BIPOLAR step OFFSET adjustments to dramatically improve the step sequencer in unquantized use cases

This is a suggestion to include BIPOLAR step OFFSET adjustments to dramatically improve the step sequencer's usability for unquantized recording use cases.

Now that I've had more time to experience the intricacies of the hybrid step sequencer / PRV design, I realize there is a very significant problem with the way the system is currently implemented:

Traditionally when a user interacts with a classic step sequencer (think 808), the user is typically content with midi events that are either lined up with the grid, or late relatively to the grid. In that sense, the current way Drambo step sequencer is implemented does the job


Because Drambo offers UNQUANTIZED live recording playback in the context of a step sequencer, what inevitably happens is that some notes played live by the user will be EARLY in relation to the grid. Because steps currently do not offer bipolar OFFSET adjustments, the implication is that any "early" event in relation to the grid will be assigned to a previous step entirely with a near maximum offset value!

From a "music making" conceptual logic standpoint, it doesn't make sense musically for a user to have to account for the technicality that a note is not "in time" just because it came in 10ms before the beat (for example) and therefore belongs to a separate earlier step entirely.

Despite the fact that a sequence I organically played live might sound good musically,

it unfortunately becomes a chore to use the step sequencer in unquantized recording use cases because I find myself constantly copy pasting steps and destroying offset data just so that I can "rectify" things

and get the sequencer to present data visually in a way where I can understand the "timing" logic of the step data that I'm seeing so that I can then manipulate that data in a musical/logically comprehensible way with copy/pastes etc.

This issue is a direct consequence of the current unipolar step OFFSET adjustment design.

Elektron machines offer bipolar step offset adjustment AND live recording capabilities, and it can clearly be experienced by contrast that it resolves the issue completely. Their sequencer is however more limited in some aspects compared to Drambo which offers a fully featured polyphonic sequencer with a much higher resolution similar to what someone would expect to find in a DAW Piano Roll view sequencer.

I think it's evident that switching to a bipolar step OFFSET design is the right approach, otherwise there really isn't any point to being able to access the PRV and the step sequencer in parallel if the hybrid system is impractical to use, which sadly it currently is for unquantized recording use cases.



  • I don’t use step offset but I can see why it should be included.

    On a similar note, I think there should be a quantise amount slider in the transport section. Record unquantised and use the MIDI mappable slider to bring the note events closer to grid.

  • edited December 2023

    100% agree on the usefulness of a quantize strength slider. With that said because it fundamentally involves the implementation of non-destructive editing I'm under the impression that the technical implications of adding such a feature would be quite massive, and it might not be the most "high return on investment" thing to develop for now compared to other stuff that's actually critical, such as:

    1. Having functional MIDI mutes when using Drambo in a MIDI track in AUM to sequence other AUv3s (which has the benefit of allowing the user to take advantage of AUM's latency compensation features whereas Drambo doesn't offer it for now I believe) and would make Drambo the ONLY AUv3 sequencer application I'm aware of that successfully offers MIDI mutes in a convenient Interface. (For now Mute buttons just don't work in Drambo and MIDI data still makes it to the external AUv3s corresponding to the relevant MIDI channels associated to Drambo's tracks).
    2. Obviously having BIPOLAR OFFSET implemented instead of the current UNIPOLAR design.
    3. Having a note Audition ON/OFF toggle for programming steps without triggering unwanted audio.
    4. Having P-locks be actually aligned with the step OFFSET value instead of being locked to the grid, as P-LOCKED steps currently sound different depending on how OFFSET-ed they are, which obviously isn't desirable musically.

    On my Elektron Digitakt/Digitone I'm the kind of user who likes to control the micro-timing (OFFSET) of every note that plays a "critical" role in defining an "organic" swinging groove, and because the resolution on these sequencers is relatively granular, it makes the micro adjustment process very predictable in terms of button pushes and therefore relatively quick...

