If you've been having fun with ROLI Studio Player Beta v0.1.0 but feel it's missing a key ingredient to improve your workflow, please let us know in this forum by creating a new topic.
Whilst we may not be able to include or respond to everything you suggest, we'll aim to address as many ideas as possible in future updates to ROLI Studio Player Beta - feel free to be creative!
If you wish to report an issue you've encountered, please use the Issue Reporting forum.
Got quite a few items on my “ROLI Studio Player” wishlist, already.
The first one is the same as Phil’s. The second one, also about crossplatform support, would be for Linux (especially Raspbian). To be honest, I’m rather sad that the company chose this Studio Player strategy on old desktop platforms before/instead of extending support on other platforms). But that might be a digression (which may eventually find its place in my academic research on sound appropriation).
In its current state, RSP is rather interesting… but it’s severely limited if it’s restricted to ROLI/FXpansion engines. Sure, it makes sense for ROLI to promote its softsynths. And maybe NI NKS or AKAI VIP wouldn’t be appropriate systems to accommodate MPE-savvy patches. But until RSP accepts third-party synths, it’s simply an added series of steps in the workflow. (The feature request, here: use JUCE or whichever other way to allow third-party synthmakers to add their own patches to RSP. For instance, AAS soundpacks would be a great fit, despite the fact that they have yet to support MPE. And now that Xfer Serum supports MPE, it’d be pretty awesome to access all sorts of Serum presets in the same interface as Equator and DCAM ones.)
We also need to be able to add our own patches. It sounds like this may be planned, but we need a bit more clarity on this.
If Equator makes it easier to add our own samples, RSP should make it easier to manage this kind of content. Sadly enough, you likely won’t partner with Noiiz, but there could even be an opportunity, there.
We also need to be able to assign tags or labels to patches. Sure, the filters are relatively decent for a mainstream approach to patch surfing. But there are many other taxonomies (and folksonomies!) for sounds.
Managing patches from different sources would make a lot of sense as well. There hasn’t been much of a market for Equator patches outside of ROLI’s own (same with Strobe2/Cypher2 patches outside of FXpansion) but the success of other softsynths makes it clear that there’s a market for this type of thing and ROLI/FXpansion could gain mindshare by enabling more of a patch-exchange system. Allowing people to access patches from different sources could work better than the current way we access Equator patches in the cloud.
Apart from plain marketing, I personally don’t understand why you want ROLI Connect to add yet another item to my menu bar. Among the many annoyances of working with, say, Adobe Creative Cloud, is the constant presence of that menu bar item. It’s possible that it raises your profile as a brand but it makes for a pretty uninspiring user experience. We might not expect user-driven design but this isn’t even user-centred design. (Feature request: please, kindly get rid of that menu bar item on macOS and, pretty please, refrain from forcing Windows users to add yet another item to the taskbar.)
More specifically about existing features…
The “Smart Chords” features is fairly interesting because it directly supports MPE and its approach is relatively novel. A simple feature request here would be to save Smart Chords setup, perhaps with patches but at least within the DAW.
The fact that chord “shapes” can be switched by CC is particularly neat, especially in Bitwig Studio (with its elaborate modulation system). But maybe you can allow for other methods to change chord types.
The “adpt voicing” feature is very intriguing and it does allow for other harmonic possibilities than “EDM chords” (block chords in parallel). I wonder if it might not be possible to take this a step further and allow for at least a crude form of “voice leading”… That may sound like a stretch but it sure would go a long way to solve issues that people have with “music theory”.
Also in the Smart Chords mode, it’d be great if we could still affect individual notes. Among the greatest advantages of MPE is the fact that we can independently modulate each note in a chord. Using Smart Chords negates MPE power to a large extent (e.g. pitchbend affects all notes in a chord). In fact, it even makes Polyphonic Aftertouch moot. So, RSP might be better than NI NKS thanks to its MPE support, but Smart Chords wouldn’t make for a very effective showcase of the power of MPE controllers like ROLI’s Seaboard and Lightpad lines.
