Robotic Bean's PORTATRON on sale for 48% off!!!

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EnochLight
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Post 19 Dec 2022

OK, so Robotic Bean is knocking another 25% off of their already reduced sale prices, so the fantastic Portatron is on sale for 48% off its regular price! Glad I skipped the Black Friday sale! :thumbup: :clap:

https://roboticbean.com/products/portatron/



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-008'
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Post 19 Dec 2022

Im a likely buy for portatron! I grew up on Tascam Portastudios and... Fostex .. X-3de*h73's
Was just thinking the other day about "bouncing". you had to do it. the original track freeze. :cool:
I still have my dads last machine and a bunch of old tapes somewhere.
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Yonatan
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Post 19 Dec 2022

Did not knew I wanted a virtual porta until now.

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Faastwalker
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Post 19 Dec 2022

Cool. Think I'll grab Portatron at that price now that we can finally use it in Reason ;-)

Yonatan
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Post 20 Dec 2022

Portatron. So is that a sample based synth instrument and not used as an effect? Included sample library and one can also load own samples?

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EnochLight
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Post 20 Dec 2022

Yonatan wrote:
20 Dec 2022
Portatron. So is that a sample based synth instrument and not used as an effect? Included sample library and one can also load own samples?
Yes - it's a sample-based "tape player" synth that comes with content, plus you can load your own samples! :thumbup:
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EnochLight
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Post 20 Dec 2022

*UPDATE*

Spent the evening tooling around with Portatron.

HOLY. SHIT.

This has fast become one of my most favorite VST plugins. Just an awesome. fun device! If you're a fan of drone and ambient/lowfi, I highly recommend this thing!!!
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challism
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Post 21 Dec 2022

I just bought Portatron. Nice double discount. Thank you, Robotic Bean. This instrument is amazing. I'm loving it so much <3
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Faastwalker
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Post 22 Dec 2022

Faastwalker wrote:
19 Dec 2022
Cool. Think I'll grab Portatron at that price now that we can finally use it in Reason ;-)
Actually, I absolutely won't be after seeing the AUD price!!! :shock:

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buddard
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Post 22 Dec 2022

Faastwalker wrote:
22 Dec 2022
Faastwalker wrote:
19 Dec 2022
Cool. Think I'll grab Portatron at that price now that we can finally use it in Reason ;-)
Actually, I absolutely won't be after seeing the AUD price!!! :shock:
Woah, that is really weird! :shock:
The AUD price is calculated automatically by Fastspring, but it's obviously not reasonable.
They must be taking shipping costs into account! :lol:

I have set explicit AUD prices for both Portatron and HCS now, please check again.
And remember that the coupon code gives you an additional 25% off. :puf_smile:

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buddard
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Post 22 Dec 2022

Thanks for all the nice words about Portatron by the way!

We have some really cool updates planned further ahead. :thumbup:

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Post 22 Dec 2022

I'm not sure exactly how to use this (in terms of writing music with it, not in operation) but damn it's fun to just load up the existing drones tweak some effects.

@buddard when does the sale end? Probably won't get another chance to fiddle around until after Christmas.

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buddard
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Post 22 Dec 2022

Steedus wrote:
22 Dec 2022
I'm not sure exactly how to use this (in terms of writing music with it, not in operation) but damn it's fun to just load up the existing drones tweak some effects.
I think it's great if you want to bounce part of your song, like a drum loop or something like that, and "resample" it in Portatron. Or create quirky monophonic leads by loading a single note from an instrument and raising the lag to get the characteristic varispeed portamento. Or create drones in up to four different chords and use the mixer to fade between them to add a more organic-sounding texture to your song.
@buddard when does the sale end? Probably won't get another chance to fiddle around until after Christmas.
Through the end of December!

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EnochLight
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Post 22 Dec 2022

buddard wrote:
22 Dec 2022
Thanks for all the nice words about Portatron by the way!

We have some really cool updates planned further ahead. :thumbup:
My biggest requests:

1. More presets + curated samples (your team did a FANTASTIC job on included content)!
2. Resizable GUI/UX. It’s too small even on my 1080p panel. :(
3. Integrated/automatic (optional) audio warp (so it stays in 100% sync with your DAW transport)
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buddard
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Post 22 Dec 2022

EnochLight wrote:
22 Dec 2022
buddard wrote:
22 Dec 2022
Thanks for all the nice words about Portatron by the way!

We have some really cool updates planned further ahead. :thumbup:
My biggest requests:

1. More presets + curated samples (your team did a FANTASTIC job on included content)!
We have some pretty cool stuff in the pipeline regarding content. :cool:
2. Resizable GUI/UX. It’s too small even on my 1080p panel. :(
Could you please provide a full screenshot? I’m not seeing this on any of my computers.
3. Integrated/automatic (optional) audio warp (so it stays in 100% sync with your DAW transport)
I’m not so sure about this, we allow for some pretty extreme speed changes, so we would probably get a lot of digital artifacts….
I think the best way to achieve synchronization is to use the RTZ on Bar function, or automate the RTZ button (or locators) to correct the timing regularily. This is a lofi device after all. :D

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challism
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Post 22 Dec 2022

buddard wrote:
22 Dec 2022

We have some pretty cool stuff in the pipeline regarding content. :cool:
This is an amazing device. I absolutely love it!

I would love the ability to record directing from Portatron instead of having to import audio.
I would love the ability to bounce tracks internally, Sgt Pepper style. I'm sure that's the only holding me back from creating my own masterpiece. ;)

I'm really curious to see what's coming down the pipeline. Anything in the way of added features, bells and whistles, or just more audio content?

