How can I control Cirklon with my Modular?

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Setherian
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How can I control Cirklon with my Modular?

Post by Setherian » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:57 pm

Im sharing studio with a friend who owns a Cirklon, initially i got very excited as everyone who owns one that I know absolutely loves the thing. Well, Im a modular synth guy ( with a few nice polyphonic synths actually) and first thing I thought and wanted to do was to somehow interfere, influence Cirklon with my modular via CV to Midi (since we dont have the CVIO).
And i must say after a few days trying I got quite frustrated, and turned off.
Of course it could just be that my friend and I dont know how to do it, but apparently this machine is not really designed for being anything but the master controller/sequencer in a setup.
The fact that the CVIO apparently is not really meant to provide inputs to modulate Cirklon behavior, something I felt because there is hardly any info on how to use its input capabilities and many sources only stating its output properties only fortify my initial assumption.
But hey, please prove me wrong, I would love to be able to control a little the behavior of Cirklon with CV to Midi (CCs)(with Doepfer 192-1) or to know if its already possible to do a lot with the CVIO as a inputs to control and change stuff source.
From starters, Im curious if its possible to modulate tempo, start/stop/reset/direction/loop duration and any kind of generative algo, or to change scenes with midi cc (or cvio) but since Im still learning what this machine can do, Im open to any tips you might have in regards to the idea of controlling Cirklon, if only just a bit. :guinness:

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Post by oldgearguy » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:26 pm

Short answer is no, not really possible.
The other short answer is to directly try pinging Colin for more info.

The Cirklon can slave to external clock for tempo and I think does understand some incoming CC messages, but the bulk of the focus is internal modulations and generating MIDI and CV to control external gear.

The CVIO inputs were a fairly recent addition and are mainly to facilitate recording the info.

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Re: How can I control Cirklon with my Modular?

Post by CF3 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:01 pm

Setherian wrote:change scenes with midi cc (or cvio)
Yes, you can change SCENES in the Cirklon with Midi Program Change messages.
“You can change scenes via MIDI using program change messages sent to the remote control input port/channel defined in the MIDI options menu.
The program change messages are assigned to the first 128 scenes in ascending order.
If you move or delete scenes within a song, you need to remember to use different pgm numbers.
I'm planning to add a unique MIDI select number to each scene as it is created in a song, which will never change.
That will allow scene selection to be made via MIDI with NRPN messages (assuming there never needs to be more than unique 16,384 scenes in the development of a song)
This is mainly to allow internal selection of scenes from a control pattern.”
I've got this set up with a custom Lemur template.

You can also control the parameters of the CV Envelopes via CC#. Again, I have this set up on my ipad Lemur template. As well as some generic "ctrl" CV's I have mapped to CC# being controlled from recordable faders in Lemur.

As far as influencing Cirklon with outside CV? Sorta, but not really.
but apparently this machine is not really designed for being anything but the master controller/sequencer in a setup.
Thats exactly what the machine was designed for.

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Post by Setherian » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:28 pm

CF3, would you be kind to share with us what exactly can we do already or expect in the near future for the inputs of the CVIO? Many thanks in advance!

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Post by Angroc » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:35 pm

I love the Cirklon. It defines my workflow. But my only complaint is that it's not much you can do to control it externally. Been wanting MIDI CC control over Track Values, but it just doesn't seem to be a concern with Colin. But for performance it hurts, since you can only access two TV's at a time, for a single track. For performance that's hella limiting, and some simple CC control of TV woulda solved this.

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Post by Setherian » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:09 pm

Yeah, I think that Sequentix should really consider about how much all modular synth people feel like they cannot interact with Cirklon. Would love to be able to control some parameters in the Cirklon even if only basic stuff like start, stop, reset, direction, transpose..
Right now I cannot even control its tempo. And I see no reason why it should'nt allow that or changing scenes, note values, or modulate probabilities, etc., is it conceptual or just complicated technically?
Changing scenes with program change messages is not so nice for me as with a CC because I cannot convert CC (or CV) to Program change. Maybe its doable in the computer, but first we are trying not to use a computer in our new setup.
No problems with people using Cirklon to control their modular synths, but I think a lot of people dont really fantasize about that, on the contrary, they would prefer, like me, to influence Cirklon with whats happening in their modular setup patches and then use Cirklon to control midi instruments (polys, drummachines, etc).
Our plan is/was to have Cirklon as our master controller of our polyphonic synths and an elektron machinedrum, not of the modular and to be able to influence it with our Doepfer 192-1 and 192-2) and we almost bought the CVIO online but then realized the input functionality was not clear enough, we have no idea what can we do with the cv inputs.
Thing is, for many, the modular is not so much a passive sound source, a place where u have sound generators waiting for external help, but its THE network, the "brain", the AI..
Crossing fingers some changes will be made in the future to allow the modular or any generator/CV converter for midi CC to be capable of modulating basic functionality and who knows maybe even exotic ones, or that the CVIO will allow so.
No offense, but I think we live in a world where a growing number of people will eventually make their modular be the "master" section in their studios. they will not build a setup around a midi sequencer, they will want their
midi sequencers to adapt to all the crazy dynamic AI stuff they are progressively developing in their ever bigger modular setups.
:sb:

