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What's new in Jambé 2?

There's a lot new in Jambé 2. With the initial Jambé release, we built a responsive performance instrument based around an innovative sample-based synthesizer. When we talked about what was next, we were clear that we wanted to extend Jambé's capabilities as a performance instrument. Jambé looks like an electronic drum controller and you can certainly use it as one. But it's so much more. Performers who really dig into Jambé will be deeply rewarded.

This document will walk through the various Jambé screens, pointing out the changes. We're working on more complete documentation and videos that will go through the app feature by feature.

tip

If you haven't already, go to the configuration menu and enable Edit Mode, otherwise you won't be able to navigate past the Play screen.

Play

Play section

As before, the Play screen is the starting point for everying in the app. It's where you select kits. Having all your kits laid out in one collection on the Play screen is nice - until you have a lot of kits. Then it can become overwhelming. Especially during a performance. In Jambé 2, we added 3 new tools to help you manage your kits and make sure you have quick access to the kits you need the most - Sorting, Tags, and Tag Expressions.

Look closely and you'll notice a new Filter Bar between the top section and the collection of kits at the bottom of the screen. This is where the new functions live.

Tags and sorting

Sorting

We'll start with the sort menu at the right side of the Filter Bar. When you tap the Sort icon, you get a menu of the various sorting options. You can now select how and in what order the kits get displayed.

Tags and sorting

You can sort your kits by various properties such as name, size, creator, etc. You can also switch from an icon view to a list view.

Tags and sorting

Tags

Sooner or later, you're going to end up with a lot of kits. Scrolling around the Play screen looking for a particular kit becomes problematic, especially on a gig. It was clear that we needed a way to organize and group kits. Jambé 2 introduces Tags which are essentially labels you can assign to kit files. These tags can have names that are meaningful to you. They might reflect a style of instrument or music or where you plan to use the kit. For example "African Drums" or "Summer Tour". Because Tags are stored in the kit itself, you have a headstart when you download a kit. The kit creator might have already added some meaningful tags And because out Tag Editor keeps track of the tags already used in your Jambé 2 app, it's easy to avoid duplicates.

Tag Expressions provide an easy way to find kits with the tag or tags your want. Tag Expressions make it easy to include certain tags and exclude others to quickly get exactly the search result you want. While sorting lets you control the order kits are displayed in, Tags and Tag Expressions let you control which kits are displayed.

Tag Editor

To get to the Tag Editor, tap Edit Tags at the far right of the Filter Bar. The Tag and Tag Expression editing functions are part of the Tag Editor which overlays the Play screen.

Tags and sorting

You'll notice that the left side of the Filter Bar has changed. Along the left side of the screen is the Tag Collection. This is a list of all of the tags available in the application. This includes tags you create as well as tags that are present in any kits you install.

note

The tags attached to a kit are stored with that kit. When a new kit is installed any tags attached to that kit will get added to the application's Tag Collection . This also means the tags you have attached to a kit will be included with it when you share a kit with someone else. If there are tags on a kit you don't want shared you should remove those tags before sharing a kit.

All of the kits shown in the screen shots, and more, are available - here.

Along the bottom of the screen is a row where the active kit's tags, if any, are displayed. Select a different on a different kit and you'll see that the Kit Tags at the bottom of the screen changes while the Tag Collection at the left does not. Again, if you don't see any tags in the Kit Tags area, there are no tags attached to the current kit.

Creating a Tag

You can add a new tag to the Tag Collection by tapping on the Pencil icon in the Filter Bar just to the right of the word "Tags". Select Add New Tag... from the menu. A dialog pops up that lets you set the name and color of the tag.

Creating a Tag

Adding a Tag to a Kit

Long press on a tag in the Tag Collection to lift it and drag and drop the tag on a kit. You can also drag and drop the tag in the Kit Tags area for the selected kit.

Removing a Tag from a Kit

Select a kit and long press on one of the tags Kit Tags area for the selected kit. A menu will appear allowing you to remove that specific tag or all of the tags attached to that kit.

Tag Expressions

A tag expression is used to determine which kits get displayed based on the tags that are attached to them. You select which Tag Expression is being used via the Show menu. "Show All" will show all the kits regardless of their tags. This duplicates the behavior of the Jambé 1.0 app.

