Parameter Locking (P-Locks)

Parameter locking (or P-Locks/Plocks, if you're a paid-up member) is an awesome feature of Elektron's phenomenal sequencers, so why do virtually no apps attempt to emulate or ever better this? I can't think of any off the top of my head, apart from the automation in Elastic Drums and even then it's not the same.

Shoot me down in flames if there are some apps out there that do something similar, but I have most of them and none try to do it the same way, with a simple ''hold the sequence step and twiddle xyz knob'' for instant modification of that particular step in that particular sequence.

And why hasn't someone tried to specifically make an A4-Mono-Octa-Rytm app? As in almost a blatant rip off in terms of the feature-set, but call it something esoteric, like ''Geoff''??

The chaps at Elektron would surely be delighted...
...Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. - Charles Caleb Colton

Comments

  • 24 Comments sorted by Date Votes
  • Steplocker on Mac is terrific, but can't think anything as robust/dedicated to this on iOS http://fabriziopoce.com/steplocker.html

  • edited April 6 Vote Up0

    It's good stuff. Would like to see more of this as well. Korg Monologue works like this too. You can make wonderful wondermints with it. Like giving the illusion of a snare within a sequence on a mono synth by recording an OSC switching to noise on steps 5 and 13.

    midiSteps basically works like this. It's limited to three CCs per sequence though.

    Perhaps Diode-108's FX also worked this way? Can't remember anymore but I think it did.

    Feel like there are others but I can't recall them at the moment. @Tarekith might help here.

  • Thanks for this, but not on Mac and had wondered if this would ever emerge on PC.

  • @noodldoodl actually, you can record MIDI cc's per step in several apps like LayR, Thor which both use sequence lines and DAW's such as Auria and Cubasis which allow you to draw curves to automate cc movements. There are plenty of others too. You make a good point that I can't recall any referring to this as p locks but it is definitely possible :)

  • @Trueyorky I accept there are ways to modulate in the apps you mention (and beyond) but none so immediate as to hold a step in the sequence and twiddle a knob, mid-jam, with my eyes closed, nodding sagely.

  • I had a quick look round and apparently, B Step Sequencer can do this but I can't confirm, there's a free version you can try. Step Poly Arp was mentioned as well. Maschine does something similar as well, by the way, i think it's the closest to the Elektron aside from Steplocker.

  • Can't S_nv_x do this?.. Sounds like something every tracker will be capable of.

  • @Hex047 said:
    Can't S_nv_x do this?.. Sounds like something every tracker will be capable of.

    you just made me realise why I loved working with trackers when i first started making music... it never clicked until now. Off to buy some elektron gear now :smiley:

  • @noodldoodl said:
    Thanks for this, but not on Mac and had wondered if this would ever emerge on PC.

    If you have ableton his max4live versions work on windows. While I do not own steplocker I have a bunch of his other max4live devices working fine on windows.

  • Actually steplocker clearly states it's a max4live device that works on windows 7+

  • Step locker can assign 10 parameters per step, each of which gets its own GUI pop up where you can draw in the parameter wave form. Copy paste p-locks and all that, and can be selected from multiple track devices, which is nice in Live... i like his stuff, actually well-priced

    If I recall, you can, wit the FX Iap in Midisequencer assign an 8 parameter fx rack to the sequence and each step can select which fx it utilizes

  • Automation is great, but yes, I would love to see some more options for stepped automation, rather than smooth. It has a really interesting sound, and different. You don't hear the knob sweeping around.

  • Ref image - the event sequencer inside LayR is pretty cool as notes or MIDI values can be applied per step :)

  • My eyes have been opened. Definitely going to look at Steplocker.

    Thanks everyone x

  • Actually I think midisteps can send cc we step too. Will have to test and see myself.

  • As you'll know there are plenty of sequencing apps on IOS that offer realtime recording of whole pattern automation & / or drawing automation curves per pattern .
    As a non-Elektron user I don't get why per step automation is necessarily better , not least because don't you end up having to set a number of steps , if not all , before & after to register any change ?

