Is Clyphx the Answer?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
adam_mc
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Location: Folkestone, Kent

Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by adam_mc » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:58 am

Hi,
I've set myself the goal of performing live in the coming months and was intrigued by the Plastikman device Kapture as a way to instantly engage particular settings on devices while performing live. It's exactly what I need but sadly isn't quite as instant as I was hoping as it works its way through the devices in my live set. There are about 6 on each channel and my live set has 10 channels so the delay is considerable.

Looking around I saw that people were praising Clyphx for its ability to control Live and I wondered if anyone had experience with Clyphx for this purpose.

Advice on this and performing live would be gratefully received.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
APM/BPM Folkestone Kent UK

Macbook Pro 2.2Ghz Quad Core i7 8gb Ram, Live 9, Push and other bits and pieces

Ubik
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by Ubik » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:13 pm

Yes you can store snapshot with the snap action in clyphx and recall them with a launched clip. Check out clyphx doc to know more about it, download clyphx here : http://beatwise.proboards.com/thread/992

Otherwise, this seems nice http://isotonikstudios.com/pp-labs-pptc/

S4racen
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by S4racen » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:07 pm

Thanks Ubik!

Cheers
D

Angstrom
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by Angstrom » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:50 pm

Clyphx is pretty powerful, and I've used it quite a bit for "snaphots" as they are termed under that system, but I have to say that the biggest strength is also the biggest weakness - that you must type your command into the clip name.

EG: if you think "I'm gonna use this clip to save the state of the mixer and all these effects" then you need to make a clip and type in the name "[NAME OF SNAPSHOT] snap/all" then trigger that clip. That grabs the snapshot.
And if you want to make another snapshot then you'd create another new clip and type in the name "[SECOND SNAPSHOT] snap/all" then trigger that clip.
Fine enough when sat at a desk, but it becomes a little problematic if you are standing 10 feet away from a PC keyboard!

I have to say that Isotonik thingy looks quite good. Not seen that before.
Hmm. interesting.

S4racen
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by S4racen » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:05 pm

Currently working on version 3 of the PPTC set of tools...

Cheers
D

metastatik
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by metastatik » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:57 pm

Angstrom wrote:that you must type your command into the clip name.
That isn't true and is a common misconception. X-Clips, which you're referring to here, are only one of several types of triggers you can use in ClyphX. Another type are X-Controls, which are triggered directly via MIDI controls. Pair those with ClyphX's ability to create and name clips and there is no typing at all involved with creating/recalling snapshots. For example, the following action list (which can be triggered from an X-Control) will create a clip in the selected slot on the selected track, name it appropriately and launch it to store a snapshot:
AddClip Sel; ClipSel Name [] All/Snap; Play Sel

That only has to be typed once and can be used to store an unlimited number of snapshots in any set. And that's just one example. There are many other ways to handle it given how flexible ClyphX is, particularly if you add in your own User Actions.

On a related note, our new product line (Arsenal) leverages this functionality to allow snapshots to be stored on-the-fly without needing to use clips at all.

Angstrom
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by Angstrom » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:51 am

metastatik wrote:
Angstrom wrote:that you must type your command into the clip name.
That isn't true and is a common misconception. X-Clips, which you're referring to here, are only one of several types of triggers you can use in ClyphX. Another type are X-Controls, which are triggered directly via MIDI controls. Pair those with ClyphX's ability to create and name clips and there is no typing at all involved with creating/recalling snapshots. For example, the following action list (which can be triggered from an X-Control) will create a clip in the selected slot on the selected track, name it appropriately and launch it to store a snapshot:
AddClip Sel; ClipSel Name [] All/Snap; Play Sel

That only has to be typed once and can be used to store an unlimited number of snapshots in any set. And that's just one example. There are many other ways to handle it given how flexible ClyphX is, particularly if you add in your own User Actions.

On a related note, our new product line (Arsenal) leverages this functionality to allow snapshots to be stored on-the-fly without needing to use clips at all.
Aha, interesting.
I guess I never really understood the manual. I did try to read it honestly but it was a couple of years ago and I spent a lot of time saying "Eh? " and trying to make sense of the terms used, I found the documentation a little opaque and the implementation less than self-evident. So then eventually when I got the clips to work I figured "well, that works I won't mess with it any more".

