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Official Social Entropy Engine User Thread
Old 27th May 2016
  #1
Official Social Entropy Engine User Thread

Thought I'd start a thread for owners of the Engine midi sequencer as it'd be nice to discuss tips, tricks, features, wishlist etc.

I'm loving mine so far, such a great workflow and really feature packed. Will post some videos up here soon.

Loving the CTRL tracks with assignable CCs, LFOs etc. Love it that you can run a 1-bar synth track with a 4-bar CTRL track set at quarter speed to modulate parameters over 16-bars. for this use it makes sense to have CTRL on a separate track. Also means you can mute the CC data or switch between different CTRL patterns as your song progresses.

I've asked ripe for a few features which he said might get added in the future.

The first is more Snapshots. Hopefully they can double to 128 in the future.

I also asked for ability to arm recording so that the sequencer doesn't start until the first note is play (like on the electribes).

What would everyone like to see added?
Old 27th May 2016
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I sort of wish it had a cf card for saving the memory or some kind of expansion, but I really don't think it will happen. It's really not a big deal to save the sysex, but I just want some kind of organizer program to be able to move around patterns and save and load and resend the sysex to the machine. Maybe somebody will make something in the future, who knows.

But I like it just fine the only 2 features I wish it had are the ability to switch pattern immediately, like switch on step 4, step 5 of the new pattern plays, in time, and some way to have more independent note lengths on poly patterns. But I'm not optimistic for these and it is pretty good as it is.
Old 27th May 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

What was wrong with the old thread?
Now there's two I need to follow.
Old 27th May 2016
  #4
Gear Head
one feature i've wanted since i got my engine last year is to be able to solo in on a SECTION of a pattern when i'm programming notes, drums or whatever.

it kills my workflow in long patterns i'm creating (say 4 section pattern constisting of 64step). i would like to focus in and loop SECTION 1 or 2 or 3 or 4.
Old 27th May 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mushy Mushy View Post
What was wrong with the old thread?
Now there's two I need to follow.
Do you own an Engine?
Old 27th May 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by geetee View Post
one feature i've wanted since i got my engine last year is to be able to solo in on a SECTION of a pattern when i'm programming notes, drums or whatever.

it kills my workflow in long patterns i'm creating (say 4 section pattern constisting of 64step). i would like to focus in and loop SECTION 1 or 2 or 3 or 4.
I thought you could do that by using the Section button? The section with the brightest LED being the one being edited.
Old 27th May 2016
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesign75 View Post
Do you own an Engine?
It's on the water.
Old 27th May 2016
  #8
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesign75 View Post
I thought you could do that by using the Section button? The section with the brightest LED being the one being edited.
yeah, but the thing i want is to be able to loop the section being edited you see.

instead i have to wait for the pattern to reach the edited section. i want to be focused on the 16step section i am currently programming.
Old 27th May 2016
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by geetee View Post
yeah, but the thing i want is to be able to loop the section being edited you see.

instead i have to wait for the pattern to reach the edited section. i want to be focused on the 16step section i am currently programming.
Ah yes, I see, that would be good idea!
Old 28th May 2016
  #10
Might have to buy a new power adapter for mine, the one that can with it is only 1m long. I can literally only place it on desk right above the wall socket.
Old 28th May 2016
  #11
Gear Nut
 
glotus's Avatar
 

My Engine arrived today after a knobs issue and its all good now 100%. I agree about the power cable. This is what I was talking about in the other engine thread re paying a bit more for gear is not a bad thing. slightly more expensive means less annoying in the long run. it might seem cheaper but you pay for it in other ways.

Having said that the way engine works - the design of it - its ****ing great.

its like they took everything I wanted cirklon to do, things that were never implemted -like recording note length in a played in pattern sequence - and setting note length on the grid- and they made it do these things.

plus the interface is right as well - no tiny screen with bull**** sub menus and fifty million things to set to make it work. *cough, octatrack*

The sequencer is sorted - Now, time to buy some more synths and maybe, maybe another sampler.



GL.
Old 28th May 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glotus View Post
its like they took everything I wanted cirklon to do, things that were never implemted -like recording note length in a played in pattern sequence
Cirklon does that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glotus View Post
- and setting note length on the grid-
What do you mean by that ? When I search the Engine manual for "note length" I can't find anything that can't be done with Cirklon.
Old 28th May 2016
  #13
Gear Nut
 
glotus's Avatar
 

When I had a cirklon it would hard quantize the start and end points of all notes recorded into a pattern - end points were eg 50% or 100% only (this is the same as electribes)- which is fine if you want to make robotic music that is all 'on the grid'.

but it sucks balls when you want to record a pattern and have it playback sounding like what you played in.

