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Username: braduro
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Member since: Sep 16 2013
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Comments by braduro


looks very tasty. Any chance of constructing a single lane version of it? I have SingleDrummer, and I find that this is lighter for occasions when I can make chains in a group and only need a 4-pad kit, or when I just want one lane of syncopations etc.

Or are there other things that you could do to release it as lean as possible?

Such an odd behavior I'm getting from the receiver. When I turn it on, it sounds EXACTLY as the pedal effect that I had on to the right of it, EVEN when the pedal device is turned OFF. In other words, it sounds like a volume jump (and not that it is maintaining the same RMS) when the CR is turned on, although the values on readout is that it is dynamically attenuating the signal AND even when the device between the CS and CR is turned off, it still sounds like the effect of the device to the right of the CR is turned on (when it isn't) when the CR is turned on...

Hi Spiralune,
First, I will be more patient in understanding the instructions here, as they are very thorough. But the sentence structure and phrasing is rather fragmented, as technical float-over info text tends to be, and I cannot from your initial statement understand what this device is accomplishing.

If you have 4 chains, couldn't you either assign the chain to a note range on a midi channel? then tap a corresponding pad? Or couldn't you in the example of 4 chains just distribute them evenly across the full range and use 4 positions on one dial? Why do I need to use this device? What user case scenario does this device solve? When does it become immediately obvious that this device is the way to address a problem?

Hi @encoderaudio
If the binary combinations are then summed in the number box to the left of the grid, could the grid then be populated based on the value of the number in the number box?

I ask this because
a) I don't like clicking on things in a GUI in a performance setting. A number field is something I can assign to a control
2) There are not enough preset slots to account for every combination of sequences over 5 lines. Even if there were a way to swap the note output between the lanes, there still wouldn't be enough preset slots to represent every combination

Now if a utility were at the end of that chain, I could use the difference between the the CS and the CR to adjust the gain and then take out the instances of the volume compensators, right?
So wouldn't it be possible to construct the CR such that it's intended purpose is to be inserted before a utility and to then takeover the gain dial of the utility from it's current position?

It might be nice to carry these tools into a studio session, or a live situation if they prove to be solid, and then not feel inclined to leave them in place. I say any chance to take a m4l device out of the equation in a performance critical situation is probably the right move....

april fools is 3 months out!

because the official packs on ableton do not announce an update schedule, nor does the manual on your site describe the changes in 2.0, would you consider adding update features/bugs/compatibility/optimization within the description area of your listing here?

Hiya FGC,
A pulse length of 16n with 16 pulses, 4 onsets, at the 0 phase should produce 4-on-the-floor right? And yet to my ears, despite it being evenly distributed in a 4/4 session, it sounds as if it is longer by a single 16th note. Playing with the metronome confirms this.

While we're at it, could you help me understand the optimal button? And how many combinations can it generate? Would it be possible for these to be selected randomly or have a dial rotate through them? Just trying to find a way for everything on the interface to be control assignable rather than a mouse selection...


This is a profoundly nuanced, wonderful device. Thank you!

I literally spent about 20 minutes exploring it with just with a single, repeated 1/8th note going into the device, and could have just left it at that. It's nice to know that even replanting a seed in Synplant can bore such musical results without even adding to the strain of the playback engine.

interesting. Seems to me, I'd want just one instance of this device. Either I delete all the ones before the External Instrument router and leave it at that, or drag the one instance before the drum rack entirely. Then I can just control which pad is in focus on the microtonic with the drum pads on the Push. The settings will then apply to whichever pad is highlighted in microtonic. Sure this tosses out the preset slots used the device, unless I use one column for a specific pad, for example. And there might be some nuisance in maintaining the blue hand on MicroTonicMaxed in device view while tapping different pads. But worth pursuing...

Always happy when someone throws some love towards µtonic.
Now customarily, I can control it with CC's or configure the plugin in native control, then have it map to Push or any User Settings for encoders. As for randomization, I can use µtonic's own Piku scripts, and as for save, I can just save the preset or bank for the device.
So what advantages are there in using a M4L device? For one, I wish there was a way of selecting a Pad other that clicking it so it was immediately ready on a per channel basis. But I do like that I don't have to map a repeat of every per-channel parameter.

Also, the values jump in any case when switching pads, but that's no biggie. So how do you work whereby you concluded that the M4L approach was the way to go?

that is to say, I have the triode...

Ah, so this is for the Anode?
Currently I use MotherGarage's Multimapper for this purpose, although I love your toggle switches for randomizing. Means I can still gain access to the all the toggle buttons via 8 macros.

I was trying to correspond some CC values with the parameters that you have here. There were numbers that you have that I don't have, and vs vs. And it may just be how we've labeled them, features that separate the two micros, different mappings etc: filter accent CC56, LFO retriever CC57 as examples...

From the limitations of other macro action devices and applications, it might be interesting if the move can be made relative to the last click or to it's current position, rather than an absolute place on the screen.
That way, items on a contextual menu could be automated. For example, when warping tracks, in clip view:
1) Selecting the transient with right click
2) Place 1.1.1 Here
3) Warp From here
Could all be done from a single action. The menu itself is a measurable-sized window, provided the Zoom Display value doesn't change. It's just that the absolute location of the pop-up, the selected transient, nor can the clip wave view itself be predetermined. But once the contextual menu is up, it's the same movement each time to select the items. Those Mouse clicks would be helpful to have in one action.

You can imagine how I'm tuning out today: yes, this is a ver generous device. I almost always get on here for feedback and questions, but really this is a pleasure straight out of the box, exclusively for studio production.
Muting 1 channel along with the Stereo/Crossover onto a single macro offers that conversion to ping-pong delay, as you suggested in the instructions. Easy Peasy

Like the STOP function. I wonder if a separate device with a simple passthrough along with clip recording function could be made to record via Resampling on a per track basis while retaining effect tails. Maybe it could function with the Clip slot stop button rather than the transport, such that resampling with tails could be accomplished without stopping the transport? Hmmmm

Hi Skinnerbox, hopefully you'll get a notice of a new comment here, but maybe anyone in-the-know could answer this. Seeing as this device was released just months before the new Simpler, what would you say are the settings within the Simpler to create the exact functionality of Salami? And if scrubbing the sample in classic mode using this device is still a distinctly different sounding result, let me know!
Cheers to you

Got it working now-your guess is as good as mine. Maybe a restart to assure MAX had updated or that the Live Browser properly indexed the new version. Maybe in numbering it the same as the previous version, I trashed the wrong copy of it while it was being referenced. Who's to say?

