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2.0 is amazing - Plus a single wish

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  • 2.0 is amazing - Plus a single wish

    2.0 is amazing. Such a wonderful new set of additions that makes BitBox absolutely superb. Thank you Aaron and Christine (and all the people who's names I don't know yet.) You guys are amazing.
    I still have one wish:
    Loops in clip mode should stop when the clock stops.

    Sliced files, clips playing as loops will continue to play out to the end of the file when the pattern or sequencer stops and this causes endless frustration in a live performance or recording session.
    I totally understand for toggled looping why the clips play and play...
    But I think this should be an option. Something to turn on or off depending on what one is undertaking.

    In a performance I will stop and start often, and sometimes the starting and stopping are parts of the compositions themselves, and I always do it (over and over again) live. It is never pre programmed.
    The single thing that's stopping me from moving over to all my sampling being done with the bitbox is that the loops (of any length) will continue to their end when I've pressed stop on the main sequencer.

    I posit that when the clock stops, the clip/loop should stop.
    At least this would be a deeply welcome option which would change everything in terms of performance and playback for myself.
    Last edited by Sunshine; 02-09-2018, 11:17 AM.

  • #2
    Since posting this wish I decided to take another look into why this is happening, and why anyone might think it was a strange request.

    Looking at the problem of loops playing out to completion instead of stopping when the clock stops is interesting because on most groove boxes and samplers this is how things work. No matter how long the sample is, when you press stop, everything stops.
    But in a looper that isn't always the case. Loops play without a clock in a loop until you press stop, or mute, or record a new one.
    Also, using gate pulses to fire off a loop, there are mixed needs:

    A. A gate should fire the loop, and it should play completely because a gate is just a little pulse, and can not remain on/high until the looping is complete. So we need a gate to trigger the file's whole beauty.

    B. A midi note can be a sort of a gate which can last for as long as we need it to. So with midi, the "gate" or note on can be precise and determine that we want this part of the loop to play, and when it stops, or the sequence stops the note stops making sound. This is true if it's a piano chord, or a drum loop, doesn't matter.

    C. Sometimes we want to simply trigger little pieces of loops, perhaps the same one, perhaps different ones. This opens up a whole exciting world of slices, and modulation and various ways of moving between the clips. In CV and Gate this gets a little chaotic and it's hard to be precise, with midi this is much easier and the slices are organized across the keyboard and we can have a party.

    Regardless of your position or preference, the problem of stopping when the clock stops is interesting. There is no sequencer in the bitbox, and the midi side doesn't exactly have a full midi implementation . So how else could we establish a reliable stopping of loops or sounds?

    I solved this problem today using midi. It's not ideal, because I would rather be using CV and Gate, but it works and that's the important breakthrough today for me.
    This may be overly simplistic, but consider that rather than using trigger mode, or toggle mode (for a recorded loop) choose gate mode.

    As you know, normally when using gate mode to launch the loops we just get the first slice of a loop, and that isn't any fun. So I usually overlook this mode completely. But today when describing to a visitor in my studio why the bitbox is amazing, but not quite perfect the visitor looks at me and said "Why don't you just apply a longer gate?"
    Before I launched into an explanation of how my gate sequencer only sends out finite little pulses and this is impossible I thought of using a trigger instead (which can be long and offer adjustable lengths,) and that lead me to considering "note on" and "note off" via midi.

    Before I discarded the idea as "bitbox isn't fully midi implemented" I remember that of course it has note on and off. It wouldn't play anything at all if it didn't.
    To I took a song I'm working on and rather than triggering the loop via a pulse from my gate sequencer, I gave it a midi note on the 1.1.0.
    Naturally this only played the first kick of the loop (as the loop is sliced for syncopation and we are in clip mode) But when I extended the gate to be the entire length of the bar the entire loop plays, and when I press stop on the sequencer... what do you know... the loop stops.

    This is a great way to get on with my work, and it will be handy in studio, but for live performance it will still be needed to have the ability to somehow allow bitbox to receive note off/clock off in trigger mode (maybe toggle mode too?)

    For the people who are struggling with loops continuing to play after you've stopped the sequence, this is a way to prevent that.
    I hope it helps.


    • #3

      Thanks for posting about how you do looping on Bitbox. It points out how there are a number of ways to work and I am happy to learn you found one that works for you. Also, we know there will always be more requests. Please keep them coming.

      Take care,