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BB as a drum machine expander

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  • BB as a drum machine expander

    hello BB fellowz !

    i bought the unit this afternoon... my first question is how to use the BB as i intended : a drum machine expander : ie playing / sequencing with the arturia DrumBrute, but with the sounds, the new sounds possibility that gives me the BB.

    with the drumbrute, i already used an old TR505 or a volca beat as expanders : theses machines were not "playing" but each pad / sound /instr. of the DB is, via midi, connected to one another sound. in fact arturia allows us to do this with the drum map, where i found the correct numbers / note/ pitch corresponding the volca or tr505 sounds. on the same midi channel, of course. i did the same thing with the beat step pro, on the drum seq.

    here on the BB, that is different : i can't find how to do this : on the same midi channel, each pad should respond to ONE and ONLY one note. my first attemps showed me that one DB pad was always triggering several sound, and that the drum map 's code is the pitch ???!!! (that makes sense, since the code is the note on a keyboard)

    in BB, how to consider a pad as a unique sound, you know like when with a sampler, you restrain the sound on ONLY one note ?

    maybe in the slicer mode, it would work technically, but that would be really not handy, and would be ruined by the 2 note polyphony (not great for a drum machine)

    bertrand / paris

    Attached Files

  • #2

    First, Set the MIDI Pads channel (TOOLS>MIDI In) to the desired channel. Do not set the MIDI channel at the pad level. Send MIDI notes 36-51 to trigger the blackbox pads at the original sample pitch. If you set the channel at the pad level, blackbox will pitch shift based on incoming MIDI note #, similar to setting the global MIDI Keys channel.

    Press INFO 2x then touch the MIDI page in the lower right corner. This menu offers a Pad Note parameter where you can set custom note #'s for each pad as opposed to using 36-51. This may help integrate with your existing setup.

    the 16 sequences can start/stop from external MIDI, too. use note #'s 52-67 for this.


    • #3
      WOW THANK YOU VERY MUCH STEVE... that's exactly what i was looking for ! BRAVO ! for drumbrute owner please note that if the BB grid is taken from above to up, and right to left, this are the corresponding note from the brute (of course 16 instruments maximum, the 17th will miss you ) :
      Attached Files
      Last edited by dertranb; 07-29-2020, 02:21 PM. Reason: my mistake


      • #4
        hi folks !

        ok, i can use the BB as an expander ! => drumbrute pads and or seqs (depending on the DB pref) trig samples/pads on the BB. i can hot swap prset, that's cool ! also i can play a multisample with an external keyboard in the same time, nice ! (or hit pads). BUT : 1/ when i want to record me playing keyboard pads/multi, BB is recording ALSO the midi notes from DB. that's a problem for me : i want to keep the main progrming on the DB, i find this more accessible. my question is how to filter midi channel in order to record in the BB seq ONE specific channel ONLY ? it interesting for me to perform and record additionnals beats, in addition with thoses created/ stored in the DB. i understand it would mean use différents pads (from those triggerd by the brute), on a specific (PERFORM AND / OR REC) midi channel... ALSO : 2/ because i could not record when the brute was playing the BB, i try a workaround ; i recorded with the DB stoped. but since the midi clock comes from the DB, without midi clock running, the BB is getting her own tempo, so this is very confusing : why does BB get back to her song tempo when no midi clock is running, instead of keeping last tempo ? (tools / midiin / clock source : midi port). other midi devices of mine keep last time midi clock tempo, even with no midi signal incoming (aka if the master clock has stopped)...

        bertrand / paris
        Last edited by dertranb; 07-31-2020, 09:51 AM.


        • #5
          Interesting issue. I was just testing this with a KeyStep Pro. It works well when you send only one MIDI track at a time into blackbox. The request to filter seems reasonable in this case. Thanks for suggesting.

          The blackbox has a set of rules it follows in regard to the clock. You can find this table on page 61 (I believe) of the current manual. Here are those rules:
          Name Description Priority
          Clock In Blackbox gets a Clock signal from an input to the Clock In jack on the back of the case. Blackbox expects a clock pulse signal with 4 pulses per quarter (PPQs), or a pulse per 16th note. 1
          MIDI Input via USB Device port When a MIDI signal is connected to the Device USB jack on the back of the case, blackbox will follow MIDI Start, Stop and Clock messages. 2
          MIDI Input via MIDI TRS In port When a MIDI signal is connected to the MIDI In TRS jack on the back of the case, blackbox will follow MIDI Start, Stop and Clock messages. 2
          Blackbox Internal Clock When no other clock input is provided, the blackbox will use its own internal clock. Set the BPM on the Song screen to adjust the clock speed. 3


