally long and end at the same time, you will have to double G1T2's length (or halve it for G1T2).
Now let's make G1T2 run twice as slow compared to the original speed. You can change the timebase when the sequencer is playing, but unless you're right on the beat, the tracks will go off beat (and even more certainly with changing the divider value live with a knob). So, press STOP and change G1T2's timebase to 8 (divider value 32). Press EDIT and PLAY again, and you can see how the cursor is running slower, and the notes are playing slower.

7 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well written!

Quote

What exactly are the configurations that can be imported this way?

Configuration means all configuration parameters except for MIDI port and Channel

A list of configuration parameters can be found in the CC implementation chart: http://svnmios.midibox.org/filedetails.php?repname=svn.mios32&path=%2Ftrunk%2Fapps%2Fsequencers%2Fmidibox_seq_v4%2Fdoc%2Fmbseqv4_cc_implementation.txt

Quote

And does importing Steps mean trigger layer and parameter layer data, and nothing else?

yes

Best Regards, Thorsten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next part of the draft manual. The relevant sections from the table of contents are:

3. Trigger layers and parameter layers
    3.1 Trigger layers
        3.1.1. Gate
        3.1.2. Accent
        3.1.3. Roll
        3.1.4. Glide
        3.1.6. Random gate (R.G.)
        3.1.7. Random value (R.V.)
        3.1.8. No FX
        3.1.9. Roll gate (RollG)

    3.2 Parameter layers
        3.2.1. Note
        3.2.2. Velocity
        3.2.3. Length
        3.2.4. Roll and Roll2
            3.2.4.1. Using the RollG trigger layer
        3.2.5. Chord
        3.2.6. Control Change (CC)
        3.2.7. Pitch
        3.2.8. Probability (Prob)
        3.2.9. Delay
        3.2.10. Nth1 and Nth2

    3.3. Drum tracks
        3.3.1. Drum track instrument layers
        3.3.2. Drum track trigger layers
        3.3.3. Drum track parameter layers

Questions:

1. Random gate trigger layer:  is the chance 50/50 or something else?

2. Random value trigger layer:  does this randomise all the values in the parameter layers of the step?

3. "A parameter layer always has a value between 0 and 127. It can be in plain numerical form (0–127) or it may appear as a combination of letters and numbers, like for e.g. for notes and roll values." Is this accurate or am I just pretending to be knowledgeful <:-)

---------------------------------8<----------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------
3. Trigger layers and parameter layers
-----------------------------------------

On the lower left corner of the front panel there are three trigger layer selection buttons (A, B, C) and three parameter layer selection buttons (A, B, C). These allow you to select different layers for editing, either with the GP button under each step (for the active trigger layer) or with the GP knobs under each step (for the active parameter layer).

By default trigger layer selection button A selects the gate layer, B selects accent, and C brings up a page where you can select one of the eight trigger layers with a GP button. (Drum tracks have only 1–2 trigger layers, for these see section 3.3.)

With parameter layer selection buttons, button A selects the first parameter layer and B selects the second parameter layer. If your track has only four parameter layers, button C alternates between parameter layers C and D. If you have more than four parameter layers, button C brings up a page where you can use a GP button to choose one of the available parameter layers. (Drum tracks have only 1–2 parameter layers, for these see section 3.3.)

Trigger and parameter layers hold most of the data that makes up the music, such as gates, notes, note lengths, CC values etc. In order to understand what recording a note actually does, it is necessary to first say something about these two kinds of layers.

One trigger layer and one parameter layer are always selected, and thus active, ready to be edited with the GP buttons (triggers) and GP knobs (parameters) below each step. The active layers are named on the EDIT page (left LCD, top row). "Px: Name" gives the active parameter layer, where x is the layer (A-P) and "Name" the name of the layer, such as Vel. (velocity), Len. (length), etc. "Tx: Name" gives the active trigger layer (A-H) and the name of the layer, such as Gate, Roll, etc.


3.1. Trigger layers
------------------

Note, Chord and CC type tracks always have eight trigger layers. Drum type tracks are a special case, and have 1 or 2 trigger layers; they are dealt with in a separate section (see section 3.3.).

A trigger layer always has one of two values: on or off. Whether a trigger layer is on or off can be seen by selecting the layer (with the A, B or C buttons) and checking if the LED under the step is lit or not. If it's lit, the trigger of the selected layer is on for that step, and if it's not lit, the trigger is off. The active trigger layer's name is visible on the EDIT page on the left LCD's upper right corner.

You can set which trigger layer controls which trigger function on the TRIGGER page (MENU + TRIGGER). The page displays a list of all available trigger functions (nine) and their assignments into the trigger layers (max. eight). Turn a GP knob to change the function for each layer. Note that normally all trigger layers apart from RollG (see section 3.1.9.) are available by default (drum tracks are an exception). Note also that you can control multiple triggers with a single layer. For example, by assigning both Gate and Accent trigger to trigger layer A, every time you trigger a note with Gate, it will also be played at Accent velocity.


3.1.1. Gate

Gate is the basic trigger, without which other layers (whether trigger or parameter) cannot express themselves. Gate controls whether the data in the step is going to be played or not. If gate is on, the contents of the step's layers will be played, and if it's off, it will be treated as an empty step, even if there is data in the other layers of the step.

Example: You can verify this by pressing & holding EDIT, which brings up a menu where you can choose the type of EDIT view you want. Choose Trigger View. The left display shows eight trigger layers, and the right display shows the first eight parameter layers. (If you need to see the rest of the parameter layers, you can choose layer view, which shows all available parameter layers.)
If you select G1T1 and use GPK1 to view Step 1, you can see that Gate is on (*), and all the other triggers are off (o), As to the parameter layers, you can see that note, velocity and length layers have something in them. Now use GPK1 to select Step 2. All the information in the steps stays the same, only the gate flag is turned off (o). If you switch back to step view (press & hold EDIT), you can't see anything on the display for step 2, because gate is off. But if you press GPB2, you will create a C-3. Where did that come from? It was in the step all the time, your button press just turned the gate on, and made the information in the step "visible".


3.1.2. Accent

If the Accent trigger is on (*), it simply means that the step will be played at maximum velocity (127), i.e. "as loud as" it can be played. Velocity values simulate the force with which you strike a piano key: the higher the value, the "harder" the note is played. However, synthesizers often allow many other variables to be controlled with the velocity value, so it really depends on your settings what velocity actually does.


3.1.3. Roll

If the roll trigger is on, it means the note in the step will be played two times in quick succession within that step (a kind of flam). This allows for only very simple rolls. For more detailed control over the roll in a parameter layer, see section 3.2.4.

Note that the Roll trigger won't work if the Sustain setting on MODE page is on.


3.1.4. Glide

If the Glide trigger is on, the sequencer will trigger a glide *from the note in the current step* (where the glide trigger should be set 'on') into the note in the following step (also called "fingered portamento"). Note that the operation of this function depends on your synthesizer's settings. Also, not all synthesizers have the capability to trigger slides.

Example: Triggering a glide from step 2 into step 3.

                                step1 step2 step3 step4 step5 step6 step7 step8
note param. layer    C-3    D-3    E-3              C-3    D-3     E-3
lenght param. layer ||||||    |||||||   ||||               |||||||||||||||||||  |||||
glide trg. layer                     *


3.1.5. Skip

If the Skip trigger is on, the step in question will be skipped. This is not simply an "empty step", but the step will be jumped over, and the track will effectively become one step shorter than its length set on the LENGTH page. For example, if you set the skip trigger 'on' for step 5, the sequencer plays steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and jumps then directly to step 6. If your track length on the LENGTH page is 16/128, setting the skip trigger 'on' for three steps effectively makes your track three steps shorter, i.e. 13/128.


3.1.6. Random gate (R.G.)

If this trigger is set 'on', the step will be played randomly.***50/50 chance or sth else? This is especially useful for drum tracks to increase variation without creating multiple tracks. (See also Probability parameter layer, section 3.2.8.)


3.1.7. Random value (R.V.)

If this trigger is set 'on', all the values in the step's parameter layers will be randomized.***is this so?


3.1.8. No FX

If this trigger is set 'on', the step won't be forwarded to FX functions like echo, humanizer and limiter. (For effects, see section 6.6.)


3.1.9. Roll gate (RollG)

RollG trigger layer is used together with Roll and Roll2 parameter layers. This trigger is not assigned to any trigger layer by default. You can assign it to one of the available trigger layers on the TRIGGER page (MENU + TRIGGER), but normally you don't need it. See section 3.2.4.1. for details on how and when to use RollG.


3.2 Parameter layers
--------------------

A parameter layer always has a value between 0 and 127. It can be in plain numerical form (0–127) or it may appear as a combination of letters and numbers, like for e.g. for notes and roll values.***is this so? The values can be adjusted with the GP knobs below each step.

The parameter layer to be edited is selected with the parameter layer selection buttons (lower left corner of the front panel). Button A selects the first parameter layer (which is a note layer in a newly initialised note type track), button B selects the second parameter layer, and button C brings up a menu where you can choose any available parameter layer with the GP buttons. (Or, if you have only four parameter layers, button C alternates between the 3rd and the 4th layer.)

Note that all steps will have Note, Velocity, CC etc. values in them, but they are effective only if the gate trigger is set 'on'. On the EDIT page, the active parameter layer name can be seen in the left LCD. "PA: Note" means the first (= A) note layer is active, "PB: Vel." means the Velocity layer is active, etc.


3.2.1. Note

Note layers contain the notes which the sequencer is going to play. If you have several note layers, you can use them to play several notes at once, e.g. for chords. (See section 4.)

Note that the note layers are not independent of each other, because each track has only one gate trigger layer which is shared by all the note layers of the track. Hence, it is not possible to have each note layer play their own line, each layer having its own gate, length etc. Multiple note layers are useful for playing multi-note chords in each step, but e.g. piano-style two-handed play with some notes held down longer on one note layer, while other notes play "broken chord" arpeggios on another note layer is not possible with just one track. You would need to dedicate a separate track (perhaps sending on the same MIDI channel) for each "hand".

Example: The following will work:

                                 step1    step2    step3    step4    step5    step6    step7    step8
note param.layer 1    C-3        ---        ---         ---         C-3        ---        ---         ---
note param.layer 2    E-3        ---        ---         ---         F-3         ---        ---        ---
note param.layer 3    G-3       ---        ---         ---         A-3         ---         ---        ---

The following will work:

                                 step1    step2    step3    step4    step5    step6    step7    step8
note param.layer 1    C-3        E-3       G-3      E-3       C-3       F-3       A-3        F-3

The following will work too, but it will sound exactly the same as the example above, plus it's more work:

                                step1    step2    step3    step4    step5    step6    step7    step8
note param.layer 1    C-3       ---        ---        ---          C-3        ---         ---        ---
note param.layer 2    ---        E-3       ---        E-3         ---        F-3         ---       F-3
note param.layer 3    ---        ---        G-3        ---         ---         ---         A-3       ---


3.2.2. Velocity

At its simplest, velocity controls how loud the note in the step is to be played. Velocity values simulate the force with which you strike a piano key: the higher the value, the "harder" the note is played. However, synthesizers allow many other variables to be controlled with the velocity value, so it really depends on your settings what velocity actually does.

The velocity layer shows the velocity value as a vertical bar next to the note layer value (from the first note layer). The note layer value is merely displayed, and cannot be edited when the velocity layer is visible, because the GP knob is used to edit the velocity value, not the note value.


3.2.3. Length

Gate length per step allows you to adjust how long a note will sound. Length is expressed as a percentage per step, from 1% to Gld. (=100%). Length can be stretched over several steps by adjusting the gate length until the value for that step says "Gld." (for glide), and then adjusting the next step's length until "Gld.", if you want to sustain the note to yet another step, and so on. You can stop at any step when you've reached the length that you like by leaving the length value in that step anywhere below 100% (glide). The "stretched over" steps should have their gates triggers switched 'off'.

***image here

Note that "glide" here has a different meaning than in the trigger layer glide (section 3.1.4.). Here glide means simply that *the same note* is extended over several steps, which has no effect on pitch; in trigger layer glide, however, the whole idea is to glide from *one note to another, different note*, i.e. from one pitch to another.

The setting Sustain on the MODE page is good to keep in mind when setting up a track to play long notes. Sustain holds each note/chord until another one is played, and this spares you the trouble of having to set the gate length of each individual note/chord.

When editing gate length per step, it is also good to keep in mind the ALL button function, which allows you to edit the values several steps with one knob (see section 4.2.3.).


3.2.4. Roll and Roll2

Roll controls the number of hits per step and their intensity curve, whereas Roll2 controls the number or hits per step and the hits' distance from each other. Rolls are most often used for percussion sounds (particularly in drum tracks), but in priciple they work with any type of track or sound.

Roll parameter is a more refined version of the roll trigger. With the Roll parameter you can set the number of notes played within the step, their intensity (range 0-15) and whether the intensity is ascending or descending (D for descending, U for ascending). For example, setting 3D03 means the note in the step will be played three times in quick succession, the first hit being played at a higher velocity than the second and third.

The Roll speed is relative to tempo. A slow tempo (e.g. 30bpm) is useful in evaluating the effect of different intensity settings.

Note that the effect of the intensity parameter depends on the velocity sensitivity settings of your synthesizer and/or your patch.

Roll2 parameter can be used to play the step 2–5 times, but instead of velocity, you can control the distance between the played notes. The distance is expressed in microticks. Each step consists of 96 microticks, and the first hit is always played at the first microtick in the beginning of the step. Setting 2x48 would play two notes, one at the beginning and the second at the middle of the step. If the setting is 3x57, the resulting three notes will be longer than one step, i.e. longer than 96 microticks. The first note will be played at the beginning the step, the second note will be played in the step at 57 microticks, and the third one will be played in the second step, at 18 microticks.

Note that the Roll parameters won't work if the Sustain setting on MODE page is on.


3.2.4.1. Using the RollG trigger layer

You can use the trigger layer RollG together with the Roll and Roll2 parameter layers. Normally it should be enough to just set the trigger layer Gate (=the normal gate trigger, by default in trigger layer A) on for a step and then, for the same step, turn a knob to enter a value in the Roll/Roll2 parameter layer. The sequencer will play a roll in all steps where the Gate trigger is 'on' and where there is a non-zero value in the roll parameter layer.

However, if you have one roll value that you would like to use all over your track, normally you'd have to enter the roll values by turning the knob for each step individually, wherever you want to effect a roll. RollG offers another solution. Instead you can push the ALL button, set the cursor to step 1 and then turn GPK1 to enter the same roll value in every step of the track with just one knob. If you have only the Gate trigger layer (typically in trigger layer A), every step with the gate trigger 'on' will now play a roll, and you cannot play any non-roll notes. But if you now assign RollG trigger to trigger layer B on the TRIGGER page, rolls don't get triggered anymore unless you explicitly set them to trigger on the RollG trigger layer.

In other words, now the "normal" gate layer can be used to trigger just the "normal" notes, but if Gate and RollG are 'on' *together* for the same step *and* there's a value in the roll parameter layer, a roll note is triggered instead. (Alone, RollG has no effect.)

This way you can enable and disable the roll value for each note with a single press of a button, instead of having to turn the knobs to zero with each individual step. Or, instead of the ALL button trick to enter multiple values simultaneously, you can also use the Randomiser function to randomise the values of the roll parameter layer (for details on the randomiser function, see section 6.3.), and then trigger them with the RollG layer.

Normally, the gate trigger 'on' state is indicated with a diamond-shaped symbol. However, if both the normal Gate *and* RollG are on for the same step, *both layers* will indicate this state of affairs with a "?". If you have RollG set 'on' for a step, but the normal gate is 'off' for that step, both layers will display an "o".


3.2.5. Chord

Chord layers can be used to play chords with up to 4 notes in a single parameter layer. For the details on the chord layer, see section 2.1.1.2.


3.2.6. Control Change (CC)

CC layers can be used to send Control Change messages to your MIDI equipment. For the details on the CC layers, see section 2.1.1.3.


3.2.7. Pitch

Pitch layer can be used to send pitch wheel events to your MIDI equipment, simulating the pitch wheel position. Value 64 (default) is the middle position, i.e. no effect.


