Device Details

Device Overview

Name/Version: Just the Tonic 1.04
Author: Oktagon  
Description: Just the Tonic is a Max for Live instrument that packages up a single channel of the Microtonic Drumsynth VST, optimising the interface for use within a drum rack and also specifically with the Ableton Push. It features an easy to use preset system with a dedicated browser and editor that allows you to import from preset files directly into the 32 available slots. These can then be scrolled through in realtime directly from the device, even on the Push.

To use it, you’ll need a licensed installation of Microtonic which you can download from:

https://soniccharge.com/microtonic

Note - Just the Tonic is not developed by Sonic Charge, so don’t contact them for support.


Version History
--------------------
1.0 - Initial release
1.01 - Added support for Live drum rack choke groups.
1.02 - Fix for light theme.
1.03 - Added additional velocity curve and random controls.
1.04 - Added delay parameter.
 

Device Details

Downloads: 239
Tags synth, drum, push
Live Version Used: 10.1.2
Max Version Used: 8.1.0
Date Added: Sep 09 2019 20:34:40
Date Last Updated: Sep 15 2019 11:33:36
Average Rating (4) 5
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Device Type: instrument_device
URL (optional):
License (more info): AttributionNonCommercialShareAlike

Device Files

Device File: JustTheTonic.zip
 


Comments

Hey, this is actually quite the useful tool. I kind of let the Tonic slip from use due to my presets devolving into a bit of a mess (and other equally lazy reasons).
The only essential thing I think it may be missing is the choke function. Without looking into the patch itself at the moment, I'm going to guess that each individual slot is independent of the others, and therefore the choke isn't shared?
I feel like there's gotta be a way around that, but I'm not sure what it would be. Maybe if you created a sort of "dummy" oscillator in each instance that didn't play anything, you could have that be the choke's "off" signal, and the individual instances could send a sort of "universal" signal to other patch instances to trigger the dummy/choke oscillator... if that makes sense. Just riffing.

Thanks for the feedback! I have to admit I haven't actually tested choke groups but I had assumed that drum rack choke groups would work for this. Is there something that the Microtonic choke groups do that the drum rack ones can't?

When I tried the choke on the rack with this, it didn't seem yo do anything. Maybe I overlooked something, but I think the Ableton choke cuts off the sample, whereas Tonic hits just play straight through no matter what.

Fair enough, I'll take a look tonight. Should be able to sort something out either way as you say...

Don't get me wrong; it's entirely possible I missed something or that I have the wrong idea altogether.

Drop me an email (my address is in my profile) if you have any questions, and once I have a bit of spare time later in the week I could maybe try and demo an idea of some sort. Granted, this isn't the type of thing I'm super familiar with, and there are probably a handful of people who are more qualified, but I'm usually not too bad at coming up with an idea or two.

I think it's a brilliant idea for a patch, and though it may have a somewhat niche audience, I always love it when people take the time to take an idea like this and execute it as well as you have. It's a well-considered concept that shows a multifaceted ingenuity for enriching the functionality and utility of one of the most deservingly enduring plugins in the canon of virtual instruments.

Thanks for the positive thoughts, much appreciated! It was a bit of a struggle to make it work as I wanted but I'm glad I persevered...

I had a look into the choke group issue. Turns out Live drum rack choke groups work by sending the other channels in a choke group midi cc 120 to silence them. I should be able to implement that fairly easily and then this should work in the normal way.

I'll try and address that at some point this week.

Ah, I never even thought of that. Heh.
Looking forward to see how it turns out.
Keep up the great work, man!

Ok version 1.01 should work with choke groups (although I didn't turn them on in the example drum rack).

Wow! Really impressive device. One of the best I have seen on this site. Well done!!

I do have two suggestions for an otherwise really professional device...

One thing I miss with this style of implementation is usage of the morph slider. Any chance of sneaking that in somehow?

Also, no idea how you package up the uTonic vst - thats great, but it would be good if we could use the pitched version of the single channel so you can play pitches at different tones.

Top effort!!

...also how do you switch theme light/dark?

Thanks for the complement! :)

I agree that the morph slider would be a really nice feature. Originally when I started implementing this I was planning on using the build in preset blending feature of Max's pattrstorage object. With this it would be possible to have the preset control become a floating point dial letting you blend between consecutive presets rather than just switching which I think would have been fun replacement for the morph control. However it turns out pattrstorage generates so many undo events in Live that it's not really usable, so I had to build my own preset system using the Live API.

Perhaps I can resurrect the morph function in a future version. It does make editing tricky if you're 'mid morph' because you're editing the a & b patches simultaneously. I'll have to think about it.

Pitch mode was something I thought about adding at some point, yes. Hopefully that shouldn't be too hard to implement.

Theming should just be driven by the Live theme, seems to work for me on Live 10.1 anyway.

You're welcome! Thanks for the device!

Maybe you just edit the A patch if the morph slider is in the left half etc?

So, if I select a darker theme I will get the darker version of the device?

Could do that. I guess I could have an additional toggle to allow editing the a/b presets and then a separate morph control. Would have to think about how to do it without making the UI confusing.

I did look at the pitch mode option. There is an issue that there?s no way of enabling pitch mode programmatically, the only options would be to have the user make it the default setting for Microtonic or to provide a button that opens the Microtonic gui which I wanted to avoid. So I?ll continue to try and think of a nice solution but it doesn?t seem obvious how to do it in a non-confusing way.

