Feature request - better finger drumming options in Slate

This request is mostly to do with layouts - everything already exists in the app, so really it's about having more options so that finger drumming is more viable.

So first of all I really enjoy creating beats in NS2, the way the live MIDI recording and the timeline both work makes it really easy to create varied and flowing beats - that's awesome. But to really have a natural feel (with varying velocities) I have to use my Akai MPD 226 controller, because the Slate pads don't have any velocity variation unless you are in single pad view.

So for times when I can't use my MPD controller (if I'm out of the house, on the train or whatever) then I would like to be able to finger drum on the Slate pads - but for me it doesn't work, for two reasons:

1) the layout

2) the fixed velocity in multi-pad mode

So firstly the layout: it's so close, but just not quite there. I want a full screen of square pads, but I can only have one or the other, not both together.

For example, I can expand the pads and hide the sample controls, but the pads are these thin rectangles that are not nice to play:

Or I can display fewer pads so that their shape is closer to a square, but I can't make this layout full screen:

The ideal layout here would be 16 pads in full screen (without that row of super-thin pads at the top).

Which brings me to the second issue: in single pad mode you can control velocity by how high up the pad you tap, which is great. But it only works in single-pad mode, so it's only useful for hi-hats. For kick and snare the way the screen slides around between pads is just too distracting for me. I think with 16 pads in full screen mode the pads would be big enough to support velocity in a similar fashion to single pad mode (obviously with less control but it should be good enough).

So to summarise: with 16 velocity capable pads in full-screen mode NS2 would be really great for live finger drumming. The current layouts just don't quite do it IMO.

Comments

  • I like the Slate pads as they are, and find that they work well with my big thumbs on an iPhone. 🤫 But I am no finger drumming pro, so maybe I’m ignorant. I’m trying to understand your situation, and if I am not mistaken, you want Square pads rather than Rectangle pads and Velocity sensitivity. Right? Without massive re-coding and UI challenges (and why wait?), I think there is a simple work-around for you: set up your kits differently. Let me explain:

    Use Copy/Paste to rearrange kits or start from scratch and create kits wherein you devote 3 rectangles to the same sound. Deep Kick 3 on pads 1, 5, & 9 now makes up more of a square on the screen. Adjust the velocity of 1, 5, & 9 to your liking and voila! Custom big square velocity sensitive Slate kit for you!

    Sure, requires a bit of set up, but once it’s done, you can call it up anytime. Realistically you won’t need to do this for every pad/sound because you won’t probably play all 32 sounds. If so, then break it up into two kits.

  • I'm with Richard here... I'd much rather have a Y-Axis-base velocity on the "pad" itself. I get this capability from the 1"-square drum pads on my hardware keyboards; it can be done in a small space.

  • This is done easily in BM3 and could be done in NS2 just as easily with a simple toggle...

    BM3 is hands down the best finger drumming setup in IOS. I finger drum all the time. Like my iPad is up on my desk while I work and I finger drum while I’m thinking through stuff. BM3’s layout is exceptional. This simple tweak could do exactly what @richardyot is talking about.

  • edited January 27

    :+1: good ideas... vertical velocity sensitivity in 16 pads view, althought it would be not super accurate, would be nice addition... I would like it and use it a lot !

    Of course in iPhone version it would be basically unusable but i don't think it would be problem to disable such feature on iphone at all

  • I think I posted this before but my old Yamaha RX5 drum machine had a cool function where you could assign a certain parameter to the top row of pads. So the pads could be different pitches or different levels or different lengths I think. You could go through as a sequence was running and play in for instance high hats at different levels and then switch the parameter over to pitch and play them in at different pitches. You could set it so that the range of pitches or the range of levels was tight so there was just a little bit a difference between pads or it could be very broad as much as I think plus or minus a couple of octaves from the beginning pad to the end pad.And it would retain the levels and the pitch. Really nice way to get dynamic results. Plus it had a reverse button where you could tap reverse while the sequence was playing and hit a pad and that particular step would pay play back in reverse but none of the others would. There was also a damp button where if you had a long ringing sound like a crash cymbal you could turn on the mute function and hit a pad and mute the symbol sooner than its natural decay. Pretty cool stuff overall. Just some ideas for a potential inclusion into Slate. B)

  • @anickt said:
    I think I posted this before but my old Yamaha RX5 drum machine had a cool function where you could assign a certain parameter to the top row of pads. So the pads could be different pitches or different levels or different lengths I think. You could go through as a sequence was running and play in for instance high hats at different levels and then switch the parameter over to pitch and play them in at different pitches. You could set it so that the range of pitches or the range of levels was tight so there was just a little bit a difference between pads or it could be very broad as much as I think plus or minus a couple of octaves from the beginning pad to the end pad.And it would retain the levels and the pitch. Really nice way to get dynamic results. Plus it had a reverse button where you could tap reverse while the sequence was playing and hit a pad and that particular step would pay play back in reverse but none of the others would. There was also a damp button where if you had a long ringing sound like a crash cymbal you could turn on the mute function and hit a pad and mute the symbol sooner than its natural decay. Pretty cool stuff overall. Just some ideas for a potential inclusion into Slate. B)

    Damn. That is cool. Off to craigslist...

  • OK so I've found a workaround which I thought might be worth sharing. I used Xequence which allows you to set a custom drum grid with any number of rows and columns, and can map velocity in 3 different ways: vertically, horizontally, and out from the centre.

    Unfortunately NS2 doesn't expose it's Virtual MIDI port to other apps, so to get the MIDI from Xequence into NS2 I had to use the MIDIRoute app:

    I also tried to use ChordPolyPad to do something similar, but to my surprise CPP doesn't support vertical velocity output on its pads.

    Anyway it would still be awesome if this was possible directly in NS2 one day.

  • edited February 11

    Unfortunately NS2 doesn't expose it's Virtual MIDI port to other apps, so to get the MIDI from Xequence into NS2 I had to use the MIDIRoute app:

    It's on todolist (expose NS virtual midi in to other apps), so i hope sooner or later it will be aded ...

  • I agree. The one pad velocity is great, if it could be expanded to more pads I would go from liking (it's quite nice) to loving slate.

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