Set MIDI mode with 'next part' button -- Disable/Client/Master

I’ve got an Aeros+BeatBuddy and I’m pleased with them. However, it’s not quite there yet for my needs. I’m replacing a Boss RC-30, which I use almost exclusively for live performances. While Aeros is manifestly the more powerful and capable unit, it’s got some quirks that make it hard to use live. I’d certainly appreciate anything that means less messing around with things on the floor beyond what I can do with my feet.

  • Can’t set the loop period from the looper. I’m locked to a BPM – so for songs that don’t require a drum beat, it’s very hard to just drop into looping with the Aeros. If I understand correctly this feature is already on your list – great. I’d extend this though: it’s not possible to have the MIDI out of Aeros connected to MIDI in of BeatBuddy when MIDI out of BB is connected to MIDI in of Aeros – it goes a bit crazy. At present that’s not a problem – but when Aeros-as-master is supported, with tempo set by Aeros, it will be useful to have both operating modes available without having to re-cable.

  • Disable Aeros. Obviously I’ve got the BeatBuddy MIDI out connected to Aeros MIDI in. The problem is that forces me to use the Aeros. If I’m working through a set, some songs have drums, some don’t, some need looping, some don’t. When they don’t need a looper, I have to fight with the Aeros to stop every time I part change on the BeatBuddy.

  • As a continuation of the above – the Aeros treats BeatBuddy “part transition” as equivalent to “start”. Why? If I’ve stopped the Aeros after the BeatBuddy has started, I don’t want to fight it every time.

My suggestion then to address the latter two; and I think it fits with the future for the first point: when you first start with a blank song – the “next part” button on the Aeros is greyed out (quite reasonably – there are no parts yet). Since it’s not doing anything, could it be given a different function in that case? i.e. change the Aeros sync mode. It seems to me there would be three modes…

  • Ignore MIDI transport control. Aeros would reasonably accept MIDI tempo, but would ignore start/part change MIDI commands. In this way one could also easily perform a song with drums+intro that is synced to the loop, but isn’t the loop yet (e.g. High and Dry by Radiohead, you don’t want to create the loop until after an instrumental intro)
  • MIDI client/slave. This is the current and only operating mode. BB sets temp. BB transport controls are obeyed.
  • MIDI master. This is what you call “Auto quantize”. I imagine this will be excellent to be able to do songs that have late-starting drums. We can do the instrument part first in the Aeros to set up an initial loop, that will send tempo to BB, and at some point we would push start on BB to bring drums in correctly synchronised.
  • Potentially this might also be the place to add ‘free form’ mode.

It seems to me that possibly you could infer client/master mode depending on whether the BB start comes first or the Aeros record button is pushed first — but with the thought of future expansion, it seems like a mode selection for a song early on might be useful (additional: long press the mode change button could swap between 2x2 and 6x6).

(I’ve got some other suggestions, but I won’t pile them all in one post – these seem to be all the same suggestion really)

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Hello there, batch requests are not allowed on the forum (as per the forum rules), I will move this to the feedback subtopic and you are more than welcome to reinput all requests that don’t already exist. This is because batch requests are not easily tagged or tracked. Just restate the request and you can link to this post to avoid restating everything.

Just to understand, freeform mode won’t work in this case?

I am not certain MIDI is at the point to handle the changing master, and this is a definite way to cause a MIDI feedback loop, possibly setting BB to listen to all channels, but send out on ch 2, and Aeros only listens on Ch 2 but sends on Ch 1 or 3 maybe? Not sure there, nonetheless, I don’t know how apt MIDI is at handling a change of master without recabling. Take a look at this request for Bi-drectional handling, the same conclusion leads me to believe it may not be possible to physically set up the Aeros and BB to be switching roles as the master without mishap.

We have gotten a request to disengage sync please forward your comment there if you’d like, this just helps us stay organized and helps you track the issue.

This is because user’s may need the BB to start playback of the Aeros from stopped after it transitions, it could be this is not necessary, not sure about how many people are relying on CC102 starting the Aeros from stopped. That is a good point you bring up and we can look into it, still, the BB sends a MIDI start at the beginning of the song, so it would still start up Aeros, what would work best is a means of filtering the messages.

I’m confused by your statement, because MIDI master capabilities and auto-quantize are not considered as one feature, auto quantize will most likely be expanded upon to be able to work with the Aeros as master clock to another device, check out this thread on auto quantize mode

If you set MIDI start (global settings) to playback only, the empty song will “scroll” but will not record on the Aeros, so this is already doable. We are hoping to find ways of making this setting more easily accessible but that may not be for a few updates.

There is a free form mode :face_with_monocle: turn off quantization in the song settings to enter “freeform”

Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Thank you

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Thank you for your excellent reply.

Apologies – I’m new here. I had actually intended it to be one request (MIDI mode setting from footswitch); but ended up with some “commentary” features as well. I’ll try to do better in future. I’ll also do as you suggest and break them down into individual posts in the feature request category.

