Welcome to Husserl Sapphire Edition, a multifunction, polyphonic step sequencer that provides more possibilities in a single, integrated instrument than available anywhere else. Since its release on 3/7/09, Husserl Sapphire Edition has met with vibrant delight from subscribers. Built as a Reaktor 5.0 ensemble, Sapphire provides the most powerful step sequencing abilities available in a unified instrument. It provides all the sophistication of a modular tool, but you don't need to build your own custom modular setups; the modularity is already built into it! With just a few clicks, all its sequencers can trigger and change each other. And MIDI can also change and trigger all the sequencers in many different ways. Yet even with all its complexity, creating music with Husserl is as simple as it could be.
Sapphire Edition is a member of the Husserl family, and Husserl is a member of the Metamusic series of musical instruments from Yofiel.
The Metamusic instruments, of which Husserl is a premiere example, blend ideas of digital logic with analog audio processing and unique user interfaces to transcend conventional paradigms. This is part of the reason that the instruments are named after philosophers. But Metamusic is far more than that....
Music has the unique ability to create an infinitely changing experience via pure abstractions of temporal and spatial relationships, most simply perceived as rhythm and timbre. True, we may live in a material world, but within our shared experience, the abstractions of time and space are not imprisoned by the clocks and Cartesian coordinates of modern science. For us, a day can pass like an hour, and an hour can seem like days. The tiniest of space we share with another person, in a fleeting touch, can mean more to us than all the stars in the sky. Through musical abstractions we can share such experiences, but only when the instruments place no constraints on our expression.
Metamusic instruments put as much flexibility as possible right at your fingertips, opening up new horizons of exploration, yielding fresh experiences for audiences and new inspiration for you. The Metamusic series seeks to provide you with a complete set of controls for rapid creation of any sound possible, with as little effort as possible.
The instruments themselves are alsodesigned to create evolving sounds and melodic pattern by themselves, thus combining algorithmic generation with flexible control.The complexity of configuration and audio processing is contained within the structures that operate behind the scenes. While there may appear to be a large number of controls in many of these instruments, the user interface is fantastically simple compared to the underlaying complexity hidden within the instruments.
Each of the 16 sequencers can play interactively in four main modes (clock, step, layer, and fugue), as described below.
When sequencer patterns advance to their next step at exactly the same time, then all sequencers can pick up modulations from all others in exactly the same cycle. If the patterns advance at different times, then a channel that is being modulated samples the value from the modulation source each time it advances. So in the right-hand diagram above, the second sequencer changes pitch a couple of times without affecting the pitch from the first sequencer. Nonetheless, when the two sequencers advance on the clock cycle, the first sequencer still receives pitch modulation from the second.
In the above example, the triggers from sequencers 1 and 2 coincide exactly with each other on several clock cycles. The third, stepped channel can either trigger just once on the coinciding triggers, or advance twice, playing two pattern steps in the same clock cycle (indicated by a shaded area in the above example). Of course, the stepped sequencer may also change its own velocity on each pattern step, but the above example shows equal velocities at each step, for simplicity.
The layered channel could also apply its own pitch, duration, and velocity to each note it generates, but the example shows it with equal values for simplicity.
All sequencer channels have an additional option to reset to the pattern beginning on any trigger. In fugue mode, such resets cause the current pattern to stop playing and restart from its beginning.
Typically, with all the modulation available, even two or three 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.
Husserl provides a number of additional functions for each sequencer channel:
- Each sequencer can filter, clip, mirror, transform, and scale pitch and/or velocity (optionally on particular pattern steps) on input triggers and modulations, or on output notes.
- Each pattern sequencer has a dedicated bar sequencer which can change the pattern sequence each bar cycle, providing up to 2,048 pattern steps.
- Each sequencer can trigger automatic snapshot change after a settable number of pattern cycles.
- Each sequencer can record notes from MIDI and any number of other sequencers, simultaneously playing back the resulting pattern in a different tempo.
- Each sequencer can output pitch bend, aftertouch, and MIDI controller values with adjustable smoothing rates. Each sequencer supports preset and custom pitch remapping to 38 different scales on output and modulation values.
Internally, the channels actually process data for each clock cycle in a series of phases. The following video illustrates the Husserl structure at a high level.See inside the Reaktor version for an animated version of this graphic.
