Propellerheads PolyStep Sequencer

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antic604

Post 07 Jun 2019

Breach The Sky wrote:
07 Jun 2019
I haven't read the manual yet, but is it possible to draw chords out off the currently selected scale? So i can prototype chord substitutions and stuff like that? Is it "advanced" enough to experiment with jazzy chord progressions?
You can set it to Chromatic and draw whatever you want, but then it wouldn't transpose the chords correctly when you feed it MIDI. You can't have different Scales within single Pattern as it is global setting for single instance of PolyStep. I'm not sure if you can automat Scale, though - I still had no time to test it :(

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dusan.cani
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Post 07 Jun 2019

antic604 wrote:
07 Jun 2019

I mean I get the potential benefits of Players for people wanting to use PSS for e.g. live performance, but then the order should be different: 1st add the features to the main sequencer, then release a matching Player for live performance / generative music people.

I guess it's really time for Props to step up their communication game. Looking at Live or Bitwig, we're informed with at least a quarter (or two) advance of what's coming and - roughly - when. By comparison, right now we've no idea when v11 is coming and what it is - new devices & sounds like 10 was? new workflow features? new / improved GUI? all of it all at once?
Undistraction wrote:
07 Jun 2019

As for the player, it just feels like another step towards allowing people to write music without spending the time to learn anything about writing music. To remove all creativity from the process of creating. Next stop a single button that writes you a whole track. Maybe with a genre dial.
:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Breach The Sky
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Post 07 Jun 2019

antic604 wrote:
07 Jun 2019
Breach The Sky wrote:
07 Jun 2019
I haven't read the manual yet, but is it possible to draw chords out off the currently selected scale? So i can prototype chord substitutions and stuff like that? Is it "advanced" enough to experiment with jazzy chord progressions?
You can set it to Chromatic and draw whatever you want, but then it wouldn't transpose the chords correctly when you feed it MIDI. You can't have different Scales within single Pattern as it is global setting for single instance of PolyStep. I'm not sure if you can automat Scale, though - I still had no time to test it :(
A shame.. I've been eyeing Scaler for a while, but the lack off vst midi-routing in Reason (for now) makes it a hard sale. Tough, you can still prototype chords with the built in sounds, then drag the midi to the sequencer, i guess.

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chimp_spanner
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Post 07 Jun 2019

Undistraction wrote:
07 Jun 2019
This is just a continuation of their current trajectory. Spin everything into an RE that can be flogged to the fanboys at a massively inflated intro price. If possible spin a single product into multiple similar products. Just avoid doing any work on the core of Reason. Keep tugging on that milky teat.

They don't even put any effort into their videos any more.

As for the player, it just feels like another step towards allowing people to write music without spending the time to learn anything about writing music. To remove all creativity from the process of creating. Next stop a single button that writes you a whole track. Maybe with a genre dial.
Sorry but strong disagree. Yeah there are things I'd like to see in the sequencer (MIDI note preview when selecting/nudging, MIDI chase, tilt controls and shape tools for the velocity lane, etc. etc.) but if you incorporated the functionality of Drum Seq, PolyStep, QNG into a paid sequencer update...it wouldn't be too far off the combined price of those devices.

And I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at; you're complaining that the functionality of PolyStep isn't incorporated into the sequencer because they apparently don't want to work on the core of the program...while also complaining that it sucks because it makes music too easy. So which would you rather; a core program update that contains fEaTuReZ 4 dA nOoBs, or devices that you, personally, can take or leave, saving money in the process? If you don't need these tools...don't buy them. Sorted.

And in any case, this whole "Players make music for you" argument is nonsense. It's objectively not true. You're discounting musicians who aren't keyboardists (guitarists, singers) who now have tools to help them realise their ideas. And what's wrong with making a job easier? I don't need Reason to artificially inflate its difficulty curve by omitting useful features to validate my work because it took me longer to do :lol: I'm doing me. Everyone else can do them. If Players help a kid with no theory knowledge make a cool loop, game on. It's by no means a substitute for creative vision, style or taste. But as a musician of 20+ years, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having tools to make a job as easy as possible, especially when turnaround for my work is sometimes in the order of 1-2 hours.

