Polyend Tracker

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

Moderators: luketeaford, Joe., lisa, Kent

Post Reply
User avatar
Gribs
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:19 am
Location: San Ramon, CA

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by Gribs » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:51 am

I love Loopop’s reviews but I grew disinterested in this thing by about the halfway point. I just don’t see myself enjoying using it.

I would say that in general if I “stay” until the end of one of his reviews, it pretty much means I am going to buy the item at some point or I already own it and am looking for his tip and tricks.
----------------------------------------

User avatar
Voltcontrol
Ravey Dave
Posts: 1058
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:31 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by Voltcontrol » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:53 am

Well, NerdSeq just released info they'll be launching a standalone tracker. Thread here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=229029
mongrol wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:58 pm
Hot on the heels of the Polyend Tracker comes a portable version of XOR's Nerdseq.

https://xor-electronics.com/nerdseq-portable/
Hardware:

– 3.5″ Colour Graphics IPS display with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels
– microSD connector accessible for project and sample management
– Midi I/O
– Stereo Line and Headphone out
– Line in
– USB
– Expander port for NSA (Nerd-Sound-Adapter) integration to directly use the NerdSEQ Eurorack Expanders (CV16, Trigger16…)
– Portable use

Firmware:
– 8 Tracks for each Midi, Sampling, Sound or Expanders
– 254 Sequencer rows
– 254 Patterns with each 64 (and less) Steps
– flexible and comfortable arrangement of patterns
– Capable for advanced song arrangements as well as live access to patterns
– 254 Patches/Instruments
– 64 Tables with 16 (and less) steps
– 8 Automation slots
– 32 Sample slots
– 16 Bit Stereo Sample support. 150 sec sample memory
– Sample recording
– Projects as many as the SD card can hold
– Launchpad Integration
– With expansions also integrated CV and Gate/Trigger sequencing
– 4 voice polyphonic for Midi tracks
– Integrated Sound synthesizer
…..and much more….
No price yet, slated for June 2020 (good luck with that)

Trackers Overboard!
Tasty spec, but not that pretty a device
Image

22tape
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Yer mammy's dusty vibraphone

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by 22tape » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:36 am

Yeah the Nerdseq looks really cool. See, that looks like a proper sketchpad, yet it has better firmware specs (for what I need) than the workstation :omg:

I just love Polyend's design/layout though!

User avatar
brandonlogic
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2667
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:17 am

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by brandonlogic » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:45 am

I was thinking the polyend could be a replacement for the digitakt for me, but the lack of knobs has me turned off.
One of the things I love most about the digitakt is that, after you have a sequence going, you can hit record and go crazy manipulating them knobs, recording all kinds parameters per step quickly and on the fly.
It dosnt look like you can quite do that to the same extent on this, you have to program more stuff per step. Seems like it would be much slower.
The live jam mode seems fun but that’s not quite the same.
I just wish it had a row of assignable knobs along the top and you could assign them to things like sample selection, effects send, filtering, etc and record those parameter changes into the sequence like you can on the takt.
If it did I’d be all over it.

User avatar
Basterdman
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 9:46 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by Basterdman » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:15 am

I am very torn. Both the Polyend and the XOR speak to me for different reasons. The initial size of the Polyend is what I am into, and having 8 tracks visible, but having knobs on the XOR is a win.

User avatar
ignatius
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 15487
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:03 pm
Location: oregon
Contact:

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by ignatius » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:54 am

has this made an appearance in this thread yet?

all this tracker talk.. Tim Lamb (trash80) working on a pretty slick little gameboy/lsdj inspired device. 



User avatar
cat_abyss
Common Wiggler
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:44 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by cat_abyss » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:25 am

ignatius wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:54 am
has this made an appearance in this thread yet?

all this tracker talk.. Tim Lamb (trash80) working on a pretty slick little gameboy/lsdj inspired device. 

-videosnip-
Huh, thats incredible! I love the lsdj workflow, the gameboy is basically my most used synth. Didn't watch the whole video yet but "macrosynth" implies he's put a braids in there? This could absolutely be something.