Getting a "Caution" (prohibited) sign when I try to drag this into a MIDI track. I'm running Live 9.6.1 with Max 7.2.4
(Holding out for 9.7 before I update again)

Confirmed that the previous version of LineFO 1.6 still drags in from the OS and Ableton Browser as expected.
Is anyone having the same issue?

M4L-in 18 months, you could have learned how to patch. I'd strongly encourage you to replace your conspiratorial and skeptical impulses with an open curiosity for the world you are observing. I know it might seem like your angle on things is more objective, and that it scrutinizes the truth behind the truth. But that's really not a thorough outlook on life, and I'm certain a general curiosity will allow to arrive at far more engaging questions and afford you even a more complete representation of your reality.

In these past 18 months,
have you used public transportation?
ordered from a counter or had fast food?
changed a lightbulb?
read a comic or magazine?
had to replace an inner tube on your bike?
bought some cables or adapters for your studio?
bought a beer for a friend?
fed a pet?
thrown out and replaced a pair of socks?
mailed a package?
given to a street musician or dancer?
bought an EP off a streaming music service or downloaded a movie or pay-per-view?
grabbed a game off an app store or steam?
flipped the lights on? Lit a log, or turned the heat on?

The only take-home observation I have of bennniii that is worth sticking with is that he's an upstanding guy. He's offered an exceptional amount of care for you and me, in support for his devices, in the value of the device itself-which can only be measured in your music- and in patience for the quality assurance we can provide for him. There's really no incentive in it for either of us to test the limits of his patience. And I assure you, you have a limit as well, which I'm hoping you'll take as a reminder to approach things with a little more humility. I promise, it won't hurt you to do so.

So benniii, when you figure out the updates for v1 or want to release v2, make sure you consider fairly what you need to change a light bulb, grab a refreshment for someone you care about, feed a cat, whatever it may be that matter to you and are obligated to, and charge accordingly. Put it among the k-devices offerings if you need. First off, that would be a headline story on ableton, and well worth covering. Second, you can always offer a promo code to those in need, if you feel like it is regressive to charge for Polyrhythmus.

So each pad gets 99 of it's own patterns-or saved sequences- in the pro version, is that right? So that's 5.7×10^30 combinations or overall patterns?

Would 3 instances of this in separate chains amount to less cpu than the full-fledged 8 lanes for the Pro version? What are the other differences between the pro and the single? Might be nice to include columns for the other two devices on that chart on the product page...

How would you compare the CPU impact with other midi devices? I imagine its minuscule, but if you dragged/copied multiple instances with the transport stopped, what would it take for you to see your CPU go up 1%, for example?

Are all the parameters that should be visible instant mapped in a logical order on the Push?

While we're on the topic, I didn't see a Check Out button on your site. Registered thinking that licenses would show up when I was signed in, but didn't even get that far!

Cheers to you

Okay, my apologies for being so pushy, particularly on a Sunday Morning. Still having issues with the saving. Maintained that hide extension in the save options was deselected. There's an additional problem which I'll illustrate below:

Tried multiple instances of this device, such that multitrack recording could result in tails for each instrument, not just the overall mix. Looks like it works! You could input monitor from many separate tracks, or put side chains through solo mode of a compressor/gate/etc. for each playback track into a single group audio rack, each chain with its own Tail device. Except the saving feature on Tails is preventing the desired results.

Not only that, when I listen back to each file in the Finder or Quicktime (which I can if I deliberately rename the file with the correct audio extension) every resulting Tail sounds exactly the same, i.e. it appears to be saving the same file despite each wave sample window in each Tail clearly showing me that I captured different content in each one.

This leads me to my final thoughts on functionality for the day, I promise: Might be nice to have a preview button on the device, before you're obliged to save it and before you loose what's captured. Also might be nice to have some multi-save feature. A master device that helps you go through the save prompt for multiple devices. Or like I mentioned, a drag and drop option. With stopping the transport and saving each track, it did grind momentum to a halt to go through each save option.

Okay, I'll steer clear of m4l at least for awhile! This device really has the chance to be a game changer! Currently folks, how do you capture your effect tails?

Ok, my 2nd issue, not having a working file, seems to have solved itself this morning. I see that the same file is an .aiff image on my desktop today. Maybe I'm just having storage issues on my computer.

Oh man, and I think I answered my last question: unless the file is rendered and exported, it's not going to be able to create the result of the playback stopping as the effects continue. Would be neat if it could! A close best thing is your device!

As it stands, the only way to end a session built from resampled clips is to either stop all the tracks playing into a resampled track and then stopping the resampled track as it dies, add effects to the already effected recording or recreate the effects after having recorded the instrumentation dry. Or end all your tracks with a fade out! Ableton's Export also stops transport and will include tails at the front of the sample if rendered as loop.

And my 1st "what if" should read "drag and droppable to a clip slot", but I bet you knew what I meant. (Of course it could also be neat if it could be dragged into a sample window, but that's beside the point).

Brilliant idea, and I'd love to weigh in as well as take advantage of this. But first I'd like to report some issues. I'm running latest El Capitan, latest Ableton 9, and latest M4L
1) Save button is not visible. Can get the save window up by clicking to the left of the word "save".
2) File is clearly specified aiff or wav in the dialog window, however the file reads as a text document. No extension is associated with the saved file. And it won't play. Even if you open the file with quicktime, its unreadable.

Onto some suggestions, unfortunately not with any insight as to what will fix the above issues, but some user case suggestions:
1) what if the wave image was drag and droppable into a clip, the way Looper files can be dragged back into a session?
2) what if a track stop button could also be used to trigger the Tail recording? That way a track monitoring incoming audio, say one set to resample, could record the tail when the clip stop was hit on that track. This would be highly desirable seeing as clips perfectly loop to the trigger quantize resolution but then chop off effect tails.

Otherwise, when using the device as it stands, you're stopping the transport, which is not how many folks produce. Live was practically built on the precept of real-time tracking, mixing, editing.

looking forward to your discoveries with this device!

Hey Jon, great to hear back from you
I don't think your question is rhetorical-there's definitely an answer I can offer.

"even if I had everything perfectly mapped out for all controllers or what have you, don't you think it would still occupy to much attention?"
By "attention" in this context I really mean "too much reaching for the mouse". I"m perfectly fine with centering my performance on developing a sequence or rhythm through commonplace-it's definitely that powerful and worthy of attention.

