More love for the TNRs

@db909 sent me back into Yamaha's ports of the Tenori-on in another thread, (thanks comrade for refreshing forgotten fulljoy) and I thought I'd share some stuff here (rather than buried in a thread with the beloved Gadget in the discussion title)
So - 2 YouTube clips, one of Keiran Hebden (Four Tet) and the other, Toshio Iwai (Tenori-on inventor) giving the original hardware a workout. Functionality on display is the same as the TNR apps, and it's interesting to see the use of modes, loop length, and especially interesting - to me - Hebdens use of the "mixer" (R4) to "launch" his loops...

Another note for those interested, if you've been wondering how to put Roland's Sound Canvas to work, the 2 TNRs are your answer. SC's 1600 voices and 63 drum kits (?!) dovetail nicely with TNR IAA implementation. Open SC, select up to 16 voices, open up TNR and assign layers 1-16, and its on. I haven't tried this with the mighty Thumbjam and its 8 outputs, but I'm sure that's yet another route to TNR fulljoy...

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Comments

  • Are you talking about midi output? I didn't see midi mentioned anywhere in yamahas specs, and that was the sticky point for me. So, ....midi ?

  • Yes midi output.

  • Ooh good one! Ive had some trouble with the midi out on my iPhone 6s. Weird things like the transpose suddenly not working, or the grid suddenly going completely chromatic despite scale settings. I straight up can't get it to work with gadget or cmi. But single synths seem to be ok most of the time. Been trying all this exclusively in draw mode so I dunno if that's a factor. Haven't given up yet!

  • edited July 2016

    @Littlewoodg said:
    @db909 sent me back into Yamaha's ports of the Tenori-on in another thread, (thanks comrade for refreshing forgotten fulljoy) and I thought I'd share some stuff here (rather than buried in a thread with the beloved Gadget in the discussion title)
    So - 2 YouTube clips, one of Keiran Hebden (Four Tet) and the other, Toshio Iwai (Tenori-on inventor) giving the original hardware a workout. Functionality on display is the same as the TNR apps, and it's interesting to see the use of modes, loop length, and especially interesting - to me - Hebdens use of the "mixer" (R4) to "launch" his loops...

    Another note for those interested, if you've been wondering how to put Roland's Sound Canvas to work, the 2 TNRs are your answer. SC's 1600 voices and 63 drum kits (?!) dovetail nicely with TNR IAA implementation. Open SC, select up to 16 voices, open up TNR and assign layers 1-16, and its on. I haven't tried this with the mighty Thumbjam and its 8 outputs, but I'm sure that's yet another route to TNR fulljoy...

    Nicely done and thanks for the nudge on SC. I don't think I've given it 15 minutes since I bought it. Maybe tonight's the night to remedy that.

  • Oh and anyone know anything about:

    Digital Tenori Matrix Music by sulin huang
    https://appsto.re/us/vwlXbb.i

    Doesn't look like much, but then books/covers etc.

  • edited July 2016

    @Zetagy said:
    Are you talking about midi output? I didn't see midi mentioned anywhere in yamahas specs, and that was the sticky point for me. So, ....midi ?

    Yep there's various videos on YouTube of TNR sequencing hardware, Ableton tracks etc. and this: http://djjondent.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/tenori-on-and-buchla.html?m=1

    @JohnnyGoodyear how about that? Cool enough to hijack I guess..

  • Thanks for the post. If Four Tet used it so it must be good. :)

  • That's very cool thank you. Ok, so before I pull the trigger, which tenori apps have midi, both the I and E, or just one or...? And please: OK so they have midi. Core midi? As in other virtual midi apps can hear and record the tenori output in the background? Thanks in advance sorry so many questions

  • edited July 2016

    @Zetagy said:
    That's very cool thank you. Ok, so before I pull the trigger, which tenori apps have midi, both the I and E, or just one or...? And please: OK so they have midi. Core midi? As in other virtual midi apps can hear and record the tenori output in the background? Thanks in advance sorry so many questions

    Both have midi.
    Core midi (which I've heard called virtual midi)
    Yes. In fact, if you're using Beatmaker2 as the IAA host, it records both audio and midi from TNR e or i. Found this out on the iPhone just now. TNR can have multiple IAA instances inside BM2 and each midi layer is recorded seperately, and audio (when you're running multiple instances with notes in each layer) as a mixdown track of the whole block of layers is laid down on top...I know, what? Will test this in the other DAWs...there may be a way to record each audio layer seperately, as midi seems to record as seperate layers.