    All that to say: I haven't used the "gradual" quantize feature (or any quantize feature) even ONCE in 4 years, but I see Ricky Tinez on Youtube (who now works at Elektron) use the quantize strength knob non stop, so I know it's just a matter of habit and user preference and people would definitely use such a feature.

    Cheers! 😄

  • edited December 2023

    Ah yes @groovegcs I totally understand the difficulties in implementing some ideas. Often when I put them to @giku he makes me realise what they involve and how it affects other subsystems in Drambo and what side issues they may create.

  • edited December 2023

    @supadom Not to completely change the subject, but on a super strange note today I just purchased Jim Audio's Pure Acid AND more importantly Groove Rider GR-16 while it's heavily discounted. Through testing I just came to the conclusion that these apps are absolutely S Tier.

    I somehow came across a comment you made regarding this app in a conversation on this forum back in 2021 explaining how you had deleted most of your apps after starting to use Drambo because of their limitations in comparison etc.

    I thought the coincidence was so funny in the context of what we were discussing here because even though GR-16 was released back in late 2017 I believe, it turns out it offers:

    1. Bipolar offset adjustments
    2. Swing
    3. Live unquantized recording
    4. Mini piano roll visualization of sequence
    5. Limited to 4 notes polyphony PER step (but steps audio can overlap, global polyphony is much higher)
    6. CPU ultra efficient
    7. up to 8 bar pattern length
    8. 16 midi tracks
    9. Flexible muting options (super useful for musicality, especially in live situations)
    10. Sample playback with per-track insert effect (ultra high quality simplified effects)
    11. EG amp envelope control
    12. Silent "part" (track) sound selection capability when holding the "TRIGGER" button while taping a pad
    13. Multi-out capabilities
    14. Available as a MIDI AUv3
    15. CONDITIONAL trigs!

    The list goes on it's insane... In all honesty I needed to share this information because it feels like I just stumbled upon a GOLD MINE with this developer.

    I was also AMAZED by the audio quality of BOTH of his apps... That guy is literally a LEGEND!


  • @groovegcs Regarding GR-16, it has close to perfect support for the Novation LaunchPadPro Mk 3

    The video is old but the update has been out for a while…

  • edited December 2023

    Glad you’re enjoying your purchase.

    To me It isn’t as much about the lack of this or that feature but mostly the flexibility to edit components on a modular/granular level.

    At this point it’s also very much about muscle memory. While most, for better or worse, satisfy their need for wonder, scratch the gas itch and go through shopping therapy, I’m happy to just ride, what feels like my own ship, warts and all.

    So I totally get it, and I’m sure you’re right but it is mostly the learning of a new app that holds me back. I see it as a blessing though and got used to the resulting FOMO feeling. 😇

    Did I mention the great relationship with the developer as well as the beta team?

    It’s a Drambo full package baby! Warm feeling inside etc.

    (he’s quietly off to check the Grooverider in the AppStore)

    So I didn’t tap the ‘buy’ button. Why? I’ve been enjoying building one knob effect units that save me a lot of controller real estate and are a lot of fun to use when jamming.

    I could probably host Drambo in GR 16 but then we’re kind of back to square one 😛

  • @samu Hello sir! I evidently came across your connection with Jim while searching the corners of the internet (lol) as I was trying to get a sense of whether the app was worth it or not! I knew Pure Acid was unbelievable in terms of sound quality, but I had no idea if GR-16 was worthy because of how long ago it came out.

    While I have no intention of spending 517 CAD$ on a Novation launchpad, what Jim did with the implementation definitely wowed me - I just need an immense amount of time to crunch all that I've got on my plate in terms of technological exploration before I could get to a point where I would even consider a move like this.

    On a side note, - don't judge me! - I gave up and also bought Poison 202 (zero regrets - that man is a straight up genius)

    Keep in mind that while I had been making music on my iPhone with Nanostudio since somewhere around 2008-2010, I only became an iPad user (with the strict intention of using it as a musical tool as I'm not a fan of Apple's ethos) as of November 24 2023. I did start to plan for what I was going to do as early as November 10 though.

