[Draft discussion] Make expressions' modulation type selectable

Do you want to draft a request about this proposal?

hi icaria36, just got around to being back here - sorry for the wait. yes, i think i can now submit drafts. i’ll do that.

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Thank you! Your initial topic has been recycled as a feature request. You can edit the description here.

Now that I have looked at this request in more detail, what the Expressions modulator does is to bring the expressions of the related Note clip. If we look at the expressions in the Note editor panel, we can see that each expression is indeed either additive or bipolar. It makes sense that the modulator just follows that, isn’t it?

And on a deeper level, what is negative velocity / release velocity, or negative pressure?

I rarely manually enter these values - their primary purpose is to map physical expressions of playing style from expressive controllers (MPE and similar). I often e.g. want to modulate a parameter with ‚timbre‘ (i.e., wiggling/moving my finger in the y-direction of my linnstrument). Sometimes it makes sense to set the parameter at the lowest value it should ever be at and then map the modulator to the highest value it should ever reach - this is my main use case.

Come to think of it, this has to do with the fact that for me, in playing, the middle of the timbre parameter is very hard to find (as it is the middle of the already relatively small key and i‘m playing mostly blind). So I will start many notes at either the lower or upper edge of the key, i.e. with a timbre value of 0 or 127, but this is quite cumbersome to properly dial in in bipolar mode, as I need to find a ‚center‘ value and then dial in the max. +/- modulation.

So, my main desire is really specifically the timbre one which is always bipolar right now.

Should this request be based on adding the additive option to timbre?

How do you do this? Using MAX?

Just making all the expression parameters selectable (or really all modulator parameters in all modulators) would be great I think, it wouldn’t add a lot of complexity and can smooth edges every once in a while.

via math modulator => timbre goes from -1 to +1. you add two math modulators, one in multiplication mode and one in addition. you target timbre to the first knob of the multiplier and set the second knob to 0.5 - the result goes from -0.5 to +0.5 now. you target that to the add modulator‘s first knob and set the other knob to 0.5. the resulting modulation goes from 0 to 1.

tbh i would already be happy if i could save clusters of modulators as independent presets^^

Unless I am missing something, I think we’re going in circles: :slight_smile:

Now, it is possible to limit bipolar expressions to be additive only (just "cut them in half, I guess). One detail would be what to do if any negative values are found. Make them absolute? Ignore them?

However, what to do with additive signals going bipolar? Or as I put it before?

Do you have a use case for bipolar velocity, release velocity, or pressure?

Ok, I see a misunderstanding - I‘m coming at this from a MIDI perspective because to me these parameters matter when used in conjunction with an MPE controller. MIDI CC values always go from 0 to 127 (unless they use 2 channels for higher resolution). The representation of the expressions in the clip is in percentages, which makes it more understandable. And for Timbre it has a positive and a negative percentage.

Of course, negative velocity doesn’t rly make sense logically (one could argue release velocity is negative velocity but let’s not go there). In practice, bipolar mode makes sense when you want a modulator to kind of sprinkle around a center value. You could make a patch that plays slightly flat when played softly and somewhat sharp when played loudly - in that case you‘d leave the tune centered and apply bipolar velocity modulation to it. As it stands right now, you‘d have to do the math transformation i mentioned (or eyeball it / dial it in by hand with the knob slightly flat and the velo modulation going to slightly sharp)

I admit it seems like a bit of a detail but for me, having all modulators have this flexibility would give me more peace of mind and ability to stay in a fluid and musical headspace. And it’s very simple to implement in code.

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Sure, and I’m not trying to stand in the way of requests in the ways that the people requesting them want to have them. I’m just trying to do some quality checks.

I’d say let’s review the description to see if there are any points in this discussion that can be added, and then let’s get this draft promoted to Features, ok?

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I think we can feature it as it stands now :slight_smile:

And now? :slight_smile:

I’ll note that in the description you say

while in the discussion your main example is related to performance. The reasoning of why a feature is being requested is very important, and I would suggest you make this clearer in the description.

In any case, I’ll promote this draft to features in a couple of days unless there are any surprises.

Very clear, thanks!

It’s really about designing the patch isn’t it? Whether you use the math modulator or not doesn‘t matter anymore when you‘ve made your patch but not having to fiddle with it allows staying in flow better when developing it and trying things.

Arguably the expression modulator itself is made primarily for performance purposes - when using it in sequencing you might as well be sequencing any other macros or parameters. But it provides an interface for the expressive parameters in the MPE standard. Being able to choose polarity and not having to use Math is a streamlining of making patches for performance though, not a streamlining of the performance itself.