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  #11  
Old 07-22-2010, 04:57 PM
jim jim is offline
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Originally Posted by deva View Post
I like the arpeggiator style interactivity in Karma... and that it can be programmed to respond in complex and musically interesting ways to your live playing.

The Numerology Arp module:

First thing is... I have not gotten it working correctly... it seems quite buggy.. it drops out notes. Sometimes I will hold 4 notes and it plays 3... Sometimes i will hit a chord and it does nothing, or plays a note then stops. If I hold 7 notes, it sometimes runs through them all and sometimes plays the first 1 or 2 and starts over.

Then bugginess aside:
I do not understand at all what is the thinking behind it
if I hold 1 note, it does not play through the sequence but only plays the first note... what is the point of the sequence?

it only has basic up/down choices and no as played option

sustain pedal does not work to hold notes

there is no hold function

every note is muted and if you make a chord in the sequence, you have to manually un mute that note to hear the chord... release the keys and hit them again and you have to manually unmute again.

I'm sorry, but the arp module seems like an afterthought.

Numerology is quite impressive to make a whole complex composition that plays when I hit the spacebar, but as far as interacting with my own live playing, it is less capable than the basic arps in Alchemy or Zebra... if it is possible to do more, it is certainly obscure how to go about that... it is not built into the arp module.
Some of the functions you're looking for are hidden in the Module Run Mode Settings, some others still need to be implemented. To Latch a sequence, change the Play Mode to "MIDI Trig: Play" or just "Normal". To not sort notes (i.e. as played), change MIDI Transpose to "Chord" or "Chord Trim". Those are explained in a bit more detail at the end of this page: http://five12.com/doc/MatrixSeq.html

Something else that is missing is an option to repeat with transpose by octave (or some other interval), but overall what it needs is a reorganization of the UI to better reflect what people generally expect from an arpeggiator. That may also mean splitting off a separate module to handle "classic" arpeggiator functions and keep that part separate from the "programmable" arpeggiator bit.

Cheers,
Jim
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2010, 07:29 AM
Sjoerd Sjoerd is offline
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Originally Posted by deva View Post
I have no comment about the choice to use Reaper and all that.

On the other hand, you have not even tried Karma. Perhaps you should not be so dismissive about something you have not tried. It is impressive. It is a remarkable arpeggiator +. 2 people can play the same setup and get quite different results because it responds in complex and musically interesting ways to your playing. There is something fluidly interactive about it that I don't yet find with Numerology.
True, I have not tried it yet, but not because I did not want to. I am not dismissive about Karma at all, I'd really love to see it and play with it. I should have also thanked you for bringing it up, as I find it very interesting indeed. So here, thanks.

I am however very pessimistic about the idea to implement such a thing (if I understand what it would do correctly) using Reaper as back end (not dismissive: I am even adding an incentive to try doing so by offering to take a bet ). Not ranting about Reaper per se either -- I praise Reaper and respect its developers a lot -- but for this particular planned combination/integration I foresee nothing but insurmountable problems. I would even more love to see it happen as it would undoubtedly benefit me as a Reaper user. I will love this project if only for that.

Also, the idea of tying/bundling the sale with a plethora of (probably imho more often than not inferior) plugins in itself doesn't bother me much as long as the price is right; but any deeper technical integration indicates that the concept of modularity (which plugins by definition are) is a bit wasted on the designer, although he seems sensitive to people disliking bundling. I'll be glad to try any arpeggiator, but I like to be free to pick my own sounds please. Otherwise, thanks but no thanks.

But more importantly, let's focus on constructive discussion, explaining how to use the arpeggiator abilities in Numerology and exploring how they can be further improved -- I take that as the main point of your original post, and will gladly agree they can be much improved still. Your 'checklist' above makes an excellent starting point for that.

On a more general note, I would advise (new) users not to take module names too literally at face value. For example, don't hesitate to use a MatrixSequencer or ChordSequencer for sequencing drums, even though there's a DrumSequencer staring you in the face. I can definitely see how a new Numerology user would open the only module called "arpeggiator" and then not really look beyond the features it shows. With Numerology however the fun really starts when you hook up modules to other modules. For example, if you would want the octave to alternate, it is easy enough to do so using *other* modules (e.g. use a LFO module with a square waveform to modulate the octave).

So what Jim said about "reorganization of the UI to better reflect what people generally expect" is very much true, but only part of the answer; the other part is that users relax their expectations once they get more comfortable with Numerology and realize that (almost) anything is possible within Numerology, but you 'have to' (I prefer 'are allowed to' :P) make it yourself. And because I find building stuff relatively easy in Numerology (compared to possible alternatives), in my experience making your own ideal setup becomes part of the fun instead of part of the frustration.

