Today we will begin by learning about the modifier panel. The modifier panel is used to fill, randomise and modify the matrix. Open the main matrix window and click on the unfold button located in the upper right corner.
As the window unfolds, you’ll find two grids. The smaller grid (1) is used to select the cells in the matrix that you would like to fill or modify. The bigger grid (2) is used to choose arrow types that you would like the matrix to be filled with.
For now, choose one arrow type, select a few cells and click build. As you’ll notice, all the selected cells will be filled with the chosen arrow. Once you select multiple arrows, the arrow types are chosen randomly.
Underneath the small grid you will find two buttons with circular arrows. Use the right button to rotate all selected cells clockwise. Use the left button to rotate the selected cells counter clockwise. Here you will also find four arrow buttons. Use them to shift the entire matrix in any direction or, in case you have selected just a few cells, only a part of the matrix. The buttons ‘clear’, ‘random’ and ‘invert’ are used to modify the grids.
On the next page you’ll find a similar interface. The small grid is used to select cells. The keyboard below is similar to the arrow grid. Choose a note and click build. All selected cells will now contain the chosen note. Select multiple notes and all selected cells will receive one of these notes randomly. On the upper right you can change the octave of the keyboard. Use the button ‘flush’ to clear the keyboard. The grid for the note values and the mute section work in a similar way.
Moving and rotating works a little differently here because we have three different parameters instead of just the arrows. First you’ll need to select which parameters you would like your action to be applied to. Let’s select the parameter ‘notes’.
The upper rotate buttons work in a similar way to the arrows: one click is equal to one step, in this case, a semitone. The lower buttons are for bigger steps, in this case octaves. With note values the lower buttons make the value change from normal to dotted to triplet notes. With mutes there is only one step, so both rotate buttons will have the same effect.
Page three works in a very similar way. Select the cells and select the parameters you want to adjust. You can select the parameters by clicking their background.
Change the values and click build to apply it to the selected cells.
To randomise values, click the unfold button and enter a second value. The parameters will now be randomised between the first and the second value.
Now let’s go to the last page. As you’ll see, page 4 works in a manner that is pretty much identical to page 3.
The next feature we will be learning about is ‘Rules’. Rules are logical conditions similar to that of ‘if’ statements in programming languages. When a condition is met, New Path can play a note or send a cc message.
Go to the third tab of the device, here you will find two times three, in total six rules you can use. To turn a rule on, click on “if”.
The first part of the rule is the logical condition that is going to be checked, in this case: “if shape 1’s X coordinate is equal to shape 2’s X coordinate”. Every cell has a number consisting of both the X and Y coordinates. You can view those numbers when you click on the map button which you’ll find on the device.
The bottom left cell has an X of 1 and an Y of 1. The cell next to it has an X of 2 and an Y of 1.
For the logical condition, this means that when shape 1 and 2 are lined up vertically so that they have the same X coordinate, the condition is met.
In the second part, below the first part, you can decide what should happen when the logical condition is met. Let’s activate playing a note, you can choose any pitch, velocity and note duration.
In the shape menus you can choose which shapes will be compared. In the coordinates menu you can choose between X, Y and both ‘x & y’; ‘x & y’ will be an exact location of the shape where both coordinates have to match. You’ll also find ‘x or y’ where a condition can be met when only the X coordinate OR the Y coordinate matches. In the next menu we can choose a relational operator. The default is the double equal symbol “==“ , which means that the two coordinate numbers should be the same before the condition is met. The next symbol means “does not equal” so our note will be played if in fact the coordinates are NOT the same. The next two symbols are ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’. And ‘greater than or equal’ and ‘less than or equal’. You can use them to see if one shape is on the left, right, up or down side compared to another shape. Then we have the range options which means the shapes should be in a certain distance. “Wrap range” means New Path also views the range as something that wraps around to the other side.
The final menu will add a number to the first shape’s coordinates and thus only results in an action if in fact the coordinates differ this particular amount from each other.
Once an ‘if’ statement has its logical condition met, you can choose between playing a note, sending a cc message or both. CC messages are used to communicate with New Paths add-on devices. The first value is the channel and the second is the action. The add-on devices, together with their channel and action system will be discussed in tutorial 5.
In case you want a shape to only work with the Rules system and not let it output notes from the cells, you should go to the first tab of the device. Here you can turn off ‘note’ which silences all the cell notes. The ‘cc’ switch will also be discussed in tutorial 5, together with the other add-on functions.
To get a better feel for how rules work, I recommend you to experiment and test the possibilities for yourself.
To make the Rules system work as expected, it needs some time to be sure all shapes are finished moving. The default buffer size for this is 1 millisecond. This should work on most computers. In case you have an older computer and the Rules system is not working as expected, go to the setup tab and increase the buffer size.
While we are on the setup tab, let’s go through all other settings we can find here. For every shape you will find a quantize dial. In cell mode, all steps will be quantized to the note value you’ve set here. Next we’ll go to the visual tab. Here you can change the color and the body for every shape. With ‘dot motion speed’ you can alter the time it takes for a shape to go from one cell to the other. With ‘shrink short delay’ you can set the amount of seconds a shape needs to be idle before it will shrink to a smaller size. The long delay tells New Path how long it should wait until a shape is considered inactive and as a result make it disappear completely. The length of the shrink animation itself is set with the ‘shrink time’ value.
Mapping and Automating
Finally in this tutorial, I would like to talk about mapping and automating New Paths parameters. In Live’s arrangement mode, you can find the list of all New Path’s parameters. First all the shapes, then the cells. Cells are ordered by location. As stated earlier, the first number is for the x coordinate, the second is for the y coordinate. Cell 11, which looks like 11 but is in fact 1-1 is in the bottom left.
To map parameters to external controllers, enter Live’s mapping mode and map them as usual. The arrows are not directly clickable in map mode, therefore click on ‘map’ and all arrows will show their hidden dials.
We have now covered all of New Path’s features. In the next and final tutorial you will learn about the add-ons: New Chord, New Step and New Note. See you there.