What you record in pattern mode is not what you get back with cirklon, or electribes sadly.
(cirklon may have updated this by now its been a while since I sold mine - I doubt it though)

Also Citklon has a piano roll mode that will record exactly what you play in - but at that point, with an event list and tiny screen - your better off in a daw - and the whole point of having the step sequencer is to record into the steps, after all.

Interestingly, Octatrack did not have the ability to record the note length per step initialy but after some angry voices on the forum they added it in which was nice (ultimately it was too bloated a machine for me but that's abother story)

Enter Engine -
Quote from the manual -

When quantization is disabled, the gate length of the note will be set to the nearest clock tick, allowing more expressive sequences to be captured. The start of the note will be recorded with the nearest delay value for the step

This is near perfect although I think the option to hard quantize the note ons making the playing in time but still capturing the length of the notes would be even better.

//--------
Regarding the setting of note lengths I was refering to how the note lengths are set. In cirklon this is (or was) done with 16 knobs controlling a bar graph on the screen. Mmmmm bar graph.

Engine lets you set it by pressing two steps on the pattern whic I much prefer, as its a visual representaion of time actually in the steps of the pattern.

So yeah, Engine - its kind of awesome, for me anyway.

GL
Old 28th May 2016
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Acid Mitch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glotus View Post
(cirklon may have updated this by now its been a while since I sold mine - I doubt it though)
Must have been added after you ditched it. I'm sure it was added a while ago, then recorded lengths got broken, but fixed recently.



Quote:
Originally Posted by glotus View Post
Engine lets you set it by pressing two steps on the pattern which I much prefer, as its a visual representaion of time actually in the steps of the pattern.
P3 used to have an option for this. Not sure it made into Cirklon.
Old 30th May 2016
  #15
Gear Nut
 
glotus's Avatar
 

Ok -
Now that the new gear high has worn off and I RTFM I am a bit less enthused about engine.
(It's still pretty tasty don't get me wrong)

However I have learned it cannot record overlapping notes. If you play a note and then play a second note the new note will chop off the original one.
great for bass lines and mono synths - not so good for the Juno or OB-6.

Surely if the end user want a mono pattern, he or she can put the synth in mono and have it chop of the notes when a new note starts.
I've never understood why the folks who design sequencers restrict the creative possibilities of their inventions in this manner.

Basically there are melodies that can easily be played, E.G anything with 2 overlapping notes, that will never come from a single track on these types of sequencers.

I aware that recording a second track would produce the desired output but then you are not recording a pattern in one take as you play it.
Editing one melody across 2 or three patterns is not conducive to fast, easy or simple pattern tweaks or good outcomes in my experience.

The AN200 and DX200 manage to record note lengths where a long note can be played and then others over the top of it, all into the steps.
It would make my day to discover something out there just like engine, but that can record the things I play in as I have actually played them in in all cases.

If anyone knows of such a device please share.

Tks,
GL
Old 30th May 2016
  #16
That is kind of a nasty limitation. Can anyone else confirm?
Old 30th May 2016
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by glotus View Post
Ok -
Now that the new gear high has worn off and I RTFM I am a bit less enthused about engine.
(It's still pretty tasty don't get me wrong)

However I have learned it cannot record overlapping notes. If you play a note and then play a second note the new note will chop off the original one.
great for bass lines and mono synths - not so good for the Juno or OB-6.

Surely if the end user want a mono pattern, he or she can put the synth in mono and have it chop of the notes when a new note starts.
I've never understood why the folks who design sequencers restrict the creative possibilities of their inventions in this manner.

Basically there are melodies that can easily be played, E.G anything with 2 overlapping notes, that will never come from a single track on these types of sequencers.

I aware that recording a second track would produce the desired output but then you are not recording a pattern in one take as you play it.
Editing one melody across 2 or three patterns is not conducive to fast, easy or simple pattern tweaks or good outcomes in my experience.

The AN200 and DX200 manage to record note lengths where a long note can be played and then others over the top of it, all into the steps.
It would make my day to discover something out there just like engine, but that can record the things I play in as I have actually played them in in all cases.

