Trigger Finger/Enigma Tutorial
Now that it's mandatory of all P5 users to purchase a Trigger Finger [read the Terms of Service Agreement
], I thought that I'd better get cracking. There's nothing too sexy here [that'll come in future installments], but the basics need to be addressed with this "easy" editor. Before you get started here, you might want to read about how the writers of the Enigma software documentation decided on its content. Read about it here
. OK, enough with the jokes; I need to write this down before I end up confusing myself all over again:
Customizing a User Bank
First, create a New User Bank using either the "plus" icon in the GUI, or in the File menu [Ctrl+N], and name it to something appropriate. Keep the confusion down by de
-selecting Show ROM Presets for All Evolution Devices
in the Options/Preferences menu. At this point, you should
import the settings contained internally in the TF to the Enigma interface, to see what you're dealing with [Download Device to Device Bank
, or Receive, depending on where you read about it]. Use this "red icon" Trigger selection as a holding area for transferring to & from the device's internal memory.
Getting Clipped with the Hit List
OK, now what? There's few ways to go with this. The Graphical View seemed to be the way to go, but you can only change one parameter at a time there (in the Control Editor [Ctrl+I]). Use the toggle switch at the bottom-right to switch to the List View. Here you can Shift+click or Ctrl+click several parameters at once, and change them all. If you Ctrl+click & drag a grouped selection, that will replace
the destination, rather than swap with it [as with clicking and dragging]. In all cases of drag & drop, you're looking for that "F1-F4 sliders" icon that appears after clicking and holding.
You can also drag a User Bank's preset pad to the same pad in another bank, like your "Trigger" placeholder area, but remember that Pad 14 (for example) will only get dropped into Pad 14 of the destination Bank. For pad 'shifting', use the Copy and Paste functions in the Edit menu. That'll allow you to jump pad numbers from one bank to another.
There's also a handy Describe Clipboard
selection to keep you straight on what's exactly in there. This especially comes in handy when you've Copied several individual parameters from the List View for placement elsewhere. The standard Windows shortcuts apply here, but it's worth noting that all of your carefully chosen labels also get copied and pasted. That just adds to the confusion, and requires renaming the pad preset later.
A Trip to the Library
The best-kept secret in the TF is the Library; receiving only a passing mention in the .pdf file. Click on the icon under the "Enigma" title to bring up a floating window that contains most everything that you need. There are collections of MIDI Note numbers and all the standard CC messages with extended parameters of both the MIDI spec, and those specific to the TF [GM; GM2 and Sysex; Trigger Finger Controllers]. There's also Transport controls [MMC], and dozens of parameter collections of very common soft-synths [freebies and commercial].
Although it's in .xml [like the User Banks], I haven't been successful in saving my own libraries yet, but I'm working on it. What a boon to Project5 if we could save & exchange our own synth templates. For now. we'll have to settle for User Bank exchange, which can accomplish the same thing (along with MIDI Remote Control and/or Device Chains).
The Library allows you to drag all of these listed values
to your User bank, if only by one parameter at a time. But the advantage is that they're all sitting there for the taking, and you can place one window beside the other for a quick transfer. No more thinking, "Was pitchbend the extended CC# 144, and which one was Note On/Off Toggle"? It's all there in plain English, and the numeric translations are done for you already. One special note
: The TF uses that damnable "down two octaves" MIDI note convention, like one particularly stubborn synth manufacturer. So, if you're looking to add a C5 [as seen by Project5], load a C3 instead. Everything is transposed down 2 octaves. And C0 is represented as C-2, which always ends up looking like C2 to me. Just get it in your head that this is the way it works, and step around that potential stumbling block.
Bring It On Home
This one gets everyone, and it's underdocumented (like almost everything in this tutorial). When you hit the Send Changes in the Device Bank to the Device
or Send Current Bank to the Device
icons [Update and Send in the .pdf], you'll see the unit flashing "SYS". Immediately hit the Save & Exit button on the TF, followed by the pad number that is the destination.
The changes will not be activated until you do so, and fiddling with any other controls before doing so inevitably screws up the process.
At one point, I had a real problem with the Sysex transfer timing out. It seemed that if I placed the unit in USB mode [Peek and Select buttons pressed simultaneously], the transfer would go more smoothly. That didn't make much sense at all, as this action deals with the MIDI Out jack in the back. But, hey: it worked. I ended up uninstalling the Enigma software [yes, you can overwrite the "ROM" presets <g>], and re-installing the software seems to have mitigated that problem.
A Few Notes of Interest
Once you get around these "little" roadblocks, the rest of the procedures should prove to be a little easier. But I have a feeling that this will be a continuing tutorial, as I haven't scratched the surface of the functionality or noted all of the potential pitfalls. This one was just to get your foot in the door ...
Here's a couple of things to look out for, though. When transmitting pitchbend messages via the pad, the range of the message goes from the negative maximum to the positive maximum. Unlike a Pitch Wheel, there is no spring-loaded return to center
. So, if your softsynth's upper and lower PB ranges are both set to two semitones, the pressure in a pad will transmit starting from the inactive zero value. It'll go down 2 semitones, at half-pressure it'll cross zero again, and top out at a +2 semitone value. There is a potential for some "stuck" PB messages, especially in conjunction with the Note On/Off Toggle settings.
Those Toggle settings are supposed to alternately send a Note On; then a Note Off message. But the Note Offs don't seem to get received correctly, and you can get a lot of hung notes that way. As a matter of fact, whatever notes drift onward aimlessly becomes stuck on another [KB] controller sharing the same Port/channel. An All Notes Off cures the situation, as well as a double-click on the CPU meter in P5. Use that procedure to unstick PB messages, too. There's some neat things to be done with a Toggle setting like this, but you can approximate many of them using a Sustain footswitch [parallel in software.]
Now that that's
out of the way, I can concentrate on the actual cool stuff
that you can do with this unit, including controlling three destinations at once with a single pad. Questions/comments/corrections are welcome ...
post edited by b rock - 2005/06/04 21:23:50