Polyend Tracker

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unexpectedbowtie
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:49 pm

francoprussian wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:24 pm
I also have an inbuilt bias against buying anything filled with presets by 'youtubers', but that's another story... i understand they need to market the thing. And i'm just a luddite.
I'm just raging nobody asks me to make presets tbh. ;o

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Wick » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:04 am

francoprussian wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:24 pm
Thanks for making that vid, Steven. I appreciated hearing a balanced opinion about the Tracker. Sorry to hear that the prickly mob got on your case about it. Really bugs me that so far the only videos to go into any detail have treated the Tracker as an exotic bird to be awed by, rather than what it is, which is a product arising from a long, very niche tradition, and making that more accessible/presentable to people than before.

It seems i have a fairly similar background in trackers as you do (first got into them through LSDJ), and i was quite interested when i heard about the Polyend one. But as it came out and the problems began being reported i quickly came to think it was something best left until they sort out the issues, or i grab one for a steal 2nd hand. Now i'm thinking even waiting for a V2 (not the missile!) might be the better idea, as the electrical engineering of the device seems quite suspect. Borked encoders after less than a year?! That's a huge red flag.

I also have an inbuilt bias against buying anything filled with presets by 'youtubers', but that's another story... i understand they need to market the thing. And i'm just a luddite.
yeah huge red flag that polyend made a poor design decisions I was hoping for a robust encoder but un unfortunately is the weakest thing in the tracker :doh: .

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Devilwidget » Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:32 am

Just received my tracker. I was a bit sceptical after reading this thread and others, but it's surpassed my expectations.
On the latest firmware I am yet to experience any bugs - and though I appreciate I have only used it for a few hours, it's clearly far more stable than I had expected. Some of the preset songs weirdly have missing 'note off' values here and there - which is not so much a bug as shoddy programming.

The main jog wheel is fine - i've owned a lot of gear with far more give, and it's not actually a particularly heavy encoder. Though it does skip between values very slightly, this is again only within the tolerances I have come to expect from other encoders. Certainly not enough to realistically impede use. I've owned a fair bit of gear over the years, and I certainly don't feel particularly worried about its longevity compared to some other manufacturers.

I'm sure its not perfect (and still expect to find bugs as I use it more), but many of my fears have been somewhat mitigated by actually using the thing.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by ignatius » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:09 pm

Bogdan included some samples from my UnDo library in his collab project. stoked for that.


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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by banedox » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:56 pm

Devilwidget wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:32 am
Just received my tracker. I was a bit sceptical after reading this thread and others, but it's surpassed my expectations.
On the latest firmware I am yet to experience any bugs - and though I appreciate I have only used it for a few hours, it's clearly far more stable than I had expected. Some of the preset songs weirdly have missing 'note off' values here and there - which is not so much a bug as shoddy programming.

The main jog wheel is fine - i've owned a lot of gear with far more give, and it's not actually a particularly heavy encoder. Though it does skip between values very slightly, this is again only within the tolerances I have come to expect from other encoders. Certainly not enough to realistically impede use. I've owned a fair bit of gear over the years, and I certainly don't feel particularly worried about its longevity compared to some other manufacturers.

I'm sure its not perfect (and still expect to find bugs as I use it more), but many of my fears have been somewhat mitigated by actually using the thing.
sounds good and yeah with the internet the vocal people tend to be the ones have more issues,however, Ill wait for a tracker V2 before ditching my Octatrack. However I did pick up a NerdSeq to be my main Eurorack sequencer.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by OHEXOH » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:43 pm

The Line input on Tracker is really noisey. When I plug a cable it plugged into the line in port there's a significant buzzing & noise floor. If I move the tip of the Line In cable around it seems to easily pick up electro-static noise. For example if I hold the tip above the screen of the Tracker it's buzzing like crazy, same if I move it over other electrical gear.

I can plug it into some devices and the noise disappears completely, eg: iPhone / Digitone... but (alas) if I plug it into my Modular it's noisy as hell. It's clearly a grounding issue but I'm not sure how to solve it from the modular... I guess run it through the Digitone... :hmm:
Gear for sale (Reverb): https://bit.ly/2Sb90oc

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Roy72 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:09 am

One thing I miss from the digitakt is the range of one-shot synth samples, classic square, tri, saw etc. - these would be great on the tracker because they would take up no space as all - anyone know where I can get some from? I've tried a search but can't find anything.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by lisa » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:50 am

Roy72 wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:09 am
One thing I miss from the digitakt is the range of one-shot synth samples, classic square, tri, saw etc. - these would be great on the tracker because they would take up no space as all - anyone know where I can get some from? I've tried a search but can't find anything.
https://www.adventurekid.se/akrt/waveforms/ :beer:
I made this techno remix of an ambient/downtempo track. 🧉


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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Kattefjaes » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:38 am

OHEXOH wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:43 pm
The Line input on Tracker is really noisey. When I plug a cable it plugged into the line in port there's a significant buzzing & noise floor. If I move the tip of the Line In cable around it seems to easily pick up electro-static noise. For example if I hold the tip above the screen of the Tracker it's buzzing like crazy, same if I move it over other electrical gear.