One request which is likely a very long stretch but still makes sense in terms of ROLI’s championing new approaches to musicking: it’d be really neat if RSP could support diverse tuning systems “out of the box”. After all, the FXpansion softsynths already support .tun files. Why not standardize things across the board?
Because ROLI makes both hardware and software, in this case, owners of ROLI hardware should have more advantages than we do now. For instance, it should be possible to have custom Lightpad setups within RSP, without having to go to ROLI Dashboard. Especially if I own multiple devices, my satisfaction would greatly increase if I could have them adapt to different situations without having to go back and forth between the DAW (or plugin host) and ROLI Dashboard. Max setups make it obvious that something could be done. (One thing which is easy to imagine is that loading a patch in RSP would make, say, one Lightpad into a 4x4 bass grid in the same scale while another Lightpad could become sliders.)
(I’ve tried RSP with a Lightpad M, an original Lightpad, and a Sensel Morph. So far, I find that the Sensel Morph is the controller which “makes it sing”.)
The “Euclidian” arp is pretty interesting, if a bit idiosyncratic. (Not clear to me how to switch between 16 and 24 steps, or why these are the only two options.) But it’d be useful to have other options, including “asymmetrical” arpeggios and more elaborate patterns than up/down/random. There are plenty of arpeggiators out there, of course. This one is distinctive. But since it’s in its own little universe, it can easily feel like an approximation of other options.
The audio effects can probably be useful and the approach is rather appropriate for MPE. But the four XY pads mostly make sense if we can somehow assign Lightpads to each of them (or use a multitouch screen, which isn’t available on macOS). Actually, this is where an iOS version would probably be a gamechanger. And we might find our own solutions in the meantime. It wouldn’t be too hard to create four XY pads through, say, Numerical Audio’s KB-1, and connect to a Mac through Inter-Device Audio & MIDI to then control all four effects at the same time. It’s just that we really don’t need RSP for this (and other solutions are more flexible).
My guess is that you were expecting one neat feature request per post, like bug trackers. The point with this kind of open-ended beta test, though, is probably that the real insight comes from thinking about the broader context. In this case, my feature requests depend largely on ROLI’s longer term strategy, which is now clearer to me but still relatively blurry.
I really like ROLI Connect and what Studio Player combines. What I don't see is all previous sound banks from all other versions of Equator come over. That would be great to have. I'd love to see the sound packs I purchased for NOISE available here as well. Studio Player also really needs support to make all the drum kits from NOISE accessible through the LIghtpad M - in other words, if I have studio player open and my songmaker kit connected, I want to be able to hit drums on the lightpad while playing a chord with an arpeggiated sound on the Seaboard Block.
Thanks Miguel - the content available in this beta version (v0.1.0) is just some of the content that will be available in the future - we'll be adding more content, including soundpacks that have been previously available in NOISE, in following updates.
Thanks Martin, we'll be improving the overall hardware integration in RSP in future updates, which will allow deeper control of many more parameters in RSP. We'll make a note of your feedback and pass it on to the team.
Thanks Michael, we'll be introducing more Strobe2 and Cypher2 sounds in the future. The engines running under the hood of ROLI Studio Player are the full versions of Strobe2 and Cypher2 (the same as the Strobe2 Player and Cypher2 Player applications that are currently available to ROLI creators). We're looking at updating the full versions of Strobe2 and Cypher2 soon, to allow them to launch successfully in GarageBand.
Thanks Connor, I'll pass this on to the team
Thanks John, we'll look at improving the visibility of the GUI in future updates to ROLI Studio Player.
Thank you all for your detailed, helpful and creative feedback - some really great suggestions that we'll be taking on board and looking to implement and introduce in future updates to ROLI Studio Player.
If you have any further thoughts, please feel free to create a new topic in this (Feature Requests) forum, as it'll help us to keep track of everything you suggest. Thanks!