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(Why) Is numerology awesome?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author (Why) Is numerology awesome?
pre55ure
I'm genuinely interested.

I like sequencers, and I particularly like repetitive synth "riffs" (like Nitzer ebb / DAF, etc...). I have a mac. So it would seem like I meet the prerequisites.

It seems like every year or so I give the numerology demo a try. And every year, I just sort of go "hmmm..., back to ableton to get some music done". But I can't help but feel like I'm not getting it. Lots of people seem to be very into it, but I've just never had that -"Aha- thats really cool!" moment.

Anyone out there care to share how you use it and why you like it?
Whats so awesome about it?
Bendu
I really like Numerology. Here is the the thing though; it's really deep. It's not just a sequencer it's a modular sequencing environment. There are many tools in there you just have to dig for them. [LFOs, S/H, Logic etc.]

The documentation is pretty good, but not great. (Hey Jim how about more 'Numerology Techniques?') I would recommend spending some time on the Five 12 forum and digging through some of the posted projects. I'm in the midst of this currently and it's very rewarding. There are one or two mad genius types over there who've figured it all out somehow...

Live, Numerology, Silent Way/ES-3, and the modular are my workflow at the moment. I got into modular to get away from the computer but Numerology is the thing that keeps me coming back to the computer.

Anyway you want an 'Aha' moment? Get a Launchpad and use it with a Mononote. Good times. You don't event need to look at the computer...
induktor
For me it's the launchpad implementation. You can jam with minimal to no mousing. Jim (the developer) is expanding launchpad support further in the next major release (Numerology 4). It's a modular sequencing environment. Combined with Silentway, it's very powerful.
Monica Xenakis
I think that the ways that Numerology excels are somewhat contradictory to repetitive sequencing. If you're just going to repeat a pattern, why do you need a sequencer with so many possibilities?

I suppose that, for the most part, it is the most powerful explicitly sequencing environment available.

Whether one would describe it as awesome or not would entirely relate to one's own goals, and how one likes to work.

I personally do not enjoy using it. It's hard to express exactly why.

For some things I much prefer the simplicity of using analog sequencers. It is, of course, much easier to go outside of tempered pitches, and by using multiple analog sequencers (and probably other modules in a modular environment) achieve complexity more easily, and without working on a computer, if that is a psychological obstacle. And one also can have much greater range of tempos, to the point of creating audio waveforms from the sheer rate of the sequencing....

Again, back to goals, etc. If one's primary objective is some kind of balance between 'power' and workflow, there might also be hardware sequencers that work much better. I personally like the Schrittmacher, which is an odd machine in one particular way - the new price is very high - considerably higher, for instance, than the Cirklon. But because it isn't as 'hip' as the Cirklon, one can also find it used for under $1,000. I find that for 'simple complex' sequencing, it is by a pretty wide margin the best I have used.

Setting up a sequence with track intermodulation, different timings per step, modulating step times - essentially unpredictable results that are very far from random - I've never found anything like it.

But for under $100, Numerology cannot be beat. But it seems like overkill to me if what you want is repeating patterns. Though perhaps with a few drinks, they won't repeat.
drip.feed
You need to spend time with Numerology. I went cold on it a few times too, but one night it just clicked. There is a ton of versatility hidden away in there but you won't find it if you're looking for instant gratification. I have the Mononote sequencer controls mapped to knobs & sliders on my Novation keyboard so I can 'play' the sequencer in real time, which makes a big difference. And I am one of those rare people who detests grid controllers like the Launchpad or Maschine. I wish Jim would release an iPad controller for Numerology too.
CJ Miller
What I love about Numerology is that I can run my sequences as simple or as complex as I like. By this I mean that I can very quickly set up sequencers which do handy, programmatic things - but without going a completely algorithmic route. For instance, using an LFO to vary the length of a sequence, or it's start/stop points. Then I can use Scale & Offset to send variations on the LFO to slip around different versions for the note values and gates of the same sequence. And then route those back to modulate the LFO! And all of this takes as long for me to do in practice as it did to type out the description. Nearly everything is tweakable, including many parameters which I have never seen to be made playable on any other software sequencer. And they are easily patchable to each other like an analog/hybrid hardware synth.

