The other shruthi-1 programmer: behringer bcr2000 templates

i just programmed my behringer bcr2000 to be used as a controller for the shruthi and was about to upload the bcr patches to share with you guys - but how do i upload stuff here in this forum?

i haven’t seen something uploaded here yet.
mostly the guys had some link to places like drop.io (which is gone now)
any tips for similar service anyone?

if you like to mic.w i can host the files for you on my site… no registration,no fee, you’ll just get a link :wink:

ok, here is the link to the bcr templates:

BCR_2000_Shruthi1.zip

many thanks to fcd72 for hosting them!

the .zip includes two .syx files which you can play to your bcr. i also included a readme file which describes how the shruthi’s 32 cc parameters are mapped onto the bcr’s 32 knobs.

the way i mapped them may not be the most obvious one, at least in the mixer section. i wanted my bcr to give me access also to the highpass filter cutoff frequency of my ssm2044 shruthi, so i decided to always use midi cc #16 (“cc A” in the modulation matrix) for cv1 (hp filter cutoff frequency) and have that cc parameter controlled by a knob right next to the one for the lp cutoff frequency. since the bcr has only 32 encoders (8 of which can be mapped with 4 different parameters in 4 “encoder groups”) one of the shruthi’s standard 32 cc parameters had to move to the second “encoder group”. but i also included a template version for standard shruthis without a highpass filter.

anyway, i thought there might some bcr2000 owners among you who might find this useful to give you even better control over your shruthi… :slight_smile:

Sorry about the midi-newbie question but…
The whole point of the BCR2000 is to have bidirectional midi, so it can update those nice rings around the pots.
Since The midi In at the BCR2000 is taken by the midi keyboard, then the Shruti’s midi out cannot go into the midi in, right? so no way for the Shruti to send midi status back like ‘my cutoff is at 128 now’. How do you get around this?

I have:

midi keyboard -> BCR2000 IN.
BCR2000 out -> Shruthi IN.

I do get sound when I play notes.

Unrelated to the above problem…
I flashed the Shruthi1_Standard.syx to my BCR and is in standalone mode 2 right now, but it also doesn’t seem to be sending any the midi CC that the readme describes. The areas that are supposed to be LFO change the osc waves etc. Has the midi spec changed since Feb 2011? I do understand this is a pretty old syx file :slight_smile:

Thanks!

I think there has been a lot of updates since 2011!
If you also use a computer in your setup you can also have midi in thru the USB of the bcr. The newest version of the shruthi firmware uses Cc for most parameters so it is much more easy to program in the bcr.

Great to hear re: new CCs.

My other question still remains: how do I get the cabling right so I get key input, but also feedback from the shruthi to the bcr with parameters updates? That is, if I change patch, I shoud see all the rings around the pots change values. Does this make sense?

Two ways I could come up abut solving this:

(1) Using a midi merger box ($$) to merge the signals from the Shruti and the midi keyboard inside the BCR. What happened to the midi chaining that made midi famous?

(2) Use a computer. BCR connects to it via USB (which is like another midi in), that takes the input from the keyboard. Use tubeohm’s editor and map the BCR to knobs there. I was trying to avoid having a computer on anyway, but I see very often the best solution to program hardware synths is to use a vst (. I could close the computer lid, which is nice. Still, one more box to keep around).

One thing that could be a showstopper for some…
When sending midi CC, the Shruthi doesn’t change to the page where that param is visualized. So it’s a bit of a guess what level that param you are tweaking is at.

All in all, in my short experience with hardware synths, the UX and interface is really substandard. Maybe others have had more luck.

> When sending midi CC, the Shruthi doesn’t change to the page where that param is visualized.

Of course it doesn’t. You don’t want the screen to flicker in a very annoying way when playing back a sequence with multiple CC automations from your DAW.

Even worse: you’re playing a live set with pre-recorded sequences which have CC automations, on top of which you want to do some live parameter changes. You don’t want the pre-recorded CCs from your sequencer to dictate on which page the synth will be and prevent you from doing modifications…

CC are meant for modifying the sound, not as a remote control for the UI…

@urlwolf: You want a JX-8P.

It will gladly display the edited and sequenced parameters when you play back a sequence with it in “program” mode. Or get really glitchy if you send a ton of sequencing data all at once. It is its own light show. :slight_smile:
Not to mention it works perfectly with a BCR2000.

>in my short experience… the UX and interface is really substandard

Do you mean all hardware synthesizers or just the Shruthi? If you are comparing it to other hardware synthesizers, which ones?

For the most part, even a knob-laden synthesizer will not be able to send all the proper data to an external source. Moog is perhaps the closest with their external computer editor and knob tracking for live playing so no parameter suddenly “jumps” on the Sub 37. That is only one hardware synth out of thousands.
I also like the BSII way of having two LEDs that indicate if the new value is above, below, or at the saved value. Great for when I want to tweak a few important parameters. Both of these are very recent implementations. If you wanted to remember your patch parameters on any vintage synthesizer, you either remember it, took a picture, or wrote it on an included patch card. That last method is used by Arturia on the Brute series.

When I am using an external editor with my Shruthi, I do reach out and press the button to put it on the proper page. It isn’t that much more work. Unless your Shruthi is on the other side of your studio from your sequencer. :wink:

My DSI Mopho changes the LCD to display incoming midi CC’s. It is really annoying. It makes it nearly impossible to tweak a patch while it is being sequenced ( and there is some midi CC’s in the sequence).

