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Drumming with FAC Envolver as MIDI Trigger (no scripting for RC275, GeoShred, SunRizer)

McDMcD
edited April 22 in General App Discussion

NOTE: This was Edited after many recommended FAC Envolver (with Atom) as the best App to replace Impaktor's features for tapping out drum loops into a Drum Sampler.

Load FAC Envolver in an AUM FX Slot and use the iPad Mic as input
It's helpful to route FAC Envolver's MIDI to "MIDI Spy" or Monitor when setting this up
OPTIONAL: Also Send FAC Envolver MIDI out into Atom to record a MIDI Loop (or to any DAW with MIDI FX)
Send Atom MIDI out (or FAC Envolver MIDI) to the DrumSet App
Just tapping on the iPad Case will create transients you can see on the FAC Envolver screen so you can adjust the level of the Threshold.

Envolver settings:
Env->MIDI = CC Off (on BOTH FAC Envolver's 1 and 2 circuits)
Gate->MIDI = CC Off (on BOTH FAC Envolver's 1 and 2 circuits)
Gate->Midi = (Transpose = -24) A# and OFF on #2 unless you want to trigger 2 Notes use the unlink to have 2 distinct thresholds.
Tweak the Threshold Knob to capture only the taps as MIDI events.

Choosing other apps is fun because the MIDI Notes generated by FAC Envolver are short and percussive and sound like various wooden or metal surfaces. A traditional piano app sounds more like steel drums.

MY DRUM NOTES which I think follow standard General MIDI settings:
-24 Transpose from C4 = Middle C
A# = for my Drumkit's Ride Cymbal
D or D# = Snare
C = Bass drum
F# Hi-hat Closed
A# Hi-hat Open

I just want to tap out my own Jazz drumming patterns as a starting point.
There can be further refinement using sticks and a pad or wooden surface or a sensitive mic for input to get up from the noise floor.

UPDATE - NO SCRIPTING VERSION: I know using StreamByter turns some people off so I tried some generic MIDI Tools.

I have:

  1. "FAC Envolver" so the Mic envelope goes out as CC 7's with a Volume Value
  2. "mfxConvert" - CC 7's get converted to MIDI Notes "C2" and Volume is Velocity out
  3. next I added "MIDI Curve" with it's GATE to drop the notes below Velocity = 20.
  4. next I insert "mfxPitch" and add more notes (-7 and +10 semitones)
  5. next "mfxWobble" to add some bends (not sure this shows up but MPE would)
  6. next "MIDI Echo" to create more MIDI Mayhem
  7. Target: Ravenscroft 275 Piano or any other MIDI target.
    Only 1,2,3 and 7 and required. 4-6 are for extra notes. Any MIDI Generator might be inserted for interesting FX and to add scales.

I call the results Drummer Locked in the Ravenscroft 275 Piano.
I played it by banging on the table next to the iPad.

I put Wobble after the Echo and put the MPE capable GeoShred in the Target slot of
the MIDI chain (I lost the balance but you'll get the idea):

Then "SunRizer" in Arp Mode Wobbing like crazy:

«13

Comments

  • In theory FAC's Envolver could do this.

  • Look into Envolver. I believe it can be used to that end.

  • @cian said:
    In theory FAC's Envolver could do this.

    In practice, FAC’s Envolver does this quite well :smiley:

  • In fact I have an AUM setup labeled “desk drum kit” that uses the iPad mic to trigger 3 different transients in FAC Envolver (3 instances) sending the MIDI notes to any drum app. I’m still tweaking and fine-tuning it but I’ll share when its ready.

    Theoretically, there’s an app called “VoxKit” which is designed to do exactly this with 4 separate transient triggers and a whole bank of available general MIDI sounds... but I never got it to consistently recognize distinct hits. Essentially each hit triggered all 4 samples, so it didn’t work out great for me.

  • Oh, also if you use Auria there is a transient detection feature. This of course is not for live use, but will process any pre-recorded audio. I’ve never actually used it but I think others have said it works well.

  • McDMcD
    edited April 17

    FAC had a bundle Sale and I own Envolver already so that's a promising tip without cost. But I will check out VoxKit. I should consider MIDI Guitar 2 since I have guitars and it will be interesting to understand that option as another controller option.

    MPE mapping for slide guitars would be interesting.

