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strategies for tempo change
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author strategies for tempo change
chachi
one of the things i love about musicians playing instruments live in a room NOT to a click or similar, is how the music speeds up and slows down with the dynamics of the music. i only know of one purely electronic track that changes tempo with time, “ohm sweet ohm” by kraftwerk. i am interested in having some tempo variability in my tracks like this and i guess i could put a very slow voltage gain on the track but like the kraftwerk track, even this seems sort of robotic/machiney. does anyone have food strategies for inteoducing some tempo variability that changes with dynamics? like when things get louder, maybe the track speeds up? or...?
beatcleaver
I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're asking, but you can use a voltage controllable lfo as your clock; run your sequencers from that. Then modify the speed of the lfo as your track progresses.

Lots of possibilities. You could take a cv sequencer to control the speed of the vc lfo. Use a clock divider to divide the original lfo clock by say /64 or /128 and have that hit the step input of this other cv sequencer. That will then speed up or slow down the original lfo clock. That will give you discrete changes of course. Slew the signal from the cv sequencer to get smoother changes.

Or you could feed a very slow lfo or envelope into the cv input of that original cv lfo. That'll speed up or slow down your track as it progresses.

If you want to do something like you suggest about speeding up as the track gets louder. Hopefully there are easier ways but... one option is an envelope follower on your main output, and use that as the cv input to the original vc lfo. As the cv output from the envelope follower increaes, the speed of the lfo would increase.

For a vc lfo it would be best to have a square wave output of course to serve as a clock signal.
chachi
i just wanted to have a conversation about different strategies for playing with tempo. i first thought of some very slow lfo modulation to tempo and i liked that idea but really wanted something more dynamic, something that reacts to the rest of the song and isn’t blindly speeding up or slowing down like the lfo.

your EF idea is very interesting, and a window comparator could vary it in a wide range. something that could quantify the amount of sound and vary it slightly, is there another option besides an EF? PLL?
Yes Powder
Uhh... using a MIDI clock?
Phil999
well one 'strategy' is to manually control the tempo. In such a case it is important to have a master clock that allows for fine adjustments. For example, I often use the Doepfer 16/3 sequencer for that purpose; it's default parameter knob is replaced by a bigger knob. And it even displays the BPM, and can drive MIDI equipment and software next to the gate outputs. Another master clock I like to use is the CR-78 and the TR-808. Most of the time I need only subtle tempo changes, and these devices work well for this purpose.

For crazy tempo changes I sometimes use the Wogglebug module. And the Leap Motion controller via software, controlling tempo with the hand's position.

An interesting method is to derive tempo from audio. I have a Korg KP3+ effect device that I can feed with the overhead microphone from the drum kit. Rhythm guitar works too. Anything that has some repetitive, rhythmic content. The KP3+ then outputs MIDI clock which is translated to analogue clock via a module (any MIDI-CV converter, or with the excellent Hinton Gearbox module).

Generally what should be known and kept in mind, tempo changes should be applied with care. Maybe only one tempo change in a track, and only if it makes sense in the musical context.
Parnelli
One might put differently timed clocks into a sequential switch, and use the switch to change the tempo...

I also like to use the Wogglebug for modulating tempo from the internal clock output, but it's more of a random thing than a controlled random thing if that makes any sense.
Phil999
yes, Wogglebug is very random.

Ultima Ratio is an interesting module for clock signals. What I like is the manual switch and the two AD envelopes. Rather easy to build from the kit.
http://gezeiten-modular.com/pages/ultimaratio
xenosapien
I recently got a Horologic Solum (Noise Engineering) and have gotten a bit obsessed with manually controlling the pot for the clock rate on that.

it also has a 3-position switch that essentially divides/multiplies the clock, which makes for nice jumps.

I have one output of that currently clocking the wogglebug in a patch and another striking rhythmic notes... so when I play with the master clock, all subdivisions and the modulations stay "in time" but there are some dramatic changes happening as an effect of relatively minor tweaks to the time...

I wouldn´t want to spend time (and modules) on patch programming pretty much the last human element in electronic music... (=imperfect timing) wink
windchill
You have quite a few options for responding to other aspects of the piece.

The simplest method is to run any CV (pitch, etc) into an attenuator or VCA and then use that to control another parameter, such as tempo. Run an attenuated pitch cv into an lfo rate input and you can use that to increase tempo as pitch increases. Use an inverter and you can do the opposite.

You can get more complex by using a comparator. You can then create a gate (which might trigger for example a tempo change) when any other quality of the patch (volume, pitch, etc) exceeds a given threshold.

Even better you could use something like this: http://ladik.ladik.eu/?page_id=1455 to measure if a CV is going up or down, or not changing.

If you combine the above techniques and use them in multiple ways you can work wonders, where the resulting patch is listening and responding to itself.
cornutt
Here's something I've been playing with recently. You need:

a. A three-row sequencer (I use a Q119)
b. Two voltage controlled LFOs, or VCOs that can run in low range
c. A clock divider
d. A gate-controlled A/B switch

I put the sequencer into 3x8 mode. One of the LFOs serves as a clock; a square wave from it goes to the clock divider. In turn, two outputs from the clock divider go to the A and B inputs on the switch, and the output of that clocks the sequencer. A pulse wave output from the other LFO goes to the gate input of the A/B switch.

