talent

welcome to talent.


talent is proposed as a minimal/simplified parameter environment for dynamic pattern generation.


the core of the talent engine is a counter defined by the 'cycle' parameters. each step creates a discrete random value determined in relation with the random seed values, creating a repeating, modulatable series of values which are translated into midi events.


understanding the relationship between the 'cycle' counter and each parameter will allow you exploit talent to the highest degree of performance.


given the 32 bit floating point medium, it is realistic to expect performance boundaries for math operations. occasionally they are encountered at some settings producing unexpected output.. so as said, it's part of the medium and the inherent charm of my algorithmic method ;)


as in all synthedit vsti, fine adjustments may be made to any parameter by holding [ctrl] while clicking.




inside out

there are 5 sections, cycle, modify, pitch, gate, and lfo.

the cycle and lfo sections both employ m reset controls. these are used to reset circuits after a definable measure count. the oval component displays a numeric value representing the number of measures (with 'off' in the 0 position) to reset on. to change the value, drag the control upwards or downwards like any knob.

the 'sync' button adjoined to this control will reset the counter if held at the beginning of any measure.


cycle

the # of steps is manually entered in the numeric 'cycle' field (midi control is ranged to 128 steps max.)

the 'shift' function moves the step values forwards of backwards in the sequence, the extreme values representing a complete 360 degree phase shift and the center value representing the unmodified output.

the step values for gate and pitch can be separately shifted allowing eg. to keep the rhythm of notes but shift the pitch values forwards one quarter note, et c.

the 'seed' parameter sets a unique numeric value used to generate sequences, perhaps you may consider it the 'song' value. it allowed as an lfo destination, however modulating it is likely to create unpredictable output.

the 'pattern' parameters are provided as a convenient way to modulate the seed value without having to reset it precisely. the pattern controllers are divided into 25 zones so that it should be fairly easy to switch the pattern manually with an assigned midi controller suc as a rotary knob. again, both pitch and gate have individual trimmers in addition to responding to the global 'pattern' knob.

a note on reopening songs: the numeric value held by the 'seed' parameter entirely dictates the output sequence. some hosts truncate the precise value of gui parameters when saving a song or patch. if you want the plug-in to produce the same output each time you open the song, it is suggested you save, close and reopen the song in your host after setting the 'seed' value in order to secure a value compatible with the host's save resolution.


modify

either the gate or the pitch values (source selectable with the first toggle switch) are tapped to generate sequence modifier events. normally the value for each step is immediately translated to pitch as defined by the output range, however the modify functions define probabilities for the pitch value to be defined by it's relation to the previous note.

the simplest example is 'sticky,' which makes the pitch value 'stick' :p

'increment' sets the percentage of notes that are a defined number of steps in the scale up or down. the 'balance' control sets the probability for the incremented note to either ascend or descend in pitch (eg. 'decrement.')

the 'increment amount' control ranges from 1 step in the scale at minimum, and one octave at maximum setting. when activated, the 'step' parameter increments the pitch only on played notes (that is to say.. when deactivated, the pitch will continue to increment on each clock pulse regardless of whether a note is played on that step or not, which can also be a desired effect..)

when the 'behave' button is activated, the pitch sequence is not reset when the counter resets, so that the 'increment' and 'sticky' functions generate more 'sequence behaviour' than a discrete, repeating output.

'double' plays two notes in the time of one. the pitch of the second note may be set from -1 to +1 octave from the original.


pitch

there are 64 available scales as indicated by this graphic -




common scales are grouped at the beginning for convenience. therafter, scales are organised by the number of tones and then by interval. significance of these scales are annotated later in this document.

note that many scale names are in quotes, indicating the non-authoritative reference of these forms.

pitch params are pretty straightforward.. key, scale selector, octave (-4 to +4,) output range of cycle value (1 note to 4 octaves) low note and high note trimmers and a transpose function (up to 1 octave.)


gate

due to talent's internal design, the clock resolution is defined by parts per beat/quarter note ('ppqn.')

note that for convenience, the ppqn scale actually displays parts per measure in a 'standard electronic 4/4 sequence' therefore 4 ppqn = the familiar '16' designation.

the 'lock' parameter above the ppqn selector snaps lfo modulation to binary ppqn values.

'kill' is a probability function to not play notes on clock pulse events.

'offset' pulls the gate early or late on the beat, as is said "for a rushed or relaxed feel.." the 'zero' button will ensure it is centered.

