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More precise / accurate parameter control

6
KenoubiKenoubi United StatesPosts: 18

I love my Deluge, but one thing that I think is completely unnecessarily limiting its potential is the control you have over parameters. Most of them are on a somewhat arbitrary scale of 0-50 or -50 to 50. This makes it hard to do things that should be easy, even if not directly supported by the Deluge. For example, setting delay to a perfect triplet, or setting a filter cutoff to exactly 1.5x the note frequency.

I know Deluge is capable of doing this right, because it already does so for certain parameters! Also, using the golden knobs (very carefully) or external MIDI control allows finer adjustments than the 0-50 integer scale used by most parameters, so I know the Deluge software and file format can handle it. Here's how I think things should work:

For time-based parameters, you should have the option of setting the time in seconds and milliseconds (like the sample loop point editor already does!), using sync, and possibly seconds and samples. Sync should support dotted and triplet times in addition to the current 2^n beats. This applies to these parameters:

  • Vibrato
  • Envelope Attack / Decay / Release
  • Sidechain Attack / Release on the sidechain)
  • Arp Rate
  • Mod Fx Rate
  • LFO 1 / 2 Rate
  • Delay Rate (OK, it sounds a little weird calling it that, but if you read the labels crosswise and vertically that's what it appears to be
  • possibly Portamento and Mod Fx Offset (not sure what units those are in)

For relative frequency parameters, you should have the choice of semitones and cents (like Transpose already does!), ratio (12.00 transpose would correspond to 2.000 ratio since 12 semitones are an octave which is a frequency ratio of 2. Should have at least three decimal places) and possibly some small-whole-number ratios so it's easy to do, e.g., 5/4. This applies to:

  • Sample Speed
  • Oscillator Transpose
  • Unison Detune
  • LPF / HPF frequency (I think these are relative to the note? Correct me if I'm wrong).

For absolute frequency parameters, we should be able to use a note name (C4) or a frequency (Hz). Applies to Bass and Treble Frequency.

For "fraction" parameters we should have a value from 0 to 1 (or 0 to 100 if you insist). This desperately needs at least 4 significant figures (E.g. 0.0001 or 0.01% needs to be possible and different from 0 / 0%). A dB option (only negative values allowed) would be great too. This applies to:

  • Osc / FM Mod Retrigger Phase (but leaving this in degrees is also fine)
  • Osc / FM Mod Feedback (I think, not totally sure how this works internally)
  • Osc PW
  • FM PW (if/when this feature is added)
  • Sustain (except it would actually be really awesome if you put this into the "ratio" category below, as that would allow a 2-phase attack, and it's probably no harder to implement!)
  • Sidechain Vol Duck
  • Arp Gate
  • Mod Fx Feedback (maybe? You'd know better than I what units are appropriate here)
  • Mod Fx Offset (maybe?)
  • Reverb Damping, Reverb Width (maybe?)
  • Reverb Amount, Delay Amount (ratios above 1 are probably too dangerous to allow here)

There are some fractions that can go negative (same as above except range -1 to 1):

  • Master Pan
  • Reverb Pan

Then we come to the ratio parameters. These should allow a ratio (1.0 = unchanged, 0.0001 = divided by 10,000, 1000 = multiplied by 1,000 -- and yes, it should have at least this much range) or a positive or negative dB. These are:

  • Noise
  • Osc / FM Mod / Master Level
  • Bass / Treble Adjust
  • I feel like there shoudl be more, but I can't think of what they are...

That almost wraps it up. There are some oddball cases:

  • Saturation, Bitcrush, Decimation: I have no idea what units are useful for these.
  • LPF / HPF resonance: Q is maybe the most comprehensible, but I'm not sure whether it applies with the type of filter you're using.
  • Anything that has discrete values or is otherwise weird (e.g. the waveform viewer with the start / stop markers) is probably fine as is.

Mod depths (all) should be in the units of the parameter they're modifying, and should have the same actual range as "ratios" above. Mod sources should in most cases be normalized to a range from 0 to 1 (e.g. envelopes) or -1 to 1 (e.g. LFOs), but there may be cases where other units are far more useful (e.g. if "note" is represents as semitones above / below middle C, it would be a lot easier to use it to modulate frequencies in a predictable way.