    It seems to me IOS TUI improves on this hardware limitation by allowing curves to be drawn in single movements for whole pattern . as Per step micro editing is also possible ( sometimes with per step audition i.e MidiSequencer) isn't this better , or at least equally useful ?

    surely the only difference is in method of use . whereas on the Elektron hardware you select the step & then select from a choice of knob/parameters to tweak , on IOS sequencers you select the parameter/CC Lane first , then tweak the individual step .

  • @Wally said:
    As you'll know there are plenty of sequencing apps on IOS that offer realtime recording of whole pattern automation & / or drawing automation curves per pattern .
    As a non-Elektron user I don't get why per step automation is necessarily better , not least because don't you end up having to set a number of steps , if not all , before & after to register any change ?

    It seems to me IOS TUI improves on this hardware limitation by allowing curves to be drawn in single movements for whole pattern . as Per step micro editing is also possible ( sometimes with per step audition i.e MidiSequencer) isn't this better , or at least equally useful ?

    surely the only difference is in method of use . whereas on the Elektron hardware you select the step & then select from a choice of knob/parameters to tweak , on IOS sequencers you select the parameter/CC Lane first , then tweak the individual step .

    You don't have to set any steps other than the one you're parameter locking. Say you're playing a preset note on steps 1, 5, 9 and 13. You want step 9 to have more filter cutoff. You just hold the button for step 9 and move the filter knob. Steps 1,5 and 13 remain the same as before. If you want to record automation over a whole bar, you just go into real-time record mode and move any knobs you want while the sequence is playing. Do multiple passes if you want.

    Obviously automation curves have their uses in a DAW, but the tactile workflow of parameter locking is much better and quicker for me personally.

  • @Michael_R_Grant
    thanks for that explanation , ok so it's not like midi where last value continues .
    Now I understand the distinction , but I still think most per step tweaks are within a wider context of the whole pattern & seeing & drawing curves is useful & feels more tactile with fingers on screen than with a mouse in DAW.

    Regarding using knobs for tactile workflow ,the forthcoming Quantum Sequencer is implementing an extensive midilearn allowing external control of all its control lanes ,
    So will be a serious new option for sequencing .

  • @gonekrazy3000 said:
    Actually steplocker clearly states it's a max4live device that works on windows 7+

    Yeah all J74 stuff is cross platform. The other app that's not been mentioned is modstep but i had no idea it did parameter locks or i didn't make the connection.

  • I don't think modstep does parameter locks. But I could be wrong. Will have to dig around. Midisteps can do them though I think. And I think steppolyarp but will have to confirm there as well.

  • So StepPolyArp does not do p-locks , I'm pretty sure Modstep doesnt either .
    Nor MidiSequencer (& forthcoming Quantum), CreamMobile , Thesys ..

    To use the distinction I made earlier , all these Parameter Lane sequencers select the particular parameter ( lane ) first , then edit any particular step's value of it .
    whereas it seems p-locks select the step first , then tweak one or more ! different parameters per step .

    But as @Michael_R_Grant also explained , p-locks are non-midi "ephemeral" per step values ( I guess returning to a preset default on next non p-locked step?) , whereas our IOS stock of Parameter Lane sequencers use midi , so its last value continues until changed again . And we can't just set step 9 to value 100 ; by assigning the control lane it will send whatever value is on each step .We must set all steps to 100 for a constant value , or program each step as desired .

    I think I understand the distinction now , but still don't think it's that important a difference in practice , as I for one will automate all steps of a pattern if I'm going to program one.

  • edited April 21 Vote Up0

    patterning can do step sequenced cc.
    seems to be 9 CC per lane. with each lane being able to send to a seperate channel.
    plenty of fun to be had imho. with upto 64 steps. sadly don't see a way to remap which cc is sent. but with Aux in aum being midi learnable its still pretty darn useful.

  • @gonekrazy3000 I forgot to mention Patterning , but again it would be in the list of Parameter Lane sequencers ( CC parameters ) that is NOT P-Locking according to the criteria explained above .

  • Hmmm, I read it on the Elektron forums regarding Modstep so figured it was accurate as they ought to know and one poster was involved with the beta testing. if it's not there seems like MS would be a prime app for this feature but I'm assuming they mean the pitch, length velocity, and mod sequencers.

Sign In or Register to comment.