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Drone patches....tips and ideas ?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author Drone patches....tips and ideas ?
cptnal
I've had a lot of mileage from the self generating patches thread and thought it would be a good idea to have similar for drone patches since they seem like a popular pursuit. It seems to me they key is to have an interesting signal path which takes only a little modulation to make it swell and burble... If you have your own take on it, please share. thumbs up

By means of a beginning, I've been trying out Ian Boddy's Serge patch from Patch and Tweak, and it makes my point quite well. For those who don't own the book (why not, folks?) the patch works like this. You have two pairs of oscillators and each is tuned to the note of a chord. Each pair goes to a crossfader, wavefolder, and filter. Modulate each of these very slowly and there's your drone.

I embellished mine with a pair of Distings in clocked SD delay mode cross-feedbacking each other, clocked by the square outs of two of the LFOs. So the delay time is something like a week and a half, creating nice layers.
Keltie
Nice thread.

I’m spoiled by having E370. Cloud and morph mode with some mods into the wave tables, plus decent amounts of detune and its kinda there already.

Analogously, stacked Oscs with some subtle tuning mods, filter and pwm would be a good starting point, I guess.
BenA718
Great idea for a thread!

I have actually been working on a drone patch of sorts for a new song, but instead of chords, it’s based on the harmonic overtones of a single note. It requires a step sequencer, function generator, and loooong delay.

The step sequencer is set to play the notes in the harmonic series in whatever order is pleasing to you. The function generator acts as a slow envelope and slow clock: at EOC advances the sequencer to the next harmonic. You can throw something like Branches in there if you want to randomize the steps or hang the envelope of the function generator.

The loooong delay creates cascades of notes in a sort of slow-motion arabesque.

I love the idea of using a cross fader for added overlap and will look into exploiting Rosie for such a purpose, especially since it has an effects loop.

As for the oscillators, I am using all four oscillators on the Quadnic set to a really thick super saw. It almost sounds like a string section.

If we start a thread on advanced or non-standard percussion I can give the details for the rest of the patch lol. smile
VM
Mixers.

One way is to use matrix mixers like the Dubmatrix to create a kind of modulation soup.

Or use something like the Performance Mixer which has tonnes of vcas dedicated to level and pan. Send slightly different variations of a voice to each channel, then turn the mixer into a morphing, panning drone controller.

It's also good to drone stuff that isn't normally played that way. For instance the Lyra-8 FX section can self-oscillate in a way that sounds incredibly hollow and sad, and it can make for a nice break from traditional oscillators.
cptnal
That's what I'm talking about guys. SlayerBadger!

Mixers! Right on, VM. I managed to include both my A138Ms in the patch above, but I didn't mention it in case it scared everyone off. eek!
Gyroscope
Good idea for a thread. Great track again cptnal! I started a thread in the Euro section but will ask here also. What filters do you all use for drone? Is there a type of filter that's best suited for this genre?
cptnal
Gyroscope wrote:
Good idea for a thread. Great track again cptnal! I started a thread in the Euro section but will ask here also. What filters do you all use for drone? Is there a type of filter that's best suited for this genre?


Why thank you. Guinness ftw!

I think filters is a can-o-worms. I read your question in the other thread and reckon the distinction between filters that will and will not add their own colour to your sound is an interesting one. It's probably worth having at least one example of each. As to the colourful ones, if you ask that question you'll get a list of everyone's favourite.
Noodle Twister
E350 modulated by sloth is pretty interesting. For analog a sweet spot of PWM would be indispensable.

cptnal wrote:
You have two pairs of oscillators and each is tuned to the note of a chord. Each pair goes to a crossfader, wavefolder, and filter. Modulate each of these very slowly and there's your drone.

I embellished mine with a pair of Distings in clocked SD delay mode cross-feedbacking each other, clocked by the square outs of two of the LFOs. So the delay time is something like a week and a half, creating nice layers.



I would love to hear that patch, it sounds brilliant.
cptnal
Noodle Twister wrote:
E350 modulated by sloth is pretty interesting. For analog a sweet spot of PWM would be indispensable.

cptnal wrote:
You have two pairs of oscillators and each is tuned to the note of a chord. Each pair goes to a crossfader, wavefolder, and filter. Modulate each of these very slowly and there's your drone.

