Monday, July 13, 2015

The Device

The Device is yet another instrument in series of automatic noise sequencer toys for Kontakt, that I have been tinkering with. I consider it more or less a failed experiment, I'm not sure, if it grew too complicated or I just have lost the drive for it. I was planning to just bury it deep down a hard drive, but after a little hesitation, I decided to share it for free, as it is. This machine is in 'almost finished' state, meaning that it is basically fully working, but it lacks documentation and deeper testing, both of which likely won't happen anytime soon.

This space age instrument can play back a 10 layer set of sound sequences, along with sequenced modulators program. Sequences can be picked randomly, picked by an id number or programmed by hand, although the last option is somewhat tedious task. The instrument is using two main sample sets. 'Space circuits' set is analog electronic, created with an old Sequential Circuits synthesizer. 'Alien waveforms' set is mainly made of acoustic recordings, stretched and re-shaped digitally. Together there are 160 wav samples, 44,1 Mhz/ 16 bit. And here's a 'glimpse through' the device's interface and possibilities.

If you would like to explore this machine, you can download it HERE, 12MB rar archive. Note that you need full version of Native Instruments Kontakt sampler, version 4.24 or newer to make it work.

There is no manual and I'm currently not planning to write one, however I can offer some tips:
  • Use 'info pane' feature, all controls should have some explanation there.
  • There are three patches which are different in maximum step sequencer size, basic version has 48 steps, other patches offer 64 and 96 steps sequences.
  • When automatic modulation is off, you can set layer properties (tune, filter cutoff and such) by hand, using display panel.
  • Memory will only store automatically generated programs.
  • You can also save spatial effects configuration and current kit in memory, using optional save switch.
  • Modulators can be bypassed completely in automation panel, volume modulator is bypassed by default.
  • Pitch table in setup panel is obsolete, basically it has no function anymore.
  • Structure knob overwrites settings in setup panel, manual edits to those settings will be saved as current structure knob settings.
  • Yes, it is fairly confusing device.
  • To use custom samples simply drag samples into existing groups, the machine assumes samples are assigned starting from note 0, after changing group contents update 'sample count' setting for given layer/group in sequencer monitor. You can use auto 'detect' button.
  • Change group names to re-name layers.
  • Locking a layer will prevent the machine from automatically writing layer sequences, but they can still be edited manually.
  • MIDI keys functions can be edited freely.
  • This instrument is largely similar to Cracklebot and Haunted Jukebox, which actually have manuals. Sonocipher is basically The Device with different sample-set and GUI.