Paul’s Tech Talk – LSDJ 5.0.0, New commands [F]tW! Part 1

- Posted July 5th, 2017 by

Hello people, Paul here for a new issue of LSDJ Tech Talk. Today we’re going to look back on LSDJ version 5.0.0 and all the good things it’s brought to the table. Buckle up!

With 5.0.0, the big round number started garnering interest in the community and the wave of updates got more and more feedback. Funnily enough, despite being a big round 5.0 and even though this version introduced some pretty nice upgrades, it wasn’t yet significative of the complete overhaul that was still in the making. Johan K just happens to add +0.0.1 to every new version, regardless of how big the changes are. BAMBOOZLED!

Don’t get me wrong, those upgrades were big too, very useful and very anticipated. It’s not everyday that LSDJ gains 2 new Commands to play with!

In today’s article, we’ll mainly talk about the upgraded F command.

For more accurate info on how LSDJ commands work, have yourself a big ol’ cup of RTFM and click HERE, for all relevant version manuals.

In LSDJ there are a number of letter-commands which have different effects depending on how and where you use them. For example, S could affect Hardware Pitch [S]weep in the first Pulse channel, but also loop point off[S]et in Kit instruments in the Wave channel, and [S]hape in the Noise channel. Similarly until now, F incremented [F]rames in Wave Synth instruments, or sample position o[F]fset in Kit instruments.

But since 5.0.0, F has acquired a new, very handy feature: Pulse Channel [F]inetune!

Pulse Finetune has existed for a long time in LSDJ but before this version, the values were fixed, and tied to one of 3F(64) instrument slots. If you wanted to get crazy and play with this parameter in the context of a song, you had to clone a bunch of instruments with different Finetune settings and enter Instrument values into your phrases each time you wanted to change. This also had the adverse effect of resetting tables, which are triggered by I values.

Let’s look at how Finetune parameters work.

On the Pulse instrument screen, we can see “PU2 TUNE” and “PU FINE”.

PU2 TUNE is a coarse tuning parameter. It specifies a number of semitones, up (01 to 7F) or down (FF to 80), by which this instrument will be transposed. This only affects Pulse Channel 2, meaning that if you set an instrument’s PU2 TUNE to 0C (+12) and play similar Chains in Pulse 1 and 2, Pulse 2 will play one octave higher than Pulse 1. This allows you to play with different harmonies, and avoid using up Chains, Phrases or Instruments when you’re close to running out.

PU FINE (for finetuning) has been a community favourite for as long as it’s been implemented. This feature allows you to detune Pulse channel instruments, up to roughly a semitone, depending on the note.

After LSDJ 5.1.0, the Pitch curve has been made linear, but in 5.0.0, it is still logarithmic, meaning that the detune effect will be very subtle on lower notes, and increasingly coarse the higher you go. But that’s a big topic in itself, better suited to a specific article.

There is however one significant limitation (which, like any soft- or hardware limitation in Chiptune, just begs to be utilized creatively, bent to one’s will and worked around) On Pulse 1, notes will be tuned down, and on Pulse 2, up.

If you’re reading this article you probably already how Finetune is most often used. Slightly detuning an instrument and playing identical Phrases on both Pulse Channels will result in phasing effects. This sounds makes for a very sought-after enhancement for lead or bass sounds, even at the steep price of two channels being used to generate one sound.

Partial illustration of 2 Pulse Waves phasing in and out.

However, going back to the limitation mentioned above, it’s easy to forget that PU TUNE set to 1 will tune PU1 down by 1 and PU2 up by 1, actually setting them apart by 2. Similarly, A PU TUNE value of 2 will set both channels apart by 4, 3 by 6 and so on. In order to have finer control over the amount of detuning instead of multiples of 2, you would then need to stack two different instruments with independent Finetune values, which proved quite costly at the end of the day, especially if you wanted to keep altering these values, with even more instrument slots used  up down the road.

Well fear no longer, 5.0.0 solves all these issues in one fell swoop, and opens up fantastic new possibilities!

F command in action. Finetune DOWN in PU1, UP in PU2.

With the introduction of the new Pulse [F]inetune command, not only will you will be able to avoid using up too many instruments, but also gain that tighter, finer control over each pulse channel’s tuning parameters.

The first digit in your F value will affect PU2 Coarse tune (up to F[16] semitones up instead of 7F up and down though, but since coarse tune can be easily altered with just Note or Transpose values, this limitation is kind of a non-issue unless you already ran out of Phrases) and the second digit will set the Finetune amount, up to F, Down for Pulse 1 and Up for Pulse 2.

Thanks to this command, you can now change these parameters independently from Instruments, which helps save up precious slots and overall cart storage space. Additionally, you can now specify F values on every step of a Phrase and especially, in Tables, which was impossible before this update. Control is now finer in quantity (increments of 1 instead of 2 are now viable) but very significantly in resolution. Since Finetune parameters were tied to I values, and I values could not be altered in Tables, one-tick-precise Finetune changes were almost impossible to achieve before.

Changing and resetting Finetune in a Table for a step-based phasing or vibrato effect.

It’s now up to you to get your creative juices flowing. Crack this new feature wide open and experiment with these new possibilities. Phase-based wobbly Pulse Bass? On-and-off supersaw lead? Quarter-tone effects? You name it! All of this is now possible thanks to the amazing overhaul of the F command only.

Thanks for reading this far, I really hope this was informative, motivating and fun for you. I can’t wait to see what crazy sounds you guys will pump out of these new versions. Bear in mind we’ve only scratched the surface here! The next issue will go over the other great addition introduced in LSDJ 5.0.0: The WAV Channel W command!

See you soon!

Note: traducción al Español por Pixel_Guy encontrado aquí

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