Secondary release time feature request

Secondary release time feature request
« on: March 21, 2023, 11:58:39 PM »
I just sent the below email request to Sequential support.

For anybody else who thinks this would be a nice addition, please drop them a line to say so.

Hi,

Iíd like to make a feature request if I may. As always, I know thereís no guarantee that it can or will be implemented.

I was wondering if it would be possible to add a third mode to the sustain pedal hold/release function. It would be brilliant if the Prophet envelopes could be given the secondary release time parameter like the OB-X8 has when a sustain pedal is pressed.

Iíd envisage this mode being added to the current Globals setting for HOLD/RELEASE as something like RELEASE 2 (ďrE2Ē in the display).

When the synth is set to this mode is and an attached sustain pedal is not pressed, the release time of both envelopes acts as it does currently; when the sustain pedal is pressed, notes played are given the alternative secondary release time set in the amp and filter envelopes. Each envelope should have its own separate secondary release time.

As for how the HOLD button behaves in this mode, I see two options:

BUTTON BEHAVIOUR - OPTION 1
Button light is unlit (state 1) when sustain pedal is not pressed (normal release times are used); light lights or flashes (state 2) when sustain pedal is pressed (secondary release times used). Having the light flash when the pedal is pressed would help to distinguish this new mode from the current modes. (Though in the current modes, thereís actually no visual way to distinguish between the HOLD and RELEASE modes on the button.)

This would allow secondary release to be used even when no sustain pedal is plugged in. When RELEASE button is in state 1, normal release times are used; when button is in state 2, secondary release times are used.


BUTTON BEHAVIOUR - OPTION 2
Alternatively you could have it so the button is steadily lit (state 1) when the sustain pedal is not pressed (indicating normal release times are in force). When sustain pedal is pressed, the light then blinks (state 2) to indicate that secondary release times are in force. (Or you could have slow blink/fast blink to indicate the two states.)

If no sustain pedal is plugged in, then pressing the RELEASE button would toggle between the two states: steadily lit to indicate normal release times, blinking to indicate secondary release times. (Or you could have slow blink/fast blink to indicate the two states.)
_____

As for actually setting the secondary release times, I again see a couple of options.

SETTING RELEASE TIME - OPTION 1
Normal release times would be set as they are currently by turning the RELEASE knobs of the envelopes.

Press and hold the HOLD/RELEASE button and turn the RELEASE knobs of the envelopes to set the secondary release times.

This would make adjusting the secondary release times always be a deliberate process. (Contrast with option 2.)

This would still make checking the stored values via the red dot in the display possible: turn the RELEASE knobs by themselves to see the normal release time settings. Turn the RELEASE knobs while holding the HOLD/RELEASE button to see the secondary release time setting.


SETTING RELEASE TIME - OPTION 2
Alternatively, have it such that normal release times are adjusted when the RELEASE button is in state 1, and secondary release times are adjusted when the RELEASE button is in state 2.

If doing it this way, it would be important for the RELEASE button to flash when secondary times are being edited to make it clear which release times were being edited.

This implementation might in some ways be preferable to the first option as it would only require one hand to make adjustments to the secondary release time, freeing the other hand to play test notes. (However, there are other settings on the synth which require two hands to make (such as unison detune) so maybe thatís not such a concern.)

Here users could even simply hold down  the sustain pedal to adjust secondary release times and release it to adjust normal release times.

Again checking the stored values via the red dot in the display would still be possible: when the RELEASE button is in state 1, turn the RELEASE knobs to see the normal release time settings. When the RELEASE button is in state 2, turn the RELEASE knobs to see the secondary release time setting. (Again, sustain pedal can be used to change button state.)

____

I believe this idea would add a brilliant function, allowing much smoother transitions between notes in certain situations. In the current RELEASE mode, notes played without the sustain pedal cut off abruptly as release times are set to zero, which sounds unnatural for piano-like patches. Having a secondary release function would allow relatively short (but, crucially, non-zero) values to be used for release when no pedal is pressed, and longer release times when the pedal is pressed.

Importantly, this implementation would not interfere with current behaviour if users were to choose one of the two existing HOLD/RELEASE modes.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Best wishes

chysn

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Re: Secondary release time feature request
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2023, 07:57:58 AM »
So, while the pedal is held down, notes would use the secondary release time when released, instead of just holding? That's kind of a neat feature. For setting it, I like the idea of holding down the pedal and turning the Release knob.

