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Maybe a bug: MIDI-activated sequences only start every second time

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  • Maybe a bug: MIDI-activated sequences only start every second time

    I'm really having trouble with this one.
    Steps to Reproduce:

    (1)
    - Have a couple of seqs in the SEQS view, none of them are active (no white frame)
    - Activate a seq by sending the corresponding MIDI note (ie. 61) - White bar appears
    - Press Start - Sequence is running as it should
    - Press Stop - All Sequences are deactivated again

    (2)
    - Activate the seq again by sending the corresponding MIDI note (ie. 61) - White bar appears
    - Press Start - Sequence is not started --> THIS IS WRONG, ISN'T IT?
    - Press Stop - All Sequences are deactivated again

    (3)
    - Activate the seq again by sending the corresponding MIDI note (ie. 61) - White bar appears
    - Press Start - Sequence is running again as it should
    - Press Stop - All Sequences are deactivated again

    Repeat (2) and (3) - The sequence is only played every second time.

    Can this be fixed? Or am I doing anything wrong? Any help is highly appreciated.

    Best Greetings from Munich, Michael

  • #2
    Hi dimjon,

    I'm not sure if I get you right. So basically sending a seq note just toggles the state of the sequence. So its normal, that the sequence will be played when you send the note once and turned off if you send it a second time. I am not sure if by "Press Stop - All Sequences are deactivated again" you mean they stop playing, or they are being deselected / reset. If you press stop (the end of step (1)) and then play again, so beginning step 2, without sending the note again, does the actual set of activated sequences really change?

    Normally it should not. If it does, then you may have recorded a set of sequences to the activated song section.

    Cheers,
    Dan Day


    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Dan Day, thanks for the quick reply! Sorry that my posting was ambiguous. I'm still having trouble with the terminology of the different SEQ-states.

      With "Press Stop" I meant pressing the physical STOP button on the BlackBox.

      In my example the SEQS are not active (no thin white frame).
      When I press the corresponding MIDI note they still play (little white progress bar, turning blue). When I press the physical STOP button, everything stops playing, and the progress bars disappear, so in order to make them play again I have to trigger them again with the MIDI note. The progress bars always reappear when doing this, but the SEQS actually only start playing every second try.

      Does this help? Thank you very much for your support.

      Michael.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well I am not an expert in terminology either. But we somehow have to agree on any terminology in order to "talk about the same thing".

        So when we call a sequence "active" it has a "thin white frame" if it is inactive it has no "thin white frame".
        A sequence is playing if it has a thin white frame and play is (has been) pressed.
        If stop is pressed, no sequence is played, no matter if it has a thin white frame ore not (is active or not)

        If you send a note for a sequence then its state (so active or inactive) is changed. So if it was active it will become inactive at the next quantization point and vice versa.
        If the device is stopped then the state will switch but nothing will be audible.
        If you press play all currently marked active (have thin white frame) sequences will start.
        If you have pressed stop and if you have a sequence that is active and you send a note for it it will then be turned to inactive and not be played when you press start.

        Can we agree on this?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Dan, I fully agree we need a good terminology in order to avoid misunderstandings. Thank you very much for your effort to make things clearer. So let me reply to your list:

          So when we call a sequence "active" it has a "thin white frame" if it is inactive it has no "thin white frame".
          - YES

          A sequence is playing if it has a thin white frame and play is (has been) pressed.
          - NO. A thin white frame is not necessarily visible if a sequence is playing. I also find this confusing, but if I send a MIDI note to start a SEQ it will only show the progress bar (white if waiting to play in Sync, blue if already playing), but no thin white frame around the SEQ. See foto for reference.

          If stop is pressed, no sequence is played, no matter if it has a thin white frame ore not (is active or not)
          - YES. Also, the "Active" state does not change, so an active SEQ stays active when STOP was pressed.

          If you send a note for a sequence then its state (so active or inactive) is changed. So if it was active it will become inactive at the next quantization point and vice versa.
          - NO. Only a progress bar appears. The "active" state does not change.

          If the device is stopped then the state will switch but nothing will be audible.
          - NO. The "active" state does not change when STOP is pressed. It just stops playing and the progress bar disappears.

          If you press play all currently marked active (have thin white frame) sequences will start.
          - YES.