    @supadom man I hear you! The amount of app research I ended up doing over the course of the last 47 days or so is just insane... I definitely feel like the fear of missing out was something I'm wrestling with throughout this ongoing process, but in the end I had to trust in my discernment and accept that that even if I was inevitably bound to make purchase mistakes, at least the monetary implications would not be dramatic.

    My rationale for being rather "liberal" (everything is relative of course) with my app purchase decisions is simply a matter of cost compared to hardware equipment. Literally for LESS than the cost of an Octatrack, if you time your purchases right you can pretty much get the cream of the crop of everything that's on offer on iPadOS and have unmatched connectivity with modern Elektron machines (Digitakt/Digitone especially) ... to me such a scenario represents the pinnacle of music making technology today.

    As I probably already mentioned elsewhere on the forum I had been making music exclusively with a Digitakt/Digitone combo over the last 4 years at least. I have a profound appreciation and understanding of the immense value of having a focused approach when interacting with technology in the context of making music. In my experience, being disciplined and setting clear limits as to the tools I use is when true learning/progress happens.

    I could go on and on with all this but I'll simply end with this:

    In order for any music tool purchase to make any sense, it needs to come with a mindset of discipline and determination to study the tools. The problem is that the more tools a person adds to their toolkit, the more taxing the energy/time investment becomes. If one over-does the "all work no play" when it comes to acquiring new technology while delaying the moment where the tools actually end up being used to make music, everything can backfire and the motivation/enjoyment of making music can get seriously damaged. I will always respect someone's decision to set their own limit regarding the tools they want to use. Buuuuuuuut....

    Get all Jim Audio's apps they're mind-blowing and ultra affordable at the moment!!!!


  • Groove Rider is a piece of art indeed. And still one of the few apps that run rock solid with MIDI Clock.

  • @groovegcs No one will ever be judged for getting Poison-202. It's still after all these years one of my go-to's when I'm in tweak mood...

    ...Poison-202 also due for a quick fix update (no ETA but 'soon') to sort a few things regarding zoom and knob automation in LogicPro for iPad...

    And who knows there might be other surprises in store for 2024 but that's a story for another day...


  • edited December 2023

    @rs2000 Reading that literally warms my heart lol!

    @samu Awesome! I've only had the chance to test it out for a while yesterday night, and immediately one thing that caught my attention that I enjoyed doing is leaving the balance entirely on OSC 1 and tweaking OSC 2 and its AMP envelope (with zero volume obviously) while the cross mod, ring and/or sync are active.

    I also have a Waldorf Pulse 2 and that cross mod "action" is one of my go to moves for extracting complex tones that have some degree of resemblance to FM synthesis out of analog synths... Since I'm literally obsessed with FM that's a good thing 😄

    I've been delaying Nambu and ButterSynth so far, but when the time is right I don't see myself having much of a chance to resist these either.

    I know I'm all over the place name dropping all these apps but whatever - in my mind they're all connected lol!

    If a day ever comes where Simon Mattisson aka "Ess" (the genius behind the Digitone) who used to work at Elektron and who now has his own company "Fors" decides to bring Opal (one of his fm instrument GEMS for Max4Live) to iPad... That day a dream would have become a reality. In the meantime I'll keep asking the universe to please keep sending all the dev talent of the world over to the iOS music making community 🤗

    If you guys have never heard of Fors Opal, this REALLY is something you don't want to ignore, especially if there's an iOS dev looking for inspiration who by some sort of miracle ends up reading this. As to the rest of us mere mortals, be warned that frustration might ensue at the sight of such potential... not being leveraged on iOS!

  • edited December 2023

    @groovegcs is the Opal entirely FM synthesis?...

    I've just looked it up.

    Very cool.

    I may have a go at designing something along those lines in dRambo.

