Guitar track playing for solo/improvisation


Some feedback / first impressions:

I just want to have one guitar track playing all the time so I can solo and improvise. From time to time it would be nice, just to record something onto the neighbouring track(s) and play it back whenever I want in the arrangement. I somehow can’t make this happen…

One simple function would solve that / and that’s to turn audition off on the recording track. Now I’m solving problems like: suddenly two guitars playing in the same time also…

Any advice? Hope the feedback helps somehow… If not, nevermind :slight_smile: If you want, I can write some more about it.


Your feature request…

… makes a lot of sense. My design was predicated on the idea that when you enter a record loop you always want to hear what you play, but you’re correct that if you have another track that has audition set to on (always) then you don’t need to hear the (other) record loop. I’ve thought about this a bit… basically what you need is to either add another mode for auditioning, or split the auditioning functionality into two categories: behaviour when you are stopped/playing, and behaviour when you are performing. Hover auditioning falls into the stopped/playing category, what you describe falls into the record behaviour.

Currently we have:

  • Audition off
  • Audition on
  • Hover audition

If we add an extra switch:

“Enable/disable Audition on Record Loops during Record State” (or something similar but shorter!), then in your case you would disable it for the track in question, but the default would remain “Enabled” because I think that is the typical use-case.

How to do it now…

…use mute automation to achieve what you want. It’s not beautiful but it will work. You could also use volume automation. The difference between the two is simply what automation track you use to draw it, and how you draw it. Volume is a continuous param. Mute is a on/off param. Therefore volume gets drawn on a Control Automation Track, while mute is better drawn on a Command Automation Track. Take a look at the image.

I’ve opted for a mute and therefore a Command Automation Track. Note that you want to draw Scripted Automation Regions (rather than Captured Regions) because you don’t want to have to hit a pedal to turn the signal off and on – you want it to be programmed. So what I did was simply use Alt+mouse drag on the automation track to draw two regions that almost, but not quite, coincide with the track you want to mute. You should draw the mute to start a little bit before the beginning of the record loop. Why? Because it’s a bug. It shouldn’t really behave that way… sorry. I will add to list of issues, but at least as I drew it it definitely works.

Hope this helps, and thanks a lot for the feature request! If you have any other ideas for improvements, or experience any issues anywhere, please let me know!

1 Like


thank you very much for such a quick and extensive answer. It works smoothly now. Exactly as I wanted. I understand you (even though I would prefer this way…). It’s still quite an ok solution. What I still don’t get is the difference between the red and green pen in that automation track / but that’s probably just a matter of reading the manual :slight_smile: I draw it with the red one (it didnt work) after I tried the green one (it worked).

What happened to me 2 times was, that I was not able to change the name of a red loop or change the source of the green one. It got kind of stuck. There were two different red loops (two names) on one track and two different green ones.

Also it crashed a few times. My system is Sierra 10.12.5. Always during renaming or duplicating or doing other operations on the left side of a screen. Never during playing, as I recall!

Hello :slight_smile:

I’m sorry hear you had some crashes. Unfortunately, you are not the only user that has reported instability. I am devoting essentially my whole day to improving that side, so I think you should notice improvements quickly, since I push bugfixes on a daily basis (sometimes even more often). By the way, the latest version is 1.0.18. Are you running that version? I ask because there was a bug where you couldn’t change the name of a record loop, and couldn’t choose which record loop you wanted a play loop to refer to. It also caused crashes. However, I’m almost certain I fixed it in v1.0.18. If you weren’t using that version, it could explain why you had the problem. If there still is an issue, I’d appreciate you telling me if you get the chance, because it’s not happening on my machine.

I should mention here that the app auto updates, which means that while you use the app it checks in the background for new versions. If you exit and then re-run the ALK, it installs the new version. You can check in the “About ALK” menu that the version has increased. What I really need to do is to make it so that when the version updates, you’re given a kind of “welcome screen” that shows you you’ve updated, and also tells you what the changes are (e.g. bug fixes, enhancements, etc.). That way you know you’re using the “latest and greatest”. Again, I think this will be a big issue for the first two weeks, after which I expect to get 90% of the problems. The remaining 10% will most likely be harder to identify (only appear on certain hardware, plugins, etc.) and take much longer – but that’s ok because for the great majority of users/use-cases the application will be basically stable.

To answer your question quickly:

Green pencil: either playback (MIDI or audio) or drawn (i.e. curves for control or menu for command) automation. Green means “something that I will not perform live – either I will use something that I just recorded or I will draw something”

Red pencil: stuff I will record live (MIDI or audio) or automation I will perform with an encoder in a live setting. For the latter, you of course need to “learn” the encoder source.

One little complication: since record loops (drawn with red pencil) are the actual repositories for notes and audio data (whereas play loops simply refer to a record loop), imported loops (audio or MIDI) appear as record loops (this is a bit unintuitive and may change in future versions). To prevent overwriting them when you hit record, they are automatically set to be locked which prevents them being written to. Any record loop can be locked, and also any track (which locks everything inside). You can lock a region or track from its menu (right-click or click on the hamburger icon) or by hovering over the loop or track and pressing ‘s’ (for seal = lock).

Thanks for using ALK and for your patience. Have a good evening!