how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

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solipsvs
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how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by solipsvs » Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:30 pm

with no full recall? please explain how you approach arrangement with modular.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by authorless » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:49 pm

Free improvisation/electro acoustic improvisation.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by commodorejohn » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:57 pm

Are we talking general recording/patching workflow? My process is generally along the lines of:
  • Fool around until inspiration strikes.
  • Develop a musical part/work out the patch for it. (Either one can spark the other.)
  • Record the core sequence in MIDI form; clean up timing/bum notes.
  • Replay the sequence, wiggling live as necessary; record the resulting audio track.
Followed, once I'm satisfied with the content of the piece, by mixing/adjustment until the final product seems good.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by LNerell » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:08 pm

As a blank slate.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by Pelsea » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:52 pm

I use a MacBook running Max/MSP as my overall controller. I write Max patches that are equivalent to sequencers, sample and hold, chaotic function generators, what have you. Think of them as virtual modules. Then there is an overall patch that acts as a switchboard. That routes incoming signals from The controllers to the parameters of the running patch(es) including start and stop. I use a variety of contraptions to interact with the system during a piece. This can range from stock MIDI controllers to a motion sensing push broom. (See the video I posted to the "More with Less" thread.) With the switchboard patch I can switch controllers without having to modify the base patches. If I want a piece that just runs on it's own, Max can do that too.

The modules that make this possible are 20 channels of D to A from the laptop and 3 voltage controlled 4 input mixers.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by lisa » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:16 pm

I record separate tracks of a jam and make changes to the arrangement in post. I also add effects and set the levels in post, pretty much.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by starthief » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:03 am

authorless wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:49 pm
Free improvisation
Yes.

There's a point -- or a fuzzy point cloud, maybe -- where exploring sound shifts over to preparing to record a piece. I set up whatever else I feel might be wanted in the patch, tie everything to some sort of performance control (mostly faders), play it just enough to get a feel for it, and record an improvisation. (Stereo full mix, no multitracking.) Usually I go with the first take, though I might edit it if I feel that's helpful.

Improvisation provides musical form. A narrative arc, tension and release etc. emerge instinctively. I find this a lot more satisfying than writing linear sequences.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by 3hands » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:46 am

A bit of all of this!!

Because my modular is part of a larger system, it’s important that I’m able to give it the time it deserves. I usually start with a rough idea... “I want to make something involving a really ringing LPG”, and that’s where it begins. I fire gates at it from a BSP that’s locked to my DAW, or set up the clock from a drum machine to a mult and go! From there it can turn into anything. Once I’m happy, I then start fitting other instruments around it, and find a happy medium. Then I hit record. It can become anything from a major part of the piece, to little skitters that jump around in the background.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by eboats » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:05 am

I record all the best bits of my modular jams to tracks on my korg d1600. Later I go back and find the stuff that stands the test of time, and see what bits work with other ideas, and either cut/paste/arrange the tracks within the d1600 or in Cubase. I find a lot of modular stuff tends to be too repetitive, so I try to create some change and development in the final arrangement.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by IEC » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:20 am

i patch up 8 "things" as separate tracks, then just tweak stuff by hand to form an arrangement...

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by ignatius » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:25 am

turn the knobs and press the buttons when i want things to happen while all sorts of hands free modulation is happening along the way.

multitrack as much as possible. edit as needed in the DAW. mix. done.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by GuyaGuy » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:41 am

I've done variations of most of the above just to see what comes out. I've actually reconsidered my setup specifically because I wasn't able to get a timeline process that I was happy with. Well that and ergonomics. Now I'm downsizing and replacing to something I think will work better.

But I think it depends a LOT on the type of music you make. Wendy Carlos would make a patch and record all of the parts by playing them by hand. Trying to sequence all of that would have been ridiculous. Whereas Alessandro Cortini might set up a performative patch and play just that.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:52 am

lisa wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:16 pm
I record separate tracks of a jam and make changes to the arrangement in post. I also add effects and set the levels in post, pretty much.
I basically follow this example

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by Bartelby » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:07 am

This:
authorless wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:49 pm
Free improvisation/electro acoustic improvisation.

And some of this:
lisa wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:16 pm
I record separate tracks of a jam and make changes to the arrangement in post. I also add effects and set the levels in post, pretty much.

Sometimes I improvise and record a stereo pair. Other times I feel something needs a bit more control, so I'll record separate tracks.

But nothing I record is planned as such and it would be pretty tricky to recreate...

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by Marizu » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:57 am

This is a complex question because we all have different ideas about what constitutes an arrangement and what constitutes the reproduction of an arrangement.
When it comes to more traditional arrangement 'structures', it looks like many people are tending to push those out of the modular into DAW type tools but that means that you lose some of the modular creative flexibility (you obviously gain some other stuff).
I'm using NerdSeq when I do more conventional types of arrangement. It enables me to arrange in real time in a loose and creative manner. I can use the Launchpad Pro with my NerdSeq and launch sections in a similar way to people using Ableton launch clips. It's quick and easy to experiment with arrangements, even when the different tracks are running polymetrically. I can manually create a full song arrangement, or simply manually arrange sections that need to work in a complex way or where I need my hands free for wiggling.
I sometimes compliment the NerdSeq with more hands on or aleatoric sequencers.
I typically produce a version that I like within a few takes, so I haven't been feeling much need to push anything into the box. This approach has worked really well for me, because I don't enjoy the endless DAW editing and tweaking and it means that I can get to a finished recording much more quickly.
I didn't like trackers before I got stuck into NerdSeq but I realised that I can step record sequences from things like Rene, Turing Machine or Generator+ and edit them down.