    A side note: when TNRe came out, it had the ability to select any mode for any layer. The original Tenori on hardware, and the TNRi had a fixed scheme of modes assigned to sets of their sixteen layers: the first several were "score" modes, then the next couple were "bounce", next couple "draw" or whatever, and so on. People were bummed I think that the new TNRe could assign whatever mode to whichever layer, so Yamaha put an easteregg hack into the firmware update of the Tenori-on hardware, and into the software update of the TNRi app, called "Advanced Mode" that allowed the user to assign any mode to any layer.

    This is a link to an article from Tim Webb's discchord site, with an embedded video from VJ Franz K, showing how to do the hack. You'll also find a lot of other TNR and Tenori-on material on his channel, he was kind of the Jakob Haq of Tenoro-on/TNR

    http://discchord.com/blog/2012/5/7/tnr-i-advanced-mode-video.html

    @mkell424 said:
    Thanks for the post. If Four Tet used it so it must be good. :)

    Right? I'd been listening to Four Tet, and goofing with TNRs for a long time, without realizing there was something I really liked about both...TNRs seem the perfect one-stop to cover Four Tet stuff. Or is Four Tet the perfect one stop to cover TNR stuff...? Love that guy, having seen him now, love him even more.

  • I've been playing with TNr-e for a bit now. It's a great app, bit of a classic of course. Some nice built in sounds too. The different modes make some interesting patterns possible. Wish it had Link but it seems to work ok with midi link sync.

    It's great you can record your performance/song and then play it back with midi out. But the recorded songs can't be edited I don't think. It's a very unique sequencer and ideal for the iPad.

  • edited July 2016

    @Carnbot said:
    I've been playing with TNr-e for a bit now. It's a great app, bit of a classic of course. Some nice built in sounds too. The different modes make some interesting patterns possible. Wish it had Link but it seems to work ok with midi link sync.

    It's great you can record your performance/song and then play it back with midi out. But the recorded songs can't be edited I don't think. It's a very unique sequencer and ideal for the iPad.

    You're right, classic is the word.

    Turns out (to my surprise see below) you can edit your songs, but via the "All Blocks" route in the file menu. Songs can be saved and are auto saved in that cache, and when they load from that menu you can edit the usual way then save to the Song cache again. (And a new All Blocks file is created).

    The underlying scheme I think is that every possible type of file is save able, in every possible way - so they're all accessible live - which makes for odd redundancies that have confused me for years.

    Your post made me revisit the save system yet again, and this morning it finally clicked. Many thanks comrade! I'm sure that to Iwai, and his Yamaha pard it all made perfect sense.

  • @Littlewoodg said:

    @Carnbot said:
    I've been playing with TNr-e for a bit now. It's a great app, bit of a classic of course. Some nice built in sounds too. The different modes make some interesting patterns possible. Wish it had Link but it seems to work ok with midi link sync.

    It's great you can record your performance/song and then play it back with midi out. But the recorded songs can't be edited I don't think. It's a very unique sequencer and ideal for the iPad.

    You're right, classic is the word.

    Turns out (to my surprise see below) you can edit your songs, but via the "All Blocks" route in the file menu. Songs can be saved and are auto saved in that cache, and when they load from that menu you can edit the usual way then save to the Song cache again. (And a new All Blocks file is created).

    The underlying scheme I think is that every possible type of file is save able, in every possible way - so they're all accessible live - which makes for odd redundancies that have confused me for years.

    Your post made me revisit the save system yet again, and this morning it finally clicked. Many thanks comrade! I'm sure that to Iwai, and his Yamaha pard it all made perfect sense.

    nice one :) will have to try that later!

  • @Carnbot said:

    @Littlewoodg said:

    @Carnbot said:
    I've been playing with TNr-e for a bit now. It's a great app, bit of a classic of course. Some nice built in sounds too. The different modes make some interesting patterns possible. Wish it had Link but it seems to work ok with midi link sync.

    It's great you can record your performance/song and then play it back with midi out. But the recorded songs can't be edited I don't think. It's a very unique sequencer and ideal for the iPad.

    You're right, classic is the word.

    Turns out (to my surprise see below) you can edit your songs, but via the "All Blocks" route in the file menu. Songs can be saved and are auto saved in that cache, and when they load from that menu you can edit the usual way then save to the Song cache again. (And a new All Blocks file is created).

