Toraiz Squid Workflow & Usage Discussion

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Toraiz Squid Workflow & Usage Discussion

Post by tenembre » Tue May 21, 2019 9:19 am

Since the other thread has evolved into a video posting thread, I've created this one for those of us who would like to continue a discussion of the Toraiz Squid.

Please respect the intention of this thread and refrain from posting videos here. The other thread remains available for that activity.

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xonetacular
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Post by xonetacular » Tue May 21, 2019 9:27 am

Mine is still sealed in the box while I work on a complete studio rewire/patchbay project, hope to get it out soon and explore. :guinness:

Curious to hear how people are using it to sequence drum machines. Are you dedicating tracks to each drum instrument or using one drum machine on 1-2 tracks?

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Post by DiscoDevil » Tue May 21, 2019 9:39 am

xonetacular wrote:Mine is still sealed in the box while I work on a complete studio rewire/patchbay project, hope to get it out soon and explore. :guinness:

Curious to hear how people are using it to sequence drum machines. Are you dedicating tracks to each drum instrument or using one drum machine on 1-2 tracks?
It's kind of a pain to be honest. If your drum machine has 8 instruments, you need to dedicate 8 channels of the SQUID to drums, one for each instrument and then as far as I can tell, you have to tune every single step to the proper midi note for that instrument. 64 steps x 8 instruments is a lot of fussing around for each project.
Last edited by DiscoDevil on Tue May 21, 2019 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by xonetacular » Tue May 21, 2019 9:43 am

Yeah that's what I realized after I placed my order and was complaining about, but some people were saying it wasn't a big deal...

Seems like a big oversight and they really need a drum pattern mode like other sequencers have so you can have a drum machine on 1 track and have sub sequences for each instrument. :bang:

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Tue May 21, 2019 11:23 am

I'm using one track for a "kit". When I try to program on separate tracks for each drum I end up with robotic results...but that's just me. My drummer's brain needs to play them all together. (BTW the pads are finger-sized and nicely responsive. I'd like a linnstrument clone with these type of pads).

The designers did not go full XoX with this and the assumptions are different.

I would appreciate some kind of way to extract just one note (drum) of a sequence and put that on another track though. I'll see tonight if that's possible...have to dig in the manual a bit.

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Post by xonetacular » Tue May 21, 2019 11:29 am

With all the other features of the Squid with pattern transformation it should be able to make x0x patterns much more out there very quickly and easily, so I would have liked to be able to get the base drum patterns down that way.

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Post by DiscoDevil » Tue May 21, 2019 11:38 am

Once again there is so much brilliance mixed with WTF that you wonder if there aren't two separate teams working on these. One clearly understands what makes a machine "musical" and fun to use. The other has never made music before and is trying to write code for how they assume someone might make music.

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Post by xonetacular » Tue May 21, 2019 12:00 pm

DiscoDevil wrote:Once again there is so much brilliance mixed with WTF that you wonder if there aren't two separate teams working on these. One clearly understands what makes a machine "musical" and fun to use. The other has never made music before and is trying to write code for how they assume someone might make music.
It will probably fall on deaf ears but you never know so please feel free to voice your input here: https://forums.pioneerdj.com/hc/en-us/c ... m-Machines?

Demand drum patterns be made a priority.

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Post by DiscoDevil » Tue May 21, 2019 12:20 pm

So the process for setting up drum programming is ridiculous BUT actually programming drums is incredible if you can spare the necessary tracks. The interpolation function is so great for doing velocity curves applied to hi hats, etc. The direction control and individual pattern length/speed/etc can produce some amazing results as well.

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Post by xonetacular » Tue May 21, 2019 12:23 pm

Yeah, just hoping it will be remedied. I would like to be able to sequence more than one drum machine on the squid without constantly reassigning tracks.

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Post by dubonaire » Tue May 21, 2019 3:36 pm

I don't have mine yet. I'm waiting until the right international trip because where I live I have to import it and it's an expensive PITA to do.