It is so quick and easy to set up that I have hardly ever even bothered to save my patches. I can start it and play and be hearing results in a few seconds. It is more high-level than something like Max/MSP in that the functions are already in there, and just need to be accessed, and this can be done immediately while playing it. I don't need to stop the sequencer very often, unless I want to jump to a fundamentally different approach.

At current count, the environment hosts about 75 different sequencing submodules for generating and processing events, switching, MIDI, function generators, etc. It is solid for sequencing external gear, hosting audiounit plugins, and CV outs. Looking it over, my newest build has two things I'd never noticed before - custom scale definition, and an envelope follower module for turning audiounit output into control bus signals. There is a version of Numerology which runs it as an audiounit itself for use in a DAW, but IMO this is crazy, because Numerology handles sequencing better than any DAW I could drop it into. It handles any MIDI apart from SYSEX. Ir can be ReWired to a DAW, but I have never done this. My only complaint is that as of version 3.X, the OSC implementation is quite rudimentary. But this is being overhauled for version 4.

If you are wondering about whether or not Numerology is suited to you, I recommend that you get yourself to make a track or several with it. This I think is true of any software, that it takes a few solid days of immersive use to get a feel for how to do anything with it. Just right-click and/or control-click on things to see the contextual menu controls. Use the tabs near the top left to toggle the front/rear views of the rack for patching and use. Then, explore for a few days. This experience should probably tell you if there is any awesome to be had.
ehdyn
You should try to use the more atomic low-level components first. That's how the program started and was it's original purpose. Offset sequencing where everything was decoupled.
You can get amazing results with even the shittiest AU's. After that you should start reading the forum posts from "Jue" to understand how to do some of the more advanced stuff. Don't reach for the full-featured contraptions right away...experiment and build up your own unique rack with meta-controllers.
CF3
Been using it from the jump. Was never that into it until Launchpad intergration came. Now I use it constantly. The VST/AU is awesome and works with Ableton quite well. I mostly use it to sequence hardware.(Got templates for all my gear, including fx) You can do crazy stuff with MIDI CC#'s. Makes for a really badass drum sequencer (TR-style). You can pretty much modulate anything(within reason). It can be very complex(mindblowing complex with all the routing and different modules) or just a simple step sequencer. The support is crazy good.... Jim is awesome. Silent Way works great. There's so much in there it's hard to sum it up. For the cost of a Launchpad & Numerology, it's really alot of fun.
gosh
I’ve actually just ditched a cirklon and a load of hardware and am getting a macbook pro and numerology for my plug-ins. I absolutely loved the cirklon but the way in which was finding time to make music was changing and I didn’t like being tied to my hardware studio (I’m keeping a couple of elektrons, 303 and a korg kronos synth for when I want a computer break!).

I’m really really excited about numerology and most likely plan to use it within ableton which I also like. Really excited about some of the things that cirklon could do and also a lot the cirklon coulnd’t. I’m obviously aware there are things within the cirklon that numerology can’t do but I’ll survive. I plan to primarily sequence my arturia plugs which sound effin’ great to my ears so hopefully will be happy.

One question though to you all. I plan to purchase Ableton Push – do you think that some clever soul will port the Launchpad like function to that controlled? Seems it would make a great controller for it! I’d really rather not buy a Launchpad for now reason! I also have a lemur4ipad to control my plugins!
hamildad
the audio drop out for the demo version puts me off,

i'd like to spend much more time with it to see if its worth a purchase, but the audio drop outs ruin any kind of flow I try to get.

I'd rather use it with no drop out for 7 days rather than an unlimited demo that puts me off every 2 minutes.
drip.feed
hamildad wrote:
I'd rather use it with no drop out for 7 days rather than an unlimited demo that puts me off every 2 minutes.

+1,000,000
CF3
gosh wrote:
One question though to you all. I plan to purchase Ableton Push – do you think that some clever soul will port the Launchpad like function to that controlled? Seems it would make a great controller for it! I’d really rather not buy a Launchpad for now reason! I also have a lemur4ipad to control my plugins!