I can plug it into some devices and the noise disappears completely, eg: iPhone / Digitone... but (alas) if I plug it into my Modular it's noisy as hell. It's clearly a grounding issue but I'm not sure how to solve it from the modular... I guess run it through the Digitone... :hmm:
Yeah, it does seem to be pretty bad from a grounding POV- there's a floating voltage on the case and loads of ground noise. What's worse is that when you power it down and the muting relay kicks out, the ground noise out of the outputs is far louder. You can't just switch it off and leave it connected to a mixer/audio interface without muting those channels, it's a massive pain in the arse. No other instrument I own makes horrid noise while switched off. Even powering it via an expensive isolation transformer doesn't cure the problem completely so goodness knows what's going on there.

The funny thing is that you can hear how noisy the tracker is on a lot of the official tutorial videos- you can hear the hums and buzzes change as the operator changes pages in the UI.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by The Junglechrist » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:43 am

Roy72 wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:09 am
One thing I miss from the digitakt is the range of one-shot synth samples, classic square, tri, saw etc. - these would be great on the tracker because they would take up no space as all - anyone know where I can get some from? I've tried a search but can't find anything.
There is a whole lot of those in the soundbank I made inside the Tracker, check the "Single Cycle Waveforms" folder ;-)

EDIT: you will find this in the soundbank called "Stazma & Concrete Collage" ;)

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Devilwidget » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:06 am

Kattefjaes wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:38 am
OHEXOH wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:43 pm
The Line input on Tracker is really noisey. When I plug a cable it plugged into the line in port there's a significant buzzing & noise floor. If I move the tip of the Line In cable around it seems to easily pick up electro-static noise. For example if I hold the tip above the screen of the Tracker it's buzzing like crazy, same if I move it over other electrical gear.

I can plug it into some devices and the noise disappears completely, eg: iPhone / Digitone... but (alas) if I plug it into my Modular it's noisy as hell. It's clearly a grounding issue but I'm not sure how to solve it from the modular... I guess run it through the Digitone... :hmm:
Yeah, it does seem to be pretty bad from a grounding POV- there's a floating voltage on the case and loads of ground noise. What's worse is that when you power it down and the muting relay kicks out, the ground noise out of the outputs is far louder. You can't just switch it off and leave it connected to a mixer/audio interface without muting those channels, it's a massive pain in the arse. No other instrument I own makes horrid noise while switched off. Even powering it via an expensive isolation transformer doesn't cure the problem completely so goodness knows what's going on there.

The funny thing is that you can hear how noisy the tracker is on a lot of the official tutorial videos- you can hear the hums and buzzes change as the operator changes pages in the UI.
The Tracker is a bit noisy - but surely the entire point of the thing is that it is fairly lo-fi? I get a pretty clean audio input though, so maybe its fussy about cables/sources. It's also not the only instrument that has the 'buzzing when off' issue - Expert Sleepers modules do this, for instance. I feel like people want this to compare to an MPC or some other fairly run-of-the-mill, clean groovebox. For me, it's charm is that it is like nothing else (not even like other Trackers, really). It reminds me of Folktek stuff in this way, but for some reason people love their modules but hate the tracker for exhibiting the same penchant for noise and irregularity.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Kattefjaes » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:02 am

Devilwidget wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:06 am
The Tracker is a bit noisy - but surely the entire point of the thing is that it is fairly lo-fi?
Nope, poor electrical engineering, noise and buzzing never used to be a stock feature of trackers on the 16 bit computers where they started. That feels more like a bizarre retrospective rationalisation, honestly. "Fairly lo-fi" meant 8 bit samples of a max of 64k each, not "buzzes like a motherfucker" and "is electrically dubious" :twisted:

If anything, Tracker is considerably higher spec that the genesis of the tracker form, so an appeal to authenticity in sloppy engineering makes no sense. No, it's just not very well-made.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Devilwidget » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:33 am

I said nothing about authenticity - I specifically made the point that in many ways its not actually that similar to trackers of old.
What I DID say, was that it could be considered part of the charm of this particular instrument - and something I for one think it's workflow leans into (a focus on overdrive, bit reduction, time-stretching, destructive effects... all of which lower the fidelity of the recorded audio, in a literal sense).
Despite the weird backlash Polyend seem to get, if the Tracker is 'electrically dubious' then so are Folktek devices, Expert Sleepers modules, half-of-the-Eurorack-world, and so on.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Kattefjaes » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:27 am

Devilwidget wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:33 am
Despite the weird backlash Polyend seem to get, if the Tracker is 'electrically dubious' then so are Folktek devices, Expert Sleepers modules, half-of-the-Eurorack-world, and so on.
Funny, never had any issues like that with three and a half ES modules. The sockets could sometimes do with being less loose, but they never gave me electrical noise problems. The light-up sockets are a nice idea, but it feels like you lose too much in terms of firm connections- would much rather have panel-mounted LEDs next to each socket, admittedly.