          • #6
            thank you steve.

            yes the clock priority that i experienced is for sure something that some users need and like, and this priority system is very clever, but in my case not that great (as a workaround). in my dream => in the tools / rec menu (there is a free square), it could ask for omni (as it is) or channel x as a prefered recording channel, or BETTER, per pad : pad/midi : midi rec : yes or no, (and there is also a free square over there). or both, letting user to do omni except some pads linked to certain midi channel...

            anyway, thank for answering, steve, i could not tell if it was me who did not find a way, or if it comes from the BB design...



            • #7
              ok, now i've been trying to get a workflow with the BB as a drumbrute sound module / expander + one pad improvisation for some time now :

              there are a few things that would make this particular use easier :

              (sometimes theses can be whishes or may be bug or could be done in a way i don't know)

              in order to be able to play and rec one specific pad while other pads are triggered but not supposed to be recorded :
              1/ "/tools/midi in recording" option in the channel to be recorded : the bb should record omni OR channel x. (or per pad).
              (as my previous messages stated it)

              for live improvisation and global fine tuning :
              2/ a ALL PADS pitch total screen / ALL PADS filters total screen as in /fx ou /mix.

              for export and live improvisation :
              3 / 4 channel output level.

              export consistency and better mix :
              4 / what about this : the verb / delay FXS ability to be routed as pads (from 1L to 3R). AND to be mono, because, well : 1/less cpu (?) and 2/in order to meet the pad's channel format -mono or stereo- : if pad2 is routed in "out 1", his fxs should go in "out 1" (2 channel as well), if the pad3 is routed in "out 2 L", his fxs should be in "out 2 L" (only one channel).

              it's so strange that FXS are ALWAYS routed to OUT 1... whereas it could come from a mono sound that is routed in OUT 3 R ?!

              to be continued...

              Last edited by dertranb; 09-08-2020, 02:39 AM.


              • #8
                PAN AND FXS :

                also, f.y.i, i discovered (maybe it's in the manual, sorry if it is the case) that when using stereo sample/pad, if you route it to mono output, let's say OUT 3 R, you won't hear the R part of the sample, it's always the Left channel that is played though a mono output ; whichever mono output is selected... it's not "that" annoying, just a bit strange.

                and MORE : if a stereo sample is routed to a mono output, you won't hear the R part/channel of it, as i previously said : BUT when using fxs, this R part will be send to the FXS, thought the OUTPUT 1R !!!

                and ALSO : when playing a stereo sample on a 2 channel, let's say OUTPUT 2, the FXS will be routed as L's wet sound on OUTPUT 1L, and R's wet sound on OUTPUT 1R...

                theses panning oddities are not "that" annoying : but then i understand AT LAST why my export / mix / stems were so strange, LOL


                • #9
                  correct me if i'm wrong, but this may indicate that, well, the BB is planed, in a way, to use stereo-similar sounds/samples. i mean if the stereo differences (between the 2 channel) are very strong it can cause some little problems when routing or with fxs. and if it's mono as a one channel sound is, it would cause little problems too, because the 2 twos fxs use 2 channel with similar wet content... well well... it's a bit confusing...


                  • #10
                    very last thing about FXS :

                    well, since reverb/delay is often killing the cpu (BTW:it’s written in the manual), if one could shut off the fxs’ algo., in order to use theses 2 FXS as 2 "sends" :

                    1 - delay => no fx, same and only dry signal from the pad(s) fx volume, to be routed in output1L
                    2- reverb => no fx, same and only dry signal from pad(s) fx volume, to be routed in output 1R

                    send 1 = delay
                    return1 = output1L

                    send 2 = reverb
                    return 2 = output1R

                    and then i can feed (in a precise way) my external gear (pedal etc) from some nicely balanced sends from the BB output1L/1R.
                    and save my cpu !

                    and use better fxs on pads.


                    • #11
                      PAD TEMPLATE :

                      i tryied again to make pad template, and anyhow, there is always the VEL source velocity @ 40 %. and i have to shut down to 10% or 0, every time. i don't understand why this is the only parameter i can't override in a template... even if i save as a pad with NO velocity %, if i re load again, BAM velocity 40% !

                      (also : seems that i can't template the launchmode, too)
                      Last edited by dertranb; 09-13-2020, 07:46 AM.