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Old 01-04-2009, 09:43 PM
jim jim is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicDiesel View Post
Colour me surprised. A sequencer that is in version 2 without midi input?

I was hoping that I could use this as a midi sketch pad. Does anyone have a recommendation for a simple application that can record and manipulate midi?

Intended workflow: I stick a keyboard into my laptop, switch on the click track, and then just play.
At $199, Logic 8 Express is pretty hard to beat.

Numerology is not a MIDI Sequencer; it is a modular step & pattern sequencer. It can generate and process MIDI and it can be controlled via MIDI, but it has no facilities for recording, storing, editing or playing back MIDI. It would certainly be nice if it did those things, and they may be added later, but those functions are really not what Numerology 2 is about.

The goal of Numerology is to allow you think of music composition in terms that have nothing to do with playing a keyboard -- indeed, its most interesting features are about creating things you cannot play with a keyboard. The ideas that Numerology implements come from the early Moog & Buchla sequencers : customizable machines for making music in a CV-based modular synthesis environment. Buchla doesn't even call his current sequencing module a "sequencer", he calls it an "arbitrary function generator".

Numerology starts with those ideas and extends them immensely so that you can keep the benefits of step sequencing (immediacy, interactivity) without the limitations (fixed compositional parameters). The ideas that are at the center of most MIDI sequencers (Logic, DP, Cubase, et. al) come from multi-track studio tape recorders : record something, play it back, edit it. Both are completely valid, useful ways of making music. DAW functionality is extremely well represented in the market, but IMHO, modular step sequencing is not.

I do see a use for recording and playing back MIDI in Numerology in the future, and certainly using MIDI to control playback of Numerology's sequences is already an important part of what it offers. But I specifically decided a while back to hold off on any sort of "MIDI recording" functions in Numerology 2 for several reasons:

- Other apps already do that very well, there's no point in duplicating what they offer, particularly when most customers already have such an app.

- Implementation of any feature involves cost: each and every one, no matter how small, takes time to implement, test and maintain. In other words, every feature comes at the cost of some other feature. Adding any sort of piano-roll anything to N2, which is a pretty big feature, would have either meant greatly extending what has already been an over-long development cycle, or dropping features that are intrinsic to what Numerology is really about. Much better to focus on and enhance what makes Numerology unique and interesting, rather than water things down by trying to implementing everything for everyone.

- I have several *very* radical ideas on how I might implement MIDI recording and playback in a way that would follow Numerology's methodology, and those ideas are still evolving. I don't plan to start writing any code in that area until those ideas have stabilized, I feel like the existing functional areas of Numerology are fully realized, and I have a solid block of time to concentrate on them.

So again, if you're looking to record MIDI from a keyboard, at least for now, you'll have to look somewhere else. Numerology 2 is about allowing you to easily create patterns that produce interesting results you cannot readily attain elsewhere. To see this in action, watch the videos, especially #2 and #3 (http://www.five12.com/t.html), or look at the "Airport Voices" project in the Examples folder. It abstracts the process of composition, allowing you to explore many, many interesting techniques -- things that can be a great compliment to more standard approaches, like playing instruments, or creative remixing.

And BTW, I have not forgotten about the need to program a sequencer in 'real time' from a MIDI keyboard, which is really quite different from midi recording in general -- as that is a translation from the realm of MIDI into a CV-based step sequencer rather than a MIDI recording function. It is on the feature queue and will get some attention when its time comes.

Best,
Jim
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