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Trackbox : a tracker-type workflow on the Blackbox ? \o/ \O/ \o/

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  • Trackbox : a tracker-type workflow on the Blackbox ? \o/ \O/ \o/

    As you know, there is some kind of trend lately in music production market of alternatively using tracker-type workflows, mainly revived by software such as Renoise, or hardware such as the Polyend Tracker, NerdSEQ or the DirtyWave M8 ongoing project based on the port of Little Sound Dj Gameboy title.

    Now if you look at the Blackbox hardware, it does have everything need to implement a tracker :
    - relatively big screen

    - knobs to assign notes, events, fx and navigate the tracker table

    - necessary connectivity : audio, MIDI I/O and USB device/host ports

    - sdcard and sample playback/streaming/recording capabilities

    - classy and compact design with dark color which goes with the spirit.

    Two alternatives :

    - Add tracker workflow editor screen on SEQ and SONG modes on the existing Blackbox firmware :
    In SEQs, it could be made possible to switch to a tracker type screen that would include columns representing the 16 PAD's notes as well as some step parameters/FX.

    In SONG, we would also have a table representing the selected sequences for each section and as well as the number of iterations and follow-actions. This SONG screen can actually be commun to both current workflow and to be implemented tracker workflow, while keeping the ability to create the sections through song record mode as we currently do.

    - Create a separate alternative "Trackbox" firmware :
    This could be either a new fork based on the same base as the Blackbox or a port of one of the open-sourced tracker projects

    The firmware would keep cross-compatibility with the Blackbox hardware, though 1010music could also produce specific "Trackbox" branded hardware

    Depending on how the workflow is implemented, if labels were needed to be changed for the buttons, a faceplate could be produced for current users

    We could even imagine a Eurorack version of it though probably the tabletop version will reach a broader market

    Dual-boot between Blackbox and Trackbox firmware would be strongly appreciated in a separate firmware scenario.

    Business case considerations :

    I don't know how big this market is in the tabletop area, but considering I've been seeking to buy a Polyend Tracker for over 6 months (and I abandoned), and considering the traction DirtyWave's paid Patreon gets (I'm part of it), I understand it's big enough to put current participants in the market struggling to respond to the demand.

    As far as Eurorack world is concerned, there is only one player of my knowledge (NerdSEQ).

    Of course I don't believe trackers are the next big thing that would decimate everything, but still it is an option more and more considered by many producers to bring new sources of creativity by disrupting their workflow.

    It would also bring some cool more factor to the product and 1010music brand (not that it isn't already ! ).

    So maybe I'm dreaming, maybe it's the start of something, or even better, maybe 1010music didn't wait me to post that !

    Little challenge for Aaron :

    Anyway, be this all this dreams or not, if Doom could be ported a Blackbox in in a Thanksgiving day as I've heard from the rumor mill, maybe it's even easier to port the Little Sound Dj Gameboy game in an xMas or New Year day !

    This is where to start :
    Last edited by jayneural; 12-19-2020, 03:03 AM. Reason: minor refinements

  • #2
    Milkytracker would most likely be what would get ported over since it's opensource and has already been ported to a ton of available platforms including portable devices that are touchscreen based. This is all hypothetical as I doubt 1010 would port over any existing software to the Blackbox. I can't lie, a Tracker mode in the BB would be awesome!!
    Another good option would be Sunvox as it's also been ported to a bunch of platforms that run on minimal hardware specs and touchscreen UI input, but I don't think that's opensource at the moment.


    • jayneural
      jayneural commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Nuemerik.

      Aaron, the challenge also works with this code