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New Tool (2.8): Pking MPC/Groovebox workflow for Renoise

#1 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:07 PM

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Overview

pKing is a MPC/groovebox style interface to Renoise for the Korg padKontrol.

Now, I am aware that (unfortunately) the padKontrol is discontinued, but since this tool was originally written for personal use, and it is the controller I own, it's padKontrol specific. Sorry about that. Note that because it is discontinued, they are fairly inexpensive second hand ;)

The version 2 rewrite has enabled a much more consistent interface and the addition of many more features.

With pKing you can perform many actions directly from the padKontrol hardware, including:

  • Selecting / inserting / cloning / deleting and clearing of tracks / note columns / patterns / instruments / samples
  • Note editing of note and volume / panning / delay columns
  • Inserting / deleting rows
  • Assigning and modifying sample maps
  • Modifying sample parameters (e.g. volume, panning, nna, transpose, fine tune)
  • Tap tempo functionality
  • Basic mixer functionality
  • Pattern track matrix slot mutes
  • Automatic mapping of pads to sample slices
  • Sample slicing
  • Sample autochop


Demonstration Videos

Since words cannot easily explain the workflow with this tool I have created some quick demo videos of version 2 during the alpha and beta testing stages. Apologies for the jerky editing, I had to hold the camera with one hand while using the padKontrol with the other.

Version 2.x alpha quick demo:



Version 2.x Jackson beat demo:



Recreating the "Catacombs" beat:



Download

Download the tool and the extensive manual and quick reference from the pKing tools page.


Acknowledgements

This would not have been possible without the following people:



Spoiler

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#2 User is offline   phuture 

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:48 PM

impressed! :]

dont have a controller myself right now, but im very interested in groovebox workflow like that you got going here. perhaps it time to get the a pk once again :P
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#3 User is offline   Djeroek 

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:41 PM

I now need to buy my mates padkontrol :yeah:

This post has been edited by Djeroek: 28 July 2012 - 03:45 PM

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#4 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 10:40 PM

Updated version in the first post, see changelog section for details.

Enjoy!
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#5 User is offline   Cas 

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:58 AM

infinite knobs rule

by the way mxb: I'm inspired to post my controller code too, so, please don't get mad ;) when a post much like this appears
I also like to know how you made the .pdf, thumbs up

This post has been edited by Cas: 29 July 2012 - 01:03 PM

music+sounds: SoundCloud BandCamp
tutorials: Beat Creators, Overtune vimeo set, Drum Synthesis examples
tools: download@box, info@blog (specifically, Overtune and AwesomeSawce), fork@git, thread@forum - donate@paypal (flattr)
drumkits: WizzKit no. 01 (thread), 02 (thread), 03 (thread), 04

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#6 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:13 PM

Yet another new version this morning! Version 0.6 is in the first thread post.

This version fixes some issues with loading/closing of songs, and adds a step sequencer pattern edit mode.





View PostCas, on 29 July 2012 - 10:58 AM, said:

infinite knobs rule

by the way mxb: I'm inspired to post my controller code too, so, please don't get mad ;) when a post much like this appears
I also like to know how you made the .pdf, thumbs up


Inspiring people is excellent! I won't get mad if you post your tool.

If your tool is for a different controller, then that's excellent. If it's for the same controller, then competition drives progress, also excellent! :)

Basically, it's a win-win situation.

The pdf is made in a presentation tool (Powerpoint, OpenOffice etc.). I set the image of the controller as the slide background, and drew shapes with text over the top. Then export as pdf.

Hope this helps and look forward to seeing your code soon.
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#7 User is offline   danoise 

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 05:57 PM

Congrats mxb, you're on CDM - again :-)

http://createdigital...ing-padkontrol/
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#8 User is offline   Jenoki 

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:43 PM

Some issues I have in pking 0.6. I'm using Windows 7 64bit and Renoise 2.8.1

  • In pking's Edit Mode, the pads will not flash on note entry, but notes will still be entered.
  • In pking's Mixer Mode, the pads do not mute or unmute channels and pads do not flash. If I manually mute and unmute cells in the pattern matrix, the pad's lights will update after switching tracks.
  • In pking's Step Sequencer Mode, the pads will not let you enter or disable notes. Sysex works (only to turn off lights on pads from notes which are already directly in renoise entered)