On a more abstract level, imho arpeggiators are a particular type of step sequencer as well, or maybe more appropriately, consist of the same types of building blocks. I guess the defining feature of the 'traditional' arpeggiator is the sorting of input notes in real-time, and that is indeed not necessarily present in every traditional step sequencer. However, it comes standard for every one in Numerology. Accordingly, a lot of arpeggiator-type can be build in Numerology already. There are indeed still some little quirks related to sorting of polyphonic realtime input (on a single MIDI channel and port) that do get in the way sometimes, but I have great confidence that those will get sorted out sooner rather than later.
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:04 AM
rexlapin rexlapin is offline
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Sjeord,
For being able to do realtime polyphonic sorting on a single MIDI
channel, I have been using Numerology in conjunction with Ernest
Mayer's Godel ensemble running in Reaktor standalone. Quite a
powerful combination!
http://heavensonearth.com/Godel/
Cheers,
Scott
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:18 AM
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jue jue is offline
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Hello,

could you please explain me:
to do realtime polyphonic sorting on a single MIDI channel

What result do you want with this?

best
jue
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:28 AM
rexlapin rexlapin is offline
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Jue,
I don't know what Sjoerd had in mind, but I have been sending the output
of the Chord Sequencer to both a synth hosted in Numerology and to
the Godel ensemble also returning as input to the same synth. This gives
chords followed by various arpeggiations of those chords. I hope that makes
sense.
Cheers,
Scott
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  #16  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:55 AM
Sjoerd Sjoerd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexlapin View Post
Sjeord,
For being able to do realtime polyphonic sorting on a single MIDI
channel, I have been using Numerology in conjunction with Ernest
Mayer's Godel ensemble running in Reaktor standalone. Quite a
powerful combination!
http://heavensonearth.com/Godel/
Cheers,
Scott
Yeah, I have seen it before, looks pretty impressive (although not impressively pretty ) but probably not my cup of tea. I'd probably rather build something in Reaktor myself. And, once we venture off into plugins and especially other apps, there's probably hundreds of ways to do it... Thanks for the tip/reminder though, keep them coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deva View Post
[...] if it is possible to do more, it is certainly obscure how to go about that... it is not built into the arp module.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jue View Post
could you please explain me:
to do realtime polyphonic sorting on a single MIDI channel

What result do you want with this?
Here's a video (18.8mb .mov) that shows one method of starting to build a customized polyphonic arpeggiator, but also shows some of the current quirks in the MatrixSeq / MatrixArpeggiator module that get in the way.

[EDIT:] Link to (more recent, N3 only) project, for those who may care to play with it.[/EDIT]
(Instead of playing chords from the ChordSeq one could also manually play chords into the stack, of course -- I just used it here to play some different chords in different ways).

Then, once you have isolated the different notes played, you can connect all kinds of stuff to it to build arpeggiator-type of stuff as complex as you want it and your system will bear.

[EDIT:] Jue, I think I used that cryptic formulation because I meant to say that Numerology can already do fantastic arpeggiator stuff, but it is a bit limited for building customized arpeggiator setups unless you only use monophonic input (i.e. route the incoming note's number/key to the interval input of a bunch of sequencers and so on), and when you use different sources (i.e. multiple keyboards, but all playing monophonic). Also, for the more traditional arpeggiator type of stuff you need some sorting algo's (i.e. sort from low to high, high to low, as played). The MatrixArpeggiator/Sequencer modules already do this, however, since it outputs everything on a single MIDI channel, it is hard to use the individual notes of the chord for further separate processing (i.e. use lowest note to connect to interval input for one (set of) sequencers, use the second lowest note for another, and so on). That is what I tried to do with the project shown above.[/EDIT]

Last edited by Sjoerd; 07-25-2010 at 11:25 AM. Reason: added link to project and more clarification
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2010, 06:13 PM
deva deva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post
True, I have not tried it yet, but not because I did not want to. I am not dismissive about Karma at all, I'd really love to see it and play with it. I should have also thanked you for bringing it up, as I find it very interesting indeed. So here, thanks.

I am however very pessimistic about the idea to implement such a thing (if I understand what it would do correctly) using Reaper as back end (not dismissive: I am even adding an incentive to try doing so by offering to take a bet ). Not ranting about Reaper per se either -- I praise Reaper and respect its developers a lot -- but for this particular planned combination/integration I foresee nothing but insurmountable problems. I would even more love to see it happen as it would undoubtedly benefit me as a Reaper user. I will love this project if only for that.

Also, the idea of tying/bundling the sale with a plethora of (probably imho more often than not inferior) plugins in itself doesn't bother me much as long as the price is right; but any deeper technical integration indicates that the concept of modularity (which plugins by definition are) is a bit wasted on the designer, although he seems sensitive to people disliking bundling. I'll be glad to try any arpeggiator, but I like to be free to pick my own sounds please. Otherwise, thanks but no thanks.