If anyone knows of such a device please share.

Tks,
GL
Maybe you could email John with a user request. He seems quite responsive and keen to improve. It's probably a hangover from before polyphonic sequencing was possible.
Old 30th May 2016
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Yeah, on poly tracks the 'gate' is monophonic. If you play a chord and try to change just one note of it while holding the others, it will just record the new note you played or retrigger them all. There is just one step grid so you can't show more than one gate. That's why I said above, it would be nice to at least have ind.lengths where you could set different lengths of the 4 notes by using the section button and be able to see and shorten the ind note lengths.

Or just make the poly tracks like 4 ind sequences that you use the section button to go through. But I don't know that I'm going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen. It is a great sequencer but poly mode is more like an advanced chord memory or something that's great for a paraphonic synth. It also depends on your playing style. Some people might never notice the limitation.
Old 30th May 2016
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cs1729 View Post
Yeah, on poly tracks the 'gate' is monophonic. If you play a chord and try to change just one note of it while holding the others, it will just record the new note you played or retrigger them all. There is just one step grid so you can't show more than one gate. That's why I said above, it would be nice to at least have ind.lengths where you could set different lengths of the 4 notes by using the section button and be able to see and shorten the ind note lengths.

Or just make the poly tracks like 4 ind sequences that you use the section button to go through. But I don't know that I'm going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen. It is a great sequencer but poly mode is more like an advanced chord memory or something that's great for a paraphonic synth. It also depends on your playing style. Some people might never notice the limitation.
I must admit it never even crossed my mind until you pointed it out. I was just pleased you can program chords so easily, unlike a lot of sequencers.
Old 8th June 2016
  #20
Gear Head
has anyone had the problem of engine not turning on until the 2nd try of pushing the power button?

i'm a little concerned, it happens constantly to my unit. either i get a blank or "8888.." display.

also had a weird problem yesterday, when my cv/gate sequences started (on two tracks) and then a few second later it stopped sending cv, i could just hear the clicks of the gate. i solved the problem by turning on my TB303 which is connected to engine track through MIDI. I don't have the slightest clue how that is related to the cv outputs not working properly. the tracks with the cv outputs connected had the MIDI to "OFF".
Old 8th June 2016
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by geetee View Post
has anyone had the problem of engine not turning on until the 2nd try of pushing the power button?

i'm a little concerned, it happens constantly to my unit. either i get a blank or "8888.." display.

also had a weird problem yesterday, when my cv/gate sequences started (on two tracks) and then a few second later it stopped sending cv, i could just hear the clicks of the gate. i solved the problem by turning on my TB303 which is connected to engine track through MIDI. I don't have the slightest clue how that is related to the cv outputs not working properly. the tracks with the cv outputs connected had the MIDI to "OFF".
Not experienced any problems with the power button myself. For the CV issue I'm midi only so can't comment. I would email them, they are really helpful.
Old 8th June 2016
  #22
Gear Head
alright, i just did
Old 11th June 2016
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by geetee View Post
has anyone had the problem of engine not turning on until the 2nd try of pushing the power button?

i'm a little concerned, it happens constantly to my unit. either i get a blank or "8888.." display.

also had a weird problem yesterday, when my cv/gate sequences started (on two tracks) and then a few second later it stopped sending cv, i could just hear the clicks of the gate. i solved the problem by turning on my TB303 which is connected to engine track through MIDI. I don't have the slightest clue how that is related to the cv outputs not working properly. the tracks with the cv outputs connected had the MIDI to "OFF".
I had this problem a couple days ago after installing a new firmware. Must have been an issue with the firmware transfer. Wasn't switching on and got 8888 on screen. All it took was a hard reset and it was all sorted so I would try that. You get to reset button by pulling up the LCD screen from top with your fingernails.
Old 15th June 2016
  #24
Here for the gear
I have one of these crossing the pond on its way to the UK.

Any other user here have Roland Aira gear they use with it?
Old 19th June 2016
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Here is from the Engine manual:

'Snapshots are used to store the current settings of all tracks. They are extremely useful for live performance, to recall the settings for all tracks with a single button press.'

The way it works is that every track can be switched to one of 64 patterns that lie under it.

Lets say you have a drum pattern on one track and a bass pattern on one track. You save all this to snapshot number one which you later want to recall. Lets say you modify a few notes on the bass line and save this to snapshot number two. Now the bassline is changed on snapshot number two but ALSO on snapshot number one as well which is a bummer. It really shouldn't be working like that.

