Some Pyramid feature requests


#1

Hi all, first post. I’m wondering if a couple of relatively simple features could be added to the next firmware update. 1) As mentioned elsewhere, user definable scales, and 2) a note pass/repeat feature for the randomizer, where a negative value will reduce the probability of midi notes being sent, so that, for example, a hat line of solid 16th notes would be randomly thinned into a syncopated, non-repeating groove. Likewise, a positive value would increase the likelihood of notes repeating.

Thoughts?


#2

Don’t know about user-definable scales, as I’ve never had need for them (I don’t do anything outside of traditional western tunings). In terms of the note pass/repeat - well we’ve got half of that. The purpose of the Chance effect is exactly to define a probability that an event (e.g. note on) will occur on a given step. It will definitely give you the randomly thinned non-repeating groove you are referring to. Note that this is distinct from the Randomizer, which does not affect whether a programmed note will fire, but rather what pitch (or octave or velocity) that note will ultimately have.

However, I don’t think we have a probability-based note-repeat option, which is a real shame. As far as I know, the closest we can get to ratcheting is the Delay effect, which essentially mimics a traditional delay by simply re-sending every note at some interval with decaying velocity. In a way it is conceptually similar to ratcheting, in that it involves repeating MIDI events, but the result is sonically very different. And most importantly, it is not based on per-step probability. I wish we had this feature as well. But I’ve basically just accepted that if I want ratcheting, I have to decide exactly where and when and program it myself - which is pretty easy to do since the step resolution can be zoomed in quite a lot, allowing one to program very quick notes in rapid succession. But it takes manual, pre-meditated effort to build it into my sequences in precise places.

[EDIT] - I just realized that Live mode enables one to set the Smartpads to trigger note repeats, as well as a separate mode that allows one to define custom scales on-the-fly. These features sound promising, but the note repeat requires manually engaging a pad in Live mode to trigger repeats, it’s not probability based. And I’m not exactly sure how/if a custom scale defined in Live mode is reflected throughout the project or track, or just in the track with that smartpad defined.


#3

Thanks, I found the response regarding Chance to this query in another thread. However, the fact that you only use anything outside of tradition Western tunings, doesn’t mean that everyone should be limiting themselves in the same ways. There are lots of Eastern tunings that use multiple degrees of Western Chromatic tunings to achieve different, and often better aligned tunings with multiple instruments and voicings that are kind of crucial to achieving certain feel, like Indian Raags and such. Even traditional Western tunings outside of the Tempered tuning are neglected. Concert tunings are not available, which is annoying if you perform pieces with brass players.

Hermode Tuning is another thing I’ve mentioned in other places, and is something well worth looking into. http://www.hermode.com/index_en.html

Two other things: the ability to reroute one or more tracks into another so that multiple tracks can be processed by a track’s midi effects, and the ability for the Chance effect to be routed to other effects’ parameters as possible destinations.

I appreciate your taking the time and effort to think about and respond to these queries.


#4

just a note: scale ≠ tuning. it’s important to distinguish these two.
tuning system defines a set of tones derived from using some frequency intervals.
scales defines what tones from that set are used/allowed (or not) for making music. so, it’s possible to derive multiple scales based on certain tuning system. (e.g. major, minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor, etc. etc. etc. are all derived from 12 tones per octave set.)

so, if we’re talking about „user defined scales“, it has to be clarified what is meant: the ability to define an arbitrary set of tones and their ratios (which is harder to implement), or the ability to define what tones from certain set (e.g. from 12 western tones per octave) are allowed (which is a lot easier to implement).

i suspect that implementing the latter is not difficult at all.


#5

Microtuning have been discussed here and on the old forum. As much as I’d love to see it, it’s pretty unlikely to happen.
I make music in just intonation and have found that even using software and hardware made specifically for microtonal music, it’s exceedingly challenging to get various instruments microtuned to the same scales. If using pitch bends, timbres needs to be monophonic in order for it to work. on top of that, they need to be set to the right pitch bend range (not always adjustable on every instrument)… and if attempting polyphonic microtuning, things get much more complicated. usually involves sysex MTS or multichannel pitchbending of a multitimbral instrument. The Pyramid doesn’t do sysex, so that’s out, and the multitimbral thing is not an optimal way of doing things as it eats up midi channels (channel per voice) and rarely works properly from my experience.