To be honest life is so damn complicated now that when it comes to music making I feel my enthusiasm die when my desire to just play is frustrated with a new abstraction.
I've got to a point where my youthful "excitement" of discovering a new script is very much replaced by the certainty that everything dies, so if I can just get it working then I can get back to making music.

metastatik
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by metastatik » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:55 am

It'd be much appreciated if you would voice these sorts of concerns on our forum (where you'll always receive rapid responses and fixes where applicable). Documentation ambiguity is not something I've heard many reports of. The documentation, in large part, doesn't use invented terms - it uses terms taken directly from Live's documentation. So I'm not sure I follow what you're referring to. Examples (from the current documentation) would be great and would benefit the community at large.

In any case, I'm an advocate of using whatever works for you. So if you choose to not use ClyphX, that's fine. However, in the context of this thread, there is no good reason why the OP shouldn't try ClyphX. The price (free) certainly can't be beat.

Angstrom
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by Angstrom » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:11 pm

yes, I can say honestly that I am the epitome of the baffled user: imperceptive, blinkered and hampered by assumptions. Time pressed, distracted and tired.

As with most user-product interactions everything is subjective. Usability is governed by Discoverability, The user uncovers a behaviour and expects that it was meant to happen, and repeats the action to trigger the outcomes - cargo cult behaviour.
If a behaviour is undiscovered the user remains unaware of its existence or potential.

The imperfect user approaches documentation and taxonomic hierarchies the same way. Subjectively and blinkered by assumptions.

The imperfect user is often vain, and proud. Especially men. Very few men will say "I don't understand" publicly because implicit in that statement is the subtext : "I am more stupid than everyone else here who does understand". Status is lowered.
But more common than vanity is simple ignorance. If a user does not know something exists they are actually unable to ask about it.

Most interaction successes are noticeable by their prominence.
Most interaction failures are unnoticeable in their silence.

And that is why few have mentioned the manual's opacity before.
#1: Selection bias - those who understand it survive and speak up.
#2: Pride - those who do not understand will fade away silently
#3: Ignorance - "unknown unknowns" are problematic to seek advice on.

As I mentioned at the start, the fault is certainly mine.
So thanks for the excellent free tool because I've used it quite often, in my own limited way.

metastatik
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by metastatik » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:38 pm

You're more than welcome. If you have the time at any point, please get in touch via email or PM to discuss more specifically what you find to be opaque in terms of the documentation and I'll do my best to rectify it. If that isn't something you have the time for, no worries.

adam_mc
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by adam_mc » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:54 pm

Many thanks for the replies.
I'm going to take a look this weekend at both the suggested techniques/tools.
I must admit to being of the mindset that the easier it comes to getting the result the more likely I am to stick with it.

Again, thanks so much for the discussion.
Adam
APM/BPM Folkestone Kent UK

Macbook Pro 2.2Ghz Quad Core i7 8gb Ram, Live 9, Push and other bits and pieces

braduro
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by braduro » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:11 pm

Interesting Metastatik,
I didn't picture clip snapshots to be reprogrammable. Naturally, I keep a full matrix of them, as options for songs, song sections, etc.
I haven't delved into the PPTC, in part because I haven't committed to a controller to manage presets. My Base II is falling under an odd niche these days, but I don't want to use it under the generic terms.

Coupe70
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by Coupe70 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:31 pm

To be honest I understand what Angstrom says, but I don't have a solution.
I think the ClyphX documentation is quite on point, but ClyphX is so flexible
and rich of features, that it results in a quite complex documentation.
ClyphX is not the usual black box MIDI remote script. It is more like a scripting
or programming language and although I have a hard time remembering all
the commands and using it without checking the documentation all the time, I
wouldn't want it to be stripped down to less commands and options.
Maybe - as the documentation is more of a reference manual - an additional
chapter with practical examples could help to at least understand the
different main categories a little better... But that would mean quite some
effort and is nothing I would expect from a free product.
Phongemeinschaft (Live-ElectroJazz / NuJazz)
Homepage - youtube - Like! :-)
Live 9 (32Bit), HP DV7, i5 2,53GHz, 8 GB RAM, Win7 (64Bit)

Angstrom
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by Angstrom » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:05 pm

I think a lot of it is down to two issues:
  • being time pressed
  • methods of learning
So if the information is not laid out as the reader naturally conceptualises then they must put in some effort to find the framework of understanding - and that's what I did and I wound up not finding it in the manual but in a Youtube video.