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joeyluck
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Post 07 Jun 2019

Yeah the arguments against player devices are silly. Sounds like when people complain about arpeggiators, or synth presets (because you can make your own), or quantizing MIDI, or MIDI in general and playing any non-keyboard related instrument with a keyboard, or making music at all on a computer because it makes creating music too easy...

These things and Players help inspire and help you come up with ideas, they don't guarantee you'll make a good song or a hit song.

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chimp_spanner
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Post 07 Jun 2019

joeyluck wrote:
07 Jun 2019
Yeah the arguments against player devices are silly. Sounds like when people complain about arpeggiators, or synth presets (because you can make your own), or quantizing MIDI, or MIDI in general and playing any non-keyboard related instrument with a keyboard, or making music at all on a computer because it makes creating music too easy...

These things and Players help inspire and help you come up with ideas, they don't guarantee you'll make a good song or a hit song.
Exactly. If you want a purist experience that's utterly inaccessible without prerequisite knowledge...use Sibelius ;)

*Not dabbing on Sibelius users. I just have no formal theory knowledge and it scares the hell out of me haha.

antic604

Post 07 Jun 2019

chimp_spanner wrote:
07 Jun 2019
joeyluck wrote:
07 Jun 2019
Yeah the arguments against player devices are silly. Sounds like when people complain about arpeggiators, or synth presets (because you can make your own), or quantizing MIDI, or MIDI in general and playing any non-keyboard related instrument with a keyboard, or making music at all on a computer because it makes creating music too easy...

These things and Players help inspire and help you come up with ideas, they don't guarantee you'll make a good song or a hit song.
Exactly. If you want a purist experience that's utterly inaccessible without prerequisite knowledge...use Sibelius ;)
Right, but his argument was 2-stage. One of them (dumbing down music making) is obviously silly, but his concern about PH implementing stuff that should've (could've) been added to the main sequencer as REs instead is valid and worth discussing. If things I mentioned in my post on the previous page were added to the main sequencer then I guess it would be novel, because I'm not aware of any DAW that has things like that.

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guitfnky
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Post 07 Jun 2019

I think the argument for incorporating much of this stuff directly into the sequencer is weak. I understand the underpinnings of why doing so might make sense on a surface level (hey, more features can’t be bad, right?)—but the point of a DAW is to provide a wide range of tools and features to as wide an audience as possible. Rack Extensions, VSTs, and Players are meant to personalize what you can do with the DAW. incorporating features that many/most users will not use would add unnecessary bloat to the core program.

many of these Players do some really incredible and inventive things, but most of the features they provide arguably wouldn’t add much/any value for most users.

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reddust
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Post 07 Jun 2019

mon wrote:
07 Jun 2019
reddust wrote:
06 Jun 2019
Yes, I actually prefer Reason's design more than any other DAW I've used or tested so far. I also like the direction the new devices have, it is kind of toyish but still nice to look at. I always have the impression that making music with Reason seems a little bit like playing Lego :)
Exactly! The brighter colors and the friendlier style, that may be seen as toyish, don’t bother me at all. It’s a part of my music diving moments and getting away from the world full of too much serious stuff :) I share the LEGO association... actually for the last few months I am working on a concept of composing in real time in Reason by just swapping blocks of elements or contents - just like LEGO :)
sounds like fun, I bet it is :)

yes, I also see making music as something to enjoy and get away from obligations, I already have enough of those

antic604

Post 07 Jun 2019

guitfnky wrote:
07 Jun 2019
I think the argument for incorporating much of this stuff directly into the sequencer is weak. I understand the underpinnings of why doing so might make sense on a surface level (hey, more features can’t be bad, right?)—but the point of a DAW is to provide a wide range of tools and features to as wide an audience as possible. Rack Extensions, VSTs, and Players are meant to personalize what you can do with the DAW. incorporating features that many/most users will not use would add unnecessary bloat to the core program.

many of these Players do some really incredible and inventive things, but most of the features they provide arguably wouldn’t add much/any value for most users.
You mean like 90% of the options under F8 or Comp Edit are "unnecessary bloat" for me? I never used them, yet they're right there! But I'm not complaining they should be removed - if I don't need something, I just ignore it and don't use it.

