How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

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ark
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How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by ark » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:21 am

Suppose I have a MIDI clip that contains a medium-length musical phrase -- say 16 bars. You might think of it as a verse of a song.

I want to play this clip a bunch of times--I won't know how many until I'm actually doing it. I want the last time the clip plays to end differently from the previous times, and I want it to stop playing after that. I might even want the clip to have a different length the last time through.

The beginning part of the clip is the same every time through; it's just the end that's different. So I would like to be able to decide to launch the "last time through" clip at any point up until the music in the two clips starts to differ from each other.

You would think that this could be done as follows:

1) The first clip loops.
2) The second clip doesn't loop, and is in legato mode.

That way, when you launch the second clip, it takes over playback from the first clip at whatever point you launched it, and then stops when it reaches the end.

Unfortunately, this idea doesn't work. The reason is that legato mode appears to decide where to start the first clip not by looking at that clip's playback position, but rather by measuring how much time has elapsed since the first clip was launched. So if the first clip has played more than once, launching the second clip simply stops it because it has run off the end.

Can anyone think of a way to work around this restriction?

wiffbi
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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by wiffbi » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:22 am

Hm, that’s a tough one. I thought one could reset the looping-legato-behaviour by introducing a third "resetter" clip in between, but that does not work either. Also I am not sure about the different lengths of the clips whether that messes up the legato mode (well at least the way I think you are planing to use it) …

So the only options I see are:

A) You cannot decide that you want to finish the chorus in the middle of playing it – i.e. no legato and you can only start the ending chorus section from the beginning.

B) Use the legato mode and set loop to true on every clip. Then apply some API-magic on launch of the clip – maybe ClyphX can help and set loop to off on launch of the ending-chorus clip. It should be possible via the API, but I am not sure if ClyphX is designed to handle such a thing.

r_v
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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by r_v » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:39 am

If I understand correctly, the problem is that your second clip will stop instantly if the first has played more than, say, 16 bars, because it is not set to loop. My proposed solution is:

1. set the second clip to loop.
2. set the second clip's follow action to 'stop'.

This solution is suspiciously simple, so I fear I may have misunderstood something in your question. Apologies if so.

wiffbi
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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by wiffbi » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:19 am

@r_v: that would work, if follow actions could be executed on a clip’s end, but you have to set a fixed (musical) time for the follow action to trigger. And as ark wants to enter the the clip at any point in time, that would not work. :(

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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by luddy » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:48 am

If you were willing to settle on a certain launch quantization for the leftover piece, then you could limit the second clip to only the "different" material, and simply launch it (not in legato mode) within that quantization window while the first clip is looping. This wouldn't let you decide to exit "at any point up until the music in the two clips starts to differ from each other", but it would get you kinda close.

-Luddy

r_v
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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by r_v » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:17 am

wiffbi wrote:@r_v: that would not work. :(
you're quite right. i forgot that follow mode has to be specified in terms of musical time and can't be set to the end of the clip (which is kind of a weird limitation).

ark
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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by ark » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:28 pm

r_v wrote:If I understand correctly, the problem is that your second clip will stop instantly if the first has played more than, say, 16 bars, because it is not set to loop. My proposed solution is:

1. set the second clip to loop.
2. set the second clip's follow action to 'stop'.

This solution is suspiciously simple, so I fear I may have misunderstood something in your question. Apologies if so.
The reason that doesn't work is that the timer for the follow action starts when the clip is launched, even though it is in legato mode. So if I launch the clip part way through the loop, it finishes playing, starts playing again, and then the follow action stops it part way through the loop.

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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by ark » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:30 pm

luddy wrote:If you were willing to settle on a certain launch quantization for the leftover piece, then you could limit the second clip to only the "different" material, and simply launch it (not in legato mode) within that quantization window while the first clip is looping. This wouldn't let you decide to exit "at any point up until the music in the two clips starts to differ from each other", but it would get you kinda close.
I'm not sure I understand. Let's assume that the first clip is 16 bars and the second is 18; the first 14 bars of both clips are identical. What do I do?

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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by borg » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:39 pm

ark wrote:The reason that doesn't work is that the timer for the follow action starts when the clip is launched, even though it is in legato mode. So if I launch the clip part way through the loop, it finishes playing, starts playing again, and then the follow action stops it part way through the loop.
Wouldn't making this 'final' clip longer (introducing silence) stop playback without returning to the loop's beginning point? The later you decide to bring in the ending clip, the longer the silent part has to be...
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ark
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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by ark » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:45 pm

borg wrote:
ark wrote:The reason that doesn't work is that the timer for the follow action starts when the clip is launched, even though it is in legato mode. So if I launch the clip part way through the loop, it finishes playing, starts playing again, and then the follow action stops it part way through the loop.
Wouldn't making this 'final' clip longer (introducing silence) stop playback without returning to the loop's beginning point? The later you decide to bring in the ending clip, the longer the silent part has to be...
Yes, but then I have to remember to stop it or I get music I didn't want. And of course I want to do this with a bunch of clips at once, not just one.

So I've changed my problem from remembering to launch a scene at the right time (up to a quantization interval) to remembering to stop several clips at a time that's hard to predict in advance. Not a gain in this particular context.

Ultimately I think the right solution is to learn M4L better.

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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by borg » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:10 pm

ark wrote:Yes, but then I have to remember to stop it or I get music I didn't want.
Also if you use the 'stop' follow action? (18 bars of music means a 36 bar clip, should you want to decide to throw in this clip at the very end of the phrase)
workarounds though...

and another workaround: unlinked envelopes (track mixer volume, instrument volume,...)
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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by ark » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:20 pm

borg wrote:
ark wrote:Yes, but then I have to remember to stop it or I get music I didn't want.
Also if you use the 'stop' follow action?
I don't see how that would work.

The follow action stops the clip at a time that starts counting from when I launched it, so I'd have to put a lot of silence at the end of it. But then that silence becomes part of the loop, so when I launch it in legato mode, the silence might take over from the previous clip.

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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by luddy » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:21 pm

ark wrote:
luddy wrote:If you were willing to settle on a certain launch quantization for the leftover piece, then you could limit the second clip to only the "different" material, and simply launch it (not in legato mode) within that quantization window while the first clip is looping. This wouldn't let you decide to exit "at any point up until the music in the two clips starts to differ from each other", but it would get you kinda close.
I'm not sure I understand. Let's assume that the first clip is 16 bars and the second is 18; the first 14 bars of both clips are identical. What do I do?
Leave the first at 16, but make the second 4 bars long (only the "tail"), set its launch quantization to 2 bars, and launch it within a 2 bar window. This doesn't give you the flexibility you wanted of being able to launch the second clip at any moment; you have to launch it within 2 bars of the switch-over. :?

-Luddy

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Re: How do you use Legato mode with unlooped clips?

Post by ark » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:38 pm

luddy wrote:Leave the first at 16, but make the second 4 bars long (only the "tail"), set its launch quantization to 2 bars, and launch it within a 2 bar window. This doesn't give you the flexibility you wanted of being able to launch the second clip at any moment; you have to launch it within 2 bars of the switch-over. :?

-Luddy
That doesn't work either, because I want to do this with several clips at once, and I would have either to launch them at different times or figure out a time at which I can launch all of them.

And if I'm going to do that, I might as well make the launch point at the beginning of the clip, which is what I'm doing now.

In other words, what I have is two clips, with the second one marked "Last time", and I launch the second one just before the first one ends for the second-to-last time.

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