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Author Topic: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage  (Read 6596 times)

punkdSICO

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Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« on: July 18, 2012, 03:51:20 pm »
Hi all - first post :)

I demo'd Spark for a day then purchased the full package.  I though all my concerns about the demo would be resolved with the knob rich controller however, to me the knobs seem way too underutilized..

My biggest frustration is I wanted a fully hands on drum synth but, you only get 3 knobs per drum whilst you have another 30 knobs doing nothing.  So you have to resort to a mouse despite all the knob-age..  Desperately feels like there is room for improvement.  For example:

Suggestion 1
Have 2 modes of operation:
1)   Live mode: as it currently stands.  Good for basic edits for live situations
2)   Studio mode: if you select, say, Bass Drum, all 24 (8 sets of 3) knobs become dedicated to the Bass Drum.  Going Left to right, the knobs in row 1 now match the 6 knobs in the Bass Drum editor page (pitch, attack, decay etc).  I don’t know enough about Spark yet to think of a good use of rows 2 and 3 in this mode; perhaps there is not a good use which brings me onto an alternative

Suggestion 2
Rather than the above modes, using Select+a spare sequencer button shortcut, toggle the 6 central knobs between their current functions (Cutoff / Resonance / Aux 1/ etc) and, Drum Edit Mode where the 6 knobs control the 6 parameters of the selected drum (eg pitch / attack / etc).  The LCD is easily big enough to display either the first 3 or last 3 abbreviated function names and their values:

Pth   Atk   Dcy   or…       FqSft   Rat   Rng
50   00   00         50   25   10

I also have Maschine and a Jomox 888 and so far I LOVE the sound of Spark but, the controller feels like it is only 50% utilized..

Any thoughts on the above?

PS: I think suggestion 2 would work best..

Ta,

Paul
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
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Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg

stuey

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 07:37:13 pm »
baring in mind you only have 2 hands  :)

I know what you mean, but what if you want to affect other parts at the same time, you are then restricted to 'editing' only one sound. For instance you had a synth bass sound with high decay and you were shutting off the decay when the bass drum comes around.

Interesting though..

How about having banks of knobs assigned to the pad you are using, therefore other banks can can assigned to other sounds that you would want to edit at the same time.

Almost like using the knobs as you would 'split' a keyboard, so you could have 2 banks of 12 knobs or 4 banks of 6. You could then assign multiple sounds to these banks giving you more parameters for each sound and the ability to have more parameters for the other sounds being edited in a patch

Stuart   
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punkdSICO

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 08:55:41 pm »
Hi Stuart

I know what you mean, but what if you want to affect other parts at the same time, you are then restricted to 'editing' only one sound. For instance you had a synth bass sound with high decay and you were shutting off the decay when the bass drum comes around.

I think this is my main problem so far with Spark – it is setup with only performance in mind, as per your bass/kick example.  However, I would bet that the majority of users are studio based where you want to control one sound completely rather than all sounds a little bit.

On my Jomox 888 and Maschine, you can only control one sound at a time but, you have extensive control over that sound.  Being studio based, I feel VERY frustrated with Spark’s knob setup – I have 30 sound sculpting knobs in front of me (ignoring Tempo etc) but Im still spending most of my time editing with a mouse because only 9 of the 30 knobs are assigned to my selected sound.  So, Im using a mouse because 19 of my available knobs are mapped to sounds that Im not currently interested in..

I really hope Im either missing some hidden mapping function or, this can be addressed.  I purchased Spark with the view to only keeping 1 or 2 of my drum machines.  On paper, Spark has the best of my Jomox 888 (drum synthesis) plus the best of Maschine (DAW integration) so it should be an easy choice to sell the 888 and Maschine, however, I really did not anticipate Spark being so reliant of a mouse..

Fingers crossed!!

Paul
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg

stuey

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 01:06:01 am »
Hey Paul

You can re-map the 3 knobs of each drum to any parameter you like that drops down under each knob. In the software just click under each knob above the 8 pads. Once you've set what you want, you have 9 knobs to twiddle. The 6 knobs below the LCD screen and 3 per pad.

ie, some kits have cut and resonance as part of the 3 parameters above the pad, so remap to another setting because cut and resonance are 2 of the 6 knobs under that LCD. That does still leave 3 parameters not mapped, not including the FX settings.

I only took delivery of my Spark yesterday so still finding out about it although it was purely for DAW integration, but i've found myself loosing hours making beats in stand alone mode like an old 808 or something, so I can certainly see the live use for it. But also it was great just to not look at a computer screen for a few hours.

As far as dropping it in a session, I opened up an instrument track in pro tools, just dropped all the automated parameters into write mode and off i went.
As it is then in Pro tools I can go over it again recording different automation, re mapping some of the knobs before i re record.

I think the workflow is really quick and there is a certain amount of mouse work but then once you're in pro tools or logic then you're back to the mouse anyway so it doesn't make that much difference.

I think it bridges a fine gap between DAW integration and performance.