The easiest way to understand this is to consider an example. Here is how Husserl handles a snapshot configuration where the clock triggers channel 1, and notes from channel 1 trigger channel 2.
- Upon receiving a clock pulse, channel 1 divides it down and if it's time, advances the beat filter. If the beat filter step is on, the pattern advances. At the end of the pattern, the bar sequence may also advance. The trigger then passes through the matrix to channel 2.
- The second channel performs the same activities to generate modulations, which are then passed to all other channels, including the one that triggered it. So for example, pitch values from channel 2 can change channel 1 in the same step, even though channel 1 actually triggered channel 2.
- When all triggers have completed processing, each channel adds up the modulations it has received from other channels. Then, and only after that, the notes from all triggers in the clock phase are output, all at the same time.
- The notes then pass into separate voice allocators: one for the on-screen display, 16 for the 16 MIDI output channels, and 4 for other instruments in the Reaktor ensemble. Each voice allocator maintains its own polyphony, with solo and mute applied across all 20 instrument outputs.
There are many other possibilities. MIDI can also trigger channels, as well as the clock. Triggered channels can themselves trigger other channels too. For example, low MIDI notes could step channel 2, which trigger channels 3, 4 and 5. High MIDI notes could trigger channel 6, which itself triggers channels 7, 8 and 9. Thus the combined channels can provide complex rhythmic and melodic responses for real-time performance.
In Husserl, pattern steps can do more than simply trigger or gate another pattern step. Multiple patterns can also gate a clocked sequence polyphonically, or trigger entire fugues of chords running concurrently. Simultaneously, patterns can modulate each other without triggering them. To do so, Husserl internally handles notes from modulation and trigger sources differently, while providing a consistent and simple interface for both.
For example, if a trigger starts a fugue, and it also modulates the fugue's pitch, then all the notes in the fugue are transposed by the trigger note's pitch, but not by other notes from the same sequencer. Other notes from the same trigger source start other fugues, which are transposed separately. So, if the trigger sequence is C3, C4, C5, then triggers start consecutive fugues that differ in pitch from the previous one by an octave, and the single-octave transposition remains for all notes in the entire length of each fugue separately, even if the fugues overlap.
At the same time, other sequencers can modulate the fugue pitch but not trigger the fugue itself. In that case, the fugue sequencer samples the pitch from the modulation source each time a note plays, in every single sequence. It then applies that transposition to all fugue notes, no matter when or who triggered them, until it receives a different pitch from the modulation source. Now in writing, that is quite difficult to explain, and probably difficult to understand. But when the result is heard, it sounds intuitively correct.
In terms of musical control, a matrix of over 1,000 pins interconnects 16 sequencers. But each sequencer's panel contains just its own trigger and modulation sources, keeping the interface simple; and in the global panels, all the interconnections are accessible on one unified view, with lights to indicate trigger firings. So the complexity is contained, but totally accessible.
Intermodulation can occur not only in fugues, but also in polyphonic layered and stepped sequences, in exactly the same way. If pitch modulation is not turned on, then the trigger source advances the step or gates the layer, but the trigger's pitch does not affect the step or layer pitch. If pitch modulation is turned on for the trigger source, then the trigger source's pitch applies to that step, or to that layer, but not to other steps or layers from the same sequencer. However, if a third sequencer is modulating pitch, but not triggering the step or layer, then the third sequencer's pitch affects all notes on the triggered step or layer until the third sequencer changes pitch, or the modulation is deactivated.
And just so, as for pitch modulation, so also for velocity and duration modulation. Husserl contains complex logic to distinguish multiple modulations from different sequencer sources, and depending on whether they are triggers or not, handles the modulations differently. But the end result is an intuitive sound, exactly as one expects, within a single, simple, unified, and prebuilt interface.
In the above example for instance, a fugue can modulate the pitch of the sequence which triggered it, while simultaneously being modulated by other sequences. By varying the tempo and timing of the fugue and other sequences, and muting a few modulation sources, this creates rich melodies which sound deep, yet not random. Our ears pick out the hidden ordered relationships between the notes, but obscured by unknown layers of patterns, we are uncertain exactly what the relationship actually is. The effect is independent of music genre--the melody can be in a rock beat, or in a slow ambience, or in a jazz piece, or in the slow movement of classical strings, or in a fast paced electronica trancescape, and the same fascination results. With just three or four sequences, Husserl mysteriously makes its own melodies to enchant composers, musicians, and audience alike. And there are 16 sequencers, and many other ways to massage the sound.