    Here's one of my early almost pure dRambo pieces.

    It's entirely FM synthesis.

  • edited December 2023

    @gravitas It's more than FM!

    There's 4 different unique instruments available in parallel (1 of each):

    1. Gem is an FM synthesizer
    2. Mass is a modal synthesizer
    3. Dust is a noise generator that is based around the concept of Pulsar synthesis
    4. Slate is a sample playback engine equipped with a granular mode

    + 1 sequence-able FX lane

    + 1 modulation lane,

    when combined, all these constitute "Opal" and you can load each "machine" separately in Ableton (Max4Live needed).

    As much as I want to expand on Opal's awesomeness, it's much more efficient if you click on each engine icon directly from his website (sadly I don't own his software because I don't want my creative process be DAW based - but it kills me to miss out on his work):

    The Drambo set-up you showcased in your video is very impressive! to be fully transparent though I've put learning/studying Drambo as a sound generator tool on standby for now because to me having a sequencer that meets certain critical requirements is fundamental before I can justify investing serious time learning all aspects of the app.

    Even if Drambo for now doesn't meet what I consider to be critical requirements (as I hinted in my initial response to supadom), I believe in Drambo's potential to be the ULTIMATE iPad app (and I believe in giku of course) in parallel with AUM and I'm still using Drambo as my main sequencer for testing mini-projects to study all the other AUv3s sound generators I want to become fully familiar with before drastically switching my mindset from research to music making.

    I still have my Digitakt/Digitone available to sequence all these AUv3s (even though I haven't had the time to do this even ONCE in the last month), and now even GR-16 but I've been delaying acquiring Helium and/or Atom 2 so far because of Drambo's potential and I don't want to buy stuff that I don't intend on using. (I also impulsively bought mKer because the cost was so low and the feature set is remarkable)

    I'm really worried about Atom 2 no longer being actively updated, and I'm under the impression it doesn't offer manual automation write (only record), and while I know Helium does that, I also don't want to settle for a less sophisticated Piano Roll sequencer when Atom 2 exists.

    If anyone has advice on the viability of Atom 2 I'm all ears... I caught some reports of people mentioning bugs related to looping / questionable cpu usage efficiency and that actually worried me considering the price of the app.

  • @groovegcs from another perspective a sequencer is a sequencer much like a typewriter is a typewriter, as long as a sequencer can record/store notes and keep time one can always adjust for everything else.

    From the perspective of a composer, use the tools that one already has to create music.

    The challenge is to create music not to merely look at a app showroom.

    The Opal synth I had found was the one used in Ableton so thanks for the link and descriptions.

    From the description given it sounds more than doable in dRambo and the effects capabilities of dRambo have come a long way in the two years since the video I shared was made.

    I think the only challenge for me would be the granular side of Slate, however I do think some of the stuff that @bcrichards has designed would cover that side of things quite well.

    Anyways just passing through. ;)

  • I support bipolar offset too. I don't know what a PITA it is from a coding standpoint, but I would prefer it especially in the sequencer. Center of the slider is on grid, up is + 50%, down is -50%, double tap to re-center.

  • edited December 2023

    @gravitas I did notice Ben Richards work when I discovered the existence of Patchstorage and the insane amount of stuff available over there for Drambo definitely blew my mind! I literally have a Firefox tab opened on his Youtube channel just so that I don't forget to explore what he made when I get the time.

    Managing to pull-off a Drambo Opal-esque rack would be mind-blowing lol

    For what you said on the typewriter analogy, while I understand your logic, I'll say this:

    My ethos revolves around the fact that life is (to me) mainly about the journey. While there are many paths that can lead to what could be considered a "successful" musical result, the path travelled to get to that end result matters immensely, as it plays a fundamental role in determining whether or not generating the end result was subjectively enjoyable or not. Ultimately this can have a massive impact on someone's willingness to keep experimenting with the process of creating music.

