Implement these -and NS2 will destroy all!! 😂
I’m going to preface this by saying that I’ve been a lurker for the better part of a decade. I still have my receipt in my e-mail for when I bought NS1 back in like 2011. I’m an avid Reason user and have been producing music for over ten years now. I love NS2 even more and hope to see Blip Interactive grow into a billion dollar company! Without further ado here is my extremely long, but extremely robust feature request list:
1. Pad-level pitch controls
Add a more granular ‘Fine’ pitch control knob and convert existing ‘Tune’ control to a knob for each pad. The ability to automate pitch for individual pads is absolutely essential in terms of basic functionality for many genres of electronic music production (think snare rolls and sizzling hi-hats). Not to mention it’s a great all-around creative tool to have in your production arsenal and would really bring Slate up a notch as a drum machine.
2. 🎹 position when patch browsing
Having Obsidian remember what octave I’ve selected when patch-browsing is incredibly useful when auditioning patches. Even better: having the option to save a patch and set a default octave for it to load into and then have that be an option itself (i.e. to be able to toggle the ability to either keep the selected octave active, or to use the preset octave of each patch).
3. Distortion/Waveshaper Unit
This was a huge disappointment for me! I love using distortion when making patches and would much prefer the ability to keep it all under Obsidian’s hood. A unit with a selection of algorithms would be ideal (e.g. foldback, saturation, bitcrush, etc.) and would take Obsidian and the richness of its sound design capability to a whole other level!
4. User patch tags
Unless this feature already exists and I simply have yet to figure it out (I checked the help files to no avail), please add the ability to assign tag attributes to user-generated patches.
5. Delay FX: add ducking knob
A feature I find to be incredibly useful when you really want to lather on some delay without having to worry about muddying up the intelligibility of your target material.
For those of you who aren’t sure what this does:
Imagine you have a vocal line you think would sound great if you really laid on some delay to give it that spacey vibe you’re after - well with ducking the more you turn the knob to the right, the more the delay effect (e.g. the echoes you hear) is “ducked” or attenuated by the incoming signal. The same way you might use a compressor to have a kick drum sidechain a bass line!
The ‘Echo’ unit from the DAW Reason as an example:
6. Tape saturation
Give me saturation or give me death!! 🤪
7. Pitch modulation insert effect - sold separately?
I would love to see a simple pitch modulation effect! Knobs to pitch-shift by cents or by semi-tone (not just useful for quickly auditioning entire songs in different keys, but also a great way to add some dirt or character to your tracks - for example you could intentionally input midi data a minor third up and then pitch the entire track back down that minor third and kablam welcome to flavour town). Throw in some modulation options like some LFOs and envelopes and wham! now you can apply some subtle wobble to the pitch of your harmony to add some instant pizazz! Niiiice 🤘😆
MIDI & GUI REQUESTS
8. MIDI: assignable tick nudge and shuffle
A truly powerful and elegant way to manipulate MIDI data non-destructively and put the ultimate power of groove manipulation into the hands of every NS2 user - to steal another page from Reason’s book, the ReGroove Mixer:
Full disclosure, the following statement is total conjecture: I believe such functionality could be implemented into NS2 with relative ease. 😜 For those of you who don’t know what ‘ticks’:
Perhaps this is wishful thinking but imagine having the ability to click on a drop-down on every track in NS2 that allows you to choose from one of say 8 tracks. Now imagine that each of these 8 tracks consists of three simple controls:
- a ‘Ticks’ knob that shifts the MIDI data of all assigned tracks either backward or forward by the desired number of ticks (I love bringing hi-hats back and pushing snares forward a touch for example - it gives a really cool feel)
- a ‘Shuffle’ knob that gives you the ability to assign either negative or positive shuffle values to the MIDI data of the assigned tracks
- a dry/wet knob
9. Sequencer pitch-slide/portamento/slide notes
As an avid Reason user, I got my start all the way back on Fruity Loops 2.something and have long wished Reason would incorporate this little gem of a workflow:
A very elegant way to implement portamento! Great for creating warpy bass or slick lead lines!!
10. MIDI ghost notes
This is another great workflow idea from FL Studio:
...and not to be confused with the musical notion of ‘ghost notes’:
If you aren’t convinced maybe my obnoxiously longwinded anecdote will sway you:
Say you’ve got a chord progression you just laid out to complement the sweet little lead line you wrote a few days earlier. You’ve already got some kickin’ drums and a nasty bass line to undergird the mix. The track is simple yet varied in its arrangement - effective and engaging. You feel you’ve been careful to keep things concise (unlike the writer of this feature request thesis), you’ve done your best to balance all the tracks and your project is now starting to approach completion. Then you realize maybe the hooks feel a little flat. You try playing with the lead line but nothing sticks and changing things seems to do nothing but destroy all the hard work you’ve already put in. You’ve been itching to try your hand at some rhythmically intricate counterpoint to play call and response with the existing lead line - what better way to tackle this with the ability to see not just the chord progression, but the lead line as well!! The power!! 🤦♂️😅
11. Instrument-level undo
The ability to undo/redo changes to a patch is very powerful when designing a sound in Obsidian or swapping out samples in Slate. You could switch the hi hats out for a ride cymbal and decide the hats worked better after all - a quick undo could save a lot of headache and really help the user experience especially when designing a sound or a kit!
Even the option to have a global toggle would be nice so that the ability to use a global undo/redo that takes into account changes to an instrument’s settings be toggled off and on.
12. Import using iOS File/Google Drive/Microsoft OneDrive
I’m not sure how feasible this one is and have no idea whether or not there is any additional licensing that is required but the ability to import audio data via a wider range of platforms would be great! I use all these platforms quite extensively but having greater flexibility in terms of import options would be great especially considering the 15 free GBs provided by Google! 😇
13. Add time to transport interface
This one is simple but incredibly useful. I constantly find myself looking at songs not just in terms of bars, but in terms of time. How long before the first hook comes along? Does anything new or interesting happen within the first couple of minutes to keep the listener engaged? These are important considerations I believe and the decisions you make can make or break your track! Give me my time!!