I already have concern that the Prophet 5/10 is slowing becoming Minitaurized. The Moog Minitaur is a brilliant-sounding synth, and its knob-per-function interface was a blast. Then Moog started updating the firmware, and you suddenly had to memorize a million different combinations. Like you could hold down Glide and turn the VCO 2 Level knob to turn on hard sync. It became almost comical.

So far the Prophet 5/10 updates have made sense, in terms of holding buttons down to see non-panel parameters. Resonance compensation, velocity amount, and aftertouch amount were great additions that are easy enough to use. But Sequential needs to be careful about nerfing panel mode, which is how I do all of my sound making.

It's all about implementation, and I think holding down the pedal while turning the knob seems kind of natural. But then, if you're editing in panel mode, what happens to your regular release value once your foot's off the pedal (or if your finger's off the Hold button)? It makes me nervous. I think the panel exactly reflecting your sound is a killer app.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2023, 09:24:55 AM by chysn »
Pro 3 #1640 ∙ Prophet 5 Rev 4 #2711

MPC One+ ∙ MicroBrute ∙ MuseScore 4 ∙ Ableton

www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

he/him/his

Re: Secondary release time feature request
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2023, 11:24:36 AM »
So, while the pedal is held down, notes would use the secondary release time when released, instead of just holding? That's kind of a neat feature. For setting it, I like the idea of holding down the pedal and turning the Release knob.

I already have concern that the Prophet 5/10 is slowing becoming Minitaurized. The Moog Minitaur is a brilliant-sounding synth, and its knob-per-function interface was a blast. Then Moog started updating the firmware, and you suddenly had to memorize a million different combinations. Like you could hold down Glide and turn the VCO 2 Level knob to turn on hard sync. It became almost comical.

So far the Prophet 5/10 updates have made sense, in terms of holding buttons down to see non-panel parameters. Resonance compensation, velocity amount, and aftertouch amount were great additions that are easy enough to use. But Sequential needs to be careful about nerfing panel mode, which is how I do all of my sound making.

It's all about implementation, and I think holding down the pedal while turning the knob seems kind of natural. But then, if you're editing in panel mode, what happens to your regular release value once your foot's off the pedal (or if your finger's off the Hold button)? It makes me nervous. I think the panel exactly reflecting your sound is a killer app.

Yes, thatís the thinking.

There is already a mode where the release stage is only enabled when the sustain pedal is engaged. Thatís OK but not brilliant as it cuts notes absolutely dead as soon as you release the keys when the pedal isnít pressed. Itís too drastic. Iíd like to be able to program a short release time that allows some natural sounding decay of released notes when the pedal isnít pressed, but then have longer release times when the pedal is pressed.

You make a good point about panel mode. Thatís partly why I explicitly said that my implementation would allow users to just continue using the synth as it is now in the current modes.

Moog Subsequent 37 has a panel mode but the envelope knobs all have a shift function so as soon as you go in a change that, those knobs no longer represent the top-level controls. I kind of live with that and donít bother touching the secondary parameters when playing in panel mode.

One way around the issue for the Prophet in my proposed feature would be to have a combined amp and filter envelope secondary release stage; you could then simply hold the RELEASE button and use the +/- buttons to set a numerical value between 0 and 127 common to both. Or use the 1-8 buttons for coarser options. (Iím not keen on these options.)

Or press and hold RELEASE and say the 8 button to then use +/- to adjust secondary amp release. Then RELEASE and say 7 with +/- to adjust secondary filter release. Less elegant than my original proposals but does solve the panel mode issue.

(Actually the Prophet has a bit of a flaw in its panel mode in that the states of the buttons arenít saved on power-down; they always start up on a default setting.)

This is why the motorised knobs on the Melbourne Instruments NINA are genius.

chysn

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Re: Secondary release time feature request
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2023, 11:39:12 AM »
(Actually the Prophet has a bit of a flaw in its panel mode in that the states of the buttons arenít saved on power-down; they always start up on a default setting.)