3.2.8. Probability (Prob)

Probability layer can be used to set the probability for the step to be played (0–100%). This is especially useful for drum tracks to increase variation without creating multiple tracks. (See also random gate trigger, section 3.1.6.)


3.2.9. Delay

Delay layer can be used to delay each step with 1–96 microticks. Regardless of tempo, one step is 96 microticks long, so delaying a step with 96 microticks plays the step at the last possible instance within that step before moving into the next step.


3.2.10. Nth1 and Nth2

Parameter layers Nth1 and Nth2 allow you to create long variant patterns which change based on mathematical rules. Nth1 will trigger the specified action the first time and then each nth bar, while Nth2 will start triggering only after n bars, and then each nth bar.

The possible actions are:
1. Pl: Play each nth bar
2. Mu: Mute each nth bar
3. Ac: Accent each nth bar
4. Ro: Roll each nth bar
5. Fx: enable Fx each nth bar
6. Nx: disnable Fx each nth bar

The first selectable "operation" (-- 2 etc.), before Pl, is actually a dummy value. It does nothing and can be ignored. The final operation ("?? 1" etc.) is currently empty, and also does nothing.

Below is an example sequence and how it will actually sound. The operation for both steps is "mute", and because the parameter is Nth1, muting starts immediately from the first occurrence, and then repeats every second (for step 2) or fourth (for step 4) time.

            step1     step2     step3     step4
note param. layer    C-3       D-3       E-3       F-3
Nth1 param. layer    ---       Mu2      ---       Mu4

This is the actual outcome of the settings above:

            step1     step2     step3     step4
note param. layer    C-3       ---       E-3       ---        first iteration
note param. layer    C-3       D-3       E-3       F-3        second iteration
note param. layer    C-3       ---       E-3       F-3        third iteration
note param. layer    C-3       D-3       E-3       F-3        fourth iteration
note param. layer    C-3       ---       E-3       ---        fifth iteration

With the same settings but with Nth2 parameter, muting would start only on the second time the note is played (for step 2), and then every second time (for step 2) in the example above. If the Nth layer was Nth2 instead of Nth1 in the example above, the outcome would be:

                     step1     step2     step3     step4
note param. layer    C-3       D-3       E-3       F-3        first iteration
note param. layer    C-3       ---       E-3       F-3        second iteration
note param. layer    C-3       D-3       E-3       F-3        third iteration
note param. layer    C-3       ---       E-3       ---        fourth iteration
note param. layer    C-3       D-3       E-3       F-3        fifth iteration


3.3. Drum tracks
----------------

Drum tracks are suitable for playing up to 16 drum sounds simultaneously, with each drum instrument having its own instrument layer (bass drum, snare drum, hihat, clap etc.). In addition to the instrument layers, a drum track can have either 1 or 2 parameter layers, and 1 or 2 trigger layers. Like with the other track types (see section 2.1.1.), here too it's a zero sum game between track length, instrument number and layer number.

Trigger layer length is always the same as track length. However, parameter layer length can be shorter than track length. If, for example, track length is 256 steps, but parameter layer length is 64 steps, the parameter layer will get repeated four times (4 * 64 = 256) while the track plays its 256 steps.

The drum track type notation differs somewhat from the other tracks.

StepsP/T    Drums
(64/2*64)     16    Track length is 64 steps, two trigger layers. One parameter layer (length 64 steps).
                           16 different drum sounds can be played.

(2*32/128)   16   Track length is 128 steps, one trigger layer. Two parameter layers that
                           are 32 steps long, which means they will repeat four times while the track goes through
                           its length of 128 steps. 16 different drum sounds can be played.

(128/2*128)  8    Track length is 128 steps, two trigger layers. One parameter layer (length 128 steps).
                           8 different drum sounds can be played.

(2*64/256)    8    Track length is 256 steps, one trigger layer. Two parameter layers that are 64 steps long,
                           i.e. they repeat four times while track goes through its length of 256. 8 different drum
                           sounds can be played.

(64/64)       16    Track length is 64 steps, one trigger layer. One parameter layer that is 64 steps long;
                           16 different drum sounds can be played.

(128/128)    8    Track length is 128 steps, one trigger layer. One parameter layer that is 128 steps long.
                          8 different drum sounds can be played.

(256/256)    4    Track length is 256 steps, one trigger layer. One parameter layer that is 256 steps long.
                          4 different drum sounds can be played.


3.3.1. Drum track instrument layers

Unlike other track types which can control only one instrument, a drum track can control up to 16 instruments, and this results in somewhat changed controls. Parameter selection button C has no function, because two parameter layers is the maximum, and trigger layer selection button C is used to bring up a submenu of the available *instrument* layers, instead of trigger layers (the maximum number of trigger layers also being two).

In order to set up a working drum track, you have to make sure that the note values for each of the instruments match what your drum machine expects for each instrument. This is done on the EVENT page (right LCD). Choose the drum instrument with GPK11 and the matching note with GPK12. For example, by default MBSEQv4 assumes that a bass drum sound is equal to the note C-1, but this may be different from what your drum machine thinks a base drum note is. You have to know the settings of your drum machine to set up the equivalent values on the sequencer (or vice versa).

You can also rename the drum instruments, if you don't like the defaults. This too can be done on the EVENT page by pressing GPB8 for 'Track Instrument'. There you can scroll through the available instrument layers (A-P) with GPK10, see the name of each drum instrument on the right, and rename it by pressing GPB9. Maximum name length is five characters.

Once you have set up the drum notes and names to your liking, you probably want to save the whole thing as a preset; go back to Track Event page (GPB8) and press GPB15 ('PRESETS').


3.3.2. Drum track trigger layers

A drum track will always have at least one trigger layer, and that is gate. If the gate trigger layer is selected (left LCD top row says "TA:Gate"), the steps in an instrument layer can be toggled 'on' or 'off' by pressing a GP button below the step. A diamond-shaped symbol indicates that the gate is 'on' for that drum instrument layer.

If there is more than one trigger layer, the second one is Accent by default. The second trigger layer can be selected by pressing trigger layer selection button B (left LCD top row says e.g. "TB:Acc"); pressing a GP button below the step toggles the trigger 'on' and 'off' for each step.

For the accent layer, a diamond shaped symbol means normal velocity (it's on if the gate for that step is on), and "?" means accent velocity. The normal velocity value as well as the accent velocity value for each drum instrument layer can be set on EVENT page with GPK13 and GPK14 (VelN for normal and VelA for accent velocity). Only Accent layer has these extra settings.

You can change the second trigger layer by pressing MENU + TRIGGER and assigning trigger layer B to one of the options on the page with the knobs. You can change layer A too, but you really need the gate layer, so in practice changing it isn't so useful. Note that you can assign many functions in a single trigger layer. For example, by assigning both Accent and Roll into trigger layer B, each step where trigger layer B is set 'on' will trigger both Accent and Roll for that step.


3.3.3. Drum track parameter layers

Drum track parameter layers can be set to the desired function on the EVENT page with GPK9 and GPK10 (not all functions are useful). By default a single parameter layer is Roll, and if you have two parameter layers, they are Velocity and Roll. Parameter layer functions can be changed on the EVENT page with GPK9 and, if you have two parameter layers, GPK10.

The parameter values can be adjusted for each step on the instrument layer by turning a GP knob (you have to be on the EDIT page). Turning the knob will summon the selected parameter layer, which will be visible as long as the value is changed; after a few seconds of inactivity the display will return to the gate on/off view.

Edited by jjonas
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks you for doing this. I've read the previous 2 chapters and found the information presented well and factual. This is needed, at least by this user. and it's great to have all the information in one place.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, this is awesome. Timely too since I'm about to start building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I've been hoping something like this might be about.

The manual seems clear & very understandable to me so far.

Nice work & Thank you for your time & efforts with this, it is well appreciated!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for writing this jjonas!

I'm just getting started with the sequence so this is a huge help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fourth chapter of the draft manual. The relevant section of the table of contents is:

4. Entering notes
    4.1. The Jam page
        4.1.1. Rec and Fwd
        4.1.2. Step recording
        4.1.3. Live recording
        4.1.4. Edit recording mode
    4.2. Working on the EDIT page
        4.2.1. Copy, paste, duplicate, quick-export
        4.2.2. Clear, move, scroll, undo
        4.2.3. Using FAST and ALL buttons

This chapter includes recording, which was a complicated topic to get straight. I appreciate if someone has the time to test the step and live recording settings to see if they really hold water 100%. But if not, I'm sure there will be a feedback thread later on where everything fishy will float to the surface when people try to cut their teeth on friendly but mistaken advice :-)

Notes for TK and others:

  • In the newest official firmware at the moment of writing this (4.090) the Step/Live recording setting 'AStart' is not functioning correctly, and the draft manual has only some ideal description of how I have imagined it should work. The section will be updated in the final version.
  • I write: "303 View shows a variety of settings". Does "303" refer to TB-303 bassline synth, MC-303 groovebox or something else?
  • I write: "It is not possible to copy and paste individual parameter or trigger layers." Is this so?
  • I write: "Multiple tracks within a single group can be selected with the track selection buttons, or any combination of tracks on the Track Selection page." Where is the track selection page? Can it be selected only with a F1–F4 buttons set for that in the HW setup file, or by setting it as a bookmark? I couldn't find it in the main menu.
  • A possible bug: The Track Selection page demands that one track in Group 1 is always selected. If at any point all the tracks in Group 1 become unselected, it has the effect that all tracks in all groups get unselected, and track 1 gets selected.
  • Option #8 says that it affects the paste and clear functions, but what does clear 'Complete Track' do that clear 'Only steps' doesn't do? In other words, how does Option #8 affect the clear function?
  • Thoughts on the ALL button (press & hold ALL button = change all steps into the same value with just one knob): If ALL mode is 'on', pressing & holding switches it 'off', and pressing & holding works only if you start pressing & holding when the mode is 'off'. In other words, if the mode is 'on', you have to switch it 'off' before you can press & hold it for "all jump to the same value" adjustment. Question: Would it be possible/handy to effect a press & release threshold time for switching from 'on' state to 'off' state? E.g. so that by default pressing & holding the ALL button, while the mode is 'on', enables the ""all jump to same value" mode, and when you release, the ALL mode will stay 'on'; but if you release the button in 200ms (or whatever, i'm not sure what a good value would be) after pressing it down, it will switch to 'off' mode instead? Or maybe there are other ways that I didn't come to think of. It works ok as it is (and I can document it as it is), but it could perhaps be polished a bit :-)

----------------------------8<---------------------------------

-------------------
4. Entering notes
-------------------

There's a few ways to enter notes on the sequencer when you're on the EDIT page.

The most simple option is to press a GP button to trigger Gate 'on' or 'off', and turn the knob below the step to adjust the note value. Default note is C-3, default velocity is 100, and default length 75%. This method is good only for single notes, because pressing a GP button only toggles the gate 'on' or 'off', and thus just "enables" the note value (and any other parameters) that happens to be stored in that step. By default there is one C-3 note in a single note layer in each step of a newly initialised note type track, but if you have recorded multiple notes in the step previously, then switching the gate 'on' will enable these multiple notes (and other events you have recorded in the step).

For a drum track's instrument layers this method works best.

However, this is not really "recording notes", rather it's just pushing a button to toggle the gate 'on' or 'off' for a step. The actual recording options and settings are available on the Jam page.


4.1 The Jam page
----------------

You can enter the Jam page by pressing UTILITY + GPB10 (Jam). However, as the Jam page is likely to be used quite often, it might be useful to set one of the four function buttons (F1­-F4, on the right hand side of the frontpanel) to take you directly to the Jam page to make transitioning between EDIT and Jam pages as easy as possible. (For this you need to edit the HW setup file, see Appendix 1.)

The Jam page consists of two stand-alone settings (Rec and Fwd) and five groups of settings: Step, Live, Pattern, MIDI, and Miscellaneous. The groups can be selected with GP buttons, the editable settings of the selected group appearing on the right LCD. In addition to Rec and Fwd, this manual deals with only Step and Live settings.

4.1.1. Rec and Fwd

Rec (GPB2) sets recording mode 'on' or 'off'. Recording mode needs to be 'on' if you want to record notes with just pressing keys on your MIDI controller, i.e. without need to touch the sequencer's buttons or knobs. You can record notes also by two other ways when Rec is set 'off' (see section 4.1.4. for Edit recording mode), but in all cases recording notes takes its settings from the Jam page.

Rec stays 'on' even if you leave the Jam page, and you can record notes regardless of which page you are on. However, you won't see what you record unless you're on the EDIT page or the Jam page. If you start recording while on the Jam page, the display will switch to the EDIT page (where 'STEP RECORDING' will flash on the left LCD) as long as you keep recording notes, but after a few seconds of inactivity you will be returned to the Jam page. A more convenient way is perhaps setting Rec 'on' and then going to the EDIT page (by pressing the EDIT button), where you can now take your time to record the notes you like, and scroll back and forth if needed, without having to worry about getting automatically returned to the Jam page.

Recording works regardless of whether the sequencer is running or stopped. Most of the time recording makes practical sense only in Phrase mode, where patterns are not changing (for Phrase and Song mode, see section 5.2.).

Fwd (GPB3) sets note forwarding 'on' or 'off'. If Fwd is 'on', it means that while recording notes, the notes are forwarded immediately to the Port and MIDI channel of the track (set in the EVENT page). If it's 'off', you won't hear the notes when you record them. Whether or not to keep Fwd on depends on your equipment and setup. Some MIDI Router settings (MENU + MIDI -> MIDI Router) can cause notes to become triggered twice per key press while recording. For a simple setup, however, setting Fwd 'on' is probably a good idea.


4.1.2. Step recording

On the Jam page, press GPB4 to choose Step recording settings for editing. They appear in the right LCD.

Mode can be set to either Poly or Mono. Mono allows you to record only one note at a time, and always in the first note layer, overwriting any notes that already were there, while Poly allows you to record as many notes simultaneously as you have note layers on the track you're recording on. (The number of available note layers depends on how you have set up the track; see section 2.1.1.) Both modes overwrite whatever was in the note, velocity and length layers for each recorded step. If a step had several note layers with notes in them (i.e. a chord) and you record a single note in that step (which always goes in the first note layer), all the other note layers are erased as well.

In Mono mode you will have access to 'Inc' (increment) setting, which allows you to effect an automatic step increment after recording a note in a step. For example, Inc setting +2 means that after recording the first note (e.g. in step 1), the cursor will jump forward two steps (e.g. into step 3). This way you can spare yourself the trouble of adjusting the cursor position by hand, if you know that you want to record notes in a steady rhythm. Inc setting is not available for Poly mode, which means you have to adjust the cursor by hand.

AStart controls whether or not to start the sequencer automatically when you press a key on your MIDI controller to record the first note. If the sequencer is already running, AStart setting makes no difference. Note that if the sequencer is not running and AStart is 'off', recording will always be step recording (and will use step recording settings from the Jam page), even if Live recording is selected on the Jam page. Step recording with AStart or the sequencer already running is not affected by the tempo, but only by the increment setting.

***currently AStart is not functioning correctly.

Step setting indicates the cursor position on the EDIT page. The position can be changed on the EDIT page with the datawheel, and the cursor position is copied to the Jam page, but with Step (GPK11) you can change the cursor position while on the Jam page as well. Turning the knob takes you briefly to the EDIT page, and after a few seconds of inactivity you will be returned to the Jam page. Note that if you have AStart 'on', the first note will always be recorded in step 1, regardless of the cursor position, and all subsequent notes will be recorded at the running cursor position.

You can step record CC messages the same way you can record notes. There are two alternative conditions: either the incoming CC message number has to have a dedicated CC parameter layer already, or there is a CC layer that is currently 'off'. For example, an incoming CC#001 will be recorded to the first CC layer where there already are CC#001 messages, or if there is no such layer, the CC#001 message will recorded into the first free CC layer. If there are no available CC layers, the incoming messages won't be recorded anywhere.

