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Posted on Fri, Jul 24 2020 00:47
by Macker
Joined on Tue, Aug 21 2018, London, Posts 103

I appreciate this is probably already a somewhat vexed issue for the hard-pressed devs at VSL, and I'm sorry, but I really must add my request.

When using KeySwitches or Prog No for Dimension slot switching in the Synchron Player, there is a one-to-one mapping between slot number and MIDI Note No or Prog No. But for Dim Ctrl A thru H, the values of CCs are mapped proportionally across the full range 0 to 127, according to how many slots currently exist in the assigned Dimension. This is a nice touch aesthetically, but in practice can require shedloads of irksome extra work if the Dimension Tree is later modified. I'd very much prefer a simple mapping of one slot to one CC value, same as the slot-selection mapping for Prog No and MIDI Note Number.

So why don't I just use KeySwitch and/or Prog No to automate Slot selection? There's a very strong reason why not:– editing and reviewing the production would be banjaxed. I'm sure many other LPX users depend on Logic's MIDI Chase feature to bring MIDI Region automation immediately up to date whenever the Play Pointer is dropped somewhere different in the timeline and Play is started from there. For Chase to work comprehensively, there must of course be as many separate, independent and parallel automation controllers as there are automated parameters required to be instantly updatable by Chase.

Now in Synchron, although all the Dimensions in a big preset could in principle be automated using only KeySwitches and/or Prog Nos, the problem is that Chase grabs only the last recorded value of KeySwitch or Prog No to the left of the Play Pointer's position in a region. Thus a complex multi-dimensional Chased automation update may not be achievable with only Key and Prog. Synchron has taken us beyond those days.

Well that dreadfully long explanation says why I use only DimCtrl CCs for Dimension Slot selection. But because of the current CC-to-slot proportional-mapping scheme, I'm fearful of those heart-sinking moments when I realise I need extra slots in one or more Dimensions of a large Synchron preset. Then the chances are that I'm like, "nah, maybe later", or "maybe I don't really need it". Modifying a big dimension tree means my current automation may or may not lose its mapping to each Dimension slot, so I have to go through every slot in an altered Dimension, working out and setting new slot-selection CC values as and where required in my automation. With one-to-one mapping I can simply add new slots at the bottom, which does not affect any slot-automation mapping above it. Hence I'm much more likely to be motivated to get on and do the modification. If I subsequently drag slots up or down to rearrange them in a Dimension, I know I must then change my automation accordingly - no biggie.

May I suggest an option in Synchron Player Preferences for choosing either proportional (current scheme) or 1-to-1 mapping of slots to Dim Ctrl CC values.

Posted on Sat, Jul 25 2020 11:46
by Macker
Joined on Tue, Aug 21 2018, London, Posts 103

ADDENDUM

I take back my suggestion of a Preference option to choose between always-proportional or always 1-to-1, for the mapping scheme of Dim Ctrl CCs. It was a quick afterthought and obviously not considered properly; it doesn't take into account the XF feature of Dim Ctrl. My apologies for that slipshod moment.

Nevertheless I stand by my request above. One reason why I'm currently spending time in the forum is I'm suffering temporary burnout in modifying large Synchron presets along with their corresponding automation in a project. Seriously, it's a bit of a horror story and I'm also peeved because I'm convinced it should and could be a much simpler chore, way more slick than it is. I'll get over it and get back to work soon, and then no doubt I'll be steaming, grumping and cursing again.

The most substantial complication about this whole issue is of course that it's best by far for X-fade Dimensions to be controlled by full-scale proportional mapping to MIDI control; 1-to-1 mapping doesn't make sense in that use case. But the solution to my request (and I know some other users are concerned about this issue too) seems to lie in how these two different use cases are perceived, presented, managed and used: discrete slot switching versus X-fading across multiple articulations. I doubt if I'll ever regard them as the same sort of thing. But now I'll leave it there.

Wishing the very best for the entire VSL team and their business. Wien regiert!

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