          If you have pressed stop and if you have a sequence that is active and you send a note for it it will then be turned to inactive and not be played when you press start.
          - NO. It will stay active. The progress bar will appear. It will always be played when I press START.
          - BUT: if the SEQ is not active and I send a MIDI note, it will stay inactive, the progress bar will appear, but it will only play every second time when I press START.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi dimjon,

            I haven't played that much with triggering the seqs via midi. But when I did, most of the time I just have hit start once and toggled sequences on and off. That worked for me as expected. But since you where talking about "weird" behavior in conjunction with pressing play and stop and play I grabbed my Box and tried to reproduce what you where explaining.

            And yes, I can confirm, that you are not able to see if your sequence will be played when you press play. And also that every second time the sequence will not play.

            After some experiments I came to the following conclusions:
            - there seems to be a hidden state for sequences activated via midi note
            - it works the same way - hit once to activate - hit second to deactivate
            - additionally there seems to be some sort of queued command

            when you trigger the sequence in stopped mode, a toggle is queued and executed when you press start.
            If the sequence was active when stop was pressed, the queued toggle may deactivate the invisibly activated sequence.
            Interesting, if you not trigger the note and press play (nothing plays) and stop again, then trigger the note and press play it will play.
            So you need at least a short cycle of the sequence being not played (while playing) before it can resume at the next play/stop cycle.

            Looks to me as if "cleanup of states" when pressing stop could be improved.

            Do you really need to sequence sequences externally? If its life you can leave the unit playing, if its sequenced from a sequences you can sync the device up and control sequences with the song mode.

            Cheers,
            Dan Day

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Dan, thanks a lot for all the effort, I really appreciate it. And I'm also relieved that you can confirm the "weird" behaviour I was experiencing.

              Yes, a cleanup of states would be highly appreciated. While I was writing the previous reply I thought that the behaviour you were describing would probably make the most sense: When you trigger a SEQ with a MIDI note, it should toggle the active/inactive state, visible by the thin white frame. As this is what you get when operating the touchscreen with your fingers, instead of MIDI notes. Making a SEQ play without it being active is something I could only achieve with a MIDI note, so this is probably not the really intended behaviour?

              > Do you really need to sequence sequences externally?

              The thing is, we want to use the BlackBox in Live performances, to control a mechanical music machine (which works quite nicely! The BlackBox is an awesome device! If you're interested in the live setup, here's a short video of it: https://youtu.be/-pCjYRJv498?t=8 )

              But both of us are playing Guitars at the same time, so we use a foot pedal that sends out MIDI notes. No hands free for touchscreen operation. At the same time we want the flexibility to improvise during a song, doing breaks, longer or shorter solos etc. So a pre-scripted song-structure is only the second best solution. And as far as I know, you can not assign MIDI notes to SONG sections to achieve this, can you?

              Cheers, Michael / dimjon

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dimjon View Post
                The thing is, we want to use the BlackBox in Live performances, to control a mechanical music machine (which works quite nicely! The BlackBox is an awesome device! If you're interested in the live setup, here's a short video of it: https://youtu.be/-pCjYRJv498?t=8 )
                But both of us are playing Guitars at the same time, so we use a foot pedal that sends out MIDI notes. No hands free for touchscreen operation. At the same time we want the flexibility to improvise during a song, doing breaks, longer or shorter solos etc. So a pre-scripted song-structure is only the second best solution.
                I see, very nice video by the way!

                What I do not understand so far is why you cannot let the blackbox run through all the time. press play once and only activate sequences that you want to play when you want them to play. Why do you have to press stop during the performance?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you... :-)

                  The reason for Stop / Start is mainly for artistic breaks that are not supposed to be in sync. It's a detail and we could probably live without it, but because of this need I stumbled over this strange bahaviour and it drove me crazy because I couldn't figure out what was going on.

                  Now, after our very helpful conversation, I'm pretty sure it was not intended this way. So it's probably a bug and it might be helpful to have it recognized so it can be fixed in a future firmware version. After all, it seems like a litte state-machine mess-up that might not be too hard to fix, but might have side-effects in the future as well, so it should probably be fixed sometimes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dear BlackBox developers - did you notice this discussion? Is there a chance to get this bug fixed in a future firmware release? Thanks, Michael.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      thanks for reporting. This has been added to our bug database.

                      Comment

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