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Controlling negative values of patching depth with parameter knobs

5

TL;DR
Parameter knobs don’t always support negative values of parameters they’re changing.

Long version

When messing around with JX-3P-style frequency modulation (SYNCed RING with various modulation sources changing TRANspose of one of the oscillators - can be made to sound massive!) I’ve noticed one illogical limitation of the LEARN function for parameter knobs:

I had my envelope affecting TRANspose of an oscillator, set to a negative depth (-25, let’s say), active on the display in the sound editor. I wanted to have a golden knob control that depth, so turned it while holding LEARN. Now, a funny thing happened:

Current behavior (v2.1.1)

Display flashed LEAR, as expected. The “meter” next to the parameter knob stayed empty. I turned that parameter knob counterclockwise - nothing happened, the value stayed at -25. Turned it clockwise - the value started changing as expected, gradually went to -10. The meter stayed empty. Tried turning counterclockwise again - no response. Finally turned clockwise some more, crossing 0 and then things started working “normally”, with full control (both clockwise and counterclockwise) over values between 0 and 50, with the meter indicating them correctly. I could not, however, go below 0 again.

Desired behavior

Display flashing LEAR, and the meter indicating -25 with the bottom diode lit. Turning counterclockwise allows me to go down to -50, with the meter becoming “empty”. Turning clockwise increases the value, with the meter blinking when crossing 0, and allowing me to go up to 50 (the meter “full”). Then, turning counterclockwise again gets me to negative values.

Comments

  • 0
    duelinmarkersduelinmarkers Austin TX USPosts: 108

    Surprised not to see more upvotes here. Seems like a weird limitation.

  • 0
    hexagon5unhexagon5un MunichPosts: 30

    I got here by trying to do exactly this! It looks like unintentional behavior (a bug!) to me. The deal is that you can't make a parameter go below zero with the gold parameter knobs.

    I discovered this by setting up an inverse (negative) effect of ENV1 on a HPF cutoff, to make a nice up-swoop by using the delay. I wanted to control this with Custom 3.

    As yundt reported, I could only make the value less negative by turning the parameter knob, and once it got up to zero, couldn't go back negative. This totally (irreversably) changes the nature of the sound.

    Most of the parameters that the knobs affect are positive, so I get how the bug could arise. But for those that can go negative, it'd be great if the knobs could take them there.

    TL;DR: +1 to this one. It's probably a bug.

    Anyone know a workaround? External MIDI controller, I guess? (Untested.)

  • 0
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 912

    you can record negative automation values with the Select knob. when controlled by golden knobs or midi it is strictly 0-50 afaik.

  • 0
    hexagon5unhexagon5un MunichPosts: 30

    @amiga909 said:
    you can record negative automation values with the Select knob. when controlled by golden knobs or midi it is strictly 0-50 afaik.

    Yeah, I suppose the Select knob will get you there.

    I don't usually think of the select knob as a live-tweaker -- I've been assigning to the gold knobs with abandon. :) I'll have to give it a shot. As a workaround/solution, it's so obvious that it's a little bit embarrasing... Thanks.

  • 0
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 912

    no shame,it is a very good feature suggestion. a learned param should cover the entire range. it is strange it seems to be only possible with the Select knob.

  • 1
    hexagon5unhexagon5un MunichPosts: 30
    edited February 8

    Just had a crazy idea, tested it out, and it works!

    If you assign a MIDI controller that normally has a pos/neg value, like pitch bend, to the amount, it works as desired: I get a full range from -50 to 50.

    (Goes off to look for other MIDI controllers that normally have a +/- range... Because I sometimes need pitch bend to be pitch bend.)

    Post edited by hexagon5un on
  • 0
    EddyEddy ColognePosts: 219

    @hexagon5un said:
    Just had a crazy idea, tested it out, and it works!

    If you assign a MIDI controller that normally has a pos/neg value, like pitch bend, to the amount, it works as desired: I get a full range from -50 to 50.

    (Goes off to look for other MIDI controllers that normally have a +/- range... Because I sometimes need pitch bend to be pitch bend.)

    so the Deluge has a built in library what´s supposed to be +/- 50 and what should be absolute 0-127

  • 1
    hexagon5unhexagon5un MunichPosts: 30

    @Eddy said:

    so the Deluge has a built in library what´s supposed to be +/- 50 and what should be absolute 0-127

    Hard to say. Pitch bend is a little weird anyway, being a two-byte parameter (OK, 14 bits) that's centered in the middle value when nothing's being bent.

    I looked for a sec into the MIDI spec to see if I could find other controllers that work the same way, and couldn't find any that are obvious. I'm not a MIDI expert, though.

    I think I'm gonna just go with recording some automation in from the black selection knob and call it good. That's by far the easiest way around this one.

  • 0
    duelinmarkersduelinmarkers Austin TX USPosts: 108

    @hexagon5un said:
    Just had a crazy idea, tested it out, and it works!

    If you assign a MIDI controller that normally has a pos/neg value, like pitch bend, to the amount, it works as desired: I get a full range from -50 to 50.

    It never occurred to me to try to learn pitch bend to something! Good stuff.

  • 0
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 912

    @duelinmarkers said:

    @hexagon5un said:
    Just had a crazy idea, tested it out, and it works!

    If you assign a MIDI controller that normally has a pos/neg value, like pitch bend, to the amount, it works as desired: I get a full range from -50 to 50.

    It never occurred to me to try to learn pitch bend to something! Good stuff.

    cool, nice catch, i ll try that later.
    pitchbend for +/- ranges is crude though.
    pitchbend is not optimal for that, with CC's you get 128 distinct values with pitchbend it is 16383.
    twiddling 1 pitch bend wheel rapidly can already exceed midi bandwidth (with audible delays), having a bunch of pitchbend controls assigned to different params is not a good idea. there is a reason pitchbend is usually strictly used for pitch modulation (pitchbend has got some more usage for microscale support). i hope they consider that if revamped Midi remote control makes it in a soonish update.

  • 0
    hexagon5unhexagon5un MunichPosts: 30

    Also made me think about the upcoming X/Y mod features. Those will be bipolar too, right?

  • 0
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 912

    @hexagon5un said:
    Also made me think about the upcoming X/Y mod features. Those will be bipolar too, right?

    I guess so. Some discussion here about X/Y
    http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/comment/10758#Comment_10758

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