Row 1 from the sequencer goes to a VCO to generate audio. Row 2 goes to the frequency input on the LFO that is clocking the sequencer. Row 3 goes to the pulse width input of the LFO that is gating the A/B switch.

During performance, I can vary the clock rate changes by adjusting outputs on rows 2 and 3 of the sequencer, and moving the patch cables to different outputs on the clock divider.
subbasshead
dupilicate post
subbasshead
incase you haven't seen it, this is a fascinating project:

In search of the click track
https://musicmachinery.com/2009/03/02/in-search-of-the-click-track/

It used to work so you could upload a piece of music and it would display the tempo map for it...
very interesting to see what music was recorded using a clicktrack and what wasn't...
Also how great it can be when eg a band playing without click accelerate slightly during the chorus etc
syncretism
chachi wrote:
does anyone have food strategies for inteoducing some tempo variability that changes with dynamics? like when things get louder, maybe the track speeds up? or...?


I don't own a panel or module with CGS' "Modulo Magic," but the idea makes a lot of sense in this context. You're effectively shrinking a wide range of voltages into a narrow range, and you can control the width of that narrow range and its responsiveness.

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=208446&highlight

So, again, I don't have personal experience with this but I think, with sufficient modules to accumulate and translate incoming CVs into outgoing CVs (a track and hold module might be useful here), you could achieve this.

I point out the Modulo Magic because of its "wrapping" behaviorl no incoming voltage exceeds bounds and fucks all your shit up, like.
cptnal
cornutt wrote:
Here's something I've been playing with recently. You need:

a. A three-row sequencer (I use a Q119)
b. Two voltage controlled LFOs, or VCOs that can run in low range
c. A clock divider
d. A gate-controlled A/B switch

I put the sequencer into 3x8 mode. One of the LFOs serves as a clock; a square wave from it goes to the clock divider. In turn, two outputs from the clock divider go to the A and B inputs on the switch, and the output of that clocks the sequencer. A pulse wave output from the other LFO goes to the gate input of the A/B switch.

Row 1 from the sequencer goes to a VCO to generate audio. Row 2 goes to the frequency input on the LFO that is clocking the sequencer. Row 3 goes to the pulse width input of the LFO that is gating the A/B switch.

During performance, I can vary the clock rate changes by adjusting outputs on rows 2 and 3 of the sequencer, and moving the patch cables to different outputs on the clock divider.


It's crazy, but it might just work. hihi

This is the kind of thing that can keep me amused for weeks. Bookmarked. thumbs up


Edit: Question - Is your switch VC (or is that what you mean by gate controlled)? I could see why modulating pulse width would work if high selects A and low selects B. But if it's a sequential switch detecting a rising edge, modulating pulse width wouldn't have an effect... hmmm.....
chachi
yeah, that is a good one, i’m gonna need some VCed LFOs..
matcsat
Hi,

cptnal wrote:
Question - Is your switch VC (or is that what you mean by gate controlled)? I could see why modulating pulse width would work if high selects A and low selects B. But if it's a sequential switch detecting a rising edge, modulating pulse width wouldn't have an effect... hmmm.....


i think in this context it's not about when the switching started but when it will finish.

Marco.
cptnal
Yeah, so high = A and low = B (or vice versa). I can do that. thumbs up
cornutt
cptnal wrote:

Edit: Question - Is your switch VC (or is that what you mean by gate controlled)? I could see why modulating pulse width would work if high selects A and low selects B. But if it's a sequential switch detecting a rising edge, modulating pulse width wouldn't have an effect... hmmm.....


It's a voltage-controlled A/B switch, the Dotcom Q128. it's on A when the gate input is low, and on B when the gate input is high. I haven't played with it enough to know exactly what voltage is the switchover point... hmm...
cptnal
cornutt wrote:
cptnal wrote:

Edit: Question - Is your switch VC (or is that what you mean by gate controlled)? I could see why modulating pulse width would work if high selects A and low selects B. But if it's a sequential switch detecting a rising edge, modulating pulse width wouldn't have an effect... hmmm.....


It's a voltage-controlled A/B switch, the Dotcom Q128. it's on A when the gate input is low, and on B when the gate input is high. I haven't played with it enough to know exactly what voltage is the switchover point... hmm...


thumbs up

"Row 1 from the sequencer goes to a VCO to generate audio" suggests to me you're running this patch at audio rate, but I didn't get very pleasing results. Either I read you wrong or it needs more wiggling time to find the sweet spots. However...

Running the thing at sub-audio rate yields some nice semi-chaotic rhythmic stuff. I've made a few mods, like using a Turing Machine instead of row one of the sequencer, and using sample and hold to drive a four-input VC switch, rather than a variable pulse into a two-channel. (Both these last running off the same clock as the sequencer.)

So, yeah. Thanks for sharing that. This is fun!
GuyaGuy
Might wanna check this out
https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/james-holden-human-timing/
electricanada
GuyaGuy wrote:
Might wanna check this out
https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/james-holden-human-timing/


Pretty cool. Someone should build it into a Eurorack clock module.
luketeaford
I often patch accelerando so the patch speeds up tetris style. It's an easy technique using a VC clock and sending it semitone increases every X clock pulses.

If you have an NCOM, the STEP OUT is a semitone increment each time the comparator threshold is crossed so it's perfect for that.

If not, any sequencer will work.
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