Erica Synths Black Sequencer

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everythingcontinues
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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by everythingcontinues » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:03 pm

Back Down the Path wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:04 pm
-S.L- wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:36 pm
I still think the Quantizer how it is right now is a big no go. I'm glad i actually work with external quantizer , i have plenty to choose from. But if this was my only sequencer and had not other choice than using the inside quantizer, I'd be pretty pissed off on how it works. Changing on the fly scales won't affect the melody, you first need to choose what scale you want to work with and.... deal with it ! That's mental if you ask me. Any other sequencer with on-board quantizer that I know, works the "logical" way, meaning you create whatever random sequence, then swap from scale to scale until you find a melody that suits your need. Here, no.

...
Agreed on the quantizer. I feel like I’m always worried about if i set it in advance and constantly checking it. Would be nice to swap through and have the melody change. This way requires more planning.

...
-S.L- wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:45 pm
Well not only this is annoying, but also the number of scale available is ..... 9! :party:
Can't use it as it is, very poor choice and it's pre sequence. :foul:
Do you expect the non-pre-sequence scale change to change the notes as they have been saved in the sequence or to keep what was entered but allow for some kind of downstream transposition? I feel like the idea of a quantizer on a sequencer is to give you guard rails and make it easier while entering the sequence. I'm not a wizard of music theory, but my understanding is that the process of transposing a musical idea to a different scale is not always completely straightforward.

Consider you have your song going in C Major and want to shift to C Minor. Say you have an E in there. Does the E move down to Eb or up to an F (equidistant in terms of semi-tones)? If you wanted it to retain the same scale degree (3rd), you'd need to shift down. Something like that could probably be coded, but what if the scale you're shifting to doesn't have the same number of notes in the scale and whatever note you have in your pattern doesn't exist as a degree in the new scale? What's supposed to happen? Should it just shift to whatever the random nearest note is in the new scale? That technically could work, but it also fundamentally changes the musical idea that existed in the prior scale.

Personally, I wouldn't want the process of quantizing and transposition to complicate or potentially provide a destructive process to musical ideas I've saved in the sequencer. It's pretty easy to pass the output of a sequencer into quantizer module, and you can have that process randomly round, transpose and constrain to whatever new scale you select.

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-S.L-
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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by -S.L- » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:22 pm

You got this all wrong ;) We don't want to transpose or shift anything (yet)
We just want to put random values of one sequence, and the quantizer is doing its job taking consideration of what scale we choose, and this while the sequence is running. Like 99% of the sequencer with onboard quantizer I know. Such as i.e Metropolis or even Octone with its limited 5 options (not counting Chromatic as a scale even thou it is on the paper a scale)

The whole point of this method is having fun without knowing anything about music theory, yet still have musical results fast by changing scales on the fly while the sequence is running. Here, you have to choose your scale FIRST, then you do your sequence, and then you are stuck with that scale.

Dramatic :mad: :bang:

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by viroxx » Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:30 pm

everythingcontinues wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:03 pm
Back Down the Path wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:04 pm
-S.L- wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:36 pm
I still think the Quantizer how it is right now is a big no go. I'm glad i actually work with external quantizer , i have plenty to choose from. But if this was my only sequencer and had not other choice than using the inside quantizer, I'd be pretty pissed off on how it works. Changing on the fly scales won't affect the melody, you first need to choose what scale you want to work with and.... deal with it ! That's mental if you ask me. Any other sequencer with on-board quantizer that I know, works the "logical" way, meaning you create whatever random sequence, then swap from scale to scale until you find a melody that suits your need. Here, no.

...
Agreed on the quantizer. I feel like I’m always worried about if i set it in advance and constantly checking it. Would be nice to swap through and have the melody change. This way requires more planning.

...
-S.L- wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:45 pm
Well not only this is annoying, but also the number of scale available is ..... 9! :party:
Can't use it as it is, very poor choice and it's pre sequence. :foul:
Do you expect the non-pre-sequence scale change to change the notes as they have been saved in the sequence or to keep what was entered but allow for some kind of downstream transposition? I feel like the idea of a quantizer on a sequencer is to give you guard rails and make it easier while entering the sequence. I'm not a wizard of music theory, but my understanding is that the process of transposing a musical idea to a different scale is not always completely straightforward.

