Polyend Tracker

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bmot
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by bmot » Thu May 13, 2021 4:54 am

J0ris wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 3:23 am
Honest question: why do you recommend a mechanical keyboard for trackers? How does this improve the experience?
Sorry for barging in here, the question wasn't aimed at me i know. Two things from me:
1. Good quality mechanical keyboards are better for anything that needs a keyboard. The right amount of "travel" on the keys helps prevent tiredness in the fingers and i find it's more accurate for fast input. They last longer/are harder wearing, you can also replace keys. I'd agree with the recommendation for anything that needs a keyboard.
2. I check this thread for discussion about the Polyend Tracker, and there's another thread called Tracker Talk here in the General section. Can i ask that non Polyend tracker talk moves to that thread? It doesn't make sense to discuss other trackers here, unless it's comparing the two etc. I know it kind of evolved organically when talking about alternatives, but it seems it's now time to move to the dedicated Tracker Talk thread.

Ps I'm not a mod, and i have no problem with the discussion (I've used a number of trackers in my time), in fact i find it interesting. But i also don't like that this thread has lost its original purpose, as i really like my Tracker and want to read about it here. I read about the other trackers in the other thread

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gentleclockdivider
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by gentleclockdivider » Thu May 13, 2021 8:01 am

Becasue mechanical keyboards have n-key roll over (crucial for chords ) , and in the case of the ducky's ...you can press al key at once .
Also the tactile feel and experience is a major factor .
I have this keyboard and it's awesome ( not my video) , and it's weight a ton ..( chery mx red switches )

Have a look at reddit/ mechanical keyboards for more info
Filco majestouch 2 is also really really good

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bmot
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by bmot » Thu May 13, 2021 12:27 pm

Does anyone know when's the next firmware will be released? The last beta sounds good from the list of updates, but I prefer waiting until it's official before installing. Cheers

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Kattefjaes » Sat May 15, 2021 6:47 am

gentleclockdivider wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 8:01 am
Filco majestouch 2 is also really really good
Hah, using a Majestouch 2 with MX Silent Red switches here- lubed the stabilisers, put some sillicon o-rings in, recapped with PBT and dropped some sound absorbent material- it feels a lot more solid and "dead" now. Perfectly nice straightforward option.

People who want to be able to set up lighting for weird tracker UI/seeing in the dark purposes could look at the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL RGB - a relatively inexpensive production keeb with all the macro/lighting smarts onboard, weird software is completely optional, but it's a relatively nice option for this use case.

Also, bleh, the buyer of my Tracker is complaining about the jogwheel, over a week after he received it. I tested everything, including the FM radio, all working before I shipped it. I can only assume he smokes/vapes or has been somewhat rougher with it than the build quality can withstand. Suggested he clean the encoder out. Fingers crossed.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by stepvhen » Sat May 15, 2021 11:19 am

Leopold FC-900R with silent reds here, PBT keys with AS profile (and a second one in black with the OEM caps [and also like, 4 other keyboards in the house of various types]). No frills, solid build, full size.

Also, will note, the Tracker has Kaihl choc browns (low profile tactile) as its keyswitches, so the original statement ("Mech keys are good for trackers") holds firm I'd say.

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Endorfinity
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Endorfinity » Sat May 15, 2021 11:55 am

Tracker arrived. Stuck after three minutes of pocking, had to reboot the device :hihi:
Multipurpose pads need to get used to, otherwise Tracker feels amazing, lot to explore there.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by The Junglechrist » Thu May 20, 2021 12:08 am

Some fun Tracker + modular loop I made yesterday. There is a link to grab some of the samples in the description.