    Working almost exclusively with Elektron machines for more than 4 years has really taught me through experimentation how far these implications go. Now that I want to expand my setup from 2 to 3 machines, the tools added need to be compatible with my preferences in order to maintain the "ergonomics" of my workflow.

    As a result, from my perspective a sequencer is therefore not just a sequencer 😉. Workflow, reliability, flexibility and efficiency are everything to me and details matter, a LOT.

    There is a time to let creativity flow and such a state cannot coexist with self judgment and being critical of things. That is why I'm fully committed to the discipline of separating the creative process from the musical tools research process, as well as being committed to studying how these tools behave in detail. Doing so allows me to fully leverage the benefits that come with being selective with the tools I choose to use, benefits such as avoiding frustrations/distraction while making music, being more efficient with finding/crafting sounds, having access to sounds that actually inspire me, being able to remain more spontaneous.

    @soysos Cheers! your description of a possible implementation sounds great, but I'm unsure about the actual necessity of limiting the bipolarity to 50% on each end (even though it would do the job). I'm not confident I fully understand the implications/usefulness of allowing more than 50% on each polarity though.

    The reason I say this purely intuitively is because I know that the Elektron sequencer does more than 50%, I think it's like 99% so you could place a sound at the same point in time potentially using 2 different steps to do so. Maybe there's no need to do the 99% with Drambo though because its sequencer is fully polyphonic / high resolution.

  • @groovegcs

    I'm not saying to ignore the details of a given sequencer

    however the main objective is to create "music".

    Still we all have different aims in the end and on that note

    do you have any links to your music?

  • To clarify, hope this makes sense...

    Offset centered "0" on a step is dead on quantized.

    Up to +50 offset on any step would be all that would need to be available to shift the timing later, as past +50 goes into -50 of the next step. Maybe the editor allow for this and it shifts the event to the next step?

    Same goes for up to -50 as past that becomes +50 of the previous step.

    If more resolution is needed than -/+ 100 or whatever is fine.

  • @gravitas In full transparency I technically do have stuff on Soundcloud but because I have let's say ... the "awareness" to recognize that it's not stuff that most people would necessarily want to listen to or be interested in, I prefer holding off on sharing for now, especially considering the stuff I have in there does not reflect my switch to Digitakt/Digitone music making in the past 4-5 years.

    I can say though that over the volume of stuff I've created over the last 4 years I've gathered somewhere around 15-20 grooves that have resisted the "test of time" to my ears, but because I've been focusing on "grooving" and because Elektron did not have a Song Mode available until very recently for their Digitakt/Digitone machines I was only able to start arranging full tracks comfortably starting a year ago approximately.

    The good news is I already feel good enough about what I've got "cooking" on my Digitakt/Digitone to be able to say that a time will come where I'll definitely start sharing my "relevant" music, but I'm not there yet.

    As to the genre of music I'm making, I like Deep House, Funk, Jazz/Bossa Nova influences, Electro stuff in general, and more importantly mixing these influences with each other.

    My most fundamental music influence is St Germain, and this track illustrates the essence of what I liked most as a kid (also shows why I care so much about offset lol!):

  • edited December 2023

    @soysos your initial post was super clear lol 😀

    when I suggested that having more than 50% could be useful I really implied the possibility of creating a "zone of time overlap" between 2 adjacent steps, whereas in the design you described it is implied that the time interval covered by a step isn't meant to overlap with another step.

    Edit: Oh also now that I've had time to sleep on it, I think one of the advantages of having a "zone of time overlap" between 2 adjacent steps is the possibilities it creates for Live use, as it allows the user to significantly modify the timing of a sound without necessarily needing to move the step entirely. For what I do it's not really something I would use, but some people would definitely make use of this.

  • edited December 2023

    I'm really worried about Atom 2 no longer being actively updated, and I'm under the impression it doesn't offer manual automation write (only record), and while I know Helium does that, I also don't want to settle for a less sophisticated Piano Roll sequencer when Atom 2 exists.

