Yamaha Tenori-on as a modular sequencer

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paulshillito
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Yamaha Tenori-on as a modular sequencer

Post by paulshillito » Fri May 14, 2010 10:55 am

Has anybody used a Tenori-on as a modular sequencer.

I was watching various demos of it and thought that if I used it with my Kenton Pro 2000 and used different layers on different midi channels I could get it control the pitch, VCF cut-off, velocity and other things on the modular to do stuff that the normal analogue sequencer cant do especially with the interactive nature of the Tenori-on.

If you use the pitch of additional layers/midi channels as a control voltages for other things I think you should be able do some really interesting stuff with it.

Anybody used it like this?

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Paul

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Umcorps
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Post by Umcorps » Fri May 14, 2010 11:08 am

<cough>


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ndkent
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Post by ndkent » Fri May 14, 2010 11:09 am

Should be fine. I've just used it with a Buchla myself. I guess the only thing in mind the channels are poly, so your converter will treat a second or greater note per channel however it deals with that.

One great thing for your additional control voltages idea is the new version 2 OS, though I've not tried it has custom scales so in theory it should be great to space the pitches across many octaves so you can get a wider choice of CVs out of it.

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Post by paulshillito » Fri May 14, 2010 11:26 am

Right then, that confirmed what I already thought, That's another item to add to my "to buy list", Tenori-on x 1, jeeese, this is an expensive month :eek:

I can see some unused modules coming up for sale soon.

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Post by Kent » Fri May 14, 2010 12:22 pm

Providence forbid that you should have this much fun!

[video][/video]

[video][/video]

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Post by paulshillito » Sun May 16, 2010 6:57 am

Well I'll soon find out what I can with it as i managed to get one on Ebay yesterday :hihi: at a quite resonable price


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Post by Umcorps » Sun May 16, 2010 11:28 am

Nelson Baboon wrote:other than the pretty lights, isn't the sequencing really basic on it?
You say that like its a bad thing :mrgreen:

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun May 16, 2010 11:30 am

Well, it's a bad thing if you're looking for an interesting sequencer, but not if you're happy with it.

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Post by paulshillito » Sun May 16, 2010 11:38 am

Its more the interactivity that I'm looking forward to


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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sun May 16, 2010 12:27 pm

You must understand, that I have fought the urge to try out one of these for a long time. Just realized that apparently you can load your own samples on it (or record...still researching).

Edit - after reviewing some of the features, rereading the sound on sound review, glancing at the manual .... I love the fact that you can record your performance, and it's good that you can get polyrhythms going by combining layers. but I don't like that the midi events that you can send out are very limited - only a constant 64 velocity, and virtually no controller events. And user samples are restricted to 3 (as I recall), with a very short length.

If either of these 2 things were beefed up (user sample capability or limitation on controller events) I'd be interested, but every time I look in more detail, I decide against it. As I just did now...

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Post by Umcorps » Sun May 16, 2010 2:18 pm

FWIW I use it exclusively as a controller. The onboard sounds are very poor to my ears and, frankly, if you aren't gigging with it, the effort of getting your own samples in there plus the limitations on their use simply isn't worth it. Not when you've got Kontakt. :lol:

I also always route it through Logic because that gives me so many more options for live midi wrangling. That solves the problem of fixed velocity for me at least.

This track HERE here is effectively a "live in the studio" take of the TO driving Kontakt through Logic which is doing realtime randomisation of the incoming velocity. The velocity is controlling both velocity (hey!) and sample switching.

On its own, I agree its a bit limited. Or more accurately it takes a lot of fiddling around with the interface to overcome its limitations. But combine it with some of the toys in the Logic environment and its a wonderful controller. And its playable in a way that more complex, fully featured sequencers aren't.

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Post by paulshillito » Mon May 17, 2010 4:55 pm

I haven't got yet, in the post now, but (and i didn't know it was velocity 64) the way i will use it is to have the have the different layers controlling CVs thru my Kenton Pro 2000 MkII , a separate midi channel per layer, that way the pitch of one layer can now control can act like a velocity signal higher pitch = higher vel, another for VCF cutoff, and obviously the base one for main pitch which still leaves two CV gates unused for extras. I can use comparitors on the layer cv's to act as switches so you can also do things like ratcheting or what ever really. Gate triggers could be used as switches on other channels too. And then it can also drive my Voyager, V-Synth GT and shed load of VST's via midi.

I agree that without converting the midi layers to extra CV outs and switching it could be limited in a modular system but I can see it being a very good controller, not even thinking about the sample storage or audio play back. The only thing I can see it not being able to do is reset on a feed back signal/switch input but then again you have much more control whilst its playing and then there is the bounce mode.

