Step automation: confusing

I think I finally figured it out. Two hours of my life… because the UI for step automation is ummm, not good. This here to help others baffled by it:

In CC step-lock automation, The CC value shown on the main/DISP screens is NOT “the current CC value” (small print p.22 of manual). It’s the POTENTIAL, FUTURE value for the next automation step you might record. It’s just there to sow confusion, anxiety, and despair…

If you go through CC steps by repeatedly pressing “STEP”, the displayed CC value doesn’t update, unlike with notes. The real CC value of steps is never shown in text. You have to hold an active step pad and THEN you see the real automation value for that step, next to the “3” icon. That’s also the only sensible way to change it, with encoder 3. Otherwise you must first choose the new value (encoder 3 or hold-Velocity-turn-data-knob), then UNSET the target step and set it again. And don’t forget which one you wanted to change!

This is made worse because Mono Editing doesn’t work with CC messages, so if you’ve got multiple CC curves in the same track…

Finally: Pitchbend, Pressure, and Program Change are not CC messages. Just saying.

There is room for improvement, in the UI and/or manual, don’t you think?

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You can always use the DISP button to jump to the automation curve view. In there you can see all the values you’ve programmed per step, or the curves or lines you’ve drawn on the track pad…or both.

You can edit the values per step in this view too by holding down the pad for the step you want to automate and rotating the 3rd encoder. You’ll see the automation curve (or line) across all subsequent steps.

You can also edit multiple steps by holding down consequitive steps or setting a range with a brace by selecting the first and last step in the range you want to automate. You can do this in the step view you are using right now too. Can’t say for sure right now but that ought to place the automation on each step so the value will update as you step through your, um, steps with the, well, step button.

(This step button approach thing is very long winded, I’m not surprised it is frustrating you)

In the step view that you are using now, I suspect the value is not ‘updating’ because you are only seeing the last value you programmed. The values are not assigned per step unless you place them there. This will make more sense in the other view, when you place a CC all subsequent steps adhere to this until such time as you place another one which will govern all subsequent steps until you place another CC. But that does not neccesarily mean that that step has an appointed value, just that it is following the last prescribed step.

Now go forth and automate.

Good luck.

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the intended way to enter the current CC value is to hold velocity + main encoder, or velocity + pad…
or if you want to use encoder 3 , you need to turn off assign mode.

hold step + encoder 3 is just intended to change that step, as step lock automation - rather than change the current value

but yeah, its a little inconsistent with note mode, where step lock does change the current value.

that said, OS 3.0 has a bug (confirmed by Squarp when I reported it) with notes, where when you select a note, it displays it, and is supposed to use that value for the next step you enter but it doesn’t :slight_smile: (I think a 3.0 regression)
so perhaps you could report to Squarp (via email) that you believe when you select a step, it should make that step value the ‘active cc value’ so it can be used for the next step entry - perhaps they will see it as a bug (or inconsistency) and ‘fix it’

but also, like Jim, I tend to use the full display mode, as its much clearer what’s going on. as you can see the full range. (unlike the notes where I don’t find the piano roll that useful , as its not showing enough octaves)

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Hi Jim, thanks for your reply, but

You can always use the DISP button to jump to the automation curve view. In there you can see all the values you’ve programmed per step,

Nope. You can only see the curve/staircase, and the useless “last recorded” value at the top right, same as shown at bottom right of main screen. The requirement to hold a pad to see the real value is not consistent with the way it works with notes. In Note Stepmode, there’s no concept of a separate “last recorded/to-be-recorded” note value when you flip through recorded steps. It updates.

Pyramid is really great, but for CC step-lock automation editing of a long track with several curve/staircases and multiple value changes, it becomes preposterous, something like wacko typing. I realize it’s not a DAW, but if the real value of the current step was shown in both Step screens, it’d be much easier. Press step-step-step…, look at values, edit.

I agree it’s not great for long “tracks” with multiple elongated DAW style curves. But you know you can adjust the zoom to see more of the track over time in the automation view? Also, if you want to have multiple automation curves in one track over time I’d recommend putting them in patterns and triggering the patterns from different sequences as your song progresses. Much easier to manage in the small display if you just have one curve that corresponds to that particular part of your song.

When you are in that view if you hold down a step where you have a step automated Pyramid will show you the value in the 2nd half of the top row of the display.