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Time Signatures

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:29 pm
by BuleriaChk
It just occurred to me that FXpansion may not know how to properly define and implement time signatures.

I hereby would like to offer free technical support to the Geist developers to educate them in the arcane concepts of time signatures so they can successfully implement in Geist, so that Geist can be used within a DAW or standalone to include rhythms such as are encountered in Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Take Five".

Then on to exotic rhythms such as Karsilama and Zembekiko......

This will be my contribution to the world of musical humanity.
(I am a professional programmer, so will consult for free if it is too difficult for them.....)

Humbly,

"Flamenco Chuck" Keyser

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:46 am
by wasoota
I sadly confirm your suspicion that Geist is tragically blind to the merits and values of time signatures (see another post a page back or so). Something that at least in my case is keeping me from using it to it's full potential. I also feel this is such a crippling omission that the term 'Feature Request' doesn't quite do it justice. Geist is flat out not usable except maybe as a drum rack where you need time signatures. And time signature is kind of the siamese twin of a beat. You may think you can just ignore him, but he's still there, always. :roll:

I commend you on your quest and humbly give you my blessing. For great justice!

(but seriously, this is a big deal.)

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:01 am
by Drew_BFDTeam
Geist is a STEP SEQUENCER; inspired by such greats as the 808 and 909. I know, I know.. they're a bit niche, but we thought they implemented the whole step-sequence notion remarkably well! :P

Set the pattern length to an amount of steps that is equally divisible by your chosen time signature, and set the pattern shading mode to "cylical" in the Geist options menu.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:24 pm
by wasoota
Thanks, yeah, but as you point out, a step sequencer doesn't mean only even measures if it's flexible enough. Time signatures would add all the flexibility in one place without the math and the headache. :D

I think for example if there was a shading setting that would take its cues from the DAW's measure settings (or at least would allow manual settings) it would at least help workflow. Right now, even on the cyclic setting, Geist shades 8+6 even thought the DAW project time signature is 7/8 and the step number is 14.

Similarly, slicing odd-meter beats is very messy as it is, especially if you want the pattern too. This seems to be because Geist really doesn't know what to do with them, simply because the lack of time signatures doesn't allow it to interpret what it's getting.

BTW, didn't mean setting the shading to "adaptive", not cyclic? Because cyclic shades every (hypothetical 4/4) measure, which is precisely what Geist doesn't understand how to do in odd meters. Adaptive at least only shades every beat. That's more or less universal, even if it's not as useful as shading every meter.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:40 pm
by BuleriaChk
Wasoota and I may be the only two actual musicians trying to use Geist............

The difficulty arises when trying to synch (BPM) audio loops (which may actually be real music).......

(There IS a real difference between 3/4, 6/8, and 2/4 Triplets.....)

(Actually for Flamenco I don't need the 6/8, since the measures have the same time length and I can fake the accents)

Three beats to a measure is different from four beats to a measure......duh!

If you have to ask..... (sigh)......

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:37 pm
by Drew_BFDTeam
I play in a prog-metal band. I know what a time signature is! :lol:

You don't have to even have even measures in Geist - think of 1 step as a 16th note... use as many steps as you need to complete a beat, or a bar, or a partial-bar. It *is* a step sequencer, not a piano roll. So some amount of figuring out how it should be programmed/sync'd up to the rest of your music is inevitable.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:59 pm
by BuleriaChk
This is not possible if one is to maintain a consistent BPM between a 3/4 audio and the step sequencer, since Geist interprets a 12 step loop as 3 measures of 4/4 time (and ALL audio loops in the same way, by merely assuming the length of the loop is a multiple of 4 steps), not 4 measures of 3/4 time.

In order to synchronize correctly, Geist would have to include time stretching.

Personally, if Geist wants to make a step sequencer, then it should include in its advertisements in BOLD RED LETTERS that Geist only does audio in duple meter, since I assumed that it could be used as a VST in a 3/4 DAW project. Ableton Live 9 does it right as far as the time stretching is concerned.

I rejected GURU for this lack of capability (most of my work is in 6/8, 3/4), but forgot about it since Geist looked so good.
One would assume that a company like FXpansion would produce state of the art in a rhythm device that incorporates audio...

But I'm all heart, and will help them out for free so they can get up to the level of Ableton Live 2.0....

Drew_fx wrote:I play in a prog-metal band. I know what a time signature is! :lol:

You don't have to even have even measures in Geist - think of 1 step as a 16th note... use as many steps as you need to complete a beat, or a bar, or a partial-bar. It *is* a step sequencer, not a piano roll. So some amount of figuring out how it should be programmed/sync'd up to the rest of your music is inevitable.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:12 pm
by wasoota
Hm, I'd hardly call myself a real musician. :wink:

I hear you Drew, and thanks for your pointers and trying to get us on track, hehe. Just give it some thought sometime and do some experimenting with odd-meter loops . Everything gets a little unpredictable, and you can't really import any 3/4 or other odd-meter grooves which is confusing at best.

Thanks though again, you've got a great tool here and even if we feel strongly about this we're just trying to make it better. :)

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:21 pm
by BuleriaChk
I agree that Geist is fine for what it is, and Drew is conscientious.

Still, the program is useless to me as is; I have refocused on Live 9 Beta, which does implement audio to midi; just not as well and conveniently as Geist, but it does it in 3/4 AND 6/8 (And 5/4, and 9/8, etc, etc....)

I just wish this lack of functionality was clear before I bought it....... (my bad, I SHOULD have been aware of the gotcha, but I got all excited....)