ES-5 Tips: A Rant on Tempo Hold

In forums such as the FB ES-5/-8 users group I keep reading that people want to tap in a tempo on their ES and keep it for the whole song. Typically, this comes from people using a “one Bank per song” approach: They want to tap in a tempo while on their intro sound, and keep that tempo when they switch to their verse, chorus and solo sounds. Also, maybe adjust that tempo during the song to the drummer by tapping, and again, keep that adjustment when switching to another Patch for the same song.

Before adressing this need, let me first explain why I don’t fully understand it. So, what possible scenarios are there? 

  • You may have a drummer who plays with a click or a backing track. In that case, you don’t need tap tempo; just program your Patches to the correct BPM speed.
  • You may have a drummer who keeps time perfectly, without a click. Well, give him*her a programmable metronome, so that they start each song in the correct tempo, and program your Patches to that tempo. Again, no tap tempo needed.
  • You may play with a drummer with average or worse timing. Then, tapping in a tempo once will not really help: If you want your delays or tremolos perfectly in time, you will have to re-tap quite often during the song. So then, it’s not a big problem if you always retap when changing to another section of the song, is it?

Also, I do like stuff like time sync'd modulation and delay; but do you really need different kinds of time synced effect during one song? I don’t. If I have a song with beat-synced dotted 8th delay all the way through, I will just use one es-5 patch for that song, maybe adding Assigns to that patch to add more dirt, level, whatever on the way. If I have a song that has only one section with a tempo synced effect, well, I will tap to adjust to the drummers speed when I’m in that section.  

However, the need to keep a tapped tempo throughout a Bank seems to be there. So, it would be great if the ES-5 offered a third option in between “Tapped tempo is only valid for current Patch” and “There is only a global tempo that can be changed by tapping, tempo stored in Patches is ignored”. This third option could be “Hold tempo when switching Patches within on Bank; but when going to another Bank, take the tempo stored there”.

This third option doesn’t exist in the current firmware (2.01). But here’s a workaround to get you partly there:

  • On the first Patch of your bank, 

Workaround; EDIT - Patch - MIDI Clock Out = OFF.

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