I hope this is seriously considered. I think despite the length of this post. these changes would be relatively easy to make (the only tricky part being to choose a UI to change units; maybe pushing down on the left-right knob while editing a quantity?) and significantly benefit many users.

Comments

  • 0
    RandomAztecRandomAztec IrelandPosts: 90

    You find allot of these suggestions have been raised before..i love the deluge but the stepping in parameter control is one thing that bugs me

  • 1
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 826

    nice suggestion.
    yeah, finer param resolution was mentioned many times, as far as upvoted threads go i hope this one starts off.

    from http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/2240/100-top-rated-suggestions there only is http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/1189/envelopes-decay-time-finer-adjustment
    for triplet/dotted rates there are loads of threads, mostly delay http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/502/delay-times-please-include-dotted-variants

  • 1
    KenoubiKenoubi United StatesPosts: 18

    @amiga909 said:
    nice suggestion.
    yeah, finer param resolution was mentioned many times, as far as upvoted threads go i hope this one starts off.

    from http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/2240/100-top-rated-suggestions there only is http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/1189/envelopes-decay-time-finer-adjustment
    for triplet/dotted rates there are loads of threads, mostly delay http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/502/delay-times-please-include-dotted-variants

    Not that I necessarily think you disagree with this, but just to be clear: finer param resolution would be nice, but logical units are almost as (and in some cases more) important. How can you understand or communicate about what a (non-synced) delay will do without knowing how long it is, or a filter without knowing the cutoff frequency, or a volume adjustment without knowing how many dB?

    Yeah, "use your ears"... but it isn't like I'm going to stop listening to what I made to see if it sounds good just because I have a meaningful way to tell what I did. On the other hand, if I ask for advice about my mix and someone says "the snares should be about 5 dB louder", it would be nice to have a way to try that without busting out a meter or memorizing an arbitrary conversion scale.

    I wouldn't mind leaving the 1-50 scale as an option -- as I said, for many params there are multiple reasonable units, and you shouldn't have to pick one or convert between them, you should just be able to use what makes sense to you. They could even add a "no scale" option that shows no number at all and forces you to rely on your ears, for people who want to do that.

  • 1
    amiga909amiga909 Central EuropePosts: 826

    @Kenoubi i like your suggestion because a lot of thought went into it, for sure it is good brain food to understand the Deluge better.
    i did and do support your suggestion but let me make clear what exactly i like and which details i disagree with.

    from a suggestion history perspective i recognize different use case:

    • use a value notation that is more useful when making music (like dotted options for delay), totally understand this is the main focus of your suggestion.
      i like the way you generalized the infamously often mentioned dotted delay rate problem here, a new way to look at it, cool.

    • wider value ranges with more extreme min/max values (often mentioned: longer release time)

    • value ranges with more values in between to choose (often mentioned: finer control for short attack/decay, saturation, ..)

    i'd rate the second and third use case higher than the first one.
    i certainly would not want a Hz display for cutoff if it means i have less distinct values than before.
    and i certainly always want to see a change in the display when a golden knob interaction emits a new value.

    my opinion on your proposals in detail

    • (all!) rate params in ms and dotted/triplet for sync: absolutely
      except vibrato: depends on LFO1 speed, it is a modulation depth param.

    • "fraction" params: 0-100 instead of 0-50: absolutely. in some cases (envelopes) the min/max values should change too.

    • semitones/cents for sample speed, unison, lpf/hpf: why not, i wouldnt use it much though.
      just a thought for cutoff in Hz: most (all?) filters do a volume correction, i am not a DSP guy but in "useable" filters there is much more happening under the hood than just changing 1 physical property.

    • ratio params 0..1: nah just leave it 0..100. i think ur distinction beween "fraction" params and "ratio" params is too technical for the average user.

    • in general i would not use any dB notations, i rate a consistent UI higher than having a specialized range and own unit for every param.
      haven't got any friends that tell me "make X 5dB louder", you seem to hang out with professional sound engineers a lot (jealous!) :)

    question here, how did you come to that conclusion?

    @Kenoubi said:
    I know Deluge is capable of doing this right, because it already does so for certain parameters! Also, using the golden knobs (very carefully) or external MIDI control allows finer adjustments than the 0-50 integer scale used by most parameters, so I know the Deluge software and file format can handle it.