To give some context: before I got Aeros I was making do with BB and RC-30 and simply learned to get acceptably close with my timing for loop start/stop pushes on the RC-30. Obviously that’s incredibly stressful during live performances – train wrecks can ensue. The purpose of pretty much all my suggestions is to get to the point where I can do what I can do with BB+RC-30 with BB+Aeros, except synced. To be honest, it’s a little bit embarrassing to have spent that much and find Aeros can’t do what an RC-30 can – but I understand it’s all in development and it’s ridiculous to ignore all that Aeros can do instead.

You’ll have to forgive my verbosity; it comes only from enthusiasm for the product.

Freeform mode has no quantisation at all. It would work for one track and part; but then the subsequent tracks are completely unsynced. I think for no-drums (and ideally no-click) songs, what I would like is what’s available (to the exclusion of any other mode) on more basic routers (but with Aeros features available): press start, play a loop, press RPO. That first loop is recorded as a quantised block and implies the tempo.

Of course I understand that it’s created a MIDI loop – but that’s exactly the problem that needs addressing I think. Sometimes a song will require BB (or other drum/beat generator) to be the MIDI master clock – that’s common of course: drum intro; loop recorded quantised to drums. Sometimes a song will require Aeros to be the MIDI master clock: loop recorded sets BPM, drums (or other MIDI clients) are started and synchronise correctly. I don’t think “recable” is a serious solution to the problem of having different songs in a live set.

I don’t think MIDI would have a problem with the master changing – it can be done manually by playing with settings – but the MIDI bus being a loop probably is a problem. I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to have Aeros use both MIDI In and MIDI Out – after all, it’s role is very similar to that of a DAW and a DAW definitely has both connected. The loop issue could be solved fairly easily by simply breaking the virtual “MIDI Thru” that exists inside the Aeros. That would just be a global setting – since cabling could never be a per-song setting.

I have noted that and liked it – I didn’t have anything to add to that so didn’t bother. The only question then is when the Aeros is a clock master or a clock client or neither. It’s down to the user to make sure there is only one clock master on the bus at a time – although it would then be nice to get some symbiotic help from BB firmware too (but of course that’s not for this conversation). My key point is that this needs to be possible in a per-song manner and ideally, therefore, on a footswitch.

Yes, I agree that “users may need to start after transitions” is possible – but it’s only a “may”. If it’s a “may” then it needs a setting – and a per-song setting at that.

Perhaps I’ve used the wrong terminology – but to my mind if those features aren’t a pair then things will go wrong with timing very quickly (dare I suggest that that’s why your developers are struggling so much with auto-quantise, which seems superficially straight-forward?). Auto-quantise sets the size of a loop. That must then be the size of N measures; so combined with a time-signature and possibly beat detection that sets the tempo. That implies the Aeros is then the MIDI master – no other device on the bus has the information needed to work out the tempo after an auto-quantise.

I’m equally confused how you would envisage auto-quantise being anything other than MIDI master – after auto-quantise, what do you imagine would happen to drum machines on the MIDI bus?

That’s excellent – I thought I had tried all settings, but perhaps I’ve missed that. I’ll give it another go. If it is the case, I think I’d argue that that is a song setting not a global setting though.

I’m also pretty patient, so things being coming-in-updates, is okay.

I’m aware of Freeform mode – what I meant was that my feature suggestion of “mode-selection on unused next-part button” could include “freeform” as one of the modes, not the implementation of freeform mode, which of course already exists.

I’m sure you’ll regret saying that :slight_smile:

I like the Aeros very much. It is a huge upgrade from my RC-30 and was quite a leap in money. But I like that it’s still in development and there is potential to influence it with a receptive development team (getting BOSS to fix even their bugs, let alone features is a lost cause). I’m an embedded engineer myself, and a high-end looper has been on my “one day, I’ll make that product myself” list for quite some time. I’m delighted at the possibility that Aeros makes it completely unnecessary for me to do that (given that it’s also insane for me to take on a project of that magnitude alone).

Thank you so much for your time. Don’t feel you have to do a point-by-point response to the above, your time is better spent elsewhere I’m certain. It’s enough for me to know that you’re listening, and hopefully I’m raising some reasonable points.

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Update: after you suggested freeform mode, I’ve gone back and given it another go. It’s gotten me a lot more of what I wanted for the drumless case.

I think I must have tried it on an older firmware. I can’t remember what it wasn’t quite doing for me then, but with latest stable and sync length active I’m finding it really pleasant.

It’s actually got me to the point where I think I can do everything I can do with RC-30… Which for me is a huge milestone for aeros to have passed.

Thanks for the pointer.

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Update on this subject. I’ve gotten more of a handle on what’s going on between the two devices now. I hypothesised that the craziness was coming about because the Aeros was (correctly) sending the midi sync messages it received on its MIDI in to it’s MIDI out.

A quick look in the BB settings, and I found MIDI in->sync start could be individually disabled. Did that and now I can have both devices connected in a circle. I’m not convinced that I haven’t created a midi storm in that circle, but I can say it all seems to be working exactly as it did.

I think this wasn’t a million miles from Brennan’s suggestion:

but thought I would at least document what I’d experienced in case someone else finds this thread in future.