I embellished mine with a pair of Distings in clocked SD delay mode cross-feedbacking each other, clocked by the square outs of two of the LFOs. So the delay time is something like a week and a half, creating nice layers.



I would love to hear that patch, it sounds brilliant.


Sure. I'll post a snippet later today.
Keltie
cptnal wrote:
Gyroscope wrote:
Good idea for a thread. Great track again cptnal! I started a thread in the Euro section but will ask here also. What filters do you all use for drone? Is there a type of filter that's best suited for this genre?


Why thank you. Guinness ftw!

I think filters is a can-o-worms. I read your question in the other thread and reckon the distinction between filters that will and will not add their own colour to your sound is an interesting one. It's probably worth having at least one example of each. As to the colourful ones, if you ask that question you'll get a list of everyone's favourite.


On filters I have A106-5, and the lp/hp/notch control is nice for drones, although it can’t be cv’ed.

Mixing filter outs with cross fade is nice too... for eg the ripples lp4, lp2 and bp2 outs. The doepfer a140 env has an inverted out that makes this easy with a mixer.

ladik L-130 Lfo has square, tri and sine outs, each normal and inverted, great for opposing mods, cross fades etc.

And +1 to kinks. The links averaging mixer is useful too.
cptnal
cptnal wrote:
Noodle Twister wrote:
E350 modulated by sloth is pretty interesting. For analog a sweet spot of PWM would be indispensable.

cptnal wrote:
You have two pairs of oscillators and each is tuned to the note of a chord. Each pair goes to a crossfader, wavefolder, and filter. Modulate each of these very slowly and there's your drone.

I embellished mine with a pair of Distings in clocked SD delay mode cross-feedbacking each other, clocked by the square outs of two of the LFOs. So the delay time is something like a week and a half, creating nice layers.



I would love to hear that patch, it sounds brilliant.


Sure. I'll post a snippet later today.


As promised, here's a slice of the Boddy patch. Dense and textural! Of course you could tune it to whatever chord you like...
[s]http://soundcloud.com/cptnal/boddy-slice[/s]

Meanwhile I'll be taking this patch down shortly because I'm expecting a new module in the post. But if anyone has any tips for how to put a switch matrix expander to good use in a drone context I'd be happy to test it out. w00t

Edit: Been mucking about a bit more and I reckon it actually sounds better without the delay. You can hear the different notes of the chord fading in and out so it's almost melodic. The delay kinda makes it mushy.
Noodle Twister
cptnal wrote:

As promised, here's a slice of the Boddy patch. Dense and textural! Of course you could tune it to whatever chord you like...
[s]http://soundcloud.com/cptnal/boddy-slice[/s]

Meanwhile I'll be taking this patch down shortly because I'm expecting a new module in the post. But if anyone has any tips for how to put a switch matrix expander to good use in a drone context I'd be happy to test it out. w00t

Edit: Been mucking about a bit more and I reckon it actually sounds better without the delay. You can hear the different notes of the chord fading in and out so it's almost melodic. The delay kinda makes it mushy.


Sounds really good. I imagine it a bit like a constant signal with other signals spiralling around it as time passes. Thanks for sharing thumbs up
authorless
Two oscillators tuned to unison (as close as you can get) each controlled by its own slow LFO giving only a few cents of modulation. Not enough modulation for you to hear a pitch change but enough that the beat frequency of the two oscillators noticeably changes.
cornutt
Run something though a VC flanger (or chorus), with some complex modulation using multiple LFOs and looping EGs, or some such. Record that, and then run it back through the flanger again, with slightly different modulation settings.
moremagic
i find feedback in both the audio and control paths leads to the most interesting drones
cptnal
moremagic wrote:
i find feedback in both the audio and control paths leads to the most interesting drones


Oh, don't be coy! Examples, please. What's your favourite feedback patch?
cptnal
OK, I'd like to put this patch to bed by correcting my earlier mistake (too much delay). I reckoned since I was publicly airing my attempt at someone else's patch I may as well approximate what I think was his intention.

So delay is gone and there's a bit more modulation depth in the wave folders and filters. I've made the filters a bit more high-passy and added a sub bass to compensate.

