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Performance tricks for a whole song within a patch?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Play Out! Performance Modulars  
Author Performance tricks for a whole song within a patch?
LeFreq
Hey all,
So, I use my modular for some freelance composition work and mostly for my loop/sample job, and also as a synth for my own compositions. But, I've also started to really enjoy making fun little tracks all patched within the modular (or w/ a drum machine or other synth involved), but I often run into the issue of not really knowing where to go with a great idea. I'll have a great section going w/ bass, lead, some swirling FX or whatever, but moving into a breakdown or a bridge is where I'm lost. So far, I've been able to do a little bit using a Malekko switch to move into a different rhythm or sequence, but I'm wondering what else people do to move into the next section of a song or keep things varying throughout a whole track.

Here's my modular: http://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/command_center/8508

I'm at a point now where the next few modules will be either drum modules or a bunch of logic/mixing stuff to enable me to do what I'm talking about in this thread. I currently use the ES-6 to multi-track, just started that recently, and it's helped a bit... but still not with this issue.

Any tips/pointers would be very appreciated!
hanerlend
soo.. A sequencer like the Kilpatrick 2579 or modcan touch is out of the question? hmmm.....

-han
hanerlend
Those pressure points + attenuator + quantizer will let you dial in 3x8 step note sequences. you can DIY a simple sp3t (on-on-on) switch to route any of those three sequences to the same output. That's 3 different sequences on the flip of a switch.

-han
LeFreq
That's definitely an option... I would just use Logic/Ableton if I wanted to do it by planned sequences, though. What about using logic modules or complex mixers (like Planar or something) to go between different parts... keeping it organic and all about the patching... switching sequences is too easy. razz

I guess I should have stated, I'm looking for more self-generated and patch based options. I can tweak my Dark Time or change up stuff in Rene, but I'm looking to move forward with my patching abilities. The Switch has been helpful for this stuff, but I don't have any other (if that even qualifies) logic modules.
LeFreq
hanerlend wrote:
Those pressure points + attenuator + quantizer will let you dial in 3x8 step note sequences. you can DIY a simple sp3t (on-on-on) switch to route any of those three sequences to the same output. That's 3 different sequences on the flip of a switch.

-han


Awesome. I was thinking about getting the Doepfer Quad Sequential Switch (forget the model #) for this... but it might be cool to DIY one of those as well. Two options are better than one. The problem I run into w/ the PPxB as a sequencer is the gating... I have to mult the clock and let that be the gate, but how do you get rests in a sequence like that?
hanerlend
yeah I was just about to go edit my posts, I realized that was not what you were asking for at all. Sorry. smile

I'm totally new to this, and don't have any logic modules myself, so I'll let the more seasoned players answer.

-han
LeFreq
I guess I could use the RCD to split up the gates, but I need another one... or an SCM or other clock manipulator... That's still pretty limiting, though, I guess. Still, not that bad, I have lots of other options, that will definitely work for some sequences.
LeFreq
hanerlend wrote:
yeah I was just about to go edit my posts, I realized that was not what you were asking for at all. Sorry. smile

I'm totally new to this, and don't have any logic modules myself, so I'll let the more seasoned players answer.

-han


That's cool, thanks for the help! Got a link to any info on DIYing that switch, by the way?
Etan
As I see you have ES-3 and also ES-5 expander. What I really like to do is to set up the patch with a whole bunch of silent way arsenal of plugins and get some multi track patch going on.

In Reaper there is a possibility to take a snapshot of all the plugins parameters and mixer settings. So I simply jam with SW taking snapshots as I go. I normally end up with quite a few variations of SW plugins controlling same patch. I then recall each snapshot and simply record audio output from my modular, separate group of audio tracks for each snapshot.

I then arrange these recorded groups in song parts. It works also great for making more subtle variations.

Snapshot in Reaper contains all mixer, panning and VST parameters data. Note that you can not only change any parameter but also add (or remove) any VST plugin or audio effect and store it as the next or previous snapshot. This allows you to progressively build your controls for the patch and also store every setting on the way that you like. And the best news is this works really really well with silent way plugins.

Probably not exactly what you had in mind but maybe it will give you some some idea.



Good luck!

EDIT: Also I should mention that this wouldnt work in a live situation since there is a short silence when you switch between the snapshots when Reaper reconfigures all the parameters.
LeFreq
Yeah, thanks for the ideas! I've been thinking about this all day and utilizing the ES/SW stuff is definitely the best route for doing full tracks and probably the way I'm going to go. I'm still curious about what the modular "purists" do to create whole songs and move between parts, though.