But the max object identifiers are sequentially all over the place. So it's not so much that anyone needs to prefer one controller over the other in order to fall in step, it's that standard Instant Mapping on any device will be scrambled.

As for simplicity-I definitely like economy, although I wouldn't trade Commonplace's complexity for any other options out there. I get around assigning too many controls to something by making ranges of variables randomizable (and reset).

I'm using Genbeat 1.2 by Kasper Skov for a similar niche. It serves in on-the-spot decisions, i.e. performance settings, in part because I can actually map everything to macros and nest in a rack. There's always a bit of a trade off in dialing in my note clusters-should I hardwire it to an impulse, drum rack, or try it tonally? Hyakken accommodates this issue beautifully in his Note Assign pop-up window [note mapping] for the Trigger8 v1.02. I might point out that exposing Midi note numbers as randomizable produces very unpredictable, if not unusable results in most cases. So random, or an LFO, or an envelope follower doesn't come in handy for everything.

That's another beautiful outcome of Hyakken's solution for note assign: it's safely stowed away and unaffected by remote scripts or other things open to the ableton interface. Take your device as a comparison, and if I was to randomize all visible parameters at once on Commonplace, I'd end up scrambling all my carefully chosen note values.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but with commonplace,
a) Autotriggers A/B are not midi mappable. That would make for a fun performance element.
b) none of the min/max fields nor any of the drop down menus are midi mappable. These would make for useful decisions, randomized or variating values.
That includes:
i) The min/max steps as well as
ii) random velocity range
iii) Trigger Rate drop down menu, including the manual option
iv) The step rate
v) the note length
vi) the step length

Again, for simplicity, I like to constrain the range of variables and then open up more parameters to randomization. One button. Boom. So more parameters could be well-served by making them assignable but also exposing their range in macro assigning and/or manual midi mapping. You could also consider having your built in Random and Clear buttons control more of these parameters, or having other pairs of R and C buttons for other areas of the interface. And I do appreciate that the R/C buttons can already be assigned.

So while still respecting people's different definitions of performance and their choices, there's still plenty that can be opened up to them. By the way, what you might find among the easier or more mundane decisions in using M4L for interface design are still technical matters above the likes of me! I'm just starting to open the hood, split devices up and customize. So these little decisions don't fall on deaf ears.

Cheers to you, Jon

Hey Hyakken, just posted this on the M5816 page as well; covering my bases:

always happy to see an update in my email

Is the 1.5beta stable at this point? What are the trade-offs and stability between the two clocks to warrant such a leap? Should I be using 1.5?

Also, I noticed the bundle comes with two copies of 1.02, one labeled midi. Is the only difference that the LFO's are pre-selected to control midi on one copy? In other words, are they effectively the same device?

Cheers to you

Hey Hyakken, always happy to see an update in my email

Is the 1.5beta stable at this point? What are the trade-offs and stability between the two clocks to warrant such a leap? Should I be using 1.5?

Also, I noticed the bundle comes with two copies of 1.02, one labeled midi. Is the only difference that the LFO's are pre-selected to control midi on one copy? In other words, are they effectively the same device?

Cheers to you

Filled out the survey, so I was hoping to add more observations here with your revisions:

So the rec tab has a field per step for capacity, "No."? And "Bejehdjfjeb"?-I'm watching on a smart phone and away from my studio. What is the reason for the third field? The number field advances with each entry, and we already know the capacity. We also know when the step flushes itself if it was already full. What I don't see is a number that indicates/labels which of the choices are currently being played on that step, and not sure if for performance of the device that I'd want it. I see the note and velocity read out on the bottom, but I don't see those change with each pass or step either, so note sure what they are there for.

Also, my note previously is a bit more clear if you consider a different user case: what if the track it's on is monitoring the clip or other sequencers, not note input? Then you might want a button to turn the note intake off so you can continue playing the what you've already captured and don't loose the buffers which might otherwise empty on another pass. Furthermore, you might consider a Thru option, so further notes are played passed your device but don't impact the memory of it.

Finally, "Clear" per step and "New" as a global control could be resolved-either word is suitable to describe both, I think. Without it I might think clear is just clearing the notes, not resetting the parameters of that step.

Cheers to you for building this! I wish I could take to learning m4l as readily as you did.

Just dipping my toes after having purchased a license:
With IP Remote, and way to extend support to LividInstruments Base and Base II? I purchased one to explore as a keyboard, but the action doesn't lend itself to pad playing. Matrix might be repurposed for a preset trigger...

Any interest in creating randomizer devices?
This project has long been abandoned, but I loved how you could exclude parameters and create ranges. Might be a fun addition to your suite of devices.

"comments area" I meant "Description", the write up area for the device itself

Thanks! The Comments Area is a great place to document your changes. And of course you can always increment your version numbers rather than rename it "Updated".

What I see is:
*the Mangle button is gone, but changing a selection in the option menu, or even choosing the same item again, will Randomize the values.
* New labels for "New" which I assume flushes the Note buffer. "Go!" Literally turns the sequencer on/off. But if I'm not mistaken, even viewing the Rec tab still saves new note variables, so I don't understand what is actually the button for "Okay, don't take in any more notes, just play the sequence with the round-robin notes you already have"
*Uncertain of where the third option for sequence is: if Drunk and Random are a toggle, then how do I default back to the sequencer just going in order? Or are the Random/Drunk options just for the order of notes saved in each step's capacity?

Yeah, didn't want to spoil the fun :) I did get as far as watching the video and cutting in a bit of silence, until I said "what the"...

I appreciate the joke in the false modesty of this sequencer-it's anything but commonplace.

My only complaint is that the levels of complexity are only available from clicking/mousing on the GUI. So this device definitely belongs in the studio for me, and would occupy too much of my attention on the stage.

The Text and Number order of the variables is not clear, so Push won't grab onto things in a logical fashion. Not all toggles/buttons nor beat division drop down menus are macro assignable. And somethings that I'd want to lock out from random changes, like the note values, are too readily changeable. Might be nice if other sections of the device were included in the random switch. And there's no interpolation between the presets-but that'd be icing.

What's left is something that is still more expansive and ambitious than my imagination has yet to even wrangle. There's just so much you can do with this thing. It could add exceptional complexity or nuance to a drum beat, but it could also offer a delineated B-section alternative or a fill. Euclidean rhythms would be equally welcome here. The pace of changes and probabilities alone are a world of exploration. Patterns could evolve with turn of the knob, or you could introduce radical, abrupt change.

