Improve the workflow for making music in compound metres

Wikipedia on compound metres[1].

What is the problem?

The sequencer and the grid, with the multiples of 16 steps, is not very intuitive to use for music in compound metres.

What do you want to achieve?

Improve the experience when making music in compound metres.

Are there any workarounds?

Yes, but it’s a less intuitive experience. You can set a track length of 48. But the mental gymnastics required for remembering that the 3rd beat of the second bar is step 19, which is the 3rd step on page 2, does not align with the otherwise great visual overview of your sequences on the Plays.

One of the key strengths of the Plays is that you can look at the sequencer grid and immediately understand what is happening when – as long as you stick to 4/4 beats. Bringing the same great overview to compund metre music would be a huge workflow improvement.

Any links to related discussions?

Didn’t find any.

Any references to other products?

This is a common problem with a lot a of hardware sequencers that mostly have 8/16/32/64 steps.

On the Volcas from Korg, there’s an Active Step feature, allowing you to turn each step on/off. With that, you can turn off every 4th step[2]. That is one way to improve the workflow for compound metres. Another way (probably easier for the Plays) could be to add a “Compound” Play Mode for tracks, which will skip every 4th step, as illustrated by the selected steps on the photo below:

[1] I hope I’m using this term correct. Listen to the beat in Moderat’s A New Error to be sure we’re on the same page.

[2] The Active Step feature also allows you to do a lot of other cool things on the fly with your sequence, but it’s out of scope for this wish.

1 Like

Hey @3xm, thanks for submitting your draft wish! Reading through it, I would like to offer some suggestions to tidy it up a bit before submitting it for review.

Reading through the wish, I feel the problem statement could be a bit more specific to what you are asking for. Do you see a way that this could be rephrased?

Also in keeping with the spirit of Writing a good feature request, I would suggest trying to find some more neutral terms relating to the workarounds.

Let me know what you think and we’ll take it from there :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks! I tried improving it now. Things were written with love and respect, but we all know how tongue-in-cheekness doesn’t always come through clearly in text online :slight_smile:

1 Like

I don’t doubt you for a second :slight_smile:
Looks great to me! Thanks again for the wish :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think the way Play handles polymeters/polyrhythms is one of its main strengths. Would be great to see the suggestion implemented (for some reason it’s still in the drafts since december '23).

1 Like

@here Thanks for your wish. It’s now ready for voting :slight_smile: