Auto Control Collection
Automated knobs, faders, XYs, and an automated "scanner". It's automation for th
New info for version 1.5, December 2015.
Please ignore the old text "Info update 2010-02-05" at the bottom.
Some bugs have been fixed and some behavior has changed in this version of the Auto Control macros, but no major changes have been made to them. The big difference is the additional content included with the collection:
- A small test ensemble with a couple of snapshots and an Init snapshot. These all have snap notes that describe some of what is going on in the snapshots plus some more general info. The test ensemble was quickly put together using mostly ready-made macros in the Reaktor 5 library, and then I exchanged some of the controls with Auto controls. If you just quickly want to see them in action in a more real world situation, this is the one to take a look at. For both users and builders.
- A modulation ensemble (no sound) which show some quick ways of adding modulation, MIDI Learn, and DAW automation to the Auto Controls. I also show a way to record automation using an external controller with MIDI Learn. This requires adding more buttons, so is not ideal, but it works. Adding modulation from an LFO or Envelope is very easy and works well. Mainly of interest to builders.
- A quick guide to the Auto controls. It's a one page PDF file. Mainly for users.
- A PDF tutorial that shows how to exchange the Cutoff fader in Junatik with an Autofader from the collection. This one is done in Reaktor 6. I tried to write it for new users and inexperienced builders, but I'm not sure I have succeded. Anyway, it might be of interest to more experienced users as well, because I show how I try to make the Autofader inherit the setting of the original Cutoff fader in all the 128 snapshots fairly quickly. I then get confused and forgetful with regard to how the Snap Value module works, and take a detour where I build a small test ensemble to check out the functunality of the Snap Value module and find a workaround to a problem. I think this could be of interest to new builders, since I show how to analyze a module using the new Event-Watcher debug tool in Reaktor 6. It was a pleasant surprise to see that lazyfish had built a shiny, new Event-Watcher based on Chris List's old, but brilliant EventWatcher.
- In the main Auto Control Collection ensemble, all the bug fixes and changes have been documented, and it also includes additional notes. Here are most of them:
BUG FIXED: TRIGGER ON RELEASE
The Gate sync macro in all Auto controls was missing a separator. The gate would trigger both on Note On and Note Off, while it should only trigger on Note On.
BUG FIXED: OUTPUT VALUES NOT SMOOTHED
The smoothing in all advanced Auto controls didn't work as intended. The control movement was smoothed, but not the actual stream of values at the output.
BUG FIXED: OUTPUT VALUES NOT QUANTIZED
Due to a very silly misunderstanding of my own macro, I thought the output shouldn't be quantized, but the output of all the macros should in fact be quantized, and then smoothed (advanced controls only). Say you wanted to use a Basic control to set Pitch for an oscillator. If you set it to 7, the actual output could be 6.7486 (depending on the range) since the output wasn't quantized. The shown value was quantized, but not the output value.
BUG FIXED: TOGGLE MACRO LOOPED DEFAULT AND INCORRECT SNAP VALUE OUTPUT.
This bug was earlier very confusing to me because I thought it might be a bug in Reaktor, but it's not. It's a long story.
Anyway, the bug was caused by a default value of 0.5 in the properties of the Snap Value module in combination with my particular Toggle macro. So, if you loaded or copied an Auto control macro into a different ensemble and selected a snapshot, the Snap Value module would output its default value 0.5. This would then enter a loop where the output value of the Toggle macro was either 0.5 or 1.5 when it should be 0 or 1. I set the Snap Value default value to 0 and deselected 'Default if Missing', so the bug should now be fixed.
CHANGE: NEW FILE NAMES
I have removed '0-1' and '-1-1' from all file names since it might be a bit confusing considering the whole idea is that you set the value range with constants (or controls) inside each auto control macro. The AutofaderXY macros with a "zero crossing" in the middle of the fader, have '+-' in their name instead of '-1-1'.
CHANGE: UNCONNECTED SMOOTHER ADDED TO BASIC CONTROLS
I added an unconnected event smoother with a transition time of 20 ms just before the output of basic controls. This is meant for quick A/B testing of control performance with and without smoothing. Simply delete it if you don't need it in your specific case.
CHANGE: FINE-TUNING FACTOR SET TO 5
Since the previous version of these controls, Reaktor has been updated with a new function called 'Fine-tuning Factor', and I have set this to 5 for all Mouse Area modules that are overlaying the knobs and faders. Hold down Shift while moving the knob or fader to fine-tune.
NOTE: SET TO DEFAULT
The knob and fader auto controls are not really compatible with 'Set to Default' in Reaktor. You could for instance right-click the label of the knob and select 'Set to Default', but remember that a Mouse Area is overlaying the knob, and this is what you actually use to set the value of the knob. So when you select 'Set to Default', the button and the Mouse Area will very likely have two different values and be "out of sync" so to speak. When you then move the knob again, it might suddenly jump from the default value to the last value of the overlaying Mouse Area.
NOTE: GATE SYNC ON
The Gate sync macro was made with polyphonic instruments in mind, and there the gate sync works as described in the info for each control. This depends a bit on the number of voices, but it should work reliably with 8 voices or more.
In a monophonic instrument, however, the functionality can be a lot more confusing. Basically, as long as you press and hold any number of keys the gate will not trigger a restart of the recorded automation, but as soon as you start releasing and then pressing the same or another key, the triggering of a restart will depend on the sequence in which you pressed the keys. I find the behavior rather confusing myself, so you might want to modify the Gate sync macro for a monophonic instrument.
In the Auto Control Collection ensemble there is a further note on the smoothing behavior with a macro that shows the behavior.
A well documented collection of automated knobs, faders, XYs, and an automated scanner that are all meant to be built into ensembles. Especially the automated knobs and faders are meant to replace ordinary knobs and faders.
The controls come in three different categories with regard to UI style: XY based controls, controls with "old school" button UI, and controls with "modern" Mouse Area based UI.
There are two subcatecories within these categories with regard to functionality: Basic and advanced.
Other than that, the individual control macros are minor variations of each other.
The only difference (mostly) between basic and advanced controls, is that advanced has smoothing and rate controls. Read the "Tips and notes" section on the Readme menu in the ensemble to see some of the things you can do with these controls.
I wanted these controls to be as useful in manual mode as in automation mode. This means that an automated knob, for example, should work exactly like an ordinary knob in manual mode and not have its setting changed by the automation mode.
All the controls therefore share the following basic features to be as useful as possible:
- If you set a control to value X in manual mode, turn on automation mode and play around with automation for a while, value X is recalled when you go back to manual mode (i.e. the control moves back to the position of value X). When you turn on automation a second time, the last recorded automation sequence is recalled and played back.
- Both the value (or position) of the control in manual mode and the last recorded sequence in automation mode are saved with a snapshot.
- All the controls are protected against switch usage in manual mode and automation mode, i.e. clicking a switch won't affect the knob in manual mode and won't interfere with the automation.
The automated knobs and faders have a couple of features that the XY based faders/controls don't have:
- Let's say a knob is currently being automated in automation mode. When you click the knob to record a new automation sequence, you catch the knob "in flight", meaning the new automation sequence starts from where the knob is currently at, so you get a seamless transition to the next automation sequence you start to record. This could be useful if using automation live.
- Automation Start Position - You can use the current position of a knob/fader in manual mode as a starting point for automation in automation mode. When you use this feature in manual mode, and then turn on automation, the knob/fader will stand still at that position, and you can start recording a new automation sequence from that position by moving the knob/fader.
I have included various notes in the structures to make it a bit easier to modify the controls in various ways. This is mostly basic information that I think new builders can benefit from. I also made many small variations of the controls, like horizontal and vertical faders in different sizes, so that people have a bit more to choose from if they want to modify the UI. Though these controls are mainly meant for builders, I believe that any user that has connected a few wires in a structure will be able to exchange a Cut off knob in a synth with an automated knob, for example.
Please feel free to modify any or all of these controls in any way (graphics, funcitons) you like and upload them to the UL as your own. If you do, I would appreciate if you keep the infos of the various UI elements reasonably well documented. Feel free to use any or all of the info already there. But, obviously, update any added, changed or removed functionality with the appropriate info.
OK, all this is not a demand, of course, just something I would appreciate.
The only known issue at the moment, is that the Ensemble occasionally crashes when you select the Snap 1 snapshot. I don't know what the problem might be, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that all the 39 controls are being automated at the same time in Snap 1! I don't think it's an issue with the individual controls.
Thanks go to Peter Dines for his Freshmaker controls. Those gave me the initial inspiration. His structure got me off to a flying start, and contained some really clever solutions.
Thanks also to Chris List for his EventWatcherv04 (from Test Equiptment Pack v2.1). It's sooo great, and I use it all the time.
Ah, had to re-upload the Zip file because all the macros disappeared from the subfolder they were in. Now they are in the same top folder as the ensemble.
Info update 2010-02-05: It seems I'm getting some weird kind of bug in the Snap Value modules in the following case: I loaded one of the Mouse Area autofader macros into an ensemble I'm working on. I made some basic adjustments (value range, rearranging the UI). When I was done, I made a copy of the macro in the ensemble. Then the weirdest thing happened. The copy started behaving erratically while the original worked perfectly!? It turns out that the value at the output of all the Snap Value modules was not copied. Instead, all the output values showed 0.5, which in some cases I thought would simply be impossible, since nothing in the whole "module chain" in which some of the Snap Value modules were placed, would ever generate 0.5!
Anyway, the workaround is as follows:
1. After you have loaded an auto control macro in an ensemble, do whatever adjustments you want, and save a snapshot (append/insert a "dummy" temporary one, or overwrite the current).
2. Then, after you have saved the snapshot, copy the control. ((You might get erratic behaviour with the Mouse Area controls. With other controls you might simply get a glitch in the beginning, but you can open the macro and check the value at the output of the Snap Value modules. The weird bug is there if all are 0.5.))
3. Reload the snapshot you saved in step 1, and the copy now works as it should. Reload the snapshot for each copy you make. ((If you load a new auto control macro, and want to make copies of that, you should repeat the procedure from step 1.))
An alternative workaround as follows: Load an auto control macro, make changes to it, save that macro with a different name, and then load it for each copy you need.
The bug only happens with copying the macros. Strange...