Hapax' questions befaore purchase decison

Hi there,
I have hesitated a lot, some time ago, for buying Hermod when I was more modular, then Pyramid and for some other reasons (not because I didn’t like them!) I didn’t get them.

I’m very interested by HAPAX.
I’d like to add new ways of composing.programming to my studio/performance work and HAPAX seems the one I need.

I’m also a max programmer & teacher. I know we/I can do whatever I want with Max, but here, I’d like to go almost dawless, eventually using the computer only for analyzing midi + signal flows for altering visuals only.
So this is why I often have an hybrid approach with multiple round trips between computer and external hardware. Generating bits somewhere for feeding something elsewhere… etc.

I read the manual as much carefully as I could by some questions remain…

I know and am sorry : it is dense.
I read threads, look at videos, but all of these items are not clear for me and some are quite decisive for my final decisions.

  1. is there a way to program sequences on a computer and to export them to feed the HAPAX ? (I mean, midi sequences import, or another more global way like creating a set of patterns generatively and feed the device)

  2. is there a sdk (or is it on roadmap) for creating our own fx ?

  3. I can see projects A and B workflow. It is very DJ workflow oriented. Is there a way to not use that and to have a BIG matrix of patterns ? Indeed, in most cases, I won’t want to transition between A & B as I would have to load song1 to 1, song2 to B, and at the end of the song1, load the Song3 to A, and at the end of song2, to load song4 to B etc. This could be overwork during live performance, EXCEPT if I can automate this.

  4. Can we have more than 8 patterns per track ? I read that we cannot. I can get the workaround like: I have 2 sets of 8 tracks (from 1 to 8, and same i/o for 9 to 16) and then I can have 16 patterns for each track

  5. Is there a limitation for the number of events in a project ? (I guess yes, no infinite memory, but I know 64Go RAM + storage unit of computer are totally enough for anything but what’s the thing here?)

  6. I’d use an external controller. I use to do static CCs assignation. For a track, for instance, I use 3 knobs only (filter fx, timing alteration, reverb, for instance). Across song, filters change. BUT I always have the same CC knob. I have a dynamic routing underneath (for instance, in Live, Racks are used. I have my macro1 for my filter. static assignation from controller to macro1. then automatic chain selection from a song to the other. so the macro alter the right filter for the right chain for the right song. Hope to be clear) : Can I do that here ? Can we have, per song, for each track the same assignation of a CC to a parameter ?

  7. Is there an “editor” way (computer?) to easily map all parameters we need for external controllers ? Is there a file for that per project, or at least a global assignation view on HAPAX screens ? And, last one, can we have assignation presets ? I mean, for instance, track1 first effect first parameter is always MIDI Channel 1 CC1, then second param CC2, then track 5, second fx 3rd paramter is always… I don’t know CC9. ? If everything I quote is impossible, what is the fastest way to do that ? I saw the opposite, for midi out with Instruments definitions (https://squarp.net/hapax/manual/modetrack#rJmhPai)

  8. Does a MIDI IN & OUT Chart exist ? I’d need to know how I can control HAPAX from outside. If I can control the midi loop point of patterns externally for instance.

  9. What can LFOs control ? Can we make internal LFO controlling internal parameters too ? I mean, MIDI Fx, loop points for patterns etc ?

  10. What data are saved on the card ? I mean, is it text, human-readable ? That could allow us to alter it (I guess this is binary, but as Instruments definition exist, could be text) More globally, how can we export/import data ? and what parts ? only most top level (projects ?), tracks (with patterns + definitions), patterns ?

  11. Can we copy & merge all midi data from all track to a “kind of” auxilliary track(s) for external monitoring purpose ? Actually, I’ll need to get midi note on, for instance, analyzed by a computer. Is that possible ? Or must we do the merge/trick at some other stage of this chain ?

  12. LOOOOONG Pattern. Is it possible ? I can imagine to time elastic a pattern, like 1/16th of the global tempo + using the biggest step number… but is this the way or is there a built-in way like using 512 bars for such patterns ?

  13. is there a roadmap somewhere ? I’m interested to know if Squarp will do new algos, midi fx, or give us a way to customize ours maybe :slight_smile:

  14. I read/heard about the freeze/crash bug. I know the others hardware of SQUARP are TOTALLY reliable, solid etc. Is there something special here ? Maybe this is the relatively early firmware.

I hope this is not too much.
I spent time studying HAPAX + digging a bit because it could really change some part of my workflow. I looked at some others like nerdseq + MIDI expander (totally different workflow and everything, I know). eloquencer too. Polyend too.

ANY answers, ideas, whatever would be great here.

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
Julien B.

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Hi Julien,

First of all, I know of your work, and it is outstanding!

