Bank vs Instrument Track Concept

edited July 2017 in Feature Requests

I like the way banks function as group tracks, particularly for drum kits and one shot samples. However, for single instrument use, it may be a good idea to add normal 'single' instrument tracks that load AU, IAA, etc. This way we can separate the elements of patterns easier and song arrangement will be more flexible. Banks can remain relatively untouched as we may not need more than 8 with the option of unlimited individual instrument tracks.

Bank vs Instrument
  1. Agree?28 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Not sure


  • My take on this is to keep all the 'Instruments' in 'racks' and have different 'performance views' to trigger them.
    (Instrument in this case is sampler, plug-in, midi-destination or any combination).

    So for example a '16 pad performance view' could trigger 16 different instruments or notes of an instrument present in the 'rack' and each 'instrument' would always have at least one sequencer track capable of triggering it.

    Naturally each pad could be configured to trigger multiple instruments for easy layering if needed.

    A keyboard could also be seen 'performance view' that targets a specific instrument in the rack...

  • edited July 2017

    I do not fully understand the vision behind how BM3 was developed. Without sufficient understanding of BM3's design, I will defer consideration of whether or not single instrument tracks is desirable.

    An app can't be all things to all people so developers have to make difficult decisions which favor certain ways of doing things over others. Proposed features may undermine the workflows the app was designed to support. My uninformed leanings would be that adding single instrument tracks would be inconsistent with BM3's design.

    Furthermore, I'm concerned many people prefer to turn BM3 into something they're used to before understanding why BM3 has been designed the way it has been or considering how their feature suggestion may undermine the advantages inherent in the app's initial design approach.

    I prefer to defer to the developer's judgement of what will benefit their app and what will not versus my own. Once a developer decides to add proposed features to the app, it would seem appropriate to ask users about their priorities to schedule adding new features after the low hanging fruit features and critical fixes have been implemented.


  • I'm cool with the banks to be honest. I like how it's laid out like the launchpad with the 64 pad option. If Intua just put an icon with link to the pattern pianoroll editor. Caustic does something cool with the 64 pattern scenes on the pianoroll. If Intua did that for every pad it could be problem solved. The other option is just midi lanes like Reason has, for each pad
  • I have no issues with the 'bank' concept but the 'extra' tracks would be welcomed...
    Imagine you create a backing-beat of 1-4 bars and want to record a longer lead on top of that?

    The 1-4 bar pattern could be repeated on the time-line and the 'extra track' would just control one pad in that bank with the lead sound on it.

  • @samu +1
    The BM3 banks system is pretty insane (in a good way). A lot of options/flexibilities the way things are currently in banks.

    Other track types or whatever would be cool too but I hope they don't remove what's there atm with an overhaul. Not that I imagine they would at this stage..
  • I honestly have no idea what we could expect. I don't really care for another Daw either. I like BM3 for its instrument crafting and performance capabilities. Triggering the pad mutes and being able to record to audio directly in the app more than suits my needs. Anything more than this is just awesome sauce as far as I'm concerned :p
  • I like the banks concept but don't see the problem in adding single midi tracks since there are already Audio tracks. Just makes it more flexible and can simplify certain situations.

  • edited July 2017

    Yes, please bring back adding Instruments to the Song Mode timeline like BM2. Song Mode in BM3 is equivalent to the timeline in BM2. The difference between BM3 Song Mode and BM2 timeline shows when you attempt to arrange. In BM3 you have the 8 Bank limit, in BM2 you have unlimited Instruments on the same timeline. Arranging in BM3 Song mode each of those 8 banks, even though they have 1-128 Instruments, all those Instruments are locked into the same length when you move or copy them on the Song mode timeline. Each Bank is affected as a unit. In BM2 each Instrument is a discreet track to be copied, moved and arranged independently. It's a subtle yet profound and important difference. The 8 Bank limit is sufficient for basic pop song structure but fails when you have multiple elements spanning those artificial lines between sections.
    Another solution I suggested in beta would be to just increase the number of Banks though honestly I really don't like having to navigate through the Pad view just to get to keyboard instruments.

