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List of usable rhythm variations for 16 step sequencer
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author List of usable rhythm variations for 16 step sequencer
Refund
LATE SEPTEMBER 2016 UPDATE (and aug 2017 reupload):

I went through the geometry of musical rhythm book and made this guide to "master" rhythms, the most simplistic way to think of it is as a hi hat pattern that you then lay kick snare patterns on top of.

I actually finished it about a month ago now, but the documentation is a bit of a trainwreck since I had to make up so many terms to describe things, enough excuses! here it is.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B77int6-lRb2YUpFZURqWm43Qkk
last updated 25th August 2017
(if the link is broken, leave a message and I'll reupload it)

all the logical combinations of time signatures you can get out of a 16 step sequencer are represented

how I've been using it, is to 'play' the patterns on my leg with a pair of drumsticks, going through them until I find one I want to use as the rhythmic base for a track.



changed topic title to suit the new list

ORIGINAL POST:

I've been trying to analyse all the 'beats that work' within all 8 step, non layered, kick snare patterns. these are the results.

If you've ever thrown random beats into a sequencer you'll know there are a lot of patterns that "work but sound like they're offset" as well as ones that are just plain horrible.

This is me doing my best to exclude all those and leave whats left. I just generated all the possible patterns up to a certain degree and spent a minute listening to all of them / offsetting beats that needed offsetting / removing duplicates / arghh

Because these are only beats that sounded good to my ears, it's obviously not a thorough or subjective set.

If anyone can think of a way to do subjective sets without getting a tonne of useless patterns I'd love to hear it.

I may one day do other time signatures and sets but this set took far too much effort and it's only a tiny little 8 step 1 dimensional (no overlapping) bunch of patterns!

I Hope these help spark some ideas!

mckenic
Great idea and thanks for sharing!

I got the WaveDNA Liquid Rhythm Max4Live thingy to do something similar but have not spent enough time with it yet. Thanks!
nbirnel
This is cool. Thank you!

Refund wrote:

If anyone can think of a way to do subjective sets without getting a tonne of useless patterns I'd love to hear it.


What do you mean by a "subjective set"? Provably cool beats? (I'm not trying to be snide - just wondering what you are thinking of.)
kisielk
I recommend reading "The Geometry of Musical Rhythm" by Godfried T. Toussaint: http://www.amazon.ca/Geometry-Musical-Rhythm-What-Makes/dp/1466512024/

He does a lot of different analyses on what makes a rhythm "good" including qualities like symmetry, regularity, predictability, etc. lots of interesting material and you'll definitely get a lot of inspirations. He looks at a lot of world rhythms and how they are related and different, not just standard 4/4 stuff.
xclark
kisielk wrote:
I recommend reading "The Geometry of Musical Rhythm" by Godfried T. Toussaint: http://www.amazon.ca/Geometry-Musical-Rhythm-What-Makes/dp/1466512024/

He does a lot of different analyses on what makes a rhythm "good" including qualities like symmetry, regularity, predictability, etc. lots of interesting material and you'll definitely get a lot of inspirations. He looks at a lot of world rhythms and how they are related and different, not just standard 4/4 stuff.


Just rented the Kindle version of this book on your recommendation. Thanks! nanners
suboptimal
Nice idea. Thanks for sharing this.
pacific202
This is great! Thank you!
ectoplasm
Once in a while, I think it can be kind of fun to lead with the snare. Sort of throws people off, but still works in a comfortably musical way.
CJ Miller
What I prefer to do is run calculations for each voice to determine when its next event occurs. So these are rhythms without steps, measures or tempo. Which means that I cannot (in good conscience!) chop them into a DAW without losing all of their timing relationships. With steps, people tend to stop looking for deep structures because 95% of what structure there seems to be is merely caused by a few short bits being repeated. This would cut people off from most of the possibilities of rhythm.
Refund
CJ Miller wrote:
What I prefer to do is run calculations for each voice to determine when its next event occurs. So these are rhythms without steps, measures or tempo. Which means that I cannot (in good conscience!) chop them into a DAW without losing all of their timing relationships. With steps, people tend to stop looking for deep structures because 95% of what structure there seems to be is merely caused by a few short bits being repeated. This would cut people off from most of the possibilities of rhythm.


this is a great way to go about rhythm!

I've been wanting to create a puredata beat divider that works on the degree within the phase of a circular looping pattern, something where I could do just as you say and use math/rhythmic divisions/division of those divisions.

Quote:
What do you mean by a "subjective set"? Provably cool beats?

