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  • Preview Edition

    Just got mine yesterday and spent a couple of hours with it last night, it's wonderful! The workflow makes a lot of sense and I was able to figure out most things by just messing around with it. It did take me a little while to figure out how to save my project though I noticed some parts of the UI still need a bit of polish but I thought I'd post some stray thoughts I had while working with it here:

    1. When using sample looping on small sections of audio, "forward" looping can introduces clicks and pops at the loop points. It would be cool to allow auto-snapping to zero points in the wave to mitigate this (I think some elektron samplers do this). On the other hand simply using "bi-directional" looping solved this nicely.

    2. Re-pitching samples works great, I really enjoyed recording polyphonic parts with just one re-pitched bass sample. I noticed however that if I re-pitched a sample too high it would create really loud unpredictable sounds which I'm not sure is particularly intentional or even useful.

    3. I happily connected my Arturia Keystep directly via usb with no problems. It's incredibly useful that the blackbox is a usb host because now I don't need to use a separate power adapter for my keyboard Most of the transport controls on my keyboard worked ok but I was really hoping I could press the record button on it to enable recording on the blackbox, it would have made things much smoother. I also noticed some issues with the clock syncing sometimes but in general it was working as long as I didn't change the tempo too rapidly.

    4. I couldn't find a tempo setting on the blackbox but maybe that's on me?

    5. I also tried connecting an Akai MPKmini mkii keyboard to try and use the pads. Unfortunately I was only able to access the bottom and top-middle row of samples I guess due to the pad mapping. I didn't look much further into this since I figured my mpk was just set up wrong or something. In the end I just decided to play samples using the keyboard.

    6. The variable pattern length feature is super useful but one of the first things I tried was to set one 16 step loop and a second 21 step loop to try and get some kind of morphing pattern. Unfortunately I found that the second loop wouldn't restart as soon as it ended so it didn't end up phasing like I expected. Maybe I did something wrong here? Curious if this is possible.

    Overall I'm really happy with it, it was really fun and easy to jam with and the form factor is just killer! This easily replaces the other samplers I was using in my setup, especially due to the flexible sequencing and polyphonic sampling. Great work!

  • #2
    Thanks so much for the great feedback. I logged a couple of bugs and feature requests in response to your comments.

    The tempo setting is on the Song screen. Push Song, then turn the top left knob. the number below the measure counter will reflect the change in BPM.

    Regarding the MPKmini, we are still learning how various devices work with blackbox. I'll check with Aaron and see if we have one of those and can offer any guidance.

    Regarding number 6 above, did you try adjusting the quant size on the smaller loop? It's on the second parameters page for the sequence.

    I'm so happy you like it. :-)

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    • #3
      Thanks Christine! Yea I figured the tempo was in there somewhere ha. I'll give number 6 another try, my first attempt was basically immediately after I picked it up so there a very good chance I was just confused about what was going on.

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      • #4
        Got mine last night and it's wondrous! Easily replaces so many things all at once in my setup. I have lots of testing/playing to do but one thing right off I'd love to try is hooking up my midi fighter twister and using the encoders to control the volume and pan of each cell. I'm sure this is possible but can't find the right combo of CC's to address each cell. Is there a list somewhere I've missed? I can't wait to see where you take this as it's already a winner from my perspective!!!! Well Done

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Quasimonastic View Post
          Got mine last night and it's wondrous! Easily replaces so many things all at once in my setup. I have lots of testing/playing to do but one thing right off I'd love to try is hooking up my midi fighter twister and using the encoders to control the volume and pan of each cell. I'm sure this is possible but can't find the right combo of CC's to address each cell. Is there a list somewhere I've missed? I can't wait to see where you take this as it's already a winner from my perspective!!!! Well Done
          Thanks for letting us know. We are glad you enjoy it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Quasimonastic View Post
            Got mine last night and it's wondrous! Easily replaces so many things all at once in my setup. I have lots of testing/playing to do but one thing right off I'd love to try is hooking up my midi fighter twister and using the encoders to control the volume and pan of each cell. I'm sure this is possible but can't find the right combo of CC's to address each cell. Is there a list somewhere I've missed? I can't wait to see where you take this as it's already a winner from my perspective!!!! Well Done
            Here's an excerpt from the User Manual (that is still a work in progress) that might help:

            Blackbox allows you to modify the values of Pad parameters over time by use of internal or external signals. For example, you can use MIDI Velocity to control the Level of a Pad, or the MIDI Mod Wheel to vary the pitch. You can use a Trigger to control which slice of a Slicer Pad will be played on the next note event. The parameter tables in this document indicate which parameters can be used as Modulation Targets. On the Pads parameter screens you can easily identify the Modulation Targets by the three black boxes that appear below them. You can use up to three different signal sources to modulate each parameter. The same signal can be used to modulate multiple parameters.
            To configure modulation for a parameter:
            1. From the Pads screen, touch the Pad you want to modulate.
            2. Push INFOuntil you see the MIDI parameter. Select a MIDI channel to be used to modulate this pad.
            3. Push INFOuntil you see the parameter you want to modulate.
            4. Touch one of the three black boxes below the parameter to display the Modulation Parameters screen.
            5. Use the Control Knobs to select a value for the Source parameter. This parameter specifies which signal will be used to control this parameter. Available values are:
            • None – no modulation source will be used.
            • TRIG – any input that is used to trigger a Pad, such as touch, sequence or MIDI Note. This only works with Slice Selection.
            • VEL – MIDI Velocity or the Velocity slider on the Pads screen. This is note specific.
            • PTCH – MIDI pitch bend signal
            • MODW – MIDI Mod Wheel
            • MVOL – MIDI Volume
            • MPAN – MIDI Pan
            • Use the Control Knobs to select the Amountof modulation that will be applied. This is used to increase or decrease the amount of impact the modulation will have on this parameter. This parameter does not apply to Slice Seqmodulation.
            Note:
            • Modulation targets are only impacted by MIDI modulation signals received on the MIDI channel mapped directly to the pad.
            • Modulation signals received on the Global MIDI channel will not modulate pads. You must map a pad to a specific MIDI channel in order for the modulation to be applied to that pad.
            • Modulation is currently only available for Pad parameters. Sequence parameters cannot be modulated.

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            • #7
              Thanks so much Christine! I give this a whirl tonight.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tomjfiset View Post
                3. I happily connected my Arturia Keystep directly via usb with no problems. It's incredibly useful that the blackbox is a usb host because now I don't need to use a separate power adapter for my keyboard Most of the transport controls on my keyboard worked ok but I was really hoping I could press the record button on it to enable recording on the blackbox, it would have made things much smoother. I also noticed some issues with the clock syncing sometimes but in general it was working as long as I didn't change the tempo too rapidly.
                Aaron and I looked at the MIDI signal generated by the Arturia Keystep when you press Record. It's not a standard MIDI command. We also scanned the MIDI spec and couldn't find a MIDI Message that is used to signal Record. Therefore, we don't expect to find consistency between manufacturers or products regarding what message is used for Record. As a result, we will not be support the Record button the Arturia Keystep at this time. Perhaps we can revisit this in the future when we are ready to support more custom controls. Right now, we need to focus on the more universal features. I hope you can understand that.

                I also spoke to Aaron about the blackbox keeping up with rapidly changing tempo changes. He said the behavior you are seeing is by design. We needed to make a choice about how frequently to respond to tempo changes. We decided to keep the experience smoother.

                Thanks for all the great feedback!


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                • #9
                  Ah great to know, yea I totally understand focusing on universal features since there's no standard cc for it I wouldn't bother.

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