Oh and yes the theme should be mirroring the Live theme (other than the browser controls I think which are fixed). Let me know if this doesn?t work as expected.

OMG! This is amazing. I use Microtonic All the time. I tried all other max solutions but none worked without issues. I already figured single microtonic instances works best. I havent tested it throroughly but it looks amazing so fare. Thanks for all the good work!!!

Hey, thanks! I had the same problem which was what pushed me to make this... love the Microtonic synth but wanted to use the Push to sequence. They actually work really well together!

Hi Oktagon, I noticed the mixer is switched. Full left is noise and Full right is Oscillator. This is switched from microtonic which matches the placement of the modules. A minor detail and I will try to adjust it myself because after many years of microtonic use I am so used to their layout.

After a few days of intense usage I can appreciate this device even more. The preset switcher is a treat and I thought I would miss a "show microtonic interface" knob (I love to use the sequencer) but I now appreciate your choice to hide it. It keeps things clean, and forces you to use your interface, or even better, the Push (much more intuitive).

About the sequencer it's better anyway to use a separate instance of microtonic and route that to your rack so you can sequence multiple pads in one instance.

I also tend to place a velocity adjuster before the rack so it is not silent when I play the pads softly.

Thanks for following up with feedback! Will take a look into the mixer thing, I hadn't noticed that. There are a few compromises with the controls because Microtonic has surprisingly complex response curves for each parameter that can only be approximated with Max for Live parameters. But hopefully that should be fixable.

Yes, the decision to not support showing the Microtonic UI was deliberate, partly because I need to have explicit control over it the whole time to make the device work. And yes as you say it's ultimately designed to use on the Push.

The velocity adjuster - you can do that with the velocity curve control on the device hopefully? I ideally want to put all the 'standard' controls you might need on the device so you don't have to menu dive in the Push as much.

@Oktagon: this looks nice, and I would love to try it, but how do I set this up in Ableton?

@AuralBee: Do you have a licensed version of Microtonic? If so and it?s somewhere Max can see it (in the standard vst dir) you shouldn?t need to do anything but load the device and it should already respond to midi.

If that?s working, try loading the included drum rack for a demo of how it works.

Thanks guys! Problem is probably that my vsts (incl Microtonic) are not in Windows standard vst directory..would there be a way to adress that ? (Besides moving them there ?)

Ah, guess what, I found a recent thread on soniccharge.com where Oktagon was already involved ;-)
http://soniccharge.com/forum/topic/1422-new-max-for-live-device-for-microtonic?~post5924

I added the vst path to Max, so solved now ! Thanks for the help guys!!

And of course @Oktagon: thanks for this amazing work!

And of course @Oktagon: thanks for this amazing work!

And of course @Oktagon: thanks for this amazing work!

And of course @Oktagon: thanks for this amazing work!

Fantastic, glad you go it working! Let me know if you have any other issues.

Good you got it working!

I made a mistake in my previous post (about installation tips) and had it removed. So here it is for any other users that might need it:

@AuralBee:

Copy the the files (JustTheTonic.amxd and JustTheTonic Rack.adg) in your Ableton User library. The standard location on a Mac is /Users/[username]/Music/Ableton/User Library/Presets/Instruments/Max Instrument/
Do not include the JustTheTonic folder, just the files.

Now from ableton drag the JustTheTonic Rack.adg into your ableton set and it should load the drum rack.

You can save the files somewhere else and it will still work, but when you load the drum rack it will load with empty chains asking for the amxd file. You need to point to the location where you saved the amxd file. But even if you have done that, the the initial presets don't get loaded somehow. Max makes a copy of the amxd file in the default user library location anyway and references to that one so if you want to alter it, you might get confused because then you have 2 copies of the JustTheTonic.amxd in your library.

If all is well, the adg file (=drum rack) should find the amxd file (=max file) and that should find your vst (and load 8 instances of it).

Like Oktagon staged, it should find your vst automatically. I was surprised the first time i started it and did not see the microtonic interface, but it just worked!

Good you got it working!

I made a mistake in my previous post (about installation tips) and had it removed. So here it is for any other users that might need it:

@AuralBee:

Copy the the files (JustTheTonic.amxd and JustTheTonic Rack.adg) in your Ableton User library. The standard location on a Mac is /Users/[username]/Music/Ableton/User Library/Presets/Instruments/Max Instrument/
Do not include the JustTheTonic folder, just the files.

Now from ableton drag the JustTheTonic Rack.adg into your ableton set and it should load the drum rack.

You can save the files somewhere else and it will still work, but when you load the drum rack it will load with empty chains asking for the amxd file. You need to point to the location where you saved the amxd file. But even if you have done that, the the initial presets don't get loaded somehow. Max makes a copy of the amxd file in the default user library location anyway and references to that one so if you want to alter it, you might get confused because then you have 2 copies of the JustTheTonic.amxd in your library.

If all is well, the adg file (=drum rack) should find the amxd file (=max file) and that should find your vst (and load 8 instances of it).

Like Oktagon staged, it should find your vst automatically. I was surprised the first time i started it and did not see the microtonic interface, but it just worked!

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