Example: To try recording in practice you need a new pattern. Save what you have, then press PATTERN and choose 1:A3 for the pattern to be edited. Select G1T1, clear it, and use the LENGTH page to set its length to 16 steps. Check on the DIVIDER page that the Timebase is 16 (divider value 16). Also, make sure you are in Phrase mode. Go to the SONG page to check the setting, and if needed, change it so Phrase mode with GPK9***. (For Phrase and Song mode, see section 5.2.)
Go to the Jam page and press GPB4 to choose Step Recording settings to be edited. Set Rec 'on', Mode to Mono, AStart 'off', Step to 1 and Inc. to +2. Then use your MIDI controller to enter whatever 8 notes come to mind. Or if you have a hard time making a choice, you can just press GPB16 (Toggle Gate), eight times and the sequencer will use the step recording settings to simply switch the gates of the proper steps to on, enabling the note, velocity and length data that was already there.
You can perform this operation from the Jam page, which will show the EDIT page briefly while you're entering notes and switch back to the Jam page after a few seconds of inactivity. Or you can switch to the EDIT page manually, enter the notes there, and then come back to the Jam page manually.


4.1.3. Live recording

On the Jam page, press GPB5 to choose Live recording settings for editing. They appear in the right LCD.

Mode can be set to either Poly or Mono. Mono allows you to record only one note at a time, and always in the first note layer, overwriting any notes that already were there, while Poly allows you to record as many notes simultaneously as you have note layers on the track you're recording on. (The number of available note layers depends on how you have set up the track; see section 2.1.1.) Both modes overwrite whatever was in the note, velocity and length layers for each recorded step. If a step had several note layers with notes in them (i.e. a chord) and you record a single note in that step (which always goes in the first note layer), all the other note layers are erased as well.

AStart controls whether or not to start the sequencer automatically when you press a key on your MIDI controller to record the first note. If the sequencer is already running, AStart setting makes no difference. Note that if the sequencer is not running and AStart is 'off', recording will always be step recording (and will use step recording settings from the Jam page), even if Live recording is selected on the Jam page.

***currently AStart is not functioning correctly.

Note that if you have AStart 'on', the first note will always be recorded in step 1, regardless of the cursor position, and all subsequent notes will be recorded at the running cursor position.

Quantize can be set from 0% to 99%, and it controls the tolerance with which "early" off-beat notes will be recorded in the *following* step, instead of in the step where they technically were played. The higher the value, the more likely it is that an "early" note will be recorded into the next step.

***image here

Note that when note forwarding (Fwd) on the Jam page is 'on' and an "early" note is moved by the quantize function to the next step, the note will be triggered twice. When you press a key on your MIDI controller, the note is immediately forwarded to the port and MIDI channel for that track (because Fwd is 'on'), and sounds for the first time. Because it was a a bit early, it is moved "into the future", i.e. the next step, but the sequencer won't be there for another 0.2 seconds or so. However, when the sequencer does reach the next step, it will play the note that was moved there, the note that had sounded already a fraction of a second before.

You can record CC messages live the same way you can record notes. There are two alternative conditions: either the incoming CC message number has to have a dedicated CC parameter layer already, or there is a CC layer that is currently 'off'. For example, an incoming CC#001 will be recorded to the first CC layer where there already are CC#001 messages, or if there is no such layer, the CC#001 message will be recorded into the first free CC layer. If there are no available CC layers, the incoming messages won't be recorded anywhere.

Example: Let's say you want to record live a sequence where the notes come down on steps 1, 5, 9 and 13. If Quantize is set to 0% and during live recording you press the keys for the second and third notes just a bit too early, the sequencer shows no mercy and the notes will be recorded in steps 1, 4, 8 and 13, instead of step 1, 5, 9 and 13 like you wanted. (The first note will always be on time if you start live recording with the first key press.) Quantize allows you to "cheat" a bit, and by increasing the setting you can have these "a bit too early" notes recorded into the next step instead. The percentage controls the definition of "a bit too early".
Select track G1T2 and press GPB5 to select live recording settings. Set Rec 'on', Mode to Mono, AStart 'off', and Quantize to whatever you prefer (e.g. 20%). Start the sequencer by pressing PLAY. If you now press a MIDI controller key at any time, the display will switch to EDIT view for a few seconds and show what you recorded and where. The sequencer will stay on the EDIT page if you keep pressing keys to record notes, but if you don't, the display will come back to Jam page.
Another way to start live recording is switching AStart to 'on'. This way you don't have to press PLAY to start the sequencer, but instead the sequencer will be started automatically when you hit the first key you want to record (naturally Rec has to be 'on' as well). This way the first note will always be recorded into the first step.
If you want to take your time, you may first want to set the live recording settings to your liking, switch to the EDIT page manually, and then hit the first key you want to record. This way the sequencer will stay on the EDIT page, which allows you to e.g. use the GP buttons to delete badly timed notes etc. (Naturally Rec and AStart have to be 'on'.)


4.1.4. Edit recording mode

Besides Live and Step recording, there is one more way to enter notes while on the EDIT page: the Edit Recording mode. Edit Recording mode can be used in two ways. While on the EDIT page, you can press & hold a GP button, and the >   < angle brackets will turn into {   } curly brackets, the display will flash 'EDIT RECORDING', and you can enter a note or notes into the step while pressing & holding the GP button.

Note that Edit Recording mode takes its settings (notably Mode and AStart) from the Jam page, so e.g. unless you have Poly mode enabled there, you won't be able to record multiple notes simultaneously; if the mode is Mono and you press several keys, they will all be forwared if Fwd is 'on', but only one of them will be recorded. Note also that Rec doesn't have to be 'on' for Edit Recording mode to work; if Rec is on and you're on the EDIT page, you don't need Edit Recording mode to record notes.

Alternatively you can press SELECT while on the EDIT page to *toggle* Edit Recording mode 'on' or 'off'. This allows you to play e.g. two-handed chords, as you don't have to use one hand to hold down a GP button.


4.2. Working on the EDIT page
-----------------------------

Of all the pages of the MBSEQv4, you will probably spend most your time on the EDIT page. The default view is the Step View, where you can see 16 steps at a time, but only two layers: one parameter layer and one trigger layer. The active parameter layer is displayed in the LCDs, the values can be changed with the GP knobs, and the name of the layer is displayed in the left LCD's top row (e.g. PB: Vel. for "Parameter layer B: Velocity"). The active trigger layer name is displayed in the left LCD's top row (e.g. TB: Roll for "Trigger layer B: Roll"), and the trigger can be switched 'on' or 'off' for each step with the GP buttons. The LEDs below each step will indicate whether the trigger is 'on' or 'off' for each step. If the LED is lit, the active trigger layer for that step is 'on', and if it's unlit, the trigger is 'off'.

Pressing & holding EDIT brings up a menu where you can select alternative views.

1. Step View (the default) shows 16 steps at a time, but only one parameter layer (in the LCDs) and one trigger layer (in the states of the LEDs below the LCDs).
2. Trigger View shows only one step at a time, but seven trigger layers and up to 8 parameter layers for the selected step.
3. Layer View shows only one step at a time: the gate trigger layer and up to 14 parameter layers for the selected step.
4. 303 View shows a variety of settings, mimicing the Roland TB-303 bassline synthesizer / Roland MC-303 groovebox / something else??.***


4.2.1. Copy, paste, duplicate, quick-export

Besides just entering/recording notes and other data in a track, you can also copy, paste and duplicate the data in each track. Copy and paste have their dedicated buttons on the frontpanel, while the rest of the editing options can be found by pressing UTILITY. Quick-export uses the MENU + COPY button combination.

It is not possible to copy and paste individual parameter or trigger layers.***is this so?

Pressing COPY copies the active track into the buffer, and they can then be pasted onto another track; you can change sessions in between copying and pasting if you like. Note that COPY copies the *set length* (from the LENGTH page) of the track. For example, if the set length is 16/128, pressing COPY will copy only the first 16 steps into the buffer.

Multiple tracks cannot be copied at once. If several tracks are selected, only the one visible in the LCDs is copied.

**possible bug: if track length is 8/xx and you have nothing in steps 1–8, but notes in steps 9+, COPY will copy these notes (including possible empty steps from step 9 onwards), and PASTE will paste them in the beginning of the target track. But if there is even one note in steps 1–8, the notes in steps 9+ won't be copied/pasted.

However, if you *press & hold* COPY, you can copy a selected *section* of the active track. GP knobs select the start and end position of the section (indicated by >  < angle brackets). A knob at the starting position (or to the left of it) selects the start of the section (">"), and a knob to the right of the starting position selects the end of the section ("<"). The top row of the left LCD shows the steps to be copied (e.g. "COPY S1-12" for copying steps 1–12). Releasing the COPY button copies the selected section into the buffer.

Pressing PASTE once pastes the copied track from the buffer into the beginning of the track, overwriting whatever was there. If the copied track was 16/128 steps long and you paste it into a track that is 32/128 steps long, only the first 16 steps will be overwritten.

However, if you *press & hold* PASTE, you can offset the beginning point of the operation with the GP knobs. The >   < angle brackets indicate the location. If the pasted section is too short to cover all the content in the target track, e.g. pasting a 16 step section into a 24 step track, 8 steps of the target track will not be overwritten. (Which 8 steps won't be overwritten depends on your paste operation's starting point.)

In UTILITY -> Opt. (Option #8) you can change whether the paste function pastes the whole track (Complete Track), or just the trigger layer and parameter layer values in the steps (Only Steps). (The same option controls the behaviour the the clear function as well.) 'Only steps' is probably the better setting for normal use. Complete Track copies all steps and all track settings, i.e. MIDI channel, port, length, etc. If the target track is of the same type (Note, Chord, CC, Drum) as the source track, pasting a complete track won't initialise the target track to change its combination of maximum length or the number of parameter and trigger layers. But if the target track is of a different type than the source track, the target track's type will change, and it will become an exact copy of the source track. For example, pasting a 16/128 Note track into a 64/64 CC track will turn the latter into a 16/128 Note track.

It is possible to duplicate a track by pressing & holding COPY and then pressing PASTE. If your track is 16/128 steps long, this operation will copy the first 16 steps of the track and paste them immediately after it, starting from step 17. The track length is changed automatically to match the new duplicated length (e.g. from 16/128 to 32/128). The cursor position will jump to the beginning of the newly duplicated sequence (e.g. step 17). You won't be able to duplicate a track that is too long to be duplicated (e.g. a track with a length of 64/128 can be duplicated once, but a track with a length of 128/128 cannot be duplicated.)

One or several tracks can also be quick-exported and imported. Multiple tracks within a single group can be selected with the track selection buttons, or any combination of tracks on the Track Selection page***where is it?, and then exported with MENU + COPY. This will copy all data in the track(s), including settings, into the PRESETS folder, i.e. they're not session dependent. This means that you can have a maximum of sixteen tracks exported this way at any given time for all your sessions. The file names are of the form COPYx(.V4T), where x is the relative number of the quick-exported track (1–16). Relative means that if, for example, you have selected tracks G2T2, G2T3 and G2T4 and then quick-export them with MENU + COPY, they will be called COPY1, COPY2 and COPY3, even though their "absolute" track numbers are 6, 7 and 8.

***track selection page demands that one track in group 1 is always selected. if at any point all the tracks in group 1 become unselected, it has the effect that all tracks in all groups get unselected, and track 1 gets selected.

One, some or all of the copied tracks can be pasted with MENU + PASTE, which will paste only so many tracks as have been selected with the track selection buttons. The pasting follows the same relative pattern as the copying, so that COPY1 will be pasted to the first selected track, regardless of its "absolute" track number.

Note that if you first copy four tracks this way, and later copy two tracks, the first two of the older tracks (COPY1 and COPY2) will be overwritten, but the latter two of the older tracks (COPY3 and COPY4) will remain. If you then paste four tracks, you will get two "new" tracks and two "old" tracks.

Tracks exported with MENU + COPY can also be imported one by one from the EVENT page's PRESETS menu (GPB14-15). Currently there is no way to delete files in the presets folder in the sequencer; you have to do delete them manually from the SD card on your computer.


4.2.2. Clear, move, scroll, undo

Clear has a dedicated button on the frontpanel, while move, scroll and undo can be found by pressing UTILITY.

CLEAR clears all layers of all steps in the selected track, even if they're beyond the track's set length. Thus, if your track is 16/128 steps long, CLEAR will clear also the steps 17–128. In UTILITY -> Opt. (Option #8) you can change whether the clear function clears all track settings (Complete Track) or just the steps (Only steps). 'Only steps' is probably the better setting for normal use.***what does 'clear complete track' do that clear 'only steps' doesn't do?

It is not possible to clear individual parameter or trigger layers.***is this so?

Move allows you to move *individual steps* to another position with the GP knobs. When you press & hold 'Move', the screen switches to the EDIT page, and you can grab an individual step by turning the knob below it, and then move it to another location if you keep turning the knob. Releasing the GP button will write the moved step into the new location, overwriting whatever was there previously.

Scroll allows you to move *sections of steps* with the knobs. When you press & hold 'Scroll', the screen switches to the EDIT page, and you can use a GP knob to grab a section of steps so that the steps to the right of the knob (including the one above the knob) will be moved together, while the ones to the left will stay where they are. Releasing the GP button writes the moved steps into the new location, overwriting whatever was there previously.

Undo cancels the latest paste, clear, move and scroll operation. Note that if your MBSEQv4 is using an LPC1769 core, the undo function is disabled since firmware 4.089 because of memory issues! In other words, the undo function works only with STM32F4 based MBSEQv4.


4.2.3. Using FAST and ALL buttons

Using the FAST button (left side, bottom row on the frontpanel) allows you to change a value with the knobs faster. The normal setting is useful for narrow value ranges and/or detailed changes, while FAST is useful for fast changes on a wide value range. The LED above the FAST button indicates whether the fast mode is 'on' or 'off'. Note that in some contexts, e.g. when editing velocity values, the FAST function is activated automatically. However, you can always switch it 'on' and 'off', according to your preference.

The LED above the ALL button (left side, bottom row on the frontpanel) indicates whether the ALL mode is 'on' or 'off'. Using the ALL button allows you to edit multiple values with just one knob in three ways.

First, with the ALL function 'on', turning the knob in the *present cursor position* will cause the values for all steps to change at the same time, so that each step will be adjusted *relative to its original value*. For example, the original velocity value 50 in one step will advance to 70, while the original velocity value 100 in another step will advance to 120. It's irrelevant with knob you turn, as long as it's at the present cursor position.

Second, if you move any knob *other than the one in the current cursor position*, the sequencer will generate a descending or ascending *ramp* between the present cursor position and the knob you turn. This way you can generate e.g. velocity ramps easily.

***image on ramp here

Third, when you *press & hold* the ALL button and turn the knob in the *present cursor position*, the values for all steps will *jump to the same value* as the step below which you're turning the knob. As you keep turning, the values for all steps will change at the same time, to the same value. Note that this works only if you've set the normal mode of the ALL button to toggle (instead of momentary) in the HW setup file. On how to change the HW setup file, see Appendix 1.

By default the ALL function affects all steps, but this can be changed with the GP buttons when the ALL mode is on. When the ALL mode is on, the step LEDs start blinking to indicate a special function in the ALL mode. A blinking LED below a step means that the step will be affected by the ALL function; by pressing a GP button under a step you can turn the ALL mode of for that step, which is indicated by an unlit LED. These changes can be made on the Step Select page as well: press & hold the EDIT button and press GPB8 to enter the page. "*" indicates that the step will be affected by the ALL function, "o" indicates that it will not be affected.

Example: If you have recorded a steady rhythm with Step Recording mode and increment setting +2 (i.e. 8th notes, every second step), you can first adjust the length of all the steps with the ALL function on for all steps, then turn half of the steps off for the ALL function so that they're not affected, and then turn a knob to adjust the length of only the "empty" steps so that the notes will not glide into each other.

***function request on pressing ALL button. if ALL mode is 'on', pressing & holding switches it 'off', and pressing & holding works only if you start pressing & holding when the mode is 'off'. in other words, if the mode is 'on', you have to switch it 'off' before you can press & hold it for "all jump to same value" adjustment. would it be possible/handy to effect a press & release threshold time for switching from 'on' state to 'off' state? e.g. so that by default pressing & holding the ALL button, while the mode is 'on', effects ""all jump to same value" mode, and when you release, the ALL mode will stay 'on'; but if you release the button in 200ms or whatever (i'm not sure what a good value would be) after pressing it down, it will switch to 'off' mode instead?