This post has been edited by newb: 30 July 2012 - 08:38 PM

Posted Image
-------------------------

CPU Intel i7 4770k 3.5ghz
OS Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit
SSD 256GB OCZ Vertex 4
HDD 1TB Samsung F3
RAM 16GB Kingston HyperX Beast
Audio Focusrite Saffire Pro 24
Video Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition
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#9 User is offline   shawhan 

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:40 PM

this looks great! can't wait to try.
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#10 User is offline   Silicon/Silicium 

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:47 PM

Quote

In pking's Step Sequencer Mode, the pads will not let you enter or disable notes. Sysex works (only to turn off lights on pads from notes which are already directly in renoise entered)

confirmed here. I cant turn off the light when pressing the pad, but it has no effect in renoise, and it's lit on again when I switch pages.
Other features seems ok.
I miss an edit step on/off and settings.
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#11 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 07:04 PM

View Postnewb, on 30 July 2012 - 07:43 PM, said:

Some issues I have in pking 0.6. I'm using Windows 7 64bit and Renoise 2.8.1

  • In pking's Edit Mode, the pads will not flash on note entry, but notes will still be entered.
  • In pking's Mixer Mode, the pads do not mute or unmute channels and pads do not flash. If I manually mute and unmute cells in the pattern matrix, the pad's lights will update after switching tracks.
  • In pking's Step Sequencer Mode, the pads will not let you enter or disable notes. Sysex works (only to turn off lights on pads from notes which are already directly in renoise entered)



View PostSilicon/Silicium, on 03 August 2012 - 06:47 PM, said:

confirmed here. I cant turn off the light when pressing the pad, but it has no effect in renoise, and it's lit on again when I switch pages.
Other features seems ok.
I miss an edit step on/off and settings.


Ok, I have an idea about what the problem is, I'll look into it.

It probabaly makes the most sense to make the edit step the same as the record quantize step (dual purpose rotary).
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#12 User is offline   xero 

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:16 AM

sup guys. i've discovered this tool via createdigitalmusic.com and interested in pairing my old trusty padkontrol with msi wind u135dx netbook. i've heard about running renoise on atom netbooks, but have no expirience with trackers - so i've got a few questions:
- is my netbook capable of using renoise demo i'm downloading now with this tool? any good experience with this config?
- as i mentioned i'm not familiar with trackers but willing to try renoise. how steep the learning curve is? can my madskillz in fl studio help me learning it quick enough to perform on renoise by the next 6 months? :)

thanks :)
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#13 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:32 AM

View Postxero, on 06 August 2012 - 09:16 AM, said:

sup guys. i've discovered this tool via createdigitalmusic.com and interested in pairing my old trusty padkontrol with msi wind u135dx netbook. i've heard about running renoise on atom netbooks, but have no expirience with trackers - so i've got a few questions:
- is my netbook capable of using renoise demo i'm downloading now with this tool? any good experience with this config?
- as i mentioned i'm not familiar with trackers but willing to try renoise. how steep the learning curve is? can my madskillz in fl studio help me learning it quick enough to perform on renoise by the next 6 months? :)


Hi xero,

Renoise works perfectly fine on a netbook as long as you don't use too many CPU intensive activities. If you use no/limited VST instruments (render to sample is your friend here) and limit use of 'heavy' DSPs such as reverb. Don't expect Renoise to magically fix your machine if it struggles with plugins in FL Studio. The best thing is just to try the demo and see.

Hint: Most of my tools have been written on and for a netbook ;)

As for learning Renoise/trackers. The best way is to load up the tutorial / demo songs which come with Renoise and examine how they achieve certain sounds/effects. For some people, they pick it up quickly, others take longer.

I'm not sure your experience in FL Studio will assist with navigating Renoise, but the general music knowledge should help. It may assist to think of the Renoise pattern as a large step sequencer to start with (the 'toggle switches' in the step sequencer in FL Studio as the individual lines in Renoise).

Hope this helps and if you have any questions either ask in the forum or on IRC.
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#14 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:09 PM

Quick update on this tool: It's not dead.

I'm finding it fun to use, but the original code is fairly spagetti like, so I'm doing a rewrite with what I've learned along the way and also fixing bugs as I go (e.g. pads work fully on Windows now).