  • edited July 2017
    I like it. You've got to read the manual and spend some time with it. That's a good thing. I'll now read the text beyond the first sentence.

    Edit: agree with the general sentiment. I think there's a little too much resistance to the bank/pad system though. Let it grow into what it's intended to be rather than force it into something else.
  • Banks are pretty good currently. I have no other issues than it's quantity limit and clutter of using pads as separate instruments. Either fix would be great - unlimited banks (I can deal with that), or preferably, a separate instrument track...the latter seems more efficient.

    I don't want to bloat BM3 with features...just want them to look at these seemingly niche tweaks before they go way deep into future code. We all have different opinions of workflow, and that's great. This one may prove valuable to address early. Learn from Ableton...they realized the need to rewrite late in the game, and it was expensive in price and customer retention.

  • I'd also love to have separate instrument tracks, because I'm working with many tracks and it gets really confusing and difficult if you have to organize them in banks. If you -like me- work with up to 20 Synth and guitar tracks (yes, guitar tracks will be audio...of course) it's hard to decide and to remember which synth you put in which bank.

  • I just noticed in the mixer there's a 'show pads' button. Nice feature. Displays mixer channel for any pad with a sample/instrument. Maybe something similar could be added for the song arranger for bank tracks?

    This might not be what bm2 users are looking for... maybe bm2 style instrument tracks are the only fix for those users, but the above suggestion is possibly something to consider adding too? I really like the current banks system atm and this (or similar) might refine it nicely for the song arranger aspect..
  • edited July 2017
    From my tinkering I believe that you can edit the MIDI patterns individually for each pad as well as mix (when I imported a MIDI file it came in as a single line in the bank, which then gave me deeper options to edit MIDI pattern & automation info).

    Seems like a pretty deep system to me. I'd much rather these 'grouped' banks than endless individual tracks.
  • I need more independent midi tracks on the Song / Session pages ; that is my priority .

    Working backwards from there I don't really mind whether Intua add more Banks 16 -24?
    ( in which case I'll use 1 bank per instrument ) ,
    or if they return to the BM2 concept where multi midi tracks on the sequencer page could all refer to same instrument/bank .
    If they decide on the latter maybe a " Show Pad Midi Part as Independent Midi Pattern on Sequencer Page " button would be useful , ..
    (so those who wanted to build their 128 part songs as a single midipattern to remind them of their good old days can ..)

    I cant believe how petty minded & obstructive some forum commentators have been about those of us requesting more tracks ,
    who either dont understand post Ableton sequencing ( although didnt MPCs work similarly with midi clips even before ?)
    &/or just think we're complaining for the sake of it.
    As someone who requested an Ableton type Session View to Intua 4 years ago ,
    & has patiently waited hoping for this release , I don't see why I shouldn't offer my feedback to Intua that I had been hoping for the full Ableton , not the 8 part Lite .

    To those who are happy building their songs in mini linear blocks of the same pattern length , who think 8 tracks are 7 too many because they could do it in1 , like the good old days of trackers or Roland MC sequencers , I wish you well .
    But please understand there are other ways of working , independent length loops on different tracks allow more immediate experimentation & juxtaposition of different elements & ideas , quickly adding variations & different arrangements in a realtime jamming experience , without having to stop , copy , create next pattern paste delete bla bla bla.
    & 8 tracks is not enough for this workflow , trust me , or try it & see , but don't tell others how they should work .

    Thanks Intua for accepting the critiques of those who want to make BM3 their main IOS workstation , & looking into adding more independent midi tracks .

    I didnt vote because I dont think the question is clear what I'm voting for
    x or y ? agree disagree ..what ?

    more independent midi tracks , however you can Intua !

  • @WallyBlo 'I cant believe how petty minded & obstructive some forum commentators have been about those of us requesting more tracks'...

    I havent seen this at all tbh? Seems to me the general vibe is 'keep banks + add the functionality bm2 users are missing as an alt track type'. Maybe I missed the posts you're referring to..
  • @Heyez sorry I really meant in other forums , though there is some crossover to here .