User avatar
ignatius
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 15487
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:03 pm
Location: oregon
Contact:

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by ignatius » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:54 pm

cat_abyss wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:25 am
ignatius wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:54 am
has this made an appearance in this thread yet?

all this tracker talk.. Tim Lamb (trash80) working on a pretty slick little gameboy/lsdj inspired device. 

-videosnip-
Huh, thats incredible! I love the lsdj workflow, the gameboy is basically my most used synth. Didn't watch the whole video yet but "macrosynth" implies he's put a braids in there? This could absolutely be something.
yeah. and it appears it'll be open source.

User avatar
Basterdman
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 9:46 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by Basterdman » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:56 am

So it looks like they confirmed that they are working on exporting to Renoise which is great.

User avatar
soon_come
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by soon_come » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:18 pm

Here's what's crazy: there are no real knobs for realtime control, but it doesn't respond to input MIDI CCs either. I'd love to sink my teeth into this to make up for Digitakt's lack of song mode but how can you easily record some dynamic modulation if you can't even input CCs?

User avatar
rjungemann
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 850
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:18 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by rjungemann » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:42 pm

Generally with trackers you modulate using the effects columns, so a common approach is to copy a pattern and change the effect column. The Polyend has a "probability" effect, so that's an additional way. The Polyend and NerdSeq also have LFOs. Finally both the Polyend and the Nerdseq can have independent lengths per pattern, so you can get some complex interplay between tracks (this is a feature LSDJ and LGPT have, but Renoise doesn't, but can be simulated with "phrases").

I don't THINK the Polyend has something like "tables" (in LSDJ or LGPT) or "phrases" (a similar feature in Renoise), which are often used like a wavetable LFO, but are really like their own patterns that can run at their own rate with their own effects columns. The NerdSeq module DOES have tables though, so I imagine the Portable probably will.

As far as using external hardware for modulation, it appears that the NerdSeq module doesn't allow for MIDI CC in YET (From the manual, "A set of Midi-Controllers is mapped directly to functions inside the NerdSEQ. The CC Mapping is not implemented yet but scheduled for the next version.") so it seems like there's some likelihood of it being on the Portable.
My modular (ModularGrid). Check out my new synth-pop album, Umbram.

User avatar
cat_abyss
Common Wiggler
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:44 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by cat_abyss » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:43 am

Yeah, i generally feel that trackers aren't "real time" enough to really warrant recording of parameters/notes... everything should be sculpted with serious afterthought.... j/k, but yeah.

On another note, < 256 patterns are not too many. It's similar in lsdj/lgpt where you have 256 16-step "phrases", and then 256 "patterns" which are sequences of up to 16 of those phrases. For my folky stuff it's not weird if i run out of phrases at the 3-4 minute mark. And i get why on the gameboy there must be a pretty low limit, but on a bespoke hardware thingy in 2020... it's not like note data is a lot of memory...?

User avatar
soon_come
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by soon_come » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:15 am

I definitely understand the tracker model.

But for example, the Digitakt will record parameters per step in real-time (doesn’t mean they get recorded as “continuous” or high-resolution signals. This should be possible on a tracker as well, it’s just a different method of input.

francoprussian
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:54 am

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by francoprussian » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:07 am

^^^ Agree with this guy

Renoise lets you record slider movements in to the pattern either from the mouse or with MIDI controllers. Same on Sunvox to a degree. In fact, a dedicated box for Sunvox made using a Raspberry Pi would run rings around this thing. Oh hang on, that's already been done, but AFX didn't give it his imprimatur, so it's not legit and doesn't come with instagram twit points

User avatar
Voltcontrol
Ravey Dave
Posts: 1058
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:31 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Voltcontrol » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:54 am

francoprussian wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:07 am
^^^ Agree with this guy

Renoise lets you record slider movements in to the pattern either from the mouse or with MIDI controllers. Same on Sunvox to a degree. In fact, a dedicated box for Sunvox made using a Raspberry Pi would run rings around this thing. Oh hang on, that's already been done, but AFX didn't give it his imprimatur, so it's not legit and doesn't come with instagram twit points
What's the standalone box for Sunvox called? Or is it there a nice diy project folks could use as template?

francoprussian
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:54 am

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by francoprussian » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:57 am