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Post by Panason » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:38 pm

It bugs me that even Sequentix continue with this misguided tradition of using program changes to control a sequencer. MIDI notes on a dedicated channel should be the default, so that any MIDI device can be used and it makes it easy to sequence the scenes from any other sequencer or DAW. Without either, CCs are typically sent out of hardware controllers from faders or knobs and that's not a very nice way to launch scenes. NPRNs are not often an option in hardware controllers. Ideally all three types of messages should be useable to launch scenes.

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:47 pm

Setherian wrote:Yeah, I think that Sequentix should really consider about how much all modular synth people feel like they cannot interact with Cirklon. Would love to be able to control some parameters in the Cirklon even if only basic stuff like start, stop, reset, direction, transpose..
Right now I cannot even control its tempo. And I see no reason why it should'nt allow that or changing scenes, note values, or modulate probabilities, etc., is it conceptual or just complicated technically?
Changing scenes with program change messages is not so nice for me as with a CC because I cannot convert CC (or CV) to Program change. Maybe its doable in the computer, but first we are trying not to use a computer in our new setup.
No problems with people using Cirklon to control their modular synths, but I think a lot of people dont really fantasize about that, on the contrary, they would prefer, like me, to influence Cirklon with whats happening in their modular setup patches and then use Cirklon to control midi instruments (polys, drummachines, etc).
Our plan is/was to have Cirklon as our master controller of our polyphonic synths and an elektron machinedrum, not of the modular and to be able to influence it with our Doepfer 192-1 and 192-2) and we almost bought the CVIO online but then realized the input functionality was not clear enough, we have no idea what can we do with the cv inputs.
Thing is, for many, the modular is not so much a passive sound source, a place where u have sound generators waiting for external help, but its THE network, the "brain", the AI..
Crossing fingers some changes will be made in the future to allow the modular or any generator/CV converter for midi CC to be capable of modulating basic functionality and who knows maybe even exotic ones, or that the CVIO will allow so.
No offense, but I think we live in a world where a growing number of people will eventually make their modular be the "master" section in their studios. they will not build a setup around a midi sequencer, they will want their
midi sequencers to adapt to all the crazy dynamic AI stuff they are progressively developing in their ever bigger modular setups.
:sb:
There are 28 pages of feature requests on the Cirklon forum, some of which have been implemented. Improved CVIO functionality is there but there are not floods of requests. Colin is pretty active in releasing new builds but a lot of them are about increasing stability or adding internal functionality. He's been working on improving CV out functionality and is also working on improving CV in functionality but he has commented that there are some limitations that make timing difficult, and Colin is obsessed about accurate timing. That's one of the hallmarks of the Cirklon.

He's only one person, and I don't think there are many users on the forum who are expressing frustration that they can't control the Cirklon with a modular.

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Post by CF3 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:55 pm

Setherian wrote:CF3, would you be kind to share with us what exactly can we do already or expect in the near future for the inputs of the CVIO? Many thanks in advance!
I don’t know anymore than the next guy TBH. I follow the Sequentix forum religiously for info. But, I’m just guessing like everybody else. Doing cool stuff with CV going OUT is very possible though. Assign a CVIO slot to “ctrl”, choose a CC#, then that CC# can be used in Aux Event functions, among other things.

If I’m being honest, I don’t expect much in terms of “modular-esque” CV control of sequencer functions. Maybe there’s some master plan for the upcoming “Cirklon 2.0”..... ???? Don’t know.

