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Modules that help with song creation
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Modules that help with song creation
codabass
Hey community,

So over the past many years, I've produced using VST's in ableton.. now that I found modular (and fell in love with the sound), I'm wondering if in this world we have modules that help with actual song creation.. i.e. melody makers, chord progress tools, etc...

Thanks everyone
astrodislocate
All of them
sir stony
codabass wrote:
...and fell in love with the sound...

What sound? A modular has no distinctive system sound, it all depends on the modules in the patch, which can be extremely different.
About a music making aid, the Sinfonion is the only one that comes to mind.
bemerritt
Many sequencers have selectable scales.
autopilote
lots of good ideas from mylar melodies here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbxaWluHXEU&t=34s
mritenburg
Two paths:

1. Build out a collection of solid, base-functionality modules and then learn how to patch them to create what you want, or

2. Look into a smaller collection of specialized and purpose built modules that offer the meta level functionality that you are after, but understand you are trading out the flexibility of option 1

Both options have their merits and challenges, and both are valid options in modular.
nios
As far as rhythm generation goes I get a lot of mileage out of Marbles, particularly going into either a Basimilus Iteritas Alter or a Folktek Matter II.

Speaking of which the Matter II is extremely inspirational and can be like a one-module live performance session just messing with it. The way its peg patching interface works is more nuanced than it looks because there are two layers underneath the surface hole, and pushing pegs in halfway produces different results. Hell just touching the pegs, applying a bit of pressure on them sideways with your fingers etc can change the sound too. It's really kind of random what pops out of it sometimes and is extremely difficult to predict what'll happen, but that's part of what makes it interesting, just apply something to trigger it (like Marbles of Pam's gates), hit record and mess around for a while.
Jumbuktu
For 'song' maybe you mean 'composition' or something like it?

I don't think I have ever tried to create a 'song' (with or without lyrics) in modular. Yes, there are modules that do things like melodies, scales, chords, rhythms etc, but they tend to interest me less.

My personal technique for building compositions is to try to set up contrasting sounds, textures, sequences etc, and then use touch controllers to be able to switch between them. An actual composition then becomes more or less a live improvisation switiching around on the modular and using modular and external mixers to manage levels, fades and FX.
brandonlogic
codabass wrote:
Hey community,

So over the past many years, I've produced using VST's in ableton.. now that I found modular (and fell in love with the sound), I'm wondering if in this world we have modules that help with actual song creation.. i.e. melody makers, chord progress tools, etc...

Thanks everyone


Nerdseq is an excellent tool for composing entire songs with multiple parts. Even entire live sets. Look into it.
b9
Jumbuktu wrote:
For 'song' maybe you mean 'composition' or something like it?

I don't think I have ever tried to create a 'song' (with or without lyrics) in modular. Yes, there are modules that do things like melodies, scales, chords, rhythms etc, but they tend to interest me less.

My personal technique for building compositions is to try to set up contrasting sounds, textures, sequences etc, and then use touch controllers to be able to switch between them. An actual composition then becomes more or less a live improvisation switiching around on the modular and using modular and external mixers to manage levels, fades and FX.


this plus an O&C for unique chord progressions, sequences, and blissful accidents. It's triggered with some semi random gates and guided by rene and pp. i actually just bought another one in the hopes of being able to alternate between the two for both composition and performances.

That being said, all of my setup's generative abilities could be approximated using ableton. But without learning how to do it in modular, I wouldn't have been able to come up with such an unlikely layout by staring at a screen and wiggling a mouse.
codabass
Sorry, should have said the sound of modular gear vs digital "VST's".

sir stony wrote:
codabass wrote:
...and fell in love with the sound...

What sound? A modular has no distinctive system sound, it all depends on the modules in the patch, which can be extremely different.
About a music making aid, the Sinfonion is the only one that comes to mind.
Muff McMuff
The Imaginator....

https://ask.audio/articles/vince-clarke-imaginator-vcx378-eurorack-mod ule-adds-unique-creative-elements
codabass
Just checked out marbles - getting that one for sure smile Thanks

nios wrote:
As far as rhythm generation goes I get a lot of mileage out of Marbles, particularly going into either a Basimilus Iteritas Alter or a Folktek Matter II.

