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Astralp
KVRAF
 
1763 posts since 25 Feb, 2005, from Ganymede

Postby Astralp; Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:36 am Black Magic Drum Machine Beta testing finished

Everyone who registered for the beta testing program now has access to the first version. If you log in to your account it will be accessible on your files page. You must first download and install the samples, the extract Black Magic to your VST plug folder.

This version is actually still an alpha as I still have more features to implement and the graphics are not yet completed. I've fixed all the bugs I've found so far, so hopefully you should find it stable. It has only been tested in SX3 so far. I haven't got time to do any documentation until next week and so you will have to experiment with it a little to get the hang of things. It is fairly complex, but hopefully intuitive, I'll describe the essential need to know stuff here:

* The 5 rows of buttons to the top right are for each of the 10 Sections:

1 - Drum Trigger Pads
2 - Sequence Trigger Pads
3 - Section ON/OFF
4 - Solo Section - When soloing a section it will also automatically select that section for editing via the next row. The button at the far right of this row, resets all solos to off.
5 - Currently edited part

The A button to the right will trigger all sequences together to play the whole loop and is useful whilst working on a loop or for recording a loop to WAV. This can also be triggered via midi, but I'll discuss that further down...

SECTION EDIT

The Top Left Knobs are for editing a single section, and if 'section' is selected on the display panel, further setting are also displayed. This all displays the currently selected section chosen in Row 5 described above. I don't know how to easily describe that but it should become clear when you use it :)

The Panel shows modulation routing options for the current seletion, there are 3 random value generators which happen with each midi/sequence trigger, they can all be disabled via the top randoms off button. The available destinations are show next to each random value.

Below that are the Modulation Sequencer and the LFO, again with their possible destinations. The Modulation Sequencer and LFO ON/OFF buttons are located next to the Record section (bottom Right).

MIDI INPUT vs PANEL INPUT AND RECORDING

Black Magic is designed for 2 specific scenarios.

The first is to use it to create WAV loops by using the seuence triggers at the top left. You can either use the A button to play all sequences in sync, or you can trigger each individually using the 1-10 buttons. When Record is clicked it will wait until the first note of Sequence 1 comes around and then Record for the number of Bars selected in the Master Settings. It will automatically switch off when finished recording, and you can hear the file just recorded by clicking play. The WAVS are dumped in a BPM folder in the location that you chose to install the Samples. They are automatically named by date and time. You can click on the Open button to open the folder where the recordings are currently being stored.

The second scenario is to use it as a live performance sequencer via Midi. Octave 3 from C-A will trigger the drum samples like a traditional drum machine. The 4th Octave is used to trigger the sequences, and so complex rhythms can be jammed out live using all the available sequences. The note B4 corresponds to the A button and will trigger all sequences as a sychronised loop. The 2 octaves above this can be used to manipulate the Master Pitch of all playing sections, so it is possibly to play tunes with the loops :)

MASTER SECTION

The Master section Top Row has Volume, FX Mix, Swing and Humanize which affect the entire synth output. The Master volume is before the Compressor so reducing the volume here will reduce compression.

The Second and Third Row are different (with the Exception of the Noise Gate) in that they change the values of all Section by adding or subtracting from a sections current settings, so centre has no effect, to the left will reduce amounts and to the right will add. The beauty of this is that you can drastically change the sound of the output with these knobs which will make them great for automation (not implemented yet!). For instance if the start times (sample Start location) are all set to various values between 0 and 10, turning the Master Start knob to 0 will make all samples start at the beginning, but it is non destructive to the relationship that all start values have with each other. Anyway I'm sure you will have fun playing with these knobs :)


I think the FX section should be easy to understand, there are more settings on the display panel under FX and Soundscaper.

The menu at the top will switch between Main View, Sequence View and Mixer View:

SEQUENCER

I think this should make sense, each row has buttons that can either be on or off for each section. There are also some function buttons to the right of each:

1 - Mirrors section ON/OFF
2 - Mirrors Solo
3 - Mirrors the Randomization Modulation ON/OFF described above.
4 - Default - Sets the section to its default settings.
5 - Random - This will randomize the actual sequence data.
6 - Random 2 - This one randomizes the number of playable steps and the tempo.
7 - Random Preset - The most useful, this chooses a random sequence from a database of presets and so will result in a more succesful random loop. The Master/Sequence randomizers on the main panel will also use this.
8 - First Note - When random (5) is used the first note will always be active. This is useful if you are using Black Magic to Jam via Midi as you get a drum hit when the key is pressed.
9-10 - SHIFT Left/Right will move the sequence left or right.