I’m pretty happy with the way it functions now. I actually don’t like modular-style sequencing at all, so I may be the wrong dude to ask. lol. I do know he’s made some overall improvement to CV handling recently and there’s a brand new CVIO board out now, but thats it. CV IN is extremely limited in scope currently. Clock in would be nice for sure. Personally, I’d rather see development of the SONG mode, way more Aux Events per track, Dotted timing, global Swing based on % (like a MPC), etc. I’ve got a list if he’s interested in listening :hihi:

I also agree that the midi Scene selection should be done a bit different. I’d rather it used midi note numbers instead of program change messages.... but I can see why he did it like that.

As with all things.... squeaky wheel gets the grease. Definitely post feature requests on the Sequentix Forum. He’s very open to implementing stuff.

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:38 pm

This was the last post I've sen from Colin on Clock in dated July:
I've been working on some major changes to the CVIO firmware to support the updated version of the board.
There are a few things to finish off, including some of the more long time feature requests.
The problem with using the CV input mode for clock input is that the CV input is currently routing the gate inputs to its analogue to digital convertor.
The conversion set up and timing wastes a lot of time compared to just reading the digital value of an input in standard IO mode.
The ports also need to be able to work as digital inputs (paired to a CV input) to do note input.
These changes should make it into the next release.
I also saw he seems to be close to swing per channel.

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Post by CF3 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:39 pm

Angroc wrote:I love the Cirklon. It defines my workflow. But my only complaint is that it's not much you can do to control it externally. Been wanting MIDI CC control over Track Values, but it just doesn't seem to be a concern with Colin. But for performance it hurts, since you can only access two TV's at a time, for a single track. For performance that's hella limiting, and some simple CC control of TV woulda solved this.
I’m a little confused by this because I use multiple midi controllers to access the Track Values all the time? :hmm: I’m probably misunderstanding what your request is?
If I want an external midi slider bank to control the Track Values (say from my EMU E4XT Ultra), I just set the midi faders to the same CC# as the Track Values and away I go. Or am I over simplifying this?

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Post by oldgearguy » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:24 am

Panason wrote:It bugs me that even Sequentix continue with this misguided tradition of using program changes to control a sequencer. MIDI notes on a dedicated channel should be the default, so that any MIDI device can be used and it makes it easy to sequence the scenes from any other sequencer or DAW. Without either, CCs are typically sent out of hardware controllers from faders or knobs and that's not a very nice way to launch scenes. NPRNs are not often an option in hardware controllers. Ideally all three types of messages should be useable to launch scenes.
This is one of those things that make a lot of sense *if* it's designed in from the beginning. The Cirklon OS is fairly mature and adding a 'note msg to program change' feature would either break existing functionality or require an extensive rewrite to add a redundant method to an existing feature.

One of the best things about the Cirklon when I owned it was the fact you never had to mess withg your master keyboarad controller(s). The Cirklon was set up so that it auto-routed and rechanneled if necessary any/all your master controller data so it would play/trigger the machine on the currently active track.

That meant you could seelct a track and whatever controller device you had near you could be used to play that track; didn't matter what input port or what channel it was one, it just worked. So to now force that input code to filter out potential program changes on a particular channel would impact a lot of other areas including slightly changing the user experience.

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Post by Panason » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:37 am

CF3 wrote:
I also agree that the midi Scene selection should be done a bit different. I’d rather it used midi note numbers instead of program change messages.... but I can see why he did it like that.
Why? All I can think of is following MIDI convention.
oldgearguy wrote:So to now force that input code to filter out potential program changes on a particular channel would impact a lot of other areas including slightly changing the user experience.
Well, since there is a dedicated remote control input port/channel , it could be straighforward to add MIDI notes as an option. I'm surprised the Cirklon doesn't seem to have the functionality offered by Elektron's Multi Map mode on the MD and OT. ... and taking it further by allowing MIDI notes to play scenes as if they were samples, so that a note on launches the corresponding scene, which loops for as long as the key is held down, and the note off stops it. This would enable some cool performance options and offer a way to remix stuff in an improvisational manner. Cubase used to have this with a feature called Style Tracks and it was awesome.

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Post by Zenn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:14 am

CF3 wrote: I’m a little confused by this because I use multiple midi controllers to access the Track Values all the time? :hmm: I’m probably misunderstanding what your request is?
If I want an external midi slider bank to control the Track Values (say from my EMU E4XT Ultra), I just set the midi faders to the same CC# as the Track Values and away I go. Or am I over simplifying this?
You're not if we're purely talking Midi CC's. But it is impossible to change Cirklon Track Values (such as velo%, transpose etc) externally
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