I agree that a Practical examples would help as an addendum, but I think that an introductory chapter with stronger fundamentals would help people like me.
I think that the Overview section needs to explain the concepts and terminology in a more straightforward manner.

EXAMPLE OF HOW THE INTRODUCTION COULD FRAME THE CONCEPTS
Clyphx allows you to trigger special scripted actions in Ableton Live ranging from the simple to the complex. You can attach actions to clips, to arrangement locators, or to buttons and dials on your hardware midi controller ( and more)
This flexibility means that when you click a ClyphX clip, or turn a hardware dial to which a Clyphx script has been assigned - you will be able to trigger your own scripts built up of Actions, and Clyphx Actions can be chained to produce complex results.

Examples include :
<list>
More examples are available in Appendix A
--------------------------

Now, you might say ... that's pretty much what's in there already, but it's not how I read it

Explanation of how I read the existing manual
I will explain my interactions with the manual and detail how I read it, and how I interpret it ... leading to me not understanding it

The ClyphX manual I have to hand is 2.4.9
For the broader conceptual picture I would look for Getting Started, and hope to find in that section (or once near it) something which matches my experience.
So, if there were the words "and we use ECMA script ..." I'd know what experience to call on, or if I saw the words "Like Live's Macros ..." I'd have a completely different understanding of how we were about to conceptualise this interaction.

So, lets look at Getting Started. The contents focus on running a quick HELLO WORLD script. So, it's more of a technical "getting started", so I've not found my conceptual overview here. So, I think - Lets try the next chapter.
OVERVIEW
ClyphX provides an extensive list of Actions related to controlling different aspects of Live. You can
access these Actions via X-Triggers. There are currently four types of X-Triggers:
- X-CLIP – Any Clip in Session View with the appropriate naming convention.
- X-CUE – Any Locator in Arrangement View with the appropriate naming convention.
- X-CONTROL – MIDI Controls.
- STARTUP ACTIONS – This is an event that will be triggered each time a Live set is loaded. This
is specified in your User Settings.
Ok, so this seems to be the section where we define the conceptual framework

It tells us, there are actions, and there are something called X-Triggers. of which there are 4 types.
I think to myself "what is an X-Trigger, is this a Trigger but better? What is a trigger? In Live are there 'triggers'? no, so why are these X-Triggers?"
slightly confused I continue looking for an expansion, and notice that the X-Triggers is a link, so I click it.
which takes me to
X-TRIGGERS
X-Clip
As mentioned in Naming Conventions, in order to turn a Clip into an X-Clip, you’ll need to add an
Identifier to the beginning of the Clip’s name.
There are several types of X-Clips:
DEFAULT
Example: [ID] CLIP SEMI > ; CLIP CENT -25
So ... what are X-triggers?

I go back to the OVERVIEW section looking for the first example of a trigger to see if I can work it out from context, the first example is - X-CLIP – Any Clip in Session View with the appropriate naming convention. The link is hot, so I follow it to the following section

X-Clip
As mentioned in Naming Conventions, in order to turn a Clip into an X-Clip, you’ll need to add an
Identifier to the beginning of the Clip’s name.
There are several types of X-Clips:DEFAULT
Example: [ID] CLIP SEMI > ; CLIP CENT -25
This X-Clip will perform its Action List when the X-Clip is played (not launched). This way, Action
Lists can be quantized via Global or Launch Quantization.
....


Ok, so now I click on "Naming conventions" and read that , the come back to Clips again ... still looking for my conceptual model.
There isn't one, but there is an example
Example: [ID] CLIP SEMI > ; CLIP CENT -25

I try it and it works, so by now I think I may be on the right track, even though I dont yet have a mental model of the system.
I go looking for "Preset Snapshot" , which is what I need. The PDF search turns up nothing, scanning through the doc turns up nothing so I turn to google

which takes me here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGBQw6tn0Rg

and I try that and it works, and THAT is where I stopped reading the manual

-----

So, I'm aware this is all tl;dr

so tl;dr

the manual never sets up the conceptual framework for some users to build a coherent mental model, so I found a youtube video with a recipe and then followed that for the previous 4 years.

metastatik
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Re: Is Clyphx the Answer?

Post by metastatik » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:32 pm

Angstrom wrote:So, I'm aware this is all tl;dr
Not for me. I appreciate you going into detail about this topic, particularly regarding the initial sections of the docs. I'll keep all of this in mind for the next revision.

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