P-locks could follow Drambo's sequencer step "Offset" timing

Drambo's sequencer step "Offset" value currently does not appear to be accounted for by P-Locks. In other words, the exact timing of P-Locks appears to be forced onto the grid (typically quantized 1/16th) even if steps aren't forced onto the grid unless the user chooses to by activating the SNAP function.

For this reason I'm making the suggestion to change this behaviour to enable Drambo to take step offsets into account for defining the exact timing of a P-Locked sequencer automation event.

As a Digitone/Digitakt user, for over 4 years I've made music exclusively with these machines and I'm extremely reliant on Elektron's sequencers parameter locking functionalities. I was extremely pleasantly surprised not only by Drambo's automation flexibility and ease of use, but also by the fact that Drambo includes P-Locking functionality.

For the kind of music I make, nudging notes off of the grid is absolutely vital to create a targeted swinging feel without the limiting implications of having to use a sequencer wide swing function. As a result, I want to be able to use P-Locking on these offset steps in a hassle-free manner as much as possible (I mean... who wouldn't lol).

It would be awesome if P-Locking parameters could respect step timing offsets so that the sound produced on a P-Locked step remains the same as much as possible regardless of the timing of the step in relation to the grid.

For what follows, I'm not sure if this is by design or a necessary behaviour due to technical limitations, (so I'm also asking if anybody knows):

In instances where I intend to P-Lock something like a filter cutoff on a step that is quantized to the grid where I intend to abruptly open the filter, I'm perceiving what I believed is referred to as "smoothing" in the transition between the 2 distinct cutoff values, instead of a relatively abrupt value switch. In the test I ran with Fabfilter Twin 3, this behaviour seems to create the impression of a sound affected by a filter envelope with a slower attack when the filter is opening, instead of a snappy change in the tone of the sound.

If this is "smoothing" behaviour is purely by design and not forced by a technical limitation, I have a second suggestion:

It would be awesome to have the option of controlling the smoothing value (with the intention of reducing the smoothing value as much as possible without unwanted side effects) for the behaviour of P-Lock automations. This would allow for much snappier, abrupt parameter value transition, which I find very useful.


  • Have not checked in-depth yet but the step-components can be re-arranged so maybe moving the p-lock module to be after the note/offset module would push it forward to match the offset?!

  • About 1: Good point, I'd vote for p-locks respecting offsets drawn as bars in step sequencer as well because only in the offset bars view, you define offsets affecting all notes on that step.

    About 2: Doesn't happen when p-locking Drambo's excellent filters 😉

    If you experience smoothing then it seems to happen in Twin 3.

    @samu That won't work because offset is a note property, independent from p-locks.

  • DT & DNK user here as well btw 😊

  • @rs2000 Ok, in that case I vote for P-Locks respecting 'step offsets' as that makes most musical sense.

  • @rs2000 I agree with "About 1:" as well, however I think it gets relatively tricky to achieve even though it's probably doable. I didn't want to mention it in my initial post because I thought it might be too complicated but, now that you bring it up:

    If you live record without quantization and play a chord, there will be a natural distinct offset for each note on a given step relatively to the grid of course. From a musical sense, my take on how the sequencer should behave in case the user adds a P-Lock to that step is simply to have the P-Lock timing follow the timing of the note that comes earliest in the group of notes played.

    On a side note: I did notice that while I'm in the "Offset" edit menu, if I move the offset of a given step containing an unquantized chord hit it auto snaps all notes contained in the step to the same offset value (hence destroying some timing information), which I personally don't like as it destroys the intricacy of how that particular chord sounds.

    I do recognize though that since we have access to a Piano Roll view, this behaviour can be circumvented while overall giving the user access to both behaviours, which allows things to remain functional in my view. Even with that in mind though, it feels a little clunky to me as I have to admit that the dream of having the hybrid power of Piano Roll View + polyphonic step seamless editing is seriously alluring to me and Drambo is so incredibly close to have achieved that to perfection, which to my knowledge no one else has ever achieved. It's a pretty big accomplishment by Drambo's devs for sure and Kudos to them for that.

    On what you said in "About 2:" thank you for the information, and you are right, at a first glance Drambo's built in filters instantly WOWed me the first time I heard them, I even remember saying they were amazing out loud.

    Awesome lol, Digitone KEYS even! a rare bird indeed! I'm envious of the added functionality it gives but the way I currently see it is that it'd be both a blessing and a curse if I was to have one because of how much desk real estate it would occupy and it would make having the Digitone to the left of my iPad (as my center piece) impossible. I'm curious to have your take on this.

    Cheers 😊

  • The good thing with the Keys version is that it's not deep at all and leaves enough desk space for putting iPad, Volca FM2, blofeld and other toys behind it 😉

    So it's DT left, DNK right in front of me.

    Yeah, it took me a while until I became interested in the Digitone, in the end it was the quick control and access to synth parameters plus 8-voice polyphonic MIDI tracks that made me want it.

    And I always liked the Keys format, it's really built like a tank, an incredibly heavy beast!

    It might also serve as the keyboard for my Wavestate soon because it has aftertouch which the Wavestate doesn't.

  • @rs2000 Gotcha. I'm met with a similar situation when I want to add my Keystep (not the 37 version) to the equation. One thing I found to be great about that controller is that the unit is sufficiently thin and HAS NO KNOBS on more than 50% of its surface, so I can partially rest the lower section of my iPad in landscape mode right on that empty Keystep surface, while the top section of my iPad is supported and over elevated by an ESR Folio style case setup. This allows me to still keep the iPad as my center piece and still use it as a midi controller... which gives me the flexibility of having an isomorphic control surface and physical piano keys at the same time.

    The Keystep is not perfect (I wish the aftertouch would be easier to engage as it would feel more musical), BUT it's still amazing overall for the level of flexibility that it enables.

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