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HOW TO: Sequence Clips (For n00bs like me)

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  • HOW TO: Sequence Clips (For n00bs like me)

    Alright, for some of you this will be painfully obvious, but it wasn't for me. The idea of CLIPS is relatively new, in previous samplers all I ever had was one-shots even for loops. If we were lucky, we'd sequence a loop by hitting a key and holding the note for the duration of the MIDI sequence. However, clips offer far greater power especially once quantizing and auto-time stretch comes into play. I can't begin to tell you how much fun I have altering pitch while my loop stays exactly within bars and in-tempo.

    The manual for song mode says the following on page 70:


    ► Song sections record on and off events for sequences. If you change a
    sequence, you will also change the song section.
    ► Song sections do not record pads or keys actions.
    After watching tons of YT content (including the official BB page) and even loopop, I was unable to get an accurate description of how we're intended to sequence clips. My intuitive (and failed) approach was to create a song section, and then hit record and then tap out the clips. Because... well, this works in sequence mode. It won't work in Song mode, and the part of the manual I just quoted says why. Song mode relies *entirely* on sequences. Loopop's video sorta tackles that question but not explicitly. (It only demonstrates sequences.)

    After much futzing around this is what I've come up with, and I hope this will help people with this problem in the future. Its all good metadata management, as well as understanding a little better the default settings for sequences, and making sure the math aligns. After I figured out that I had to trigger my events via sequences, I then had learn that the sequencer settings needed to map better with the loop quantization settings back in the clip settings page.

    ===>AFTER YOU RECORD YOUR LOOPS AND GET THEM FITTING NICELY AS CLIPS<==
    • Make sure to set the quantize size for the clip. This is super important if you want this to work properly.
    • On the sequencer page, pick an empty sequence and tap "INFO-->INFO"
    • This is where you set up this particular sequence's quantizing information. If your longest loop is 4 bars pick "Step Len" 4 bars, and pick a step count that makes sense here for loops. For longer sequences choose longer step lengths. This right here is what makes the BB extra powerful, because with step length settings and step count settings, its possible to program all the drum loops you need ON ONE SEQUENCE PAD!
      • For a few of you that will be horrendously boring, but I'm using this as my DAW. I want to play with other synths while my drum loops bang out where they should go


  • #2
    Hi Industrialist,

    AFAIK, clips do not need to have the same bar length as a sequence. If you use clip pad’s toggle mode, you should indeed specify a clip pad with both bar length and sync set. This way, a sequence can play/stop a clip at any bar length. If sync is off, this won’t work properly.

    For a clip to be handled properly this way, do not forget that, either by using the hardware encoders in the pad step editor or by live pads to sequence recording, you can specify how long a clip stretches over a given sequence. There lies the hidden power of blackbox.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Georges View Post
      Hi Industrialist,

      AFAIK, clips do not need to have the same bar length as a sequence. If you use clip pad’s toggle mode, you should indeed specify a clip pad with both bar length and sync set. This way, a sequence can play/stop a clip at any bar length. If sync is off, this won’t work properly.
      I glossed over this. For my purposes yes, I was trying to get loops to map to my target track *dead on* with none of the automated pitch-shifting. For testing purposes I was trying to keep things as simple as possible--but because of that I learned that the sequencer resolution is very telescopic. Enough that I became quickly annoyed that song sections maxed at 32bars!

      The surprise here--is that if the sequencer settings align with the clip length settings, you can treat sequencer notes as on/off messages for bars.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1469.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.09 MB ID:	30634

      So here, I have several loops programmed to trigger only on note events. I realize that this would also work for non-clip samples, but this seems to be a great way to build songs in general. I realize that smaller sequences can be played in with the one-shots on the other pads. For loops that span several bars, this is very intuitive. It's not using clips quite properly but... in a moment you save me.

      Originally posted by Georges View Post
      For a clip to be handled properly this way, do not forget that, either by using the hardware encoders in the pad step editor or by live pads to sequence recording, you can specify how long a clip stretches over a given sequence. There lies the hidden power of blackbox.
      :-O :-O :-O
      Ah yes... this is even better. You've unlocked a feature I wasn't aware of yet. I didn't know I could do this. The section now looks like this:

      Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1470.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.25 MB ID:	30637

      Can you share whether or not you think I'm in the right ballpark as the desired way of arranging songs? My idea with the larger loops was to do this for multiple sections--to map out the basic song structure--and then use the other sequences for smaller parts and if available consolidate sequences to audio pads.

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      • #4
        Thank you for your feedback. If there is a feature that works better in sample mode than say in clip mode, what would avoid you from simply switching your clip sample mode? You lose the syncing and time-stretching but you gain other functionality.

        Song sections seem limited at first but AFAIR they are automatically glued together by blackbox: if you want to stretch a sequence of clips over several song sections, trigger the said sequence at every section and blackbox will play it back as if it were a single big section.
        Georges
        Senior Member
        Last edited by Georges; 01-14-2022, 03:20 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Georges View Post
          Thank you for your feedback. If there is a feature that works better in sample mode than say in clip mode, what would avoid you from simply switching your clip sample mode? You lose the syncing and time-stretching but you gain other functionality.
          What's the tradeoff between the two for loops? Offhand, all I can really come up with is that with loops we gain the ability to play up and down the keyboard while the BB is stopped? We also (obviously) gain the ability to treat the sample as a PCM sample but as I'm thinking purely about loops... I'm not smart enough I guess to think of a clever use here?

          Originally posted by Georges View Post
          Song sections seem limited at first but AFAIR they are automatically glued together by blackbox: if you want to stretch a sequence of clips over several song sections, trigger the said sequence at every section and blackbox will play it back as if it were a single big section.
          So if I understand this correctly, if I create a sequence that's timed in bars, and is 64bars, and I trigger it on bar 1... it will continue in the middle of the sequence as it transitions song sections from 32 to 33? Or does it start over from the beginning? (I'm at work right now.)

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          • #6
            Clip mode allows time-stretching and synching, while with sample mode you can select a subset of the loop, go for the various launch modes, play multiple instances differed in time, play in reverse, etc.

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