Frap Tools USTA

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

Moderators: Kent, Joe., analogdigital, infradead, lisa, parasitk, plord

User avatar
hemeroscopium
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:08 pm

Post by hemeroscopium » Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:11 am

@stujay18, its not. But it's supposedly much more playable/straightforward.

But no custom voltage tables; no math operations, less steps etc.

i just wish 101-102 got a 103 expander that shows its overall state visually.
An allusion to a place that exists only in our mind, in our senses, that is ever-changing and mutable, but is nonetheless real. It is delimited by the references of the horizon, by the physical limits, defined by light, and it happens in time.

User avatar
simonefabbri
Common Wiggler
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:52 am
Location: Modena, Italy
Contact:

Post by simonefabbri » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:11 am

hemeroscopium wrote:@stujay18, its not. But it's supposedly much more playable/straightforward.

But no custom voltage tables; no math operations, less steps etc.

i just wish 101-102 got a 103 expander that shows its overall state visually.
Hello,
It was posted on another thread but new stuff implemented are:
- support for microtonalities (15, 19, 22 and 24 EDO/tones per octave, and of course the default 12)
- support for custom temperaments (up to 4 per each EDO number) this should solve the custom voltage table
- support for custom quantization scales (up to 4 per each EDO )
- use external keyboard to write sequences (not in real time)
- more modulation targets per each track
Of course main functions of the modular operator can be Achieved in other ways with variations, modulations and evolving the pattern thru storing the last played one.
Frap Tools - http://frap.tools

funqpatrol
Common Wiggler
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:14 am
Location: Melbourne

Post by funqpatrol » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:04 am

Is Metropolis style sequencing possible on the USTA? sounds like it could achieve similar results but unsure.

User avatar
hawkfuzz
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1680
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: East Coast
Contact:

Post by hawkfuzz » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:21 pm

What's "Metropolis style"?

It can do all the gate and step repeats, just not as immediate.

funqpatrol
Common Wiggler
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:14 am
Location: Melbourne

Post by funqpatrol » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:21 pm

RYK-M185 (Metropolis) style sequencing is having the ability to repeat the pulse count (up to 8) per step with a choice of gate mode (HOLD, REPEAT, SINGLE, or REST) really. this loooks like the USTA could be very well suited to replicate this!

User avatar
hawkfuzz
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1680
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: East Coast
Contact:

Post by hawkfuzz » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:36 pm

A lot of sequencers can do this at this point. Not as immediate but can do it for sure.

stujay18
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:46 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by stujay18 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:59 am

Well, I ordered it at Perfect Circuit yesterday. I'll report back once it arrives in October!

funqpatrol
Common Wiggler
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:14 am
Location: Melbourne

Post by funqpatrol » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:34 pm

hawkfuzz wrote:A lot of sequencers can do this at this point. Not as immediate but can do it for sure.
hmm not a lot no, the closest I found is the harvestman Stilson hammer 2 that's about it.

User avatar
hawkfuzz
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1680
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: East Coast
Contact:

Post by hawkfuzz » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:42 pm

If I'm understanding, you're referring to step length being adjustable as well as ratcheting.

The ER-101 allows this as does the SH MK2 as you mentioned, which I've used since launch and it does it very well, XOR NerdSEQ does this, 1010 Music toolbox does it, the Five12 Vector does it as well.

I'm sure others do it but I'm not going to research every sequencer for your sake, you could do that. Most the newer sequencers coming out are featuring similar output but just different styles of input and ratcheting and probability have become priority it seems.

keep a look out for the new Erica Synth sequencer and the Endorphin.es sequencer, they both look like maximized function sequencers.

stereophonautograph
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:54 pm

Post by stereophonautograph » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:50 am

If the two gate inputs could be used to independently clock two or more tracks and raw CV pass through could be assigned at the step level, I'd already be out $749.

I'm not out of the woods yet, though. I already have done the math to see how I could fit it into one of my cases.