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chimp_spanner
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Post 07 Jun 2019

antic604 wrote:
07 Jun 2019
chimp_spanner wrote:
07 Jun 2019


Exactly. If you want a purist experience that's utterly inaccessible without prerequisite knowledge...use Sibelius ;)
Right, but his argument was 2-stage. One of them (dumbing down music making) is obviously silly, but his concern about PH implementing stuff that should've (could've) been added to the main sequencer as REs instead is valid and worth discussing. If things I mentioned in my post on the previous page were added to the main sequencer then I guess it would be novel, because I'm not aware of any DAW that has things like that.
Yeah like I said, there's room for improvement in the sequencer. No argument there. At the same time, I think a lot of people have a lot of ideas as to what they'd like the sequencer to look/work like. But we have to be realistic. Reprogramming the sequencer to have non-destructive/realtime transformation of notes into arps or strums, or generative capabilities like QNG would literally be a ground-up rework and I'm not even sure any parallel exists in other software. Might be wrong there though!

I'm forever comparing Reason to Cubase as it's the only other DAW I use, and to be totally honest I find the sheer number of menus, buttons and panels in Cubase to be intimidating and actually a barrier to creativity. They've piled so many features on top of each other that it's making less and less sense to me every version.

But yeah like I said, of course there's scope to improve things. Moving things away from the F8 toolbox into menus or buttons on the sequencer header or a right click menu would be great. Perhaps incorporate the ReGroove stuff into a Cubase style track inspector. Just a balance I guess between quality of like improvements and piling in things we can currently do perfectly well with Players.

Note preview on arrow nudging and MIDI chase are seriously the two biggest things for me though.

Oh and a basic step input function wouldn't encroach on the new devices. Painting notes at the current resolution, chopping events into equal parts...okay maybe that wish list is getting bigger :D

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dusan.cani
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Post 07 Jun 2019

If the player generates/creates/develops music melody/sequence without any your participation or effort, then what is it all about ?

If someone is not be able to create and develop his/her own melody/music theme, than we can conclude that this person is not music composer.

If I've understood correctly, the purpose of some generative music players is to substitute your own creative composing process. You don't have to create and develop your own melody from scratch anymore, just turn the player on and the melodies are generated for you.

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selig
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Post 07 Jun 2019

dusan.cani wrote:
07 Jun 2019
If the player generates/creates/develops music melody/sequence without any your participation or effort, then what is it all about ?

If someone is not be able to create and develop his/her own melody/music theme, than we can conclude that this person is not music composer.

If I've understood correctly, the purpose of some generative music players is to substitute your own creative composing process. You don't have to create and develop your own melody from scratch anymore, just turn the player on and the melodies are generated for you.
What about classical composers working with folk melodies and existing themes - are they still "composing"?
What about jazz musicians improvising on an existing melody?

With any generative device e, you still have to choose the settings, and you still have to "approve" the results (or keep messing with things until you are happy).
And if in the end the results suck, it's still on you 100%!

I believe there are many types of composition. And I'm very open minded when it comes to what I call "music", having been exposed to a very wide range of recordings and performances over my lifetime.

To me, the only thing that matters when choosing your compositional process is to ask "does this allow me to make the music I want to make". As I've said for years, musicians have been "cheating" ever since audio recording was first introduced. On one level, the only "pure" music that exists is music that is performed live in front of an audience - there's no "undo", no "take two", no edits/fixes/cleanups.
Everything else is just degrees of "cheating" when you look at it from that angle, and we all choose our own process.

TLDR: there is no right or wrong way to compose music IMO.
Selig Audio, LLC

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chimp_spanner
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Post 07 Jun 2019

dusan.cani wrote:
07 Jun 2019
If the player generates/creates/develops music melody/sequence without any your participation or effort, then what is it all about ?

If someone is not be able to create and develop his/her own melody/music theme, than we can conclude that this person is not music composer.

If I've understood correctly, the purpose of some generative music players is to substitute your own creative composing process. You don't have to create and develop your own melody from scratch anymore, just turn the player on and the melodies are generated for you.
Well in this case no-one that makes music with a Eurorack system is a composer because they use note generators and other modules/gadgets to generate notes for them...

Generative music players *compliment* the creative process. They won't, on their own, just produce "a song". You've still got to make decisions such as tonality/mode, key, spread/variance of notes, structure, arrangement.

Fraxis
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Post 07 Jun 2019

Can anyone tell me if it’s possible to change the key in the Poystep Sequencer from a midi keyboard? Not the scale, just the key? E.G, when I play C2, to change the start note of the sequence, could I switch the key to C too? And then when I played D2 to switch the start note to that, switch the key to D at the same time? The combinator doesn’t seem to offer the keyboard as a control you can map a parameter to.