Also note that click underneath each sequence will act as a slider so you can make each sequence any length between 1 and 32. This allows for complex polyrythms to be created, which can overlap endlessly :)

Finally you can change the tempo of each sequence so that some play at half speed for example. Bear in mind that the top setting for Record Sync will selects the sequence between 1 and 5 which is used to drive the Record ON/OFF, so if you make that sequence a 1/2 tempo then the Recorded Bars will be twice as long.

MIXER PANEL

This is an overview of 12 of the Section settings, where you can quickly edit them and see the relationships easily. You can also set to default or Randomize each of the parameters. Randomizing the Pitches is a fun one.

The effect sends is also useful as you can turn them on/off from here and is a great place to be to do some dubbing!

[b]Still to Do[b]

- Drum Kit implementation - This will allow loading/saving collections of 10 drum sounds for the pads and will also double as a Master place to edit all the Wavs currently loaded.
- Add Patches and Automation - this will be done when it is feature locked.
- Lots of other minor stuff, I'm also open to suggestions.

EDIT1:

Oh yes, like with all other hgs products, the knobs and sliders have the following features:

- Double clicking resets to default value, ctrl and shift when help allow 2 different degrees of fine adjust.

Ok that's enough for now I think and should get you started. Let me know your thoughts on this forum. looking forward to hearing some feedback.

take care
Andy
Last edited by Astralp on Wed May 06, 2009 1:36 pm, edited 12 times in total.
maxdis
KVRist
 
246 posts since 15 Jun, 2006

Postby maxdis; Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:45 pm

This is a very nice plugin!
I've found some bugs some far: often I can't switch the reverb or delay on/off, I press the button and the red light appear/disappear, but often the effect never enter or never shut down, I've to keep pressing the button some times to obtain the desired effect.
I'm using Reaper
Nheap - "Flying and the silence" http://www.acustronica.com
Musical Gym
KVRAF
 
4885 posts since 23 May, 2004, from square1

Postby Musical Gym; Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:30 pm

Quick typo on GUI: spelling of Rhythm unless you want it spelled differently for uniqueness.
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Astralp
KVRAF
 
1763 posts since 25 Feb, 2005, from Ganymede

Postby Astralp; Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:05 pm

Maxdis, glad you like it so far! Haven't come across that problem, I'll check that out after Christmas, anyone else experience this in any hosts?

Gym, yes the GUI isn't finished yet, it will be a totally different slogan on the final version, we haven't decided yet. It was supposed to be a lingo thing though :)
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GermanFafian
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356 posts since 12 Dec, 2006, from Cologne, Germany

Postby GermanFafian; Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:25 pm

Ooops!
Too much to read after a copious Christmas dinner :hihi:
I'll get back after noon tomorrow and download and start testing in FL as I have a couple tunes to work out.
Carpe diem quan minimum credula postero
Az're-ul
KVRAF
 
3056 posts since 29 Mar, 2002, from 51°53'N 02°15'W

Postby Az're-ul; Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:29 pm

Couldn't wait till Boxing Day :-) I'll read your first post properly then though in case i've missed anything obvious.

Really nice fun drum machine, just been sat messing around for the last hour.

A couple of quick questions before I start delving too far in

    1) How would you prefer us to make our reports? Written report or the BR01, FR01 variety?

    2) Are the included samples going to be included in the final release?

    3) Presets - Do you want any? How do you want them laid out? e.g. Main in 1, fill in 2 etc

Okay a quick first report from me

GUI

Looks cool but I find the triple shadows on the knobs do my head in after a while - but I'm tired as I've now been up for 23 hours which may have some bearing on the matter.

Not sure why there is black highlighting on Noise Gate & Release knob labels?

