'Offset' key tracking improvements

The ‘Offset’ key tracking mode for phrases is really cool when it comes to triggering random fragments of a sample with ‘Autoseek’ enabled. And concerning the usability of phrases, it’s a also a great improvement in 3.1 that they can now be played in the phrase editor via the computer keyboard if the phrase editor does not have the keyboard focus.

But from my perspective, there’re two important things missing to be able to use the full creative potential that offset key tracking for phrases offers:

1. Every note should correspond to exactly one phrase line

Currently, the way the keyboard position determines the phrase line offset is, at least for my understanding, inconsistent. For instance, for a phrase length value of 108, nearly every note (chromatic and achromatic) corresponds to one phrase line with C-0 triggering the first one. This is fine because in this case you can cover a range of 21 (shouldn’t this be 24 actually?) phrase lines with 2 octaves on the computer keyboard. But with decreasing phrase length, more and more notes / octaves are required to cover the same amount of phrase lines. On the other hand, with increasing phrase length, certain amounts of phrase lines are skipped to match the keyboard range with the phrase length so that the skipped lines cannot be triggered anymore.

I’d like to suggest that every note should correspond to exactly one phrase line independent of the actual phrase length so that triggering fragments of samples becomes more predictable. Instead of varying the mapping of keyboard position and phrase line, one should be able to determine which range (0-107, 108-215, etc.) of the phrase you want to assign to the keyboard range C-0 … C-8. Thus, ‘Autoseek’ samples up to a length of 512/0x200 lines could be creatively explored with a resolution of a single phrase line.

2. New phrase loop mode for offset key tracking

I think it would be great to have a second phrase loop mode for offset key tracking which, when active, disables the default one. This new phrase loop then simply retriggers a certain range of phrase lines for a given offset position. This would give us a very flexible Repeater-like loop feature for phrases, a ‘Paraphrase’ or ‘Rephrase’ so to speak. The range, i.e. the phrase loop size, could then be varied per phrase so that you’re able to extract and arrange the most interesting fragments of samples with a length of up to 512/0x200 in a very intuitive way.

Interesting idea about the “offset loop mode” - basically, a “wandering loop” which will attach itself to whatever part of the phrase that got triggered.

But with decreasing phrase length, more and more notes / octaves are required to cover the same amount of phrase lines.

I think you are forgetting the opposite scenario: when very few notes are available - remember, we still have such a thing as keymapped phrases.

And since a keymapped phrase usually only spans a few keys, it would really not be useful with a “note == one phrase line” in such a cases - quite the contrary.

Think about it like this: when you have more lines in a phrase that you have notes to trigger it with - whatever solution you’d come up with would be a compromise.

To me, the most important should be the ability to play a given line, provided with an equal amount of notes (or more),

For this reason, I think the current approach is fine.

You’re absolutely right. I was so enthusiastic about experimenting with offsets that I totally overlooked keymapping and the need for a compromise here. Actually, I have to admit that by a combination of keymapped phrases and offset key tracking I can achieve what I had in mind in an even better way. Thank you for your explanation.

Besides, I’m glad you liked the offset loop mode idea!