    Atom 2 is very unlikely to get any new features or improvements. The developer has gone completely dark (presumably due to burnout / feature creep) for years now. He's a standup guy, so I think it's likely to get fixed if an iOS update breaks it, but that's purely conjecture on my part.

    You're correct, it doesn't offer editing of automation, only recording. MPE recording doesn't work completely right either.

    If anyone has advice on the viability of Atom 2 I'm all ears... I caught some reports of people mentioning bugs related to looping / questionable cpu usage efficiency and that actually worried me considering the price of the app.

    I don't know of any bugs regarding looping, but yes, it does bog down on large patterns and can have display issues / delays under high CPU usage. It's best to think of it as a short "Atomic" pattern launcher. And absolutely don't expect anything more from it than the currently listed features.

    From your posts, my read is you'd not be satisfied with Atom 2 by a long shot.

  • edited December 2023

    @number37 Thank you sir for that information! Obviously reading that makes me super sad but you just confirmed what I feared. Unless it's mega discounted I don't see myself buying it.

    That leaves Helium but to be fully transparent I've been holding off on buying it as well because of 2 things:

    1. I suspect that the Mute/Solo buttons of the mixer included in Helium are simply remote controls for AUM's audio mutes/solo and that's really what I DON'T want. I want a musical MIDI mute function efficiently integrated in a sequencer's UI. I'm even considering contacting 4pockets about that because nobody else seems to offer that on a multi track PRV sequencer for now. I believe the dev behind AUM appears to be of the opinion that it's satisfactory to just swipe MIDI nodes to the left to effectively perform a MIDI mute by bypassing the AUv3 contained in the node . To be fair, even if he added the option to replace audio Mutes with MIDI mutes on a per track basis, it still wouldn't address the problem fully because on a multi-track sequencer you'd want to "midi mute" some tracks most of the time, not all tracks.
    2. I don't have a confirmation that manual automation write can be done in a way that snaps to the timing of midi notes, or even just to the grid. If you have Helium, I'd love to know if automation writing can be done with more than just a "free form" pen.

    Meanwhile I just recorded a video of my iPad's screen/audio showcasing a little 1 minute jam with Groove Rider + Poison 202, I'll share it here when it's uploaded to YT just to showcase how much potential gets unlocked with conditional trigs and flexible MIDI mutes alone.

    Edit: here is the video

    On a side note, @supadom I'm on a mission to convince you to get GR-16 LOL

  • edited December 2023

    @groovegcs - I don't own Helium so answers aren't for certain.

    I would be extremely surprised if the mixer's midi mute function are remote controls for AUM's audio mutes/solos. That would be impossible to implement. You can mute and solo AUM mixer channels via MIDI, but the user has to specifically and manually map the midi commands from an app or controller to do it. In every new session. There is no way for an app to do that directly.

    He briefly touches on the mixer in one of his videos and mentions specifically that the faders scale the MIDI velocity (not channel volume). It's reasonable to assume mute and solo is the same. He doesn't say it specifically, but given it's impossible anyway, I think I'm on safe ground. 😉

    As for the mutes, they are per track, so no need to be concerned about it muting all tracks.

    I can't comment on automation editing, not having the app. But the developer has detailed YouTube videos that cover everything about the app.

    I have two suggestions:

    • You may want to check out LK - for Ableton Live & Midi as a sequencer if you haven't already
    • You may want to post over on the Audiobus Forum about other sequencer apps. There is a wider audience over there. You'll probably get way more discussion than you ever wanted.
  • edited December 2023

    @number37 Thanks for your answer! I did check 4pockets Helium videos out in detail but couldn't find the precise info I was looking for regarding the mutes. I tried searching for the Helium user manual as well but it's only available from within the app so I don't have access to it. I definitely MISSED anything being said about faders scaling velocity so I'll check his tutorials out again.