Tag Expressions

As expected, a long press on the Pencil icon next to the Show menu will allow you to create new tag expressions, delete the current tag expression or edit its name.

In order to edit a tag expression, you drag tags from the Tag Collection into any of the 3 lists - "All of", "Any of", and "None of" to specify which tags need to be present or not present in a kit for it to be shown when that tag expression is selected. As you drag the tags into the lists, the kit collection will be dynamically updated to show you the effects of the Tag Expression you're editing.

A Quick Example

Imagine performing at a regular gig, say a dance class. You have a large library of kits, but only use a subset of them for this gig. Rather than digging around for the kit you need, you can create a Tag Expression to show only the kits you've marked with a specific tag.

  1. Tap "Edit Tags" in the Filter Bar to enter the Tag Editor
  2. Tap on the Pencil icon in the Filter Bar just to the right of the word "Tags". Select Add New Tag... from the menu.
  3. In the dialog that pops up enter the name for the new tag, for example "Dance Class." Then tap Done
  4. Find your new tag in the Tag Collection. Long press on it to lift and drag it onto any of the kits you want to use for your gig.
  5. Tap the Pencil icon to the right of the Show menu to create a new Tag Expression.
  6. Tap the Pencil icon again and tap "Edit Tag Expression Name." Give your Tag Expression a name like "Dance Class"
  7. Find the tag you created in step 2 in the Tag Collection Long press on it to lift and drag it onto the "Any Of" list.
  8. The kit collection should redraw to show you only the kits that match your new Tag Expression

Kit Editor

The Kit Editor is where you start to see some of the major improvements we've made to Jambé 2. These include support for up to 3 Jambés, MIDI, Interval Mode, and multiple actions per pad. Jambé 2 dramatically increases the performance options of the instrument you already own.

Kit Editor

Actions

A core change in Jambé 2 is moving away from the idea of a single instrument on a pad. This has been replaced by Actions. An Action is something that happens when a pad is triggered. In Jambé 2, there are 3 basic types of actions - Sampler Instrument, MIDI, and Delay. You can place multiple Actions on a single pad. When the pad is triggered, the attached Actions will be triggered in sequence.

Sampler Instruments

The first type of action is Sampler Instruments. These are the essentially the same as the Instruments in the original Jambé app. Any Instruments that were present in an older kit will show up in this area.

MIDI Actions

Jambé 2 is fully compatible with the MIDI 1.0 specification, including support for MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression). MIDI actions allow you to send MIDI commands from the Jambé app.

Delay Actions

Jambé 2 supports multiple actions per pad. By default, all of the actions attached to a pad are triggered sequentially, but with no discernable delay between them. Delay Actions allow you to insert a delay between between some of the actions.

What does this mean for you? If you want to always trigger a kick drum and hi-hat at the same time, you can place both Sampler Instruments on a pad. If you want to send a complex set of MIDI commands when a pad is triggered, you can do that too. If you need to insert a delay between sending a MIDI command to enable a pyrotechnic effect and setting off the explosion, you can do that too. You're on your own for the pyrotechnics and appropriate permits.

Library

The Library view now has an exandable list of Sampler Instruments, MIDI Actions, and Delay Actions. Tap the plus sign next to a section heading to add a new empty action of that type to the kit. As before, you can double tap any action in the Library to edit that action. To attach an action to a pad, you drag the action and drop it on the pad. If the pad isn't empty, you will see a pop-up that lets you choose to replace the existing action(s) or add the new action in addition.

Kit Library

Kit Layout

The Kit Layout has been expanded to represent 3 Jambés. From the top – A, B, and C. Updated versions of older kits always load as Jambé A. If you only have a single Jambé device, things should just work. If you have multiple Jambés, you can control which Jambé device is A, B, or C in the Config menu. You can also use MIDI devices to trigger pads. This is set up in the MIDI screen and discussed in that section.

The Config Menu will show you the Jambés attached and how they are assigned.

Config 1 Jambé attached One Jambé attached.

Config 3 Jambé attached All three Jambés attached.

If you want to change which onscreen Jambé a Jambé device is mapped to, simply tap a different letter next to the Jambé. Any other attached Jambé will get reassigned.

