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Units that block their inputs


#1

Just a thought that a visual representation of whether a unit accepts audio pass-through on its left side would serve as a handy reminder, and possibly reduce newbie confusion.


V0.4.x Firmware Workout: Goofing off never felt this hard
#2

Indeed. I’ve tried various things in the past but they all had problems (not enough room for the circle with an X in it, double line was too subtle/cryptic, as was hard corners). Any ideas? It goes without saying that I would prefer to not have to waste a button’s worth of display space (of the 6 available) for just this.


#3

Could there be some kind of icon at the top of the unit header?


#4

There is no room for an intelligible icon though?


#5

A dot?


#6

I think I’ll hold out for a better suggestion. :smiling_imp:


#7

Umpf! :grinning:


#8

And don’t say two dots!


#9

Are you reading my mind??? :scream:


#10

I was thinking a small right pointing arrow to indicate the input is connected to something. But yeah, that might even be tough…


#11

A long long time ago, I even had it so that you could only put these “source” units at the beginning of a chain and the chain input section would disappear when you inserted such a unit. Then the graphic representation became easy because the source unit could be made to look like it was part of the chain header just by sharpening the left corners. However, that seemed a bit too draconian so I got rid of it.


#12

Another idea is to go in the opposite direction and have all the source units mix their output with their input thereby making the whole issue moot.


#13

Personally I didn’t find it difficult to get my head around which units pass input and which don’t.

I’m trying to think where that might get weird. The sample player following a looper with shared buffers comes to mind. I guess you’d just have to build it differently. Would you need some kind of level control on every unit then? Does that make the mixer unit obsolete except for mute/solo?

I don’t know - the idea strikes me as kind of weird but it may just be because I’m used to the way it works now. :slight_smile:


#14

Continuing with the thought experiment that the idea is actually useful (not married to this assumption necessarily), it seems there are actually three states that would need representation: input reject (i.e. oscillator), input pass-through (vca, filter), and input combine (mixer). I guess in the moment I suggested it, I was only thinking of the first case, and the visual representation which suggested itself to me was a slightly thicker left-side line for input-rejecting units. That idea doesn’t account for the pass-through case or the mix case, though. Thicker top and or right-side lnes? I dunno. Again, possible the whole idea is senseless, but it seemed worth exploring.


#15

Big fan of allowing all units to pass through signals (or as mixer) But at the risk of adding more complexity, may I suggest allowing the user to assign the left to right (upstream) signal path to unit control? I know the routing is already achievable but I think it may reduce the depth of nesting in certain cases.

e.g.
3 op Fm synth could created by two sin osc in series instead of nested.

Chain: [in 1] -> [sin osc] -> [sin osc]
Both Sin Osc Sub menu: [upstream signal*] -> phase.

Maybe the default behavior stays the same for consistency (no pass) but is enabled when selected?


#16

The difference between those two concepts is that with a processing unit a signal is fed into it and processed in a way the controls determine. In your example on the other hand the signal that is fed into the second oscillator is not processed but modifies the units control parameters.

I think the OS/GUI would lose a lot of consistency when it would be possible to control parameters by signals from the input chain and by nested subchains at the same time. As soon as you might want to control more than one parameter it gets confusing if it is done by the unit before or below the current unit.

This would break the paradigm of nested chains, which I think, is not a good idea. Even not as an set-up option. I don’t see much benefit in it either, except not being forced to get familiar with the general modular GUI paradigms of the ER-301.


#17

Not at all a fan of this option. With the move to mixer command this passthrough option is consciously available in a couple of key-presses, and I think the automatic option would cause more confusion for newcomers (and certainly for established users in terms of muscle memory retraining etc.) than it would potentially save.

[although I just saw this

Which is a good compromise]


#18

I appreciate your perspective, I think maintaining a consistent GUI and signal flow paradigm is important. I think perhaps there are some units that are generators that could also be used/perceived as processing units (e.g. a sin oscillator with phase input for FM, PM wave folding)

One example that I think may benefit from this method of routing would be when creating a wave folder as a “processing unit.” (from this thread: ER-301 Fold Unit). The input is passed to the phase of a sin oscillator to achieve the effect.

If i wanted to save this preset as an “effect” I could drop into any chain, I would have to reassign the phase control input each time.

I’m sure there are perhaps other clever ways to allow this, and am guilty for not fully flushing out this idea, but it was an example that popped up for me and i thought i might flag it.


#19

In the current firmware, I would just drop a sine wave form sample, say from AdventureKid waveforms into the Sample Scanner, and feed something into it’s input to achieve that same sine wave folding effect.

This is really just an aside in case you didn’t know about it - it’s a good recipe. :slight_smile:


#20

what if only left signal blocking units had an indicator… maybe a thicker line or something?
line

or what if for these types of units, the header colours were inverted?