Voltcontrol wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:54 am
What's the standalone box for Sunvox called? Or is it there a nice diy project folks could use as template?
MoonBox

https://www.48.cz/design/moonbox-raspbe ... ic-studio/

22tape
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Yer mammy's dusty vibraphone

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by 22tape » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:11 pm

Yeah damn you, Polyend, for making a standalone tracker for people who don't have DIY skills and want a nice clean layout. And how dare you get legendary tracker-musicians onboard to help spread the word about your product. What are you trying to do, grow your business?? The nerve! :hihi:

In all seriousness, I think they understated the specs for the release, but will bring it to "workstation" status over time. How do I know? I don't, just hoping :hihi:

I keep hoping that its development will be on par with Deluge, but that's probably not fair to Polyend because they have multiple products to support, whereas Rohan/Synthstrom is able to focus his development/support on a singe product. But I have a hard time believing that the Tracker's firmware specs won't be significantly improved. I mean, they do call it a "workstation," and it's not that with only 8mb of RAM or whatever it is at this point. We'll see. Go, Polyend, go!

User avatar
soon_come
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by soon_come » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:42 pm

It certainly looks really cool, no doubt about it. But I try not to count on speculation about future firmware revisions - it always leads to disappointment. As is, it still looks extremely useful and powerful.

22tape
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Yer mammy's dusty vibraphone

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by 22tape » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:53 pm

soon_come wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:42 pm
But I try not to count on speculation about future firmware revisions - it always leads to disappointment.
Very true.

I preordered the Deluge based on the fact that it was the first hardware sampler/groovebox to have unlimited tracks and a proper song mode where the fx tails didn't get cut when changing patterns. Only after release did they implement SD streaming, multisample support, etc friggen etc. But yeah, such big upgrades after release is usually the exception, not the rule.

User avatar
soon_come
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by soon_come » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:58 pm

At the risk of derailing this convo onto some off-topic well-worn path, here's a relevant tidbit: I'm an Elektron user (Digitakt), and I adore it. But part of what's been promised has never been finished properly. On the other hand, they added features that nobody was expecting (master compressor, for example). I'm thrilled to get new functionality, especially if it's immediately useful and thoughtful. But I cannot bring myself to buy something simply because the future might bring some feature I'm desperate to have. I treat it as gravy, not the main course. The software/firmware lifecycle has its pros and cons.

22tape
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Yer mammy's dusty vibraphone

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by 22tape » Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:03 pm

soon_come wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:58 pm
At the risk of derailing this convo onto some off-topic well-worn path, here's a relevant tidbit: I'm an Elektron user (Digitakt), and I adore it. But part of what's been promised has never been finished properly. On the other hand, they added features that nobody was expecting (master compressor, for example). I'm thrilled to get new functionality, especially if it's immediately useful and thoughtful. But I cannot bring myself to buy something simply because the future might bring some feature I'm desperate to have. I treat it as gravy, not the main course. The software/firmware lifecycle has its pros and cons.
Good points.

For me personally, I'll be buying the Tracker because I'm a total tracker dork and I want in on history, even if I only use it as a nicely priced drum machine or sketchpad. So if/when features are added, it'll be gravy. I'm also interested in the Nerdseq standalone tracker. I want all the standalone trackers! :hihi: That said, after the dust settles, I'll probably end up selling which ever one I don't jive with most.

I like how the Nerdseq standalone tracker looks like a mini Roland SP with its shape and the 4 knobs at the top :love:

User avatar
Blingley
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by Blingley » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:50 am

anselmi wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:24 am
really guys?
what is so great about trackers?

I used them in my Amiga days back in late 80s/early 90s but this was because this was my only resource to sequence stuff

what could be good in today´s state of technology to use a tracker? and from a company that have pretty good sequencers...I don´t get it

the only things I could think about are nostalgia, novelty or snobbery...please enlight me :despair: I really want to like it
Trackers generally have FX tracks that allow you to sequence vibratoes, pitch glides and other effects in a way that I personally find more enjoyable than doing the same in MIDI. They also make it possible to interveave multiple things in the same track - it is not uncommon to see one simple wave play multiple lines either between kick/bass (frequent on NES music) or so.

Think about what C64 or NES systems can do with very limited sound generation resources.

NES, *5 channels* - this one really shows in my opinion what you can do with precise sequencing in a tracker.