Stuart
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vaikl

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 02:09:51 am »
Paul, this hybrid thing has one advantage over hardware-only: because all audio is mangled in the Spark software you could use as many controllers as you like to control it. You could use Spark controller for the fast beat-making workflow *and* Maschine via MIDI in addition for some of your sound-editing purposes in Spark's software. All the possible sound parameters for single instruments in Spark are available as MIDI controllers, so you are not limited to the three buttons if you decide to keep your Maschine ;)

Kevin

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 08:27:35 am »
Hi all,
I think you should have a look at this document.
Specially look at the latest shortcut which allow you to change the assigned parameter on a knob.
Kevin
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punkdSICO

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 08:38:47 am »
Hi Stuart
You can re-map the 3 knobs of each drum to any parameter you like that drops down under each knob. In the software just click under each knob above the 8 pads. Once you've set what you want, you have 9 knobs to twiddle. The 6 knobs below the LCD screen and 3 per pad.
 
Yes, I know about the remapping of the 3 knobs.

The more I use Spark, the more I think my second solution would add massive workflow improvements and, I have refined it a little  :)

Solution:
Introduce a short cut (Select + something) to toggle the 6 Mixer Parameter knobs with the 3 Instrument Params knobs.  This mode would be remain for all instruments until toggled again.

You can even call it “Live Mode” and “Studio Mode”.

When the 3 Instrument knobs are assigned to the mixer parameters, these can be Volume / Cutoff / Resonance (or user definable but this would not bother me if hardwired).  For me, Aux and Panning control are extremely low down on my usage list so it really makes no sense to give these knobs when primary functions like instrument parameters do not have a knob..

Fingers crossed this will make sense to others and find its way into Spark sometime soon..   :)

Ta,

Paul
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg

punkdSICO

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 08:44:06 am »
Hi all,
I think you should have a look at this document.
Specially look at the latest shortcut which allow you to change the assigned parameter on a knob.
Hi Kevin - yes, I understand how to change assigned parameters for the 3 instrument knobs but this is not my point.  I want full/instant control over an instruments 6 parameters without having to use a mouse or re-assign on the fly.

As I keep saying, this is very easily achieved on such a knob-rich panel like Spark, especially when we have 6 dedicated knobs for the mixer params.

ta,

Paul
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg

Kevin

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 08:52:30 am »
Hi Paul,
this is not a bad idea indeed.
I already thought to something like that but never find a good way to short cut it.
I have to think again about that.
Kevin
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audiosculpture12

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 10:50:46 am »
That sounds like a great idea Paul, and i fully agree that more knob action would be better than mouse...

punkdSICO

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 11:06:08 am »
..a picture is worth a thousand words..

This shows Spark in "Studio Mode" with key points being:

- 6 instrument parameters mapped to the Mixer knobs (for selected instrument)
- 3 mixer parameters mapped to the 3 instrument knobs (I think Vol/Cutoff/Res are the best 3 to choose, leaving off Aux1/Aux2/Pan)



I have given the shortcut to "Select + 8" but I think this is already assigned so it will need to be 12 or whatever..

Fingers crossed this can get approval/backing and hopefully this is a quickie for Mr Arturia?

ta,

Paul

« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 02:45:26 pm by punkdSICO »
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg

audiosculpture12

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 02:36:14 pm »
v nice.

stuey

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 06:49:21 pm »
..a picture is worth a thousand words..

This shows Spark in "Studio Mode" with key points being:

- 6 instrument parameters mapped to the Mixer knobs (for selected instrument)
- 3 mixer parameters mapped to the 3 instrument knobs (I think Vol/Cutoff/Res are the best 3 to choose, leaving off Aux1/Aux2/Pan)



I have given the shortcut to "Select + 8" but I think this is already assigned so it will need to be 12 or whatever..

Fingers crossed this can get approval/backing and hopefully this is a quickie for Mr Arturia?

ta,

Paul




Hey Paul, yeah I do like that. Maybe Erase and COpy want to exist as far away from each other as they can. I like my project and I hate my project on the same button, albeit with a modifier may get some scowls :)
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punkdSICO

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2012, 10:59:23 pm »
Boy, I really hope these changes get buy in from Arturia..  I have just spent 3 days doing some hardcore drum synthesis with my new Spark and, I am blown away with its sound!!  I really cannot see how I am going to justify keeping hold of my Jomox 888..

However, the only way I can efficiently do synthesis on Spark is to setup some mappings with my Novation Zero SL midi controller.  This is crazy(!); I have a beautiful Spark controller with 35 knobs yet despite this, I have practically not touched the controller in the last 20 hours of using the Spark VST because at any one time only 3 of the 35 knobs are mapped to my selected instrument’s sound.

PLEASE consider an option that is aimed at studio users and sound synthesis!!

Fingers crossed

Paul
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg

punkdSICO

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Re: Knob Usage / too much mouse usage
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2012, 08:34:29 pm »
Hi all - just had a play with 1.5  Some nice stuff in there but sad to see there is still not significant improvement in instrument control.

I was quite excited when I read about the Select+knob shortcut for editing a knob's assignment but, unfortunately, this still only applies to the 3 instrument knobs and not the ideally suited 6 mixer knobs..

Can Arturia say if this is being considered for the next release?

thanks,

Paul
London
www.punkdisco.co.uk
Text SLUT to: 29 7 29 7
Here’s the video:  www.youtu.be/Zl0PTZKy7fg

 

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