Some Ideas For A Future Update.

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s13n1

Some Ideas For A Future Update.

Post by s13n1 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:04 pm

I posted this on the Facebook pages, but someone suggested posting it here too:

Here is a quick mock-up I've done to visualize some ideas for a future update.
pacemaker_app_mod.png
pacemaker_app_mod.png (600.63 KiB) Viewed 6964 times
Minute Markers.
They may not be accurate in my image, so just ignore that. These are really handy and can help with choosing mixing points, particularly with unfamiliar tracks.

Zoom Waveform.
Even if its only to double the size of the waveform, its very handy for mixing visually, for either setting the downbeat or preparing for a drop. It would be very handy if the zoomed in position tracked the play marker.

Beatgraph Visual.
This was very handy on the pacemaker, and was great for picking up inaudible drifting. I tend to mix without headphones on the pacemaker and the app, and because of the lack of tactile feedback from the touchscreen, its difficult to gauge how much your "nudging" the tracks.

It would be great to see the digital toggle button used to allow quick searching through tracks. So when its enabled, we can drag the play marker to where we want on the waveform. And when used with zooming, we can place our downbeats visually and very quick, possibly without even previewing through headphones.

I'd like to see in the setup menu, the ability to choose headphone impedance, like there was on the pacemaker device. I find that the output quality can vary from good to shocking, depending on what your playing through. Particularly when using effects.

Options to choose different effects would be great of course. I was saddened to see Wah and Trans missing!

This may be a little picky, but i'd like a slider in the config menu, to adjust the range of the echo effect, so that it can be set to only affect high, low or all frequencies. There are times when i don't want to echo any low frequencies, in preparation for a drop or an extended mix out.

When snapping loops is used, the limit of 4 is not good enough. It needs to be extended to allow at least and even 16 if possible. Without snapping enabled, we can loop for this length, so why not with snapping enabled?

I'm finding the app very unpredictable when it comes to analyzing tracks and creating the waveform, so tracks will often load with no waveform and no option to sync them. Even after opening and closing several times, the tracks will not be analyzed properly. Also, when browsing for tracks, they appear to not have any time or bpm readout in the browser window. I know its great to have an app that does it all by itself, but if its not able to do it reliably, then perhaps its time to do all analyzing and waveform generation via a PC app, like the original Pacemaker Editor? This would also free up resources on the playbook and help ensure no hiccups and stutters while mixing.

Another much needed addition to the config menu, is the choice of displayed time modes. I prefer to see the time remaining, not the time played.

I have most likely forgotten some ideas, so ill edit the post or add them to the comments when i think of them.

Be sure to post some of your own ideas and suggestions too.

Cheers.

bbpmdj

Re: Some Ideas For A Future Update.

Post by bbpmdj » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:09 am

I'm finding the app very unpredictable when it comes to analyzing tracks and creating the waveform, so tracks will often load with no waveform and no option to sync them. Even after opening and closing several times, the tracks will not be analyzed properly. Also, when browsing for tracks, they appear to not have any time or bpm readout in the browser window. I know its great to have an app that does it all by itself, but if its not able to do it reliably, then perhaps its time to do all analyzing and waveform generation via a PC app, like the original Pacemaker Editor? This would also free up resources on the playbook and help ensure no hiccups and stutters while mixing.
I do not have the same issue, all tracks have a wave form... PMA needs time to analyze all tracks... Start PMA let it run while you sleep and the next day all tunes should be analyzed... The more tracks, the more time needed to analyze.

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Re: Some Ideas For A Future Update.

Post by Sox » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:21 pm

Thanks for taking the time to document all your thoughts on this. Some of your points I also had on my own wishlist, especially the zooming in on the waveform. However the "time remaining" can already be configured to be viewed, just press the time display itself to toggle it. However the PMA didn't previously remember this setting each time you launched it, and the latest update is supposed to have addressed this so all option changes are now remembered.

With a new track there is no analysis immediately available, but it gets done in the background. If you wait I think you should get it sooner or later. If you switch tracks, I think the existing one is still being analysed in the background and the new track gets queued to also be analysed. So really I find the analysis performs on demand, and once done is remembered for the next time you play the same track. In comparison with the PMD analysis (3rd party library running on your PC/mac) I prefer this as it doesn't waste time on analysis when you add tracks to the library (have seen multiple complaints about this when adding a large number of tracks and having to wait so long before you can then add them to the device). I also find the analysis more accurate than the 3rd party library.
Never experiment with drugs.... you might waste them

s13n1

Re: Some Ideas For A Future Update.