And that just comes to mind if you're using this for a percussion pattern. With 2 pitches per lane, this is equally welcome for building bass variation or synth sequences. Velocity has just as complete coverage.

And it's lean and stable thus far.

Thanks for getting back to me. Yeah, Clyphx has specific nomenclature for the scope of automation you want saved, and for the specific tracks/devices you want included. It accomplishes this both through the action names and the accepted modifiers.
Might be worth looking into creating a max shell for certain actions to be saved to the device itself. Or alternatively seeing if the delineators in a saved snap clip could be understood from within the text file in SuperConductor...

Is there a way to incorporate a snapshot feature into this device so that the user does not need to manually enter all the parameter values into superconductor, but rather press a button and have the current state of mixer/device/play settings all recorded at once? It can be done with a Clyphx Snap Clip, but was looking for a way to manage presets more elegantly than with a non-playing track...

I love this stuff. It's a little humor, a genuine window into the future, and a little off-schedule for your medication. Didn't you have an assistant helping you with the natural language description?

So this thing bricks your ableton session and makes a beep. Funny thing is, for those of us who listened to the chirps of gravitational waves, I no longer expect much more understanding from first contact. Really stirs the imagination!

a) Can this save mixer settings?
b) Can you constrain which settings you don't want saved (no sends, for example. Or no new preceding devices)
c) Can you save mixer settings across multiple tracks. For example ALL fader positions?

And +1 for morphing between two preset positions! That would be fun...

This was what I needed help with after an additional read through:

By full confession, how does CC assignment work exactly? Does the track need to be available to all or the specific port/channel in order to see the CC value that you’re spinning? Moving a knob is not updating the CC number in the box, although I can punch the value in myself. I have a number of VSTi’s with this feature, but I so rarely look into using it. Does the preference have more to do with how you program your controllers or how you upload future instances of the device? I usually hotwap instruments in place, so I don’t loose my manual assignments.

also, the midi map mode has no apparently obvious engagement. “M” makes it visible to manual mapping in live. Great. I pick a controller which is easily assigned to GUI objects in live, and I do see that the value scale now glows in Control Bank, but that same encoder will not assign itself to the value bar in Control Bank. Is the listener on the interface somewhere else?

“MIDI-mapping is by default disabled in order not to record useless automation in clips.” I didn’t understand this explanation.

Throughput limiter. Should this be reflected in automation thinning? IE, will I see less automation points? Might be a good indication of the responsiveness.

Oh and if you do decide to add a video, a follow up with the router/receiver devices would really send it home.

Please forgive me, but I may have posted a similar comment in the 2.7 version. A certain level of abstraction is difficult for me to grasp conceptually. I've read the hints hovering over the text, and will re-read your summary a few times. Maybe a direct application within a video would finally knock me in the head?

How does this compare with NativeKontrol DDC? How does it know of which equivalent parameter on which track a control should takeover? Do I need an instance on every participating track? Okay, time to read into it again...

I'm like a kid in a candy shop. Thanks MG

Hey, any interest in making a tempo AND time signature version of this? I know there's one on the boards here, but of the little I know about patching, yours offers more elegant code, and I'm sticking with this.

Agreed. It opens to an empty max device quoting the directory location, :EOF, and the button to open a max window showing all the reseting and enumerating errors

Hey, Happy New Year!
I love that each step control has its own random/clear button. Are these random buttons visible to midi or keyboard assignment?

Exactly what I was looking for! I've been using the Isotonik Smart device, and when it comes to mapping to device chains, Utility, or Macros, it doesn't behave as smart as it needs to. When you save a return to a session, the ranges will be incorrect or frozen.

With youour device, you create however many instances that you need, no more no less, thus being much lighter on cpu than the Smart. And your device also works! Save a template and the ranges and values are respected for next time. Why recreate the wheel, right? Assigning the input value to a shared macro is a much nicer way to go.

And the curves really do help in a practical sense, not only for the feel of the control, but also to assure when you want to land and stick a default value.

Oh I see, the reset engaged will only randomize on that first launch, so even if you forget to delete it (which isn't a bad idea to lighten the load) your session will commit to that first tempo.

I'd put it in my Master track or whichever you first see when you open a template in order to delete it before venturing further...

Love this. So many times I open a new session, stumble down an interesting road, and then realize that yet again, after resampling and getting used to a groove, that I'm predictably in the default tempo. My work around has to save my template at different tempos say every month. Even this becomes arbitrary, as the distinctions kind of wash away, unless you exclusively work within one or two genres.
Definitely on board with this one.

I was sooo close to understanding this device out of the box! There are some things that I couldn't confirm just from the included description.

For one, I'd get Loop to work on some occasions, and others not. Could be with the type of control-toggle vs momentary- that I was assigning it to. But if loop was toggled with a simultaneous and separate message with the Midi-map'd momentary button, it most typically did not loop, even after waiting the allocated quantization time. Just to make sure I understand this, why does quantization get it's own bang? That's just to visually see when the movement on the parameter kicks in, right?

But in any case, sometimes I did get it to loop. Without looping, it waits until launch quantization, okay. Then it loops at the rate in the ramp value. Then came the next observation: I've found on occasions that I couldn't get the Loop to stop. Even after the Loop button was disengaged, and sometimes even after the Map was unassigned. Weird.

It might be fun if the quantize options also effected the loop, and went directly to the initial value, i.e. without the ramp. That way, if I understand this correctly, you'd already have a sawtooth shape built into the functionality of the loop. In fact, I was exploring the potential of this device as low-overhead and transient takeover LFO for 8 mappable items.

Still, could you volunteer some definitive examples where a momentary control would be better than a dedicated button, and that a ramp is preferred over i/o? Ie, when would you want a button to act as a continuous controller? And I'd love to see how your two devices are designed to work in conjunction. I just couldn't conceptualize it.

Finally, this is another limitation of my own use of Live and devices. What are the implications of the MIDI/CC learn button? Is this like directly assigning values on a VST rather than within ableton's manual midi control? It's just an approach I'm fairly green at so I wonder if anyone could inundate me with it and its merits. How then do the Learn and Map-Me assignments play with each other? Does one takeover for the other, permitting manual control while the other offers timed control? Is the idea that the Learn assignment be an encoder while the map-me remain a button?

So you can see, this was just a shave beyond my ability to incorporate as an intuitive device.