Undistraction

Post 07 Jun 2019

FWIW I love and make generative music, but there is something that irks me about these kind of features. Making music should be hard. It should involve blood and sweat and soul. To me this is just a hairs breadth from somewhere that involves none of those things. It will be really interesting seeing where DAWs end up in the next 10 years. As AI get's more integrated and algorhythms become more and more sophisticated. People clearly love the idea of making music with as little effort as possible, so the market will move further in that direction. How many people use presets Vs crafting their own sounds? How many people will use AI-generated melodies rather than writing their own?

antic604

Post 07 Jun 2019

Fraxis wrote:
07 Jun 2019
Can anyone tell me if it’s possible to change the key in the Poystep Sequencer from a midi keyboard? Not the scale, just the key? E.G, when I play C2, to change the start note of the sequence, could I switch the key to C too? And then when I played D2 to switch the start note to that, switch the key to D at the same time? The combinator doesn’t seem to offer the keyboard as a control you can map a parameter to.
Yes, but be sure to have MIDI Transpose (upper left corner) set to one of the 2 top options. And it's a Player, so you don't have to map anything - just make sure your MIDI controller is sending signal to the right track and it should go "through" it triggering the transposing.

antic604

Post 07 Jun 2019

Undistraction wrote:
07 Jun 2019
FWIW I love and make generative music, but there is something that irks me about these kind of features. Making music should be hard. It should involve blood and sweat and soul. To me this is just a hairs breadth from somewhere that involves none of those things...
Until there I thought this was a sarcastic post.

So, are you saying that people who can play / sing and record all the parts for their music have it too easy as well? :shock: :? :roll:

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reddust
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Post 07 Jun 2019

Honestly I don't know what's wrong with using players like this one, this is just evolution, it's just one more tool. It's up to the composer to effort using this tool or not and try to make something personal and interesting.

I'm more concerned about having too many similar REs than rather say, ok, the matrix has become an update and a new face, take the risk that old school matrix lovers might not like that new face in favor of improved functionality, and make a device that can handle what the matrix does, plus this and the drum sequencer to name a few.

Some REs have clearly different purposes and function and I think it's justified to make them separately but honestly I think we are coming to a point where some REs from the same company aren't really as different from each other as to really justify the need of having them separate just for a couple of extra features and a new design.

antic604

Post 07 Jun 2019

reddust wrote:
07 Jun 2019
Honestly I don't know what's wrong with using players like this one, this is just evolution, it's just one more tool. It's up to the composer to effort using this tool or not and try to make something personal and interesting.
Exactly! Over 20 years ago I remember keyboards from Korg or Roland were already able to play arpeggios or even full arrangements with fills and breaks and stuff from one key press and somehow music didn't collapsed...

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chimp_spanner
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Post 07 Jun 2019

Undistraction wrote:
07 Jun 2019
FWIW I love and make generative music, but there is something that irks me about these kind of features. Making music should be hard. It should involve blood and sweat and soul. To me this is just a hairs breadth from somewhere that involves none of those things. It will be really interesting seeing where DAWs end up in the next 10 years. As AI get's more integrated and algorhythms become more and more sophisticated. People clearly love the idea of making music with as little effort as possible, so the market will move further in that direction. How many people use presets Vs crafting their own sounds? How many people will use AI-generated melodies rather than writing their own?
"Making music should be hard." - again sorry, but I disagree! If something is fun, intuitive, and easy it can still have soul, because creativity can flourish when technical barriers are removed. And like I said you're kind of discounting people that can't play keyboard because...it's not their instrument. Or perhaps they're not physically able. Not everyone that relies on assistive devices is lazy. Of course, sometimes ideas can come out of struggle - as a progressive tech metal guy, I can attest to that. But god knows it isn't always fun or inspiring to sit there working hard shit out. Some days I just caaaaaannot be bothered.