  • @McD said:
    FAC had a bundle Sale and I own Envolver already so that's a promising tip without cost. But I will check out VoxKit. I should consider MIDI Guitar 2 since I have guitars and it will be interesting to understand that option as another controller option.

    MPE mapping for slide guitars would be interesting.

    MIDI Guitar is great for guitar but Envolver will work better for impulse to drums.

  • Yes! Envolver works great to implement the Impaktor tapping feature using AUv3 Drumsets.

    I set Envolver in an AUM FX Slot and used the iPad Mic as input
    Send Envolver MIDI out into Atom to record a MIDI Loop (or to any DAW with MIDI FX)
    Send Atom MIDI out to the DrumSet App
    (Just tapping on the iPad Case works)

    Envolver settings:
    Env->MIDI = CC Off (on BOTH Envolver's 1 and 2 circuits)
    Gate->MIDI = CC Off (on BOTH Envolver's 1 and 2 circuits)
    Gate->Midi = (Transpose = -24) A# and OFF on #2 unless you want to trigger 2 Notes.
    Tweak the Threshold Knob to capture only the taps as MIDI events.

    choosing other apps is fun because the MIDI Notes generated by Envolver are short and percussive and sound like various wooden or metal surfaces. A traditional piano app sounds more like steel drums.

    MY DRUM NOTES which I think follow standard General MIDI settings:
    -24 Transpose from C4 = Middle C
    A# = for my Drumkit's Ride Cymbal
    D = Snare
    C = Bass drum

    I just want to tap out my own Jazz drumming patterns as a starting point.
    There can be further refinement using sticks and a pad or wooden surface and a sensitive
    mic for input to get up from the noise floor.

    Thanks guys! Spending $19 on the MIDI Guitar 2 "MIDI OUT" IAP can wait until the next Credit Card cycle.

  • @Hmtx said:
    In fact I have an AUM setup labeled “desk drum kit” that uses the iPad mic to trigger 3 different transients.

    What settings are different for each envolver instance?

    Do you set Envolver to be sensitive to something other than volume of the Mic?

    Is there a pitch detection?

    Stereo input would work for the 2 Channels in Envolver but you're got 3 transients so I'm curious.

  • @McD Yeah its a little bit complex.

    I have three lanes in AUM with Envolver on each and the iPad mic as the input on each. Then in front of each Envolver instance I have Pro-Q 2 heavily filtering out all but a very narrow frequency range. That way each instance of Envolver only responds to a specific “hit” or sound.

  • @Hmtx said:
    @McD Yeah its a little bit complex.

    I have three lanes in AUM with Envolver on each and the iPad mic as the input on each. Then in front of each Envolver instance I have Pro-Q 2 heavily filtering out all but a very narrow frequency range. That way each instance of Envolver only responds to a specific “hit” or sound.

    Very cool. I just bought Pro-Q 2 to show FabFilter some love for offering us 40% off so the timing of this tip is pure serendipity. I had the 2 Apps needed to make a basic MIDI DrumKit from basic household objects (jars, cans, bottles, tubs...) but I needed the blueprints.

    Now we have a shopping list:
    EQ App (With Pro-Q 2 having excellent precision)
    FAC Envolver
    MIDI Drum App (I use the AudioLayer Sampler with SF2 Drums found in BS-16i's SF2 player)

    I was close to buying some hardware to do just this (Trigger AudioLayer from hardware).

  • Can you think of a way for the tapping volume to show up in the corresponding MIDI?
    I can't record the accented patterns I play with my fingers.

    I can set up Envolver to have 2 thresholds and use 2 different thresholds. When the higher threshold is reached (on the accents) then tweak a CC or a secondary note that triggers a change in MIDI Velocity for the other note.

    Any solutions or ideas?

  • edited April 18

    @McD said:
    SOLUTION PROVIDED BY THE FORUM:
    Envolver works great to implement the "Impaktor" style iPad/iPhone tapping feature using AUv3 Drumsets.

    Load FAC Envolver in an AUM FX Slot and used the iPad Mic as input
    Send FAC Envolver MIDI out into Atom to record a MIDI Loop (or to any DAW with MIDI FX)
    Send Atom MIDI out to the DrumSet App
    (Just tapping on the iPad Case works)

    Envolver settings:
    Env->MIDI = CC Off (on BOTH FAC Envolver's 1 and 2 circuits)
    Gate->MIDI = CC Off (on BOTH FAC Envolver's 1 and 2 circuits)
    Gate->Midi = (Transpose = -24) A# and OFF on #2 unless you want to trigger 2 Notes.
    Tweak the Threshold Knob to capture only the taps as MIDI events.