C64, *3 channels*


NES, *4 channels*



Keep in mind that the NES has a fixed 2x Square 1x Triangle 1x Noise 1x Sampler channel architecture, a whopping 4-bit resolution for the volume on the square/noise channels and a beautiful 1-bit resolution for the triangle, and runs at a fixed internal clock of 50-60Hz depending on the region. If the tracker allows me this level of control over say, 3 or 4 external oscillators + VCAs + filters, in anywhere remotely comparative interface, the possibilities get very wide indeed.

That being said, I'm waiting to try myself (will probably never happen, considering where I live) or see a competent chiptune musician to review this thing. So far none of the demos have astounded me.

User avatar
Voltcontrol
Ravey Dave
Posts: 1058
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:31 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Voltcontrol » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:00 am

Combining above two posts, I'd say that the different way of thinking required to get tracker sequencing right expands your creative mind as you'll start seeing structures in the different ways you work with greater clarity through experience. It will expand your creative mind.

Ps big fan of Tim Follin here.

User avatar
anselmi
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4158
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:08 pm
Location: Montevideo

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by anselmi » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:31 pm

Blingley wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:50 am
anselmi wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:24 am
really guys?
what is so great about trackers?

I used them in my Amiga days back in late 80s/early 90s but this was because this was my only resource to sequence stuff

what could be good in today´s state of technology to use a tracker? and from a company that have pretty good sequencers...I don´t get it

the only things I could think about are nostalgia, novelty or snobbery...please enlight me :despair: I really want to like it
Trackers generally have FX tracks that allow you to sequence vibratoes, pitch glides and other effects in a way that I personally find more enjoyable than doing the same in MIDI. They also make it possible to interveave multiple things in the same track - it is not uncommon to see one simple wave play multiple lines either between kick/bass (frequent on NES music) or so.

Think about what C64 or NES systems can do with very limited sound generation resources.


so what is the point of doing all that with a 2020 machine that have way more processor power?

I don´t talking about have unlimited resources, like in a DAW...neither the "DAW vs more limited systems and being creative with limits" stuff...this is an enterely different topic, but compare a machine released today with a C64 and NES kind of sequencing is pointless...unless you are into this just for nostalgia or something like this...I imagine chiptuning have a lot to do with this

User avatar
cat_abyss
Common Wiggler
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:44 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Polyend teaser : sampling groovebox?

Post by cat_abyss » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:54 am

anselmi wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:31 pm
Blingley wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:50 am
anselmi wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:24 am
really guys?
what is so great about trackers?

I used them in my Amiga days back in late 80s/early 90s but this was because this was my only resource to sequence stuff

what could be good in today´s state of technology to use a tracker? and from a company that have pretty good sequencers...I don´t get it

the only things I could think about are nostalgia, novelty or snobbery...please enlight me :despair: I really want to like it
Trackers generally have FX tracks that allow you to sequence vibratoes, pitch glides and other effects in a way that I personally find more enjoyable than doing the same in MIDI. They also make it possible to interveave multiple things in the same track - it is not uncommon to see one simple wave play multiple lines either between kick/bass (frequent on NES music) or so.

Think about what C64 or NES systems can do with very limited sound generation resources.


so what is the point of doing all that with a 2020 machine that have way more processor power?

I don´t talking about have unlimited resources, like in a DAW...neither the "DAW vs more limited systems and being creative with limits" stuff...this is an enterely different topic, but compare a machine released today with a C64 and NES kind of sequencing is pointless...unless you are into this just for nostalgia or something like this...I imagine chiptuning have a lot to do with this
Do you mean the tracker way in general? I think for me, it's that it offers a different granularity of control than a daw. In some places less control, in some places more. Things like LSDJs tables, or the whole DEFMON modus operandi where an instrument basically is a sequenced table of byte values sent to the sound chip... it's a different way to think about things, which leads to different sounds/arrangements. This veers into "being creative with limits", but it's a also being creative with possibilities not really offered anywhere else.

You're kinda making the point that better processing power leads to better interfaces/workflows, which i mean... there's big fights between logic/live/fruityloops/protools fanboys all the time. And renoise can do much of that, anyway...

Post Reply

Return to “General Gear”