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Dynamic 'off tempo / humanized' feeling for synths
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Dynamic 'off tempo / humanized' feeling for synths
tanglefuzz
Hey everyone,

I'm trying to figure out how certain artists create synths that are changing their tempo while playing.

Examples:



(you can here it throughout the whole track at 2:20 for example).

I'm wondering if there are any useful techniques I could use to achieve effects like this. I know you can do it with manual midi programming, but maybe there's some easier ways to do this?

I've been playing with LFO's trying to get a similar change of tempo, but not yet getting the desired results. I do feel like I'm on the right track but I'm not sure.

I love how dynamic/human it makes a track feel, instead of having a synth play at exactly the same speed the whole track.
timoka
there's no tempo change in that track or synthline, try playing with uneven divisions or multiplications for your sequence,
the doepfer A-160-5 ratcheting module can do these things for you. what you think is a different tempo is just a different meter or pulse perception over a plain old 4/4 130 bpm march.

edit:
ok i just tried something like that and it is not easy, simple meter changes are possible but the example you posted is shifting in time, not quite on beat that makes it a bit human and hard to do with just clocks. i suspect it's done by time streching the audio and pitch shifting it, so maybe it's possible to do with a fancy sampler? or then just programing a sequencer...
i also can think of just playing the clock by hand and sampling a good human sounding 2 bars or something like that.... anyway, good luck:)
MRoyce
Obviously this particular artists workflow could be whatever but there's a few possibilities:
1. Playing by Hand/Overdubbing the "out-of-time" bits
2. Nudging the MIDI-events in the DAW
3. Turning on a delay for just that part
4. Processing the recorded audio
mt3
Modulate the master clock at a discretized fine level using a quantized sampl-and-hold, quantized to rhythmic permutations (aka not random).
jbuonacc
i think simply adjusting the Attack, etc on the envelopes can lead to similar results (especially when combined with an inverted env modulating the filter). pretty sure he was using "normal" gear and techniques. ??
GuyaGuy
MRoyce wrote:
Obviously this particular artists workflow could be whatever but there's a few possibilities:
1. Playing by Hand/Overdubbing the "out-of-time" bits
2. Nudging the MIDI-events in the DAW
3. Turning on a delay for just that part
4. Processing the recorded audio


5. Route a square wave LFO to control volume and maybe filter, route an envelope to LFO speed, adjust so that the LFO slows down
6. Unsync the arp which plays the doo-doo-doo type part but set it at the same BPM as the track, slow arp BPM by hand, speed it back up by hand
7. Unsync the arp which plays the doo-doo-doo type part but set it at the same BPM as the track, use an envelope to control arp speed

If I were to guess, 7 is what's happening because while the doo-doo-doos get off the grid they land at the same consistent tempos.
nuromantix
I think he's sampled a short line and is playing the sample back at different pitches/speeds. So when he plays a higher pitch, it's out of time.
orangehexagon
tanglefuzz wrote:
I know you can do it with manual midi programming, but maybe there's some easier ways to do this?


I'm not trying to be obtuse or a jerk here, but why don't you just play the synth and capture the performance live?

it really seems like the easiest, quickest, and less-headache inducing way to approach that...
orangehexagon
nuromantix wrote:
I think he's sampled a short line and is playing the sample back at different pitches/speeds. So when he plays a higher pitch, it's out of time.


i've used this technique before and the result would be a much more drastic deviation in timing with each new note
tito_tunes
Back to OP's question I think you're on the right track using lfos. I use maths to get a similar sound. If you have a cycling envelope and CV modulate the decay time it'll speed up the rhythm. You can use a sequencer to modulate the decay time and also retrigger your envelope so it syncs up again at certain spots.
dogoftears
sounds like a sawtooth lfo controlling a filter, and it's speed is sequenced a bit throughout (unsync'd LFO, or just weird/swung divisions). but the lfo is resetting on note trigs, that part is important.

you can make this patch on most analog style synths.

i really think it's sequenced, cus the artist is using the same handful of LFO speeds over and over.
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