  • The short version of my response is I'm not giving suggestions about something I don't know.

  • If you don't know, no need to post. There's a poll option for that.

  • @jblongz said:
    If you don't know, no need to post. There's a poll option for that.

    The poll option, "not sure" does not represent my point of view. It's better to let the dust settle and take care of house cleaning with BM3 before considering significant changes to the app which is what Intua will do. My bias is to ask for requests that are reasonable for an app that's complex especially during the initial release period. For major feature requests it's better to have significant consensus from BM3 users if anyone expects the developer to seriously consider them. For the specific request in this thread, I see it as just getting the ball rolling on the discussion.

    Since BM3 was in development for such a long period of time before release, the level of pent up emotional energy from some posters seemed more extreme than usual leading up to and after the release of the app.

    It's fine for people to express themselves whatever their stance is on the current state of BM3, just don't expect the developer to take action if you're posting to vent or speculate rather than to request specific reasonable new features. To be clear, I believe all of the posts on the thread have been reasonable.

  • edited July 2017

    This is very complicated topic and answer is not so clear. I will write little bit more about my point of view, but excuse my english, i'm not native speaker :)) So hope it will be understandable for everyone ..

    First, let me clear few things - in last 7 years i did a lot music with i devices, mostly in Nanostudio and Beatmaker2. Some officialy published. Both apps had for me own advantages and disadvantages. Like everything. But both perfectly useable for finishing complete track without any major compromises in my musical genre (psytrance and psychillout), which strongly depends on synthesis, lot of automation, lot of progression, lot of instrument tracks with very various patterns (in terms of length), of ourse lot of resampling instruments to audio, cutting, rearranging, aplpying FX on audio, automations of FX .. simply very complex overal song structures ...

    In current BM3 implementation is for me very very complicated or basically almost impossible to produce whole track - becase of many factors (no group tracks for audio+instruments together, multiple instruments tracks hidden in one pattern (bank), not possibility to see whole project in sequencer or mixer with all instruments / audio / aux tracks together to get global overview - orientation within project, not possible to have visually somehow together (one close to other) instrument tracks + corresponding audio track with sampled output of instrument track, and lot lot other things - which vere possible in BM2)

    That's reason why i returned BM3 to appstore after 2 days of testing and why BM2 is for me still best universal purpose DAW for my style of music on iOS.

    BUT ! This definitely doesn't mean BM3 is wrong app !! Just i'm not target audience of this app.

    This is very profound thing which maybe not everybody understand - maybe partially because BM3 was marketed as universal DAW - so everybody expected it will be classic DAW with all standard daw features (at least same feature set like BM2 + added new goodies). Now their are dissapointed cause BM3 dropped a lot features from BM2 and added other one, which are not much common in classic DAW world - they are common in grooveboxes and sampling workstations.

    In my view, BM3 is near to PERFECT groovebox, sampling workstation, very direct competitor to Native Instruments Maschine or MPC Studio hardware (or stuff like Elektron Octatrack and so on, or old MPC samplers).

    Which is great thing cause till yet there was no available in appstore app which will be such great competitor to those kind of music-making tools. It's simplicity, banks systems, pads-centric architecture, strong useability for live performance, pattern systems which holds on things in sequencer easy to understand, easy to work with even in live sutiuation, is great. And lot people appreciate and like this - specailly people with hiphop background (but not only)

    **Now, what is point of my long post. **

    Intua needs to decide who is major customer group of their app (or better, stay with their decision which they aready made during design of BM3). For who is app primary aimed. Who is 80% of BM3 users. And make app as much close to needs of that group as possbile, and - this is hard but inevitable - drop or move to very low priority all requests of rest 20% which wans BM3 to be something a bit different that it is now,

    I'm afraid that if Intua starts bending this new paradigm of BM3 (in my opition BM3 is so different from BM2 that it can be defined as completely new paradigm) to fullfill all those requested for classic DAW feature - it starts to be more and more complicated and people who like CURRENT app will start complain that month after month there are added just features not interesting for them.