    What i DID find though is that Helium was specifically made for AUM and I was under the impression that its mixer auto-maps its midi tracks to AUM's AUv3 audio tracks from left to right, even if there's MIDI tracks in between (obviously I could have misunderstood). That's why I'm being cautions about the behaviour of the mutes (and why I was thinking that Helium's mixer interface is some sort of a midi controller for AUM)... Even if it WAS purely a remote, Helium's 16 track mixer is a massively useful feature that sets it apart from the pack obviously.

    As for what you said about bypassing midi nodes to "MIDI mute" sound generators by swiping nodes in AUM not being a problem:

    The problem is precisely having to swipe instead of tapping on a button on the UI (I absolutely want to avoid relying a hardware controller at all costs). I absolutely love AUM, and I'm not critiquing its design as I recognize that the swiping behaviour was not made with a focus on the use case I'm interested in (live muting/soloing) . AUM's current design on that front is perfectly reasonable and elegant as it is.

    As I mentioned before, even if AUM offered a button to instantly mute midi coming out of an AUv3 sequencer (all this for the purpose of still hearing the tail of the sound of the AUv3 sound generator the sequencer is connected to), it would only "help" in scenarios where the user would have 1 dedicated sequencer instance per AUv3 audio track.

    However, as I believe you already understood, being able to remain focused on the UI of a multi track AUv3 sequencer to toggle MIDI mutes is a much more practical approach, so even if AUM was improved on the "muting" flexibility front it would only be a "band-aid" improvement. A perfect example of this is the Groove Rider video I just shared in my previous reply, but it's not a PRV style sequencer (not a bad thing of course as both have their distinct advantages).

    For your suggestion on using the Audiobus Forum, to be honest I felt a little uncomfortable using their forum considering I don't own Audiobus even though I do have an account already created to post there and definitely read what's being posted there in the context of all the research I did since November 10. I just hadn't really felt the need to post anything there up to this point. You definitely are on point mentioning it would be useful for me to do that considering the whole MIDI mute subject.

    I was thinking that now that Atom 2 is off the table I'm going to get Helium as soon as it gets discounted anyway because of its affordability and deal with the app as it is as the developer behind 4pockets does inspire confidence big time.

    I did consider LK at some point but there was something about the UI and overall cost that didn't appeal to me at first, I'll have another look because it's been a while.

  • edited December 2023

    What i DID find though is that Helium was specifically made for AUM and I was under the impression that its mixer auto-maps its midi tracks to AUM's AUv3 audio tracks from left to right, even if there's MIDI tracks in between (obviously I could have misunderstood). That's why I'm being cautions about the behaviour of the mutes (and why I was thinking that Helium's mixer interface is some sort of a midi controller for AUM)... Even if it WAS purely a remote, Helium's 16 track mixer is a massively useful feature that sets it apart from the pack obviously.

    I think you're confusing 4Pockets MidiMixer for AUM and Helium. MidiMixer is made specifically for AUM and yes, defaults to the Channel/CC7 combinations that control AUM's faders by default. They default to CC7 + the midi channel corresponding to the AUM channel number counting from left to right. Anyway, Helium is a different product. It can be used in any host. MidiMixer isn't actually a midi mixer at all except in the sense that it uses midi to control AUM's mixer. 4Pockets app names are sometimes confusing.

    (The mention of Helium scaling velocities goes by very quick in the video I mentioned. That's not really proof of how the mutes work anyway. I'm telling you though it's virtually impossible that Helium mutes the audio of the channel. It has to be a midi mute.)

    I'm not gonna try to talk you out of swipe vs. tap in AUM. If you need it that way to be satisfied then there's nothing wrong with that. I don't think it's going to change though. I'll just mention that there are many ways to get "button" control of channel mutes, including with Drambo. You can also set up custom control surfaces in apps like 4Pockets Surface Builder and (my favorite) Loopy Pro.

    Don't feel any hesitation about participating in the Audiobus forum. Owning or using Audiobus is absolutely not something to be concerned about there.