[s]http://soundcloud.com/cptnal/boddy-slice-2[/s]

And that's that. I really will be taking it down now because the new modules have arrived and I'll be doing some blue-sky research in the short term. You guys will be all right on your own for a while, right?
Flexyflier
Noodle Twister wrote:
E350 modulated by sloth is pretty interesting. For analog a sweet spot of PWM would be indispensable.

cptnal wrote:
You have two pairs of oscillators and each is tuned to the note of a chord. Each pair goes to a crossfader, wavefolder, and filter. Modulate each of these very slowly and there's your drone.

I embellished mine with a pair of Distings in clocked SD delay mode cross-feedbacking each other, clocked by the square outs of two of the LFOs. So the delay time is something like a week and a half, creating nice layers.



I would love to hear that patch, it sounds brilliant.


I love drone.....I have two sloths.......great modules
BenA718
cptnal wrote:
OK, I'd like to put this patch to bed by correcting my earlier mistake (too much delay). I reckoned since I was publicly airing my attempt at someone else's patch I may as well approximate what I think was his intention.

So delay is gone and there's a bit more modulation depth in the wave folders and filters. I've made the filters a bit more high-passy and added a sub bass to compensate.

[s]http://soundcloud.com/cptnal/boddy-slice-2[/s]

And that's that. I really will be taking it down now because the new modules have arrived and I'll be doing some blue-sky research in the short term. You guys will be all right on your own for a while, right?


Wow, that was killer!

I'll be tracking what I have of my drone-based patch tonight. It's still very much a work in progress but you'll get the general gist. smile
BenA718
Here's my humble addition to this thread. Still working on the rest of the arrangement, but here's the backing track with the drone:

[s]https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting/for-the-ships-at-the-bottom -of-the-sea-demo-1[/s]

https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting/for-the-ships-at-the-bottom-of -the-sea-demo-1
Gaetan
I find that chaotic modulation works wonders for breathing life into a drone. Even something as simple as 2 LFOs modulating each other and used to subtly control various parameters make it sound way more organic.
cptnal
BenA718 wrote:
Here's my humble addition to this thread. Still working on the rest of the arrangement, but here's the backing track with the drone:

[s]https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting/for-the-ships-at-the-bottom -of-the-sea-demo-1[/s]

https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting/for-the-ships-at-the-bottom-of -the-sea-demo-1


Sounds like you're moving in a Leafcutter John direction. thumbs up

WIP as you pointed out, but in general let there be patch notes! Let there be sharing! Let your posts be illustrations of tips and tricks that others can try! This is fun!
helix
OOoh Drones are my fave thing to patch! I'll post up some on soundcloud later.

As i find the limitations of note variations in my own setup not that useful for much other than repeating 8/16step patterns, i spend way more time patchng unique sounding drones. Often i just record 5-10 mins of it droning away while i wiggle things, then save it and move on to the next. I'll use them someday...

I really like a quad LFO (QPLFO) to be pinged by random triggers or something similar. What i really want to ge is the doepfer quad AD so i can get pinging at end of cycles, that way each LFO could be pinged at the end of an envelopes cycle for lots of differently timed sweeps of filters/folds etc.

I've found sending a really wet revrb out to a filter and then a fold processor can sound really cool for some atmospheric texture behind a dry signal.
BenA718
cptnal wrote:


Sounds like you're moving in a Leafcutter John direction. thumbs up

WIP as you pointed out, but in general let there be patch notes! Let there be sharing! Let your posts be illustrations of tips and tricks that others can try! This is fun!

I had to look Leafcutter John up, and now I’m intrigued!
I shall post patch notes later, traversing NYC’s transit system for most of the day...
helix
I've just been thinkin about some patches and my want for a doepfer matrix mixer, and realised that to do what i want to do, i'd need VCA's for each output of the matrix...
Drew a little patch diagram of how it should work and realised i'd need 16 VCAs as well as the matrix mixer....

4ms matrix mixer i think is to be my next buy... this will be able to make extremely complex evolving patches.

Each of the 4 ins, could be sent to, for example

DRY
REVERB
ECHO 1
ECHO 2

And then each input can have it's output to each affet varied by CV. So only sometimes will input one be going to the delay, and then the vca swaps so that input 2 now is delayed, and input one switches to a long reverb, then back to echo 1, while input 3 now does to the reverb

I'm so excited about the possibilities of a matrix mixer for this!
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