    Did a test with cutoff, using golden knob and midi CC and it didnt get the impression there are more than 50 distinct values.
    It would be rather unusual if turning the knob changes the value without a change in the display - especially if it is 0-50. i can get more audible distinct values when using the mod matrix, that seems to be it afaik.
    i like to learn everything about the Deluge, do you have more knowledge here? i havent checked if the hex value can change in the XML file while the display value does not. if my impression holds true this would be another case for finer control: i want to get more distinct values, especially when using a midi CC which can have 128 values and should not be limited to 51 values (counting 0),

  • 1
    KenoubiKenoubi United StatesPosts: 18

    @amiga909 said:
    @Kenoubi i like your suggestion because a lot of thought went into it, for sure it is good brain food to understand the Deluge better.
    i did and do support your suggestion but let me make clear what exactly i like and which details i disagree with.

    from a suggestion history perspective i recognize different use case:

    • use a value notation that is more useful when making music (like dotted options for delay), totally understand this is the main focus of your suggestion.
      i like the way you generalized the infamously often mentioned dotted delay rate problem here, a new way to look at it, cool.

    • wider value ranges with more extreme min/max values (often mentioned: longer release time)

    • value ranges with more values in between to choose (often mentioned: finer control for short attack/decay, saturation, ..)

    i'd rate the second and third use case higher than the first one.
    i certainly would not want a Hz display for cutoff if it means i have less distinct values than before.

    Sure. I'm assuming the person / people who work on the Deluge firmware wouldn't do something that foolish, they just have other priorities.

    and i certainly always want to see a change in the display when a golden knob interaction emits a new value.


    my opinion on your proposals in detail

    • (all!) rate params in ms and dotted/triplet for sync: absolutely
      except vibrato: depends on LFO1 speed, it is a modulation depth param.

    • "fraction" params: 0-100 instead of 0-50: absolutely. in some cases (envelopes) the min/max values should change too.

    • semitones/cents for sample speed, unison, lpf/hpf: why not, i wouldnt use it much though.
      just a thought for cutoff in Hz: most (all?) filters do a volume correction, i am not a DSP guy but in "useable" filters there is much more happening under the hood than just changing 1 physical property.

    • ratio params 0..1: nah just leave it 0..100. i think ur distinction beween "fraction" params and "ratio" params is too technical for the average user.

    The point of my proposed ratio params is that they can amplify as well as attenuate. If you could set it to 123% (or 10 million%) that would be fine too.

    • in general i would not use any dB notations, i rate a consistent UI higher than having a specialized range and own unit for every param.
      haven't got any friends that tell me "make X 5dB louder", you seem to hang out with professional sound engineers a lot (jealous!) :)

    question here, how did you come to that conclusion?

    I was suggesting to let you choose the units to use for a param, from some (small) list of units that are meaningful for that param. I don't think this is actually much harder, but certainly if everything I asked for was done minus that part, it would be a massive improvement on what's available now.

    @Kenoubi said:
    I know Deluge is capable of doing this right, because it already does so for certain parameters! Also, using the golden knobs (very carefully) or external MIDI control allows finer adjustments than the 0-50 integer scale used by most parameters, so I know the Deluge software and file format can handle it.

    Did a test with cutoff, using golden knob and midi CC and it didnt get the impression there are more than 50 distinct values.
    It would be rather unusual if turning the knob changes the value without a change in the display - especially if it is 0-50. i can get more audible distinct values when using the mod matrix, that seems to be it afaik.

    Multiple people have reported that there are more than 50 distinct values. Obviously for some params such small changes are hard to detect, but if you try to simulate triplet delay by setting the delay time just right (and turn the gold knobs very slowly) I think you'll hear it.

    i like to learn everything about the Deluge, do you have more knowledge here? i havent checked if the hex value can change in the XML file while the display value does not. if my impression holds true this would be another case for finer control: i want to get more distinct values, especially when using a midi CC which can have 128 values and should not be limited to 51 values (counting 0),

    I haven't personally looked at the XML, but people have reported that the finer values are saved and loaded correctly. See http://forums.synthstrom.com/discussion/2295/more-precise-accurate-parameter-control#latest where I mistakenly posted this in the wrong forum at first.

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