But this discussion on drum programming I think is confirming my intention to record Squid into the Cirklon.

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Mon May 27, 2019 10:33 am

This thing is a quirky little beast. I wanted to motion record the CC knobs...but it doesn't do that. WTF? Who designed this?

Then on a whim I used arp on random setting for the high hats, layered on top of a straight HH part routed to another box, and got a killer little quasi-random hi-hat groove. Then used the "count" parameter to add funk...

"so much brilliance mixed with WTF" is exactly right. But hell, if I wasn't willing to work through machine quirks, I'd be using a DAW and plugins, something slick and professional. I'm getting results I like, and the UI rewards just playing with the buttons and knobs. That's pretty unusual with sequencers, which usually require a more cerebral approach.

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:45 am

Firmware update 1.11 is out. Just bugfixes, but still good to see.


- Arpeggiator worked incorrectly when the TRACK output setting was CV/GATE1 or CV/GATE2.

- Arpeggiator worked incorrectly when the Mono/Poly setting of a TRACK SETTING was Mono.

- External equipment was not communicating correctly when the OUT Sync Mode of the CLOCK setting was 2ppqn in the GLOBAL settings.

- Other minor issues.

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Post by DiscoDevil » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:24 pm

My rage with the SQUID and Pioneer in general is reaching a boiling point.

How can they be SOOOO close and fuck up the last 10% so badly?

This 16 "Pattern Sets" has become a complete show stopper. This machine is unusable for live performance.

Imagine trying to perform for an hour or more and only being able to change patterns 16x total per project. After you've used up all 16 of your Pattern Sets, you then can only change patterns on a single track at a time and it takes 4x button presses per pattern change. That's their idea of a sequencer that's marketed as being "the heart of your studio or live rig". Infuriating.

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Post by jabberwalky » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:03 pm

I'm not really clear on what a pattern set is defined by. Or what a project is defined by. What is the limitation of a pattern? Is it a case of being forced to approach it differently or just baffling limitation (i.e. not designed by a musician)?

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Post by DiscoDevil » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:14 pm

jabberwalky wrote:I'm not really clear on what a pattern set is defined by. Or what a project is defined by. What is the limitation of a pattern? Is it a case of being forced to approach it differently or just baffling limitation (i.e. not designed by a musician)?

A project contains 16 tracks and up to 64 patterns per track. This is fine.

A Pattern Set is like a snapshot on the Engine. You can assign a pattern to each track and then save that configuration as a "Pattern Set". A Pattern Set lets you switch back and forth between snapshots like parts of a song. You only get 16 of these per project. The SP-16 for reference allows 256 "Pattern Sets" but they call them scenes on the SP-16.

Once you're out of Pattern Sets you have no way to switch multiple tracks to new patterns at the same time. You have to hit the Track button, choose the track, hit the Pattern button and then select the new pattern for each instrument in the composition. Time consuming and impossible to use if you're trying to use it in a performance situation.

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:50 pm

That's a bit harsh. I played a show with it not long ago without issue. BUT the set was fairly minimal, evolving techno, so I was using mutes on the devices and single pattern changes. If I was dependent on pattern set changes...yeah, it would be unusable for an hour long set.

Does anyone know if development of the OS is ongoing?

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Post by DiscoDevil » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:02 pm

tenembre wrote:That's a bit harsh. I played a show with it not long ago without issue. BUT the set was fairly minimal, evolving techno, so I was using mutes on the devices and single pattern changes. If I was dependent on pattern set changes...yeah, it would be unusable for an hour long set.

Does anyone know if development of the OS is ongoing?
One hour long, evolving song? No problem. If you don't need to change the bassline AND the lead at the same time, you're all set.

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:17 pm

DiscoDevil wrote:
tenembre wrote:That's a bit harsh. I played a show with it not long ago without issue. BUT the set was fairly minimal, evolving techno, so I was using mutes on the devices and single pattern changes. If I was dependent on pattern set changes...yeah, it would be unusable for an hour long set.