Oh man, now that I'm recounting it, there's well over a dozen stages that the point is either traveling along the x or y, not just 5 or 6. Couple that with changing the occurrences of kick/snare/HH along with the chaos knob, and there's a banquet of resulting rhythms...

Always a pleasure to see this very worthy device getting a new wave of attention.
I'm curious: what is the resolution of patterns on the x/y grid? I tried a more critical listen and it seems like both axis go through just a few boundaries where the rhythm changes; maybe 4 to 6 each. Is that correct? So there really is a fairly finite (16 to 36 or so) resulting rhythms that cover any quadrant of the grid. Would that be the story?

Finally, this one seems the most novel of the three, in part because I can't picture the musical consequence of using it! It sounds like the ultimate effect may not be unlike using the chord pattern feature on the arpeggiator. But you introduce different rhythms by letting notes converge at different places, and different sonorities by letting it resolve to different notes.
As for the shortening of the notes, I'm picturing this could be nice for a build-up, or it could just introduce different styles to a pad section.

Just so there aren't 3 transactions on my card/paypal, do you have any plans of bundling them so I could name my price on the pack?

I'm going to individually comment here, because all of these MIDI manipulations are very thoughtful niche tools. In general, I could see how easy it would be to find the sweet spot with the settings and dedicated just a simple button to do some real magic in a live production. Couple that with just some cursors for moving around the session grid...

How does this one sound from one end of the spectrum to the other? Does the "wild" impact leaps? Chromatic embellishments? Erratic/"drunken" change in direction? Tame being, steps and passing notes, in key, correcting course with movement in the opposite direction after leaps? Is this an acid-inspired set of sequences?

I love how these 3 new devices of yours really keep players from mousing around for quick ideas. That's a bottom line in my book for reaching for something in a performance setting.
This one in particular sounds like it would be great quite literally for creating bridge or C material. Or just simply making the change of clips more smooth, seeing as ableton demands some work arounds for ties and partial measures, etc.

Good to hear from you SS4V,
And thanks for responding to my observations.
Before I sift through your reply, I don't think it would be overwhelming for a drop-down method to create an even more complete set of chords, assuming each interval had it's own set and you keep the open/closed voicing. But I am certainly happy with the amount of choices already available, and prefer to not click around an interface more than I have to.
Yes, the ties respond better to dragging than they do clicking on the mouse. Which leads me to a few more suggestions:
1) Perhaps a note on/off and tie randomize button would serve here?
(For one, along with the interval variations, I tend to not have any strong attachment to the rhythm until I'd tried patterns and listened to them. My feeling in general is that Live was originally intended for a performance setting, or at least real time mixing and editing. I categorize devices based on whether they are more suited for the studio or the stage. If I have to reach for the mouse on a device, it's relegated for the studio. A randomizer might make these decisions a bit more in-the-moment.)
2) My other suggestion is that perhaps the sequencer columns could also be greyed out and extended (or yellowed out or turned off) to correspond with note off steps and ties? After working out a specific chord, it might be nice to immediately see if that chord will be struck or if the last one will be held into it and therefore overlooked. It's a bit of an information disconnect to see the chord in place and not hear it. It reads as if it should be a slur into the second chord, which is not the case. And then you need to move the chord step or get rid of the tie in order to hear the progression again. Lots of A/Bing.
There are other sequencers which resize the sequencer steps depending on the divisions, like Time & Timbre or Genbeat16
3) Finally, maybe there could be a way with a copy button, to reorganize and move around chord rows. That way you could move all the chords that work next to each other and see how many lanes are left available. Or try the same harmonic rhythm but move different chords in position to try them? Maybe....

This is a very useful device. But there are some things I'm finding that make it a bit unruly:

The rhythm lanes are not intuitive for me, and I feel like the object listening areas are very finicky. Am I aiming with my cursor for those little yellow boxes that are mildly shaded? Or am I aiming for the lines? Because with "tie" listed in the middle, the labels feel misaligned. Are they darker for the downbeat steps or for slurring for for note off? Is the OFF for the turning off the tie, or for disengaging the note? How about just two lanes, Note and Tie?

As for finding the best sonorities, I don't feel like this update is really an advantage. I'd rather have a more complete/comprehensive list of options in the dropdown menus then to deduce which chord variations were not already represented.

Also, why do you need a separate COPY and SET button? Why else would you copy a chord form to that sequencer lane if no to set it?

It might also be nice to have a movable start/loop length bracket at the top of the grid. Why? Sometimes I just want to hear how 2 or 3 chords comp between each other. Because I find it tricky to keep everything else in place while I listen to one chord going into the other it would be fun to isolate the loop while working out the best progression.
As it stands now, I find myself creating very long sequences just to try out every variation of chord change. The alternative would be to create 2-step sequences and slow the interval down, but then you loose the place saver for the other chord steps that might already be composed.
Finally, and this is just a creative limitation of my own imagination-by the time I've worked out all the other choices mentioned above, I find it particularly difficult to decide on a syncopation and harmonic rhythm. Just a problem I have with ALL meter division categorical fields: 4n? 8t? By the time I check back with my metronome, I've lost most creative opinion or interest in figuring out what pace I want to work at.
Also, I wonder if having a step and slur sequencer is really a good habit to be forming in ableton live? Much better session management I think when you are willing to translate your decisions into a clip. My motto for ableton is "however generative or creative your decisions, the common currency of ableton is the clip." I'll have to check out your latest device to see how you reconcile this principle. But maybe this sequencer could have a drag-and-drop into a clip.

That's a lot to mention, I realize! Just so you know how much I value the creative merit of this device and your work, I have had a dedicated track with it saved into my main session template!
Thank you for your hard work!

Looks sounds beautiful. Does this replace scrubber 1.1? how do they operate differently? My eyes tend to glaze over trying to musically understand the different between slice, loop, chop yadda yadda....

Hi Dataf1ow, good to hear from you
Yeah, I wish I could point to those things, but my clip launch resolution, my buffer size and resulting latency are well below 10ms if not measured in samples. I do plenty of live performance moves that are timing and syncopation critical.

When it falls off it's responsiveness it really feels like the control is on the 1-bar level for some reason, or that the scrub location is dependent on the note-off location of a track with a note length device stuck on it. I just can't describe or isolate it, it's just too weird.

The only thing I can think of is that I've assembled some python adaptations that send clip launch with some velocity sensitivity on the PUSH for example, and allow velocity values on the drum rack step sequencer. But that's just a wild guess.