I suppose I was more wondering if there had been some sort of meta analysis on what makes beats work by which I could derive a set of beats based on a pattern, but was definitely gearing towards "provably cool beats" sort of like maybe :
Quote:
I recommend reading "The Geometry of Musical Rhythm" by Godfried T. Toussaint


which I'll check out if I can find it (not sure how though, I'm a bit internet dumb when it comes to finding ways to buy stuff online)

Quote:
Once in a while, I think it can be kind of fun to lead with the snare. Sort of throws people off, but still works in a comfortably musical way.


this was a deliberate oversight to make the process a bit easier, but with the way I've got it set up, I can simply swap the kick and snare and get a reversed pattern.

these were put into this puredata patch:



which then controls a bunch of other puredata patches I've made:



the purpose of this patch is to get these simplified 'base' kick/snare pattern and overlay addition generative/offbeat/xor logic.
CJ Miller
Refund wrote:
I've been wanting to create a puredata beat divider that works on the degree within the phase of a circular looping pattern, something where I could do just as you say and use math/rhythmic divisions/division of those divisions.


Why a circular looping pattern?

Refund wrote:
If anyone can think of a way to do subjective sets without getting a tonne of useless patterns I'd love to hear it.


kisielk wrote:
Toussaint... does a lot of different analyses on what makes a rhythm "good" including qualities like symmetry, regularity, predictability, etc.


I like the PD patch! Although I've gt to say the motivation sounds a bit reductionist. It seems to me that we can analyze the forms, and techniques for achieving them. But saying that certain beats are "good" or "workable" just seems to be a moving target between one's own subjectivity, and the applicability of the musical task at hand. Not unlike the idea of finally distilling everything into a treatise on how to make good music, or good sculpture. Presumably, every such system has been "good" for the person who devised it.

Probably I am reacting against experiences I have had where it has seemed to me that most techno and other electronic rhythm makers tend to be impossibly conservative with regards to beats. It is like being told that "Painting can be absolutely anything - so long as it depicts stuff on a table." People say that they prefer sounds to have synchronous relationships, but they only tend to really listen in to a tiny subset of these. How it seems to me is that most people actually prefer isochronus relationships, where fluctuations can play with their expectations, but the overall structure remains more or less regular and predictable.

The limited span of attention or appeal I attribute to mostly biological factors. That is, if people can't easily feel the pattern as an aspect of their own physical movements, then they tend towards inattention. This physical basis tends to be rooted in qualities mentioned regarding Toussaint's book (symmetry, regularity, predictability) as they relate to the mechanisms of tension/release in the organism. The problem with this artistically is that it limits ones rhythms to being something akin to "portraits of human movement". Most kinds of artistic expression encompass much more variety, by not strictly limiting themselves to representations of people!

For example, I had a friend and room mate of many years who often drew. And he only drew human faces (the front of the head, where the sense organs are). Yet, if he saw other people's drawing of other things - he could still immediately recognize them as being drawings. And this didn't overwhelm his critical faculties - one needn't draw faces for him to recognize their skill as an illustrator. He recognized that this was merely his personal preference, rather than trying to universalize it. It takes some discipline to recognize and remember that the human body and the structure of the ear are not the measure of all things, as they can easily appear to be.
Refund
pretty much the main reason I'm trying to get a thorough understanding of simple scales/beats/musical rules etc.. is because I find that personally I work better if I feel like I've already 'beaten' the simpler stuff and can move onto the more complicated things. like these beat generators are in 4/4 but only about half of the stuff I write is in 4/4, plus I do heaps of noise/ambient that doesn't have time signatures or drums or harmony etc..

I've also found if left to my own devices, I fall onto a few crutches without realising it (like this 7/4 beat I always use, and a harmonic minor scale) so having a complete set of a *particular type* of possibilities gives me a whole bunch of things I *wouldn't* think to do, to do.
stk
Refund wrote:



Not really into the algorithmic music thing, but I've got to say that patch looks badass SlayerBadger!
Refund
yeah, it looks ridiculous,

There's 2,357 connections in that patch.
CJ Miller
Refund wrote:
I've also found if left to my own devices, I fall onto a few crutches without realising it (like this 7/4 beat I always use, and a harmonic minor scale) so having a complete set of a *particular type* of possibilities gives me a whole bunch of things I *wouldn't* think to do, to do.


Seems a sound motivation to me. But I do not understand making a taxonomy like this has to do with certain patterns "working" better than others.

Refund wrote:
pretty much the main reason I'm trying to get a thorough understanding of simple scales/beats/musical rules etc.. is because I find that personally I work better if I feel like I've already 'beaten' the simpler stuff and can move onto the more complicated things. like these beat generators are in 4/4 but only about half of the stuff I write is in 4/4, plus I do heaps of noise/ambient that doesn't have time signatures or drums or harmony etc..


That's just the thing though - when we are basically dividing one number against another, isn't this fundamentally just as simple regardless of which two numbers we may choose? With any given instance, we are performing the same operation.