 

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote
  • In the newest official firmware at the moment of writing this (4.090) the Step/Live recording setting 'AStart' is not functioning correctly, and the draft manual has only some ideal description of how I have imagined it should work. The section will be updated in the final version.

I take this as a reminder. As you can see, solving this issue isn't so easy, it already resulted into two intermediate updates and still doesn't work perfectly :-/

Quote
  • I write: "303 View shows a variety of settings". Does "303" refer to TB-303 bassline synth, MC-303 groovebox or something else?

The name is inherited from the MBSID which has a "303-style sequencer" as well. So, yes it refers to the TB-303 bassline synth, resp. the way how this device allows to enter sequences (key, gate, glide, octave up/down)

Quote
  • I write: "It is not possible to copy and paste individual parameter or trigger layers." Is this so?

yes

Quote
  • I write: "Multiple tracks within a single group can be selected with the track selection buttons, or any combination of tracks on the Track Selection page." Where is the track selection page? Can it be selected only with a F1–F4 buttons set for that in the HW setup file, or by setting it as a bookmark? I couldn't find it in the main menu.

Yes, this page can only be selected with a dedicated button or a bookmark. It doesn't make much sense in the menu page (too cumbersome usage) - of course, if somebody requests it, I could add it there.

Quote
  • A possible bug: The Track Selection page demands that one track in Group 1 is always selected. If at any point all the tracks in Group 1 become unselected, it has the effect that all tracks in all groups get unselected, and track 1 gets selected.

Not so nice, I will change this, so that the last remaining track can't be deselected.

Quote
  • Option #8 says that it affects the paste and clear functions, but what does clear 'Complete Track' do that clear 'Only steps' doesn't do? In other words, how does Option #8 affect the clear function?

If enabled, all track parameters will be cleared. Exception: MIDI port and channel.

Quote

Question: Would it be possible/handy to effect a press & release threshold time for switching from 'on' state to 'off' state? E.g. so that by default pressing & holding the ALL button, while the mode is 'on', enables the ""all jump to same value" mode, and when you release, the ALL mode will stay 'on'; but if you release the button in 200ms (or whatever, i'm not sure what a good value would be) after pressing it down, it will switch to 'off' mode instead? Or maybe there are other ways that I didn't come to think of. It works ok as it is (and I can document it as it is), but it could perhaps be polished a bit :-)

I don't really like such a temporal, "timed" handling, because it is error prone.
And by introducing such an handling for a certain button, I'm sure that the next users would request "doubleclicks" or similar functions for other buttons as well - it just doesn't fit to the general concept of the UI

I don't find the current handling so bad - it's easy to learn (and we've already some videos which show how to use it, no? ,-)

Best Regards, Thorsten.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent! this is SO helpful.  Can't wait to have my displays and test all the steps for you..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, TK. said:

I take this as a reminder. As you can see, solving this issue isn't so easy, it already resulted into two intermediate updates and still doesn't work perfectly :-/

Of course, no rush! _b

46 minutes ago, TK. said:

If enabled, all track parameters will be cleared. Exception: MIDI port and channel.

Length, Divider, FX etc. setting are reset to default values, but 'Complete Track' doesn't clear anything on the Track Event and Track Instrument pages (Program/Bank change commands, Track name etc.).

The user manual says: "Complete Track: the whole track configuration will be cleared/pasted. Only exception: MIDI channel and MIDI port will never be overwritten." To me this implies that everything else – apart from the MIDI channel and Port, which are singled out – even on the EVENT page (short of initialising the whole track) will be reset to default values (this is on 4.090).

I asked earlier about the definition of configurations, and you referred me to the CC implementation chart. From that I understood that "configurations" mentioned in the manual and in the sequencer's menu pages (importing presets) are everything that's in the chart except MIDI channel and Port. However, if I save a track as a preset and then import it with only Cfg = yes, Program/Bank change commands saved in the preset are imported, but not cleared with 'Complete Track' set in Option #8. Is this consistent?

I'm not holding any inquisition here, I'm just trying to understand the logic <:-)

46 minutes ago, TK. said:

I don't really like such a temporal, "timed" handling, because it is error prone.
And by introducing such an handling for a certain button, I'm sure that the next users would request "doubleclicks" or similar functions for other buttons as well - it just doesn't fit to the general concept of the UI

I don't find the current handling so bad - it's easy to learn (and we've already some videos which show how to use it, no? ,-)

Fair enough, and as I said it works ok as it is. I'll document it the way it is now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The next part. The relevant section of the table of contents:

5. Working with patterns and songs
    5.1. Saving a pattern
    5.2. Phrase Mode and Song Mode
        5.2.1. PATTERN page
        5.2.2. Chaining patterns into a song
    5.3. Copying Patterns
    5.4. Measure
        5.4.1. Sync to Measure in phrase mode
        5.4.2. Sync to Measure in song mode
    5.5. Guide Track
    5.6. Track selection, Solo and Mute

Notes/questions:

  • This section has some pretty complex stuff in it, like measure, sync to measure and guide track settings, so there might be a few boo-boos there. Let the reader beware :-)
  • In this part of the manual I've decided to separate the concepts of groups and (pattern) banks; earlier I just talked about groups and didn't mention banks at all. The difference is not big, but it's there and I think I'll revise the earlier parts as well for this terminology, and write some more on banks in the basic concepts section of the first part.
  • There's a song position command from the official manual: "Stop. Stops the sequencer". However, there is no such option in the sequencer. In it's place there is "End", which loops the previous song position that played patterns, until the sequencer is stopped manually. A 'stop' comman that would stop the sequencer would be handy as well.
  • I write: "In sheet music, a measure (or bar) is a delimited sequence with a defined length in beats." If someone has a better definition, I'm happy to hear it :-)
  • Sync'ing mutes/unmutes to measure (in the options menu): In song mode with Guide Track active, the measure countdown on the mute page for sync'd mutes/unmutes doesn't show the "right" numbers: if the guiding track is 16 steps long, and measure is set to e.g. 6 steps, the measure countdown will keep counting multiples of 6 until the guide track ends. This is not useful information, but probably in song mode it doesn't matter, because the idea of the song mode is to program most things predictably anyway, so it doesn't matter what the coundown shows. Just thought I'll mention this, I'm not suggesting anything should be done about it. (I've documented it as it is now.)
  • On the MUTE page and the special function of the ALL button: is there a difference between "muting a track" and "muting a track's layers"? There is an option "mute all tracks and all layers", is it different from just "muting all tracks"?
  • An idea for the metronome: now the metronome sounds only when the sequencer is running. However, it would be handy if the metronome could be used for recording count-in, to prepare for the tempo of the recorded track. At the moment the metronome is bound to measure, I don't know but from a humble Arduino-programmer Froschperspektive ;-) an easy way to implement the count-in could be to have a fixed count-in of one measure (or perhaps a multiple of the set measure) if certain conditions are met; e.g. if (metronome == on) && (count-in == on) -> pressing PLAY (or the 5th tap tempo press) will start one measure (or user-set multiple of measure) count-in, and the seq proper starts only after that. Count-in on/off option could perhaps go on the Jam page Live recording settings, after Quantize, and any possible multiple-measure-count-in setting on metronome page (it probably doesn't need changing that often). Setting the count-in 'on' could also just automatically set the metronome 'on' as well. Any thoughts..?
  • is there a button & LED for the Jam page Rec on/off? If not, could there be?

-----------------------------8<-------------------------------------

----------------------------------
5. Working with patterns and songs
----------------------------------

5.1. Saving a pattern
---------------------

When working with several patterns and in song mode, it is important to save often so as not to lose by accident the changes you've made to the parameter and trigger layers and other settings of the four tracks in a pattern. MBSEQv4 will not save anything automatically (every five minutes or whatever), but instead you have to *choose* to save the changes yourself.

The primary way in which you'll lose your changes is bound up with *switching patterns*. Switching from an active pattern without saving it first will mean losing the changes you made to it since the last save. When you switch to another pattern *within a group* – from 1:A1 to 1:A2, for example – you will lose the changes made to the track you are switching from – e.g. 1:A1 – unless you explicitly save them first. The unsaved changes in the active patterns of the *other groups* won't be affected (they're not being switched, after all).

However, starting the sequencer in song mode – either by pressing PLAY or automatically with the Jam page function AStart – will erase the unsaved changes in the active patterns of *all* groups. But once the sequencer is running in song mode, you can make changes to a pattern and not lose them, on the condition that the pattern in question doesn't get switched to another one during the song. If it does get switched, that is the moment you'll lose your changes.

You can choose to save only one pattern, or to save all active patterns. A single pattern can be saved with MENU + SAVE (GPB14). The source pattern to be saved is always one of the four active patterns (each group has one active pattern). With GPK1–4 you can choose the source group, the active pattern of which you want to save, and with GPK6 you can choose the target bank to save the pattern into. Finally, with GPK7 you can choose which location within the selected bank the pattern is to be saved into. There are 64 locations per bank to choose from (from A1–A8 to H1–H8).

In the right LCD you can see which locations are free and which ones already have saved content in them. If the location is free, the entry for the location is "----- <empty>". If something has already been saved in the location, even if you haven't given the previously saved pattern a name (like with the 'Save All' function, see below), the entry for the location is "----- Unnamed".

When saving individual patterns with MENU + SAVE, you get a chance to give the pattern a category and a label. The label could be named for the pattern's function in the song structure ("Intro", "Bridge", "VerseVariat-3" etc.) and the category could be e.g. the synth you're playing the pattern with, or the synth patch, or whatever helps you memorise the function of the pattern.

If you want to save all active patterns patterns at once, press EXIT until you arrive on the main page, and then press GPB10 for 'Save'. This saves all the active patterns (and in fact the whole session). This way you won't get to give any categories or labels to the patterns, but instead they will be saved as "----- Unnamed", or under the name you have given them when saving them individually earlier. You can also assign one of the F1–F4 buttons (right side of the frontpanel) to for a quick 'Save All' function (see Appendix 1).


5.2. Phrase Mode and Song Mode
------------------------------

In phrase mode you can build up to four active patterns (one in each group) and keep editing and testing them, alternating between manually starting and stopping the sequencer until you're happy with the result. In phrase mode the sequencer will keep playing the four active patterns over and over, and any pattern switch must be done manually on the PATTERN page. This also means that unless you actively, on your own initiative, switch to another pattern, starting the sequencer in phrase mode will *not* erase the changes you've made since the last save.

The phrase mode is suitable for a complete performance as well. If you have your patterns ready and saved, you can start the sequencer in phrase mode with four initial patterns, and then change the patterns live on the PATTERN page or the SONG page (even though you're not in song mode). Pattern changes like this can be instantaneous or timed, so that pattern change will be considered only at those times when the set number of steps has been played (e.g. every 8th step, or every 16th step). This is controlled with the Option page (UTILITY -> Opt.) settings #2 and #3 ('Pattern Change Synchronisation'). Option #2 sets the number of steps that have to play before a pattern change is considered, and option #3 enables/disables option #2.

Example: You have pattern 1:A1 whose tracks are 16 steps long, and you set option #2 to 8 steps. If you press PLAY (in phrase mode) and don't do anything, the pattern will play 16 steps over and over (because that's the length of the tracks). If you turn a knob on the PATTERN page or SONG page to switch to pattern 1:A2 when the sequencer is running at step 3, the sequencer will play 5 more steps before it switches to 1:A2, because 3 + 5 = 8, and you've set the sequencer to allow pattern change only after every 8 steps. If you switch to 1:A2 when the sequencer is running at step 12, the sequencer will play four more steps before switching to 1:A2.
If you set the number high (e.g. to 64), you can give yourself plenty of time to scroll through the patterns you have available before the switch actually takes place.

In song mode you can chain the patterns you've made into a predetermined sequence of four parallel patterns. In addition to just putting the bundles of four patterns one after the other, you can also use song position operations to effect loops, mutes, tempo changes etc. (For details see section 5.2.2.)

In song mode you must remember to save the pattern(s) before starting the sequencer, if you don't want to risk losing the changes you've made, because in song mode starting the sequencer *will* erase the changes made since the last save.

You can check whether you're in Song or Phrase mode by pressing SONG. On the right LCD (top row) you can see either "Phrase Mode" or "Song Mode". The mode can be changed with GPK13–14. You can also press & hold the SONG button, which will bring up the song page utility menu. While you keep pressing the SONG button, you can alternate between song and phrase modes by pressing GPB9–10.

In addition to the information of the LCD, the LED above the SONG button indicates the mode, no matter which page you're in: if it's lit, it's song mode, and if it's unlit, it's phrase mode. When you're on the SONG page, the LED above the SONG button will flicker if you're in Phrase mode, and it will be solid when you're in Song mode.


5.2.1. PATTERN page

Patterns can be selected on the PATTERN page, e.g. for editing and playing in phrase mode. On the page you can see the four groups, each of which has one active pattern in it, and a small velocity bar for each track. The pattern categories and labels will also be displayed on this page, whether you've explicitly named them or not (in which case you'll see "NoCat" and "Unnamed"). The first thing to pay attention to is what has already been mentioned several times: don't change patterns unless you have saved the active one in the group where you're about to switch to another pattern, unless you don't mind that the changes in the active pattern since the last save are lost!

There's two ways to select a pattern when you're on the PATTERN page. If you want to change the pattern bank, in all cases you have to use the GP knobs 3, 7, 11, and 15 to do it. For selecting individual patterns in the banks, there are two ways. Either you can use the GP knobs 4, 8, 12, and 16 to select a pattern within the selected bank, or you can use the GP buttons 1–8 to choose the pattern section A–H and finally the GP buttons 9–16 to choose the actual pattern 1–8 within the sections A–H.

Also, on the PATTERN page the group and track selection buttons (on the upper left of the frontpanel) have a special function: you can use them so select the group where you want to change a pattern. Group/track selection button 1 selects the first group, button 2 the second group etc. For a fully equipped frontpanel, this is probably not necessary though, because you can just turn a GP knob to select a pattern within any group, without need to use the group/track selection buttons to select a group for switching first.


5.2.2. Chaining patterns into a song

Patterns can be chained into songs on the SONG page. One session can have a maximum of 256 patterns (64 patterns per bank), which can be combined into a maximum of 64 songs. Four patterns are playing in parallel. If you don't want to play anything in one or more groups, have them play an empty pattern (like H8 or other "far-away" pattern), or use a song operation to mute them.

Patterns are organised into a song by means of song positions. There is a maximum of 128 song positions (A1-P8) per song. They can be selected with either just GPK2, or, if your song is very long and/or has many song operations, you can quick-select the letter A-P with the GP buttons and only the number with GPK2.

Each song position is either a command to play a pattern or perform an operation. A very simple song could be:

Pos    Actn        G1       G2       G3        G4
A1    Mutes       o***     oooo    oooo    oooo
A2       x2          1:A1     -:--       -:--      4:A1
A3    Mutes       ooo*    oooo    oooo    oooo
A4       x1          1:A2      -:--      -:--        -:--
A5       x1          1:A3      -:--     3:A1     4:A2
A6    Jump -> Pos. A1

This song starts by muting G1's tracks 2–4. (o=play, *=mute) in song position A1. Then the actual music begins in position A2 by playing patterns 1:A1 and 4:A1, and they will play twice (because Action is set to x2). When a group has -:--, it means "repeat here whatever was done in the previous song position". However, even though the previous position for G2 and G3 set muting to "play all tracks", there hasn't been a pattern playing in this group previously, so muting or unmuting has no practical effect, hence nothing will be played in groups 2 and 3.

After the patterns in position A2 have played for the second time, the song will proceed to the next song position, A3, where there is an operation: some more tracks from G1 are unmuted. In the next position, A4, it's back to playing patterns again: the pattern in G1 is switched to 1:A2. Group 4 now has -:--, but because the previous song position was "play all tracks in this group" and there is a previous song position where 4:A1 was played, 4:A1 will get played here too. Action for position A4 is set to x1 ("play once"), so after the patterns finish, the song proceeds to the next song position.