    Choosing other apps is fun because the MIDI Notes generated by FAC Envolver are short and percussive and sound like various wooden or metal surfaces. A traditional piano app sounds more like steel drums.

    MY DRUM NOTES which I think follow standard General MIDI settings:
    -24 Transpose from C4 = Middle C
    A# = for my Drumkit's Ride Cymbal
    D = Snare
    C = Bass drum

    I just want to tap out my own Jazz drumming patterns as a starting point.
    There can be further refinement using sticks and a pad or wooden surface and a sensitive
    mic for input to get up from the noise floor.

    PROBLEM THAT WAS SOLVED HERE: I love Impaktor for tapping out rhythms that become tracks and can be looped and overlayed to build up a drum circle sound but it's a standalone app with no MIDI out for the tracks recorded.

    Any tips to build up the same concept that results in making MIDI tracks (one note patterns) that could be routed to the many drum sampler/machine tools?

    I'm trying to gain more personal control over my drum patterns similar to the use of a MIDI Drum pad or full kit.

    Any app that supports slicing and mapping to keys plus creating a groove pattern in the piano roll can also be used to tap a rhythm by hand and then use the pattern to play drums etc., and nothing holds you back from mapping different drums to multiple key zones in order to tap a complete beat with just your hand.
    In BeatMaker 3 you would record your finger tapping, Auto-slice it and save with "Create Pattern = On". There you have your MIDI in the pattern/piano roll.

  • @McD said:
    Can you think of a way for the tapping volume to show up in the corresponding MIDI?
    I can't record the accented patterns I play with my fingers.

    I can set up Envolver to have 2 thresholds and use 2 different thresholds. When the higher threshold is reached (on the accents) then tweak a CC or a secondary note that triggers a change in MIDI Velocity for the other note.

    I think I might have the higher threshold trigger a sample that's a more accented version of the
    lower threshold's sample. For a snare drum the accents are usually "rim-shots". Having the Rimshot and
    regular snare at the same time will probably not even be noticed. The key is isolating the accents and having them represented in the output.

    There are also some basic MIDI filtering tools I could add to the config to adjust FAC Envolver's MIDi Velocity according to the level of the threshold.

    I've ordered a basic Drummer's Practice Pad to be the source of my impulses using real drum sticks.
    I'm curious to see what speed/rate of single stroke roll FAC Envolver can keep up with.

    Is there a FAC Manual to read over? The generated CC output is probably the smart way to follow the Transient's actual volume and have the target sampler reflect accents.

  • @McD said:

    @McD said:
    Can you think of a way for the tapping volume to show up in the corresponding MIDI?
    I can't record the accented patterns I play with my fingers.

    I can set up Envolver to have 2 thresholds and use 2 different thresholds. When the higher threshold is reached (on the accents) then tweak a CC or a secondary note that triggers a change in MIDI Velocity for the other note.

    I think I might have the higher threshold trigger a sample that's a more accented version of the
    lower threshold's sample. For a snare drum the accents are usually "rim-shots". Having the Rimshot and
    regular snare at the same time will probably not even be noticed. The key is isolating the accents and having them represented in the output.

    There are also some basic MIDI filtering tools I could add to the config to adjust FAC Envolver's MIDi Velocity according to the level of the threshold.

    I've ordered a basic Drummer's Practice Pad to be the source of my impulses using real drum sticks.
    I'm curious to see what speed/rate of single stroke roll FAC Envolver can keep up with.

    Is there a FAC Manual to read over? The generated CC output is probably the smart way to follow the Transient's actual volume and have the target sampler reflect accents.

    I haven’t seen any manuals, but his website has a bunch more info. http://fredantoncorvest.com

  • @Zjenji said:
    I haven’t seen any manuals, but his website has a bunch more info. http://fredantoncorvest.com

    True. Fred created a solid page of info on the App support page.

    I think I'll fiddle with the CC outputs and figure out how to manage the volume of the target
    (AudioLayer) using that approach or implemented 2 or more upper thresholds that send a note to
    the "accent" sample (rimshot in this case).

  • @McD said:

    @Zjenji said:
    I haven’t seen any manuals, but his website has a bunch more info. http://fredantoncorvest.com

    True. Fred created a solid page of info on the App support page.