There's been talk of it over at the Five12 forum. The basic answer from Jim is "not right now", he's been working on Numerology 4. Secondhand prices of Launchpads are stupid cheap. I just picked up another one for $50. Can't wait for the "Multiple Launchpad Support" in N4.

Had some overlays made...
Matos
That overlay is sweet. Wish it came with numerology. Where did you have it made if I may ask?
jonah
What I like is 1) how easy it is to modulate everything, modulation over automation any day of the week! 2) I much prefer using the "preset" system over something like Live's clips as I find it easier to keep track of what's going on and they can be as simple or complex as you like. I either play them by hand or using another stack to sequence them. 3) I really like doing intermodulation, either with the MIDI/CV buses or between multiple programs.

CF3 wrote:
gosh wrote:
One question though to you all. I plan to purchase Ableton Push – do you think that some clever soul will port the Launchpad like function to that controlled? Seems it would make a great controller for it! I’d really rather not buy a Launchpad for now reason! I also have a lemur4ipad to control my plugins!


There's been talk of it over at the Five12 forum. The basic answer from Jim is "not right now", he's been working on Numerology 4. Secondhand prices of Launchpads are stupid cheap. I just picked up another one for $50. Can't wait for the "Multiple Launchpad Support" in N4.

I thought the plans for 4 were to open it up? Monome, Livid, stuff wouldn't be directly supported, but any grid layout could be made to work.

Where did you get that layout made? Very cool!
CF3
Template made by http://www.styleflip.com/
First one they made didn't line up right(it's the one in the pic actually, I took an exacto knife to it). They redeemed themselves and sent me a perfect one for free nanners . I've requested the file for the design I few times with no response seriously, i just don't get it Jim expressed interest in having some made. You can just download the template Jim made here http://five12.net/showthread.php?t=761&highlight=sticker and print it out on sticker paper from OfficeDepot(or whatever)... works fine and is pretty much the same as my template.

I very well may be wrong about the Push being supported. I don't keep up on the news as much as should over there.

cheers.
Zetam
Hi, perhaps I'm a little bit OT.
Is there something similar to numerology under windows?
It's exepensive for me to migrate...

kind regards,
Marco
apertureburn
Zetam wrote:
Hi, perhaps I'm a little bit OT.
Is there something similar to numerology under windows?
It's exepensive for me to migrate...

kind regards,
Marco


not all that similar but this looks interesting:

http://algoart.com/
phase ghost
Numerology is the shit. As mentioned, you can go as simple or complex as you want with the different stacks. You really can play the shit out of it too. Changing step lengths, keys and octaves on the fly.

I think the launchpad is requirement though. Once I setup a stack, I rarely look at the computer screen. Almost everything is handled directly from the launchpad. Once you get used to the way it works, you can fly through everything very quickly. I have the overlays shown above, which do help a lot in the beginning.

Also, you don't have to ditch Ableton. Mine is rewired into Logic and works great.

Another great aspect, that isn't really spoke about too much is the ability to record the midi inside of Numerology. I like to record it and just get wild playing the parameters until I find something cool to loop in Logic.

Anyways, I can't praise the Numerology + Launchpad setup enough. Next to a massive modular sequencing rig, it can't be touched.
Zetam
@apertureburn
thanks for replay, I'll give a look. There is a trial version.
marco
hamildad
The trial version is really annoying with a 20sec audio drop out every 2 mins...

I really tried to like it but I'd have just preferred a 7 day only full feature version.

* looking up, I see I said the exact same thing a couple of posts ago...
*
oops
nuckabean
I just like it because it feels very 'analog'. most DAWs are too confusing for me and numerology reminds me of the hardware i'm familiar with.
Notron fn
http://liine.net/en/community/user-library/view/349/

http://liine.net/en/community/user-library/view/355/

speaking of numerology and lemur4ipad

though to be honest, i mainly stick to my launchpad.
amsonx
I use Numerology from the version 2 and it's really the shitz ! I've bought a Launchpad to use it with Num and it's great for live session. Use it with silent way give a lot of power to control your modular.
Quasi
I've just downloaded Numerology and synched it with Push. WoW!!
Gribs
Mac only == fail for me.

It looks like much fun but I am not going to acquire a Mac to run one program. Oh well.
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