Arpeggiator Patterns

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minorguy
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Arpeggiator Patterns

Post by minorguy » Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:35 pm

I was spending some time with the arpeggiator settings and I wanted to confirm whether some behavior is as designed.

I noticed that when you select a pattern number 1, 2, 3, etc., it will load that pattern from the file on the card. (The numbering is different so pattern 1 is file arp0.pat) Then when you save the preset, two things actually get saved. One is of course the pattern number setting. The other is the full pattern data which is saved inside the preset file.

When you next load that preset---let's say you select a different preset and then switch back---it will load the arp pattern file from the CF card as specified by that Pattern number setting that was saved. That is, it doesn't use the pattern data that was stored to the preset file. This is typically fine if the user didn't change the original pattern files on the card. But I can imagine that if you're giving a preset to a friend and that friend doesn't have the same arrangement of pattern files on the card, the preset might not sound the same.

That's where the 'user' pattern comes in (I had been wondering what this was). When you select the 'user' pattern, as far as I can tell, that's when the pattern data from the preset file is loaded.

So, if you're creating a preset that uses a custom arp pattern and you want to give that preset to a friend, it seems to me you want to save twice. First select the pattern number you want and then save the preset. Then select the 'user' pattern and save the preset again so that when your friend loads the preset, it will load the pattern data that's stored in the preset file and not any of the arp#.pat files. Make sense?

Perhaps it would be more clear if it worked similarly to loading samples: When you turn the Pattern knob to any of the number values, the Enter key blinks and an arp#.pat file is not loaded until you press Enter. Then after you hit Enter and the pattern data is loaded, the Pattern display automatically reverts back to 'user' (or whatever.) That way no one gets the wrong arp pattern.

On a separate arp-related note, I noticed an oddity about the PatLen. If you set the PatLen to some value less than than 32, say 3, and then switch to a different Pattern number, the pattern length seems to revert to 32 again even though the display still says 3. Then if you adjust the PatLen knob again you can get it back to 3. Not that any of this is a problem for me. I just wonder if you (John) want this kind of thing reported or if you know already. I've come across a couple of these little quirks now and then but they're not really bothersome.
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John Bowen
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Arpeggiator Patterns

Post by John Bowen » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:59 pm

You have it correct - the factory patterns (the few that there are at the moment) are all loaded when you boot up the synth. If you reference the User pattern, this is data that is stored with the preset itself. There is an unfinished editor to create patterns, which I had published or sent out to a few people who had expressed the desire to work on it, but nothing ever came from it. If there is a person here who is familiar with coding and would like to take a look at what we have so far, please contact me at jb@johnbowen.com and I will send it out.

RE: PatLen Display bug - yes, this is a bug - I’ve added it to the list previously. Thanks for the reminder, though.

John Bowen
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:00 am

Re: Arpeggiator Patterns

Post by John Bowen » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:25 am

Following up on my previous post here:

1) I was wrong - patterns are loaded not on boot up, but when you select them, directly from the CF card (as noted by minor guy).
2) Until now, there’s been no concern about having different arp patterns from user to user, as there’s been no way to create alternate factory patterns. All Solaris CF cards have the same pattern data currently.
3) The pattern data does not include any of the parameters you can see, except the Pattern Length. There are 3 parameters that the user cannot edit from the Solaris which are stored in the pattern files: Step On/Off, Step Velocity, and Step Gate Length (related to the ‘Length’ parameter in the display, which is an overall offset to the individual step gate times). I had thought the pattern data included everything, so I was surprised!
4) Because of (3), this means that all the other parameters you see are stored in the Preset only.
5) Currently, when you select a non-user pattern, the default pattern length does get reset to 32 steps, and the display doesn’t update that. This was a bug in the pattern data file, and has been fixed with the new Editor (see 6).
6) And finally, one of our brilliant users here (Jim) has offered to work on the unfinished Arp Pattern Editor, and I’ve been testing it for the last 2 days! Currently it’s Windows only, so I’ll have to see if I can get a Mac OS version compiled as well, but it’s just about ready to be released. Jim and I have discussed just adding a function for automatic loading of the pattern when editing, so once this is done, I can release the Editor for general use.

Many thanks to Jim, who has done this very quickly, I must say! A release announcement is forthcoming...

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