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Wishlist / Thoughts: Michal Ho

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  • Wishlist / Thoughts: Michal Ho

    To start, the BlackBox is one of my favourite music machines, and already useful enough as it is.

    Nevertheless, after18 months I feel like its OS development could stop pandering to fringe requests like "unquantized" sequencing and auto-sampling.
    Even step probability is at best a generative gimmick, and not a really useful tool. I'd prefer 'play every 4th iteration', instead of '25% probability'.

    How about we return to functional production and live performance aspects?

    Here is a 'bad' list I posted in the Elektron forum a while ago:
    • lack of continuous internal modulation sources
      Presently, there is only note velocity.
    • beat count restrictions
      This affects the way samples longer than 128 bars are synced.
      We really should to be able to make a syncable clip from a 192 bar sample, 384 bars, 768 bars, etc!
      Tell me, if you know a workaround!
    • the slice looping bug
      In short: one of the most useful sample playback modes is partially broken:
      If I loop a grid slice, I want it to stay in time with its matrix.
      Fix the maths please!
    • lack of modulation targets: FX send 1&2 and ADSR.

    Thanks for reading, now go make a tune...

  • #2
    Update: A proposition to solve internal modulation.

    Give the VEL slider an option to send CC, with the ability to record the CC data into the sequence.
    A small icon or pixel would indicate there is modulation on the sequence.
    Editing of the CC data would be great, but deleting and re-recording automation would also work fine.

    The advantages are obvious:
    a) you have total freedom when applying modulation, you just need to work the slider.
    b) It's simpler than adding and implementing an LFO library or visual automation lanes with touch screen editing.

    My emphasis is on continuous control, as opposed to per-note locks.
    Per-note is already possible with velocity as a modulation source.
    The applications of CC automation are endless, but two come to mind immediately: step-less pitch modulation and filter sweeps (and in theory, FX sends and ADSR).

    As to the solutions already proposed, I believe the easiest solution would be a shapeable LFO at pad level, with options to sync the LFO, as well as retrigger the LFO when the pad is triggered.

    And thank you for listening, Aaron!
    Last edited by Michal Ho; 03-08-2021, 08:46 AM.


    • #3
      Think most would argue, unquantized recording is not a fringe request. Glad it was implemented. As for your suggestions I’m in agreement. Not much point in allowing super long samples and not being able to effectively sequence them. Seems like a no brainer on a box that’s main selling point is “streams long samples” so does any zoom multitrack!!! It’s sample control that’s needed


      • #4
        Thanks for chiming in!
        I know, a lot of people were clamoring for unquantized recording quite ruthlessly in this forum. Other requests drowned in the din.
        Which is why I am now adopting a somewhat "militant" stance against it.
        Personally, I still think it's unnecessary – you can solve micro-timing with start point offsets in the sample or increasing step resolution. Or get a MPC.
        But it's ok, it's here now. I never use it though...

        More control over long samples would definitely put the BB far ahead of the competition. (except Octatrack)
        It would facilitate things like:
        - generative audio installations,
        - DJing or hybrid live/Djing
        - structured, long backing tracks for any kind of performance (theatre, concerts, etc.)


        • #5
          Update: I take back what I said about auto-sampling. I’m using it quite extensively now.


          • #6
            Any source of modulation gets my vote.
            Traces by My Blue Extremes. Name your price on Bandcamp or listen on all streaming platforms.