This thing is sick! My Eurorack is gathering dust. PLease please please tell me there'e a way to send program change messages from a DAW. The Buchla bongos have become a feature sound in my Ableton sets, and if I could change patches, my life would be complete!
Hmmm, I hear you. What if I could map a MIDI command to next patch / previous patch? Would that be enough?
The thing is, I don't have a concept of "banks," so if I tried to allow random access into the entire list of patches, saved automation would get screwed up if you added more patches in between. But with next / previous you could automate a show.
Here's how I see it, Randy.
It would be cool to assign a specific PC# for a given patch. If there is not enough space in the interface for another rotary, you could at least implement a new XML parameter to Aalto (i.e., <Aalto pluginVersion="65829" presetName="whatever" programChange="16" - well, you get an idea). Also, I would make patches change in cycle if their programChange #'s are the same - thus stability of a plug-in won't be affected by overlapping values.
As for next / previous patch, it would be cool if these also had been automatable (I never thought about it, but yea!), however there is no need to make them receive PC messages, CC# would be fine.
And behind Program Change, there is another thing except I am yearning to see in Aalto, and it is a possibility of automating the patcher. I.e., this can be realized via adding more binary parameters (0/1) which could be automated from a DAW. (vel_to_cutoff, voice_to_pitch, env2_to_timbre - this sorta thing... that's about 324 parameters in total: 12x27 sources x destinations).
And, if you remember, recently I wrote to you about OSC (Open Sound Control), which does almost the same thing - if you're aiming to add this feature in the future, perhaps MIDI in the patcher is needless. However it seems convenient too as drawing/undrawing patches toggling pads on a MIDI controller sounds like a pretty good option!
Now I'm starthing to think that I perhaps am reaching for impossible with such requests, but they're caused by my heavy use of Aalto in the live context. So, thanks in advance for taking any of my considerations into account ;]
Thanks for this! I will definitely be adding some automation features with 1.3. I need to gather all the ideas and look at what set of them makes sense to do.
I like how the DCAM synths handle program changes.
Patches can be dragged on top of 127 slots. The slot configurations can be saved and recalled.
Other methods I have seen either require files to be moved into a folder or only allow a single configuration.
More good ideas. Doing a good UI for the configuration would take a while, but I could do the folder thing pretty quickly, and that seems very useful.
OK, Randy, as you want to keep them, ideas, coming, here's another one.
I'd like to see "Auto Save" function in Aalto. With Program Change it would be killer, and here is why: in Ableton Live a value of Program Change can be entered for an individual clip, and thus, if many patches were saved using Auto Save, with their PC#'s they can be triggered with dummy clips, which is just great for live performance. For example, while I was working on a patch, it was automatically saved several times. In the beginning it was just rhythm (1), and then I added modulations to create a bassline (2), and then I turned it all into a complete FM-chaos (3). So I trigger pads 1 to 3 during the performance to make it anything but monotonous, and in between steps 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 I can concentrate on another tracks, or play parts, or well, simply put, do almost anything.
Now my explanation why Auto Save is neccessary. The thing is, without it I pretty much never have steps 1 & 2. Starting to work on something simple, I almost always turn the basic rhythm or FX into 3 "a complete FM-chaos," and then I'm like, "Damn!.."
Thus, with Auto Save it would be possible to work on a patch without thinking about saving its intermediary versions, as these will always be available. First I was thinking about it saving patches every n minutes, however it is not rational, and a better solution would be to save them after certain number of actions, be they changing of a knob value, or patching, or what else can be done in Aalto. (BTW, something that can be really important here is an option in the UI configuration of how many actions should be taken in order to save another patch. I think it would be great if in this aspect Aalto adapted to the needs of user, because rough 10 or 20 may be too frequent (or otherwise, not frequent enough) for some of them.)
And the last idea is the switch in the UI, which changes whether Program Change applies to pre-selected patches OR versions of a given patch. Say, you use the first option to change patches every not so often (like, 10 minutes or so - only when you, like, do a shift to completely another composition during the set) and the second for doing tweaks over the period of certain composition playing.