Fun! When I can get it to work as responsive as you show in the video...
I find that sometimes the playhead scrub moves only with the note-off message, or maybe its catching the next 16th note when quantization is on? Whatever it is, it felt a bit disconcerting. But in most cases I couldn't retrigger or move around the clip nearly as nimbly as you did. And sometimes it feels like I loose responsiveness to the clip altogether, maybe at a bar's launch resolution at best.
I wish I could articulate the grey area of my interaction with it a bit better for you; I just couldn't put my finger on what was loosing focus, what was loosing timing is pretty good.
Also, could you remind me of the key combination for picking up on the downbeat with the other tracks? I couldn't see this behavior difference acknowledge on the patches interface while using a Push.
Cheers for making this! I hope I experience enough stability with it that I can soon incorporate it into my performance template...

On second thought, I can see the advantages of keeping this an instrument rack, as Push will focus on it in note view.
But the option of not disengaging the resonator speakers with a note-off message might still be a good alternative for continuing signal through the resonator...

"does" should read "does not"

Oh and even just having your assistant publish the instruction manual as a separate download on your site-something one does need to purchase-would be an excellent start.

Why not offer Peter Kirn a copy over at createdigitalmusic? It would be helpful for prospective purchasers if you had more reviews or youtube demos.
And/Or make more tracks on soundcloud (preferably not as long nor with a 1-bar beat.) as solo instrument, in arrangement, etc.

For one, 40 euro is an armful if you don't know
*how it works
*how diverse the soundscape is: drones, pads, lead, multiple instances?
*impact on CPU -It looks expensive in this regard as well, no?
*if it comes with presets
*Is it entirely generative or are the knobs worth performing on? Do they lend themselves to modulation or are they more for dialing in settings?
*how regularly it is updated/ future features list

If the sound is meant to speak for itself, then I would suggest focusing of posting more sounds or maybe just a walk-through of each parameter. People will want to hear how smooth the knobs are, how rich the sound is.

I love your designs-they are profound and ambitious. But many folks won't buy unless they appreciate that the technology is genuinely innovative. Otherwise there's an equal risk that it's snake oil or the wizard behind the curtain, so to speak. So even if it ends up being more modest in its claims, people will like it if its honestly useful/beautiful.

just my 2 cents.
Cheers to you!

I think you're definitely on track with FFT window/size
Maybe multi band? And being able to turn off bands that are not being utilized. I'm thinking of this:
which as an audio unit didn't have an interface. Therefore it was unable to populate a device view in ableton and constrain the segments to the number of bands you wanted. You effectively turned on all 8 gates or none at all, which made it heavier on CPU.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this.

*0 sample impact on latency compensation and very stable
*had to pile on instances before I saw any CPU increase
*exceptionally wide range of creative possibilities and routings
*responsiveness. enough for melodic lines, not just harmonic structure.

I've found ways to accommodate the device in many routing scenarios however I do have some considerations:
Does this need to be an instrument device? Could it be midi? I've found myself creating parallel chains on instrument tracks in order to drop it in, whereas I already have no-output midi tracks setup for other utilities or midi-thru.

Also, the note off messages are turning the speakers off of the resonators, right? If this is on a return, for example, at 100% wet that would completely mute the signal. I like the result for playing it like an instrument.

Alternatively, I can see the use of keeping the resonator open, but just changing the sonorities. I've worked this by grouping the resonator and assigning the resonator speakers to a knob with a range of 127 min/ 127 max. Again, I can see the potential of having the speakers off with the note off message, so a sustain toggle (or alternatively a foot pedal momentary assignment?) might be nice.

No, I don't miss having the full MIDI note range, thank you for asking. In fact, I bet it keeps us out of trouble-no continuous rumbling or screeching. I think you'd end up engaging the cut-off filter out of necessity.

Thank you SO much for posting this!

Hi bastienhild,

I'm still getting buttons for "read from a text file" following this "template".
The last version to include an oblique deck for me was 1.3
Do I have the right of things? Should I be looking for my deck of choice at this point, or am I not saving the files from your download link correctly/completely?

I'm a paying supporter of the full bundle on gamma-devices and I might as well weigh in here.

Snaper was definitely outgrowing the site, practically in the same way you are on yours, Hyakken. That's not to say that as a customer of you both, it isn't entirely worthwhile sifting around and finding all the genuine gems that you both are offering. Only that a very comprehensive browsing and shopping experience was getting a bit tangential. Difficult to see how devices related to each other (is that a product announcement or an interface update?), how the postings related to each other (was that a month ago, or should I search for all "instruments"? "would google do a better job of indexing this site or should I use the search field?"), etc.

As for no longer adding to the "complete bundle", in short, I completely understand. Longer answer, I would strongly encourage any producers to use separate monikers for collaboration, side-projects, and new directions. On the outlier example, it's kind of like Prince changing his name to a symbol so he can still release music outside the contract of a label that he thought was constraining him. As for getting into an agreement with your label or your customers in the first place? Hindsight is 20/20. And often we pay the consequences of lesser decisions. But more accurately, even contracts are designed to be renegotiated, their nuances altered.

Gamma-Devices offers all updates and additions to the complete bundle for free. I don't see how he's letting us down on that promise. The complete bundle and it's updates are free. If anything, it's probably an offer that none of us should repeat, because the seed money might be great for supporting further development, but the long-term is limiting unless you're willing to completely outgrow your shell, so to speak.

As for offering it free to non-paying customers. Is that right? Even that seems like a very generous and perhaps fiscally reckless offer. Just appreciate that the object for anyone using these devices is to create value in making things that at some point outweigh the price tag of the devices themselves. I've had at least a year with these things as a paying customer. I'm not about to depreciate what that time has been worth, nor am I threatened nor offended that other people will get them for free. (I just don't want to obligate Snaper to this offer if I've misunderstood him.) So, ding ding, soup's on.

Well, this is the story of the month as I'm concerned.

Sorry-those questions were not sent in the order I intended, but you get the idea!

Hi Fab,

I have a question about the Leading measure feature. If I may paraphrase, this anticipates the chord of the next measure, right? Would it be possible instead to organize chord changes so as to define harmonic rhythm? This concept is different from building off the next chord of the measure, which tends to take away tension and anticipation and is generally not considered good voice leading.

