Pamela's New Workout patching/programming tricks

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Pamela's New Workout patching/programming tricks

Post by npseaver » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:13 pm

Hi all,

I know a lot of you have PNW in your racks, and I wanted to hear about your favorite tricks for getting interesting outputs from it. What kinds of cool self-patching, layered patterns, or patching outside the module have you tried? Any weird experiments that really paid off?

It kind of sucks to have to dive into the menu all the time to change things like Euclidean rhythm patterns, so I've tended to set up a bunch of things in a bank and then just bring those in as I go. At the moment, I have one saved bank with everything set more or less to standard drum pattern multiples and another where one row is set up with quadrature-style LFOs, but I know I'm not being creative enough here.

So far, my efforts to try self-patching into the CV1 and CV2 inputs haven't produced much of interest, so some interesting models to start from and then vary would be great.

My best strategy for surprise results so far has been to let my 2.5-year-old patch things arbitrarily from PNW out to whatever other inputs strike his fancy, having set the rates on the outputs in advance (though sometimes, he makes for the knob and randomly changes things). Who needs a random source when you have a toddler? (Though he is, now that I think of it, a rather expensive substitute for a random output + switch.)

[video][/video]

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Post by cptnal » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:02 am

Man, if modular's this much fun when you're in your forties how cool must it be at two-and-a-half! :sb:

Thanks for that. That made me smile. :tu:
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Post by dooj88 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:36 am

I use it in a pretty vanilla way, mostly for Euclidean patterns, skipping rhythms or just as a cv safetynet when I've used everything else and still need more of this or that.

Be watching this thread, good idea!

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Post by Zymos » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:42 am

dooj88 wrote:I use it in a pretty vanilla way, mostly for Euclidean patterns, skipping rhythms or just as a cv safetynet when I've used everything else and still need more of this or that.
That's me too. It's the base for most of my beats, system clock, and an occasional LFO or envelope.

I don't find making adjustments sucks at all, it's really quick to move around in, I don't even really think about it.

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Post by tonymasiello » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:33 am

Cute video... Off topic, but what are you using for blanks in your Mantis? They look slick and well cut! I tried getting some white poster board from a local craft store, but I struggled to cut it by hand and did not have very pleasing results in the end...

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Post by yeatsvisitslincoln » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:44 am

I often have one output at x2-x8 on random self patched into CV1. It's pretty useful to control gate widths (attenuated as needed on the CV input side of things) into Maths or Quadra so you get some variation in note length. I've also had a lot of fun setting up Euclidean steps on a channel (set to 4x or 8x, say) to 24 or 32 and then using the random CV to control either rotation or Euclidean steps. It makes for some things that sound very rhythmic, but aren't predictable at all (unless you set the random to loop, in which case you have a nice long complex rhythm).

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Post by EPTC » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:57 pm

Outstanding video (I mean that genuinely) Thank you for posting.
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Post by npseaver » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:38 pm

tonymasiello wrote:Cute video... Off topic, but what are you using for blanks in your Mantis? They look slick and well cut! I tried getting some white poster board from a local craft store, but I struggled to cut it by hand and did not have very pleasing results in the end...
They're styrene sheets I bought from Amazon, specifically these. Perfect thickness, and you can score them half-way with a utility knife and then they just snap apart, as straight as you see there. (I googled around to find that score/snap cutting advice, which was on some hobbyist website or other—I guess people usually use this stuff to make models.) Heavy-duty enough to hold their own just sitting on the rails, no fastening needed, and it shouldn't be hard to snap off HP as I fill the Mantis out... Don't know if it comes in other colors; was surprisingly hard to find thick enough stuff for sale, made me think I was using the wrong search terms or something.

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Post by Shledge » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:53 pm

Output 2 going into CV1 with some rskip, output 1 timing controlled by output CV1. Attenuate/offset to taste and you'll get some interesting rhythms.

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Post by npseaver » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:01 pm

I took some more time to play around and was getting more of a groove on with it, which certainly helped me grok the basics a bit better than I had been. (Delay is still confusing me; I should look back at the manual.)

Fun settings/questions:

1. Use the random output, but set offset and level to CV1 input; get a triangle wave going on another output and pipe that into CV1 at /4 or something like that. Gives you (almost) arpeggios, with occasional out-of-order steps I don't understand at the moment. EDIT: wait, I think I got it. If level is just stacked on top of the offset (rather than representing a max value), then what I really wanted to do was to set level to like 1% and then move the offset up and down to force the "random" to give me roughly arpeggiated values. And then, I supposed I could have just used the normal gate output to do this. Learning! (Also, this trick is only useful if, like me, you don't have the quantizers/dedicated LFOS/S&H/literal arpeggiators to do this for you...yet.)