Consider you have your song going in C Major and want to shift to C Minor. Say you have an E in there. Does the E move down to Eb or up to an F (equidistant in terms of semi-tones)? If you wanted it to retain the same scale degree (3rd), you'd need to shift down. Something like that could probably be coded, but what if the scale you're shifting to doesn't have the same number of notes in the scale and whatever note you have in your pattern doesn't exist as a degree in the new scale? What's supposed to happen? Should it just shift to whatever the random nearest note is in the new scale? That technically could work, but it also fundamentally changes the musical idea that existed in the prior scale.

Personally, I wouldn't want the process of quantizing and transposition to complicate or potentially provide a destructive process to musical ideas I've saved in the sequencer. It's pretty easy to pass the output of a sequencer into quantizer module, and you can have that process randomly round, transpose and constrain to whatever new scale you select.
Not a destructive process. Let's say you composed a chromatic sequence, you should then be able to hop between different scales that will change your notes exactly like a quantizer module in a non destructive way. You could always revert back to chromatic mode / your original scale.

If I want to quantize all of my tracks using an external quantizer it's a hassle because I need one module to sum 4 cv tracks into one input of a quantizer module.
That's 2 extra modules just to play with scales after I created a sequence.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by janis » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:32 am

-S.L- wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:45 pm
Well not only this is annoying, but also the number of scale available is ..... 9! :party:
Can't use it as it is, very poor choice and it's pre sequence. :foul:
You are not limited to the 9 factory programmed scales. You can make your own (manual page 6). Up to 64 total (including the 9 factory scales).

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by auditorycanvas » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:41 am

Good point about rolling your own scales. Now if only we could also then change them on the fly :)

As I discovered, and hadn't considered this evening, the downside of running out to an external quantizer is glides/slides can get stepped. Might be a cool effect, but if you want the glide/slide, then, well...nope.

I'd like to at least be able to transpose (while respecting current scale). If I like what I hear, I can always save it to a new pattern or just save to the current. I can always transpose back ad save again if I decide to.

At the moment, I'm running some of my oscillators through a Klavis Caltrans, on which I can change octave and transpose by semi, but things go wonky real quick if I'm also sequencing other sound sources not running through the Caltrans.

Aside from post sequencing scale change and transpose, and hoping for probability options for ratchets/repeats, and mods, it's close to a perfect sequencer for me, I've been really enjoying it since picking it up last week.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by Back Down the Path » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:00 am

everythingcontinues wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:03 pm
Personally, I wouldn't want the process of quantizing and transposition to complicate or potentially provide a destructive process to musical ideas I've saved in the sequencer. It's pretty easy to pass the output of a sequencer into quantizer module, and you can have that process randomly round, transpose and constrain to whatever new scale you select.
I think that people are generally pretty well acquainted with the quantizer on the Metropolis and other sequencers, which allow you to change scales on the fly. Now, the Black sequencer is obviously different in that you are programming in notes exactly (while the Metro is more "visual" with the sliders), and I hear what you're saying about applying note quantization after the fact being "destructive."

That being said, having the option to save, then change things around to try to get somewhere better or different, and then loading the previous state if you are not satisfied with the result, would be a great option. It might not be exact and there may be a bias to higher or lower notes upon a scale change which would make it impossible to just "switch back" to exactly what you had before, you can use the save/load function to solve that problem.

I think a lot of people are like me in that music theory is not something I practice regularly or know intuitively but something I am aware of and I sometimes set out to make something a specific way (for example, I'll read up on a chord progression and practice it and record it, or look at the notes in a bass line from a song I like and try to recreate it). However, what I love about my modular is that I can just experiment and change things around until I hear something I like and say to myself "that's it." Having to choose a scale in advance is limiting for me because I don't have any formal training and, frankly, I don't have a real idea of what it will sound like until I hear it.

Sure, I could have gotten a Rene or stuck with my Metropolis, but I didn't anticipate buying this and then considering that I should maybe also get a Rene for the times I don't feel like planning what I'm doing in advance. I could also just get a quantizer! I hear O_c is great for that, but I worry about lag and over complication. It would be easier if the Black Sequencer just had that functionality ;)

If it's not possible, that's fine. I still love it and will keep it!