    The underlying scheme I think is that every possible type of file is save able, in every possible way - so they're all accessible live - which makes for odd redundancies that have confused me for years.

    Your post made me revisit the save system yet again, and this morning it finally clicked. Many thanks comrade! I'm sure that to Iwai, and his Yamaha pard it all made perfect sense.

    nice one :) will have to try that later!

    Good stuff. I recognize your 'click' moment, but haven't had enough of them with TNR. They're out there, I know, but it's the kind of app I think I would benefit from 30 minutes sitting next to someone quickly noodling through etc...no question that it has a facility not quite like any other, I just don't find myself slick or certain enough with UI at this point to gather much momentum

  • edited July 2016

    @JohnnyGoodyear
    I had given up long ago, and thoroughly, after having bought both deleted them both off the device, ridiculed the app, regretted the purchases. Years ago, and years went by.

    I've followed the same cycle with several other classics...and there are still a few I've deleted that will no doubt eventually take back their spot on the device.

    I give myself several chances to click with the stuff I've acquired, and I do finally put some to rest for good. But sometimes I feel that it's a character defect, that I've got the memory of a fly, endlessly circling the same small room, endlessly passing by the same open window, wondering how to get out.
    That probably sounds pretty sad but it's actually funny, and music is popping out the whole time, so if I'm a fly I'm a happy one.

  • edited July 2016

    More on filing, and multi-timbal instruments to use in the TNRs - instruments first:

    Roland Sound Canvas, up to 16 channels,
    Thumbjam, up to 8 channels
    SquareSynth (chippy fun) up to 8 channels .
    Gadget! 16 channels of Korg in Yamaha (Not sure why I didn't think of this first. And for a change the portrait mode is a blessing) Gadget!

    Non multi-timbal (but portrait mode) IAA instruments:
    Yamaha Synth Book (some natural affinity there...and free.)
    Moebius Lab
    Mitosynth

    To save a project using the IAA channels stuff, all settings, and note info, save an "All Blocks" file.

    If you want to save settings without note info (save yourself from having to reset each layer's instrument, tempo, mode etc) save an "All Settings" file, which is like a template in a conventional DAW

    If you want to open an "All Blocks" or "All Settings" file that used IAA it's best to open your instrument app first

  • @Littlewoodg said:
    @JohnnyGoodyear
    I had given up long ago, and thoroughly, after having bought both deleted them both off the device, ridiculed the app, regretted the purchases. Years ago, and years went by.

    I've followed the same cycle with several other classics...and there are still a few I've deleted that will no doubt eventually take back their spot on the device.

    I give myself several chances to click with the stuff I've acquired, and I do finally put some to rest for good. But sometimes I feel that it's a character defect, that I've got the memory of a fly, endlessly circling the same small room, endlessly passing by the same open window, wondering how to get out.
    That probably sounds pretty sad but it's actually funny, and music is popping out the whole time, so if I'm a fly I'm a happy one.

    I hear you Boss. Good question I guess, better to be a fly or a goldfish? Probably despite everything the former...

  • This bears repeating: 16 channels of Gadget inside TNR.

    Finding a multitimbral one-stop shop just seemed easier, in terms of bringing outside voices in (if the 253 onboard lose thier luster)

    Started with Roland SC, Thumbjam Squaresynth. I guess y'all were ahead of me on this, took me a while, but Gadget - best train-set a comrade could have, inside a TNR

    The extra silly thing here is, all of the above are universal

  • @Littlewoodg said:
    This bears repeating: 16 channels of Gadget inside TNR.

    Finding a multitimbral one-stop shop just seemed easier, in terms of bringing outside voices in (if the 253 onboard lose thier luster)

    Started with Roland SC, Thumbjam Squaresynth. I guess y'all were ahead of me on this, took me a while, but Gadget - best train-set a comrade could have, inside a TNR

    The extra silly thing here is, all of the above are universal

    Well, naturally.

    All great stuff here. And very helpful.

    So I've been playing with TNRe at all spare moments on my phone today and getting really into it.

    I've been just using internal sounds for now, for simplicity. Some of the more mellow ones are are quite ok.

    Recording songs (basically recording all your performance actions) is great. I've discovered that it won't record your actions on the effects panel. But it will record most other things I've tried like changing loop start/end points on the fly and using the draw mode etc.

    I presume if you play back a performance you can send all the midi out, which is pretty cool.

    One question though. What do you mean when you say that recorded songs are editable via the 'all blocks' route? When I load a song it seems to just play back - and you can't do anything with it.