Post by s13n1 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:48 am

Ahh cool, thanks for the tips on time display and letting the app run to analyse the tracks!

It appears as if when looping, you cant nudge the other track back into alignment. This is a shame as the beat matching is pretty good until a loop is activated, then it seams to drift and fluctuate. Not all the time, but enough to be frustrating. Hitting the sync button is no good either, because youre not able to loop a track and then press sync to bring in the next track, you have to use cue, then your unable to align them. Kind of pointless really.

Something i would like to see explored is effects for the accelerometer. So when we shake the playbook, a chosen effect is activated. Anyone who has seen James Zabiela use his iPad will know what im talking about. Choosing what effect it enables can be in the config page, but it may be better suited to a quick stuttering effect or perhaps a scratching sample.

I have seen some people ask for a sampler or drum machine, but i think realistically these things are a bit much and would not only complicate and clutter the interface (slide up keyboard could be an option?) but may be impossible performance wise, or just very limited. I think a good alternative would be a simple one-shot sampler effect. I dont think i have ever used the reverse play mode seriously, only while messing around. I would like to see an option to replace it with a one-shot sample effect, with the length controlled by how long you hold down the button, with snapping enabled and limited to a Max of 8 beats. The sample will be stored until its cleared by pressing the digital button then the sample button. This would be great for extending the mix out, or by introducing elements of the next track, in preparation for the mix. It wouldn't clutter the interface either, using the existing layout, and when used in conjunction with loops (and effects) we could make some great custom samples, particularly if the sample is from both decks.

The more i use the app, the more i love it. Its got a lot of potential to be a serious mixing device (not just a practice / gadget) and is already more capable than the pacemaker device. Once im faster at using it and future updates make it rock solid, i think my pacemaker will be retired!

Im loving the playbook itself too, as being able to run android apps has made it way more valuable.

SIGMA__7

Re: Some Ideas For A Future Update.

Post by SIGMA__7 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:10 pm

s13n1: the only thing I want for the waveform is to be able to touch it and advance it to wherever I touched instead of using the >> and having to hold it down.

although the features you mentioned are well thought out - personally, and please don't take this the wrong way, but for me as a user I have the opinion, there are already a lot of tools in the app to help with mixing - animated beatgraph, waveform magnification, minute markers and all these visual things - these are resource hogs that could be used for additional features instead of redundant features. it also is placing the emphasis on visual cues when there are already quite a few available - we need to train your ears and use our ears - this is music after all.

for me at some point the machine is doing so much of the mixing, there is no point to djing. it's like writing a script or program to play a video game for you - at some point, all you're doing is watching something and you're not involved or using any skill. I already find with this app that it is so easy to mix, you run the risk of getting bored unless you do as much of it manually as possible (ie use vinyl mode, don't look at the waveform, display the pitch value instead of bpm, etc.)

s13n1

Re: Some Ideas For A Future Update.

Post by s13n1 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:06 pm

Train my ears for what? I can already mix by ear.

On my pacemaker i never used the beatlock feature, i would cue tracks and mix by ear.

Using the waveform to skip ahead through a track would still require fine tuning by using the virtual platters to set your cue point. Zooming in would allow you to do it visually and much quicker.

I dont mix with headphones, its how ive always mixed and i prefer to play a track from the beginning. Only if im mixing electro house and want a very aggressive mix, will i advance to a specific part of the track, but generally i prefer to use the tracks progression to introduce it.

If your the type to argue that technology is making us more of observers than participants, then fine thats your opinion. I personally dont let the advancements of technology effect my opinion on something.If something is enjoyable, its enjoyable.

Id prefer to see a dj like james zabiela play using all his technology, than someone who mixes with vinyl. If the technology allows the dj to focus on other tasks, such as effects, loops and more advanced mixing techniques, and then produce something better.. I dont see what the problem is.

The playbook hardware has the capabilities to do more than what the pacemaker device could. So why not?

SIGMA__7

Re: Some Ideas For A Future Update.

Post by SIGMA__7 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:05 pm

as long as any visual features, shortcuts, or other means of assistance can be toggled on and off and hidden or disabled by the user, it's all good.

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