User avatar
MarkSinister
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:59 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK

Post by MarkSinister » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:33 pm

I am really interested to learn if anyone who has an USTA can comment on how it compares with an ER-101. I currently have an Eloquencer and I am very tempted to move away from the “grid” but I don’t know which would be best between USTA and ER-101 in terms of workflow and fun.

User avatar
hinterlands303
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 759
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 3:57 pm
Location: Detroit

Post by hinterlands303 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:05 pm

I briefly had the Er-101 and didn't gel with it and currently have the USTA which I am really enjoying (although I've only had it a few days). The ER-101 has an incredibly elegant interface with the per-step window but I wasn't able to grasp it fully. It turns out that I really need a way of visualizing the entire sequence and (also I really enjoy having knobs to turn). The USTA only allows you to see one layer at a time (Stage Length, CV1, CV2, Gate 1, Gate 2) but it allows you to see the full sequence for that layer, which is a trade off, but for me it's easier to grasp.

The USTA is also a little more typical in terms of how patterns are played back, song mode, etc. which for me is a plus. Having the second gate output per channel on the USTA is really nice as well - I've been using one to trigger an envelope for the VCA and another to trigger an envelope related to timbre to create more variation.

User avatar
synonymist
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:11 pm
Contact:

Post by synonymist » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:39 am

BTG wrote:Curious to see power draw and how tiny that screen is in practice. I'm pretty tired of micro sized OLEDs.

This is the first Frap Tools module that at least feels like it has a logical jack layout. I sold my Sapel because it wasn't ergonomic and drew a ton of power.
My concerns were similarly about usability, but around different aspects of the Frap Tools design language.

Nonetheless, this morning I bought a backordered USTA while the last of the holiday discounts were in effect, and before I could drink coffee and come to my senses. :eek: For now, USTA will displace Control Forge and Pithoprakta in a satellite case, although either of those modules could join USTA there in future:

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/1096636


First of all, I give full credit to Frap Tools for having a design language that they apply in all their module interfaces. Also I happen to think their designs are visually beautiful. So bravo, Frap Tools! :cloud:

Now with the other hand I taketh away... :twisted:

However, I find that the Frap Tools graphic conventions (as a subset of the design language) result in poor readability. That's how it looks to me on "paper" anyway; admittedly I never saw their modules in person. Specifically I believe the problem is the combination of tiny text and low color contrast in the non-luminous aspects of the graphical UI. This impression was enough to prevent me buying any of their modules until now.

These are not interfaces for the graphical web, but for physical devices. Yet I think that the same standards for readability should apply, at least mostly. So I used an online contrast checker to test my approximation of the Frap Tools panel colors for readability.

First I sampled images of the panels to derive the background and markings colors. Then I tested the colors, with the background color as the constant and the marking color the variable foreground color in each test. Here are the color values I used:

........background
........#51535d

........green marking
........#86c78d

........red marking
........#ed7f83

........yellow marking
........#fffb5e

........blue marking
........#5170e8

........purple marking
........#f09af5

........white marking
........#ffffff

The tests were for readability of normal text, of large text, and of graphical objects and UI. Overall the test results were poor. White marking on the dark gray background passed all tests. Yellow marking passed most. The other marking colors ranged from partial to total failure. Presumably all the colors would have failed a test for small or tiny text, except white possibly.

The non-luminous markings on the USTA panel are minimal, and all of them but the CV input labels are either white or yellow. So within the range of typical Frap Tools marking colors, that's pretty good. It was this fact plus my intuitively positive feeling about the module (how it would feel to use in context) that decided me. Not even the tiny OLED display managed to scare me away. :)

Among other things, I look forward to comparing my experiences of playing USTA and Vector Sequencer. There is a lot of overlap of the two modules' functionality, while their interaction and workflow concepts tend to diverge. I can attest to Vector Sequencer being excellent and powerful. My prediction is that I will find USTA to be likewise; but that it will have a distinctly other feel, and thus incline me to work differently and get meaningfully different results.
Last edited by synonymist on Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Ohes
Common Wiggler
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:23 pm

Post by Ohes » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:22 pm

Hello,

i saw some people there make the comparison with buchla 252 here, can you explain if you know what is similar between the two sequencers? I know they have the same circular "look", but do they have the same rhythmic properties?