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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by brandonlogic » Thu May 20, 2021 6:01 am

Idk if it’s been mentioned yet, but the new arp feature… nice, but really needs the option of only firing the envelope on the first step of the arp so the arp can fade out over time. This is how you make the illusion of chords with super fast arps. Sounds a lot better enveloped. Also just a nice effect.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by steveoath » Thu May 20, 2021 2:58 pm

Are there any videos up showing the arp feature? I haven't had time to update my firmware and I am curious as to its implementation.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Thu May 20, 2021 4:28 pm

steveoath wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 2:58 pm
Are there any videos up showing the arp feature? I haven't had time to update my firmware and I am curious as to its implementation.
I'll try it out tonight and put together a vidya if that's of interest.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Thu May 20, 2021 7:49 pm

Oookay so I downloaded the new firmware tonight to try out the ARP fx. I'd been meaning to do so for a while, but in all honesty had gotten scunnered with testing different features etc due to the problems before, so had put it off. I put together a video to demonstrate the implementation of the ARP effect, as it wasn't immediately obvious to me how it would work, and as folks above mentioned - there didn't seem to be much info about it out there. I'm just uploading that and will share, but for now...

The implementation of the arp itself is pretty basic, in the sense that while there are lots of different options for the rate of the arpeggiation, the 'style' of arp is limited to either 'up', 'down', or 'random'. You have to engage both FX lanes for the arp to work - with the Arp FX controlling the speed and style of the arpeggiation, and the second FX channel controlling the chord. While limited, it seems like a promising addition. Arps are fairly integral to tracker software, and you can do all sorts of creative things on non melodic instruments as well as what you might usually expect to.

With that said, when I tried to use the arp in practice, I ran into a few issues. Specifically:

1. You can't change the chord of an arp without re-triggering all 3 channels. That means that if you want to let an arp run on the same base note, with the same speed, but change the notes, you have to retrigger the note, and both FX columns. That just seems bizarre, and unnecessary.
2. If you add in another command onto an FX channel once an arp is running, the behaviour isn't consistent. Sometimes, the arp will stop completely (which would be expected given the way it's set up), but other times - the Tracker completely ignored the new command, and failed to execute it. I couldn't figure out any kind of commonality there.
3. You can't modulate the arp. Let's say you want to run an arp but change the panning or volume as it goes... that doesn't currently seem possible, as both FX lanes are taken up to trigger the arpeggiation.

This is still a beta, and I've submitted bug reports, so hopefully they can be corrected or improved.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Thu May 20, 2021 9:09 pm

steveoath wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 2:58 pm
Are there any videos up showing the arp feature? I haven't had time to update my firmware and I am curious as to its implementation.
Here ya go!


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Roy72
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by Roy72 » Thu May 20, 2021 9:21 pm

^^Thanks. I wonder if the chord and arp effect can be combined - charp if you will - so the other effect lane can be used for something else.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by bmot » Thu May 20, 2021 11:55 pm

Great video Mr Bowtie, thank you!

Looks like the Arp mode could do with some development still but when you activated the fast “arcade” style arp I was relieved as it’s important for me that it can go fast. Seeing as we can’t use effects on the arp with samples at the moment, I’ll use it with external instruments instead.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by steveoath » Fri May 21, 2021 11:27 am

unexpectedbowtie wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 9:09 pm
steveoath wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 2:58 pm
Are there any videos up showing the arp feature? I haven't had time to update my firmware and I am curious as to its implementation.
Here ya go!

Cheers man. Good to hear another Scottish accent too!!

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Fri May 21, 2021 1:21 pm

steveoath wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 11:27 am
Cheers man. Good to hear another Scottish accent too!!
Uhoh. Anytime I come across another Scot in the synth world I feel like you do when yer on holiday and you find someone from your hometown, and pretend you don't know each other.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by steveoath » Fri May 21, 2021 4:50 pm

😂😂😂

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Fri May 21, 2021 5:54 pm

Put together another video today on another of the new features, the Horizontal tracker.



I was actually pleasantly surprised with it. It's not something I would use, and it needs a few tweaks to be as natural as the vertical display, but it didn't feel as weird as I thought it might.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Mon May 24, 2021 10:41 am

Since there seems to be an interest in the new features in the beta firmware, I did another video on one of the additional effects that is included - the slide fx. It's one of my favourites.


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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by The Junglechrist » Mon May 24, 2021 11:22 am

Hey there everyone! Here is a new Tips & Tricks about the Tracker and how to use it with eurorack sequencers.