Does anyone know if development of the OS is ongoing?
One hour long, evolving song? No problem. If you don't need to change the bassline AND the lead at the same time, you're all set.
If you don't have to do it more than 15 times! :mrgreen:

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Post by KaOsphere » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:14 pm

As far as I understood it is sending midi clock even when sequencer is not running so maybe with some clever transition tricks you could get past that limitation ?

I have to admit that the time modulation per track is sooooooo nice !

The letdown for me relies in the absence of any midi exposed control for now...Considering the consensus of Toraiz update records, nor sure if we could count on that...

Controlling all this with some octatrack lfos or enveloppe followers would lead to world apocalypse ! :love:
Sig !

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:28 pm

Experimenting with workarounds for this. Best I've come up with is to have another sequencer going that is NOT receiving stop/start from the Squid (this can be turned off in the General settings for each port). Set up that way, another project can be loaded without interrupting the playback of the other device. The new clock setting will take effect when it's loaded so it would have to be saved with the correct tempo ahead of time if the Squid is the master clock.

I 100% agree that having to work around having only 16 pattern sets is super dumb. I would post to that effect in the Toraiz forum, but every time I try to post I'm sent back to the login screen. They should fix that too; it's a really bad look for Pioneer.

tenembre

Post by tenembre » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:54 pm

At the Toraiz forums there's a survey link.

Buried a few pages into the survey is a page for selecting what you dislike about the Squid, including choices for No Song or Arranger Mode and Not Enough Pattern Sets. They must be asking for a reason, so go to it!

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Post by DiscoDevil » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:09 am

Several months in and the "list" is growing.

When synced to midi clock, you can't change patterns until the current pattern finishes. Meaning, if you hit stop on your master clock on the 1st bar of a 4 bar pattern and try to switch to a new pattern on the SQUID and hit start again on the master, the SQUID refuses to change patterns until it finishes playing the current one. Frustrating when you're trying to quickly scan through patterns in a track and have to wait for all 4 bars to finish before you can go to the next one. Yes, waiting til the end of the pattern to switch is a desirable function when playing back but hitting stop should reset it and it doesn't.

By default the SQUID responds to ALL MIDI channels for incoming note data. Your only other options are Disabled or to select a single fixed channel for the incoming data. So, you either have every track responding to every note you're playing in or you have to go in to the Global Settings and manually select the Midi channel you currently want to record to every single time you want to add a new part. "Selected Track" should be a default option in Global and it should automatically switch to listening on only the channel for the currently selected track. *EDIT* I should add that I am using the SP-16 as the midi source so whatever track I have selected on the SP-16, is the MIDI channel it is transmitting on. This is not such a big issue if you are just using a midi controller with a fixed MIDI channel output.

Both of these have been reported to the Toraiz developers.

I am finding it to still be a useful tool in the studio but I'm using it less and less as these workflow stumbling blocks keep popping up.

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Post by Panason » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:15 pm

tenembre wrote:At the Toraiz forums there's a survey link.

Buried a few pages into the survey is a page for selecting what you dislike about the Squid, including choices for No Song or Arranger Mode and Not Enough Pattern Sets. They must be asking for a reason, so go to it!
[sigh] yes, their web team is doing this for a reason, which is to reduce the volume of people posting requests to fix glaring omissions in the feature set, and to appear interested in their customers... there was an identical "survey" for the SP16 after the last too late & too little update.

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:26 pm

there is a toraiz vs pyramid thread that is simply a disaster, with one person especially ranting on repeatedly about it. I just gave up looking at the thread.

maybe i could get a helpful answer here if I can articulate my question.

i don't care about fookin songs. i'm not playing it out live. I love the pyramid (didn't do music for a bit, and am finally really digging into it), but i theoretically would like a second sequencer.

That note earlier about the cc knobs not recording - that seems like an omission, but in general - how strong are the modulations, how easy to use them in practice, and to have fun with this thing. I like sequencers where you can evolve patterns through internal and external modulation. The pyramid doesn't have some of the classic modulations, but those midi fx are great, and the recording of everything is great. etc.

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