  • If you are playing 16 tracks in Gadget then the great thing to do would be to:

    • Use midi-link sync to sync Gadget to TNR
    • Create a ton of 16 bar scenes in Gadget
    • Hit record in Gadget
    • Jam away on TNR

    Then you can come back to Gadget, disguard the scenes where you messed up, or correct the bits you didn't like etc. Rearrange as required. Correct any midi you're not happy with etc.

    Then get busy automating different synths etc. Add some spice with the effects and boom - finished track.

    When I get something I like going in TNR I might try this.

    In general I've just been working in block 1 so far. I can't quite get my head around the fact that if you change to block 2 then that effects all layers.

    I guess I'm best thinking of the blocks as up to 16 sections of a song? So

    Block 1 - just kick
    Block 2 - other drums come in
    Block 3 - bass in
    Block 4 - chords in
    Block 5 - first melody part in
    Block 6 - kill drums and bass leave chords and melody

    Etc....

    I'd prefer to be able to just bring parts in and out at will - plus change the odd pattern. Right now I've been doing that with R4 (the volume mixer) but that would be no good with midi out.

    I realised that with a midi out setup that might be possible by going through MidiFlow attached to a hardware controller and just killing/enabling midi channels. Although I guess you'd get stuck notes. And it's a hassle.

  • I also cannot for the life of my work out:

    • what zoom does and how to use it
    • What the 'motion' thing at the top of the effects does and how to use it
    • How to get background audio
  • Double tap on any of the L or R buttons to activate them without having to hold. Works the same on the zoom, which is just for more precision I guess. Use two fingers on the motion it just controls how to move between two points.

  • edited July 2016

    @db909 said:
    Double tap on any of the L or R buttons to activate them without having to hold. Works the same on the zoom, which is just for more precision I guess. Use two fingers on the motion it just controls how to move between two points.

    Thank you. That's all quite nice stuff.

    My new favourite mode is the 'bounce'. At first I thought it was too random and gimmicky but it's actually fantastic for quickly creating polyrhythms with drum kits and strange pulsing chords with synth patches. You can also jam with it - eg try the percussion kit.

    So next question - does anyone know what the 'user' instruments are for? Presumably you can't upload your own samples?

  • @Matt_Fletcher_2000
    Couple things I can offer re: your research above. I think the Song file should properly be called "performance". The "All Blocks" files have all the layers, blocks and settings, but not the real time performance of it, so patterns in layers, and layers in blocks can be worked on, but the sequence and performance (follow actions!) aren't there or editable. Each time you get something going as a Song save an "All Blocks" file of it, save another or delete the old one if you make changes in the blocks, and resave the Song if you make a new performance...

    Zoom is good for the iPhone. Hold the button and do the 2 finger squeeze or spread gesture...

    composing in TNR is really a brain stretcher- it's 3D...not clip launch, not timeline but something else again.

    I don't think there is a background audio option, that's one cool thing about using one of the multitimbral apps above, you hear it all as you switch back and forth between the apps

    The "motion" thing: you mean the bar across the top of the fx page w/the numbers? The numbers are for the rate of movement across the x/y pad. You can slide a single finger around to "play" the x and ys of a given effect, but you can also use a. simultaneous 2 finger touch to set a line on the x/y pad, and the given parameters for that effect morph as an animated point moves back and forth on the line described by your 2 touches. If the fx is locked the line stays where you put it., and the point moves back and forth along the line at the rate you set in the motion bar, the lower the number the faster the rate of change. Very cool actually.

  • edited July 2016

    @Matt_Fletcher_2000 said:

    So next question - does anyone know what the 'user' instruments are for? Presumably you can't upload your own samples?

    You can upload your own samples. Top Menu : Preference Menu : User Voice Settings : User 1, 2, 3 (three separate instruments or kits can be built from here) the next window shows 16 slots, tap 1-16 takes you to a page to paste (from device pasteboard or AudioCopy app), record, or select from your onboard files. There's basic sample trim and normalize.

    As far as recording actual multitrack midi performances: setting up long open tracks and recording in Gadget using the Gadget stuff is a cool idea.

    Also as noted above I accidentally discovered that BM2 records the TNR's output as separate midi channels via IAA.

    Up to 16 instances of TNR in BM2, assigned to their own tracks as IAA instruments on BM2's instrument console...results in separate midi tracks for each layer

    Somebody forgot to tell these two that IAA doesn't allow multiple instances...

    This is whack, and I don't really get why this works.

