Heavens*onEarth proudly presents the second-generation Polymorphic Metasequencer for cutting-edge electronic music: Husserl Emerald Edition.

Husserl Emerald Edition
Husserl Emerald Edition

Get your Emmy with Husserl Emerald! New scores are a breeze with the most sophisticated integrated polyphonic step sequencer available anywhere in the world.

Faster. Smaller. Sample accurate. Loads more quickly and smoothly; and yet bursting with new features. How is this possible? After six weeks of painstaking redesign, Husserl Emerald implements a totally new soundcore. Due to its architectural separation of GUI and logic, Husserl remains backwards compatible with prior snapshots, but under the hood, the entire core engine is optimized, now half the size, and the ensemble loads 40% faster, and consumes up to half as much CPU.

Introducing Husserl Emerald

 Husserl
Husserl

With Husserl, it only takes a few seconds to make a complex pattern. Draw a pattern in one channel, copy all the controls to another one other channel, and change a few parameters. Already you have a complex sound, because both channels can modulate each other!And there's 16 channels! The demo track on the home page, Plateaux (Snap 7 in Rainbow; and Bank 9, Snap 85 in Sapphire), was made with only 4 channels!

Either tempo clocks, MIDI notes, or other sequencers can step, gate, and play up to 16 polyphonic step sequencers simultaneously. Each may only have 16 beats, 16 steps, and 8 repeatable phrases; but as they can modulate each other in real time, they can make literally any number or complex rhythms, melodies, and polyphonic textures.

A pin matrix lets each sequencer receive not only triggers, but also: pitch, velocity, and duration modulations from any number of other sequencers. In step and 1-shot modes, MIDI and other sequencers can step, gate, or '1shot' a pattern and phrase. Each sequencer can filter incoming triggers and notes in different ranges. The beat sequencer can skip incoming triggers, and also skip pattern steps, to make complex evolving patterns. Each sequencer has a chord generator, which is also modulated by the other patterns. Pitch mapping keeps all the results melodic. All controls on the panel, or subsets of the controls, can be copy/pasted between sequencers.

Some Details

Husserl is a polyphonic step sequencer with totally unique self modulation capabilities. It has 16 identical channels that can modulate any other, in a wide variety of ways.

The channel list on the left selects the 16 different complex patterns, each of which have an identical and complete control set. With a few clicks, all channel controls can be selectively or completely copy/pasted from one channel to another, including all knobs and patterns. When saving a snapshot, all data for all 16 patterns and channels are saved (as well as the contents of the copy/paste buffer, so it's easy to transfer patterns between snaps.)

Each channel has its own tempo divider. Each can be stepped, gated or played by MIDI, or triggered by any of the other 15 other sequences. Pitch and velocity filters can thin dense trigger clusters. Each sequencer also has its own beat filter than can play rhythms up to 16 steps. The rhythms can skip through the patterns, or put pauses in note patterns.

In Rainbow, the note patterns are up to 16 steps in length, with pitch, velocity, and duration for each note. The screen keyboard shows the playing notes in color, and the current note in the pattern highlights in red when you move a note in the pitch tables.

While the steps are monophonic, all notes can nevertheless overlap polyphonically. Also, when triggered in 1shot mode by midi or another sequencer, one pattern can overlap itself in different pitches. Pitch, velocity, and duration can modulate a sequence from any other channel's last played values (toggled with a single click in the pin matrix).

Pattern Bars

In addition to the foundation patterns up to 16 steps in length, each channel has an additional bar sequencer, that can change the channel's own notes upon each cycle of the main patterns. The bar sequencer can change pitch, velocity, duration, and tempo. Each step in the bar sequencer can repeat. Bar changes are included in the modulation data when the sequence pattern modulates another sequence pattern.

Chords and Pitch Mapping

Each pattern can also play a 3-note chord, the output of which is pitch mapped either/both by individual channel and globally. Pitch mapping has presets for standard keys, as well as custom tables for each channel. By adjusting the map, all a pattern's notes of the same key (for example all notes that are C sharp) can change to another key (for example F sharp), simultaneously and dynamically. Custom remappings for all channels is saved with the snapshot.

With all the modulation available, even four channels alone can produce a complex, evolving melody. It takes less than a minute to draw up a complete new pattern that can play without repeating itself for minutes, or even hours. Melodies can be recorded onto an empty channel and played at the same time, so the instrument is capable of making its own evolving musical patterns.

The instruments has 16 channels so it can play multiple instruments. It can step record from MIDI and play MIDI. A simple analog synth is included on one channel as a demo, and each sequence can also be sent to IC sends and MIDI controllers.

Algorithmic Recording

Husserl offers a unique multistep-record mode with real-time play that can mix any number of incoming sources (whether they be MIDI, other Reaktor instruments, or other sequences playing in Husserl). Each incoming note is recorded as a new step in a 16-step sequence. After 16 events, the recorder timepoint loops and records over the prior steps.

All channels can record and play back simultaneously. Any recording channel can playback can in step, loop, layer, and fugue modes. The playbacks can also modulate each other. Uniquely, Husserl can playback a pattern live--while it is still recording-- and simultaneously modulate another channel, and be recorded on another channel which is also in live playback. Multiple recording channels can record, playback and modulate each other, creating dynamic patterns which continually evolve and change in unique ways.

As one example shown in Rainbow snap 3, Algorithmic Music Composition (Bank 9, Snap 82 in Sapphire):

  • Channel 1 records events from Channel 2, 3, and 4, MIDI, and other instruments. It also loops through the recorded events in at 120bpm.
  • Channels 2 and 3 play in loop mode. The loop patterns are combined and played back by Channel 1. Channel 2 is audible, and it has its chord generator enabled, harmonizing via pitch mapping with recorded events on Channel 1. Channel 3 output is muted, but still plays back and modulates Channel 1 and 2, creating transposition variations and adding notes to Channel 1's recording loop.
  • Channel 4 records events from Channel 1 which it simultaneously plays back in fugue mode, each fugue triggered by a single note from Channel 3.

