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Gates and modular integration
#1
Firstly let me say how much I love the NDLR. Great concept, well implemented.  

I know there have been several posts re: gate control, however on a more general note I’d like to see a simple gate output on each note change.  If this could be toggled on-off in the menu (ie transmit gate ON/OFF) and then transmitted in the Midi stream, then integration with a modular system would be achievable, even at a basic level.  

I agree that control of gate length is the next desirable step (ref other posts) , but just a simple gate trigger for now would be a huge positive. 

Cheers,
Steve
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#2
Firstly I've gotta say I'm not part of Team NDLR, just an interested user, so take my comments with a grain of salt.. Secondly, I love NDLin', too.

Your question got me interested with the request for a MIDI gate on/off. There is no gate on/off in MIDI communications. Gate on/off is inherently implied by Note On and Note Off messages. Still, respecting the sincerity of your request, I decided to dig in a little deeper.

I've read on the forums here before that the NDLR sends note data in a legato only fashion. That got me to thinking. I set the NDLR up to send Motif 1 to Cre8audio Nifty Case with a built in MIDI to CV converter and sent the gate signal to the clock in of the Cellz sequencer. Sure enough, the little light just ticked right along, but something about the timing didn't look right. It wasn't always moving at a constant rate. So I also sent the Motif 1 stream to a Neutron at the same time. The Neutron would play about four notes for every time the sequencer advanced. Sometimes three. Then I used the MIDI Gate out of the Neutron to clock the Cellz sequencer. Same thing, kinda erratic and not a one-to-one relationship of notes and steps.

Next thing I did was to use the Nifty Case gate to clock X and Neutron gate to clock Y on Cellz (it is a 4x4 sequencer). If both clocks happen at the same time, then I should get a straight diagonal sequence through the array. It didn't. Sometimes straight, often times random-ish jumps.

OK, now I'm really interested. Got a scope out of the lab and took it to the studio. The Nifty Case had a Gate Off state of 1.32ms and never missed a beat. The Neutron had a Gate Off time of 0.9ms. Both of these were very consistent. What I believe was causing the 'missed clocks' in the sequencer was it's own inability to to see a short Gate Off state.

What's the point of this that I'm trying to make? The NDLR is sending sufficient information, right now, for you modular to make a gate signal. BUT, because it plays legato style, you may not be able to do what you want to do with this gate. A lot of it just DEPENDS. It depends how well your MIDI to CV works in generating the gate signal. It depends on how well your subsequent module receives the short gate off time. If you've got the capability, you could try sending the gate to a one-shot (set to a time shorter than note duration) and go from there. Or, try sending it to different envelope generators to find one that can trigger each time to condition the signal for use by something else. Different modules will probably work to varying degrees of goodness with this short gate off time.

Good luck.
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#3
Edit: Lol, never mind, House de Kris already provided the answer. He nailed it.

There is no "gate" MIDI message, just Note On and Note Off. The "gate" for MIDI is just the time between Note On and Note Off, which is typically controlled by your finger on the keyboard.
A Gate CV for modular is required because it needs a seperate CV for the pitch, and one for note on and note off. There can be a 3rd CV for velocity. The MIDI to CV converters take the MIDI Note On message, and convert that to a CV Gate (just a high and low voltage) and the MIDI note value and convert it to a "pitch" Control Voltage.

But this is mostly academic, as the modular MIDI to CV converters take care of all of this stuff. Once they transmit gate CV, you can monkey with it all you want, including shortening the gate length I suppose.

So, NDLR MIDI notes are gated, but they are legato. That is, the notes turn off only when its time to play a new note. You can get a variable gate like effect using Rhythm patterns, but like you said, ideally the motifs would have a continuously variable gate on a knob.
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#4
(01-15-2020, 07:17 PM)House de Kris Wrote: Firstly I've gotta say I'm not part of Team NDLR, just an interested user, so take my comments with a grain of salt.. Secondly, I love NDLin', too.

Your question got me interested with the request for a MIDI gate on/off. There is no gate on/off in MIDI communications. Gate on/off is inherently implied by Note On and Note Off messages. Still, respecting the sincerity of your request, I decided to dig in a little deeper.

I've read on the forums here before that the NDLR sends note data in a legato only fashion. That got me to thinking. I set the NDLR up to send Motif 1 to Cre8audio Nifty Case with a built in MIDI to CV converter and sent the gate signal to the clock in of the Cellz sequencer. Sure enough, the little light just ticked right along, but something about the timing didn't look right. It wasn't always moving at a constant rate. So I also sent the Motif 1 stream to a Neutron at the same time. The Neutron would play about four notes for every time the sequencer advanced. Sometimes three. Then I used the MIDI Gate out of the Neutron to clock the Cellz sequencer. Same thing, kinda erratic and not a one-to-one relationship of notes and steps.

Next thing I did was to use the Nifty Case gate to clock X and Neutron gate to clock Y on Cellz (it is a 4x4 sequencer). If both clocks happen at the same time, then I should get a straight diagonal sequence through the array. It didn't. Sometimes straight, often times random-ish jumps.

OK, now I'm really interested. Got a scope out of the lab and took it to the studio. The Nifty Case had a Gate Off state of 1.32ms and never missed a beat. The Neutron had a Gate Off time of 0.9ms. Both of these were very consistent. What I believe was causing the 'missed clocks' in the sequencer was it's own inability to to see a short Gate Off state.

What's the point of this that I'm trying to make? The NDLR is sending sufficient information, right now, for you modular to make a gate signal. BUT, because it plays legato style, you may not be able to do what you want to do with this gate. A lot of it just DEPENDS. It depends how well your MIDI to CV works in generating the gate signal. It depends on how well your subsequent module receives the short gate off time. If you've got the capability, you could try sending the gate to a one-shot (set to a time shorter than note duration) and go from there. Or, try sending it to different envelope generators to find one that can trigger each time to condition the signal for use by something else. Different modules will probably work to varying degrees of goodness with this short gate off time.

Good luck.


I'm no technical whizz, but the answer makes perfect sense... thanks so much for taking the time !
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#5
You are welcome my friend. Your expression of gratitude makes the effort worthwhile. Actually, this is something I've been meaning to try for a while. It was fun, and thanks for providing the nudge to experiment.
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#6
House de Kris, really appreciate the help on this.

Besides controlling gate via envelope, there are some modules that can vary gate length. Did a little bit of surfing Muff Wiggler, and some suggestions came up here: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38853
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