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Percussion Hold

Controls: Sgram/PT Dialog >> Pitch-to-MIDI >> Percussion Setup
Changes: Hv=n

This sets the number of beats a percussion sound is to be "held". It is effectively the same as slowing the Tempo by this factor, except it works on an individual percussion instrument.

Note that unlike Hold Beats in a tonal Voice Setup, which can include instruments with long sustain like a piano decay, or indefinite sustain like an church organ or horn, most percussion instruments decay very quickly. The sound has typically died away before the next beat anyway, so you won't hear any additional sound with Hold applied, unless you have a really fast tempo with one of the longer percussion sounds, like a crash cymbal.

So Hold here is really just to slow the tempo for an individual percussion instrument. You probably don't need this if you are using Percussion Velocity Patterns to manually enter the percussion hit timing, since you can space the hits out as you like with '0' (or '.' or '_') for silence between them.

The main use of Hold is with performances created from random, or at least unplanned, inputs. This is related to the way Tempo works: Instead of controlling the interval of the longest note, as in conventional music which then divides it into shorter intervals for half and quarter notes, etc, here Tempo sets the fastest interval, and longer notes are multiples of that. That means that a performance that would conventionally use whole, half, and quarter notes must have Tempo set to four times the conventional beats per minute to get the proper timing for the quarter notes.

So Tempo is typically set higher than conventional BPM to handle the shortest notes, and longer notes are obtained using sustain characters in the Velocity Pattern, or by use of Hold Beats to extend all notes of a voice. But that means that, by default, there would be a percussion hit at intervals corresponding to quarter notes (or whatever is fastest), which may be faster than you want.

If you are using pre-entered patterns, as noted earlier, you can space things as desired. But if you have unpredictable inputs (such as from a Music_from_Anything image or other input), you may find the percussion more frenetic than you want. Percussion Hold provides a conveient way to slow things down.

MIDI Changes Script:

Hv=n sets the Percussion Hold for instrument v (which must be A to F, case-insensitive) to the value n, which may be any unsigned integer or valid expression, including current MIDI control values, random values, current computer keyboard states or mouse position, input or buffered notes, oscillators, and User Variables. Values will be limited to 0-127.

For example, HA=4 sets the A instrument Hold to a value of 4, which would give one percussion hit every 4 beats.

You can use G instead of A-F to set all Percussion Hold values at once.

See also Percussion Setup Dialog Pitch-to-MIDI dialog, Pitch Track Toolbox - Overview, Spectrogram / Pitch Track Controls, Spectrogram / Pitch Track (Sgram/PT)


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