I tend to use different tools for free improvisation.

Reproduction of sonic patches is a different issue.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by pines » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:40 am

Set up something as a clock, set up several sequencers or other melody generators, modulate and mix the sequence voltages, modulate the melody generators, some efx, record stereo or multi tracks, additional edits and efx in post.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by solipsvs » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:13 pm

yous have made me tink on many levels wit regards to your chosen methods. thank you for your time. :tu:

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by benofbrown » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:41 am

starthief wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:03 am
authorless wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:49 pm
Free improvisation
Yes.

There's a point -- or a fuzzy point cloud, maybe -- where exploring sound shifts over to preparing to record a piece. I set up whatever else I feel might be wanted in the patch, tie everything to some sort of performance control (mostly faders), play it just enough to get a feel for it, and record an improvisation. (Stereo full mix, no multitracking.) Usually I go with the first take, though I might edit it if I feel that's helpful.

Improvisation provides musical form. A narrative arc, tension and release etc. emerge instinctively. I find this a lot more satisfying than writing linear sequences.
That's the same process I follow, only editing I do is adjusting the overall level and fade in/out if appropriate.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by MindMachine » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:08 am

IEC wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:20 am
i patch up 8 "things" as separate tracks, then just tweak stuff by hand to form an arrangement...
This is what I do, but so eloquently.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by MindMachine » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:12 am

MindMachine wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:08 am
IEC wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:20 am
i patch up 8 "things" as separate tracks, then just tweak stuff by hand to form an arrangement...
This is what I do, but so eloquently.
ignatius wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:25 am
multitrack as much as possible. edit as needed in the DAW. mix. done.
This is what I hope to do one day.

For now... live to stereo tape caveman style. Tear down and think of something else.

Today's flavor - I should have recorded the hail on a microcassette and put it through the modular. Speed control style.
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by ZargZorg » Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:40 pm

Record for a couple of hours, listen a few days later to avoid bias, then do another run of overdubs and do a final edit.
When I use just the modular this is the process, If I mix stuff inside the computer I'm much more of a control freak and it takes me a while to edit down a piece of music.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by Monofunk » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:40 am

This is dependent on the instrument (module set) or sequencer that I'm using for the session. I don't have a set method for anything.

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by electricanada » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:15 pm

Eléctrica (electric) Nāda (the yoga of sound).

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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by Flounderguts » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:52 pm

I have a different process...

My main aim is performing on theremin. My modular and rack are very important for this...

On the modular, I patch full tracks, and use the muting to wane and wax the arrangement (if you can call it that) until I get it where I want it. Often, I'll leave the patches running for a day or two while I develop the whole thing. I have a whiteboard right beside the modular to take notes. Actually, there are about 15 whiteboards in my home studio.

Once I have it down, I "perform" the piece into a 4 track reel-to-reel. Then I play the reel-to-reel, and play the melody or descant or whatever with the theremin. I've just added some rack effects to the theremin. I got a MOFX, so I'm hoping to use the tap tempo to sync the effects to the modular pieces.

I'm trying to avoid computers in my performance setup, but the advantages of using MIDI are become apparent, as I could set up a series of tracks on MIDI, and they would sync with the MOFX.

One of the issues with using the modular near the theremin is that the modular really messes with the theremin tuning.

The fun thing is that my "sets" are all saved on my tape reels, so I can go back and mess with them...and since reels are so flexible, I can have fun with tape effects, too.

If anyone has a lightweight reel-to-reel with a good amount of flexibility, I want it! The one I'm using now weighs almost 30 lbs, and it's a drag to schlep around and set up. I wish I could find one that fit in a rack properly!
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Re: how do you manage your musical timeline using modular

Post by batch » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:15 am

I’ve been playing around with approaches to this for sometime and seem to be settling on 2 approaches.

The first approach I learned from DCramer - basically record everything on as many tracks as you can and then use automation in the DAW to bring thing in and out. This has the advantage of being very immediate - just patch up and hit record, sort out later. The downside is that it requires a lot of time in the DAW which I have to admit I find very uninspiring.

The second approach is all in the modular. Am using a Matrixarchate (8x16 sequencable matrix switch) to bring things in and out. The advantage is that there is really no DAW time, just some mastering. The downside is that it requires quite a bit of set up as well as thoughtful patching. For example, I was patching for about 4 hours last night using this approach and really only came up with the framework. Will be working on the patch today to further refine.

I’m also using 3 A150s to use all the outs of the Matrixarchate. You can also do something similar with Tetrapad/Tete and a lot of VCAs.

Hope this helps.
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