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FR - Bank Select as discrete dimension selector
Last post Tue, Oct 27 2020 by Macker, 9 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Jul 12 2019 20:57
by richhickey
Joined on Wed, Nov 01 2017, Posts 52

Feature request - support Bank Select (CC0/CC32) as discrete dimension selectors

Synchron player is fun, but it seems like the control system is entirely too much optimized for humans fiddling with faders and keyswitches, i.e. live performance and recordings thereof.

Sequencing with SP, and especially doing notation expression maps, is a bear. A key problem is that several common dimensions (esp Articulation and Type) are logically discrete, not continuous. But the CC mapping system is only continuous, and is terrible at e.g. mapping a CC to a dimension with 7 values. How does that split up? We can't see, need to do math etc. Several people have asked for the discrete, settable CC splits we had in VIPro, but that can't work because the same CC is used for different counts (e.g. one articulation has 5 types, another has 7 types, another has 3 types, and they all must share a controller). Furthermore, if you do figure out how 128 divides by five, and later add another slot, all the numbers realign and your maps break.

Keyswitches are discrete, but they don't chase, pollute scores and pianos rolls etc. I want nothing to do with them. (If you like them fine, please don't fill this discussion with your thoughts on their superiority, this feature is for people that don't want to use keyswitches).

That leaves only program change as a discrete, chase-able dimension selector, and support for PC from hosts is mixed (looking at you Cubase/Dorico).

However, the MIDI spec clearly indicates that Bank Select CC0 (and its LSB partner, CC32) are intended for discrete control - selecting particular patches via particular values. I recommend you support CC0/32 as discrete selectors for dimensions.

What does that mean? It means if a dimension is assigned CC0, then CC0 value 0 selects the first slot (no matter how many there are), and CC0 value 1 selects the second slot etc. Ditto CC32. In this way everything is predictable, adding a slot doesn't break anything, accommodating different numbers of children for the artics is not a problem etc. There's no awkward math. And they'll chase. And they are well supported.

Yes, these won't work great with faders - but there are plenty of other CCs available. CC0/32 were never intended for faders/wheels etc. They were in fact intended for exactly the same problem as selecting Articulation+Type.

Adopting Bank Select (CC0/32) as discrete in addition to PC will give us 3 chase-able discrete controllers and greatly facilitate the creation of robust expression maps for sequencing and notation.

Please consider.

Thanks,

Rich

Posted on Fri, Jul 12 2019 23:19
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 315

Rich,

Do you work with REAPER as your DAW?  If so, the Reaticulate script does exactly what you're talking about and more.  It hijacks program changes and essentially uses them as "macros" that can deliver up to 16 forms of MIDI input, be they keyswitches, CC values, etc.  It turns any convoluted mess of keyswitches and CC values into a single button press that sits neatly in a CC lane, polluting nothing and keeping everything nice and organized.  It's under constant development and is, quite frankly, the greatest thing that has ever happened to my VST-dominated workflow.

Here's the link to the site with more info.

Highly, highly suggest it if you're a REAPER user.  It renders Synchron (and any sampler's) articulation selection complexity completely moot.

- Sam

Posted on Sat, Jul 13 2019 12:43
by richhickey
Joined on Wed, Nov 01 2017, Posts 52

Originally Posted by: Seventh Sam Go to Quoted Post

Do you work with REAPER as your DAW?  If so, the Reaticulate script does exactly what you're talking about and more. 

I don't use Reaper as my DAW, but I do use several other MIDI scripting tools like Logic's Scripter, BlueCat Plug'nScript, Bidule etc. In fact, I always have to use them with VI Pro in order to get it to do what I need.

But Synchron Player is new and they are still working on this next generation dimensional control scheme. I'd love for it to be more flexible and powerful, and thus require less or no scripting. Discrete treatment of certain/selected CCs is a generally useful capability. UACC's CC32 usage hinted at this but was obviously too specific to Spitfire (and broken by Kontakt's broken handling of CCs).

Tools like Reaticulate and Scripter are cool, but non-portable. And DAWs and notation programs have vastly different levels of support for VST/AU MIDI insert plugins.

