For the love of God please explain Berlin School sequencing

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Analog Music
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For the love of God please explain Berlin School sequencing

Post by Analog Music » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:01 pm

Please let's stay on topic :youkids:

For the love of God please explain Berlin School sequencing .

I love how you can get lost in Berlin School sequencing , the mood and the sound .

I'm struggling trying to make them myself .

So what are the techniques used ? as far as :

Sounds and design (what type of sounds are best and how to make them )

Sequence steps ( 8 steps , 16 steps , odd steps , skip steps , ratcheting steps )

Delay ( digital vs analog )

Reverb
Etc.......

For the most part I'll be using my Sequentix Cirklon as a analog style sequencer I guess but There is also a pretty good sequencer on my Moog Sub 37 that just arrived so I've heard , but haven't tried it yet .

I know the essential sequencer of classic Berlin School is probably the Moog 960 but I must try with the sequencers that I do have like the Cirklon to at least get close .

I would love to know how Suzanne Ciani made this ?


[video][/video]

what are her steps and work flow with the sequencer and modular and how can I apply it to my own sequences . Not to copy but to learn ?

Also probably my favorite



[video][/video]

Thanks for any help and remember
Please let's stay on topic :youkids:

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Post by Opus110 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:18 pm

Start with simple diatonic patterns. The first example is built around D/F/G/A/C/D, the second only B flat/C/E flat/F. After that, it's a matter of playing with beats and off-beats. Both can be heard as having an A and a B rhythmic-melodic pattern (higher notes on A, lower notes on B). Second example is 16 notes. Harder to tell for the first example - it goes too fast and there's a lot of delay.
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Post by Heavenly3lues » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:39 pm

I am very interested in this also. I love this style of sequencing!

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Post by Opus110 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:56 pm

In regards to the melodic patterns - tonally rooted, but without tonal functions around a strong tonal center -, there is a strong association with early minimalism - that of Steve Reich in particular. Not sure which influenced which, but the similarity in pattern construction, as well as other techniques (delay vs "phasing"), is striking.

I'm curious, though: why do you call this "Berlin School"?
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Post by zapp550 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:30 pm

STG actually did a video explaning love on a real train a couple years ago that's worth a watch.

[video][/video]



Most everything you mentioned you can do or approximate on the cirklon as opposed to a 960. The only things you'd not be able to nail 100% would probably be ratcheting that speeds up or slows as it moves along and the 960 has third row ability to control the internal oscillator, using repeats and length per step with the cirklon will pretty much get you there plus throws syncing issues out the window. I've got a cirklon and a couple 960's in my setup so if you've got any specific questions feel free to shoot me a message.
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Post by Mort Rouge » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:18 pm

One thing that actually does amaze me is the way the new developers of the Monkey Island series actually expanded upon the style and humour of the original games when making Monkey Island 3, to the extent that it was virtually impossible for anyone to notice the difference. When making Tales of Monkey Island, the original lead developers who had been granted the license again had no choice but to incorporate the third entry in the series, while not giving the same treatment to the less popular Monkey Island 4, an entry in the series which was indeed ignored because it didn't manage to conjure up the same feeling.
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Post by bitflip » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:07 pm

^ :hihi:

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Post by xclark » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:39 pm

some good Berlin School info here:

[video][/video]

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Post by tim gueguen » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:26 pm

Opus110 wrote: I'm curious, though: why do you call this "Berlin School"?
It gets called Berlin school because of its association with Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and others, who came from Berlin.

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Post by osc1899 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:09 am

Hereby a recording of my gig at Ramses this year. I heard from some people it has a typical Berlin-school mood.

For the preparation I programmed the notes on the Moon M569 analog sequencer with the Quantizer of the Rob Hordijk Nodeprocs. I programmed 32 steps. During the performance I settled the M569 in random note mode and do some variations with the note scale and tempo. The synth lead was played on the Minikorg 700 and was totally improvised on the fly. For the reverbs I used the Roland RE-501 chorus echo.


https://soundcloud.com/osc1899/liveramses-15042015

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Post by chamomileshark » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:17 am

I did this as a sort of early mid period TD pastiche.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=7053627 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

For me the key elements to the sequencing was to keep it simple, change the number of steps in the sequence, change the order of the steps and vary loudness / brightness of the notes. I think I did most of that manually.

Another TD trick was the ratcheting, ie double note, triple notes, etc - I found a few ways of doing that (e.g double speed by send a pulse to a VCO which has an octave plus / minus and using the square wave out to clock a sequencer - but most of the time now I do that in the DAW).
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Post by deesee » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:45 am

great thread.

not enough traditionally 'musical' modular demo/tutorial stuff around.

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Post by the untitled » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:02 pm

yeah want to get my teeth back in this!

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Post by GuyaGuy » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:02 am

Some thoughts on Berliner Technik:

1. Modulate the audio in the sequence for organic variations. Ciania does that really well in that video. It can be a simple LFO modulating a filter, amp, or even pitch--clocked to the length of the sequence.