My approach tends to be that of devising some feedback networks, and/or playing with mathematics and sonifying the results. I have a deep fascination and suspicion of music, because the "rules" seem entirely self-referential. There is enough busy-work to make it seem rigorous, but then the rules seem to have been founded on some implicit assumptions of what it is to me "musical". I have yet to read any explanation of music which sounds like anything other than something which resembles a system, without actually functioning as a system. I try to ask musicians about this, but hardly anybody ever understands my confusion about it.

I suppose it is like how maths and finance are linked might be analogous to maths and music. The maths are a universal symbol set, whereas finance and music might be special-case games people play which borrow from the language of maths for their own purposes. Which might explain why the rules of both finance and music seem imaginary to me! For instance, if rhythm is the fundament of a piece, how would we know if it is practical or desirable to try plotting "measures" when we haven't worked out the rhythm yet? Only very specific kinds fit into this framework, and there seems to be no pressing reason to choose those rather than any other. The answer always seems to be: "Because!" So to me, simple musical rules seem to me not very simple, they amount to specifying some arbitrary relationships.

Ok, I don't know whether I am contributing interesting discussion, or derailing the thread, so I will just pick here to stop!
Refund
CJ Miller wrote:
Which might explain why the rules of both finance and music seem imaginary to me! For instance, if rhythm is the fundament of a piece, how would we know if it is practical or desirable to try plotting "measures" when we haven't worked out the rhythm yet? Only very specific kinds fit into this framework, and there seems to be no pressing reason to choose those rather than any other.

The answer always seems to be: "Because!" So to me, simple musical rules seem to me not very simple, they amount to specifying some arbitrary relationships.

Ok, I don't know whether I am contributing interesting discussion, or derailing the thread, so I will just pick here to stop!


I totally get where you're coming from, I also feel that music has way too much 'concensus' understanding and nowhere near enough 'nuts and bolts' understanding, but while I love digging into the nuts and bolts stuff (but to be honest, I always feel out of my depth with those) I'm also interested in concensus based musical tropes, especially when they were decided upon in isolation from each other.

like how the pentatonic scale has been picked up by many cultures with little or no interaction between one another, or how the 3 over 4 polyrhythm is all around the world, to me these are the starting points to understanding the 'human experience' part of the music equation,

often within these 'consensus based' patterns, a lot of the 'nuts and bolts' tend to emerge as well, like how the major and minor chords (most favoured chords in most harmonic based music) have simple ratio numerals to the root note, or how most beats seem to follow a type of numbered groove pattern (and it's not a notation thing either, word of mouth traditions also follow this trend)

and these kick snare patterns as an example all have the most clustered/complex part of the rhythm nearing the end of the phrase with any 'pauses' at the front, whereas african drumming patterns often have all the complexity at the start of the pattern and have the pauses towards the end. Someone used to hearing african beats would come to an entirely different set of 'good' rhythms to what I did, that's why I'm interested in a more 'nuts and bolts' approach as well as the 'personal subjective' approach that I've just done.
stk
Refund wrote:
yeah, it looks ridiculous,

There's 2,357 connections in that patch.


I think it's beautiful, I'd hang that on my wall.
Raytracer
Refund wrote:
yeah, it looks ridiculous,

There's 2,357 connections in that patch.
That's serious dedication to your patching!
Refund
A fellow wiggler has been legend enough to lend me a copy of 'geometry of music rhythm'.

I'm only a 1/4 way through but I'm already understanding the concepts/workings of rhythm a hell of a lot more.
pacific202
What is the difference between the red and the green numbers?
Refund
they're just a visual cue for the beat divisions directly to the right of it

and what THOSE numbers refer to, is how the beat 'sounds' like it's divided, so if you 'count' those numbers, they line up with the way the beat sounds.

also: an update is pending, I've read through geometry of musical rhythm and grabbed all the beats from it, but need to do some further work.
Gringo Starr
Refund wrote:




I would love to see a list like this for different time signatures. Anyways cool list and thanks for sharing!
cgorsu
Oooh, this grid i great, thanks!
pacific202
Refund, any word on the update? I have found this chart invaluable!

Thanks again!
Refund
yeah I went through the geometry of musical rhythm book and made this guide to "master" rhythms, the most simplistic way to think of it is as a hi hat pattern that you then lay kick snare patterns on top of.

I actually finished it about a month ago now, but the documentation is a bit of a trainwreck since I had to make up so many terms to describe things, enough excuses! here it is.

https://www.sendspace.com/file/n0v3bs

all the logical combinations of time signatures you can get out of a 16 step sequencer are represented

how I've been using it, is to 'play' the patterns on my leg with a pair of drumsticks, going through them until I find one I want to use as the rhythmic base for a track.

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