Tips / Suggestions for improvement

Live patching, designs, and techniques that push the performance envelope.

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xthrasherx
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Tips / Suggestions for improvement

Post by xthrasherx » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:32 am

Well I finally have my 12u system configured in a way where I feel like "anything" is possible and I've started to work on more complete ideas with the goal of being able to perform a live set (even if that is just a stream).

Here are two examples of some more recent longer (around 10 min) performances:

Techno
[video][/video]

Not sure of genre... but 80 bpm
[video][/video]

Both of these sessions were fairly typical of how I've been working lately which doesn't involve a whole lot of preparation (might be the issue right there). I usually start by experimenting with a module or two, stumbling across something I like, program a drum groove, and then add in more voices until I feel there's something worth recording overall. From there it is hitting record on the camera and on the computer to capture the audio. Everything is improvised from then on and recorded in one take.

so... apologies for the long preamble, but I recognize this approach has its limitations and I'm always worried that while I can get lost in the moment and totally enjoy jamming out on a patch for a while, an audience might have gotten bored several minutes ago. I'm fairly new to this style of music (electronic) and come from a background of punk and metal where a song over 2:30 was often considered pushing it :hihi:

Any tips for improving either work flow or keeping things from getting overly monotonous? How much rehearsal / practice / prep do you all put in before performing (or recording...)? How do you keep some of the spontaneity going?

Link to rack on Modular Grid
:help:
Last edited by xthrasherx on Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nagasaki45
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Post by Nagasaki45 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:49 am

Really nice!

I don't see any "issue" or "limitation" with the way you're playing. Quite the opposite. I think this sort of live improvisation is what makes modular so fun! But you asked for suggestion, so here it is: Find a place to perform live. It will probably highlight for you what you like / dislike about your practice and workflows.

Good luck!
Tom

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Post by Ypsi Kid » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:04 am

Good stuff man! Like you I've been trying to find the right balance between improv and planned. The ability to just turn things on and jam, but also the ability to go to proven places if required (planned). My biggest issue has been trying to develop an approach around pitch CV and various ways to have related pitch across the system and have it in a way that is very dynamic - been finding this really hard to tackle and have several different approaches I seem to rotate through while trying small changes.

I would say to not be afraid to try some small tweaks to your patch. Sometimes a small change can have some unexpected great results, even changing the order of patching. Although sometimes that also leads to "this is never done' syndrome which can hold you back.

Interested to hear your overall approach to the patch? I move between 2 and 4 "channels" that I can use from the Eurorack. This allows me to have 4 separate gate/trigger sequences and 4 different pitch cv sequences. I can mix and match these sequences if I want and send them to 4 different destinations. That's kinda the core at whatI'm trying to do and finding there are many ways of approaching this framework in terms of patching.

Anyways, I could talk all day about this stuff, love it - haha! Definitely interested to see where you take this.

Cheers!

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xthrasherx
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Post by xthrasherx » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:44 pm

Ypsi Kid wrote:Good stuff man! Like you I've been trying to find the right balance between improv and planned. The ability to just turn things on and jam, but also the ability to go to proven places if required (planned). My biggest issue has been trying to develop an approach around pitch CV and various ways to have related pitch across the system and have it in a way that is very dynamic - been finding this really hard to tackle and have several different approaches I seem to rotate through while trying small changes.
Thanks! I'm also trying to tackle the pitch cv issue as well. My current set up relies on the WMD Arpitecht & Triad to do the heavy lifting, giving me a bassline and related chords (or notes at least) to tie everything together. I also sometimes use S&H to vary the pitch a bit, but not as often as I probably should. I also have a O_c and Voltage Block which can be useful for pitch, but not as immediate as the Arpitecht.
I would say to not be afraid to try some small tweaks to your patch. Sometimes a small change can have some unexpected great results, even changing the order of patching. Although sometimes that also leads to "this is never done' syndrome which can hold you back.
Great advice. I definitely can be guilty of patching some things together out of habit. An example would be using the IME Hertz Donut MKIII and processing it through the metasonix RK5 LPG. Creates a lovely growling FM bass, but the HD can obviously do more than that and perhaps a wave table oscillator would be a better bass for a potential patch.
Interested to hear your overall approach to the patch? I move between 2 and 4 "channels" that I can use from the Eurorack. This allows me to have 4 separate gate/trigger sequences and 4 different pitch cv sequences. I can mix and match these sequences if I want and send them to 4 different destinations. That's kinda the core at whatI'm trying to do and finding there are many ways of approaching this framework in terms of patching.
Good question! I hope I'm understanding it correctly in this response :lol:
In general I enjoy distortion, feedback, and noise just as much as I enjoy more melodic content. It is a coin flip on which one I start with, but if I have a lead line I'm enjoying, I start to explore ways to add some grit to it or to compliment it, preferably in a way that can be brought in and out.