STABILITY/CPU USAGE

Fairly stable, but had a couple of hangs rather than crashes in EXT2. Hang = didn't take out host :-)

In EXT2 runs at between 1 & 3% of CPU on an Intel Q6600. No major CPU spikes

Bugs?

Master Volume knob doesn't appear to do anything.

Changing host tempo below 60bpm can sometimes cause EXT2 to hang, doesn't happen in EXT1
其余的是噪音
maxdis
KVRist
 
246 posts since 15 Jun, 2006

Postby maxdis; Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:16 am

I think an important feature is missing here: it appears that on the sequencer I can't assign different volumes to the same sound; for example, I'd like to be able to play the hihat or the snare at different volumes, because this is the way it happens in real life ;-) This could be implemented putting a different colour for each note for each dynamic level or, better, using a continuos slider (that would be appear by right clicking on a note) and changing the note colour (more intense for high volumes, more light for low volumes)
thanks
Nheap - "Flying and the silence" http://www.acustronica.com
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Astralp
KVRAF
 
1763 posts since 25 Feb, 2005, from Ganymede

Postby Astralp; Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:40 am

1) How would you prefer us to make our reports? Written report or the BR01, FR01 variety?


Well we'll see how things go, and adapt as we go, most important is host/CPU info I would say.

2) Are the included samples going to be included in the final release?


Yes :) Probably be a few more too.

3) Presets - Do you want any? How do you want them laid out? e.g. Main in 1, fill in 2 etc[/list]
Okay a quick first report from me


I will do, but it is too early yet, the patch system isn't implemented, not to mention the Kit system. This version is just for messing about, don't use it in tracks just yet, chances are the final version won't load them. You can always use the Record to record out wavs though which you can use safely :)

GUI

Looks cool but I find the triple shadows on the knobs do my head in after a while - but I'm tired as I've now been up for 23 hours which may have some bearing on the matter.

Not sure why there is black highlighting on Noise Gate & Release knob labels?


The GUI is far from completed, the final will be a high quality render, will be finalized next week. I'm more interested in the mechanics at the moment.


STABILITY/CPU USAGE

Fairly stable, but had a couple of hangs rather than crashes in EXT2. Hang = didn't take out host :-)

In EXT2 runs at between 1 & 3% of CPU on an Intel Q6600. No major CPU spikes


Does EXT2 produce a log file do you know?

Bugs?

Master Volume knob doesn't appear to do anything.

Changing host tempo below 60bpm can sometimes cause EXT2 to hang, doesn't happen in EXT1


Master Volume is before the compressor, if you turn the compressor off you should find it works as you expect. I could change this, but at the moment it acts as a nice Gain for the Compressor for produce extreme effects.

thanks for the report!
Andy
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Astralp
KVRAF
 
1763 posts since 25 Feb, 2005, from Ganymede

Postby Astralp; Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:50 am

maxdis wrote:I think an important feature is missing here: it appears that on the sequencer I can't assign different volumes to the same sound; for example, I'd like to be able to play the hihat or the snare at different volumes, because this is the way it happens in real life ;-) This could be implemented putting a different colour for each note for each dynamic level or, better, using a continuos slider (that would be appear by right clicking on a note) and changing the note colour (more intense for high volumes, more light for low volumes)
thanks


This is what the random modulators are all about, on the section panel, of your desired section choose the amount and tick volume. The volume will now vary with each hit. That is if you are using the sequencer, it will also work on midi data, but the velocity knob affects the response of the midi notes as well.

In the other sense, just in case you hadn't noticed you have instant control over all section volumes on the mixer Panel simultaneously.

Just on another note, Black Magic isn't really supposed to be a real drum loop creator in the sense of emulating a real drummer like BFD etc... it is definately more angled towards more extreme types of loops, click on the global Random a few times to get a sense of the sort of stuff it creates :)

Also as above, the compressor could be wiping out the dynamics, try it with the compressor switched off to test the dynamic settings.

thanks for the report, hope you have a good xmas day! I'm off to start drinking now :)

Andy
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Astralp
KVRAF
 
1763 posts since 25 Feb, 2005, from Ganymede

Postby Astralp; Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:57 am

Oh, just in case I thought I'd mention that on the section panel, there is a tick box called Global Edit. If this is selected and knob/control changed after this will set all sections to that value simultaneously. If you forget to switch this off after use, the machine would be very confusing!