Full video here in about 10 minutes, feel free to come ask any questions in the chatroom whil it's playing:


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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by synthichap » Mon May 24, 2021 12:28 pm

Am I missing something or is it not possible to route the line in to the effects?
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by synthichap » Mon May 24, 2021 12:37 pm

I’ve barely used mine so far but I’m annoyed by the encoder problem. The classic Akai samplers all had encoders that were trouble free for years. They were properly secured and had splined shaft/knob combo that meant zero wobble and zero unexpected strain on the encoder. It really bugged me that throughout the manual the subtext was “your encoder’s going to break and it’s going to be your fault”. If I keep the Tracker, and I think I will, I’m going to make a piece to secure the encoder firmly, change it for a splined shaft encoder and modify my jogwheel knob.
Spartanite Case for Synthi A/KS available for trade. Looking for OP1 in exchange.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by stepvhen » Mon May 24, 2021 4:03 pm

synthichap wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 12:37 pm
I’ve barely used mine so far but I’m annoyed by the encoder problem. The classic Akai samplers all had encoders that were trouble free for years. They were properly secured and had splined shaft/knob combo that meant zero wobble and zero unexpected strain on the encoder. It really bugged me that throughout the manual the subtext was “your encoder’s going to break and it’s going to be your fault”. If I keep the Tracker, and I think I will, I’m going to make a piece to secure the encoder firmly, change it for a splined shaft encoder and modify my jogwheel knob.
I haven't had any issues with the encoder on mine yet, but I am interested in hearing about this, should you go through with it.

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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by synthichap » Mon May 24, 2021 4:12 pm

stepvhen wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 4:03 pm
synthichap wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 12:37 pm
I’ve barely used mine so far but I’m annoyed by the encoder problem. The classic Akai samplers all had encoders that were trouble free for years. They were properly secured and had splined shaft/knob combo that meant zero wobble and zero unexpected strain on the encoder. It really bugged me that throughout the manual the subtext was “your encoder’s going to break and it’s going to be your fault”. If I keep the Tracker, and I think I will, I’m going to make a piece to secure the encoder firmly, change it for a splined shaft encoder and modify my jogwheel knob.
I haven't had any issues with the encoder on mine yet, but I am interested in hearing about this, should you go through with it.
I haven’t had any issues yet but, as the manual points out over and over, it’s only a matter of time and it’s going to be all my fault 😂
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Re: Polyend Tracker

Post by synthichap » Mon May 24, 2021 4:52 pm

synthichap wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 4:12 pm
stepvhen wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 4:03 pm
synthichap wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 12:37 pm
I’ve barely used mine so far but I’m annoyed by the encoder problem. The classic Akai samplers all had encoders that were trouble free for years. They were properly secured and had splined shaft/knob combo that meant zero wobble and zero unexpected strain on the encoder. It really bugged me that throughout the manual the subtext was “your encoder’s going to break and it’s going to be your fault”. If I keep the Tracker, and I think I will, I’m going to make a piece to secure the encoder firmly, change it for a splined shaft encoder and modify my jogwheel knob.
I haven't had any issues with the encoder on mine yet, but I am interested in hearing about this, should you go through with it.
I haven’t had any issues yet but, as the manual points out over and over, it’s only a matter of time and it’s going to be all my fault 😂
btw, the Bourns encoder recommended by the maker of the video costs €1 while an ALPS of the same spec (16mm, 24 pulse) costs €3. I don’t know what the difference is internally but I suspect the ALPs may be superior.

In an MPC60, the encoder is securely mounted with a nut to a bracket, that is fixed to the chassis, and then wired to the board.
I expect this puts less strain on the assembly than mounting it to the board, without a bracket or nut.

As I look back into my photos and notes, I remember that it was too hard to find a knurled shaft replacement, so I bought a D shaped one and modified the Akai knob by gluing a Buchla knob inside it.

This was super stable with no wobble. The knob on my Tracker wobbles.

Seems to be poor industrial design by Polyend, unfortunately. It can be fixed, though. My (pseudo)OCD is going to force me to address it soon, even though I don’t currently have a jogwheel issue.

I still love the Tracker, though. Especially the filters, which sound excellent to my ears.
Last edited by synthichap on Mon May 24, 2021 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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