Some improvements for sample/loop-based workflow are needed...(and a bit of a rant)
I'm dreaming of Drambo replacing both Octatrack and Digitakt but for now i'm a bit frustrated with he workflow limitations...
Two use case scenarios:
- I want to make a sequence playing multiple one-shot drum/percussion samples using one track: I have to insert sample player for each sample, go inside of sample loading dialog for every of them, then use midi note filter module to isolate triggers on the step sequencer. Midi filter is pain in the ass to use because i have to go through LONG list of notes TWICE just to be able to isolate ONE note. Then i still have to use midi keyboard to place the triggers, and since i'm personally not a keyboard player and have no clue which note name associated with which key and there's no visual indications it's another hindrance for me.
- I want to load a loop, slice it and quickly place it on the grid of step sequencer: Again, no visual indications which slice is which note, i have to use midi keyboard, place all the slices one by one, dot direct, not fun...
I think first case could be solved with some special 'triggers' module in which user chooses the notes and it outputs gates for them, just like the one miRack has. Second one is trickier, one way would be to have a special function which places all the triggers in order to the step grid automatically just like the octatrack does.
Still, in both solutions MIDI stays present, and while it's normal and usual to operate in terms of midi notes and their numbers and white and black keys for keyboard players and trained musicians, for people like me, who come from the groovebox/modular synths(west coast)/electronic music background(yes, it basically means i have no clue about notation and playing 'real' instruments) it's just frustrating and slowing down the workflow.
Now, if we remember that we are dealign with touch-based devices, it becomes obvious that this is the best and the most direct way of interacting with instruments no? Why can't we just drag and drop a sample or a slice on the grid? Or the whole loop after it being sliced?
Anyways, i was very excited about Drambo at first but ended up using it mostly as a dram(i meant drum, hehe) machine, and not much else, because the sequencer is not as 'generative' and many others offered in tools like mozaic or miRack(you can't generate sequences or randomize them which is a must in virtual modular environment in my opinion), you can't randomize any parameters at all in fact, and it's a real fun for me and i use it all the time...In general, i feel like while drambo LOOKS like an innovative tool there's quite a lot of traditional 'DAW' way of thinking behind it, so it's a weird mix of crazy modular groovebox and a boring midi thingie which wants to be all about polyphony or whatever...ANd who in their mind attaches MIDI KEYBOARD to their Octatrack??! I think Drambo is confused abut what it is, and it should really make its mind...