My "2" requests (song mode & envelope editor related)

Hey! I love my S2400 and now have to do the obligatory feature request, which I’m sure is a drag. Sorry.

Apart from some nice dubby echo and reverb with extra cheese which everyone would love…

envelope editor - I feel anxiety when I enter the envelope editor mode; it seems like hole in the lovely UX of the machine, and for this reason I believe it should be reworked.

The controls and pots are pretty abstract in their assignment in both envelopes modes, with some seeming to be duplicates, and others not used at all. I cannot for the life of me build an envelope using rational design, so I always just take to “scribbling” the faders up until I start to approach a sweet spot and build my envelope from there.

My suggestions for Envelopes:

  • Switch control to only pots. This is a more reliable and appropriate control method and allows simultaneous manipulation of two correlated parameters like attack and sustain in a more intuitive way. Perhaps ditto for loop/slice edit mode.

  • Change the way envelopes are scaled. They currently work on % completion of sample, but would better in I think every way if they were in absolute time. Seconds or perhaps beats. Then you could load a long sample with a big tail, and a super short one into the same envelope and have it behave the same way.

Okay. Deep breath.

Song mode. This feature seems unfinished, or not fleshed out. Like an empty box where something more could go. What that moreness is could take differing forms, I guess. I believe the s2400 appeals to DAWless folk, and the step sequencer mode is fantastic for that, but it needs to go one step further for song mode to be useful. As it stands, it’s functionally the same as just creating one very long pattern, or just “play next pattern after this one”. I don’t really mind working in the box, bouncing stems, etc, in the studio but I need to be able to organize a track for a live performance, and I hate computers in a live setting.

My suggestions for Song Mode:

  • Expand song mode such that it can duplicate patterns on a per track basis. I think this could be implemented without altering the underlying data structures of the machine. Just tag each track separately in a pattern. They live in the pattern, but can be called from song mode in a mix and mach style. This would look a lot like the song view in Renoise or other trackers, and what building a song actually means to me.

  • Alternatively, implement something similar for mac/pc/linux, a little editor app with an easier to see screen with colour. I’d be fine dragging and dropping patterns on my laptop and then dumping them onto the s2400 when it’s showtime. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Anyway I’m dumb, thanks everyone.

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Agreed on the hires envelopes - it’s been raised and seems unlikely to change, BUT maybe there could be a preference to switch to time based envelopes @Mickey ?

The % based envelope is a real bummer for me - I’m just constantly overwriting what I want eg move the decay too far and it wipes the attack back to zero and you have to start again.

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Agree on envelopes. I actually love song mode as is. It reminds me of a streamlined version of Maschine. I love that your patterns are directly linked to the song. This way you can focus on make slight variations of your pattern in pattern mode with your song in mind. Use a different song for each section of your song. So I have a song for intro, build up, drop, so on. The use the mute and repeat actions. You can get a lot from one main pattern without ever needing to edit the pattern itself. Maybe just me, but I wouldnt change this…beats MPC song mode for me.

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…interesting! Taking some time to absorb what you are saying but I think I get it. I’ll have to do some more lab tests. :woman_scientist:

Try making a song out of one pattern. That pattern should contain every layer. Then setup a ‘Song’ for intro, buildup, drop etc. This just consists on the same one pattern with different track mutes or solos applied within the Song setting. So for instance, just with a 4 bar pattern, this can be a 16 bar intro as follows…

Rename song 1 = ‘Intro’, then…

  • Add Repeat x2 Event
  • Add Mute Event…mute everything apart from kick and bass
  • Add Pattern 1
  • Add Repeat x2 Event
  • Add Mute Event…mute everything apart from kick, clap and bass
  • Add Pattern 1
  • End action to play song 2

Rename song 2 = ‘Build up’
…and so on

You could easily work with just one pattern at first but where you realise you need some unique variation, e.g. a snare roll, then duplicate the main pattern and apply the unique edit. Return to song mode and switch the pattern reference. As per the above example, each ‘Song’ can be chained to another ‘Song’. Really this mode allows you to automate repeats and muting (and other stuff) in a sequence. Treat a ‘Song’ as a section, and a collection of ‘Songs’ as the actual song. It would have been more sensible if each song within Song mode was called a ‘Section’.

It’s a little fiddly but you get quick at making adjustments very easily - for me I only use the repeat, mute, pattern and end of song functions.

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You can also print your Song Mode sequence to a pattern and it will treat all the mutes as note deletes in the copied pattern. This is class as you can then have a ‘final’ version of your song structure back in pattern mode, whereby it is prob easier to do some final adjustments. Both modes have advantages for editing. More I think about it…this could be a reusable workflow for a full track build…

  1. Pattern 1 = draft concept using all required tracks
  2. Pattern 2 = draft concept above with drum and/or melodic variation
  3. Song 1-8 = draft song concept made from above patterns. Whereby Song 1 = Intro, and so on
  4. Print Song 1-8 as Pattern 3
  5. Pattern 3 = Make any detailed adjustments
  6. Record Pattern 3 outputs to DAW.

Whilst MPC can off a similar workflow, its actually more complex as if doesn’t allow you to add the mutes and other events (other than repeats) in song mode, these have to be handled in pattern mode. So you end up with a huge number of patterns. Whereas with the Isla you can have just a few patterns to get a pretty involved song going.

Sorry prob info overkill, but I am a big fan of this feature.

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Thank you so much for the support Leighty!

Done. I started with a fairly busy 1-pattern project I had made earlier, and built a song with 4 sub-songs (intro, build, main, outtro). I used solos instead of mutes because they seem less confusing.

Now I have a hype full track for the first time!

It’s great that filter sweeps can’t be automated because it gives you something to do in song mode.

You can also print your Song Mode sequence to a pattern and it will treat all the mutes as note deletes in the copied pattern.

That’s a good one. This topic should probably be forked somehow.

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Solos make sense actually. You prob have got further than me! I got one track setup a while back but I think it was too complicated and fell apart when i tried to record everything on separate outs (had 16+ tracks).

Think my next attempt might be to record multiple tracks on same output (submix) as I’ve never tried that before. This way I can work towards printing just 8 stems. Always thought it was a dumb idea but after seeing how others use this and other samplers (SP404)…got me thinking separate tracks for everything isn’t always necessary.

the option for envelopes would be cool - that way we use the current and the more ‘acceptable’ method - i do like the current version BUT it can be a proper pita at times to achieve simple things, it shouldn’t be that way

i don’t buy into using pots only on envelopes though - no sirrrreeeeeeee

song mode i have no comments as for me it is a none function so far - never been a song mode guy on any machine

Option for time based envelopes would be very much appreciated!!

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