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Add "smart ARP" feature

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Lowell
(@lowell)
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Just watching the demo for the Native Instruments Noire piano and got to the "Particles Engine" section and my jaw dropped:
https://youtu.be/ALzLIDyRk_8?t=218

I don't know if there are any MIDI FX VSTs out there that do this. I don't know if this is something that would make sense to include as an add-in within Unify, but I'd love this. Imagine this "Smart ARP Box" on any layer.

Would this be hard to build? If so, and if it were possible to create paid add-ins for Unify, I'd buy it.

And V1 could be as simple as adding in these quieter MIDI notes randomly but in rhythm sync. V2 could add the capability of having the add-in reach into the target instrument's parameters to vary how these ARP notes sound, adjusting cutoff, resonance, EQ, etc. as defined by the user in a similar way to how Unify can map parameters to the macro knobs.


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SSquared
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Yeah.  The Particles Engine is really cool, and kind of unique.  If you want to use the Particles Engine inside of Unify, you can shift the wet/mix all the way to the right and get only the particle engine (no piano).  Then layer it with something else and you can now use the Particles Engine with other patches.

What I find unique is this isn't really an arp nor an effect.  The algorithms and options make for some amazingly beautiful options.  I only recently got Noire (been wanting to try out the Particle Engine myself).  It's been extremely fun and over the weekend made a few Unify patches of Noire layered with some Spire.

I like your thoughts to extend the functionality.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Lowell
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@ssquared But I don't think that will trigger other patches. That'll just play the Particle Engine within Noire. My suggestion would be for a separate effect that combines the "random" ARP type effect capability of the Particle Engine, with reaching into parameters of any of your instrument layer(s) (i.e. it could reach into instruments or FX just like assigning parameter links).

I imagine knobs/controllers in the add-in and you can adjust the "randomness" of each, link each to whatever parameters you want, make some tempo-based, others tempo-unlocked if you wish... then save these engine favorites within the add-in.


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SSquared
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@lowell  So a similar functionality, but being able to use any sound as the soundsource with the ability to control all sorts of parameters.  That would be pretty neat and would provide a great deal of options and flavor to sounds.  I hadn't watched that YouTube link since it was originally released.  Watching it again made me realize there is so much more I need to delve into.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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getdunne
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What you're basically asking for is some kind of MIDI effect that generates the same kind of note-sequences as Noire's built-in event-generator. If you can supply me with a detailed analysis of what Noire's event-generator is actually doing, I might have a chance of reproducing it.

All third-party plug-ins are essentially "Paid add-ons for Unify", but I do get your point, and John and I have discussed the idea of separately-licensed add-on functionality for Unify for a long time. I've been so busy chasing after all the unexpected issues in Unify releases (mostly my own mistakes, but occasionally surprise changes thrust upon me by the JUCE development team from time to time), I haven't had the time to build out the necessary infrastructure. Also, user expectations for paid plug-ins (as opposed to freebie add-ons) tend to be high, and investing the amount of time (and sometimes money, e.g. for third-party GUI design) is thus a gamble with unpredictable odds.


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SSquared
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Thinking about it more, there might be VSTs out there for doing this.  I used to fiddle around with an app called Noatikl on the iPad maybe 10 to 12 years ago.  It also had a Mac/Windows version.  This was generative music, though, so wasn't necessarily based on your playing.  Some of it was a bit too random for me, but it could come up with some really ambient and nice stuff.  You defined parameters and settings and it kinda did the rest to come up with music.

The company has since shutdown Noatikl and is now developing Wotja.  I've seen topics on Wotja but had no clue (until today) this was from the same company.  Had I known, I would have followed Wotja conversations more closely.  So I don't have any firsthand experience with it, but it does list aleatoric (what the Particles Engine uses) as one of the categories of musical generation.

I can't tell from the quick look at the website if it is 100% generative or if it can use MIDI input to generate the result.  I also don't know if you can define MIDI CC parameters to change.  I have only scratched the surface of the web page.  I thought I'd at least mention this possibility.  It might lead to other VSTs that fit what you are looking for.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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SSquared
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I read the site a little bit more and it appears the Mac/Windows versions of Wotja are 64-bit applications only.  Not plugins/VSTs.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments (Pianos), Spire, Hammer + Waves, Heavyocity (Ascend and Mosaic Keys), Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Lowell
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@getdunne I don't think you'd need any special GUI design, if you make it in a similar style to stuff already in Unify; it doesn't have to have the fancy "drop map" that Noire has. I'm thinking of a Unify-exclusive add-in, not necessarily a general VST for anyone, with separate support, etc. if that would make it easier. But yeah, that in itself would require some structuring I'm guessing, as that kind of functionality isn't there yet (to add paid Unify-exclusive add-ons).

And of course, bug-squashing takes priority. 🙂 As to event mapping... it appears to be more of an algorithm. Like a combination of an ARP based on MIDI input, and JitterBox to randomize the notes, along with duration (how long the generated notes should play, how often), volume, and then of course the parameter linking. The latter could have almost exactly the same interface that's already used for defining parameter links for macros.

 


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Hexabuzz
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RE: Paid add-ons for Unify

Only Shane and John can answer this question as to what their breakeven point will be for development time/costs, but expecting an add-on that has the market of only a few dozen users (as opposed to a few thousand) just isn't a realistic expectation, and I don't think it's fair to put those kinds of expectations/pressures on them. And even then, people will still complain that it's too expensive, or "why isn't that part of the standard features?".

Everyone always wants more, but what you're already getting in Unify, at an amazingly low price, and with continued additions of amazing capabilities for FREE is something people should be thanking John and Shane for every day.


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Lowell
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@hexabuzz There are no expectations here. This forum has a place for feature requests just like this. There's no pressure to make any of these things happen.

As for paid or free? I don't think making so many extra features like this should always be free. That's why I think it's better for them to at least receive some income for some of these more advanced features than to receive nothing.


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getdunne
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@lowell All feature requests are welcome here. As you said, that's why this section of the forum exists. I only wish I could keep up, but I prefer to at least know what users yearn for, even if I can't deliver it all.

@hexabuzz You are also correct in saying that add-on features which appeal to only a few don't make business sense. There is also a substantial development cost to be able to offer paid add-ons at all.

The economics of music software are extremely challenging. Funding ongoing development is a never-ending balancing act.


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Dewdman42
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Such a thing could be done pretty easily using LuaProtoPlug also...but the actual note-generating algorithm they are using needs to be known in order to do it.

 


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