Silent Enigma
13-Jul-2019 By DTH
Retrospective midi record - Retroactive recording - Midi capture - Score Logger - Capture buffer - Capture Recording - Ensoniq Idea Pad
The problem with all digital pianos/ synthesizers/ workstations regardless of brand is the inability to capture an
unexpected improvisation, inspiration or creative burst. Wouldn't it be fantastic if your digital piano was always
secretly recording everything you play, ie. the midi notes , the sound selected, the drum rhythm selected.
There are many times a musician sits in front of their keyboard at home without the intention of recording.
When you have to setup your sequencer ie. set tempo / modes/ metronome / number of measures etc then
push record - you are not so relaxed because you know you‘re being recorded and you have to play
something. This is ok when you know what you are going to be playing.
You may just be playing around with various sounds and depending on your mood suddenly invent something new
and you continue to play while the idea is still flowing. You play like this for several minutes, half hour or more then
suddenly the phone rings, it's dinner time or you have to pickup the kids from school -you switch off - but what
happens to that wonderful inspiration(s) you just spent the last hour playing - and when you eventually come back to
your keyboard, you've forgotten that inspiration you played.
The digital piano/device should start recording secretly as soon as you pressed any  key on the keyboard(Idea1) and
then stop recording when you stopped playing eg. a pause of approx. 10 seconds - then start recording again(Idea2)
when you pressed any key again, then stop recording when you stopped playing and so on Idea3 , Idea4, Idea5 etc
memory permitting. A RAM memory buffer can be allocated and adjusted just for the Inspiration Pad - when the
 buffer becomes full the oldest Idea1 is overwritten with the most recent idea.
When you want to recall an idea eg. Idea 1-10 (10 being the most recent) from your Inspiration Pad - you just select/recall
the Idea number you want to listen to, and if you want to work on it further just send the idea to a track in your inbuilt
sequencer where you can save it.
History of Retrospective midi record.
Ensoniq was the company that invented retrospective midi record back in 1996 when they released a
workstation/keyboard called the Ensoniq MR61, MR76 and ZR76. Ensoniq called it the Idea Pad. To my astonishment no other
synth/keyboard workstation manufacturer since has implemented this feature into their products.

The Ensoniq Idea Pad is a touch of genius and should be present on every instrument made!

Link to Ensoniq MR76 Idea Pad document

How it works:

Most sequencing software on the market does not implement retrospective midi record properly - it only recalls the last
thing you played and it's too easy to lose your capture. What about the second last thing or the fifth last thing you played.
The midi capture process must identify not only when you start and stop playing the keyboard, but also start recording again
as soon as you start playing something - so a history of several ideas is recorded and the user then has the ability to quickly
choose/recall which idea they want to playback eg. idea 2 of 10. The buffer must have capacity to hold several minutes for
each idea.
Also you should not have to click several icons/ menu options to recall your ideas. The software should have a dedicated
button to quickly recall and playback your ideas. Midi capture is something that should always be ON by default.

Retrospective midi record is the most important feature that any synthesizer/workstation/digital pianos/computer
sequencers should have. Until you have used it the way Ensoniq has implemented it, you just won't know how extremely
useful it is to the composing process.

Ensoniq Idea pad panel    
Ensoniq Idea Pad
  • Free-running sequencer that is always recording in the background, capturing whatever you play on the keyboard
  • Divides up recordings into phrases based on selection of new sounds or pauses in your playing
  • Any phrase can be sent to the onboard 16 Track Recorder for further development
  • Also records the Drum Machine playback, to capture rhythm choice and Fill/Variation events, synchronized with keyboard performances
  • Adjustable buffer size

[Home] [UFO/UAP] [Science?] [Climate Change?] [News] [OBE Research] [Anomalous objects] [Music]

silent enigma Copyright 2021 by dTh Australia V 2.1