"How many people use presets Vs crafting their own sounds?" - Me? :lol: Don't get me wrong, I can make my own sounds and I often do when I have the luxury of time. But if I'm working to a brief with a tight deadline, you bet I'm gonna go straight for the presets. That's what they're there for. Ultimately what we all wanna do is write music, right? Create a vibe, a mood or emotion. Yeah you could do *everything* from scratch and flex about it but...does it have any bearing on the emotional impact of the music? Personally, I couldn't care less. Who decides how much has to be hand created in order to be valid? Is it lazy to use a synth when you could build your own in Reaktor? The only exception would be genres where the distinguishing feature is the sound design (like drone music). Using presets in those instances is a bit...lazy. But also self defeating because literally anyone else could make the same thing so, why bother?

It's an interesting conversation, and no doubt one that's gonna come up more in the years to come. I just feel people are worrying unduly. The most advanced AI out there is streets beyond anything we could expect to find in Reason and it's still very awkward and in no way a substitute for a human touch. If algorithms are guided by a human hand, well I think that blurs the lines. I'd still argue that you'd have to know what you're doing with it to produce intelligible/listenable results. It's creative assistance, not substitution. IMO anyway. To sidetrack a bit, look at game development. At various points in the pipeline people are using procedural algorithms to generate environments, using game engines with pre-made modules for game logic and audio, recyling pre-made assets. No-one would argue that they should do all this from scratch every time in order for it to be valid as a creative or artistic work (and some games really are art). But again in those cases, there's always a human hand guiding the final output. There has to be a vision, or the essence of an idea. Otherwise it's just a jumble. Same is true of players, or any generative musical devices.

sdst
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Post 07 Jun 2019

make music with this is more creative than chopping samples from a vinyl
this is a good tool to create your own music

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boingy
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Post 07 Jun 2019

Great music is great music. It doesn't matter whether you hand craft every instrument, make every synth patch from first principles, agonize over every knob, slider and dial or whether you just throw a few chords together and use a few stock sounds to make it. Great music is great music.

Anyhow, I think this subject has been done to death in this thread. We should hop over to the thread about the new chord generator and start the "chord generators are cheating" discussion..... :twisted:

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reddust
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Post 07 Jun 2019

antic604 wrote:
07 Jun 2019
Exactly! Over 20 years ago I remember keyboards from Korg or Roland were already able to play arpeggios or even full arrangements with fills and breaks and stuff from one key press and somehow music didn't collapsed...
Exactly, music evolves and I think it's good to have this kind of tools because it's what we need to keep creating fresh and new music.

As much as I loved guitar music from the last century it has become quite difficult to make music with guitars today that doesn't sound like it's done hundreds of thousands times before. It would be very nice if someone created a tool that could make guitars sound modern and fresh, but that doesn't actually matter if when devs are now creating a lot of tools to create music with synths and pcs, because at the end what we need is music, and for someone like me, not only the classic things we already know but also new and fresh music from young (or not so young people) with great ideas.
boingy wrote:
07 Jun 2019
Great music is great music. It doesn't matter whether you hand craft every instrument, make every synth patch from first principles, agonize over every knob, slider and dial or whether you just throw a few chords together and use a few stock sounds to make it. Great music is great music.

Anyhow, I think this subject has been done to death in this thread. We should hop over to the thread about the new chord generator and start the "chord generators are cheating" discussion..... :twisted:
Totally agree, after 30 years playing music I've come to the conclusion that the best ideas come directly from our minds, which tools we use to make this ideas real is just a step in the middle of the creative process. I like this device a lot, because for what I'm doing lately players are very helpful, I just wished it didn't came out right after RB Sequences did and at this price. I hope it gets a reduction some day because I think I'll get it sooner or later either way

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rgdaniel
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Post 07 Jun 2019

selig wrote:
07 Jun 2019
As I've said for years, musicians have been "cheating" ever since audio recording was first introduced. On one level, the only "pure" music that exists is music that is performed live in front of an audience - there's no "undo", no "take two", no edits/fixes/cleanups.
Everything else is just degrees of "cheating" when you look at it from that angle, and we all choose our own process.
As a photographer, this resonates with me in an analogous way. Years ago, I remember a co-worker (whose passion was white water canoeing) complaining about photos where a long exposure time would "soften" the flowing water into a lovely smoothness. He said that was also cheating, or as he called it, "f***ing with nature". I argued that the moment you take the 3-dimensional world in motion, and transform it to a motionless 2-dimensional artifact, that ship has sailed. Nature has been f***ed. The only thing that isn't cheating is an actual nude descending an actual staircase. The rest is art :D

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