Finally, what CPU impact did the two devices have in your example session? Are these intended to work only in the studio, or are they relatively light and low-risk of crashing?
Any PUSH takeover integration in the future? It seems like a great way to build clip-based composition. I really enjoy that I don't have to MIDI record to a separate track...
The baseline device is so complete, it seems to me that harmonic rhythm, i.e. the pulse to which chords change, their rate and their syncopation, would be an important element to create. Does progressive permit chord changes on partial measures in different places of the measure? How are the 2 designed to create this result if possible?

Also, will you be offering a bundled price for any of your devices?

Was this just updated on April 3rd? Will you be sending out an update link via email? Because I've already offered my name/email address when I first downloaded it.

Is the idea for the latest releases that I am to supply my own text file of choice? I noticed that only 1.3 still functions when I drop it into a track.
I enjoy it plenty-I look at it on my Templates master track, delete it, then I'm off to the races...

I like that idea, herrprof. I've never tried to apply it on a drum rack.
Good to hear from you

I keep writing "fill". I mean your ACC

Hi Mots,
Looking forward to the update.
What I meant by the range, was in the MIDI assignment list in Ableton, due to my own M4L incompetence, I can't invert the range on the main acc buttons. If I could, one button could instead of adding a fill pad, could replace the mains with the fills entirely.

Unless, I'm intentionally doubling up a kick for example,
I find that having the fill on for the pattern at all times sounds pretty exhausting for most sounds. In part, I think this is because the fill is also adding to the down beats, and is being evaluated every single measure (so it accents a bit more than an occasional fill.)

I'd rather give myself two separate 3-piece kits entirely by toggling a button (all toms for example) and use the alternate set as a fill, not an accent.

Looking forward to checking this new code.

One thing that might be nice is if the main and accent toggles were visible to midi range. That way a single button could either go through a range of combinations or the same assignment could toggle the acc and mains entirely, effectively allowing an alternative kit or just an accented fill. I find that unless Im just beefing up the same hits and Ive found a really nice pocket for the sound, the accent button doubles up the mains even on the downbeat and gets a bit overplayed.

Still nothing short of brilliant

I do believe you ProfLogik. However I'm not sure if loosing Push focus is a test of swapping out the sample. Live will hot swap instances of the same device without loosing established controller assignments.
What I bet would help skinnerbox is if you tried the hot swap focus button on the bottom right corner of the sample wave form-just to rule out that the drop area isn't replacing the actual simpler device.

Thanks for including this in the latest release! It might even shoulder out my use of trigator in a performance setting: it's leaner without cutting corners with results.

If there's anything I'd look forward to in an update, it would be to make the Random buttons along each sequence lane or a global random button visible to midi assignment.

Really enjoying this, and I'm going to find a home for it in my template set today...

Mind, blown.

Thanks Fab!
What changed today, Jan. 12, 2015?
Just installed the Harmotools folder, and I don't see anything with a date created stamp later than Nov. 3, 2014
Cheers to you,

That's the best reason to be busy-thanks for looking out! I understand you are in Staten Island? I'm in Bed Sty.

Very intriguing, @JGJP
Thank you for the latency-mitigating chain approach. I will give them a go.

Doesn't Ableton reallocate the memory on deactivated tracks in any case? I think this is true for deactivated chains as well, no? With the addition of this device inline with every track of a session, how would utilizing it save on CPU headroom? And wouldn't it, even marginally, add to MIDI latency (I've noticed that any lengthy chain of devices ultimately will)?
As for electricity-I'm assuming that's in jest, right? Ok just making sure we are on the same page :)

Hi Again,
That grid selector is a trip! Very profound results....
Ok here's the same concern I've mentioned previously. Even after looking at the preview video you posted, as well as the description, ableton's review, and your own explanation in a reply, I STILL don't understand what you can do with this that you couldn't simply do with a dedicated LFO modulator, besides this very innovative step behavior of course!

I could record the resulting moves of a controlled parameter on an lfo, both to session and to arrangement, yes? I could take that automation data from a clip or arrangement, copy,cut and paste it into an automation lane in another clip, yes? Both yours and others require takeover of the assigned parameter, yes? Why would I ever need to record automation of an unassigned LFO first before applying it somewhere? If it's designed as a utility, why would I need it over an LFO with less CPU impact on my set? If it's designed to be taken out of a session after use, why aren't I using another LFO and freezing that track or just recording the automation with another LFO as I previously suggested? Is there a use of this device that is making a distinction between modulation and automation? How is this thing helping me? If I needed to reach for an automation curve, on demand, why would recording it first save me time or how would it fit into my real time workflow for that matter (considering that Live is built on creating arrangements while playing live)? Wouldn't I just want a device that could render a curve and then just let me copy it directly from a visual window? You know, live a device that renders AMS files. Or a sequencer that has a drag and drop midi clip feature.

What's a case example of why I'd want to use this device? Not just on the conceptual level-actual workflow with example material, and compare it to the particular constraints that I would face if this device did not exist.

The video doesn't really help, and there's no hover-over help. I'd really only understand what the essential function of this tool would be if there was some dialog and explanation in the video, as well as highlighting each step of the NEW process or pointing out the unique result. Ideally, the video would explicitly, not implicitly, address each of the questions. Realize that your audience, such as myself, may have limits in understanding how automation works in live to begin with. What features of automation given it's default functionality do I need to understand in order to understand how this device is different?

Please don't get me wrong, this is an incredible contribution to the community-I just think it may be lost on people. And I'll completely understand if given the fact that you have graciously kept it freeware, that putting in more production time is just too much of an effort. If I understood the device, I'd do it for you!
So if anything, THANK YOU. I do appreciate your work.

Uh, I mean the last time I opened the same set in question, the map assignments were clear, however they weren't assignable...

So strange-and now the map button keeps blinking, but is not picking up on any parameter that I wiggle. (See previous post for last issue)

Won the shoot-out for best envelope shaper! Very little CPU, easy to draw curves, understand out of the box.
Noticed with 9.1.5 on OS X Mavericks, updated M4L that the mapping cannot be cleared. I have a few of these saved with a set, and their assignments are frozen into the instances of architect. Even dragging them out, turning the device i/o, will not reset the takeover mapping....
Looking forward to the new features!

permanent home in my performance template. Wonderful!
Q: Did the original Grids transition to other meters, or remain in 4/4?
The Euclidean toggle is greatly appreciated btw.

Cheers to ya!