  • edited December 2023

    P.S. The problem you'll find with evaluating LK is its documentation is always sadly out of date. However, you can try it for free and explore the app to uncover what it has - albeit with popup's interrupting you until you purchase the parts of it you need. In this case I think you only need the Matrix IAP. Some people have reported stability issues of late.

    It's a little quirky to get to know though. I kinda doubt you'll dig it.

  • @number37 Thanks for all your replies 😃 and thanks for your advice on LK. I think I stopped research on it because I didn't really like the thought of all these modular IAPs and rationalized that I'm infinitely more likely to just use Drambo in the long run anyway.

    I was indeed also interested in both MidiMixer for its AUM fader "grid snapping automation" capabilities etc, so it's definitely possible I got mixed up with the respective features of Helium's mixer vs the actual MidiMixer app.

    When I first started looking seriously at MIDI mutes vs audio mutes was when I found out the issue with Drambo (involving MIDI mutes not working for sequencing external stuff directly) during my Drambo "testing phase" 8 days ago.

    While I have confidence in giku's discernment and willingness to acknowledge this "situation" as something worthy of attention, I still need a practical solution in the meantime and I have no idea how long it could take for this to be addressed.

    Through my research trying to find practical MIDI muting solutions I did stumble upon an Audiobus conversation where people were discussing involving Mozaic for managing mutes (I think someone identified the same issue as me or something close to it) and someone even wrote a script for Mozaic there even though how Mozaic is supposed to exactly fit in a multi-track sequencer ecosystem within AUM remains unclear to me. That potential solution felt like a complete wildcard and I stopped investigating because I acknowledge that having to involve an "in-between" app is likely to be impractical especially compared to Drambo's UI mute management implementation which IS already great, and which would also eliminate this entire muting logistics problem completely IF it worked in AUM controlling other AUM Audio tracks AUv3s.

    On a side note on the topic of PRV style multi track sequencers, I've been an absolute fan of Nanostudio since it came out back in 2010, and I absolutely adore the PRV sequencer UI in Nanostudio 2. Unfortunately, because Nanostudio 2 is a host and is no longer being proactively updated by the developer, the dream of having Nanostudio's sequencer available as an AUv3 within the context of AUM is highly unlikely to ever see the light of day. I can clearly see myself using Nanostudio 2 today just out of pure nostalgia for everything this amazing app did for my creative process over the years... plus 50 days ago I didn't even know AUv3 tech existed on iOS/iPadOS, let alone that Nanostudio 2 could host external apps and that so much had happen in the mobile music making scene in the last 7 years LOL 😅

    Cycling back to Helium, I think that its main drawback is that it doesn't appear to offer a "MIDI blocks" midi data structuring style similar to what you would find in Ableton or Nanostudio, and I'm unsure as to how much of an inconvenience it would be because, in a way I could view this limitation as something that could actually encourage a "creative departure" from typical pattern based electronic music, which I'm completely open to, and Helium does offer some sort of a recall function to bring its play-head back in time by sending it MIDI data on certain notes (I'm uncertain as to how usable this would be in practice but there's potential)...

  • edited December 2023

    When I first started looking seriously at MIDI mutes vs audio mutes was when I found out the issue with Drambo (involving MIDI mutes not working for sequencing external stuff directly) during my Drambo "testing phase" 8 days ago. 

    While I have confidence in giku's discernment and willingness to acknowledge this "situation" as something worthy of attention, I still need a practical solution in the meantime and I have no idea how long it could take for this to be addressed.

    Can you point me to the posts where you discuss this in particular? You've written a lot and I probably skimmed over this subject. At first glance what you said in that first sentence doesn't seem like it adds up. I'd like to see what I'm might be overlooking about your experience with the issue.

  • A simple solution would be to insert a “Midi Mixer(mute)” module before the Midi Output and use the mutes on that.

  • There's also the per track Mute Style (Audio or MIDI) setting.

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