Polychain Question

When you are playing polychained Shruthis, the notes are dispatched in a round robin sequence to each of the devices in the chain. Is it possible to allow held/sustained notes to remain held instead of being overridden by the next note in the sequence?

In other words, imagine that you have two polychained Shruthis and you’re playing a drone bass with your left hand and a melody with your right. If you hold down a bass note and play a melody note, both notes are played simultaneously, one on each device. If you continue to hold the bass note and play a second melody note, the round robin algorithm will cut off the held bass note because it’s being fed the second melody note, the third in the sequence.

If anyone is following me, is it possible to tweak the round robin algorithm to allow sustained notes to have priority over incoming notes? Or is something like this already implemented and handled through some other setting I haven’t figured out yet?

First, it is not a round-robin ; it is the very same algorithm of pretty much every single polysynth out there: “In case of conflict, steal the least recently played voice playing a release envelope ; if all notes are currently held, steal the least recently played note”.

Here is what happens in your case:

  • You play and hold the bass note
  • You press the first melody note
  • You press the second melody note while the first melody note is still pressed because you are playing legato. At this stage, there is a conflict: a third note comes and two voices are busy with sustained notes, so the least recently played note (the bass note) is killed.

Here is a scenario that would happen if I implemented “least recently played sustained note cannot be stolen”

  • You play and hold the bass note
  • You press the first melody note
  • You press a new bass note, but you are playing legato and the two bass notes overlap. At this stage, there is a conflict: a third note has come and two voices are busy. So the most recently played note (the melody note) is killed.

Not good! There’s really no silver bullet in terms of voice stealing algorithms, and every quirk of one solution can be turned on its head to show a shortcoming of another solution…

So the real solution here is to try not playing the melody legato (you can increase the envelope length to compensate :D) and you won’t have the problem:

  • You press the bass note
  • You press the first melody note
  • You release the first melody note and play the second melody note. There is a need for a new voice, so the least recently played voice with a releasing envelope (the melody note) is killed.

Or maybe use a proper split.

Thank you for the thoughtful answer. The envelopes are where I was headed next if there wasnt some other direct function for this. I was thinking there might be something like the keyboard trigger modes in the Voyager or something…