Also set to all will set all sections to the same values as the currently selected section.

The above doesn't affect the selected WAVs however. There will be an overview page for WAV selection once I've coded the Kit related stuff.

One other thing is bank lock, this will lock the current section to the selected bank when randomized, so for instance if bass drum bank is selected randomize will only select a new bass drum. If this was switched off, then any available WAV could appear when random is used. The bank lock reset will lock all sections.
GJK
KVRist
 
286 posts since 9 Nov, 2007

Postby GJK; Thu Dec 25, 2008 4:21 am

first of all.. this is going to be an awesome plugin... i am so glad to be a part of this!!!! ok im running fl studio 8.0 pentium 4 pc with windows xp srvce pack 3..
ok the cpu usage on this thing is very low, which i am excited about.. however i did notice somethings in my first impressions..
1. when the program loads, sound is not processed from the sequencer until you go through and manually activate the channels one by one ( took me a bit to figure out ) also flstudio crashed when i attempted to "reload the plugin"
2. also sometimes when i try to randomise the settings of the sequencer alone,,,, all sound stops and cpu spikes..
i have some other things i will add later today or tomorrow.. this is just a first post..

this thing is going to be amazing.. and i love the samples..!!!!!
this thing could even be expanded with new sample refill pack in the futue that cater to specific styles.. if you wanted to(just an idea)

gk.
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Astralp
KVRAF
 
1763 posts since 25 Feb, 2005, from Ganymede

Postby Astralp; Thu Dec 25, 2008 5:06 am

GJK wrote:first of all.. this is going to be an awesome plugin... i am so glad to be a part of this!!!! ok im running fl studio 8.0 pentium 4 pc with windows xp srvce pack 3..
ok the cpu usage on this thing is very low, which i am excited about.. however i did notice somethings in my first impressions..
1. when the program loads, sound is not processed from the sequencer until you go through and manually activate the channels one by one ( took me a bit to figure out ) also flstudio crashed when i attempted to "reload the plugin"
2. also sometimes when i try to randomise the settings of the sequencer alone,,,, all sound stops and cpu spikes..
i have some other things i will add later today or tomorrow.. this is just a first post..

this thing is going to be amazing.. and i love the samples..!!!!!
this thing could even be expanded with new sample refill pack in the futue that cater to specific styles.. if you wanted to(just an idea)

gk.


Glad you like it :)

Firstly, use the A key at the end to trigger all, or B4 on the midi keyboard. The octave below this key allows jamming with the individual sequences :)

If you can isolate which section is causing the spikes when you randomize by using the sub section randomizes that will be useful (the ones located along the display bottom).

thanks!
Andy
alexfalcao
KVRian
 
773 posts since 24 May, 2005, from PA, USA

Postby alexfalcao; Thu Dec 25, 2008 5:51 am

Hi Andy,

I really like Black Magic, awesome device, congratulations for your high inspiration. I had to give an excuse for the Christmas guests I had and give it a try. I will be testing on Live 7. :)

Alex.
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SampleScience
KVRAF
 
3808 posts since 31 Oct, 2004, from Mtl, Canada

Postby SampleScience; Thu Dec 25, 2008 7:15 am

Hi Andy!

Really nice sophisticated toy!! I like that randomized button at the top right, makes really interesting kits in one click. On some of the kits I've generated with that button I have a different sounds each time I press a midi note for the same sounds. Makes for an interesting way of doing varied rhythmic sequences.

If you sell it cheap enough it would be a good alternative for FXpansion's GURU (249$).

Good work! :tu:
jdt
KVRian
 
542 posts since 18 Feb, 2005

Postby jdt; Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:13 am

Nice Unit!! Reminds me alot of my Korg Electribe in its functions. Sounds great and is a tweaker's dream.

So far I have only run it in FL Studio 8 and recording a loop to the host track assigned works but I am having some stuttering and slight freezing when loop recording to the host playlist. Increasing the buffer size didn't seem to help, but this was just a first run thru, lotta stuff to try yet. I haven't tried to produce a loop (wav)strictly from Black Magic yet.

Good work, this is going to be an excellent plugin. :D
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