The workaround is to copy the bass pattern first to another pattern and do your thing there. So in snapshots, engine will just tell the track which pattern to choose. But if you modify a pattern and save to a snapshot, all previous snapshots including that pattern number will play the altered one. Bummer. It should save NOTE DATA. Because copying a pattern to a new one before making modifications to save to a new pattern is wasting time and stands in the way when it could be done already much faster. There are already button combos to get things done, copying patterns to create different snapshot was not the way around it imho but saving note data is. If you have already 7 snapshots and for the 8th you want to modify the notes of a pattern and save snapshot 8, if any of the previous snapshots had that pattern included it will be modified there also even though the snapshot was created earlier.

The snapshots were one of the more appealing things on engine, now that i have seen how they really work, while still very useful not that great anymore because i always have to copy things around instead of just banging in the notes and saving the snapshot, modify the pattern and save another snapshot. That would be useful and would work much better for live situations as well where getting things done fast is important. Maybe this could be addressed in an update. Would be good to get an answer like... forget about it it's not being done or... it can be done.

Cheers

Last edited by TonyFM; 20th June 2016 at 12:27 AM..
Old 29th June 2016
  #26
Here for the gear
Engine users, we have started a facebook group, if anyone's interested please join our group.

https://www.*********************1612310149079928/
Old 29th June 2016
  #27
Lives for gear
Is the Engine able to remember different midi channels for the same tracks, when switching between songs?
Let's say that i create a song using 4 parts of the Nord Lead 4r. Each part gets a different channel. Let's say midi channels 1, 2, 3, 4. I also use 4 additional tracks and make each one a ctrlr track for each of the NL4r 4 parts.
Now i'm off to the next song but this time i only want 2 channels of the NL4r, but 2 channels for controlling 2 parts of the waldorf blofeld. Now i want track 3 which was dedicated to midi channel 3 on the former song - to be used for controlling midi channel 7 on the blofeld.
So can i do this? Or when i assign a midi channel for a track - it stays no matter of i switch between songs?
Old 29th June 2016
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zman03 View Post
Engine users, we have started a facebook group, if anyone's interested please join our group.

https://www.*********************1612310149079928/
Cool! Joining now :-)
Old 29th June 2016
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zahush76 View Post
Is the Engine able to remember different midi channels for the same tracks, when switching between songs?
Let's say that i create a song using 4 parts of the Nord Lead 4r. Each part gets a different channel. Let's say midi channels 1, 2, 3, 4. I also use 4 additional tracks and make each one a ctrlr track for each of the NL4r 4 parts.
Now i'm off to the next song but this time i only want 2 channels of the NL4r, but 2 channels for controlling 2 parts of the waldorf blofeld. Now i want track 3 which was dedicated to midi channel 3 on the former song - to be used for controlling midi channel 7 on the blofeld.
So can i do this?
It works just as you'd like. Infact it's even better than that because MIDI Channel assignments are save with Snapshots, not Songs. So you save Snapshots with different MIDI Channel assignments, patterns, mute states etc. and use them to build your Song. So you can use way more than 8 MIDI Channels in one Song, but only 8 assigned/playing at any one time (within a Snapshot).
Old 30th June 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdesign75 View Post
It works just as you'd like. Infact it's even better than that because MIDI Channel assignments are save with Snapshots, not Songs. So you save Snapshots with different MIDI Channel assignments, patterns, mute states etc. and use them to build your Song. So you can use way more than 8 MIDI Channels in one Song, but only 8 assigned/playing at any one time (within a Snapshot).
I'm confused. Are you completely sure about this?
Look at what TonyFM, one of the users wrote in the other thread:
Quote:
my gripe is that it doesn't save midi data in snapshots, just the pattern to play. i still can have it do what i want it to do. however now if you move a few notes on that pattern and save a new snapshot it will change in all snapshots including that pattern. i see how that can also be used where if you want to make a change it will change all snapshots. this is good for building a song where you decide to go back and make a change in a pattern and it changes across the song if this is what it was meant to work like. i would think many users would like engine to save the note data with a snapshot not just telling engine what pattern to play, this would serve better in a live situation imho as it would allow recording ideas and capturing them with snapshots. instead of creating a new pattern and then make the snapshot.
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