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Sequencer problem

Sequencer problem
« on: January 08, 2019, 06:50:44 PM »
Relative synthesis noob so bare with me. But I’ve been programming with the Prophet 08 sequencer, and I’m having a problem every time I bring up any sequence patch after shutting the unit off. As soon as I open a sequence program, there is already a supposed key pressed, triggering the start of the sequence before I can even press anything.

I feel like I’ve adjusted every parameter trying to figure it out. Only thing that has work is turning unison on then pressing the key I want.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2019, 01:49:57 AM »
Moin bassgenius,

the P'08 sequencer is gated, which means that it will only start, if there is
- a keypress on the P'08 keyboard (but see below) or
- a MIDI key event at the MIDI in jack

So do You use MIDI or a sustain pedal or have anything connected to the MIDI or sustain jacks?

And here is the "see below" explanation:
Activating sustain should be the only way to conserve keypresses during a program change, even holding the keys manually should cut them off and keep the new program "clean".

Perhaps You could explain Your problem somewhat more detailed?

Martin (also an "educated" bass player ;) )

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 01:29:27 PM »
Moin bassgenius,

the P'08 sequencer is gated, which means that it will only start, if there is
- a keypress on the P'08 keyboard (but see below) or
- a MIDI key event at the MIDI in jack

So do You use MIDI or a sustain pedal or have anything connected to the MIDI or sustain jacks?

And here is the "see below" explanation:
Activating sustain should be the only way to conserve keypresses during a program change, even holding the keys manually should cut them off and keep the new program "clean".

Perhaps You could explain Your problem somewhat more detailed?

Martin (also an "educated" bass player ;) )

No there is nothing connected. I was using a midi keyboard for a brief period during some keybed repairs, but that was well before I had begun programming this sequence. And this happens on startup, I haven’t pressed any key at all between power on and the sequence start. And this is not the first time this has happened. But it doesn’t seem to occur until after I have saved the program and restarted the unit.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 10:12:58 PM »
Bit more info:

It doesn’t really sound like the initial sound is even part of the sequence. I have a melodic line going, and the initial sound is more like an idling motorbike.

It only exists in the VCA level. So the only way I’ve found to get rid of it is either cancelling the note with unison, or keeping VCA level at zero.

I have turned all LFO’s, mods, Env 3, noise, and sequences 2-4 off. So this is the most basic of basic sequences. So we’re talking two oscillators, LPF, and one sequence (OSCallFREQ).


Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 11:59:38 AM »
Is there any possibility that this has to do with layers?  Perhaps your sequence involves only one layer ,and the other layer is the source of the noise. 

Don't you normally have the VCA level at zero?

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 03:37:41 PM »
Is there any possibility that this has to do with layers?  Perhaps your sequence involves only one layer ,and the other layer is the source of the noise. 

Don't you normally have the VCA level at zero?

No it’s not coming from layer B. I’m using VCA level with sequencing more often than not.

Last night I went through all the presets, and they all have the same issue once I press the gated seq button. So I assume it’s got to be a global midi/clock issue.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2019, 04:16:31 PM »
Whenever there's a mysterious problem, it's always good to do a recalibration, just in case.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2019, 06:50:06 PM »
Whenever there's a mysterious problem, it's always good to do a recalibration, just in case.

Recalibrated. No change.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2019, 08:27:52 PM »
When all else fails, contact Sequential support.  They do an excellent job.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2019, 08:33:11 PM »
When all else fails, contact Sequential support.  They do an excellent job.

Yes I have some experience with them, some of the best! And it seems like this is a bit of an anomaly, haven’t been able to find anyone who has had an experience like this with the 08.

panic

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 02:38:46 AM »
The same goes for me, I never encountered your problem, but then again, I never made programs which use the sequencer and have the VCA level up (and I guess that goes for a lot of people). So my guess is that that is were the problem lies.
Out of curiosity, why do you prefer to have the vca level up for the sequences, what are you trying to accomplish?

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 11:42:47 AM »
The same goes for me, I never encountered your problem, but then again, I never made programs which use the sequencer and have the VCA level up (and I guess that goes for a lot of people). So my guess is that that is were the problem lies.
Out of curiosity, why do you prefer to have the vca level up for the sequences, what are you trying to accomplish?

I actually found that this sound is on EVERY program, whether or not I have the gated sequencer engaged. And if I pull up the basic program, it’s worse than on any other patch I have saved. Pulling up VCA level gives me sequences that are just not possible otherwise. I don’t know how to explain it, but I get lots of weird cool sounds.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2019, 03:48:54 PM »
Support told me this is normal for the pro 8. So the fact that I can’t find anyone else with this problem is just crazy.

Can anyone verify this on their own unit? Power up, and before hitting any keys, turn up the VCA.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 01:41:58 AM »
Moin,

being on travel I don't have access to my P'08 for the next days, but IMHO the VCA Level will be the cause: If VCA Level is turned up, P'08 will play the actual sound, no matter whether a key is pressed or not. This is described in its manual on page 15, which may be supplemented like this:
Quote
Note: If VCA LEVEL is on full, Envelope Amount has no effect. For typical keyboard and sequencer playing, VCA LEVEL is set to zero.

This translates in the rule of thumb: If You do not want P'08 to sound without any gate event (i.e. keypress, sequencer or arpeggio driven, external MIDI key message, ...), You must turn down VCA Level to zero.

Did You try different sequencer trigger otpions, especially Key Step? This should play the sound, but not trigger the sequence.

VCA Level is for "keyless drones" and seemingly these may even be sequenced. I must admit that I never tried that before, so even if this does not help You, thanks for the hint, I will certainly try that and spice my drones...

Martin

panic

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 01:46:28 AM »
Sorry, can't reach the synth (tetra in my case, but should be pretty much the same) for a couple of weeks.
But to me, what you describe makes perfect sense (if your problem was only happening with sequenced patches, it would not make sense). Unless turned off, the oscillators are always producing a signal, even when no keys are pressed. You use the VCA as a gate to let that sound through.
(the following is in theory, since I can’t try it at the moment) When you start turning up VCA level, you are opening up the gate, hence letting the sound pass through. When you are not in unison 1-voice mode, you will start hearing sound from all the voices at once when you turn up VCA level. And indeed, this sound will not be related to the sequence, because the sequencer is a gated sequencer, it needs a keypress to be activated.
Turning up VCA level is something typically used for creating drones. But I never use it, and prefer to use a pedal to sustain notes, this gives you more control (and I would guess most people do it that way, and that will be the reason why your findings are not typically reported).
The reason I was asking what you like about your “droning” sequences, was to give you suggestions how to approach it in other ways (like adjusting your amp envelope parameters, or using the sequencer in “no gate mode” (I use that mode very often). A bit hard though with your description…

panic

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #15 on: Yesterday at 01:47:59 AM »
damn, Martin beat me to it...

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 06:54:36 AM »
IMHO the VCA Level will be the cause: If VCA Level is turned up, P'08 will play the actual sound, no matter whether a key is pressed or not. This is described in its manual on page 15, which may be supplemented like this:
Quote
Note: If VCA LEVEL is on full, Envelope Amount has no effect. For typical keyboard and sequencer playing, VCA LEVEL is set to zero.

This translates in the rule of thumb: If You do not want P'08 to sound without any gate event (i.e. keypress, sequencer or arpeggio driven, external MIDI key message, ...), You must turn down VCA Level to zero.

Yes, this is what we've all been saying.  The VCA Amount is supposed to have the effect of producing a sound when nothing is triggered.  It's for sustaining sound when you're not playing the instrument, sounds such as wind or drones.  You can use it also for tuning several instruments.

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 03:16:35 PM »
Sorry, can't reach the synth (tetra in my case, but should be pretty much the same) for a couple of weeks.
But to me, what you describe makes perfect sense (if your problem was only happening with sequenced patches, it would not make sense). Unless turned off, the oscillators are always producing a signal, even when no keys are pressed. You use the VCA as a gate to let that sound through.
(the following is in theory, since I can’t try it at the moment) When you start turning up VCA level, you are opening up the gate, hence letting the sound pass through. When you are not in unison 1-voice mode, you will start hearing sound from all the voices at once when you turn up VCA level. And indeed, this sound will not be related to the sequence, because the sequencer is a gated sequencer, it needs a keypress to be activated.
Turning up VCA level is something typically used for creating drones. But I never use it, and prefer to use a pedal to sustain notes, this gives you more control (and I would guess most people do it that way, and that will be the reason why your findings are not typically reported).
The reason I was asking what you like about your “droning” sequences, was to give you suggestions how to approach it in other ways (like adjusting your amp envelope parameters, or using the sequencer in “no gate mode” (I use that mode very often). A bit hard though with your description…

There are definitely other ways of “droning”, but I would not describe the VCA level effect as droning at all when using the sequencer. It’s not a problem really, I just need to save my programs with the VCA at zero, then turn it up after I start playing.

panic

Re: Sequencer problem
« Reply #18 on: Today at 01:26:41 AM »
I'm still quite intrigued about what you are doing exactly, and how it sounds. Some questions (can help me immagining it):
- In what mode are you using the sequencer, normal?
- you program a melodic sequence, right, one track for osc 1+2 freq?
- are you using the synth in unison?
- how far open do you have the VCA level, (almost) all the way up?