Fairly sure "half of the Eurorack-world" is hyperbolic, however. Downright shoddy engineering is thankfully surprisingly rare.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:33 am

I've not experienced the grounding or noise issues with my unit, but I would agree that where it exists, that kind of electrical noise isn't really part of the charm. I'd expect that from a vintage sampler, but not a modern device. It isn't the kind of sound that you should have on a modern audio workstation (as the Tracker was described).

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Roy72 » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:12 pm

Thanks for the single cycle resources, I'll check them out!

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by gentleclockdivider » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:12 pm

A device that produces unwanted static and hum is not my definition of charming .
It’s lo- fi and bad elec. engineering .

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Tofupancho » Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:01 pm

Cuckoo put out a wavetable pack when he was playing with the Tracker and the Peak update. It has a lot of great stuff from old game consoles, definitely recommended if you’re into that kind of thing. https://gumroad.com/cuckoo#rEurV

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by The Junglechrist » Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:33 am

Hey there Tracker folks.
I made a new video about the Tracker as a midi sequencer (also showcasing the new FM mode of the Medusa), premiere is this evening at 18:30 UTC+1. Feel free to show up up in the chatroom if you have any questions:


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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by forestcaver » Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:14 pm

Just seen an update from polyend in the fb group on the bug fixing for 1.4, which I guess gives an insight into how they are planning on resolving outstanding bugs - in reply to someone complaining about a feature being buggy:

“ File Transfer Mode sadly isn't super-reliable. We will be disabling it in Tracker 1.4 firmware.”

I just fear that this is how the midi, export and rendering bugs will be fixed as well....

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by francoprussian » Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:46 pm

Why won't they just make this open source so that people aren't stuck at the mercy of the whims and coding capabilities of Polyend?

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Thu Apr 15, 2021 7:28 pm

forestcaver wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:14 pm
Just seen an update from polyend in the fb group on the bug fixing for 1.4, which I guess gives an insight into how they are planning on resolving outstanding bugs - in reply to someone complaining about a feature being buggy:

“ File Transfer Mode sadly isn't super-reliable. We will be disabling it in Tracker 1.4 firmware.”

I just fear that this is how the midi, export and rendering bugs will be fixed as well....
Just chiming in as one of the biggest critics around the exporting issues, that they have largely been fixed now - at least on the beta firmware that I'm running from a few versions back. There are still a couple of issues, but the exported stems are perfectly usable and render quickly at this stage. I can't speak to MIDI though.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by forestcaver » Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:36 am

I just got attacked by polyend on their fb psge - I posted a reply
“ Excellent news ! Great work! Glad to see the bugs are finally getting resolved!”

and had this reponse from polyend -

“ what are you trying to accomplish with your petty passive aggression?” in direct reply.
Be really careful - they seem to be really quite unpleasant and rude in their attitude to customers.

The posts are currently still up in their fb group - I wonder if they’ll delete them...

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by acidbob » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:33 am

forestcaver wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:36 am
I just got attacked by polyend on their fb psge - I posted a reply
“ Excellent news ! Great work! Glad to see the bugs are finally getting resolved!”

and had this reponse from polyend -

“ what are you trying to accomplish with your petty passive aggression?” in direct reply.
Be really careful - they seem to be really quite unpleasant and rude in their attitude to customers.

The posts are currently still up in their fb group - I wonder if they’ll delete them...
Maybe they feel that people in general has been hard on them, but this seems to be necessary as issues with older products was also never solved.
Maybe a feeling of being in a corner and receiving lots of critique.

Quite frankly, maybe it's time for a change on their side, a new systematic approach, people will be happy if one problem is solved at a time. No one is asking that everything is perfect at next update. Just the fact that work is being done, and they are doing their best gives confidence to the customers.
One bug fix at a time and make that work and have it tested by beta testers is the way to go.

Attacking customers is a no-go in any business!

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by forestcaver » Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:36 am

Update - just been banned from their fb group for the above comment. Be careful not to post any criticism (or compliments) about the tracker or polyend will insult you and ban you. Just be aware that this is the nature of the company.

Also, rather sinisterly (as I have my fb security locked down as tight as possible) the polyend dev/employee who was insulting me just sent me a friend request!!!! Be very careful with them....

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