In position A5 group 1 switches to a new pattern (1:A3), as does group 4 (4:A2). Also, now group 3 starts playing a pattern, 3:A1. After they have played once, the song proceeds to the next song position, A6. There is an operation there, which causes the song to jump immediately to song position A1, i.e. the beginning of the song. Everything will go as before, but this time group 3 will be playing 3:A1 all the way from the beginning. This is because now there is a "previous song position" for the -:-- in G3 in song position A1, namely position A5 from the first iteration, where G3 was playing 3:A1.

Besides commands to play patterns, possible song operations are:
– End. Loops the previously played song position with patterns in it until the sequencer is stopped manually.
– Stop. Stops the sequencer.***there is no such option, even though it's mentioned in the official manual. would be handy though
– x1–x16. plays the current song position 1–16 times before proceeding to the next song position.
– Jump Pos. Jump to the specified song position.
– Jump Song. Jump to the beginning of the specified song.
– Mixer. Dump the specified mixer map. (For details on mixer maps, see section 6.5.)
– Tempo. Change to the specified tempo (BPM), and make it gradually during the given time (Ramp). Ramp of zero seconds means immediate change to the new tempo.
– Mutes. Mute/unmute the specified tracks (scroll for all the possible combinations). o signifies an unmuted track, * signifies a muted track.
– G.T. Set a track as Guide Track (for details of Guide Track, see section 5.5.).
– UnMte. Unmute all tracks and layers.

On the SONG page you can see just the numerical names of the patterns, and when your song has several patterns, it can be difficult to remember which pattern is which; was 1:A5 my second verse variation pattern, or was it 1:A8? Here it's helpful to use the PATTERN page to build the song positions. On the PATTERN page you can select the four patterns that you need and see their names while you do the selection. (Naturally this requires that you've given your patterns a category and a label when you've saved them individually earlier.) After selecting the desired pattern for each group, you can press & hold SONG to select 'Take Over Patterns' with GPB13–14. This will copy the four selected patterns into the current song position on the SONG page, *overwriting what was previously in that position*. 'Save & Take over Patterns' does the same, but saves the patterns as well.

Note once again that changing patterns on the PATTERN page will erase any unsaved changes!

Pressing & holding the SONG button on the SONG page shows a utility menu in the left LCD with commands to edit song positions: you can copy, paste, clear, and delete a position, or insert a new one *before* the current position.

If you're in Song mode, pressing & holding the SONG button shows an extra entry on the right display: Guide Track. (See section 5.5.)

Example: Let's choose group 1 and pattern A2 (1:A2) to be edited. (For the purposes of this tutorial you can ignore groups 2–4 and their patterns.)
Example: Make the same settings for tracks G1T1 and G1T2 as with pattern 1:A1, i.e. set G1T1 length to 16 and G1T2 to 8 steps, and define Port and MIDI channel(s) accordingly. (Or you can save pattern 1:A1 to 1:A2 with MENU + SAVE.) Use the GP buttons to punch in some notes and adjust them with the GP knobs below so that the resulting pattern is clearly distinguishable from that of 1:A1. Then save it, and give it a category and label (how about "Lead" and "Second").
Now the two saved patterns are ready to be chained into a song. Press SONG and turn GPK9–10 to switch from Pattern Mode to Song Mode. In the left LCD you can select a song position from A1–A8 to P1–P8 with GPK2. You can have 64 songs stored within one session, selectable with GPK1, but for our modest purposes Song 1 will do just fine, and what we're really interested in is GPK3. With GPK3 you can assign the actions performed within the song you're selected with GPK1. What we want to do is play the pattern 1:A1 first two times, and then play 1:A2 once, and then start from the beginning.
To achieve this, select song position A1. By default the action (Actn on the display) is "End". Turn the knob to change that to "x2" (for "play two times") and edit the resulting group table so that under the entry G1 (for Group 1) we have 1:A1; the rest of the groups can stay -:--, which means "no change from the previous song position" (so if the previous song position was playing pattern 1:A1, and the current song position has -:--, it will play 1:A1 there as well). Then select song position A2, which again by default says "End", select "x1" as the action (for "play once"), and finally for song position A3, select "Jump -> Pos. A1" (for "after the end of the previous pattern, jump to song position A1, i.e. the beginning"). You can change the position number to be jumped to with GPK5.


5.3. Copying Patterns
---------------------

When working with multiple patterns and possibly complex song structures, it's often useful to to be able to copy a pattern into another pattern slot for tweaking, either slightly or by changing one or two tracks in the pattern completely. You can do it the way that was already described in section 4.2.1., but there's another way. Press UTILITY -> Disk to enter the import/export page, and then press GPK1–2 to select either 'Import' or 'Export' under the 'Sessions' title.

On the Session import or export page you can copy patterns, songs, mixer maps, grooves, track configurations and bookmarks from one session to another, or within the same session. (Scroll through the 'Type' options with GPK9–10.) Exporting means copying something *from the current session* to somewhere else, and importing means copying something *to the current session* from somewhere else. However, if you just want to copy something *within the same session* (such as patterns), it's irrelevant whether you use exporting or importing to do it; the one end of either is the current session, and if you set the other end (source or destination session) to be the current session as well, they will lead to the same outcome. In other words, if you want to use import or export to copy a pattern *within the same session*, you always select the current session on the left LCD. Use the knobs below the left LCD to scroll through the saved sessions and the GP buttons to choose the source/destination session. If you don't know your current session, press EXIT until you reach the main page. The current session's name is displayed in the right LCD, top row.

In addition to session selection, you need to determine the source pattern in the source session and destination pattern in the target session, whether the source/target session is the current session or not. First make sure that the Type to be copied is 'Patterns', then use GPK11 to select the first pattern to be copied, and GPK12 to select the last one to be copied ­­– this means you can copy several subsequent patterns in one go. Then turn GPK13–14 to select where you want to copy the selected patterns to. If you selected several patterns to be copied, the destination setting changes automatically to cover equal number of pattern slots. Confirm your selection with GPB15 (IMPORT or EXPORT).

If you have an idea for a song which has a recurring pattern structure and settings, you can copy the first "seed pattern" with the right settings into several other pattern slots (which otherwise would have the sequencer's default settings) like this: first, copy x:A1–x:A1 to x:A2–x:A2. Then copy x:A1-x:A2 to x:A3–x:A4, then x:A1–x:A4 to x:A5–x:A8, and so on.


5.4. Measure
-----------

In sheet music, a measure (or bar) is a delimited sequence with a defined length in beats.***is this an ok definition?? A common measure is 4/4, which means its length is four quarter notes (which is as long as eight 8th notes, or sixteen 16th notes). On MBSEQv4 the length of measure is set in the Options menu (UTILITY -> Opt., Option #1, 'Steps per Measure'). The length of measure is 16 by default. Measure length is given in 16th notes, so the default length is sixteen 16th notes (i.e. the same as four quarter notes etc.), and that is probably what you want most of the time for no-nonsense rhythm music.

Measure is relative to the tempo (BPM), and they are always in sync, no matter what the divider settings etc. of individual tracks are. The bind between measure length and tempo is reflected in the pulse of the LED above the datawheel. With measure set to 16, the LED flashes every quarter note, but if you set measure to 17, the LED will flash every quarter note *and* every time the measure starts a new countdown from 1.

The measure setting affects three things:

1. How the metronome sounds. (Metronome can be found in the main page menu.) The metronome settings allow you to set a distinctive sound for the first beat of each measure as opposed to the the other beats;

2. The song position displayed on the SONG page (left LCD, top row). However, this is overridden by the Guide Track function in song mode (see sections 5.4.2. and 5.5.); and, most importantly,

3. The Sync to Measure function, which can be set on or off for each track on the DIVIDER page (default: off).

Whether or not any track is sync'd to measure, every time you start the sequencer, the seq will start keeping track of the measure count. If the length of measure is set to 16 steps (UTILITY -> Opt., Option #1), the sequencer will start counting from 1 to 16, and after reaching the end of the 16th step, it will be *reset*, i.e. started from 1 again. It's like you yourself might be counting quarter notes: one two three four, one two three four, etc. in a steady rhythm, with the difference that measure is counting 16th notes. This recurring count continues until the sequencer is stopped.

Sync'ing a track to measure means that the track's restarting will be bound to the restarting of the measure count: when the measure has counted its last step, it will be reset to the beginning, and any track that is sync'd to measure, will be reset as well, i.e. started from the beginning.


5.4.1. Sync to Measure in phrase mode

By default the tracks are not sync'd to measure, so the setting has to be enabled separately for each track on the DIVIDER page (GPK5–7 for 'yes' or 'no'). If no track is sync'd to measure, they all will run independently of each other, and are relative only to the tempo setting.

Fiddling with the divider/timebase settings on the DIVIDER page can bring the independent tracks completely out of sync with each other. Sometimes that's just what you want, but if you have a number of tracks that are out of sync and you want them sync'd, this can be done with setting 'Sync to Measure' to 'yes' on the DIVIDER page. If measure length is 16 steps, every track that is sync'd to measure will be reset and started from the beginning at the time when the measure count resets back to the beginning, no matter how long the tracks are and where their relative cursor position is. Tracks that are shorter than measure length will repeat on their own until the measure count is reset, and the shorter-than-measure tracks will reset at that point, just like any other track that is sync'd to measure.

Example: Measure lenght is 16 steps, a track's length is 6 steps, and the track is sync'd to measure. This track will repeat twice on its own, quite independent of the measure, because two times 6 is 12 steps, i.e. shorter than 16 steps, which is the length of the measure. However, during the third iteration of the track, the measure is reset before the track can reach its end; the track is reset together with the measure count. Thus, this shorter-than-measure track will play two times and four steps before it is reset (6 + 6 + 4 = 16). A track that is longer than measure will be cut short, if it is Sync'd to Measure.

Naturally sync'ing to measure doesn't guarantee that the sync'd tracks will be in sync *all the time*, only that they will be simultaneously *started* from the beginning every time Measure starts from the beginning. In other words, each track is sync'd to the *measure*, not to each other. Each sync'd track will hear the reset command at the same time, but after the reset they will go they own separate ways again, according to their individual length and divider settings, until measure reset forces them to start from the beginning again. This allows you to effect repeating patterns of asynchronous play.

***some image here

It's also possible to sync tracks to measure manually on the MENU + MANUAL page. Pressing SELECT on this page will sync the selected tracks to measure. Tracks can be selected either with the group and track selection buttons (top left of the frontpanel) or on the Track Selection page (for details, see section 5.6.).


5.4.2 Sync to Measure in song mode

The 'Sync to Measure' setting is not the recommended way to sync tracks in song mode. Instead, in song mode the recommended way to determine the change to the next song position (or to the next loop within the same song position) is the Guide Track function (see section 5.5.). In song mode, Guide Track is on by default (set to G1T1), and will override any sync to measure settings on the tracks' DIVIDER pages.

It is possible to disable the Guide Track function by setting it to "---". However, as by default no track is sync'd to measure, this will result in behaviour that is unlikely to be as useful as the more predictable ways that are available ('Guide Track' in song mode, 'Sync to Measure' in phrase mode). Try at your own risk!


5.5. Guide Track
----------------

Press & hold the SONG button to bring up a menu where you can alternate between the song mode and phrase mode (GPB9). In song mode the Guide Track setting is on the right display, and it can be used to choose a single track which the sequencer will follow as a master track, as far as length and changing to another pattern are concerned. (You can change the Guide Track setting in mid-song as well, it's one of possible song position operations on the SONG page; see section 5.2.2.) The Guide Track function is only available in song mode, and won't even be visible or selectable in phrase mode.

In phrase mode, all tracks are running independently of each other, and share only the tempo. For song mode, this will not do. The point of the song mode is to chain several patterns together and switch them in an automated way, and you have to determine when to switch to another pattern, even if the tracks have different lengths and end at different times. Guide Track will allow you to determine which track (G1T1–G4T4) triggers the change to the next song position (or to the next loop within the same song position).

By default, Guide Track is on, and set to G1T1. If the Guide Track function is active (i.e. has some other value than "---"), it will make pattern change dependent on the track set as the guide track. The track selected as the guiding track will allow pattern change only when *it* reaches its end. Shorter tracks will loop back to their beginning and keep playing over and over until the guiding track reaches is end, and if that happens before the other tracks have finished, they will be terminated mid-way. Tracks longer than the guide track will be terminated mid-way as well.

So, the selected guide track will run to its end, and when it reaches the end, the sequencer switches to the next song position, regardless of where the other, non-guide tracks are at. All the tracks of the next pattern to be played are started from the beginning.

***image here

The Guide Track function overrides any sync to measure settings (made on the DIVIDER page for each track), and will also override the SONG page song position counter (right LCD, top row). Instead of following Measure (UTILITY -> Opt., Option #1), the counter will follow the length of the track selected as guide track.

If the Guide Track function is disabled (i.e. set to "---"), the sequencer will fall back to measure. However, as no tracks are sync'd to measure by default, disabling Guide Track will result in behaviour that is unlikely to be as useful as the more predictable ways that are available ('Guide Track' in song mode, 'Sync to Measure' in phrase mode). Try at your own risk!


5.6. Track selection, Solo and Mute
------------------

Track selection is possible by two means. First, you can select several tracks *within the same group* by pressing the track selection buttons (on the upper left of the frontpanel). If you press & hold one track selection button, you can select and unselect other tracks within the selected group as long as you keep pressing & holding one button (it doesn't have to be the first you pressed). It is not possible to select tracks in several groups with the group and track selection buttons.

If you need to select tracks in several groups, you have to use the Track Selection page. The page is available only as a customised F1–F4 button (see Appendix 1) or as a bookmark (see Appendix 2). On the track selection page you can press & hold a GP button, and while you keep pressing it, you can select or unselect any combination of tracks. The selected tracks are indicated with >  < angle brackets.

***in 4.090 you must have at least one track selected in the 1st group or the selection will reset!

The solo mode is activated by pressing the SOLO button. When solo mode is active, only the selected track(s) will be played, and all the others muted. It is possible to select one or more tracks either with the track selection buttons, or by using the track selection page.

The mute page can be accessed by pressing the MUTE button. You can press the GP buttons to toggle mutes for each track in any combination you like. The mutes and umutes set on this page can also be sync'd to measure in UTILITY -> Opt. -> Options #6 (sync mutes) and #7 (sync unmutes). If sync mutes/unmutes to measure is activated, muting a channel shows a measure countdown to when the next muting or unmuting is going to happen. Note that if your tracks are not sync'd to measure, but the mutes/unmutes are, the mutes/unmutes might not happen predictably. Note also that in song mode with Guide Track active, the mute/unmute countdowns don't indicate anything meaningful unless your guiding track's length is always the same as the set measure.

***in song mode with guide track active, the measure countdown doesn't show the "right" numbers: if the guiding track is 16 steps long, and measure is set to 6 steps, the measure countdown will keep counting multiples of 6 until the guide track ends. this is not useful information, but probably in song mode it doesn't matter, because the idea of the song mode is to program everything quite predictably anyway, so it doesn't matter what the coundown shows.

Mutes from sources *other than the MUTE page* (from bookmarks, with CCs etc.) are not affected by options #6 and #7, but happen instantaneously. Sync'ing mutes to measure works along the same principles as sync'ing a track to measure. See section 5.4. on Measure for more information.

It is not possible to mute individual parameter layers for Note, Chord or CC type tracks. However, if the track is a Drum track, you can mute individual drum instrument layers by pressing & holding the MUTE button and then selecting tracks for mute or unmute.

While on the MUTE page, the ALL and FAST buttons have special functions. First, you can activate the ALL function to bring up a menu for quick muting and unmuting options (which happen instantly). The options are: 1. Mute all tracks, 2. mute the active track's layers, 3. mute all tracks and all layers, 4. unmute all tracks, 5. unmute the active track's layers, 6. unmute all tracks and all layers. Second, if you have sync'd mutes/unmutes to measure with Options #6 and/or #7, activating the FAST function allows you to bypass this temporarily. While the FAST function is active, mutes and unmutes happen instantaneously, regardless of mute/unmute sync settings.

***is there a difference between "muting a track" and "muting a track's layers"?

A quick muting and unmuting of all tracks (instantly) is also available on the UTILITY page (GPB15 and GPB16).***

Finally, the bookmark page (see Appendix 2) can be used to effect customised mutes/unmutes of any combination of tracks with one button. Mutes and unmutes from bookmarks happen instantaneously.