Any idea what is happening here? Why does changing the octave change the behavior? Is this a Portatron thing or a BLG issue? And it won't return to the original behavior until I stop/restart the transport.
Combi patch:
porta-blg.zip
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Steedus
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Post 22 Dec 2022

Might have something to do with the ramp up speed of the cassette and out the start of the sample. Going down an octave would significantly alter the timing and speed of the playback. So a short staccato note might not be long enough to start the sample playing properly .. ?

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challism
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Post 22 Dec 2022

Steedus wrote:
22 Dec 2022
Might have something to do with the ramp up speed of the cassette and out the start of the sample. Going down an octave would significantly alter the timing and speed of the playback. So a short staccato note might not be long enough to start the sample playing properly .. ?
But going back up an octave (to where it started out) doesn't return the instrument to the previous behavior. The only way for it to go back to previous behavior (that I can see) is to stop and restart the transport.

EDIT: So I figured out what is going on, lowering the octave is dropping BLG's notes down into the transport control of Portatron (C1, D1, E1, F1, G1 control stop, play, rwd, ffwd, rev). So when Reason's transport is started, it engages the play button of Portatron, but when BLG's octave is lowered, it interferes with the playback (hitting the Portatron's stop button hotkey). So when BLG's octave is then raised again, Portatron doesn't return to the playback state it was in before. This is somewhat problematic if you are using Portatron as a synth and don't want those hotkeys to be active. Is there a way to shut them off or change the mapping? If not, I think that could be a reasonable feature to add.
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buddard
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Post 22 Dec 2022

challism wrote:
22 Dec 2022
Any idea what is happening here? Why does changing the octave change the behavior? Is this a Portatron thing or a BLG issue? And it won't return to the original behavior until I stop/restart the transport.
Combi patch: porta-blg.zip
EDIT: Nevermind, I hadn't seen that you found the answer yourself.
Anyway, I'll leave the diagram up for educational purposes. :puf_smile:

It has to do with Portatron's keyboard layout. The C1 octave works as a remote control for various transport functions in Portatron, as shown in this diagram from the user guide:

Screenshot 2022-12-22 at 22.34.51.png

So when you lowered the octave switch, BLG accidentally hit stop on Portatron. :D
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EnochLight
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Post 23 Dec 2022

buddard wrote:
22 Dec 2022
We have some pretty cool stuff in the pipeline regarding content. :cool:
Nice! Very much looking forward to that!
buddard wrote:
22 Dec 2022
Could you please provide a full screenshot? I’m not seeing this on any of my computers.
Wait.. what? I mean - on a 1080p panel I guess it's tolerable, but it's very small (less than a Reason rack width) even compared to stock Reason synths like Europa. Here's a couple of comparisons to larger instrument GUI with Reason set to 140% zoom:


Portatron.JPG


And it's quite small compared to many others:


portatron_2.JPG

I realize it's not unusable in any sense of the word, but you seriously should consider an actual GUI/UX zoom. Even the most basic VST have this. :thumbup: On a 4K display it's microscopic. Portatron has such a beautiful GUI/UX - we need to see this larger! :clap: :thumbup:
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buddard
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Post 23 Dec 2022

EnochLight wrote:
23 Dec 2022
Wait.. what? I mean - on a 1080p panel I guess it's tolerable, but it's very small (less than a Reason rack width) even compared to stock Reason synths like Europa. Here's a couple of comparisons to larger instrument GUI with Reason set to 140% zoom:
Well, the reason that I'm asking is not because I don't believe you, it's because that it's not looking like that at all on any of my Macs. Portatron is bigger than uTonic and wider than the Reason rack, both on my 13" and 16" MBPs. Here's what it looks like on my 16", with Reason at 100%:

Screenshot 2022-12-23 at 09.25.17.png

The GUI looks big and super sharp on my retina display (3456 x 2234), with one graphics pixel for each retina pixel. So I'm guessing that the scale is messed up on the Windows version somehow? And I have no idea if it's like this for all Windows users or for some of them?
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ekss
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Post 23 Dec 2022

EnochLight wrote:
23 Dec 2022
On a 4K display it's microscopic. Portatron has such a beautiful GUI/UX - we need to see this larger! :clap: :thumbup:
This is weird, I'm on a 5K screen and i think it's rather big, definitely not microscopic :thumbup:

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joeyluck
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Post 23 Dec 2022

Enochlight said he has Reason zoom set to 140% and I'm guessing that is probably what he finds to be the optimal zoom setting for himself, and Portatron is smaller than Reason devices at 140% zoom.

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ekss
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Post 23 Dec 2022

joeyluck wrote:
23 Dec 2022
Enochlight said he has Reason zoom set to 140% and I'm guessing that is probably what he finds to be the optimal zoom setting for himself, and Portatron is smaller than Reason devices at 140% zoom.
Yes, that must be it. It would be more fair to compare in 100% thou - and then it's rather big, at least not microscopic.

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EnochLight
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Post 23 Dec 2022

ekss wrote:
23 Dec 2022
This is weird, I'm on a 5K screen and i think it's rather big, definitely not microscopic :thumbup:

Image
That’s because you’re (presumably?) running Reason at 100% on your 5K display. In your screenshot, Reason devices look comically small.
joeyluck wrote:
23 Dec 2022
Enochlight said he has Reason zoom set to 140% and I'm guessing that is probably what he finds to be the optimal zoom setting for himself, and Portatron is smaller than Reason devices at 140% zoom.
Correct - I’m at 140% (Reason) on a 1080p display. Windows is set to 100%, as Windows scaling is pretty horrible (hence the whole desire to have GUI/UX scaling in apps instead). If I run this on my 4K 65” panel, Reason (and Portatron) are comically microscopic with Reason at 100%, so I find it much more preferable to set Reason zoom to 140% or higher which just compounds the issue with Portatron.
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