I mean UX on most hardware synths.
I stopped music as a hobby for 10 years, came back and saw vsts made some good progress. But people still prefer the tactile experience of hardware. Which I agree it’s nice, and I’m now slowly moving to hardware.

But here’s my main pain point.

In a vst, when I change preset I can see all the parameters take new values.

This is not the case with hardware.

When you have no motorized pots (!) or nice rotary encoders with light rings (very few synths have them), you have no bird view at all. It’s hard to learn how a preset does what it does by scrolling through them.

The solution is the BCR2000. It gives exactly the type of visual feedback I like. But I’m not sure it can be configured to get params updates from the Shruthi, because I need the MIDI IN and OUT to be connected to the BCR for that. Makes sense?

Sorry, midi newbie here :slight_smile:

@urlwolf Ever considered using your ears instead of relying solely on visual feedback? :wink:

urlwolf: I know what you mean, but ast2k said, listening to the sound is just as fast. I personally like my synthesizer to have a screen that shows me the value of the currently edited parameter. For example: on the Juno 106 getting the filter just right can totally change a patch. However, you can’t see what value it is at, and a ring of LEDs isn’t sensitive enough to show all of the steps. So I listen for the small “clicks” between filter steps. They are quite audible on the Juno 106 if you listen.

As far as figuring out how your Shruthi makes the sounds it does, the first place you will want to investigate on each patch are the oscillator settings. That is a simple three button presses to flip through. Once you have familiarized your self with how each oscillator setting sounds, the one that will matter is page 3 as that has the mixing and timbral section for the oscillators. So that narrows it down to one page to check.

Figuring out how the filter programmed is very easy on a standard SMR4 Shruthi. As it is a low pass filter, listen for how many high harmonics you have in a sound. The less you have the lower the cutoff. If you get a nice sweeping peak or have a boost of harmonics, there is resonance on the filter.

Then you will want to look at the envelopes and LFOs. That is 4 button presses. You should be able to hear what these do when you press and hold a key down. However, flipping though the four pages with one button is a very fast way to see what the settings are if they are creating complex patterns not available on other synthesizers as they often can on the Shruthi. Ultimatly, you can get down to 5 pages of parameters to check, that is only 20 parameters.

Now where this gets more involved is with the mod matrix options. That is one page, but you have 12 routings. That means there are 36 parameters to potentially figure out. Now would be a good time to mention that there are a few mod matrix routings that tend to never change. Like #9’s Env2 to VCA routing.

Now you may be wondering, “Why add 36 unintuitive parameters?” Simply put, the default routings on most synthesizers are lack luster and the mod matrix lets you rout any signal to any destination. This effectively turns the Shruthi into a very portable modular synthesizer in a box. Not to mention, you can even do some nice mathematic functions with the operators section of the mod menu. Once you master those, you can make pretty much any modulation you can think of then use them in the mod matrix to affect any value.

Once you have a hold on that, you will want to check out the very nifty step sequencer. You can also use the step sequencer to modulate parameters int the mod matrix, so you will want to be comfortable using the mod matrix to route signals around.

That is about all you will need to know to make more sounds than any other monosynth currently on the market. If you want to add more functionality, you can run an external signal into the Shruthi or use the output as an input on another synthesizer.

Thanks audiohoarder.

I’m familiar with mod matrices.
The problem is not the button presses, or listening, the problem is that you have to keep in your head what you saw in the last page(s). You know the work of Bret Victor? Modal interfaces are not great for art.

I want all my mental resources on the task (composing). Having to keep params in working memory is damaging. Ask any psychologist.

@urlwolf I disagree with you on that, but let’s not go into that here and now.

If you want this, you should use a computer with a very big display (and be very specific about the software you choose), only use analogue synth without patch memory, and/or a modular (but only with single-function, one-knob-per-parameter modules).

By the way, most of Bret Victor’s work is about direct manipulation, not about human interface modality. In fact, the interfaces he proposed could be considered “hyper modal” since most of the available tools and operations depend on the current context.

@urlwolf: You may want to separate creating sounds from composing music.
It is very easy to conflate both skills as the same thing, but that is not the most enlightened way to look at this as a synthesizer is not inherently a musical instrument.

It is not the synthesizer itself, but the control one is given over it that puts it in a musical light. In fact, I would highly recommend that you take the time to learn how to program the performance controls, velocity, aftertouch, modwheel, ptichbender, breath control, MIDI CC, ect., available to you with presets you like. Using these parameters wisely will let you create much more dynamic sequences. Using the aftertouch or modwheel to open the filter when you want a note to be more pronounced is a great and easy-to-implement use of this.

If you are 100% using synthesizers for composition, you should get a nice rompler. An example of this would be the Korg M1. You can simply load up the sounds you like and start composing music right away.

I mainly wrote that method for editing the Shruthi because knowing how someone else tackles a problem tends to make new possibilities more obvious. I also mention the part about the mod matrix because even seasoned Shruthi users don’t like to get too involved with it. Which is a shame because it is fantastic.

On one side note, humans can improve memory cognition, but it is not immediate. You will have to spend plenty of time programming and editing synthesizers, but you will eventually be able to recall whole patches from memory. I wouldn’t call enhanced memory psychically damaging any more than I would call muscle memory physically damaging. :wink:

One thing I’ve found is that it’s much easier to keep your own patches “in your head” than presets or patches you got form others. Even when I use a preset, I often find myself recreating it so that it conforms to how I normally would make a patch form scratch on this specific synth.