Tempest holds sixteen beats in RAM memory at one time. (Currently, they must be in 4/4 time and between 1 and 4 measures in length. We will be adding other time signatures in a future software update.) The sequencer is designed to permit switching between these sixteen beats, entering and exiting recording at any time and performing most editing functions, all without ever stopping play. For example, you could start recording in real time on beat 1, then switch to beat 2 and record it in step time using the 16 Time Steps feature, then use the Copy key to copy beat 2 to beat 3, switch to beat 3 and record more notes in real time, then select the 16 Beats key and press the pads in real time to arrange these three beats, all without stopping.
The sequencer has a resolution of 96 ppqn (parts per quarter note) but always uses quantize during real time recording, with quantize rates from 8th notes to 32nd triplets. In the next software update, a “Time Shift” parameter will be added to the Beat Events screen, permitting each note to be manually shifted forward or backward in time to one of four 96 ppqn positions, which at 120 BPM represents a time shift of about 5 milliseconds each.
The sequencer only holds note events and cannot record continuous control changes. For example, when recording sound parameter changes with the Note FX sliders, the slider position is sampled as each note is recorded and that slider value is stored in the Note FX 1-4 settings within the note.
For each sound pad, only one note can be recorded at any given time location. For example, if you record a snare drum note at location 1.3.1, then later record another snare drum at the same location, it will replace the earlier snare drum note. If recording tuned notes using the 16 Tunings key, the same rule applies: you can only record one note of a given sound pad at each location within the sequence. To record chords, each note of the chord must be recorded using a different sound pad. For example, to record chords of three notes you must copy the same sound to three different sound pads, then record each note of the chord on a different sound pad, one at a time.
Each note contains the following settings, which can be edited in the Beat Events screen:
- Velocity (1-127)
- Tuning (-60 to +60). This is normally set to 0 but filled with other values when recording notes with the 16 Tunings feature.
- Duration (1 to 192, in increments of 24 ppqn with 24 representing a quarter note and 192 representing 2 measures of 4/4)
- Note FX1, 2, 3 and 4 (-64 to +63). Normally set to 0, these are filled when you record new notes using the Note FX sliders FX 1 and 2 and their 2 alternate assignments, FX 3 and 4.
- TimeShift (values to be determined). As explained above, this is coming in the next software update and will permit notes to be individually shifted forward or backward in time in increments of 96 ppqn.