Some improvements for sample/loop-based workflow are needed...(and a bit of a rant)

edited September 9 in Feature Wish-lists

Hi.

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:


  1. 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.
  2. 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...

Comments

  • edited September 9

    I personally love the midi side of Drambo for making beat-oriented music. Its got the power of the octatrack sequencer but a lot more options for sending midi (hell, midi crossfader is something I dreamed about on my octatrack for years). I also hope that the note entry will continue to get smoother but for many of us it works pretty well.

    I do find re-building a patch to be annoying as well, its a lot easier if you create a template that has your workflow already set up. If you are struggling with the sample setup, I think there are other ways. As a previous octatrack user I create sample chains and then use those in Drambo (this library https://github.com/ClintH/gtbg makes it pretty easy). Then you only need one flexi sampler module and can trigger each slice per note.

    If you don't like the sequencer you can use the cv+gate modules and a bunch of other thing to create randomness/more-generative-ness. Another thing I find useful (when running drambo as an AUv3) is to run a second instance of drambo just for midi and have all my notes go through it before hitting my main drambo instance. Then I can use the "midi drambo" to create some wild midi sequence, record it, and then alter it more.

    Long story short, I love Drambo because there are many paths to do what you want, tho sometimes its easy to get lost in the weeds. With Drambo only having one developer, I'm actually amazed by how featureful it is. Its not going to do everything but it combines two worlds (modular and groovebox sequencing) in a unique way I find inspiring. There are a lot of options out there if the more strucutred side of the app doesn't work for you.

  • edited September 9

    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.

    It seems to me like you'd be better off using "Sampler" for this nnbveh. There wouldn't be names for the samples, but at least each sample could be assigned to a note in any order that makes sense to you.

    I dunno about the concept that Drambo doesn't know what it is. I think it knows what it is but some people just have very different opinions about they think it should be.

    Nice ideas for features though.

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