Looking forward to the video! But that's my very source of confusion. What parameter is it recording? I get "anything." But where is it coming from? How/where do I confirm there's a source? To which track/clip? Where do you see the automation? What do you assign?
Also, might be nice if all it's doing is creating automation curves to have a drag/drop or copy option straight from the output window, the way some sequencers do or the Looper device...Think that would be possible?

Clearly I'm the one out of the loop if ableton is going to feature this on their blog! Could someone explain to me, step by step example to a dunce ("add second midi track, monitor set to in, latch Automation recorder while it's blinking to the first parameter you assign, drag/paste resulting automation onto other midi parameters" etc.) of how to use this device-I seriously have no clue.

I've looked through the screen shot. Couldn't even guess. I've tried every permutation of automation recording I know to see a clip level envelope for this device. Other than the undefined number box on the bottom which doesn't appear to record to anything but rather will take clip envelope changes-which seemingly do nothing to any parameter. I'm talking myself in circles.

If this is an oscillator that can be manually over-ridden with automation at any point without needing to be placed in take-over mode first, then I'm on board!
Much Love

Really interesting. If I understand you correctly, you could put an arpeggiator in front of it and intentionally move the pad pitches around in quantized steps as a beat plays on. Sounds nice.

I wonder how this would sound mapped to other parameters or pitched instruments, either fed from a sequencer or in a clip from a drum loop? What makes the device unique to pitch-only parameters? Are tone knobs measured on a different ratio/scale?

Some questions: If you are just using this to transpose and tune a drum rack, what separate offsets are you using for your base key on drums/snare/toms? Just feeling it out, using some tuning theory, or basing it on general midi or sample recording positions on conventional gear?

If you are transposing each pad with the same base, I guess it would make sense to only map one keypitcher lane to a single master transpose dial, right?

What practical use are you getting out of this in the studio? Can you keep this device in your template session and understand how you are tuning your kits, or are you just playing up/down chromatically on the keyboard until you hear what you like? Could you tune your drums to the pitch center for a bass line, for example, and base this on the key that you have chosen, and are the partials and non-linear harmonics on a drum really going to match up to the pitched instruments? And what trade-off are you making to the percussive nature of the drums if you're trying to pitch them to everything else?

Lots of users here are experiencing a Eureka moment with this plugin, so I'm wondering what kind of apple needs to land on my head to see the practicality of working with this? Maybe a case example? How about in a performance, non-studio, situation...

"You could even have the option to delay every third, fourth etc. no idea how that would turn out musically though."

Totally 2nd that idea. Sounds like a new logic for thinking about swing...

Maybe shifting the monitor and parameter buttons to the left, such that the mouse-over contextual help can fall under the edit and step on/off toggles? That way those of us with 13" laptops can see the help info even when we expand and scroll to the additional modules.

To answer your questions about axon and swing:
maybe this would be a better starting point to describe how it works:
Again, willum070 resorted to mouse-clickable buttons for the patches. And technically some permutations should be illegal, but I'm not sure how you could create a patch board that would catch an error.
See how with color patches one can create dependencies as to how each sequence advances to its next step? It's like a leader bucket needs to "fill-up" and before tipping over and emptying into the follower, thus allowing the follower to advance to the next step. I'm listening to a heavy groove out of impulse as I write this!

As for swing, yeah I guess it's a little of both? Swing is like robato in some respect-it steals time from the following note, right? But unlike your quantize/random button, it's a uniform delay. Not sure in the context of polymetrics/polypulse how delays could be proportionally pushed into a swing. By percentage? Or how the resulting outcome would sound. Again, just a thought as to how other elements in a session could fall into the pocket. But it was easy enough to dial in swing on my other clips/midi effects in order to not fight with the polyrhythmus.

Heya Roxyless, the little boxes where each note-on hit are distributed along the 5 tracks still need to be unmuted/activated. Try that by clicking on them and see if that speaks to your issue.

Kingbritt, because we're talking ableton here, there are ways to work around this without needing a m4l plugin that offers separate channels per note send. You could use note chains in your instrument rack, to mute the other incoming notes (or drum racks that consist of single pads for the hits that you want) and have separate tracks all accepting input from the same instance of this polyrhythmus on a separate track. It doesn't have to reside in-line on the same track with the drum rack/instrument you are feeding.

Also, does the retrigger section work kind of like the Neurons on the Axon sequencer? With axon, each side of the polygons, representing lanes in the sequencer, can trigger the next step of a different polygon depending on how they are wired together. Sort of like a fountain or cascade of buckets/pools/champagne glasses stacked on each other, such that when one bucket fills up, the out pour then triggers the bucket below it...

My problem with Axon is that you have to mouse in order to rewire the relationship of the polygon, whereas you have a drop-down menu. Bravo!

This is my new best friend! I know, sad. (Shove over cat)

Would a swing feature make sense on something like this, or is it redundant to the use of the Euclidean Algorithim? Really, not complaining: a baseline I tried needed a specific grove just to keep up with this thing. Might see it more as a utility feature just to nudge hits further into the pocket.

Also, please consider adding Eckel to your short list of accomplished peer developers. Do you get a facsimile result from using that plug-in? I always loved how unpredictably fluid the rhythms ended up with that thing...

Cheers to ya

This is a GREAT device.
Sound is unique while still keeping my musical interest
Although it's chaotic, there are rarely errant volume spikes
At least the delays have predictive effect
No big hits to the CPU, surprisingly. Stable and lean.
Manageable number of parameters.
It's fun and reactive to move the points on the two xy panels.

On that final point, would it be possible to midi assign the values

I feel like a Lorenz attractor would suit the movement of these panels nicely, if 2 dedicated xy assignments sounded like a lavish amount to dedicate to the device. Randomizing the values doesn't entirely do it justice, because the movement creates some of the best effects. Maybe a preset morpher so you could get the most results out of a single knob change...

Thanks plenty!
Now I have less resistance to moving my mix stream to a new host.

Hey Xmonsta,
Did you crack open the case on the issues with the RND button and keeping the ranges as I illustrated above.
Happy Turkey Day from the USA!

Thanks Xmonsta,

I certainly don't mean to put you out-if it's a long standing bug, I'll remain patient. I'm hardly in a position to complain if I'm still incapable of looking under the hood myself.

Maybe if the fields were individually editable, it would be easier to store defaults? But I do think that would compromise some of the elegance and simplicity of the devise.

Rather than a default, it might be more fun to get rid of it entirely and replace it with an Evolve button: some randomization that's closer in approximation to the current set of values. I bet that's even more tricky to implement!