Also i'm hesitating a lot with the vector sequencer from Five12, does anyone has an experience? I saw that the vector has some great functions like making interesting movement between steps (like 2 step forward, then one step backward and so on...), i'm wondering if the Usta is also capable of that.

Thanks

zoneswithoutpeople
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:06 am

Post by zoneswithoutpeople » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:50 pm

Heard some demos of this and it looked / sounded pretty amazing... surprised there isn't more talk about this module here.

Is the price putting people off or is it just still very new? This is the first sequencer in a while that really tempts me... seems super flexible for controlling multiple voices from!

User avatar
jvt
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:40 pm
Location: Michigan, US

Post by jvt » Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:50 pm

Ohes wrote:Hello,

i saw some people there make the comparison with buchla 252 here, can you explain if you know what is similar between the two sequencers? I know they have the same circular "look", but do they have the same rhythmic properties?

Also i'm hesitating a lot with the vector sequencer from Five12, does anyone has an experience? I saw that the vector has some great functions like making interesting movement between steps (like 2 step forward, then one step backward and so on...), i'm wondering if the Usta is also capable of that.

Thanks
It looks closer to the Buchla 250e from the USTA demos I've seen.

User avatar
synonymist
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:11 pm
Contact:

Post by synonymist » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:20 pm

Ohes wrote: ...Also i'm hesitating a lot with the vector sequencer from Five12, does anyone has an experience? I saw that the vector has some great functions like making interesting movement between steps (like 2 step forward, then one step backward and so on...), i'm wondering if the Usta is also capable of that.
Hello. USTA is still quite new, I believe. Mine has yet to arrive, so I cannot comment based on firsthand experience with it. However, my review of the user manual seemed to answer your question for me without doubt: No. USTA does not do conditional changes to sequence behavior in the way that Vector Sequencer does. Nor does it do directional changes at all, specifically, as a subset of the behaviors that can be either set in a static setting or changed conditionally or otherwise dynamically.

The relevant aspects of the USTA architecture are summarized pretty well at the product page in the "Multi-Target Modulations" section near the bottom.

Although I am not a sequencer expert, clear to me is that Vector Sequencer is a beast of flexibility. In my opinion, what makes it a marvel, however, is how easy it is to use that power.

But USTA is no slouch (not on paper, at least). It promises to be very dynamic if used that way, and to be so according to parameters reflective of a mental model that differs from Vector Sequencer's (and others') quite distinctly.

If I read the manual correctly, one feature in USTA that I feel could be powerful is Composition Mode. Apparently Frap Tools meant it to be used just for authoring and reviewing sequences, especially long ones. But when I read the description of it, I immediately thought that it should be used for performance, like "rocking reels" on a tape machine, or like the later techniques of scratching or scrubbing:

"Rotate the navigation encoder back and forth to move the playhead across the different stages: this will allow you to manually “scan” through the sequence in order to check and edit the current stage settings. This parameter will work in both directions just like an analog reel-to-reel recorder, and it will work through different patterns..."

I mean, that is really cool. :)

Ohes
Common Wiggler
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:23 pm

Post by Ohes » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:53 pm

Hey Synonymist, thanks a lot for this very interesting insight!

User avatar
synonymist
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:11 pm
Contact:

Post by synonymist » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Ohes wrote:Hey Synonymist, thanks a lot for this very interesting insight!
Ohes, you are quite welcome. Whichever sequencer you try next, may it serve you well. :tu:

Post Reply

Return to “Eurorack Modules”