VST/AU MIDI insert plugins (or integrated Lua MIDI scripting) would have been a great feature for VEP7, but alas they didn't take my suggestion :)

Posted on Sat, Jul 13 2019 15:28
by Seventh Sam
Joined on Sat, Dec 29 2018, Posts 315

You're right, of course; Reaticulate is a DAW-specific fix.  I heartily agree and +1 your suggestion for VSL to add CC0/32 as a dimension controller in Synchron Player.

As a whole, I think the dimension concept in Synchron Player is fantastic, but it hasn't reached its full potential yet.  The way to do so, in my opinion, is to add more dimension controller options (like you suggested) as well as patch level editing capabilities (round robin control, time stretching, etc.).  If VSL did that, SP could easily out-do every other sample player out there.

- Sam

Posted on Tue, Jul 16 2019 14:39
by V_ad_im
Joined on Fri, Feb 25 2011, Posts 130

Originally Posted by: richhickey Go to Quoted Post

Feature request - support Bank Select (CC0/CC32) as discrete dimension selectors



+1

Posted on Tue, Jul 16 2019 18:35
by edu
Joined on Tue, Aug 21 2007, Posts 18
Another possible solution (also more flexible) could be a sort of MIDI script integrated in VEPro. What do you think?
Eduardo
Posted on Sun, Oct 25 2020 20:46
by oschramme
Joined on Fri, Nov 29 2019, Posts 1
Quote:
Feature request - support Bank Select (CC0/CC32) as discrete dimension selectors

+1
Posted on Sun, Oct 25 2020 23:51
by civilization 3
Joined on Sat, May 16 2009, SF Bay Area, Posts 1818

CC0 as different than any other CC is a misconstruction as pertains to current day and control of soft instruments. In the early days of MIDI these terms were defined according to hardware and particular specifications in builds. Most/Least Significant Bite does not have any intrinsic meaning for most software instruments or the control of.

IE: Synchron Player is not built for bank control*, I don't think. 

EG: CC64 is often called a 'switch controller'. But if nothing is translating values from the hardware device (one will read "0 is off, 1-127 is down", which is true except when it totally isn't), it's simply a continuous controller which may be used in place of any other CC.
I once totally believed that CC64 was a switch, because of the old connotation and because Cubase used to force everything entered into a CC64 lane to two possible values, 0 or 127 to visually indicate Off/On. I just found an old thread where I asserted that; it's incorrect. And discussions ensue as to a fancier sus pedal which may exploit the continuous control. Also confer CC4 in e. drum kits as a variable controller say for the hihat cymbals; writing this data in the DAW will entail dividing 0-127 into four zones corresponding to what's in the drum software (the hard-wired aspect in the physical controller notwithstanding).

*: VSL would have a non-trivial job [making SP into that kind of receiver] on their hands methinks.

MacBook Pro 16,1: 2.3 GHz 8-core i9
64GB 2667MHz DDR4
OSX 10.15.7
VE Pro 7.1056, Cubase Pro 11.0.0
Posted on Tue, Oct 27 2020 12:35
by Macker
Joined on Tue, Aug 21 2018, London, Posts 356

Rich, speaking as one who has never preferred keyswitches, I've had to arrive (painfully) at an accommodation with the universe as it is right now. That is to say, I'm now using keyswitches to navigate around Synchron Player's Dimension trees.

Like you I use LPX. I have all keyswitch pitches suppressed in the Staff Styles editor - while of course they still show in the Piano Roll editor. And they chase perfectly well - once I've forced them all to join up as strict legato, using the Edit/Trim/Note End to Following Notes (Force Legato) command. However, I certainly do concede that these are extra and unwelcome chores compared to other ways of articulation switching. But that's how it is - for now.

I must say I'm more than a bit fed up with VSL's seemingly deeply entrenched positions on certain design issues. Having noted the deafening silence from Vienna on a few of these issues - this one included - I'm now learning not to waste time and energy fighting impossible fights with the Design Authority in Vienna. It's their reputation and the future of their business on the line, not mine.

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