2. Euclidean rhythms are good fun (and tricked me into making techno, when I thought I wanted to be going ambient)—16/9 is a nice one. Weirdly, when trying to save and load a pattern from one output to another (to sync up pitch changes from one with note onsets from the other), it did not copy exactly (i.e. the lights were not flashing at the same time, and I had to rotate the rhythm to a different setting than the original to get them to line up). Don't know what that's about. Maybe some setting doesn't get copied, or gets seeded randomly, or something?

3. Capturing a bit of random in a loop to make a melody is nice, too, though I wish I could figure out how to get the captured random to either evolve (Turing machine-style) or just change wholesale. I assume the former isn't possible, but shouldn't there be some easy way to be like "loop something else now"? What causes the loop to reset? I've been just dialing it down to 0 and then dialing it back up to whatever it had been set at to "clear" it out. I guess I could use one of the CV controls to do that, though I don't know what attenuation setting maps on to what number of beats in the loop setting. (Is this the kind of thing I should be able to figure out with reasoning, or is it more of a guess and wiggle kind of thing?)

4. With limited voices in my rack at the moment, I've been doing more clock-synced modulating of the same voice, which is neat, but really random on my part for now. Things like changing timbre settings in some time ratio with the beats or whatever. At one point today had three different euclidean rhythms running each osc in my Verbos CO (which were already synced with one FMing the other) and the trigger input in Clouds Parasite resonestor mode, for string-ish hits. Pretty fun! But once I find a groove, I don't really know how to change it up coherently.

5. I guess the real trick for me would be finding ways to self patch so that you could get cool, elaborately shifting rhythms without having to touch the thing again. So I guess a really simple case would be setting an output as a gate with a really big divisor, so you could have it on for 8 bars, then off, such that it makes, uh, something happen for 8 bars. (Like shifting all the Euclidean rhythms and then bringing them back? Something more interesting than that?) That seems not feedbacky enough to me, though, like there should be some way to use feed a rhythm into one of its own parameters such that musically interesting evolution happens...

6. And I really need to figure out how to rotate the outputs in a way that produces musically interesting effects. Maybe the rotate setting that just does the top 4 so I can maintain some understanding of wtf is going on.

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Post by lisa » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:10 pm

I use it for simple things mostly. In my latest, rather nice patch, I set up a euclidean rhythm with the waveform set to random and I put that through a quantizer = instant rhythmical bassline. :sb:
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Post by npseaver » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:12 pm

yeatsvisitslincoln wrote:I often have one output at x2-x8 on random self patched into CV1. It's pretty useful to control gate widths (attenuated as needed on the CV input side of things) into Maths or Quadra so you get some variation in note length. I've also had a lot of fun setting up Euclidean steps on a channel (set to 4x or 8x, say) to 24 or 32 and then using the random CV to control either rotation or Euclidean steps. It makes for some things that sound very rhythmic, but aren't predictable at all (unless you set the random to loop, in which case you have a nice long complex rhythm).
Shledge wrote:Output 2 going into CV1 with some rskip, output 1 timing controlled by output CV1. Attenuate/offset to taste and you'll get some interesting rhythms.
I'll definitely try these out. Have not been varying gate widths at all, really. And I need to go look at the module again because I'm not sure what "output 1 timing" refers to—can I set the multiplier to CV control? Or is that something else?
EPTC wrote:Outstanding video (I mean that genuinely) Thank you for posting.
And thanks, it's pretty fun—though I realized that one reason I dread the minor menu diving in Pam's is because it encourages the wee one to mess around with the controls, thus killing whatever I had tried to set up. Also, once his mother was nearby, he started asking *her* whether he could plug outputs into outputs, like maybe she would give him permission to patch connections that I'd told him not to!

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Post by dumbledog » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:27 pm

Take two outs set to some Euclidean thing, both with the same step length. Run them through a logic processor, say a Pico Logic in XOR mode. What do you get? Frankly it's really damn complicated, especially with XOR. You can't really predict how many steps the result will have, and altering a parameter on either channel EStep or ERot) will wildly change the resulting pattern.

Now, in parallel, take a 16-step unquantized sequencer into a quantizer that allows an external trigger. Ornament and Crime works great, as does Disting. Now clock the quantizer and your voice with XOR result. Now you are getting a consistent rhythmic pattern from your sequencer, but it's still staying in time with your song. Change up the Euclidean patterns and you get different rhythms but all based on the same sequence. It's pretty neat.