This Reaper snapshot thing sounds pretty sweet... I've used Reaper once, but couldn't really get into it. I'm sure there's ways to do similar things w/ Logic or Ableton.
LeFreq
Actually, I can probably figure out how to build that myself. lol
Etan
LeFreq wrote:
I'm sure there's ways to do similar things w/ Logic or Ableton.


In Ableton you have m4l device that does that. But its a bit more hassle since you have to assign each parameter you want to store in a snapshot.
SubliminalSandwich
I want to do the same thing for a project of mine..

Constant evolving patch.. i capture something, then lose it trying to find the next part.

I dont want to go down the software route.. so im gonna do some experiments for where the patch should "move" to and learn the sequence. then perform this Patching and repatching as I go, as required.. make the patching part of the timing and musicality of the piece. trial and error, until i can perform the piece.

Of course if i can automate stuff, all the better.. my RS-150 seq switch is gonna come in handy.. and some sliders controlling different VCA chains so i can blend different elements while patching the next bit "in secret" (for want of better analogy - like a DJ cueing up the next tune)
DonaldCrunk
VCA matrix is a great tool i've seen used as a bit of a 'central hub' for audio, if your modular is large enough then you can of course just create transitions and sections by "subpatching" your modular into seperate voices and muting/unmuting in a mixer. this is resource intensive, but this is also why larger modular systems are useful. the planar you mentioned could be used in place of the VCA Matrix or a large mixer to let you crossfade amongst the voices - each playing their own ditty, to hopefully fit into the ditty as a whole

i typically create very simple progressions & transitions - i think more about linear buildups than i do hopping from one verse to a chorus - like structure or something, but a useful aid here for me has been a loop pedal. sustain the sounds of the patch you had up while you alter it into a new patch, then layer it with the old or fade into the new patch - lots of possibilities for live performance with a looper obviously, but you do have to think outside the modular for that functionality. hopefully someday soon that will change.


sequential switch/programmers like Pressure Points are great places to start, as mentioned earlier.
ersatzplanet
I use an ADDAC Wave player in my rig and use a PGM-4x4 programmer to change loop start, length, and sample rate with it. iIt does a great job of suddenly changing things around. Sometimes I lag the programmers output so it ail slew to the next patch. I of course have a few of them in my rig. A programmer and a VCAMatrix are a great combo. With slews in between you can morph between different setups of modulators and modifiers for a lot of variation. Since the PGM-4x4 can be stacked as tall as you can make them, you can change an awful large number of parameters at one time.
The Pressure Points with a analogue memory is another option of course.
LeFreq
Awesome, great tips, guys! I've been thinking about the VCA Matrix today... because I did this jam:



As you can tell, I find it hard to use the mixer to bring parts in and out, the VCA Matrix would be nice for the muting, but I feel like it would be a waste for just audio. So, I guess I would need two. help Never maintain cash savings again

Are there mixers that do this well? I think I've seen some, but don't recall. Maybe that + a VCA Matrix would be useful. I'll definitely need to move into a new case situation soon, too. I'm thinking about involving Ableton 9, a Push, an iPad, and a Behringer pedalboard MIDI controller. I can use Live's looper to do the looping stuff, because I find all the hardware loopers too fiddly and the KP3 is just not enough, although it's fun and I like the FX (and I sold mine recently anyways).

I realized some new techniques, which you can see in the video. I am using the Direction, Run, and Reset ins on the PPxB to create some variations. I think having the Doepfer Seq Switch in the mix would make a big difference. I'm also getting an FSR-1 to give me some more touch control when the PPs are being used as a sequencer. I'm also designing and planning to build my own box that will be very useful in performance modular stuff... it's my first build of my own design, so that will probably take a while.

Anyways, things are moving along already and I haven't even had to purchase more modules, but I'll definitely need muting abilities because controlling the knob doesn't work when you're in the heat of the moment, it's hard to get the right volume... especially doing improv stuff where it's not all planned out.

Analog Memory sounds like a good idea, but I haven't really ever figured out how it works, I'll check it out.

Thanks guys! Rockin' Banana!
LeFreq
P.S. - Don't mind the intro on the video, lol ... Failed attempt at something cool. It's all improv, I just set up the sounds and then hit record on the cam.
LeFreq
I guess I could just use the ES-6 to multi-track into Ableton and do all the mixing with the Push... but that seems like less fun and more setup.. still a good option. Push = Never maintain cash savings again though. Especially since I like Logic a helluva lot more than Ableton. I sold my APC40 and Launchpad a long time ago, I didn't like them much but that's an option to start back with as well.
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