Once it's at approximately equivalent feature level, I'll post a beta.
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#15 User is offline   Tekknovator 

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:44 AM

View Postmxb, on 21 August 2012 - 09:09 PM, said:

Quick update on this tool: It's not dead.

I'm finding it fun to use, but the original code is fairly spagetti like, so I'm doing a rewrite with what I've learned along the way and also fixing bugs as I go (e.g. pads work fully on Windows now).

Once it's at approximately equivalent feature level, I'll post a beta.


Great to hear that! Just joined the forum to let you know how much I enjoy playing with this and making beats right now!!!

Oh and btw:
the midi port names on a mac:

padKONTROL (MIDI IN)
padKONTROL (PORT A)
padKONTROL (PORT B)

padKONTROL (MIDI OUT)
padKONTROL (CTRL)
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#16 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:47 PM

After a number of days coding, pKing2 (the rewrite of 0.6) is at least partially usable.

Here is a quick Saturday night demo video of it as it currently stands:



Features used in order of the video:

  • Set pattern length (16 beats)
  • Transport controls (start/stop)
  • Toggle metronome
  • Toggle edit mode
  • Adding notes
  • Clearing tracks in the pattern
  • Moving the edit cursor and adding notes in step time
  • Selecting tracks
  • Setting record quantize step
  • Live record overdub
  • Song/Mixer mode
  • Setting track volumes
  • (back to Pattern edit mode)
  • Selecting instruments


I'm still adding modes and the features contained within, but I thought you'd like a quick progress update. :)
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#17 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 11:04 PM



Version 2 coming soon once there's been a bit more testing and I've done a manual.

Many new features and more operating modes for your enjoyment!
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#18 User is offline   sevenscientist 

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:51 AM

Mr mxb , I was just browsing the wonderful web when I stumbled upon your article in CDM ... well I watched the vid in about 2 minutes jumped on a webstore and purchased a padkontrol HA! love your work feel free to rip any of the code from the MPD tool for tap tempo and slice..
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#19 User is offline   Silicon/Silicium 

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:03 PM

really seems promising! the first version really make me rediscover renoise.
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#20 User is offline   fladd 

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:03 PM

This looks awesome! I might get a PadKontrol to try it out.
Quick question: In Instrument Edit Mode, can you also set the attack and release of a sample? And can you layer them in any way (either by resampling or by assigning one pad to different notes/samples)?
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#21 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:42 AM

Hey,

Thanks for the kind words.

Apart from the bug fixes, pKing 2 has a lot of new features which I'm sure you'll enjoy.

However, there is currently no modification of sample envelopes at this time, as I have tried various implementations and have not found one that 'feels right' and is comfortable to use so far.

Hopefully all the other 100 or so features will make up for it ;) :P

Once I've written a sensible manual I'll be posting it on the tools pages.
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#22 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:36 PM

Posted Image

pKing 2.0 is now available!

Download the tool and extensive manual from the pKing tools page.
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#23 User is offline   KURTZ 

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:57 PM

View Postmxb, on 11 September 2012 - 10:36 PM, said:

pKing 2.0 is now available!


"composing becomes a pleasure"
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mxb for president :yeah::lol: :yeah:
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#24 User is offline   fladd 

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:27 PM

Sound awesome!
I tried to look it up in the manual, but could not find an answer to these questions:

1) Can I layer two, let's say Kicks, by assigning two samples to the same pad?
2) Can I layer two, let's say Kicks, by choosing both and resampling them into one sample?
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#25 User is offline   mxb 

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:39 PM

View Postfladd, on 11 September 2012 - 11:27 PM, said:

Sound awesome!
I tried to look it up in the manual, but could not find an answer to these questions:

1) Can I layer two, let's say Kicks, by assigning two samples to the same pad?
2) Can I layer two, let's say Kicks, by choosing both and resampling them into one sample?


pKing only presents a different interface to the native Renoise features, so both of these are possible. However, #2 cannott be performed directly from the controller.

To perform #1 from the controller, load two kick samples into the same instrument. Enter instrument edit mode and perform 'Generate drum kit'. Then select the second sample and use the sample mapping note edit prompt to shift it to overlap with the other sample mapping. Then they will both play at the same time.

Hope this helps!
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