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MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Tenori-On  
Author tenori-on
Guess what I have my eye on now...

I'd always thought it was kinda cool, but it wasn't until I really started looking at its feature set this weekend that I see how cool it really is. And it seems to have almost every aspect of the "performance instrument" that I have been looking for.

One of the most striking features to me is that each "layer" (essentially a "track" in a typical sequencer) can not only have an independent length (1-16 steps) but the note length of each step can be independent as well (1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32). Oh yeah, and on the first 7 layers, the loop points are completely variable (you can see this in one of the videos below).

The sequencer "types" available are also very inspiring. The first 7 layers are called "Score" modes. These are basically a standard 16 step sequencer, which the features mentioned above.

Layers 8-11 are "Random" modes. You can input several notes and the sequence will play in the order that the notes were input. Basically, you can make shapes via the dots and the sequence will follow the dots. Then, you can cause the whole shape to rotate, adding more randomness to the sounds (the order will be the same, but the pitch will be changing).

Layers 12 & 13 are "Draw" modes. You simply draw with your finger to sound notes.

Layer 14 is "Bounce" mode, one of the cooler ones, IMO. The pitches, rather than being oriented vertically, are laid out horizontally. The higher on the grid you press the button, the longer the time it takes to sound the note. The lower on the grid, the quicker that pitch will repeat. It's like bouncing balls, but each ball is a different pitch.

Layer 15 is "Push" mode, where sustained notes can be played by holding buttons.

Layer 16 is "Solo" mode. It's similar to Push mode, but rather than sustaining, the sound will repeat in some beat division of the tempo. The vertical position on the grid determines the beat division.

All 16 layers compose a "block" which is like a "pattern" in a typical sequencer. You can then create 16 blocks, and chain them live. It's setup to be easy to copy blocks around.

All of these layers have some amount of polyphony too. I forgot how much. Enough for my taste anyway.

There's 253 different built-in voices and 3 "user voices" which are sets of 16 short samples (.97ms) which you can add yourself. Unfortunately the sounds have no edibility other than their duration (which is configured independently per layer), but they aren't bad, and some are quite interesting.

It's interesting perusing many of the videos on youTube of the Tenori-on. Some are pretty boring and really emphasize the "toy" stigmata that the TO has picked up. Some of the other ones, the harder ones to find, are quite inspiring.

I'm trying to figure out where I could actually play one, possibly even see how well it syncs (via MIDI) with the MachineDrum. The US distributor, Keyfax, is near work...I might just give them a ring and see if I can pop by.

Here's a playlist of videos I came across. As you'll see, some are rather rudimentary, but others are quite amazing.

EDIT: Embedding playlists doesn't seem to work right, it just uses the first video. Here's the link to the playlist: 373A4511&index=0&playnext=1

Anyone had the chance to actually play one of these? Opinions?
Roycie Roller
Never had a chance to play one, but i agree, the videos i've seen of it have shown it to be capable of some lovely sounds. It looks like an extremely quick way to build up tracks. Is it possible to import your own samples into it? If not, that would be a show-stopper for me. If you can, a-la the Casio sk-1, then the sky's the limit, especially if you can have more than two or three of your own samples playing at the same time.
Yes, it is possible to import your own samples (0.97 sec max time for each). There are 3 "user voices", each of which is comprised of 16 samples, so that would be a total of 48 samples.

They are just simple one shot samples, there's no auto-pitching or anything like that. You create the voices via a simple drag+drop app, which converts the individual samples into the "voice file" that you put on the SD card.

Some of those videos showcase user loaded samples.

Also, the overall polyphony is 32. So a maximum of 32 notes can be played at once. Beyond 32, the newest note gets the voice.

As for the built in sounds, there are different scales available for the 16 pitches. Ionian, Dorian, etc. Unfortunately, this seems to be a master scale. You can't have Ionian on one layer and Phrygian on another.
That would be cool if there were layer modes (kinda like Photoshop transfer functions for layers, but music/sound). Like in midi mode, layers adding, subtracting, etc any competing notes, and for audio, doing things like wave multiplying, modulations, etc. I've been playing with the monome tonight, and I can easily see why they built the 256, 8x8 is cool, 16x16 is exponentially cooler.

That's probably highest on my could be better list for the monome 64. hihi

Everything else is cool. The Tenori wouldn't happen to have aftertouch, would it?
Roycie Roller
Can you adjust the pitch of each of those 32 voices separately from the machine, or do you need to set all of that before you import?
It's interesting, things like this, because one person might want to use it to make drum tracks, but then someone else might want to imprort samples of cellos, pianos & violins, and build up a big orchestral sound.
I see a ton of potential for a machine like this.
It also brings to mind what it says on the Modcan website, how a small configuration of modules combined with a sampler can be used to achieve huge voices that once required many, many times the amount of modules.
Any ideas on what would be the best sampler to use with a modular?
dkcg wrote:
The Tenori wouldn't happen to have aftertouch, would it?

Nope. Manual says it's neither transmitted nor received. The MIDI implementation is pretty simple.

I've seen some discussions other places about the TO not having this/that, but when I look at the thing, at it's size and construction, I'm completely blown away that it can do what it can! The top edge is at least 50% speakers, and the two side edges are nearly all batteries (6 AA, 3x each side). The entire computer has to be in the bottom edge. For what this thing does, having all that shoved in that tiny of a space is extremely impressive.
I kinda like this one here:

Roycie Roller wrote:
Can you adjust the pitch of each of those 32 voices separately from the machine, or do you need to set all of that before you import?

No, it's just samples, like a drum sampler. So if you wanted to have a sampled instrument voice, you'll have to pick 16 notes and use those.

Personally, I think I'd load it up with a bunch of modular noises. The max sample time is just shy of a second, so any kind of short sounds are going to work best.

@Kent - yeah that's a good one, lots of analog goodness. I think this one is my fav, at least in terms of showcasing the TO's internal sounds and sequencing ability.

I love the opening of this one, just for the weird sequence (must be Random mode).

I really enjoy listening to this one...TO drone
I've been doing experiments along those lines for a year or so, only with the Lemur. I recorded a video of some of the madness that ensued - I've since deconstructed the whole thing, but you get the idea.

Max+Jitter controlling Ableton Live and a Lemur:

That's pretty cool. Could you give a brief description of what's going on there...are we seeing multiple sequence "layers" at the same time? And is the Max layer simply interfacing with Live or is it doing additional processing (either of events, or audio)?

Re: Tenori - I stumbled on this thread on one of the TO forums. Basically there is an undocumented "Advance Mode" which allows you to set any layer to any of the possible modes. If you want 16 layers of "Score" mode you can. Or 8 of Score and 8 of Bounce, that too. That's fucking cool. The Draw modes didn't interest me very much (it's also my least favorite 'plakton' in Elektroplankton) and the Bounce layer really did interest me...nice to know it's easily possible to customize those.
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