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Evolving how to think about patches
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Evolving how to think about patches
argfargl
When I patch, it's always with the goal of creating one song, track, or musical idea.

I'd like to start thinking about modular patching in a way that's more like building an instrument – building patches that can, with some modification, be used to create multiple tracks. Kind of like a live-performance rig, but not for live, just for more than one session or musical idea. Not having to unpatch and build something new from scratch in order to play more than just one thing slightly differently.

If you've got advice, patch ideas, ways of working, techniques... post them here plz! smile

my rack, for reference (tho it shouldn't matter super much, this is more about theory than specific patches): https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/609073
cptnal
I'd advocate spending a lot of time on what I call "R&D". Trying out ideas I find around here and other places, exploring combinations of modules, asking myself "what happens if…", practicing the "standard" patches, and on and on...

The idea is that as you go along you develop technique, as you would with any other instrument. It's akin to practice if you were a guitarist or violinist. For me, more often than not it's these sessions that lead to "finished tracks" than if I actually sit down to put a track together. Perhaps it's the newness of the thing that makes it more interesting. However, I digress...

Technique is the point. The more you practice the more techniques you develop. Some people keep notes. thumbs up
matthewjuran
Both patching and performing for recording burns the same limited energy for me, so having it ready for recording when I’m fresh does let me go further into trying to get the best snapshot of playing the patch in a session.
electricanada
I am fully in tune with the notion of building an instrument with a semi-permanent patch, rather than repatching from scratch for every song. But seems to me the form it will take depends on what kind of music you want to make.
lisa
argfargl wrote:
When I patch, it's always with the goal of creating one song, track, or musical idea.

I fail to see how that is a bad idea. seriously, i just don't get it Sure, sometimes one might want to just try out ideas without having to turn it into a track but in general it's a blessing to have the natural drive to make music. w00t
Parnelli
I don't always patch with a song in mind; sometimes I just pick something out and see what comes of it. This morning it was Plonk, and I hooked a Planar 2 X and Y outputs to the Plonk X and Y inputs, went through the voices, and played with my joy stick.

This inevitable led to a sound that caught my ear, so I fiddled with it a bit more, and it led me into an entire melody by the time I was through. Often I start with a project in mind, but there's been many time when experimentation took me on an unexpected journey to a place I had not thought to go before.

When I am working on a project I try to remain open to those rabbit trails I end up going down instead of disciplining myself to only focus on the project. Often things evolve into something I had not originally planned.
bitflip
My approach to patching (programming really, since strictly speaking, i don't do modular) and implementing the patch (program) in my music is perhaps somewhat backwards in comparison to some other posts here. Usually when i dial in a particular sound in experimentation, in my mind's ear it just leads to a song that fits the sound. Does that make sense? Maybe this is because i haven't been very up-to-date on music since adolescence (30+ years ago), and was never really into "electronic music" per se - of the hundred or so go-to albums i have, i can count those in that genre on one hand. There have only been a few times when i definitely had a particular sound (patch) in mind to fit a song a priori. Particular notes and phrases, yes. Particular sounds beyond "traditional" instruments, hardly ever.

On further thinking, maybe this is because the bulk of my personal experience is with "traditional western music," i.e. stuff usually played on non-electronic instruments with traditional scales and so on, but not discounting nontraditional techniques applied to said instruments. I suppose that with a guitar or piano or trumpet or what have you, when the additional dimensions made available by synthesis are absent, one must fall back on things besides patching (programming). seriously, i just don't get it
starthief
bitflip wrote:
My approach to patching (programming really, since strictly speaking, i don't do modular) and implementing the patch (program) in my music is perhaps somewhat backwards in comparison to some other posts here. Usually when i dial in a particular sound in experimentation, in my mind's ear it just leads to a song that fits the sound. Does that make sense?


It makes sense to me, even though my experience doesn't follow the rest of your post. grin

I usually start with "I'm going to try ______" where I know that's going to result in a vague category of sound but not exactly what; from there I find some variation that suggests it wants to be a song, and I continue from there. Sound design might be a little more directed after that as I make puzzle pieces to fit the previous parts.
BenA718
One of the things I love about modular is that you can actually jam to it. Give your clock a spin to a random tempo, take the division outs and get things moving in different ways; twist knobs at random and see how the sound morphs, shifts, folds into itself and sometimes unfolds from the chaos into a wondrous sound like an audio kaleidoscope. Sometimes those jams inspire songs, or new directions within a song; sometimes it's just jamming to jam.
justchris86
I dont think I have ANYTHING planned when I fire up my modular. The only thing I plan is what I need to get it going.
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