So convinced of this that I have sold my double A155 and A154 sequencer setup, which has paid for it too :hihi:

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Mon May 17, 2010 5:07 pm

hmmm - I'd think that those would make a much better sequencer for a modular system - at least in terms of doing much crazier stuff. one of the best analog sequencers in existence.

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Post by paulshillito » Mon May 17, 2010 5:19 pm

Comes down to usabilty for me, I found that for doing stuff on the fly that sounded half musical, the twisting of the knobs even when quanitised just not really working, you cant change the entire sequence in one switch press other than transposing. I suppose it depends on what you want, if it's gradual TD style changing thats fine but to switch between completely different sequences like the Tenori-on can, nearest thing i can think of is the monome or ableton with a contoller, but they dont have the same interface. Infact didn't Doepfer have the Schaltwerk (spelling?) which was a similar large grid sequencer but I never really took off.

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Post by rafe127 » Mon May 17, 2010 5:22 pm

I have only ever used the T-O with very simple CV-MIDI converters and thus only one channel. IE one layer. For my purposes it works great though.

The samples by the way is 3 layers of samples not 3 individual samples, so if you are using it for percussion sounds, it's 48 different sounds. If using it for sampling a synth or other melodic options it's 3 voices, 16 notes each.

..and yeah, it's really all about the interface. Very intuitive and satisfying. I've performed with it a handful of times.

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Post by dan_p » Tue May 18, 2010 3:05 am

The Tenori-On is almost great, I had one for a while. The biggest problem is with the terrible midi timing and glitching. I upgraded to V2 O/S but it didn't help at all. Its fine if you only have a small amnount of data being played and don't want to swith blocks quickly, but I found that as you built up the layers and started to mix it up between the blocks you would get timing errors and stuttering. The Sync, whilst improved in V2, is pretty bad. Its a shame as it could of been the coolest.

Bounce mode does rock though.

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Post by darenager » Tue May 18, 2010 3:37 am

Fortunately the glitching seems limited to the internal tone generator, when using it with external gear (and the TG off) it seems more stable.

Also I recommend you set it to advance mode, I found out a few years back that you can re-assign the layer to whatever mode you wish, here is my original post with the info:-

http://tenori-onusa.com/forum/viewtopic ... 51&start=0

As for the 3 user voices, they really are best suited to percussive sounds as they can not be transposed, and they are 0.97 seconds per slot x16 per user voice, they are also global, so you can't use different sample sets across different songs unless you write down which songs used which samples, they also are retained in non volatile memory and take a few minutes to load, so I just tend to have some choice drum sounds in mine.

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Post by ndkent » Tue May 18, 2010 5:53 am

I can see the velocity issue from Yamaha's point of view. 256 velocity buttons might cost you a pretty penny. At that point you figure adding it after the fact via editing, defalt values or something would not happen live so it would be some kind of workaround if it were there.

The user sample sounds are pretty easy to deal with and I agree, they are meant to address the issue of users wanting their own percussion. As for the built in sounds, true I'm sure Iwai made some aesthetic choices for you as well as most people just using the default sounds or those nearby. You can certainly make it sound different if you use the sounds out of range with transposition.

The one thing I felt was either lazy or an odd compromise. Iwai when he introduced it was saying he was inspired by a mechanical music box that played punched cards. He was specifically inspired that you could take a punched card and insert it backwards, upside down or both and play an alternate melody out of a familiar one. So then when he had Yamaha make it they left that out... but he did get them to make it out of titanium (with plastic battery covers).

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Post by confusional » Tue May 18, 2010 10:09 am

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Last edited by confusional on Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by dan_p » Tue May 18, 2010 11:34 am

bradleyallen wrote:I kinda miss my Tenori-On. Yes, it's 'limited', but the good (fun) things about it are very good.

Not sure if I'd buy one again, considering an iPad is only $500... and has so many possibilities.
I don't think I would buy one again either, but it was the device that rekindled my joy in making music, I had sold my studio and haven't played drums for a long time. It also taught me that limitations can be the greatest source of inspiration. I came across the Tenori-On and bought it, I have now ended up with a nice Euro system and I am loving it. The TO is largely to thank for that.
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Post by darenager » Tue May 18, 2010 11:54 am

Heh, I sold my first one due to the limitations, but about a year later I listened to some stuff I did with it and kind of missed it, so ended up getting another.

It is nice to just sit with some headphones and knock up some bleeps, it both infuriates and inspires me in equal measure, but overall I do enjoy using it.

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Post by confusional » Tue May 18, 2010 4:18 pm

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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:58 am

This is an old thread but I prefer to necro this than start a new one over the same mater. So, I just got the Mutabe Instruments Yarns module (Eurorack quad midi to cv module) and I've been using it with my Tenori On's. Boy does this setup rock!

My intention is two get at least two Yarns modules for eight channels but even the four channel stuff is amazing. I do love my modular sequencers but this thing has them by the balls.
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