To provide rapid access to any panel control with just a few clicks, Husserl has two panelsets, arranged as A and B panels. The panels provide different views in different slices. The A view integrates all the controls for each sequencer channel in one simple panel. The B view contains cross-sections of specific functions across all sequencers: snap data, modulation matrices, I/O configuration, and pitch maps.
Reaktor can operate in standalone mode, or embedded within another application as a VST or AU instrument. Here are some notes on configuring Reaktor: For more information, see the Reaktor documentation and the Native Instruments Website at http://www.native-instruments.com .
Ableton LiveVST is functional on Ableton Live, but Live only supports capture of one MIDI channel. To do so, configure a MIDI track over the track containing the Reaktor VST. The following diagram illustrates the connection. An alternative in the Live environment is to install Bidule as a VST client inside Live, then open Reaktor as a VST client inside Bidule. Bidule supports multichannel MIDI I/O, so instruments can be put inside Bidule for VST automation there.
- ANALOG is on AUX1.
- ANALOG2 is on AUX2.
- DRUMS is on AUX3.
- AUX4 is spare.
You may prefer to play your own instruments on MIDI or as other instruments inside the Reaktor ensemble.It does not impact CPU load if you turn the demo instruments off, and you won't be able to play the demo snapshots if you delete them. But you can help your ensemble load more quickly by deleting the demo instruments. To do so:
- Open the ensemble structure. If you are not using the audio in, you can save a little CPU by muting the audio-in block (right click and select mute). The audio-in block cannot be deleted in the Reaktor structure.
- Open the Husserl instrument. In order that the demo ensembles inherit snap changes from the parent Husserl instrument, the demo instruments are inside the Husserl instrument. Select the instruments at the right of the structure, ANALOG, ANALOG2, and DRUMS. Now you can delete them.
- If you put your own instruments inside Husserl, you can configure them to receive snapshot changes from Husserl by opening their instrument properties, then selecting the snapshot 'store by parent' and 'recall by parent' options.
- You must configure your instruments to receive note information from Husserl. In your instrument toolbar, open the IN menu and move across to the INT MIDI submenu. From the list, make sure there is a dot by an AUX instrument.
Any sequencer channel can send its notes to any MIDI output. Internally, 33 separate voice allocators support up to 512 voices and 512 modulations in parallel. The number of voices and sustain mode is settable for each MIDI output separately. Four MIDI outputs may also be set to send different notes and controller modulations to up to four other instruments inside Reaktor.
The drums instrument also includes its own separate reverb unit. Separate reverb from notes and drums provides a clearer sound (ideally there would be a separate reverb for each drum, but this is just a simple demo unit). The drums instrument additionally provides for waveform samples that can replace the synthesized sounds for a number of the drum sounds.
In the drum machine, each of the drum units may be triggered by a single note in a 1-octave range. The octave in which notes are triggered is user selectable, via the octave dial in the instrument's top left corner.
The notes are mapped to standard General MIDI drum note assignments for the instrument types, as follows:
Tom 1 (Low)
Hat 1 (Closed)
Tom 1 (High)
Hat 1 (Open)
Tom 2 (Low)
Hat 2 (Gated)
Tom 2 (Low)
The ensemble also includes 150 demo and tutorial snapshots and 8 user banks, with 2 analog-emulation synthesizers and a multimode synth/sampler drum machine.
Husserl for Reaktor is distributed as a completely open source instrument. You are welcome to modify the instrument for your own needs, or request modifications be made for you. If you wish to redistribute any part of this instrument to others besides yourself, please contact us and obtain permission.Husserl Manual. A complete Acrobat PDF manual is also available in the product, as well as an animated help instrument.registered on my site first, thenContact Us with your Skype username.
Obtaining Skype: If you do not have Skype, please install it before contacting me. It is available for all devices on theSkype download page.
Thank you for your interest in Yofiel's metamusic. I hope you enjoy our software.
-Ernest Leonardo Meyer