But more importantly, let's focus on constructive discussion, explaining how to use the arpeggiator abilities in Numerology and exploring how they can be further improved -- I take that as the main point of your original post, and will gladly agree they can be much improved still. Your 'checklist' above makes an excellent starting point for that.

On a more general note, I would advise (new) users not to take module names too literally at face value. For example, don't hesitate to use a MatrixSequencer or ChordSequencer for sequencing drums, even though there's a DrumSequencer staring you in the face. I can definitely see how a new Numerology user would open the only module called "arpeggiator" and then not really look beyond the features it shows. With Numerology however the fun really starts when you hook up modules to other modules. For example, if you would want the octave to alternate, it is easy enough to do so using *other* modules (e.g. use a LFO module with a square waveform to modulate the octave).

So what Jim said about "reorganization of the UI to better reflect what people generally expect" is very much true, but only part of the answer; the other part is that users relax their expectations once they get more comfortable with Numerology and realize that (almost) anything is possible within Numerology, but you 'have to' (I prefer 'are allowed to' :P) make it yourself. And because I find building stuff relatively easy in Numerology (compared to possible alternatives), in my experience making your own ideal setup becomes part of the fun instead of part of the frustration.

On a more abstract level, imho arpeggiators are a particular type of step sequencer as well, or maybe more appropriately, consist of the same types of building blocks. I guess the defining feature of the 'traditional' arpeggiator is the sorting of input notes in real-time, and that is indeed not necessarily present in every traditional step sequencer. However, it comes standard for every one in Numerology. Accordingly, a lot of arpeggiator-type can be build in Numerology already. There are indeed still some little quirks related to sorting of polyphonic realtime input (on a single MIDI channel and port) that do get in the way sometimes, but I have great confidence that those will get sorted out sooner rather than later.

Thanks for the post... I do not want karma tied to Reaper cause I do not use Reaper. In the KVR thread I was encouraging Stephan Kay to release Karma by itself and not tied to any system. I just want the Karma engine to use with my host and my synths, not ones the developer chooses. It is years he is interested to release a Karma VST but always hesitates because he thinks it should be driving an integrated system. Thus I have no hope or expectation to see it released.

Obviously one big stumbling block for building complex structures in Numerology is that the arp module is buggy. If I play a simple 3 notes, sometimes it 'sees' 3 other times 2 or 1 or none. Being unable to do the basic thing, there is no point to build the complex.

I like Numerology for making sequenced compositions, but for live interactive playing I think it is not capable nor designed to be. I have no doubt that with enough work, you can do some interesting things... but that is not for me. I want an easy to use and intuitive tool. I can make a polyphonic arp in seconds in Zebra... just it does not output midi.

Now, since I use Ableton Live, I am thinking of Max for Live. So far, some users have made the step sequencers, but there are no arpeggiators. If someone makes a good arpeggiator with M4L then I will purchase it and use that as a template to suit my needs/interests. If I was a coder I think I could make a really powerful but easy to use arp... I know what I want, just nobody is doing.

cheers
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  #18  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:30 AM
deva deva is offline
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Here is an example I did with Zebra...

http://draigathar.org/zebra/ruitar.mp3

It is a simple polyphonic arp... took me maybe a minute or two at the most to setup...

So I find the poly arp an interactive musical tool while as you say technically very similar to the step sequencer, in effect, in use, it is very different... a poly arp is different from the steo sequencer in that there are not pre-programmed chords for example... you create the chords on the fly by the notes you hold... so you can have much more freedom... it is a live process and immediate and intuitive... not thought out before hand and programmed... if ones playing is relatively skillful (good timing) one can do a lot of on the fly composition with the poly arp... you can create different melody and structure

The limitation of live performance is that nobody looks to make the arp have some sort of user controlled intro/outro to get into it and out of it musically and gracefully... and more complex but still musical levels of interactivity based on style of play... velocity, frequency of notes, structure etc. This is where Karma explores and almost nothing else even attempts it.

I have made some compositions entirely programmed in Numerology and it is solid for that... excellent with ability to record midi data as played. In that area I am happy with its capabilities and my results (most important)

I'm still looking to see if it has a place in live interactive performance for myself...

I enjoy talking about this stuff because it is really unexplored territory, especially in software.

cheers
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  #19  
Old 08-02-2010, 09:48 AM
Sjoerd Sjoerd is offline
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Originally Posted by deva View Post
Thanks for the post... I do not want karma tied to Reaper cause I do not use Reaper. In the KVR thread I was encouraging Stephan Kay to release Karma by itself and not tied to any system. I just want the Karma engine to use with my host and my synths, not ones the developer chooses.
I agree 100% on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deva View Post
Obviously one big stumbling block for building complex structures in Numerology is that the arp module is buggy. If I play a simple 3 notes, sometimes it 'sees' 3 other times 2 or 1 or none. Being unable to do the basic thing, there is no point to build the complex.
Agreed as well. So let's try and get it debugged! I'm almost sure that Jim can help us to completely remove this stumbling block with at most a handful of relatively minor fixes and/or enhancements, as long as we are able to accurately pinpoint the cases where Numerology does not provide the expected results or is still missing some functionality that is necessary to achieve the desired results (and have a bit of patience of course).