2. Let the sequence be your drum track. TD especially uses a sequence to be a punchy double time constant, filling the rhythmic role of what drums often do. The drums then can remain sparse for that open feel.

3. Use ratchets and rests for dynamic patterns--especially in tandem with the above.

4. Fade patterns in and out. TD does this a lot--fading in a sequence to establish a movement, overlapping layers and melodies, then fading it out for another sequence to start.

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Post by mt3 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:36 pm

Would this qualify as an example?

[video][/video]

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Post by wednesdayayay » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:23 pm

Mort Rouge wrote:One thing that actually does amaze me is the way the new developers of the Monkey Island series actually expanded upon the style and humour of the original games when making Monkey Island 3, to the extent that it was virtually impossible for anyone to notice the difference. When making Tales of Monkey Island, the original lead developers who had been granted the license again had no choice but to incorporate the third entry in the series, while not giving the same treatment to the less popular Monkey Island 4, an entry in the series which was indeed ignored because it didn't manage to conjure up the same feeling.
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Post by Lineofcontrol » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:27 am

Opus110 wrote:In regards to the melodic patterns - tonally rooted, but without tonal functions around a strong tonal center -, there is a strong association with early minimalism - that of Steve Reich in particular. Not sure which influenced which, but the similarity in pattern construction, as well as other techniques (delay vs "phasing"), is striking.

I'm curious, though: why do you call this "Berlin School"?
Sorry I have no formal musical training. What is meant by tonal?

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Post by VectorWolf » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:43 pm

Lineofcontrol wrote:
Opus110 wrote:In regards to the melodic patterns - tonally rooted, but without tonal functions around a strong tonal center -, there is a strong association with early minimalism - that of Steve Reich in particular. Not sure which influenced which, but the similarity in pattern construction, as well as other techniques (delay vs "phasing"), is striking.

I'm curious, though: why do you call this "Berlin School"?
Sorry I have no formal musical training. What is meant by tonal?

To me this is one of my faves:
Kind of a long explanation. It's the core of Western music, basically. Here's wiki link: Tonality

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Post by felixer » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:06 pm

Lineofcontrol wrote:What is meant by tonal?
that there is a central or fundamental pitch that all the other notes are referenced to: one note to rule 'm all :hihi: it's the one note that sounds good under all the others and you can use that one as a drone underneath: it feels like 'home' ...
traditionally in the west it's also the first note in the bar: the downbeat.

best friend to a sequencer is a delay/echo unit 8-) you can do all sorts of racheting stuff and quasi polyphonic or counterpoint things. and also add swing by setting the delay time just a bit off the sq time. two echo units is even better :party:

berlin school sequencing was born in the early 70ies. if you want to stay true to that, don't get too fancy, technically. remember the limited means those guys had ...

chris franke of tangerine dream once said that he only got into sequencers and synths because he wanted to have a drumkit that was in tune so he could play melodies and riffs ...
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Post by cger » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:04 pm

Moog Sub 37 firmware 1.1 has ratcheting function. 37 is all you really need to do what you want. You will easily get into Tangerine Dream world without a need for a Modular system.

But if you do decide to get modular one day and you are 100% old school Tangerine Dream guy than there is a lot of modules that do interesting clocking things that go far beyond and become really fun.

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Post by Heavenly3lues » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:28 pm

cger wrote:Moog Sub 37 firmware 1.1 has ratcheting function. 37 is all you really need to do what you want. You will easily get into Tangerine Dream world without a need for a Modular system.

But if you do decide to get modular one day and you are 100% old school Tangerine Dream guy than there is a lot of modules that do interesting clocking things that go far beyond and become really fun.
Could you explain what ratcheting is to me? I have no idea. Getting a sub 37 soon and I really enjoy this style of music!

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Post by doctorvague » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:11 pm

You can hint at some of this stuff on the cheap with an arpeggiator and a delay timed right.

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Post by doctorvague » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:14 pm

Heavenly3lues wrote: Could you explain what ratcheting is to me?
Here's what it sounds like. Rat-a-tat.

[video][/video]

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Post by Heavenly3lues » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:26 am

Perfect! Thanks 8-)

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Post by dubonaire » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:14 am

felixer wrote:
Lineofcontrol wrote:What is meant by tonal?
that there is a central or fundamental pitch that all the other notes are referenced to: one note to rule 'm all :hihi: it's the one note that sounds good under all the others and you can use that one as a drone underneath: it feels like 'home' ...
traditionally in the west it's also the first note in the bar: the downbeat
And can be thought about as a type of home. The melody goes on an excursion away from home and then returns, the subtle variations of rhythm, melodies, harmonies, chord changes and the various scales and keys providing colour. This is usually used to provide tension and release, and forms the basis for the sense of narrative in western music. Often it's an excursion up the scale and return back down. Think of how many western melodies descend back to the root note. It's that sense of comfort in the return to the tonal centre that makes people feel relaxed and satisfied. In fact a lot of the arguments in these forums on aesthetics tend to be from the side that seeks solace in the return to the tonal centre and the side that wants to break free of the shackles of the cosy swaddling of western tonality.

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