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Post by cptnal » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:07 pm

npseaver wrote:What causes the loop to reset? I've been just dialing it down to 0 and then dialing it back up to whatever it had been set at to "clear" it out. I guess I could use one of the CV controls to do that, though I don't know what attenuation setting maps on to what number of beats in the loop setting. (Is this the kind of thing I should be able to figure out with reasoning, or is it more of a guess and wiggle kind of thing?)
Exactly this. I've done it in the past - using one output to open and close the random lock of another. It does take a bit of tweaking to get exactly right, but once you've got it it'll keep playing forever! :goo:
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Post by uebl » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:27 pm

It's pretty obvious I guess, but I even sometimes used it as a more or less fixed-frequency oscillator with CV control over wave shape etc; usually by using an output at x48..

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Post by 61050 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:52 pm

this thread is great. i pretty much use mine for boring clock duties and lfos.

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Post by npseaver » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:42 pm

uebl wrote:It's pretty obvious I guess, but I even sometimes used it as a more or less fixed-frequency oscillator with CV control over wave shape etc; usually by using an output at x48..
*tries to do the math* it can really get up to audio rate!?

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Post by PompeiiRuler » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:47 pm

I have basically set up outputs 5 to 8 as a quadrature LFO. Set and forget.
phase offset at 0,25,50,75 % and clocked at 1/16th timing

Top four outputs usually euclidean and random

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Post by yeatsvisitslincoln » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:55 pm

npseaver wrote:
uebl wrote:It's pretty obvious I guess, but I even sometimes used it as a more or less fixed-frequency oscillator with CV control over wave shape etc; usually by using an output at x48..
*tries to do the math* it can really get up to audio rate!?
Should be 240 Hz max.

300 bpm is a cycle every 0.2 seconds or 5 Hz. Multiply by 48 and you have 240 Hz. A little below B3, where C3 is middle C.

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Post by uebl » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:37 am

Yes it‘s low, but clearly audible :)

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Post by cptnal » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:20 am

If you're looking for a spare source of random gates, combine a couple of channels of Pam's at different divisions and turn the slop and random skip way up.
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Post by VZvision » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:47 am

One thing I've found super useful is combining Pam's with a VCA Matrix to slowly cross fade between sets of stereo channels, either being sent to an effects unit like a send or directly into a stereo mixer.

All the extended parameters cater to this amazingly:

1. Pam's can go super slow (Up to /512)
2. Pam's can Phase shift (So you can have channels overlap or L and R channels move differently)
3. Pam's puts out only +ve LFO's (So you don't completely close the VCA and don't have to offset the LFO to be only positive)

From an arrangement/composition perspective, it opens up tons of possibilities.

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Post by cptnal » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:59 am

VZvision wrote:One thing I've found super useful is combining Pam's with a VCA Matrix to slowly cross fade between sets of stereo channels, either being sent to an effects unit like a send or directly into a stereo mixer.

All the extended parameters cater to this amazingly:

1. Pam's can go super slow (Up to /512)
2. Pam's can Phase shift (So you can have channels overlap or L and R channels move differently)
3. Pam's puts out only +ve LFO's (So you don't completely close the VCA and don't have to offset the LFO to be only positive)

From an arrangement/composition perspective, it opens up tons of possibilities.
...also, moving the VCA matrix further up the chain to send different voices down different effects routes. With Pam's controlling the levels of course. :tu:
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Post by npseaver » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:06 pm

cptnal wrote:If you're looking for a spare source of random gates, combine a couple of channels of Pam's at different divisions and turn the slop and random skip way up.
What would you use random gates like that for? I tried slop a bit, but it threw notes so far off beat so fast that it was less like a humanizer than like a throw-the-drums-down-the-stairs-izer.

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Post by SlyFrank » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:39 pm

npseaver wrote:
cptnal wrote:If you're looking for a spare source of random gates, combine a couple of channels of Pam's at different divisions and turn the slop and random skip way up.
What would you use random gates like that for? I tried slop a bit, but it threw notes so far off beat so fast that it was less like a humanizer than like a throw-the-drums-down-the-stairs-izer.
I _love_ random for everything except for tempo. Random into all sorts of inputs can "humanize" stuff, but tempo is not included. When humans play in real time, and 'stray' from the beat, it's not random. The only way to humanize tempo is to play it yourself. That doesn't have to be by actually playing keys - it could be by riding the master tempo, or timing, or swing, with a joystick, but humanization of tempo is not 'slop.'

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