Currently, Play has 8 midi tracks, which may be limiting for some users.
Although different midi channels can be assigned to different steps within the same track, and thereby somewhat extend the possibilities offered by a track limited to one midi channel, it is not the same as having 16 dedicated midi tracks, each with its own dedicated mute/solo/var/select controls and dedicated parameters like play mode, pattern length, etc. Those parameters make ‘squeezing’ multiple tracks into a single track a less than ideal workaround, as many of the performative features are lost. Furthermore, the tracks must not overlap as, while a track can be assigned to many midi channels, a pad can only be assigned to a single channel.
Make 16 midi tracks available (doubling the currently available number of MIDI tracks).
This could be implemented in different ways. Below there are some suggestions.
Ideally, the additional MIDI channels would be accessed via a new, third page, which would exist in addition to the current sample and MIDI pages. This new page could be accessed as a third destination when using the Shift-Patterns button combination and be identified by a third color, tonally related to the current color used when accessing the MIDI page (a sightly different purple or a blue?).
If having two pages of MIDI channels in addition to the current sample page is problematic, then perhaps a project-level setting could be introduced in order to allow the user to switch between a mode with one sample sample page and one MIDI page and a mode with two MIDI pages. Although the project would not be able to make use of any samples when in the two MIDI page mode, this would greatly enhance the usefulness of the Play device for those who use it solely as a MIDI sequencer.
In addition, a new page on which all 16 MIDI tracks are accessible simultaneously, without switching, might be added in order to facilitate performance. Such a page could be a sort of performance page, rendered like this :
- The first row of the Play grid (first 16 pads) : Mute for each of the 16 tracks
- The second row of the Play grid (first 16 pads) : Solo for each of the 16 tracks
- The third row of the Play grid (first 16 pads) : Variations for each of the 16 tracks
- The fourth row of the Play grid (first 16 pads) : Selection of each of the 16 tracks
- The 5th to 8th rows : performance values for upcoming midi performance mode or selection of the first 4 variations of a track if variation pad is activated.
That leaves 8 rows of 4 pads at the right of Play grid (the ones used to mute/solo/var/select), which could store more performance values or control the sample tracks if 16 midi + samples 8 is possible.