Now to your questions:

  1. Not currently, but it is on our roadmap

  2. No, and I don’t see it happening

  3. It cannot be automated, but you can map several tracks to the same instrument, so you can use those 32 tracks to have more patterns on one instrument

  4. Currently not, but the workaround is correct

  5. Roughly 100 000 notes and 200 000 automation points, so unless you dabble in black midi, you should not have to worry about it

  6. To control a parameter of Hapax from a CC, you can use each track’s modmatrix. To send CCs out from Hapax in a ‘controller’ fashion, you can use the ASSIGN menu, and have 8 assignable knobs

  7. There is not. Currently the only way is to use the modmatrix, but the effects have to be created beforehand, you can’t pre-create a modulation for ‘effect 1’, before choosing an effect in that slot.

  8. Like said above, currently, there is no MIDI control of Hapax, apart from the modmatrix. Loop points cannot be controlled externally. We do have plans to add external MIDI control in the future.

  9. Yes, LFOs can modulate any midi message, and any FX parameter. They cannot control the loop points, however.

  10. Data is saved as binary, though you may catch some readable strings here and there. Project data is split into separate files, which contain events (notes.dat, drums.dat, automation.dat, mpe.dat), and the project data(project.dat), which stores everything else (track names, I/O, FXs, etc.). However, like said in bulletpoint 1., we do have plans for MIDI import/export.

  11. Not currently possible.

  12. The maximum pattern length is 32 bars of 4/4. You can use elasticity to half-time it.

  13. No

  14. Maybe this is the relatively early firmware

    Precisely. Hapax has grown much more stable in the latest releases.

Hope this was helpful enough.
Cheers,

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Hi @Thibault_Squarp from here,

thanks a lot for all your clear & precise answers for everything.
For sure it helps A LOT.

I’ll answer back to your email soon.
I’d like to backorder, read about September for delivery.

@Thibault_Squarp ,
longer answer.

3 / This part ‘seems’ to add one task more on stage. seems. Saying this because I didn’t test it yet, I’m sure. I mean, it is maybe not a problem. Actually, I’d need to know how fast it can switch and load.
This is something that could keep me busy finding the next project, loading it in the next Project to come at each Project end etc. I understand this is not automated, at the moment. But it can give me hesitations here

8 / Any ideas of the timing for this ? Do you have a “list” of what we could control using MIDI IN ? As far as I can use an external controller for altering more than one MIDI Fx parameters at the same time… from outside of HAPAX…that"s ok :slight_smile:

9 / When you write “LFOs can modulate any midi message”, what does it mean ? LFOs can alter MIDI messages on the fly ? (like replacing stored velocity, for instance ?)

10 / “Project data is split into separate files”, would you mind to give me a file ? I’d like to check how it is working.

11 / Would you have a way to grab potentially all midi data (supposing they are flowing to the “same” midi bus into my computer ? ADDING a question here: did the 4 midi outs get each one their own bus (meaning 16 channels per bus)

12 / long pattern… I have to figure out how to work around it. Actually, I just got : I can always have a pattern in a track that triggers a sample (long one, on octatrack for instance) and this pattern play only once and stop, and no more pattern triggered in that track… the sample play LOOONG. ok. Is is possible to play a pattern only once, not looped I mean ?

Thanks again :slight_smile:

I don’t work for Squarp, but can answer some of the questions:

Loading of projects is pretty quick (obviously depending on how complex the project is, obviously) and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the other project when you’re doing it (you can switch back to the other whilst it loads absolutely fine)

The projects are also displayed in Numerical/Alphabetical order, so you can name your projects 1, 2, 3, or A, B, C so you’re not digging around searching for stuff.

It doesn’t currently allow modulation of Velocity, but can modulate Pitchbend, Aftertouch, Program Change messages, plus any CC or NRPN. You can also use it to modulate any parameter of any other effect in the FX chain, including itself.

I am fairly certain the LFOs output ‘absolutes’ rather than modifying any other MIDI message (Aftertouch for example, won’t add the LFO value to whatever Aftertouch message is coming from the keyboard)

I’m not sure about this. There currently is no option to duplicate the MIDI output of a track to more than one output, so if you have a track going out of MIDI port A, then it is only going to be going out of that port, and won’t be able to be monitors from, for example, the USB output. However, from what I can see, in answer to your second question, you are correct, you get 16 MIDI tracks per bus/output (which is 6, really, 4 MIDI outputs, one USB Device (to your computer) and one USB Host (to any class compliant USB device)

There are conditional triggers per step as well (see here https://squarp.net/hapax/manual/modestep/#/Li1xuB) so you can set steps to run only every 4 loops, or even just on the first loop (which is then what you want in terms of non-looping). You can also set a note to have a length of Infinity, which is good for drones (basically plays the note until you change/mute the track) but could probably cater to your Octatrak needs?

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No

I doubt you’ll be able to make any sens of it, frankly. We wrote a fully custom (de)serializer to optimize for speed, rather than use JSON, CBOR, protobuf, etc. I’ll send you a project nonetheless, so you can have a look.

other questions were well answered by @Loz (thanks)

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BTW, this was a really handy thread for me to read through. Thanks for the questions and replies.

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