So, Channel 1 and Channel 4 are both recording each other, and playing at different rates. As a result, Husserl composes its own patterns which continuously evolve and change on the fly.

In the current version, each incoming note advances the step recorder sequence by one event. A next-generation design is planned to integrate real-time recording, functioning as a complete MIDI sequencer, while still providing the same intermodulation modes as described above.

Husserl's unique self modulation modes, as well as its integrated bar sequencer, chord sequencer, pitch mapper, and note/step filters enable rapid and easy creation of complex melodies and harmonic textures. It can play any number of MIDI instruments, and also includes its own demonstration synthesizer and drum player. The exact intermodulation can change in real time depending on input from the musician, providing capabilities like the Korg Karma--but not requiring that the musician purchase a Korg synthesizer.

New B panelset

Husserl's B panel now contains a dozen pages with integrated, dynamic, multipage online help.

Up to 32 voices on each of 16 channels

Output Matrix
Output Matrix

Previously Hussserl's internal polyphony engine was limited to 16 notes. The number of voices allocated to any one of the 20 outputs is now selectable, with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 20, 24, or 32 voices. New retrigger/sustain options allow each output channel to handle notes of the same pitch as required. In retrigger or sustain modes, notes of the same pitch remain active until the end of the last note. The B panel contains a fancy new look for these added controls!

Full-Screen Pitch Map Editor

Pitchmap Editor
Pitchmap Editor

The Editor provides complete access and a convenient edit buffer to change and move pitch maps. There are 17 custom maps stored with each snapshot - one for each sequencer channel, and one global channel. You can move maps between channels and change them very easily with this comfortable control interface. The panel also provides a close view of the preset maps, which you can also change here to modify all your snaps at once. Pitch maps can also be useful when mapping pitch patterns to a drum machine, as all the pitches for one drum sound can be changed at one.

Snap Info Screen

Snap info panel
Snap info panel

This is a summarial view of all sequencer channels on one panel. It also dynamically displays notes output on any one MIDI channel. Pitch, velocity and duration for the 16 main patterns is on the left; the bar sequencer patterns, which modulate the main pattern, are next over; the text area contains editable information about the current snapshot; and the note probe on the right shows the actual polyphonic notes generated for any of the 16 output channels. Other sequencers could be sending notes to the same output channel, as indicated in the grid at the bottom right. During play, the notes dance across the display as the instrument's internal logic performs its own optimal assignment of polyphony for any overlapping notes from any of the sequencers.

Other New Features

Restart of Sequencer by Notes

Both MIDI and notes from other channels may now optionally restart the pattern and reset a channel's clock divider. The RESTART button enables this functionality. In fugue mode, the current playing pattern is stopped and a new pattern started, instead of two patterns overlaying each other.

New Modulation Options

In the pattern panel, new PMOD and DMOD lists now permit selection of how matrix modulations affect the current sequencer. Previously, velocity and duration modulations were multiplied together with the pattern table output. Now, both velocity and duration modulations may either add to, subtract from, or multiply with the pattern values.

Output Note Filtering

The note filter is now pluggable on each channel to filter either input note triggers, or output notes. The menu in the note filter subpanel allows selection of input or output filtering.

Graphics Optimization

Event triggers on screen redraws are reduced by >80%. Complex panels are staged so they phase in shortly after initial load. The core redesign also reduces ensemble size by 5MB, and decreases load by 30% with large numbers of triggers at high clock rates. Testing indicates the ensemble is functional on CPUs down to 1GHz. On an AMDX2 with 2.8GHz clock, the ensemble can loop all 16 channels, at 1/32 tempo and 480 bpm, with chords on, and play the analog demo synth at a CPU usage of only 70%.

Tight Synchronization

Concurrent from chords and multiple sequencer patterns ~ as well as modulations from other sequencers ~ are tightly linked to occur simultaneously. In layer and fugue modes, sequencers triggering other sequences all do so in the same event cycle. If two patterns trigger in the same clock cycle any modulations from each other are completely applied to the other before the notes are issued.

Internally, new mutex logic prevents event loops, and events are processed in four phases. Note, the internal clock (in the clock subpanel) can store the tempo with a snapshot, but it is limited by Reaktor's own clock to event-period resolution (2.5 milliseconds by default). For best synchronization, the MIDI clock from the instrument's toolbar is very accurate. Select it instead for best timing.

CPU Throttling

On low-CPU machines, the instrument's internal four processing phases can optionally be spread over separate event cycles, via a new TIMING control on the SETUP panel. This has not been found necessary yet, but its activation spreads each of the four phases over separate event cycles. Note, throttling can introduce up to a 10 millisecond skew between output notes in the same MIDI clock tick.

Immediate Bar Sequencer Interactivity

Previously, changing a bar sequencer value did not affect the sequence until the bar sequencer advanced to the next bar. Now, changes to the bar sequencer tables take effect in the next channel step.

SongPos AND Clock Start/Stop/Continue Support

In the clock panel, CLOCK now sends MIDI Start/stop messages. When clock is set to EXT, it can turn the Reaktor toolbar clock on and off.

Pre and Post Pitch Mapping

Each sequencer channel may apply pitch remapping before or after the pitches are sent to the modulation matrix and chord generator. This allows fine control of the pitch patterns; for example, a single semitone offset can map up or down to different pitches, depending on the pitch modulation in each channel and the output settings.