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by batch » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:13 am

The logical flow of sequence then quantizer is consistent not just with Metropolis but pretty much every sequencer out there with an onboard quantizer (eg Westlicht, ER101, TeteTetrapad, Rene, Seek). It is also consistent with the way modular works and so think this is how most of us think about it. In other words, if you used a separate quantizer it would always be after the sequencer, enabling you to change scales without changing the sequence and not having to think about scale whilst entering notes.

I recognize the challenges that this creates when it comes to things like glides though.

As @BackDownThePayh says - this is a great Sequencer!
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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by viroxx » Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:51 pm

I submitted a ticket to Erica Synths asking if a quantizer update would be possible. Will update once I hear back from them.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by Kosmikos » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:04 pm

Trying to steer away from the scale debate :lol:, am I the only one thinking that 2/4 in probability mode should play on 2/4 and not on both 1/4 and 2/4?
At least that’s the way it works in Elektron world.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by auditorycanvas » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:08 pm

Kosmikos wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:04 pm
Trying to steer away from the scale debate :lol:, am I the only one thinking that 2/4 in probability mode should play on 2/4 and not on both 1/4 and 2/4?
At least that’s the way it works in Elektron world.
Had me for a while too, but it's saying it will play on 2 of every 4 gates.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by auditorycanvas » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:11 pm

Back Down the Path wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:00 am

I could also just get a quantizer! I hear O_c is great for that
The downside to that route is that glides/slides get stepped, and no longer smooth glide. If you're not using glides, it works great.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by SingleCell » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:52 pm

My 2 cents about the quantizer:
I would label what the Erica does as 'Input Quantization" and what people are asking for as "Output Quantization". I think they both have their uses, and I wouldn't necessarily want to see the former strictly replaced by the latter. The trick would be, offering both forms of quantization without making it unnecessarily complicated.

I believe the simplest solution would be to have the quantizer continue to work on the input as it does now. while ALSO effecting the output. So, notes are 'destructively' quantized by whatever scale is selected during the recording of the notes (dialing them in by hand, Magic randomly generating them, or eventually, live midi/cv recording), but then get 'non-destructively' quantized again at the output, by whatever the current scale is when it's played back.

There might be some reason I haven't thought of, why this wouldn't work. I'm just trying to come up with a 'best of both worlds' solution that would keep the Erica simple and streamlined.

EDIT: Question: If this were implemented... when looking at the CV track, should it show the notes as they were recorded, or should it show the notes that will be played under the currently selected scale? If it shows the notes as they will be played... then, when they are different than the notes recorded, should there be some indication that what you are looking at is not the actual notes recorded? Should there be a way to 'print' the track with the currently selected scale, 'destructively' changing it to a newly selected scale? I guess my point is, it gets complicated.
Last edited by SingleCell on Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by batch » Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:57 pm

SingleCell wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:52 pm
I believe the simplest solution would be to have the quantizer continue to work on the input as it does now. while ALSO effecting the output. So, notes are 'destructively' quantized by whatever scale is selected during the recording of the notes (dialing them in by hand, Magic randomly generating them, or eventually, live midi/cv recording), but then get 'non-destructively' quantized again at the output, by whatever the current scale is when it's played back.
I think this is a great idea, even better if it could be turned on/ off as a setting by channel.

Other thing to note is that the quantizer is not applied to the CV/Note mod track, and think it should.
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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by auditorycanvas » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:29 pm

Just a latch function for the transpose in the performance screen might do the trick? Maybe with an option to save/overwrite the notes in the sequence with the transposed notes.

We could then audition the transposition, with the encoders as we can now in the performance screen, and hit a latch button to hold it.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by aphex2000 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:17 am

I actually like the "input quantization" approach because it adds another flavour to my system (e.g. it allows me to add some non-diatonic notes manually) - but i do have a Harmonaig or Disting that can act in later stage if needed.