    BM2's midi settings menu show network session only, not TNR by name...and also weirdly each track (the way BM2 does IAA) is an audio track when you are using IAA instruments, but BM2 records a discrete midi channel track of that TNR layer on top of a mix down of all the layers playing currently, a kind of audio guide track...so weird. The audio track of all layers is recorded on each track, as the midi data is laid down at the same time...

    I've tried this with Cubasis and MTS, no go.

    There's more to find out, in terms of BM2/TNR love: are volume changes being recorded (live cueing from the mix control) Im guessing yes, as volume changes are sent to Roland SC, Gadget and Thumbjam when I use those...and is there a way to use BM2 to get discrete audio channel stems along with the discrete midi stems...I guess multiple passes of the Song in TNR w/selective muting, but I bet there's another way.

  • So on the user voice editing? You have to sample 16 notes for one pitched instrument? Or are you saying we can fit 16 pitched instruments in there? Like a synth lead for example

  • edited July 2016

    @db909 said:
    So on the user voice editing? You have to sample 16 notes for one pitched instrument? Or are you saying we can fit 16 pitched instruments in there? Like a synth lead for example

    Hey comrade!
    It's one sample per row of a layer, so either a kit of 16 sounds or 16 samples of one instrument...

    (EDIT I haven't tested whether User stuff can be transposed or shifted by octaves....)

    if you want the same instrument on the whole layer, get samples for each chromatic interval (so u can use the various onboard scales). There are some funny games u can play with pitching your sample stuff, by assigning the same user group to a couple-3 layers...

  • edited July 2016

    Interesting thread. I have the tnr-i but never really got into it though i find it very intriguing. Is it worth buying the tnr-e if i already have the tnr-i?

  • @jn2002dk said:
    Interesting thread. I have the tnr-i but never really got into it though i find it very intriguing. Is it worth buying the tnr-e if i already have the tnr-i?

    Good question, at the time of the release of TNRe some people were pissed off that the new one could've just been an IAP of additional features for TNRi: new sound set, user assignable modes for all layers, and an expanded set of FX with a Kaoss pad style FX controller with automation..,

    You can hack the older TNRi to get user assignable modes for all layers (see up thread),
    the sound set and fx have an electro flavor focus, so if that's not your thing... I'd say look at YouTube stuff for the TNRe release, see if you can get a feel for the newer sounds and fx functionality, and if they look like they are worth the 20 bucks to you. I have both, the fx set up is pretty damn cool. When in doubt, I usually just spend the $20...

  • @Littlewoodg said:

    @jn2002dk said:
    Interesting thread. I have the tnr-i but never really got into it though i find it very intriguing. Is it worth buying the tnr-e if i already have the tnr-i?

    Good question, at the time of the release of TNRe some people were pissed off that the new one could've just been an IAP of additional features for TNRi: new sound set, user assignable modes for all layers, and an expanded set of FX with a Kaoss pad style FX controller with automation..,

    You can hack the older TNRi to get user assignable modes for all layers (see up thread),
    the sound set and fx have an electro flavor focus, so if that's not your thing... I'd say look at YouTube stuff for the TNRe release, see if you can get a feel for the newer sounds and fx functionality, and if they look like they are worth the 20 bucks to you. I have both, the fx set up is pretty damn cool. When in doubt, I usually just spend the $20...

    Haha thats usually what i do too. Cheers, i will go dig up some demos

    One question since you own both - do you regret getting the tnr-e?

  • @jn2002dk said:

    @Littlewoodg said:

    @jn2002dk said:
    Interesting thread. I have the tnr-i but never really got into it though i find it very intriguing. Is it worth buying the tnr-e if i already have the tnr-i?

    Good question, at the time of the release of TNRe some people were pissed off that the new one could've just been an IAP of additional features for TNRi: new sound set, user assignable modes for all layers, and an expanded set of FX with a Kaoss pad style FX controller with automation..,

    You can hack the older TNRi to get user assignable modes for all layers (see up thread),
    the sound set and fx have an electro flavor focus, so if that's not your thing... I'd say look at YouTube stuff for the TNRe release, see if you can get a feel for the newer sounds and fx functionality, and if they look like they are worth the 20 bucks to you. I have both, the fx set up is pretty damn cool. When in doubt, I usually just spend the $20...

    Haha thats usually what i do too. Cheers, i will go dig up some demos

    One question since you own both - do you regret getting the tnr-e?

    Not at all...it's different enough to be inspiring in its own way.

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