MIDI control over patterns is very important in complex setups, when player is trying to automate things, making his/her devices “speak” with each other. It’s especially important for live performances when player often doesn’t even have a spare second or free hands while playing a keyboard, a guitar or whatnot. Still, there’s a need to switch from one musical part to another or introduce some movement in play’s arrangement, but the device isn’t capable of “listening” to external gear when you want to navigate the grid.
For example, there are high chances you’d want to switch to a next/previous pattern in a row/column (going up/down/left/right) and have a PC message for each pattern (8 × 16 = 128, so we it’s the perfect match to use it with PC). Such ability is also the must for multi-instrumentalists of all sorts, if your hands are busy and you want your arrangement to progress.
Also, it’s important to have different set of CC messages for an immediate switch, so the tracks could continue their play in the middle of their sequences, so a player could add a spark any time without waiting for another bar.
And, last but not least, the possibility to get back to a previously played pattern shouldn’t be forgotten (also both delayed and immediate). There’re many reasons player might want to do this, but if we’re sticking to multi-instrumental example, player could just program his MIDI controller to switch to some pattern on a footswitch press and get back to the previous pattern on release.
Maybe a CC could nudge the pattern to the left or the right as mentioned?
It would be great! And, I guess, it also would be great to have messages to navigate up and down too, in those cases when a pattern progression is non-linear from left to right and has its own variations. Just for example, instead of muting some tracks manually, it could be a pattern on the next row, only with this one tweak in it.
While asking for diagonal switches would be a non-usable insane, stacking switches for the next bar could be immensely useful too (like sending double “right” or something to jump over some progression parts).
I like a menu option for PC change: “Immediate” or “End of Sequence” OR hold down shift when sending PC changes to do immediate changes.
Even though, at first, any implementation would be a really, really great to have, having this hidden in the menu would force player to stick only to only one way of switching until he or she dives into menu again while both options, “immediate” and “end of sequence” may be very usable during performance at the same time. If it’s okay and not too hard to duplicate CC value just with this difference, purely for the sake of convenience, then it would be a real pleasure to control. As for the menu option, it could override the action for one of them, so user won’t have a need to reprogram controller/setup differently for each live session (like CC1 0-127: “end of sequence switch (default) or immediate” and CC2 0-127: “immediate”). Having shift button could have a use too, but if it’s possible to implement a feature without it, it may be more convenient for some. For example, if we talk about footswitches here, player must seat to use both feet this way.
Play also needs a setting for the MIDI channel it receives PC messages from.