But i also wonder how they will implement CV/midi transposition with this approach: shifting a programmed c-minor sequence up 4 semitones will likely result in something that is very much not c-minor and i'm not sure that is what i would want in that use case so to have "output quantization" per channel as an option as mentioned in the posts above would be nice indeed.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by Kosmikos » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:03 am

I think there might be an easy way to offer quantisation without changing any of the current structure.
They could do it on the unused CVin and offer quantised CVin as a new channel Mod type, with the scale as a setting.
With this and self patching you’d be able to output quantised voltage from the same channel, e.g. CVout to CVin and requantised CV would come out from Mod. You’d lose a CVout but you’d gain a quantiser that can be compatible with any input scale settings. :goo:

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by auditorycanvas » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:17 am

I may be late to the party on this, and everyone already knew...I just realized that changing the root note in the quantizer page changes post note input...so I can cross something off my wishlist :)

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by -S.L- » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:06 am

janis wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:32 am
-S.L- wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:45 pm
Well not only this is annoying, but also the number of scale available is ..... 9! :party:
Can't use it as it is, very poor choice and it's pre sequence. :foul:
You are not limited to the 9 factory programmed scales. You can make your own (manual page 6). Up to 64 total (including the 9 factory scales).
I know you can create your own. Which is certainly a +

But not being able then to change them on the fly while a sequence runs, is closed to be useless and very restrictive !

Quantizer MUST be applied after sequence, not everybody is a music genius and knows exactly what he's expecting in advance by choosing this method. The whole point of this is having fun and having unexpected results with a scale that you would not have come with at the first place, and, change it if you're bored with it or look for another option.

Do a poll and i bet 90% of user would like this rather than what's available now.

Still a great sequencer. But this is big No No No

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by syrinx70 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:22 pm

Yes,part of experimentation is trying different scales on the fly see what sounds cool.they should fix this

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by auditorycanvas » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:54 am

Does anyone know how to save settings in setup? I set the Clock Out PPQN to 2 in Setup > General, but it goes back to the default 4 after a power cycle. Other settings seem to automatically retain, at least the ones I've changed, but the clock out resolution doesn't seem to save.

Another thing I'm struggling with is being able to save/copy a track from one project to another. If I copy a pattern, then change Project or create a new one, and then try pasting the Pattern, it pastes a default pattern rather than the one I copied from. Anyone know a way to copy across Projects?

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by batch » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:21 am

You don’t need to create a new pattern to copy and paste.

In pattern screen press copy, then the encoder of the pattern you want to copy. Then press paste, and then the encoder of the pattern you want to paste to. That’s it, you should see the LED of the encoder light up to show it’s done and something come up on the screen with each action.

You can’t paste over, so you need a clear slot and when you copy/paste a pattern you are copying and pasting all 4 tracks and everything in them. I haven’t played with copying and pasting individual tracks but assume it’s similar.

This approach means you can have pattern 1 running but then say copy pattern 2 to pattern 3 or similar. You can also just save the current pattern into a new slot which is faster. So in this example, pattern 1 to 3. Again in pattern screen and the just press rec and pattern 3 and it will save what ever is running into slot 3. Last thing to note, when copying its copying what’s in saved memory, not what’s running, so don’t forget to save first if that’s important to you.

Make sense?

The saving of the clock setting sounds like a bug, report it to them. There was something similar in the Drum Sequencer for a while and was fixed.
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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by SingleCell » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:17 pm

@batch:

auditorycanvas is asking about copy/pasting a pattern into a different Project... which I haven't tried to do. (EDIT: but could see that being useful)

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by lyesmel » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:49 pm

What are the uses of the CV in on this module ? I cant seem to find anything that really covers it in the manual and not sure how to utilise it.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by SingleCell » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:09 pm

lyesmel wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:49 pm
What are the uses of the CV in on this module ? I cant seem to find anything that really covers it in the manual and not sure how to utilise it.
I think nothing is implemented yet. On page 20 of the manual online, it explains the input settings and what they are meant to do, so you can get an idea what they are planning... but that could change, I expect.

EDIT: The manual online, I just noticed, appears to be out of sync with the actual released firmware. The options for input don't match what I see when I bring up that page. And I've spotted other things that are different/wrong/not implemented yet.

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Re: Erica Synths Black Sequencer

Post by batch » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:27 pm

SingleCell wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:17 pm
@batch:

auditorycanvas is asking about copy/pasting a pattern into a different Project... which I haven't tried to do. (EDIT: but could see that being useful)
Oh ... didn’t realize that. Haven’t tried doing that and agree, can see that being useful. Anyone tried copying and pasting projects? Or seeing if the clipboard is persistent after you load a new project. Wonder also if you can do it by editing the SD card on a PC or Mac. Not as convenient, but might work.
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