    It will be like trying to make jet plane from sport car. Both are super awesom but both very different kind of animal.

    It is important to know who is major customer group. If it are people who make hiphop and similiar genres, which don't need too much complexity and instead hold on deeply on sampling, looping and stacing relative small patterns of loops one after other - with strong need of use crated material for live performance, improvising, etc - then i think current approach is completely OK Intua should concentrate more on bug fixing and features requestet by THIS major part of BM3 users comunity.

    But. If Intua wants to have BM3 as universal purpose DAW, they need work very hard to push all current banks system to backgorund and move to foreground some key features which almost all competitors in full-stack DAW segment (iOS+desktop - cause we are slowly approachong point where it is excepted that iOS DAW apps will have simply same feature set like desktop DAWs)

    Features like:

    • full overview of whole project (instruments, sends, groups, audio tracks) in main sequencer view, with proper note overview on instrument track patterns (currently on pattern, melody is displayed just like one row of dots!!)
    • full overview of whole project in mixer (i mean - i open mixer and i can scroll in one view through ALL tracks of project, without need of go "inside" bank to see bank instruments)
    • both previous points implicates major thing requested by many people - instrument tracks as standalone top level track, not hidden inside bank. And this cannot be implemented just by simply "exposing" displaying bank instruments to top level - because of grouping they needs to be rally independent tracks, not connected with banks in any way
    • GROUPS !! currently bank serves as group for instruments, but you can't create group together some instrument tracks AND audio tracks, it is even not possible to group audio tracks at all .. And in case there will be top level instrument tracks, it must be also possible to create group with bank + audio tracks + instrument tracks .. which adds more and more complexity ..
    • posibility to decide which track are displayed together in sequencer - for example i need to have instrument tracks and right bellow instrument track audio track, which i use for sampling output of that instrument track - with big project, consis of 10's of instrument and audio tracks, this is key to be not lost in project
  • @dendy interesting to read your thoughts :) I understand what you're saying but have to say I totally disagree ;)

    I think that the people that want traditional daw style and those missing bm2 functions can be very easily satisfied with new track types and couple of other tweaks/additions?

    While users looking for the more complex/modern sampling/daw/performance features can dig in to the other stuff.

    No need to aim at one type of user or the other. Maybe some users just expected it to be more like Cubasis etc. But I think it's a wise move from intua to take it more in an ableton/bitwig kind of direction and do something more individual/future-proof.. If it was just 'standard' like cubasis/auria etc then it'd have those apps to share sales with.

    As it stands it's looking like a unique app that (after the inevitable bm2 style updates) will be able to do traditional AND experimental/contemporary + being a very deep sampler...As well as being a legitimate competitor against standalone hardware (Elektron, korg, teenage engineering etc), gaining new customers opting for BM3 over equivalent hardware...

    Continuing as they are and targeting all 3 of those user markets is the strongest business move to make imo. I only say this as they seem to be doing a great job of it so far and just need to make a few tweaks and everyone'll be pretty happy with the fundamentals and from then on its all just icing ;)
  • @dendy Good points, BM2 is a proper DAW, BM3 is currently a Groovbox Sampling Workstation.
  • @philowerx if people want a 'proper daw' I don't see why they used bm2 to begin with? I certainly would never have called bm2 a proper daw (by today's standards at bm2 to Reaper for example... And that's 'free'). I never used ipad for daw but from what I've seen Auria/cubasis etc look superior for 'proper daw' stuff over bm2 (mouse and computer daw = even better ;)?

    I always thought of bm2 as a kind of ipad MPC... BM3 seems to naturally update this in line with the same kind of path that Mpc's are taking (mpc live) and some other daws (Ableton/bitwig). Seems pretty natural progression to me? Guess bm2 just meant different things to different people, Intua included.

    @mathieugarcia has hinted that they wanna fix it for people that aren't happy with the lack of bm2 features so all good anyway :)

    But to be honest there are plenty of other 'proper daw' options available already so I don't really see the desparate need for another.. Why not just use one of those?

