After half a year with the Octatrack, just discovered an annoying thing about scenes and it changes the way I thought they worked.
I have a DJ Eq at the end of the Master track with a low kill in, let´s say, scene 9 (in this case in B). I thought the result would be that what is sounding will be low cutted when sliding from A to B, but it doesn´t, it depends on the scene in A.
If I have a blank scene 1 and a scene 2 with an effect, if I slide from 1 to 9 then the result is what I expected: scene 1 with a low cut.
But if I slide from 2 to 9 the result is a fade to the blank scene with the low cut.
Then, I should create a scene 10 using scene 2 as the base and aply the low cut on it (copy scene 2 to scene 10 and set low kill).
Is this the way to do it? Is it possible to have a scene in B that ONLY changes the highlighted parameter, keeping the sound of the scene A?
Yes but the parameters that are not set in the scene will be the ones in the “blank scene” or the “blank” part, so it fades from wherever to the parameters of the part plus the parameters on the scene.
I thought that the parameters I don´t dial in the scene B would match the ones in the scene A.
If you want a parameter to be shared among many scenes, it is better practice IMO to set it as you want it in the Part (e.g. your low EQ) and get it back to untouched as a Scene parameter for the Scenes you want it neutral.
Using the slider is a way to transition from a Scene to another, but you can also directly switch from one to another: in such action, letting the parameters from the previous Scene be effective has not much sense IMO.
Nothing is perfect and certainly not the OT.
But whatever the dilemma is, what’s nice is that you can often find a workaround to reach your goal, including resampling and using slices.
FWIW this approach to working with scenes (as described in Merlin’s guide) just led to frustration for me. Not that it can’t be done - I will often use it for chord progressions on a thru machine via comb filter for example. But most of the time I find it more fun to use scenes like variations/alternatives to a pattern rather than steps along a path that is followed from start to end.
Also don’t be afraid to pull out the masking tape and physically label the trigs, especially for live use. Remembering what each scene does can be very hard under pressure.
Most of the time Scenes are just pattern variations, sometimes I use them for transitions.
Also I usually use Scene B, Scene A is muted.
When I lock parameters, I first move the slider over to Scene B and then turn the knobs. This way I instantly get to hear the Scene Locks and don’t have to guess.
Maybe that helps?
Scenes are also nice as a kind of non-destructive fx. When the slider is set to Scene B, I can turn knobs and really go wild, but with muting the Scene everything is back to where I came from.
Scenes are great if you are prepared. I like that… Scenes are tough if you’re improvising in some ways. I don’t like that. That’s why I added an external Midi controller, and still use scenes. The UC4 has been a game changer for me. Still requires some prep, but not quite like scenes.
Not sure it suits everyone, but I found practical to load 2 scenes at the same time.
It can solve some scenes problems, for example you can change pitch to a constant value with the possibity to modulate other parameters
It can be done with Arranger, an external midi controller, or OT + midi processor + midi loopback.
In that case I found easier to assiociate odd scene numbers to scene A, and even ones to scene B.
Pairs are 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, etc…
Muting a Scene could be used to toggle momentary fx on/off.
Fo example you have a scene (muted) on a snare drum track that has Delay Send locked to 127 with high feedback - pull the crossfader over to activate the Scene and unmute just for a brief moment. You can start to play with unmuting / muting the Scene.
Also a good way to inject some movement into hi hats, basslines, leads etc.
I started to work with the Arranger again recently, the idea is basically to press play and let the Arranger play through several times so I can do proper multitracking.
Also possible this way to replace just one pattern.
I used to switch patterns by hand the last two years or so, ofc I sometimes delivered a really good performance, but I had to take notes and it was virtually impossible to replace a short section where I made a mistake.
Anyways…one thing I like to do with the Arranger is to have the crossfader always all the way to the right and I use the Arranger to select Scenes.
One thing that might help you is developing a layout for Scenes and just stick to it, something like Scene 1 is blank, Scene 2 is always used for intros, Scene 16 is for outros, 6 is for transitioning from one pattern to another etc.
Use the same layout for all Parts so you always know what to expect where.
Or use Scene 1 for pattern 01, Scene 2 for pattern 02, Scene 3 for pattern 03…