As before, you can use two fingers to rotate the onscreen Jambés. This is convenient if you're using your Jambés in a different orientation than logo at the top. No, you can't rotate the onscreen Jambés separately.

When a pad in an onscreen Jambé is tapped, the Actions on that pad are triggered as if you had struck the connected Jambé device. The Info view is also updated. If you tap the Play Bar at the top of the screen, the currently selected pad is triggered. This behavior is the same as Jambé 1.0.

Info

A segment control at the top of the Info view lets you select between "Pad Info" and "Kit Info." The changes in this section are all in the "Pad Info" section.

Kit Pad Info

Interval Mode

There were several kits available for Jambé 1.0 that feature pitched percussion. But with the 10 pads on a single Jambé device, you were limited in the notes you could play. Jambé 2's support for up to 3 Jambé devices gives performers more options. We also got inspiration for an alternate solution from an unusual MIDI controller - the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee, developed by performer/composer Leon Gruenbaum. The idea behind controllers like the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee and later, the Eventide Misha is that a key, or pad in our case, doesn't play a particular pitch. Instead, it spcifies a relative change in pitch. Gruenbaum refered to the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee as a "relativistic keyboard" for this reason. "The player could focus on the rhythm and general shape of what he/she wanted to hear and let the notes take care of themselves, essentially."

In Jambé 2, this revolves around the relationship between a pad and an action on that pad. The pad specifies an interval and whether or not that interval should be added to the last interval. The action contains information about the scale being used.

For example, if the current scale is chromatic and the last pitch was middle-C, an increment of +1 scale tones would play a "C#" above that "C". If Add to Last is enabled, the next hit on that pad would play the "D". Successively hitting that pad would step forward through the scale, one scale tone at a time. Likewise, successively playing an interval of -1 would step backwards through the scale. Using the same interval with a different scale would result in different pitches being played. Placing the same action on multiple pads opens up a wide range of possibilities. Add to Last add's the pad's Interval to a value stored in the attached action. This value starts at zero when the kit is loaded. Hit a pad with an Interval of "+2" and "Add to Last" set and the internal value is now "+2". Hit a pad with an Interval of "-3" and that value is not "-1". Playing pads rhythmically creates melodies. It's easy to see how that could be both inspiring and unsettling. Rudiments across pads can generate octaves of arpeggios. The Intervals kit is a great place to start. It can be downloaded from the Kits section.

Unlike the other controllers mentioned, Jambé 2 allows you to use Interval Mode on some pads and not others. It can easily be combined with the existing Jambé performance modes within a kit.

Kit Interval Mode

Attached Actions

The Attached Actions list shows you the actions attached to the selected pad. When the pad is triggered, the actions listed execute from top to bottom. Our intent is that all the actions listed execute at the same time. Practically speaking, there might be a small latency.

Kit Attaached Action

The Edit button puts the Attached Actions list into editing mode. You can delete actions or drag them to re-order the list. You can also delete actions by swiping left on the action outside of editing mode. Moving the Delay Action upwards will cause a delay to occur between the first two actions and the last one.

Kit Attaached Action

Action Editor

Tha Action editor is context sensitive. It'll display an editing view that's specific to the currently selected action. As before, the selected action is shown at the top of the screen and can be changed via the drop down menu. You can also set the selected action in the Kit editor.

Action Dropdown Menu

Sampler Instrument

The Action editor for Sampler Instruments is essentially the same as the Instrument editor in Jambé 1.0. The main difference is in the Instrument view at the left side of the display. Below the "Notes" field are controls to let you select the scale and other parameters related to Interval Mode.

Action Dropdown Menu

The Scale menu lets you select the scale to use with Interval Mode. It defaults to the Chromatic scale. The Jambé 2 app currently has over 140 scales included. Information on how to load and modify additional scales will be added in the future.

The Step value specifies which scale tone tne sample would sound with an interval of "0". For example, imagine we have chromatic scale that starts at "C" and that sample in this Sampler Action is an "Eb". That "Eb" is the 4th scale tone of the scale. So we'd set the Step value to "4". This gives the internal sampler engine some of the information it needs to correctly pitch shift the sample.

