Downbeat drift

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

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Learning to Wiggle
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Downbeat drift

Post by ch3oh » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:54 am

The other day I finally came to realize the "issue" I'm having with my approach to live performance.

I'm working towards a purely improvisational system with a strong emphasis on techno. No patterns are pre-programmed, just a bunch of sounds stored in Shapeshifter and several kits in Analog Rytm. And I use several euro sequencers to drive the whole thing.

I tend to work with 2 or 4 bar long phrases, no fancy polyrhythmic stuff, just regular 4/4 all the way. Now, as I add different sounds to the phrase in response to what is currently playing, I almost always lose the track of where the beginning of the phrase is. Say I have 2 bar long beat going on. When I add a little something in the middle of the second part of the phrase, the perception of the beat changes — it starts to sound like the beginning of the phrase is now on the 5th beat instead of 1st. When I add another variation chances are the perception will change once again. It even feels like the beginning of the phrase is in the middle of the bar sometimes!

This makes it difficult to drop the changes to the beat in a musically correct manner when the one phrase ends and the next one begins. The Rytm switches its kits on the beginning of the pattern, and I also do some live resampling, which is also timed to the beginning of the pattern, because it is done in the Octatrack.

How do you approach this? Do you shift your sequences around so that perception of the beginning of the phrase is correct? Do you put some strong sound at the beginning of it, that always stays there to provide structure? Do you even care?

Hope I'm not the only one experiencing this. :spin:

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Common Wiggler
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Post by ciso » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:50 am

I don't have a system for live performance, but that's an interesting problem....I suppose you could use a clock divider and/or sequential switch and one of those jack plugs that light up to light up at the beginning of every bar, that way the bar markers would be inaudible.

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Super Deluxe Wiggler
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Post by PhineasFreak » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:44 pm

i absolutely revel in this wonder.

its one of my absolute favourite musical occurrences - that moment when you have settled comfortably into following a rhythm or patten a suddenly it drops on an unexpected point in the bar/phrase and everything is arse backwards, flipped and throws you for six!

orbital are the absolute kings of doing this and ive long loved to emulate that feel of just as you think you know what to expect it catches you by surprise by introducing a whole new tune built on a now less apparent yet somehow still extant structure - its like the audio of version of those damned 'magcic eye' pictures...

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