[LAU] controllerism on linux

Louigi Verona louigi.verona at gmail.com
Sun Nov 28 22:07:06 UTC 2010

> i've no doubt of that. but i'm almost as certain that qtractor cannot
> currently do the loop triggering/stretching/warping that Live can. if
> i'm wrong, i'd love to know.
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Yes, me too :)
In fact, I tried doing it a year ago. There was no midi learn but I could
already assign midi to volume sliders.
I tried doing something with that, but... it is not a matter of bending
software, it is a matter of being able to do something or not.

But we keep saying general things. Let's put it into concrete words. What
exactly is needed for controllerism?

*Magic couple.*
If you do not have beat-matching and auto-sync TOGETHER, then a lot of the
things you simply cannot do,
no matter how you "bend" the software or "organize" stuff. Most of
Moldover's stuff depends on beat-matching and
auto-sync - these two extremely important functions, virtually unavailable
as a couple in all audio Linux software I have
ever used (and I tried out LOTS of software).
I would love to be proved wrong as it would mean I missed just the software
I need,
although I doubt it. I've seen auto-sync in SL, but never saw beat-matching
in any of the software on Linux. Both Traktor
and Ableton have it, you can look it up as tutorials on YouTube, where you
would edit a beat grid over the waveform of a file and
make sure it is precise throughout the track and then the system would store
your analyzed track for later use and would at a needed
moment auto-stretch it to the required tempo and auto-sync it into the mix.

So I think that the first step to making controllerism possible on Linux
would be to have beat matching together with autosync in one software.
Midi control.*
It is obvious and something expected from modern software, but lots and lots
of software on Linux has no midi control or
has difficulties in that section. Which makes it very difficult for
controllerism which requires fluent midi control. So far, I've seen good
control in SL and LoopDub, although both have their nuances, but many great
apps seem very slow to adapt any midi assignment and also,
like Qtractor, have unintuitive MIDI learn, at least for now, as it is
probably more important for the developers to make functionality available
than to make it easy to use (which, of course, is logic difficult to argue
Rakarrack also has good MIDI learn and can be of use in a modular
environment during a controllerism session.
Finally, it has to be compact and you have got to have the ability to see
lots and lots of loops on your screen and be able to name them and
organize them. So far, most loopers on Linux have very cumbersome UI, both
SL and Kluppe totally fill your screen with 4 loops which is totally
unacceptable during a performance when you need to quickly search through a
bank of literally dozens of loops. I personally have around 900
loops I use in live performance, from one-shot stuff to drum loops, bass
loops, melodical loops and all that other stuff, organized by tempo, key
and type. Also ,as I pointed out earlier in discussions, SL gives no
filename, so you quickly get lost among already opened loops. SL was simply
created with a different workflow in mind - recording loops, rather than
loading them from a file.
Cyclone seems to be on the right track according to the screenshots in terms
of UI, although I have not installed it yet.

So there you go, very clear things:
1. Beat matching with autosync.
2. Midi control.
3. Proper user interface.


Louigi Verona
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