    I think I'll fiddle with the CC outputs and figure out how to manage the volume of the target
    (AudioLayer) using that approach or implemented 2 or more upper thresholds that send a note to
    the "accent" sample (rimshot in this case).

    You might want to write to him...if the feature isn't in the app, he might add it. Seems like it would be useful for note velocity to be modulatable by the sample amplitude.

  • that’s very cool, can you share the preset ?

  • A+ thread!
    Only one question remains: What does this sound like?

  • Wo. Drummer here. Can't wait to give this a spin. There aren't many elegant ways to get drum midi into an ios device. I have one of those Alesis 4 pad samplepads. It's a clunky set up.

    When you record into Atom, is it recording velocity and the notes?

    Thanks for sharing this @McD

  • @ExAsperis99 said:
    A+ thread!
    Only one question remains: What does this sound like?

    It sounds like any drum set you load as played by finger tapping. I played some accented patterns and they came out as even level notes with accurate timing but no trace of accents. I can Monitor the MIDI output today and see what the velocity settings are and if they are just coded to a fixed value. It maybe that by turning the Envelope feature off I caused this.

    I was going to buy a MIDI Drum pad or kit and I asked the original question on the Forum and might not
    buy anything and just layer up some drum loops that sound more like me. It's like the difference between using a sequencer and playing the keyboard. I saw someone making a loop with drums sticks on a pad and Impaktor and I thought "I want that for some MIDI Drumkits" and it's possible. If there's enough excitement someone will code an App for the use case.

    What's different and important for me will be the ability to record drums using drum sticks as the user interface rather than finger drumming on keys or pads. I have the sticks but I haven't tested them yet. I've just been finger tapping on the iPad case.

    @ecamburn said:
    When you record into Atom, is it recording velocity and the notes?

    FAC Envolver sends a MIDI Note but at a fixed velocity currently. To sound more human I'd like to
    add changes in volume (using CC's to the Sampler) or MIDI Velocity using the full capabilities of
    FAC Envolver.

  • edited April 18

    @McD said:

    FAC Envolver sends a MIDI Note but at a fixed velocity currently. To sound more human I'd like to
    add changes in volume (using CC's to the Sampler) or MIDI Velocity using the full capabilities of
    FAC Envolver.

    No velocity might be a deal breaker for me. Velocity is a major part of drumming performance. Unless called for by the piece (which is rare), no drummer plays at fixed velocity. Personally finger drumming on a velocity sensitive midi keyboard would be preferable (though super unsatisfying - like you @McD I want to generate music with drumsticks).

    A quick scan of the interwebs says that velocity information is not sent via cc (normally) but is a part of the midi note data. It would be awesome if Envolver would send audio amplitude as velocity. Your response @McD hints that this might be possible? Is the Envolver dev ever on this forum?

  • @ecamburn said:

    @McD said:

    FAC Envolver sends a MIDI Note but at a fixed velocity currently. To sound more human I'd like to
    add changes in volume (using CC's to the Sampler) or MIDI Velocity using the full capabilities of
    FAC Envolver.

    No velocity might be a deal breaker for me. Velocity is a major part of drumming performance. Unless called for by the piece (which is rare), no drummer plays at fixed velocity. Personally finger drumming on a velocity sensitive midi keyboard would be preferable (though super unsatisfying - like you @McD I want to generate music with drumsticks).

    A quick scan of the interwebs says that velocity information is not sent via cc (normally) but is a part of the midi note data. It would be awesome if Envolver would send audio amplitude as velocity. Your response @McD hints that this might be possible? Is the Envolver dev ever on this forum?

    Yes. He is @FredAntonCorvest and I suspect there is an answer for this and if not it could be addressed in an update to capture an army of drummers that could find additional "use cases" for transient to MIDI triggering based upon threshold and pitch with microphones or even just the iPad Mic. A cheap MIDI pad that is velocity and played like a drum with sticks costs well over $100 so the benefit is clear for financially strapped students and hobbiests that can't use the equipment to make money and buy the good stuff.

    The strategic investment of multiple "gift" events can be assembled in $5, 10 and $20 steps after getting that big gift iPad or iPhone.

  • This is a big news day in the US so I'm probably not going to do anything on this until tomorrow. If anyone drops a clue regarding the Velocity output from Envolver using the Gate-> MIDI feature I'd appreciate the progress. Hopefully @FredAntonCorvest will weigh in.