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A small comment to ch4 though.  I first did not get it to work. But  then I found out that the recording bus was still set to its default T&A mode. When I selected Jam, it worked as expected. It might make sense to add that.

In terms of buttons& encoders:

UTIL->GP10 to go to Jam page, there press midi GP7; then turn ENC14 or press GP14 to select Jam instead of T&A.

But nonetheless: Excellent job & Many kudos for writing this up!  May the Force bless you with happy sequencing!

Edited by EsotericLabs
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@EsotericLabs Thanks for testing & feedback! I'll write something about it and put it in section 4.1.

Notes/questions for TK concerning parameter layer PrgCh (Program Change):

  • The PrgCh layer is not listed/documented in the official manual's parameter layer list (Track Event Configuration)
  • Does it send a PC message in every step?
  • Is there a risk of conflict if Track Instrument page sends a PC command at the start of the track, and the PrgCh layer sends another PC command at the first step? Should this be documented, "don't use them simultaneously", or is there a programmed hierarchy, "if A is set, B has no effect" or something like that?
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to give the MIDI Configuration settings their own section.

-------8<-------

4.1.1. MIDI configuration

The MIDI Configuration page is available from the main menu, or with MENU + MIDI -> GPB1–2 ('Transposer and Arp.'). However, you can access it also on the Jam page by pressing GPB7 ('MIDI').

On the MIDI configuration page, GPK9 allows you to select one of the four buses for editing. A bus is a virtual port, which allows you to route data inside the sequencer, instead of routing it directly to a physical output port. *One bus has to be set to 'Jam' (GPB14) for recording and note forwarding to work!* In a new session, Bus1 is set as the 'Jam' bus by default, and it is set to accept incoming data from all input ports, on all MIDI channels and across the whole keyboard.

The bus that is set to the 'Jam' function will receive all incoming data and forward it to the active track's output port and MIDI channel, regardless of the track's bus settings (on the MODE page); in other words, the 'Jam' function doesn't require that the active track is set to listen to the 'Jam' bus. There are two qualifications: the MIDI Configuration page's Port, Chn. and Upper/Lower settings for the 'Jam' bus must allow the incoming data through, and if they do, note forwarding on the 'Jam' page must be set to 'on'. (On note forwarding, see the next section, 4.1.2.)

It is likely that you want to be able to play and record on every MIDI channel and via every physical input port. To effect this, set Port and Chn. to 'All' on the MIDI Configuration page. In addition, set the Lower/Upper settings to "---" and "G-8", respectively. This permits data from all input ports and MIDI channels across the whole keyboard to go through to the active track, and from there, if Fwd is 'on' on the Jam page, on to the active track's output port and MIDI channel. If Fwd is 'off', the active track will receive the data, e.g. for recording purposes, but Fwd needs to be 'on' if you want to hear what you play (whether you're recording or not).

***a block chart on the whole affair

Example: If your MIDI controller is connected to MIDI IN1 and sending data on channel 1, if the MIDI Configuration page's Port, Chn. and Lower/Upper settings allow this data through, and if Fwd is 'on', it doesn't matter which MIDI channel the active track is forwarding the data out on. If your controller is sending on channel 1, but the active track's MIDI output channel is 6 (set on the EVENT page), effectively you're playing your controller on channel 1 to control a synth that is listening to MIDI channel 6.

Of course, the Port, Chn. and Lower/Upper settings on the MIDI Configuration page allow you to limit these options, if you find it convenient. If you set the Chn. setting of a bus to "---", nothing will ever be sent on that bus, and in practice the bus is disabled. Also, even if you enable data to pass through on each channel and each port, you can limit the accepted keyboard range with the Lower/Upper settings (GPK12–13). These limitations apply to recording and note forwarding as well as the transposer and arpeggiator functions.

The alternative bus function to 'Jam' is 'T&A', which means 'Transpose & Arpeggiator'. See section 6.1. for details on how to use buses 2–4 for Transposer and Arpeggiator functions.

The final option on the MIDI Configuration page is 'Reset Stacks'. This is useful only for special situations, where e.g. a MIDI controller has become detached from the MBSEQv4 while some notes were still active (for example, you might have tripped over your own cables while perfoming live!); because of the sudden detachment, the sequencer might never receive a Note off event, and as a result some notes might be left hanging. 'Reset stacks' clears all note stacks.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for adding that so quickly.   Your tekst suggests that it is possible to jam with my keayboard first on one track (lets say G1T1)  and then switch over to another one (maybe G1T2).  With or without recording.  That would be an interesting usecase, I will test that tonight.

Glad you mentioned the guide track! While testing, I had an issue with a short 16th based drum pattern (with Nths for fills & stuff)  and a longer and slower (8th) bassline. Song mode made me enter 8x if  I'd want the bassline to play twice!  I guess i should designate the bassline as the guide track.  If so, that's a powerful feature indeed!

And if you'd want the chords table for the chords2 layer in 4.091:

  • A, B: power chords (root 5th; root 5th  octave)
  • C, D root with major 3rd, root with minor 3rd
  • E, F major triad, augmented trias
  • G-M maj6, maj7, add9 (no 7th), maj9, maj11, maj13
  • N-c: minor triad, min7, minadd9, min11, min13
  • d-h: dominants: 7, 7sus4, 9, 11, 13
  • i-l: tensions: 7b5, 7#5, 7b9, 7#9
  • m,n: diminished triad, diminished chord
  • o: half diminished m7b5
  • p: polychord (stacked 4th).

PS: i forgot minor6!   Maybe we should forget about the polychord and add minor6. Polychords are weird enough for multiple note parameter layer tracks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the guide track and non-default divider settings, I'm not sure if this is the way it should work, but anyway, this is how it does work.

I now tested the guide track function with two tracks (G1T1 & G1T2) in song mode with only one pattern. Song structure:

  1. Pos A1: Play pattern 1:A1 once
  2. Pos A2: Jump to Pos. A1

Tracks:

  1. G1T1, length: 8 steps.   |------|------|------|------|------|------|------|------|
  2. G1T2, length: 16 steps. |------|------|------|------|------|------|------|------||------|------|------|------|------|------|------|------| (Guide Track)

If divider values for both tracks are 16 (the default value) and G1T2 is the guide track, everything works ok. G1T2 plays once, while G1T1 plays twice. However, if I change G1T2's divider value to 32 (twice as slow as before) and it's still the guide track, my intuition says G1T1 should now play four times while G1T2 plays once. In phrase mode this is indeed what happens. But in song mode its different. Instead G1T1 plays twice, while G1T2 plays only half of its length before switching to the next song position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I have comparable results. I run a 16 step 16th based drum (G4TM) track against a 16 step 8th based baseline (G1T1)  In phase mode i hear no issues.  In song mode, with any of these as a guide track, only half of the baseline is played.  Without a guide track, things play as expected, only if i want to play the bassline 2x, i have to repeat the pattern 4x. I expected that with a 16 step 8th based guide track, I'd need to set the appropriate pattern only 2x to hear the bassline 2x. The drum track can repeat ad nauseam, though its cool to have an extra Nth layer with an occasional crash  or a snare fill. 

It's quite an abstract issue, i'd say the divider value is not taken into account for the guide tracks somehow. Maybe @TK will tune in and enlighten us?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jjonas

Thanks for your work! I didn't read anything, yet. But what i read is really well writen and explained. Tommorow i want to "test" the chapter 4... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to make a few more entries in section 4, on Live Patterns and Misc. settings on the Jam page, so that the whole Jam affair is complete. After these sections there's section 6 ('Some advanced features'), and the table of contents for it is:

6. Some advanced features
    6.1. Using a bus to control a track
        6.1.1. The MODE page
        6.1.2. Setting up sending and receiving tracks
        6.1.3. Receiving track mode: Transposer
        6.1.4. Receiving track mode: Arpeggiator
        6.1.5. Using a MIDI controller to control track transpose or arpeggio
        6.1.6. Sending CCs over a bus to control track settings
    6.2. Force to Scale
    6.3. Random generator
    6.4. Euclidean rhythm generator
        6.4.1. Euclidean rhythm generator for Drum type tracks
        6.4.2. Euclidean rhythm generator for Note type tracks
    6.5. Mixer maps

Questions/issues:

  • Possible bug on Live Patterns subpage on the Jam page: if the Ptn. page is selected on the left LCD, but you change certain settings on the two LCDs and then press SELECT again to edit live patterns (Ptn. is still selected), the edit mode won't go on, but instead the page selection will change away from Ptn. to another page (on the left LCD). This happens if you have Ptn. page selected, change one the following settings, and then press SELECT to edit: If you pressed Length (GPK14), changes to MIDI page, if you pressed Fwd, changes to Step page, if you pressed Rec, changes to Step page. I think as long as Ptn. is selected, pressing & holding SELECT should always go to edit live patterns mode. Also, as a separate(?) phenomenon, if you press & release the SELECT button four times in a row, the fourth press changes away from the Ptn. page and to the MIDI page.
  • Possible bug on Misc. settings subpage on the Jam page: misc page octave transpose, FX and FTS on/off states have no effect
  • In section 6.1. on arpeggiator tracks: Up to four-note chords are supported, but what about the new chord parameter layer chords (the firmware is not ready yet) that have more than four notes in them?
  • MODE page 'Restart' option: there seems to be some false triggering going on with restart (one key press results in one or more triggerings), as well as short delays in re-starting the track sometimes
  • I don't really understand how the FX -> Scale page settings 'Control'. On the one hand, the official manual says of Control: "the scale and root note can either be controlled globally or pattern based", but on the other hand it says "Only one group can control the scale and root note". The first would seem to say that either you have one scale to rule them all ('Global'), or alternatively each group can have its own scale. But the second seems to say that only one group can determine the scale.
  • I'm not quite sure how 'Root' works either. Is it so, that if I set 'Root' to 'E', and scale is 'Natural minor', all notes will be forced into the E natural minor scale? If 'Root' is set to 'Keyb' and scale is 'Natural minor', and I press C# on the keyboard, all force-to-scale tracks are forced to C# natural minor scale?
  • Mixer maps: are the freely assignable CCs the standard MIDI CCs?

------------------------------8<-------------------------

4.1.5. Live Patterns

The Live Patterns function allows you to effect rhythm patterns that have either been prepared earlier, or ones that are created or edited live. Live patterns play "on top of" the track, without overwriting anything, but the patterns can also be recorded on the track if needed. Each session has its own set of live patters, and they cannot be imported to other sessions.

Live patterns are useful especially for spicing up Drum type tracks, though they can be used for other track types as well. The patterns can be activated with MIDI controller keys, and their playback velocity can be controlled with aftertouch (note that many MIDI controllers don't support aftertouch). The Live Patterns page 'Ptn.' can be found on the Jam page (GPB6), and the Live Patterns menu is available on the right LCD.

The sequencer has to be running and the Jam page function Fwd has to be set to 'on' for Live Patterns to work. Note that having Fwd 'on' might conflict with your MIDI Router settings. (For details, see Appendix 3.)


4.1.5.1. Live Patterns for Drum type tracks

As a Drum type track is probably the most likely candidate for Live Patterns use, the functions will be covered in detail with drum tracks, and only the few differences explained in the next section with regard to other track types.

For a Drum type track, the Live Patterns page allows you to effect one of 16 different live patterns for any of the available drum instruments. Select the drum instrument that you want with GPK9. 'Ptn.' setting turns the live patterns function 'on' and 'off' for the selected drum instrument.

If 'Ptn.' is 'off' for a drum instrument, pressing the appropriate key on your MIDI controller for e.g. a bass drum sound (the key which each drum sound is associated with is set on the drum track's EVENT page) will both play the drum instrument in question as well as select it for pattern assigning. If 'Ptn.' is 'on', pressing & holding the appropriate key for e.g. a bass drum sound will not play a bass drum sound, but instead will keep effecting the chosen live pattern as long as the key is held.

The live pattern will be played with the velocity with which you hit the key on your MIDI controller. If your MIDI controller sends aftertouch messages, the velocity of the pattern can be controlled with aftertouch. If you want maximum control over the velocity of the live pattern, press the controller key very softly, and then use only aftertouch to control the playback velocity. If you hit the key hard, that will determine the initial velocity of the pattern, but after applying aftertouch, it is the aftertouch amount that will keep determining the playback velocity of the live pattern.

Note that if Rec on the Jam page is 'on', your key presses will be recorded on the track. If Rec is 'on' while also Ptn. is 'on' (GPB10), recording on the track will take place only for those steps where the current live pattern is triggered.

If you just want to effect the live patterns when you press a key, but don't want to record anything on the track, make sure Rec is 'off'.

Live patterns will be played "on top of" the "normal" track. For example, if you have a bass drum playing quarter notes on the track and you effect a live pattern on any drum instrument, the "normal" track will keep playing in the backgroud normally (it won't get muted, overwritten etc.), and the live pattern is played in addition to it, fill-style.

There are 16 live patterns per session, and each pattern is always 16 steps long.

Example: You could select one live pattern for each drum instrument, set 'Ptn.' to 'on' for each drum instrument, and then use the MIDI controller keys to effect the selected patterns for each individual drum instrument.

The live patterns can be edited live while you're on the Live Patterns page. Press & hold SELECT to enter the edit mode ("EDIT" will appear in the right upper corner of the right LCD). While SELECT is pressed & held, you can use the GP buttons to turn each of the 16 steps of the current live pattern 'on' and 'off'. Accent can be effected for each step by pressing a GP button for turned-on step another time, in which case that live pattern step will be played at maximum velocity, regardless of aftertouch value. A diamond-shaped symbol denotes normal velocity (controlled by aftertouch), and a "?" denotes accent velocity (no aftertouch sensitivity).

While on the Live Patterns page, you can copy the current live pattern either with GPB15 ('Cpy') or with the dedicated COPY button on the frontpanel. Likewise, while on the Live Patterns page, you can paste the copied live pattern with GPB16 ('Paste') or with the dedicated PASTE button on the frontpanel. This means that the COPY and PASTE buttons won't copy or paste the *track contents* as they normally do. Also the CLEAR button on the frontpanel has a specialised function while you're on the Live Patterns page: it clears the current live pattern instead of the track.

The Length setting (for note length) has no effect on a Drum type track.


4.1.5.2. Live Patterns for other tracks types

If the track is a Note, Chord or CC type track, the basic operation principles are the same as on a Drum type track. Compared among themselves, Note, Chord and CC type tracks work almost identically, though Note tracks are probably the most useful of the three. Only Note tracks will be dealt with here.

Compared to Drum type tracks, there are two differences. First, Length (GPK14) adjusts the note length of each step (up to 98%).

Second, the Mode option (GPK9) changes from drum instrument selection to Mono/Poly selection. This is a recording setting, the same as on the Jam page's Step and Live recording pages. Mono allows you to record single notes, and Poly allows you to record multiple notes. Like normally with recording, you cannot record multiple notes unless you have enough note layers.

If Rec is 'on' while the Ptn. is 'on' (GPB10), recording on the track will take place only for those steps where the current live pattern is triggered. If you just want to use the live patterns when you press a key, but don't want to record anything on the track, make sure Rec is 'off'.

***if the Ptn. page is selected on the left LCD, but you change certain settings on the two LCDs and then press SELECT again to edit live patterns (Ptn. is still selected), the edit mode won't go on, but instead the page selection will change away from Ptn. to another page (on the left LCD). This happens if you have Ptn. page selected, change the following settings, and then press SELECT to edit: Length (GPK14, changes to MIDI page), Fwd (changes to Step page), Rec (changes to Step page). I think as long as Ptn. is selected, pressing & holding SELECT should always go to edit live patterns mode. Also, as a separate(?) phenomenon, if you press & release the SELECT button four times in a row, the fourth press changes away from the Ptn. page and to the MIDI page.


4.1.6. Miscellaneous settings

The Misc. page has only a few pertinent settings to spare you the trouble of running around in other menus. Oct. effects an octave transpose (normally done on the TRANSPOSE page); FX enables/disables Humanizer, LFO, Limiter and Echo effects (normally done on the FX page); and FTS enables/disables Force To Scale for the active track (normally done on the MODE page).