    Way more exciting to have something unique come along like BM3 is shaping up to be imo...
  • edited July 2017
    Because BM2 is the closest DAW on iOS to my workflow in Logic Audio. BM2 does not have a pattern sequencer so it was never a groovebox like Akai MPC. BM2 only has a drum pad interface that looks a lot MPC but no pattern mode. All notes were played in a linear fashion or entered in the piano roll editor. BM2 also had the most powerful keyboard style sampler on iOS for the past 6 years. The other linear DAWs Cubasis, Auria Pro, Multitrack DAW, GarageBand and others on iOS are all missing key elements. BM3 is almost perfect and I love so much about it, it just needs the ability to load instruments on Song Mode timeline like BM2.
  • Seems a certainty that instrument tracks of some kind will get added :)

    Out of curiosity which functions/workflow stuff that logic has does BM3 have, that auria/cubasis don't have? Not trying to be argumentative ;) Genuine question.. I haven't used any of those mentioned (except bm2) so I'm just curious...
  • edited July 2017

    @Heyez said:
    Seems a certainty that instrument tracks of some kind will get added :)

    Out of curiosity which functions/workflow stuff that logic has does BM3 have, that auria/cubasis don't have? Not trying to be argumentative ;) Genuine question.. I haven't used any of those mentioned (except bm2) so I'm just curious...

    You can't create your own samples except one shots in Auria Pro and Cubasis sampler lacks multiple zones and layers.

  • @dendy and other posters, thank you for your thoughts on the topic.

    I agree BM3 should have a consistent approach and vision. If the app is pulled off into too many different directions, its efficiency will suffer. There are a lot of traditional timeline based DAWs with audio and midi tracks, buses, mixers, . . . For me it makes more sense to transfer your projects to one of these types of DAWs for further processing rather than to go too far down that road with BM3.

    The more complex an app is, the more difficult it is to learn, support, maintain, and update. Intua is not a huge company either so it would seem to me that they'd be cautious about biting off more than they could chew.

    I don't think there are nearly as many sampler based apps on iOS and there is certainly a strong market for that. To me, it makes sense for BM3 to focus on that workflow. If they can add features to facilitate some user's desire to transfer projects to a traditional DAW without compromising the primary sampler based workflow orientation, that's great.

    If people want an Ableton Live or Bitwig lite experience on iOS and expect Intua to deliver it for them by transforming BM3, I think they're unrealistic about their expectations or the resources needed to do so. If Intua tries to market BM3 too much like a traditional timeline based DAW or Ableton like app, that's what people will come to be expect. They'll urge Intua to add more and more features to meet those expectations. Different workflows frequently have different and conflicting priorities. Intua could then risk alienating users who have a sampler workflow orientation if they try to accommodate them.

  • @Heyez said:
    Seems a certainty that instrument tracks of some kind will get added :)

    That makes me very happy.

  • @Paulinko
    I'm not sure what people are afraid of? Seems like unnecessary drama/concern ;) People are just making requests for features. Yeah some are like ableton, and some are like BM2, to me that's a good thing? It will result in a more complete/flexible composing/mangling/performance environment. And, from a business POV, a more rounded, competitive and future proof sampler/sequencer. For instance adding Warp Markers or the ability to record a scenes performance in to the song timeline (both ableton features, but also found elsewhere too... Even reaper/Sonar have their own version of Warp Markers...) wouldnt 'alienate users with a sampler workflow' at all? Just don't use those features if you don't want to ;) TBH BM3 feels almost 'finished' even at v1. Very interested to see what intua add in the next couple of years :)

    Intua are clearly talented/creative/inspired/hungry devs.. I doubt they'll hem themselves in unless they want to and probably already have a pretty clear vision of what they're shooting for... I can understand people missing bm2 stuff that isn't there, but being concerned about also having other new functions, more options for whats possible with samples/performance etc, that doesn't really make any sense to me? Obvs YMMV :)
  • edited July 2017

    @Heyez I think you're right that Intua has a plan, will make good decisions about what features to add, and won't shoot themselves in the foot.

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