  • Envolver already sends 3 messages:

    • CC based on envelope curve
    • CC trigger based on gate
    • and Note trigger based on threshold.

    I think FAC would have to add a new feature that sends note velocity data based on amplitude of the signal that is above the threshold.

  • @Hmtx said:
    Envolver already sends 3 messages:

    • CC based on envelope curve
    • CC trigger based on gate
    • and Note trigger based on threshold.

    I think FAC would have to add a new feature that sends note velocity data based on amplitude of the signal that is above the threshold.

    OK. As a workaround: I'll probably have to buy the StreamByter gurus to combine the 2 MIDI events (Note ON and CC for Envelope (peak?)) and output the MIDI Note ON with a changed Velocity component that tracks the Peak Volume of the Transient.

    The other approach is to set multiple thresholds and send NOTES for different Samples that are selected to match the characteristics of the specific drum. I was intending to layer up a drum part as several tracks:

    Ride Cymbal
    Ride Bell
    Hi-hats Open or Closed (ignoring velocity maybe)
    Bass Drum
    Snare Rock with "rimshots" for the accented notes
    Snare Jazz with a few velocity layers (ideally)

    If you play drums the machines fail to pass the "Turing Test". We knows it's a robot. To have it sound like
    we still had a home studio set up would be nice.

    @FredAntonCorvest has the code to make a "DrummersTrigger" App that allows you to put the mic near 4
    surfaces and imitate a Bob-Pad. I'm sure it would sell pretty well when the word gets out among that potential user base. "Check this out on my phone." Taps on the table, a book, a bottle and a coke can and
    the iPhone produces real sounding drums from samples. That's a big deal for drummers. You see the pros have all added MIDI Pads to their kits to trigger samples, loops, etc. This would be like that for $10-30 worth of apps on phone they already own.

    It's just an idea and I claim no rights to the idea. Please built it, developers.

  • edited April 19

    Bought it and had a mess around tonight.*

    Definitely usable though velocity would still be very cool.

    *4 tracks - all notes entered via drumsticks through Envolver as laid out in @McD's original post. Edited velocity manually
    1 - a Ruismaker "kick" with decay & pitch modulated
    2 - another Ruismaker "kick" with decay & pitch modulated
    3 - one of the kicks messed up in Turnado
    4 - Troublemaker

    No mixing or mastering. Rode the track faders to move voices in and out.

  • @ecamburn said:
    Bought it and had a mess around tonight.*

    Definitely usable though velocity would still be very cool.

    *4 tracks - all notes entered via drumsticks through Envolver as laid out in @McD's original post. Edited velocity manually
    1 - a Ruismaker "kick" with decay & pitch modulated
    2 - another Ruismaker "kick" with decay & pitch modulated
    3 - one of the kicks messed up in Turnado
    4 - Troublemaker

    No mixing or mastering. Rode the track faders to move voices in and out.

    It’s a fun interface for a drummer. useable like having PAD’s that are not velocity sensitive. You can still make compelling grooves.

    It occurred to me layering accents over a base pattern would help too
    But I will probably test multi-threshold Envolver rigs and layers of snare to allow me to use my natural instincts with the sticks. I could threshold for the ride cymbal bell too and maybe closed vs open hit-hats. Lots of options “as is”.

  • Layering accents is a great idea.

    I did a little experimenting and found that Atom would record performances pretty well by turning off snap and turning down the threshold in Envolver. I couldn't get Atom to consistently record 32nd notes which is pretty critical for things like ruffs and 5 stroke rolls, etc. But being able to drum midi into an ios device without a midi controller opens up some interesting possibilities.

  • McDMcD
    edited April 19

    Here's a short snippet of what I was hoping to achieve: a Be-bop Jazz Drummer sound.
    I made it in 4 passes by adding layers to an 8 bar Atom Looper. I fingernail tapped each instrument on the iPad Glass near the Mic. I haven't got out the sticks yet. I won't until the Practice Pad arrives via the Mailman tomorrow.

    (1) Ride Cymbal playing classic jazz be-bop right hand
    (2) Hi-hat (on 2 and 4) (left foot)
    (3) Snare also put through MIDI Curve to lower the MIDI velocities to soft notes (left hand)
    (4) Bass drum with MIDI Cruve again to make the notes light (right foot)

    It's a style of playing as exemplified in the "Independence for the Modern Drummer" by Jim Chapin.

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