Did you watch the video I posted above, and do you think that accurately covers the 'dropped notes' bugginess you described earlier as well? If not, can you please try to describe a bit more specifically what (other) issues you came across?

One other issue I came across is that when a bunch of channel aftertouch messages is transmitted during/after a chord is played into the MatrixArpeggiator, it can make the sequencer stop playback ("it gets stuck").

A few very useful enhancements I can think of for the MatrixArpeggiator module is to be able to record note-on velocities, and having a "Velocity Adjust" knob such as the one in the MonoNote module.

Also, on the topic of "as played" options in the MatrixArpeggiator, in Numerology's terminology, I was wondering whether it could be useful to have the "Sort" and/or "Trim" modes selectable without "Chord" for its MIDI Transpose modes? (maybe it would make sense to rather make 3 separate checkboxes for Chord, Sort, Trim?)

On the hold notes / sustain pedal issue: I don't have such a pedal, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd figure that is something typically best handled on the keyboard side, i.e. *the keyboard* keeps the MIDI notes on (i.e. it delays the note-off commands that would otherwise have been sent) after you physically release the keys, as long as you also have the pedal down? So it would be transparent to the host (i.e. Numerology) whether you are just holding down the keys yourself or if that is the effect of a depressed hold pedal. The keyboard could (but does not have to) forward the hold pedal's MIDI CC#, but Numerology does not strictly have to interpret that as a sustain/hold notes command, it allows users to customize the usage of CC#s. So, while I do see its major importance for arpeggiator stuff, is this not somewhat of a separate issue?

Last edited by Sjoerd; 08-02-2010 at 01:27 PM.
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  #20  
Old 08-02-2010, 06:37 PM
deva deva is offline
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd View Post

Did you watch the video I posted above, and do you think that accurately covers the 'dropped notes' bugginess you described earlier as well? If not, can you please try to describe a bit more specifically what (other) issues you came across?

One other issue I came across is that when a bunch of channel aftertouch messages is transmitted during/after a chord is played into the MatrixArpeggiator, it can make the sequencer stop playback ("it gets stuck").

A few very useful enhancements I can think of for the MatrixArpeggiator module is to be able to record note-on velocities, and having a "Velocity Adjust" knob such as the one in the MonoNote module.

Also, on the topic of "as played" options in the MatrixArpeggiator, in Numerology's terminology, I was wondering whether it could be useful to have the "Sort" and/or "Trim" modes selectable without "Chord" for its MIDI Transpose modes? (maybe it would make sense to rather make 3 separate checkboxes for Chord, Sort, Trim?)

On the hold notes / sustain pedal issue: I don't have such a pedal, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd figure that is something typically best handled on the keyboard side, i.e. *the keyboard* keeps the MIDI notes on (i.e. it delays the note-off commands that would otherwise have been sent) after you physically release the keys, as long as you also have the pedal down? So it would be transparent to the host (i.e. Numerology) whether you are just holding down the keys yourself or if that is the effect of a depressed hold pedal. The keyboard could (but does not have to) forward the hold pedal's MIDI CC#, but Numerology does not strictly have to interpret that as a sustain/hold notes command, it allows users to customize the usage of CC#s. So, while I do see its major importance for arpeggiator stuff, is this not somewhat of a separate issue?
With the default matrix arpeggiator, just play some chords... most of the time it fails to play correctly...many notes are dropped out... adding new notes to a held sequence messes it up by starting all over or other mistakes. As for troubleshooting it... it fails so frequently and in so many ways. It is not like it works 90% of the time and I can file a bug report about some specific instances when it does not. It just does not work. It is beyond buggy.

The Zebra arp will play the held notes using the velocity you played them with. For some arp presets I set a low velocity to make no sound so I can 'play' empty notes in the arp.

As for your as played suggestion... I still do not really understand chord, sort and trim in Numerology. When I read it I understand but it does not stick with me cause I cannot hear it (due to extreme bugginess)

regarding the sustain pedal... any arp in my various synths reacts to the sustain pedal... you play a big chord... and use the sustain pedal to hold it while you get ready with the next chord. Without responding to the sustain pedal much of the usefulness of an arp is lost.

I am reserving judgement a bit for when the arp module actually works... but it is my guess it will need to be in Numerology 4 that there is a dedicated arp module. IMO there are fundamental design flaws in trying to convert the step sequencer to an arp. I think the arp needs its completely own design from the ground up.
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