I think the machine is really a fantastic upgrade (see the other discussion about my feeling with ealry adopters, and some suggestions…). The only thing I would know if it will updated in the future is the ability to use different PATCHES per SYTNH per project.
Now you are bounded to the same patch once you select them it the specific synth. (Please look at LOOPOP video on youtube explaining this clearly).
So for example: I make a noise patch with WTFM and use WTFM as a synth for my 3 synths slot (yes you can use the same synth for the 3 synth slots): I can use only this patch for the entire project. This is a big limit.
I don’t personally need synths in my Play, so I won’t be upgrading, but because of the limited visual feedback offered by a single color pad, I tend to only use one MIDI channel per track, in order to keep my brain from exploding. And some MIDI channels have polyphonic instruments on them. I play keyboard. I jam live, I don’t program stuff in advance at all. So a four note chord takes up four tracks. Surely you can see how easy it is to run out of space even without the onboard synths. Perhaps your idea of music is more minimal than mine. I would hope that we are not prescribing the sort of music that can be imagined and created with the hardware. Surely this is up to the artist, and I’m an artist telling you that a grid shared between external MIDI and onboard synth tracks is not enough.
It’s not the fact that the midi/synths share the same tracks, it’s that the polyphony is split between the 8 tracks instead of polyphony being available on all of the 8 tracks simultaneously, they seem to have developed track sequencing the same way as the Tracker handles polyphony.
I’m glad to see the Play+ now has synth engines though, cos this now really does make the Play more capable of creating full songs and the Presets I have heard so far from the current engines really do sound great.
It would be cool if the synth engine had 4 multitimbral parts with say, 16-24 voices and 6 notes of polyphony per track and allow the other 4 tracks be used for external midi or whatever, that’s how the Novation Circuit handles it synth/midi tracks anyways.
Same goes for the likes of the Roland MC707, Synthstrom Deluge, Korg Electribe 2, they all have polyphony per each track.
I’m not sure why it’s how it is, but maybe’s Polyend can improve this giving the Play+ added cpu power.
Indeed! The quality of this manual is on par with the updates we have seen for the Tracker/Mini. A nice printed version is included in the box. I like this map to better understand what is going on in Performance mode:
That helpful graphic leads me to think it how awesome would it be to have a mode that controls the synth parameters using the pads somehow. Basically to be able to program the entire synth sound using pads. I can think of a number of distinctly different ways to do that. Just giving two examples.
Example 1: Each column per one system parameter. You’d be able to tweak really fast, but not have all the parameters at once without having to switch to another view to get more, nor be very precise about it.
Example 2: Each synth parameter gets just an up button and a down button, press once to change a small amount, hold the button down and let go and it will go up or down over time as you hold it until you let go. This would probably allow you to tweak everything from that mode.
Example 2 sounds more interesting to me just because I’d like to be able to program a synth as easily as possible. And there is of course all the knobs that could be used too. And allowing CC control for each synth parameter so an external controller or on screen daw knobs could be used.
Edit: Came up with another one
Example 3 - Each pad activates tweaking a different synth parameter, but then you have just one knob that you twist afterwards to edit it. Want to edit a different one? Just activate another pad for the different parameter you want. Then turn the knob again for that one. When you switch it shows you on screen which one you selected, so it would be much easier in this one to not accidentally tweak the wrong thing.
New to Polyend having ignored the Play when it came out, but the Play+ is really ticking a lot of boxes for me as an almost ideal portable groovebox setup (touch sensitive pads, an internal battery and internal sampling/resampling would have shot it into the stratosphere!)
I’m really hopeful that I can combine this with an iPad Pro M2 for a great portable workflow. But a few of questions:
I think I can plug the Play+ into the iPad Pro 12.9" M2 and it will power the Play+. Can anyone confirm this is the case?
The marketing material and manual mentions multichannel audio streaming over USB. Is this class compliant? I.e. will I be able to use the USB connection to the iPad Pro and see a multi-channel audio device without needing drivers, so that I can record each channel separately into Logic Pro for iPad?
The manual suggests that the multichannel USB audio has channel 10 (tracks 19 & 20) for all 3 synth slots. With channels 11 and 12 currently listed as reserved. This seems like a real shame that the Play+ has 3 synth slots but all three are mixed together on a single stereo pair when streamed over USB. It would be preferable for all three to be separated out on channel 10, 11 and 12 respectively. Can anyone from Polyend confirm that this is in fact an error in the manual, or that this limitation is only for this firmware and intended to be resolved in a later firmware?
Will it be possible to use the USB audio to stream the playback to an iPad, record it in Logic Pro, sampling it and saving into files which can then be copied onto a mounted file device in the Files app? So that the new samples can be transferred onto the Play+ SD card without any kind of unplugging and replugging of the USB and changing of USB mode? If so, this would be a nice workaround for the lack of resampling functionality built in on the Play+.
A few ideas of things I’m really hopeful will be possible in future firmware:
I can see that MIDI tracks can have specific chords assigned to a single step, or you can spread a chord out over multiple tracks. It would be nice if the Play had the ability to select multiple tracks then access a “consolidate” function which merges all of the tracks down into a single MIDI track where each step now has a chord that represents what was on the individual tracks.
Similarly, it would be nice to be able to select a single track and open the Piano Roll, allowing you to design polyphonic content that then collapses down into a single polyphonic MIDI track when the Piano Roll is closed.
It would be great to have onboard resampling so that a Synth slot could have a melody designed on it, then sample that into stereo audio, and move that over to a sample track. Allowing, the synth tracks to be freed up for different synth parts.
Can anyone with their hands on a Play+ or Polyend themselves confirm the answers to my questions please?
I haven’t checked out the manual yet, but if that is the case, then it is a mistake.
There are 28 Channels all in all, here are the actual channel assignments for the Synths.
Channel 19 + 20 = Synth 1
Channel 21 + 22 = Synth 2
Channel 23 + 24 = Synth 3
I personally don’t use Logic, only AUM. But in AUM it is absolutely possible to record each individual channel to files. So i’m pretty certain Logic should allow the same.
However, you can’t currently transfer the saved files back onto the Play+ without removing the SD Card, as there is no USB File Transfer as of yet.
There are a couple similar wishes already, but feel free to create your own Draft wishes entry for something like that, since your specific functionality (consolidate) has not been suggested yet, but sounds like something that could be very practical!
Technically you can already export stems directly on the Play, so this might already do the trick?
On the loopop video when scrolling through the synth menu you have different parameter sections like oscillator, filter, envelope, lfo, voice and they have an ‘FX’ section but no parameters, does that mean there are FX to be added to the synths in a future update?