Yeah, I was thinking about that yesterday, actually. It's a little annoying.
Pro 3 #1640 ∙ Prophet 5 Rev 4 #2711

MPC One+ ∙ MicroBrute ∙ MuseScore 4 ∙ Ableton

www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

he/him/his

Re: Secondary release time feature request
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2023, 11:48:41 AM »
(Actually the Prophet has a bit of a flaw in its panel mode in that the states of the buttons arenít saved on power-down; they always start up on a default setting.)

Yeah, I was thinking about that yesterday, actually. It's a little annoying.

Worth asking support to solve it. I did a while ago.

chysn

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  • 1773
Re: Secondary release time feature request
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2023, 12:28:58 PM »
(Actually the Prophet has a bit of a flaw in its panel mode in that the states of the buttons arenít saved on power-down; they always start up on a default setting.)

Yeah, I was thinking about that yesterday, actually. It's a little annoying.

Worth asking support to solve it. I did a while ago.

I will. Not sure if it's technically possible, but it is worth asking because I use the panel mode constantly.

I wonder how other Sequential synths (ones with a Preset button) work in this respect?
Pro 3 #1640 ∙ Prophet 5 Rev 4 #2711

MPC One+ ∙ MicroBrute ∙ MuseScore 4 ∙ Ableton

www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

he/him/his

Re: Secondary release time feature request
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2023, 01:44:48 PM »
(Actually the Prophet has a bit of a flaw in its panel mode in that the states of the buttons arenít saved on power-down; they always start up on a default setting.)

Yeah, I was thinking about that yesterday, actually. It's a little annoying.

Worth asking support to solve it. I did a while ago.

I will. Not sure if it's technically possible, but it is worth asking because I use the panel mode constantly.

I wonder how other Sequential synths (ones with a Preset button) work in this respect?
Itís definitely possible just they choose not to do it so far. Probably for the same reason that the synth doesnít automatically remember the last-used patch: to reduce flash memory writes and increase lifespan.

Re: Secondary release time feature request
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2023, 04:35:20 PM »
Had a reply from Gus at Sequential who thought it was a good idea.

I sent him the following reply after the discussion points that Chysn raised:

Hi Gus,

no problem, thanks for your reply.

I had a couple of other thoughts since sending:

Although I forgot to mention it in my exposition of ďsetting envelope option 1Ē, it would here, as it is in option 2, also be possible to hold the sustain pedal down and turn the release knobs to adjust the secondary time.

One consideration that could speak against my suggestions in my first email is that having a secondary release time set by the release knobs would potentially mean that those knobs wouldnít necessarily represent the settings of the normal release times when the synth is in Panel mode. However, as I mentioned, users could stick to the current two modes to avoid that.

Another way around that problem would be to instead set the secondary release times via the RELEASE button in conjunction with the +/- buttons (either alone or in combination with another button). These would then be set between 0 and 127. Here are some suggested implementations:

Setting release2 time via buttons - option 1
Press and hold RELEASE and 7 and use +\- keys to adjust amp envelope.

Press and hold RELEASE and 8 and use +\- keys to adjust filter envelope.


Setting release2 time via buttons - option 2
Press and hold RELEASE when that button is in State 1 and use +\- keys to adjust amp envelope.

Press and hold RELEASE when that button is in State 2 and use +\- keys to adjust filter envelope.


Setting release2 time via buttons - option 3
When RELEASE button is in State 2, press and hold it then use +\- keys to adjust amp envelope.

When RELEASE button is in State 2, double-tap it and hold it then use +\- keys to adjust filter envelope. (Thereíd need to be some change in the lightís behaviour here to distinguish that itís the filter envelope being adjusted, so either flashing (if state 2 is made to be steadily lit) or faster flashing (if state 2 is made to be flashing).)


Setting release2 time via buttons - option 4
When RELEASE button is in State 2, press and hold it then use +\- keys to adjust amp envelope.

When RELEASE button is in State 2, double-tap it and release m it then use +\- keys to adjust filter envelope. Button would go into State 3, light either flashing (if state 2 is made to be steadily lit) or faster flashing (if state 2 is made to be flashing).)

Tap (or double-tap?) RELEASE button to return it to State 2.


Setting release2 time via buttons - option 5
Press and hold RELEASE and use +\- keys to adjust both amp and filter envelope together (shared value).

I suggest this only as a very last resort in case none of the above options are deemed viable as it would be better than nothing.

____

Could you please pass on this supplementary information to the team.

Thanks and best wishes,