Advice on sequencing smoothest as possible CC automations / sweeps?

Hi everyone !
I’m a noob in electronic music in general but feel kinda close to PolyEnd as being a long-term Amiga user myself and fan of the amiga tracker scene so I listened to tons of tracked stuff but never wrote any :slight_smile:

I’m planning to use my Play along with a MIDI synth and would like to sequence long evolving pads. I’m well aware of the current 64 steps limitation (but hope there will be a way to have longer drones eventually).

What is the best current way to sequence convincing progressive MIDI CC automations and not just values jumps ? (like filter sweeps) Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack is a good example of such :wink:

Is the 64 steps precision the best I can get ? Do you people think it’s sufficient ? Would it be possible as there will never be LFOs in the Play to still enable to record manual CC automations at a higher resolution ? Or at least to have the Play interpolate to “smooth(en)” the values gaps and not make sudden jumps ?

I’m asking because apart from a couple of missing features (drone, variations chaining), the Play seems to be the perfect device for me :slight_smile: Intuitive, no menu diving, not having to stare at a screen to much etc. (poor old eyes)

Cheers & thanks everyone !


chained variations thread, yay!

I guess, another way to achieve this would be external modulations, but for now we can’t control Play via midi (wish one, wish two, three, four, five).

64 is better than 32 and way better than 16 (still common in synths), but it’s not enough for longer midi records and automation lanes. For basic sequences it’s okay though.

For a moment I wanted to suggest a workaround to use slower playback speeds, but I guess any automation is tied to actual steps anyways, so you won’t get longer smooth filter sweeps this way. Unless the lane isn’t recorded in real time (most probably not). Also, this wish would be relevant here:

Change a parameter after the sample has begun (trigless trigs)


Hmm… Keeping my fingers crossed…
Would be perfectly usable with both chained variations + possibility to tie a note between variations or patterns…
Or having the CC recorded at a higher than the steps resolution…
Not really there. The potential is here but I don’t know how far the dev team is willing to push the device. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your reply !

Yes, the automation being tied to single-value-per-step is quite limiting IMO. It also applies to knob values on the audio side. There is currently no way to create a smooth knob sweep at all. There should be an option to smooth these stepped automations either linearly or with easing/curves. Maybe it is time for a Wish or two (one wish for audio one for MIDI?)


Hmm, wonder how a way to smooth automations could be implemented (from a UI perspective). As it would imply at least one additional parameter per CC… Maybe by allowing “negative” values (by turning counter clockwise a knob) which would represent progressive (linear would be OK) values changes …

IMHO allowing longer than 1 pattern (or variation) notes would be way easier to implement… Would just have to allow "no duration / infinite " MIDI notes !

So many great wishes to be fulfilled indeed. Thanks for the replies !

Well the great thing about Wishes is they discourage users from trying to figure out HOW to implement a wish. :slight_smile:

It just crossed my mind that I’ve left a pretty related wish:

it was changed during the discussion to keep it simple, but originally, I proposed the feature to bind filter sweeps to shift+mute combo with any duration set in menu, per track, in seconds. you guys @here, feel free to make a new wish like «ability to bind custom duration filter sweeps to shift+mute combo» or «mapping different sweeping effects/knobs to shift+mute combo». back then I postponed it to see if the original wish will be approved at all. you may also want to make a reference to this and that thread.

a huge plus in this approach is that it’s free from the sequencer grid and can be a lot longer without stepping.

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