***misc page octave transpose, FX and FTS on/off states have no effect!

------------------8<-------------------------

 

--------------------------
6. Some advanced features
--------------------------

6.1. Using a bus to control a track
-----------------------------------

The MBSEQv4 has four buses that can be used to send MIDI data to other tracks. A track sending on a bus can be used to control the behaviour of another track over the bus for effecting arpeggios and transposing notes. The controlling track is called *the sending track* (because it sends data on a bus), and the controlled track the *receiving track* (because it listens to a bus for data).

First, it is possible to use the sending track's *note data* to transpose the notes of the receiving track. A receiving track in Transposer mode accepts only one note as input. You can send chord data as well – either as multiple notes or as chord parameter layer entry – but only the last note layer or chord note will be accepted.

***there's a wishlist item to make this the first note layer.

Transpose is relative. This means that if the sending track is controlling two tracks over the same bus, and the first receiving track has one note in it, C-3, and the second receiving track has one note in it, E-3, changing the sending track's note from C-2 to C#2 will transpose the receiving tracks' notes half a step upwards – from C-# to C#3 on the first track, and from E-3 to D-3 on the second track.

Second, it is possible to use the *chord data* of the sending track to control the arpeggios on a receiving track. The chord data can be either chord parameter layer data, or it can be data from multiple simultaneous note layers. In either case, chords of up to four notes are supported. For example, if the sending track's chord sequence is C-Am-F-G, played each quarter note (either as chord track or note track data), the arpeggio pattern on the receiving track's arpeggio patterns will always include only the notes that the current chord on the sending track contains. In other words, the arpeggio patterns are determined by the receiving track (the arpeggiator track), but the notes in the patterns are determined by the chords the sending track plays.

***what about the new chord parameter layer chords that have more than four notes in them?

In all cases (transpose notes, transpose CCs***, or control arpeggios), instead of sending *track data* over a bus to control another track, you can use your *MIDI controller* over a bus to control a track in a similar manner, so that e.g. the chord you play on the keyboard will determine what the receiving track or tracks play. For this, see section 6.1.5. for details.


6.1.1. The MODE page

The central settings on the MODE page of each track pertain to tracks that are to be controlled by another track (or a MIDI controller) over a bus. These are: Mode (off, Normal, Transpose, Arpeggiator), Bus (1–4), Hold, and Sort.

If the track mode is Transpose or Arpeggiator, and Hold is set to 'on', the sequencer will hold the last note(s) received on a 'T&A' bus *from a MIDI controller* (see section 4.1.1. for details). In other words, Hold will have no effect if the controlling data is coming in from a track. If Hold is set to 'off' and no keys are held on the MIDI controller, the track will play nothing. (However, if the Sustain setting is 'on', it *will* hold the previously played note(s) until something else is played.) Hold works in Transpose and Arpeggiator modes, but has no effect if track mode is 'Normal'.

If the track mode is Arpeggiator, and Sort is set to 'on', it will sort the played notes into ***what? ascending, descending?. The setting works only in Arpeggiator mode. If Sort is set to 'off' in Arpeggiator mode, the Arpeggiator will use the notes in the order they were played, without sorting them.***

If Sustain is set 'on', it will sustain the latest note or a chord played on the track until another one is played or the sequencer is stopped. This is useful for tracks that play long notes or chords, so that you don't have to set each note's length individually. Sustain will have effect only on tracks that are sending to a physical output port (set on the EVENT page). In other words, it will have no effect on tracks sending on a bus.

If Restart is 'on', it will restart the track every time something new is played on it. This is mostly useful for tracks controlled with a MIDI controller over a T&A bus (see section 4.1.1.). In principle it works for normal tracks too, but the effect gained is better implemented with adjusting track LENGTH.

***there seems to be some false triggering going on with restart (one key press results in one or more triggerings), as well as short delays in re-starting the track

On Force To Scale, see section 6.2. for details.


6.1.2. Setting up sending and receiving tracks

In order to enable one track's control over another track via a bus, both the sending (controlling) track and the receiving (controlled) track need to be set up.

The sending track is set up in the same way, whether it's controlling the transpose or arpeggiator pattern of another track. To set up the sending track, press MENU + EVENT. On the EVENT page, the Port option (BPK6) controls which port the track is sending its data out on. Bus1–4 are among the selectable ports. The function of each of the four buses is set on the Jam page's MIDI settings. There are two options: 'Jam' and 'T&A' (Transpose & Arpeggiator). (For details, see section 4.1.1.)

If, on the controlling track's EVENT page, you choose one of the buses as the port, the track will now be sending its data to that bus instead of a physical port (such as OUT1).

Note that the moment you switch the port setting to a bus on a track's EVENT page, the track will stop playing any synths directly, and can now do so only indirectly by controlling other tracks that have *their* port setting pointing to a physical port. If you want to audition what you've entered into the sending track before you have set up a receiving track, you have to adjust Port (and perhaps Chn.) settings accordingly.

The receiving track has to be set to listen to a bus. This is done on the MODE page (MENU + MODE). By default each track is listening to Bus1. A track can have three modes: Normal (default), Transpose, and Arpeggiator (also, it can be set to 'off'). The mode is selected with GP buttons 2–5, and the selected mode is surrounded with >angle brackets<. The bus which this track is listening to is set with GPK8. The bus setting has no effect in Normal mode.

Transpose and Arpeggiator modes work differently, so each of them will have to be dealt with in turn.


6.1.3. Receiving track mode: Transposer

The sending track should send only a single note via a bus to the receiving track in Transpose mode. The receiving track's notes will gets transposed relative to the received note. This means that if the sending track is controlling two tracks over the same bus, and the first receiving track has one note in it, C-3, and the second receiving track has one note in it, E-3, changing the sending track's note from C-2 to C#2 will transpose the receiving tracks' notes half a step upwards, from C-# to C#3 on the first track, and from E-3 to D-3 on the second track.

The receiving transpose track must be set to listen to the sending track's bus, and it has to have its mode changed to 'Transpose'. The track's mode is changed on the MODE page (MENU + MODE). In addition, the MIDI configuration page (available e.g. on the Jam page, GPB7) must have the bus in question set to the mode 'T&A'; naturally the other settings on the MIDI configuration page must allow the incoming messages through (for details see section 4.1.1.).

If there's no data on the sending track, the receiving Transpose track will simply play its contents as they are. If there are (subsequent, not simultaneous) notes on the sending track, they will control the receiving track's transpose. If the sending track's notes are erased after some playback, the receiving track will remember the note it received last, and will be controlled by the last played note until a new note is played. In a case like this you can revert back to the receiving track's own data on the Jam page's MIDI configuration settings: press 'Reset Stacks' to reset all note stacks.

See also the MODE page option Hold in section 6.1.1.


6.1.4. Receiving track mode: Arpeggiator

Unlike transposer tracks, an arpeggiator track accepts chord data, though also single notes will work in principle. Chords of up to four notes can be sent, either as chord parameter layer data or as simulatenous note layer data.

***what about the new 4+ chord parameter layer entries?

The receiving arpeggiator track must be set to listen to the sending track's bus, and it has to have its mode changed to 'Arpeggiator'. The track's mode is changed on the MODE page (MENU + MODE). In addition, the MIDI configuration page (available e.g. on the Jam page, GPB7) must have the bus in question set to the mode 'T&A'; naturally the other settings on the MIDI configuration page must allow the incoming messages through (for details see section 4.1.1.).

Selecting the Arpeggiator mode changes the EDIT page layout. Each note layer now follows a notation of two numbers with a minus or plus between them. The first number refers to the ordinal*** number of the notes of the sending track's chords, and the second number refers to the octave the note is to be played in. The minus or plus in between denotes whether the given number of octaves that much is up or down. For example, if the controlling track is currently playing the chord Am with the notes A-2, C-3 and E-3 in it, occupying first, second and third note layers, and if the note entry for a step in the (receiving) Arpeggiator track is "2+1", it means this step will play the note in the *second* note layer of the sending track's currently playing chord – C-3 – transposed up by one octave, so the final note played by the Arpeggiator track for this step is C-4.

You can have as many simultaneous notes (chords) on the controlling track, but in practice only four simultaneous notes is useful, because the arpeggiator track will allow you to refer to only the first four note layers. In addition to multiple simultaneous note layers to play chords on the sending track, you can also use a chord parameter layer to send note data to the receiving track.

See also the options Hold and Sort in section 6.1.1.


6.1.5. Using a MIDI controller to control track transpose or arpeggio

In addition to controlling a track's transpose or arpeggio over a bus with another track, you can control a track's transpose or arpeggio with a MIDI controller over a bus.

On the MIDI configuration page (see section 4.1.1.), you need to set up a T&A bus to let through the messages you send on your MIDI controller, and then set the receiving track to listen to the bus your MIDI controller is sending data on. Make sure that no track is sending data on the same bus (check the port setting on each track's EVENT page). It will work in principle, but will likely lead to confusion.

For a transpose or arpeggiator track, you can use the Hold option on the MODE page to control whether the track will remember the last note you played on the MIDI controller (set Hold 'on'), or whether the track will only play something when you press a key (set Hold to 'off'). The Hold setting has no effect except in Transpose and Arpeggiator modes.

For an arpeggiator track, you can use the Sort option on the MODE page to sort the notes you play into ***what. The Sort option has no effect except in Arpeggiator mode.


6.1.6. Sending CCs over a bus to control track settings

It is possible to send CC data over a bus to change a track's settings. There's three settings you need to make on the sending track. First, on the sending track's EVENT page, select a CC parameter layer. Second, set the track's Port to send over a bus. You can select any bus, Jam or T&A, it makes no difference. Once the Port setting is set to a bus, the CC layer options on the right LCD change to loopback CC control options. For example, CC049 now allows you to control another track's octave transpose.

The final setting you need to make is use the *sending track's* Chn. setting (on the EVENT page) to determine which track you want to control with the CCs. (Normally the Chn. setting has no effect if Port is set to a bus.) However, in this case the Chn. setting doesn't denote MIDI channel, but *track number*. For example, if you want to control track G1T1, which is playing a synthesizer on MIDI channel 5, you set Chn. to '1' (not '5') on the sending track's EVENT page.

It is important to note that sending CCs over a bus to control another track *doesn't require any setup on the receiving track*. All the settings are done on the sending track's EVENT page.

The full list of MBSEQv4 CC implementation is available in Appendix 4.


6.2. Force To Scale
-------------------

By default the sequencer plays a 12-notes-per-octave chromatic scale. If you want that all the notes in a track are in a certain key, you can force them to a chosen scale. This is useful e.g. in combination with randomly generated notes (see section 6.3.), which would be all over the place without Force To Scale. Force To Scale has relevant settings on two pages: FX (MENU + FX) and Mode (MENU + MODE).

Each individual track has the option of being Forced To Scale. The setting for this is on each track's MODE page. Force to Scale can be either 'off' (default) or 'on'. Force To Scale can be turned 'on' and 'off' also on the Jam page's 'Misc' settings section, where it's abbreviated as FTS. ***the misc page setting has no effect!

The scale that each track can individually be forced to is set on the FX page (MENU + FX -> GPB10 for 'Scale'). On the Scale page GPK4–8 can be used to choose one of the 166 predefined scales; the notes in the scale are displayed in the right LCD.

***i dont' really understand the 'Control' and 'Root' settings!


6.3. Random generator
---------------------

Random generator allows you to randomise the data of parameter or trigger layers (and for drum tracks, drum instrument layers). The randomiser menu is found in the main menu, with UTILITY + GPB7 (Rand), or with EDIT + GP13–14.

On the randomiser page you can use GPK9 to scroll through the available layers in the active track. LayA, LayB etc. denote parameter layers, and TrgA, Trg B etc. denote trigger layers. If the active track is a Drum type track, drum instrument names are available instead.

Because the layers are called just LayA, TrgB etc., you have to remember yourself which functions you have assigned for each layer. If you have more than four parameter layers available (depends on track initialisation), you can check the layer assignments quickly by pressing parameter layer selection button C. Likewise, trigger layer assignments can be checked by pressing trigger layer selection button C.

Parameter layers are randomised by setting the intensity of the randomisation. Randomisation starts from value 64, and the randomisation setting allows you to determine how much the random values will deviate from 64. For example, if you enter an intensity value of 5, the randomised value will be 64 +/- 5, in other words, a randomly picked value between 59 and 69. A value of "--" will mean the randomiser will not change the values in that parameter layer.

For trigger layers, the randomiser value denotes the likelihood of the trigger getting turned 'on'; the higher the number, the more likely it is that the trigger in each step will be 'on'. For example, if you choose TrgA (Gate by default) for randomisation, a value of 1 will result in only a few steps having their gates turned 'on', while a value of 14 will result in almost all steps having their gates switched 'on'. By selecting 'All' you can have the randomisation occur for all steps. A value of "---" means randomiser will not change the values in that trigger layer.

Randomising drum instrument layers works the same way as randomising trigger layers.

You can randomise any number of a track's parameter and trigger layers simultaneously by assigning values to all the layers you want to randomise. When you have selected the ones you want to randomise, press GP2–3 to effect the randomisation. If you are unhappy with the result, you can undo it with GPB8 ('Undo'). GPB7 ('Util') takes you back to the UTILITY page, and GPB6 ('Clr.') will clear the whole track (which can be undone as well with 'Undo').

Note, Velocity and CC parameter layers, and Gate, Accent and Roll trigger layers are obvious targets for randomisation, but in principle randomiser will work with any type of layer that's available.

The Force To Scale option on the MODE page is particularly useful for randomised note layers. For details on Force To Scale, see section 6.2.

***request: is it possible to have Step Selection settings affect the randomiser, so that the randomiser will change only those layers that have been selected with the Step Selection function? This way you could set e.g. TrgA (Gate) randomisation to 'All', and still have only e.g. each quarter note randomised.


6.4. Euclidean rhythm generator
-------------------------------

The Euclidean rhythm generator (ERG) allows you to create rhythms very easily, and change them afterwards with normal track editing. Changing the settings on the ERG page changes the contents of the track immediately, so be careful not to lose anything you want to keep.

The ERG works best for Drum type tracks, but in principle it can be used for Note type tracks as well. It can be found in the main menu, or with EDIT + GPB13–14.


6.4.1. Euclidean rhythm generator for Drum type tracks

On the ERG page, track length can be changed within the maximum length (this is the same setting as on the LENGTH page, and the value will be copied between pages). On the right LCD, there's another length setting, which sets the length of the *loop* (GPK9).

Along with the loop length setting, there's 'Pulses', which will place the set number of pulses (or gates) over the length of the loop (repeating the pattern over the whole track). For example, if the loop length is 16 steps and the number of pulses is 4, a pulse will be placed each four steps. In principle, any number of pulses will be divided over the given loop length, though in practice a large number of pulses will quickly become impossible to place, if the loop is too short.

Normally each series of pulses starts in the first step of the track, but this can be changed with 'Offset' (GPK11). 'Offset' setting simply inserts that many empty steps in the beginning of the track before the first pulse.

If the loop is shorter than the set track length, the loop will be written onto the track as many times the track length allows. For example, if track length is 16 steps and loop length 13 steps, the loop's 13 steps fit once into the 16 steps of the track; then 3 more steps fit, but then the track length runs out. The resulting pattern of 16 steps will be written on the track *over it's whole lenght*, not just the set length. Thus, a track of 16/64 will be written four times with the same 13+3 pattern.

If the loop is longer than the set track length, only what fits into the track length will get repeated. For example if track length is 16 steps and loop length is 20 steps, only the first 16 steps of the loop will be repeated. If the track is 16/64, this truncated 16-step pattern will be written on the track four times.

Offhand it might not make sense to use loops longer than the set track length. However, because the pulses are divided as evenly as possible over the loop length, whether it's longer or shorter than the set track length, you can effect rhythm patterns with loops longer than the track that are not possible is the loop is shorter than, or equally long as, the track.

Note that when you change 'Len', 'Pulses' or 'Offset' settings, the ERG will immediately write the loop repeatedly *over the whole track*, not just over the set length of it, overwriting anything that was there previously.