'lobster' function replaces 'humanisation' timing randomisation functions used elsewhere.. think about it.. it is harder to play piano with claws than fingers, eh. note that extreme lobster (anything more than half is extreme for lobster.. think about it..) might make the sequence mess up, especially with extreme shuffle or offset. this is a feature, not a problem.

'note length' has two time modes selectable by clicking the rectangular indicator. when using the absolute '0-5 sec' mode, note that polyphonic output (12 voices) is available.

velocity is configured using center, range, minimum and maximum parameters located at the bottom of the gate panel.


lfo

the 4 sinusoidal lfos have features useful for data applications.

there are two measure reset counters applicable to the phase of the lfos (note the 'm reset' description near the top of this document in section entitled 'inside out.')

the first counter applies to the phase of lfos 1 and 3, the second counter to 2 and 4. it's more complicated to portray on the gui this way.. hopefully the colour coding is enough.. because lfos are only assignable to lower numbered lfos, staggering the assignment allows for more dynamic use of lfos 1 and 2. now you know.

'phase' sets the value of the lfo when it's synced.

the lfo 'rate' controls also have a 'sync' function which locks the rate to measure divisions. rate sync does not sync the phase to host position. this parameter is calibrated to the same measure as the lfos in 'steam' vsti fyi.

the snap-to measure rate values are 32, 16, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.5, 1, 0.5, 0.33, 0.25

'bias' may unfamiliar to some vsti users..

think of the lfo as a signal that swings -5 to +5 in value.. the 'bias' acts as dc offset so that the -5/+5 range can be biased to eg. -10/0, 0/+10, -3/+7, et c. so that an lfo may be used to provide eg. only positive modulation.

lfo destination assignment uses a 2-stage configuration; the first selector indicates which panel group the parameter is in.

all lfo destinations are named as they appear on the gui for convenience! with the addition of an 'ppqn s&h' mode, which samples the modulation value on 8th notes as an alternate to the constant modulation mode.

lfo destinations generally allow parameters to be modulated outside of their gui-configurable range where applicable ;)

modulating buttons with lfos: some lfo destinations are buttons, eg. the 'reverse' function. when modulating these sources, keep in mind the following:

the standard output range of a synthedit lfo is -5 to +5, and switches generally operate at 0/10 values. the 'trip' point on such a switch is halfway, eg. at 5.. therefore assigning an lfo to a switch will only brush the 'trip point' at one extremity..

the correct way to address modulating a switch is to then consider what the current setting of the switch is and bias the lfo accordingly.. if the switch is in the 'off' position ("0",) then a fully ("+5") biased lfo will have half its duty cycle 0-5 and half 5-10 as it swings between 0 and 10. :)




midi controllers

32 - PPQN
33 - key
34 - scale -pitch section
35 - octave
36 - range
37 - transpose
38 - kill -gate section
39 - shuffle

40 - offset
41 - lobster
42 - length
43 - velocity center
44 - velocity range
45 - cycle -cycle section
46 - reverse
47 - reset on measure (button)

48 - meas reset (selector)
49 - shift
50 - shift gate
51 - shift pitch
52 - pattern
53 - pattern gate
54 - pattern pitch
55 - modify by pitch -modify section

56 - behave
57 - increment
58 - balance
59 - inc amt
60 - step
61 - sticky
62 - double
63 - double pitch

64 - reset on measure (button) #1 -lfo section
65 - reset on measure (button) #2
66 - meas reset (selector) #1
67 - meas reset (selector) #2
68 - lfo 1 phase
69 - lfo 1 rate
70 - lfo 1 bias
71 - lfo 1 amt

72 - lfo 2 phase
73 - lfo 2 rate
74 - lfo 2 bias
75 - lfo 2 amt
76 - lfo 3 phase
77 - lfo 3 rate
78 - lfo 3 bias
79 - lfo 3 amt




significance of scales

as follows:

notice for the Calliope scale: Copyright (c) 1995 by Michael Stutz; this information is free and may be distributed according to the terms of the GNU General Public License, either version 2 of the License or (at your preference) any later version, and as long as this sentence remains.

scales entitled 'messaien' are attributed to olivier messaien. google :)

enumerated scales named by number of tones were devised by the author, along with the scales named lovely, exotic, horror, mysterioso, and calliope v. :p

other scales were derived from a document attributed to aesager@acs4.acs.ucalgary.ca (Alexander Edward Sager) and are considered to be public domain.




synthedit

talent was created with jeff mcclintock's www.synthedit.com

vst plugin technology by steinberg


holy moly. free audioware nowadays.




thank you esp. jeff + syntheditors! kvrists, tolga uz, roy griffiths.