By the way, it might seem like all I want to do during the live set is only change patches and nothing else, but no, the thing is, I'm always doing something while performing (playing keyboards, changing FX etc.), and features suggested above would have made switching between various tracks less painful and more smooth in the future performances - all of this doesn't force upon a certain approach to playing live, it is fine to improvise in another instance of Aalto, for example. The thing is, with these features implemented, I would know that a backing track is under my control and would be able to quickly switch it without bothering the audience while I am going deep into the menu to search for a desired preset :]
Upd: Instead of making the switch to change between versions of a patch and these, well, slot configurations (mentioned above in Casey's post), you could make it either work within a custom slot configuration or a selected folder (switching patches in a folder in cycle). If you had made Auto Save to create a separate folder for versions of the patch, we would have a possibility of switching between versions with program change messages after selecting this very folder.
Also, I'd make Auto Save save patches as following: "01 patch", "02 patch" etc., so that filename would already contain information about a PC# of a patch. And if patches don't have these values in the filename (i.e., "I am a patch" instead of "01 I am a patch"), program change messages switch them from A to Z, in ascending order.
Upd 2: Understanding that you want to keep Aalto's UI as simple as possible, you may only add the PC functional as described in "Upd" + a small auto-save button on the top. Here's how it works: if pressed, it registers all your actions (and creates patches, accordingly) in a separate folder. By default it is turned off in all patches, but is active in default patch so that not to create lots of junk on HDD. Every time you reinitialize default patch, auto save starts recording in a separate folder (i.e., "Auto-save 11-3-11 13.42"). If you want to save your patch, you press "Save preset as...," and Aalto renames this folder. Then you have a new folder and can browse all versions of the preset (as would you browse presets in a general folder, such as "Devine mechanics" etc.) For versions of a patch I suggest filenames as follows: "version 1 (13.42)", "version 2 (13.54)" etc. I think it would be nice to have a timestamp in addition to a version number because if there is a defined number of actions to save the next version of patch it would always be interesting to see that in one patch it took you 10 minutes to go from v1 to v2, and in another it took say, an hour ;]
And, of course, if you don't want your actions to be traced, you can turn off auto-save after loading initial preset (then an "Auto Save" folder won't be created) or create another template patch with it turned off by default. Also, if you turn it off after working on a preset for a while, it will stop registering your actions but, of course, won't delete already saved presets. In that sense it is similar to "OVR" in Ableton Live. And if you press it after loading certain patch ("I am a patch"), there would be created a separate folder - "I am a patch (modified)" with versions of the patch. The last aspect, if you will load a patch which was auto saved from the beginning, auto save will add patches to its folder rather than create new confusing folders. Given that you have the opportunity to open not the last version but any else version of the patch, if you loaded say, version 5 and there are 10 in total, the next preset saved won't have a filename of 6 or 11 - instead of that it will save to the same folder BUT with filename, for example, "version 6 (alt) (14.29)" - thus you would be able to create separate branches of the same patch where it develops in a different ways! There could be also (alt2), (alt3) versions etc...
I just found aalto through my friends at monome. Super incredible sounding software. amazingly beautiful! I concur that having program changes would be INVALUABLE to using this in a live context. I beg of you - even it's just numbering the presets. Please impliment basic program changes. I will bake you cookies!
reading through this thread again, is the folder method going to be implimented anytime soon? It sounds just fine by me.
I'll do something to address this area. I'm not yet sure exactly what.
As a tangent to Auto-Saving above, pls may add I like AAS's Chromazone's history feature.
Despite it's weaknesses, I find navigating the history helpful for critically reviewing the results of wild experimentation, to explore the units functionality and ultimately find new programmes.
As a tangent to Auto-Saving above, pls may add I like AAS's Chromazone's history feature.
Thanks, I'll take a look at this.