Lately I've been working 100% in the rack, so that influences my approach as well. I use the WMD Performance mixer with channel expansion giving me 10 channels (6 mono, 4 stereo) to work with. 3-4 of those are almost always dedicated fx channels, though only 2 of those 3-4 are going to be used with the aux sends on the mixer.
Anyways, I could talk all day about this stuff, love it - haha! Definitely interested to see where you take this.

Cheers!
Me too! I've been so fascinated with how people are approaching the live rig and its enjoyable to talk about workflow and bounce ideas out there. It is such a different way of playing/performing music for me and it is a lot to juggle at once, but I'm finally feeling like I'm getting close to the point where I could even consider a live performance.
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Ypsi Kid
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Post by Ypsi Kid » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:20 am

xthrasherx wrote: Thanks! I'm also trying to tackle the pitch cv issue as well. My current set up relies on the WMD Arpitecht & Triad to do the heavy lifting, giving me a bassline and related chords (or notes at least) to tie everything together. I also sometimes use S&H to vary the pitch a bit, but not as often as I probably should. I also have a O_c and Voltage Block which can be useful for pitch, but not as immediate as the Arpitecht.
Nice, kinda what I'm trying to do as well except using the Instruo Harmonaig to get the related chords/notes/intervals. Ha, I agree 100% with S&H, such a handy tool but I haven't used it nearly as much as I should (sometimes use S&H to get pitch info from the main pitch cv and then use a different gate pattern to vary things up (Mylar Melodies talks about this in one of this videos.

xthrasherx wrote: Great advice. I definitely can be guilty of patching some things together out of habit. An example would be using the IME Hertz Donut MKIII and processing it through the metasonix RK5 LPG. Creates a lovely growling FM bass, but the HD can obviously do more than that and perhaps a wave table oscillator would be a better bass for a potential patch.
We're creatures of habbit eh! I'm guilty of the same thing, but I also tweak a bit too much. I get so many ideas that I want to try instead of honing a few. Means I'm stuck in the 10-25min range for my sets. If I stuck with one approach I'd probably be well over 60mins right now!
xthrasherx wrote: Good question! I hope I'm understanding it correctly in this response :lol:
In general I enjoy distortion, feedback, and noise just as much as I enjoy more melodic content. It is a coin flip on which one I start with, but if I have a lead line I'm enjoying, I start to explore ways to add some grit to it or to compliment it, preferably in a way that can be brought in and out.

Lately I've been working 100% in the rack, so that influences my approach as well. I use the WMD Performance mixer with channel expansion giving me 10 channels (6 mono, 4 stereo) to work with. 3-4 of those are almost always dedicated fx channels, though only 2 of those 3-4 are going to be used with the aux sends on the mixer.
Nice, sounds like you have a general idea of what to do, would help to think about different ways of implementing that in your rack and that might bring some new ideas about what you can. Just don't be like me and change this every week - LOL!
xthrasherx wrote: Me too! I've been so fascinated with how people are approaching the live rig and its enjoyable to talk about workflow and bounce ideas out there. It is such a different way of playing/performing music for me and it is a lot to juggle at once, but I'm finally feeling like I'm getting close to the point where I could even consider a live performance.
Always great to talk about this stuff with like minded folks. Love hearing all the different approaches folks come up with for live and hearing their 'fingerprints'. Agreed in that this is such a different approach from what I'm used to, but finding it so engaging and interesting and fun. Love it, now I want to leave work and head to the studio - ha!

Have a good weekend man and interested in hearing more!

Cheers.

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Re: Tips / Suggestions for improvement

Post by ZargZorg » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:10 pm

Sometimes I do this exercise for an hour where I set a 5min timer to force me to completely move on from what's playing to some other motif.
It's quite helpful to improve your fluidity around the modular and you end up going place you don't usually go.
Also, I really set a hard timer. Doesn't matter if it's sounding good and you could listen to it for days because that defeats the purpose of freeing yourself from repetitions.

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