The Lim parameter specifies the maximum amount to pitch shift, both up and down. With the Sampler Instrument the original sample is getting pitch shifted to match the accumulated interval. This can lead to artifacts or the sound moving out of the audible range. This parameter lets you limit that.

The Wrap parameter specifies that the accumulator should wrap around when it moves beyond the maximum or minimum amount.

MIDI Actions

A MIDI Action is composed of MIDI Commands. Different types of MIDI Commands can all be placed in the same MIDI Action. This allows you to group MIDI commands in meaningful ways. For example, you might want to have a bunch of things get triggered via MIDI at the same time, and treat them all as a unit, so that you could re-use that Action elsewhere. You might want a triggered pad to turn on 5 different MIDI-controlled lights using MIDI Note Commands, and change the scene of a lighting console with a MIDI Program Change Command.

MIDI Output

Each MIDI Action has a MIDI Output Port, which determines where the MIDI data from that MIDI Action's MIDI Commands will be transmitted. If this is not set up properly, no data will be transmitted, or will be transmitted to the wrong place. Jambé has 10 logical (or virtual) MIDI Outputs, labeled MIDI A ... MIDI J. Logical MIDI Outputs are associated with "physical" MIDI destinations in the pull-down settings menu of the app. MIDI Destinations listed in that menu, once enabled within that menu, will show a popup menu that lets you select which Logical MIDI Output is to be associated with that "physical" MIDI destination.

Action MIDI Output

Selecting "None" in the above menu means that no MIDI data from the Jambé App will be sent to that destination. Selecting "All" in the above menu means that ALL MIDI data that is sent from the Jambé App will also be sent to that destination. Selecting one of the individual MIDI A-J logical output ports means that only data designated as going to that particular port in the App will be sent to that destination.

Note that the data from any logical MIDI port could be sent to multiple physical MIDI destinations.

Single Message MIDI Commands

Most MIDI Commands just transmit their data when the MIDI Action they reside in is triggered. This includes MIDI Program Change, Start, Stop, Continue, SysEx, Show Control, Song Select, Song Position Pointer, and Tune Request. Since these commands generate a single MIDI message, they're straight forward.

MIDI Note Commands

MIDI Note Commands send the MIDI Note On message when the MIDI Action is triggered. The sending of the corresponding MIDI Note Off message is controlled by the parameters in the MIDI Note Command:

Action MIDI Output

Release Gesture

The release gesture on Jambé happens when the pressure on the pad that triggered the action falls below a certain level.

If you select Use Gesture as the duration type for the MIDI Note Command, then the Note Off is sent once the release gesture is detected on the pad that triggered the action. Jambe will wait for an amount of time specified in the "Hold After Release" field above before sending the Note Off, once the release is detected. This allows you to insert a delay between the completion of the gesture and the sending of the Note Off message. This is useful with some external synthesizers that release a sounding note as soon as the Note Off message is received. Why? In the normal use case for MIDI, the user's control of the Note On/Note Off messages is tied to holding down a key. This works for a lot of sounds and directly models the behavior keyboard players are most familar with. But with sounds like cymbals and gongs, you want the sound to continue until it's finished. Many MIDI percussion controllers handle this by allowing the MIDI NoteOff to be sent after a delay. Note that this assumes the delay is set long enough to allow the sound on the MIDI device to complete.

Action MIDI Output

On the other hand, if you specify "Use Fixed Duration" as the Note Command's Duration Type, you must set the fixed duration in decimal seconds in the Duration field above, and then Jambe will automatically send the MIDI Note Off message that many seconds after it sends the MIDI Note On message.

If you select the Use MPE button, then MPE XYZ data will be sent from the time the Note On message is sent until the time the release gesture is detected. This means that using MPE with a fixed duration or with a gesture-controlled duration that has a non-zero Hold After Release time does not really make any sense. MPE should be used only with gesture-controlled durations that have a zero Hold After Release time, but we don't enforce this. Under MPE, XYZ positional/pressure data is only sent while the note/string/key is being pressed.

MIDI Controller Commands

The rest of the MIDI Commands are what we are calling "controller-type data". These are: MIDI Control Change, Pitch Bend, Channel Pressure, and Polyphonic Key Pressure commands. From the perspective of a MIDI Action, they are treated almost identically. The screenshots show the MIDI Control Change Command, but this applies to the others.