On the left LCD, you can change the drum instrument layer to be edited by ERG with GPK4. Also the note that the instrument layer is playing can be changed. With GPK6–7 you can change the Normal (VelN) and Accent (VelA) velocities. (The mentioned settings are the same as on the EVENT page, and the values will be copied between pages.) The velocity values for each pulse can be randomised with GPK8. Turning GPK8 will simultaneously set the likelihood of a pulse getting an accent, as well as effect the randomisation.


6.4.2. Euclidean rhythm generator for Note type tracks

It is possible to use the ERG with a Note type track as well. However, even with the Note type tracks, the ERG is still essentially a rhythm creating aid. The ERG will leave the Note layer values untouched, but will switch the gates 'on' and 'off' based on the loop length, pulse and offset settings you make. For track length, normal/accent velocity settings and their randomisation (VelN, VelA and RndA), loop length, pulses and offset settings, see section 6.4.1. for the details.

The main difference to Drum type tracks is that you can change the Note type track's parameter layer values. The exception is that the the first parameter layer contents cannot be edited (the entry says 'Orig'), whether it is a note layer or something else. Also it is important to note that changing the content of a parameter layer on the ERG page *affects all the pulsed steps*. Thus, changing the velocity value will change the velocity values of all those steps which are "pulsed", i.e. where the ERG has set the gate 'on'.

One useful way to use the ERG with Note type tracks is creating a rhythmic pattern on the ERG, then leaving the page and changing the notes to something more tonal than what the ERG is capable of.


6.5. Mixer maps
---------------

The mixer maps on the MIXER page (MENU + MIXER) allow you to send Program Change and Control Change messages to your MIDI equipment. Each session has a maximum of 127 mixer maps, which can be named and customised, and each mixer map has 12 pages, one page for each kind of setting. The pages can be changed with the datawheel, or the up and down buttons on the frontpanel.

The ALL and FAST buttons work on the MIXER page. (For details, see section 4.2.3.)

Each mixer map page has 16 different slots for customised commands that can be sent simultaneously. The first two pages of a mixer map define, first, the *output port* on which the message for each of the 16 slots is sent, and second, the *MIDI channel* on which the message for each slot is sent. The default value for Port is 'Def.', i.e. the setting is taken from the MIDI Router page (see section 2.1.2. or Appendix 3). The default MIDI channel is '# 1' for the first slot, '# 2' for the second, and so on.

The Port and MIDI channel are the foundational settings for each mixer map slot, without which the messages won't be sent to the right place; the don't send any command by themselves, they just set the conduit for the commands from the other pages. For example, if you've set track G1T1 to play a synthesizer connected to OUTPUT1 on MIDI channel 5 (settings made on the track's EVENT page), you should set one of the slots on the mixer map page to that port and that MIDI channel to send a message from the mixer map to that synthesizer. While you're on the MIXER page, the port and channel for the slot in the current cursor position will always be visible in the upper right corner of the right LCD.

Port and MIDI channel are the foundational settings of a mixer map, without which none of the actual messages will get delivered to the right address. Port is set on mixer page 1, and MIDI channel on mixer page 2. Once Port and MIDI channel are in order, the actual messages that you can send are:

Page 3: Program Change
Page 4: Volume
Page 5: Panorama ("Pan")
Page 6: Reverb
Page 7: Chorus
Page 8: Modulation wheel
Page 9: Freely assignable CC (CC1)
Page 10: Freely assignable CC (CC2)
Page 11: Freely assignable CC (CC3)
Page 12: Freely assignable CC (CC4)

***image here

***are the freely assignable CCs the standard MIDI CCs?

While on the MIXER place, pressing & holding SELECT brings up a utility menu. GPB2 and GPB4 ('Copy', 'Clr') copy and clear the current mixer map, and GPB3 ('Paste') pastes a previously copied mixer map into the current one. GPB7 saves the current mixer map, and and GPB6 allows you to load a previously saved map. GPK1 switches between the 127 possible mixer maps in the session. Switching away from the current map will erase any unsaved changes. GPB16 allows you to name the current mixer map.

There are four ways to send mixer map commands to their destinations.

The easiest way is to press a GPB button under an entry that has some value other than '---' in it. Pressing the GP button will simply send the command in the slot once. This is useful e.g. for sending one-off commands like Program Change. The second option is available in the utility menu: 'Dump' (GPB8) will send all the commands in the 16 slots of all 10 command pages to the ports and MIDI channels set for each slot. The third option can be enabled in the mixer utility menu (press & hold SELECT): LiveSend can be set 'on' or 'off'. If LiveSend is 'on', the values in the slots of all pages in the current mixer map will be active all the time, and all changes will be updated immediately. For example, mixer page 4 (Volume) could be used as a centralised volume control for all your MIDI equipment.

The fourth way to send mixer map values is on the SONG page, as a song position action ('Mixer -> Map #').

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Length, Divider, FX etc. setting are reset to default values, but 'Complete Track' doesn't clear anything on the Track Event and Track Instrument pages (Program/Bank change commands, Track name etc.).

You are right. Track name isn't cleared as well, and the Program/Bank change commands are a new feature which (for me) belong to the general track configuration such as MIDI channel and port.

Are you asking because you would like to improve the documentation, or because you request a change?

Quote

I'm not holding any inquisition here, I'm just trying to understand the logic <:-)

The intention is to keep the basic track configuration, especially MIDI port, channel, event config, instrument selection (bank/program change), and everything else that I forgot.

Yes, this part isn't documented well, but it's implemented to satisfy my personal use case.
Hope that your manual will make it clear enough! :)

Quote
  • There's a song position command from the official manual: "Stop. Stops the sequencer". However, there is no such option in the sequencer. In it's place there is "End", which loops the previous song position that played patterns, until the sequencer is stopped manually. A 'stop' comman that would stop the sequencer would be handy as well.

I did this change ca. 4 years ago (renamed Stop to End, sequencer loops instead of stopping). Unfortunately changes where not properly tracked at this time, therefore I don't remember who requested this, and for what reason.

I fixed the documentation. If there is a good reason for the "Stop", I could add this function, but apparently nobody missed it in the past.

Quote
  • Sync'ing mutes/unmutes to measure (in the options menu): In song mode with Guide Track active, the measure countdown on the mute page for sync'd mutes/unmutes doesn't show the "right" numbers: if the guiding track is 16 steps long, and measure is set to e.g. 6 steps, the measure countdown will keep counting multiples of 6 until the guide track ends. This is not useful information, but probably in song mode it doesn't matter, because the idea of the song mode is to program most things predictably anyway, so it doesn't matter what the coundown shows. Just thought I'll mention this, I'm not suggesting anything should be done about it. (I've documented it as it is now.)

Added to the wishlist to improve the countdown, it shouldn't be so difficult and leads to more consistency

Quote
  • On the MUTE page and the special function of the ALL button: is there a difference between "muting a track" and "muting a track's layers"? There is an option "mute all tracks and all layers", is it different from just "muting all tracks"?

The difference is, that you could unmute a track, and then the layers individually.

This especially makes sense on drum tracks, but also for CC tracks

Quote
  • An idea for the metronome: now the metronome sounds only when the sequencer is running. However, it would be handy if the metronome could be used for recording count-in, to prepare for the tempo of the recorded track. At the moment the metronome is bound to measure, I don't know but from a humble Arduino-programmer Froschperspektive ;-) an easy way to implement the count-in could be to have a fixed count-in of one measure (or perhaps a multiple of the set measure) if certain conditions are met; e.g. if (metronome == on) && (count-in == on) -> pressing PLAY (or the 5th tap tempo press) will start one measure (or user-set multiple of measure) count-in, and the seq proper starts only after that. Count-in on/off option could perhaps go on the Jam page Live recording settings, after Quantize, and any possible multiple-measure-count-in setting on metronome page (it probably doesn't need changing that often). Setting the count-in 'on' could also just automatically set the metronome 'on' as well. Any thoughts..?

Make sense, added to wishlist

Quote
  • is there a button & LED for the Jam page Rec on/off? If not, could there be?

There is currently an open request for providing a dedicated Rec button for Step and Live recording mode.

A possible enhancement of this button function would be, that the first push just changes to the Jam page, and an additional push (resp. whenever we are already in the Jam page) will enable/disable the recording function.
Does this make sense?

Quote
  • The PrgCh layer is not listed/documented in the official manual's parameter layer list (Track Event Configuration)

added it

Quote
  • Does it send a PC message in every step?

it should only be sent if the value has changed (similar to CCs)

Quote
  • Is there a risk of conflict if Track Instrument page sends a PC command at the start of the track, and the PrgCh layer sends another PC command at the first step? Should this be documented, "don't use them simultaneously", or is there a programmed hierarchy, "if A is set, B has no effect" or something like that?

yes, we have this risk.

In addition it make sense to highlight, that most synths can't process a program change immediately, resp. there could be an audible delay of following note events.
This feature will only work properly with synths which can change the patch in "zero-time"

Quote
  • Possible bug on Live Patterns subpage on the Jam page: if the Ptn. page is selected on the left LCD, but you change certain settings on the two LCDs and then press SELECT again to edit live patterns (Ptn. is still selected), the edit mode won't go on, but instead the page selection will change away from Ptn. to another page (on the left LCD). This happens if you have Ptn. page selected, change one the following settings, and then press SELECT to edit: If you pressed Length (GPK14), changes to MIDI page, if you pressed Fwd, changes to Step page, if you pressed Rec, changes to Step page. I think as long as Ptn. is selected, pressing & holding SELECT should always go to edit live patterns mode. Also, as a separate(?) phenomenon, if you press & release the SELECT button four times in a row, the fourth press changes away from the Ptn. page and to the MIDI page.

added to the wishlist to clarify this issue (I remember that the implementation of this EDIT capability wasn't straightforward, will need some work to improve it)

Quote
  • In section 6.1. on arpeggiator tracks: Up to four-note chords are supported, but what about the new chord parameter layer chords (the firmware is not ready yet) that have more than four notes in them?

This is no bug, but a conceptional limitation.
The arpeggiator had always only 4 key slots (already in MBSEQ V2), this can't be changed anymore.
And the arpeggiator isn't directly related to the chord function.

The support for chords with more than 4 notes is pretty new, but it's impossible to enhance the arpeggiator as well, especially since this would change the arp step configuration (-> incompatible legacy patterns)
 

Quote
  • Possible bug on Misc. settings subpage on the Jam page: misc page octave transpose, FX and FTS on/off states have no effect

They should have an effect in live mode

Quote
  • MODE page 'Restart' option: there seems to be some false triggering going on with restart (one key press results in one or more triggerings), as well as short delays in re-starting the track sometimes

I've to check under which conditions the track will be retriggered

Short delays don't surprise me, because the change is synchronized to the next step

Quote
  • I don't really understand how the FX -> Scale page settings 'Control'. On the one hand, the official manual says of Control: "the scale and root note can either be controlled globally or pattern based", but on the other hand it says "Only one group can control the scale and root note". The first would seem to say that either you have one scale to rule them all ('Global'), or alternatively each group can have its own scale. But the second seems to say that only one group can determine the scale.

No, the assumption is wrong.

Use case behind the pattern based control: somebody wants to switch the root and scale with a pattern. The pattern could also contain the loopback track(s) for Bus1..4, so that it's possible to switch the transpose/arpeggiator lines + root note + scale with a single pattern change in the PATTERN page.

Quote
  • I'm not quite sure how 'Root' works either. Is it so, that if I set 'Root' to 'E', and scale is 'Natural minor', all notes will be forced into the E natural minor scale? If 'Root' is set to 'Keyb' and scale is 'Natural minor', and I press C# on the keyboard, all force-to-scale tracks are forced to C# natural minor scale?

Yes, this is how the root note is working

Note that "Keyb" could also be the loopback track which sends to Bus1

Quote
  • Mixer maps: are the freely assignable CCs the standard MIDI CCs?

CC#0..CC#127
So, all possible "standard" CCs

Best Regards, Thorsten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting discussion, and I agree with most of the points. But in regards to this:

11 hours ago, TK. said:
Quote
  • is there a button & LED for the Jam page Rec on/off? If not, could there be?

There is currently an open request for providing a dedicated Rec button for Step and Live recording mode.

A possible enhancement of this button function would be, that the first push just changes to the Jam page, and an additional push (resp. whenever we are already in the Jam page) will enable/disable the recording function.
Does this make sense?

Personally I think the advantage of a dedicated record button is to be able to quickly toggle between recording state and playing state. So you could hit record to quickly drop into record mode for the last 16 steps of a 64 step pattern and add some notes, then hit record again to avoid recording over existing notes as the pattern loops. Instead of your suggestion, I'd make the shortcut to the Jam page a key-combo with the Record button and another button, for example press Menu and Record or something similar to quickly jump to the Jam page. Otherwise it is still minimum 2 key presses to get to into recording (currently 3) which I find slows down my workflow.

Just a suggestion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, TK. said:

You are right. Track name isn't cleared as well, and the Program/Bank change commands are a new feature which (for me) belong to the general track configuration such as MIDI channel and port.

Are you asking because you would like to improve the documentation, or because you request a change?

I was asking it for the documentation.

 

Quote

The intention is to keep the basic track configuration, especially MIDI port, channel, event config, instrument selection (bank/program change), and everything else that I forgot.

Yes, this part isn't documented well, but it's implemented to satisfy my personal use case.
Hope that your manual will make it clear enough! :)

Trying my best :-)

 

Quote

I did this change ca. 4 years ago (renamed Stop to End, sequencer loops instead of stopping). Unfortunately changes where not properly tracked at this time, therefore I don't remember who requested this, and for what reason.

I fixed the documentation. If there is a good reason for the "Stop", I could add this function, but apparently nobody missed it in the past.

Fair enough, it's not necessary.

 

Quote

yes, we have this risk.

In addition it make sense to highlight, that most synths can't process a program change immediately, resp. there could be an audible delay of following note events.
This feature will only work properly with synths which can change the patch in "zero-time"

I'll document it "don't use them simultaneously", and make sure the patch change time-lag note get into the text.

 

Quote

The arpeggiator had always only 4 key slots (already in MBSEQ V2), this can't be changed anymore.
And the arpeggiator isn't directly related to the chord function.

The support for chords with more than 4 notes is pretty new, but it's impossible to enhance the arpeggiator as well, especially since this would change the arp step configuration (-> incompatible legacy patterns)

 

Ok. I just wanted to know whether I should make a note to that place in the manual to remember to change it when the 4+ chords in parameter layer come out, but now that's not necessary.

EDIT: To confirm: Does this mean that if you use a 4+ chord from a chord parameter layer as an arpeggiator source, only the first four notes will be used? If yes, I'll document it provisionally like this (and finally when the 4+ chord firmware comes out).

 

Quote

They should have an effect in live mode

If live mode means that the sequencer is running, I haven't managed to get them working. The FTS on the Misc. page can be 'on' while ForceScale on the MODE page is 'off' and vice versa, and Oct. on the 'Misc.' page can be +3 while octave transpose on the TRANSPOSE page is +0. In both cases it seems the MODE and TRANSPOSE page values are the ones that determine the actual value.

 

Quote

I've to check under which conditions the track will be retriggered

Short delays don't surprise me, because the change is synchronized to the next step

I checked the restart with a 'New' session, it worked ok, perhaps it was my test session settings or something. Anyway it seems now there is no issue with restart after all.

 

Quote

Use case behind the pattern based control: somebody wants to switch the root and scale with a pattern. The pattern could also contain the loopback track(s) for Bus1..4, so that it's possible to switch the transpose/arpeggiator lines + root note + scale with a single pattern change in the PATTERN page.

I haven't been able to change root and scale with a pattern. Here's what I've tried to do:

I start a new session, where I'm using two patterns, 1:A1 and 1:A2. Both of them are 16 steps long, forced to scale, and have the same quarter notes: C – D – E – F. I select 1:A1, go on the scale page, set Control to 'Group 1', select 0:Major and save. Then I select 1:A2, go to the scale page, change scale to 1:Harmonic Minor, and save.

If I now change the patterns on the scale page, the scale won't change. Instead the scale is always whatever I chose last on the scale page. It doesn't help if I save the patterns individually (instead of saving the whole session). What am I missing?

Edited by jjonas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now