If you need a sequencer that can send MTS (which only a few synths use) then perhaps hunt down a Circlon (there’s one on reverb right now for $3400 USD :neutral_face:)

I’d suggest using instruments that support microtuning locally, and/or a separate tuning brain like the H-Pi TBX1 / TBX2.
Yeah, it’s frustrating to have to go through and change tunings on each synth when you want to switch tunings (although some can do it through midi cc, such as the Preenfm2 - which by the way is a wonderful synth for microtonal music) but it’s been a lot more fun than wrestling with a bunch of synths that are stuck in equal temperament.

I too would love to see hermode tuning, but again… it’s highly unlikely to happen on the pyramid. The amount of programming to get that to work with different synths… no simple feat. Aside from the Access synths, I’m not aware of other hardware that intelligently tunes chords in real time. Only a handful of software instruments are clever enough to do hermode tuning (logic and alt-tuner)

I realize you’re probably not interested in a software solution, but Alt-Tuner is likely the closest thing to what you’re looking for… if you want to get into some weird microtonal, flexible tunings without waiting years for hardware to materialize, it might be what you’re looking for. You could perhaps run it on a tiny computer and hook it up to the pyramid.

http://www.tallkite.com/alt-tuner.html
or
https://hpi.zentral.zone/microsynth

if you do come across hardware that can do this, please report back!


#6

I’m actually referring to both the ability to define intervals and tonal alignment centers, as well as degrees. In the case of Hermode tuning, it’s and adaptive intonation system, so the tunings change as you play each note. The various modes of the diatonic major scale in a tempered tuning is indeed, easy. That’s not what I’m talking about. The fish I’m after is quite a bit bigger.


#7

I think my Q may send Hermode tuning from its step sequencer, I’ll have to double check.


#8

Waldorf Q? didn’t think those were microtuneable. I know the Microwave was, as is the Quantum.


#9

I’m almost positive I’ve seen it in the global menu, and an option to send tuning tables. And yes, the MW1 does this. Sounds SO GOOD!!


#10

Well I’ve read your response a few times now and I can’t find any actual questions in it, so I’m not sure which queries you are referring to here or what sort of reply you’re hoping for, but I’m going to give it my best anyway :grin:

First off,

Yeah, right on - I certainly don’t disagree with that. Never intended to imply that you should do things the way I do. I was just stating that I have no background or experience using micro tunings on this or any other sequencer, so I simply had no useful feedback on that subject. If you were trying to convince me that custom tunings are useful, consider me convinced. Not a difficult objective since I already knew they were important to some people, I just don’t happen to use them.

Those do sound like useful bits of functionality indeed. But was this intended as a question about whether or not these things are possible? Or some sort of feature request? Or just bringing up some cool feature that you already can do and that I should try? (Because if these things are currently possible, I’d love to know how to do them.)

To be clear - I am just a regular user responding to your question in a forum. I don’t work for Squarp or have any inside ability to steer their feature implementations. Was just trying to help by sharing what knowledge I have about part of your original post.

Cheers!
Ryan


#11

The query is all of those things. (Request for info from the community if there are already such facilities present that I overlooked, or to Squarp for implementation if they don’t.) The fact that the title states “request” implies the question. As I said, I’m grateful for your taking the time to respond, and your insight on the Randomizer and repeat tools. I hope the custom scales and tunings features, as well as track output to input rerouting idea draw sufficient interest to garner development in these areas of the OS.


#12

One other request: a melodic minor scale with correct ascending and descending interval arrangements.


#14

Just a reminder, Squarp doesn’t consider feature requests from the forum. Quoting pyraOS V3 FINAL RELEASE and https://squarp.net/pyraos:

For now on, and as a general rule for Hermod and Pyramid , every bug reports & suggestions must be sent here: squarp.net/contact


#15

Thank you for that info. I will send these queries to the provided address.


#16

As a follow up, I’m learning more about the Consolidate function and how it can be used to accomplish the captures I was after. The Chance routing to other functions is still a hope, and I have submitted that feature as well as some others through the Contact page. We’ll see what happens.