The response of these messages depends on the "Stream Type" setting. There are 3 Stream Types:

Action MIDI Output

Single Command means that a single MIDI Message with the given value is sent at the time of the strike on the pad. No other messages are sent at any other time.

Action MIDI Output

On/Off Commands send only a pair of commands. Upon a strike, a command with the "Start" value is sent.

The behavior of the Off or End command depends on the setting of the "Duration Type", just as with the MIDI Note Command. For a Duration Type of "Use Gesture", a command with the "End" value is sent when a release is received, after the given Post-Release Duration.

For a Duration Type of "Use Fixed Duration", a command with the "End" value is sent after the specified duration has elapsed. These values are all specified as a percentage of the maximum value of the control, regardless of whether (in the case of MIDI CC messages) the control value is 7 bit or 14 bit.

Action MIDI Output

Command Stream will send a continuous stream of control data, as long as that data is changing (consecutive duplicate control data is not sent).

When "Use Gesture" is selected, you choose a single controller value (as a percent of full scale), and a post-release duration. You then need to use modulation to change that value during the gesture's duration.

When "Use Fixed Duration" is used, you can still modulate the stream, but the underlying stream data will begin at the Start Value, and end at the End value, and the shape of the data curve between the two is controlled by the "Stream Shape" parameter. A shape of Zero (0.0) is a linear path from Start to End. A shape of -1.0 is exponential, and +1.0 is logarithmic, with all shape gradations inbetween.

MIDI Controller Modulation Example

Action MIDI Output

Modulation for MIDI Action works the same as modulation in other parts of the Jambé 2 app. In the example shown, the continuous pressure from Pad 1 on Jambé A is being used to modulate the value of a MIDI controller. Note that for this to work as expected, you need to set up the MIDI Command as a Command Stream.

Interval Mode and MIDI Actions

Action MIDI Output

Interval Mode can be enabled in MIDI Actions and works similarly to Sampler Actions with some differences:

  The Map: parameter tells the Jambé 2 App how to map scale tones to MIDI notes: "Standard MIDI Pitches" tells the Jambé 2 App that the targeted MIDI device, like most MIDI devices, is tuned to a 12-tone equal tempered scale. In this case, the Jambé 2 app sends out the closest MIDI Note Number to the desired pitch, and uses MIDI Pitch Bend to adjust the played pitch as necessary for microtonal scales.

  On the other hand, some MIDI devices can be tuned to different scales, where the number of scaletones per octave may be more or less than 12. In this case, "Scaletone Per MIDI Note" lets the app assume that the external device is set up with the same scale as Jambé.  Scales are packed one after the other across the MIDI Keyboard, with each successive MIDI Note representing the next scaletone in the scale, with no unused MIDI Note Numbers between octaves of the scale.

  The Base: parameter sets the MIDI Note Number that would get played with the pad's Interval set to "0".

Mix

There is no new functionality in the Mixer in the Jambé 2 app. As in previous versions of the app, the Mixer only applies to Sampler Instruments. Conceptuatlly, it works similarly to

FXP (FX Processor)

There is no new functionality in the FX Processor in Jambé 2 app. As in previous versions of the app, the FX Processor only applies to Sampler Instruments.

MIDI

Action MIDI Output

The MIDI screen contains application level MIDI setup information as well as a convenient MIDI Scope. This is where you can configure the Jambé 2 Application to allow incoming MIDI Note On/Note Off messages tofunction as triggers on a pad. This is useful if you have few than 3 Jambé devices, you want to use MPE for modulation, or you simply find it convenient to use an additional controller. MIDI pedals immediately come to mind.

note

MIDI triggering is only available if there is at least one Jambé device connected to the Jambé 2 Application.

MIDI Triggering is setup on a pad by pad basis. A pad with MIDI triggering enabled can also be triggered by striking it. You can select the MIDI Note command being used to trigger the pad via the MIDI Note: drop down menu. You can also use the Learn function. When Learn is enabled, the next incoming MIDI Note command is assigned to trigger the selected pad.

You can also enable MIDI Program Change and Bank Select. These functions work in conjunction with the Play screen. MIDI Bank Select will select a Tag Expression. MIDI Program Change will select a kit within the collection of kits specified by that Tag Expression.