Speaking of which the Matter II is extremely inspirational and can be like a one-module live performance session just messing with it. The way its peg patching interface works is more nuanced than it looks because there are two layers underneath the surface hole, and pushing pegs in halfway produces different results. Hell just touching the pegs, applying a bit of pressure on them sideways with your fingers etc can change the sound too. It's really kind of random what pops out of it sometimes and is extremely difficult to predict what'll happen, but that's part of what makes it interesting, just apply something to trigger it (like Marbles of Pam's gates), hit record and mess around for a while.
codabass
hey guys, thanks so much for the feedback... lot to checkout tonight smile

Peace
crisponline
Using generative patching (like a 'Krell' patch) can lead to nonconventional free rhythmic and melodic results. Pair it with a quantizer and you can get some very lovely weirdness.
Agawell
with any sequencer, you can use another sequencer to transpose to another key (can be a bit tricky if you want to change from say major to minor) but it's doable

this can be done either with a transpose input on the sequencer or with an external precision adder

with marbles you can use the X bias input (to do something similar) or use an external triple precision adder (lpzw.de wk1 aroom mod or NE Quantus Pax, for example)
vytis
I highly recommend you get a few Doepfer modules. You will be surprised with the results. The new breed of Top20 modules will only get you as far as their preset architecture allows. Marbles into Rings into Clouds. That type of thing.

I would get:
Doepfer A-156 dual quantizer
Doepfer A-160-2 clock divider
Any kind of VC LFO such as A-143-4
Matrix Mixer A-138m
A-152
Sequential switch A-151

You'd be rocking a hybrid Rene type / generative melody machine where you'd be able to switch between different parts to form your song structure.

Ad A-155 sequencer on top of that and you've got yourself a mega sequencer.

The easy way is to get something like FLXS1, Nerdseq, ER-101.

Have fun!
motorhead412
Agawell wrote:
with any sequencer, you can use another sequencer to transpose to another key (can be a bit tricky if you want to change from say major to minor) but it's doable

this can be done either with a transpose input on the sequencer or with an external precision adder

A basic step sequencer like the SQ-1 can switch from minor to major on the fly. And you can get one used for pretty cheap.
batch
Have heard the FLXS1 is being discontinued so wouldn’t recommend it (check it’s thread).

Apologies in advance if anything I say here is stupid (am self taught), but I’ve been thinking a lot about song composition using the modular as think it presents a challenge. If you consider a song to typically be made up different parts (i.e. versus, chorus, bridge, etc.) which in turn are made up of different sounds/ voices (i.e. melody, pad, bassline, percussion, etc.). Then you need a lot of modules to do this, and in particular things that are macro controllers

For example, a melody in part A is made up of sequence and a voice. In part B you might switch the voice, switch the sequence or not play the melody at all. To do something like this you need switches and a trigger that comes a long every x bars. Repeat this for everything you want to change.

Some modules I have found super useful for this are

Acid Tech Switchblade - 3 channels for switching, and has latching mode, this is way more useful than the Doepfer ones which need the gate to remain high and so if you want a latch mode you need to combine with a flip flop.

Pressure Points & Brains w/ Analog Memory - difficult to get the analog memories any more but this provides 8 voltages at each step so can have things changing through a song. Intellijel Tetrapad w/ Tete promises to do the same thing on a smaller footprint. The Synthwerks PGM-4 also does something similar.

Doepfer a157b - this is the trigger sequencer using the alternative firmware (which is amazing!). The major thing that’s awesome is the ability to have a max of 8 patterns chained together in custom structures so you can play pattern a for X bars, then B, back to A then C, then D etc etc. The triggers can also be clocking your melody sequencers. The Erica Synths Drum Sequencer can also do this, though is more fun to do it manually versus automated. The Doepfer is so good for structure am thinking of buying a see one just for that.

ACL Sinfonion - the most powerful Quantizer out there to ensure everything pitched hangs together. if this is out of the price range then 2 o_C Using the Quartermain app get you pretty close.

Of course on top of all of this you need modules to make drums, the lead synth, chords, etc. as well as respective sequencers.
Agawell
motorhead412 wrote:

A basic step sequencer like the SQ-1 can switch from minor to major on the fly. And you can get one used for pretty cheap.


yes, as can most sequencers, but I wasn't meaning a single sequencer switching from major to minor I was meaning when transposing a sequence on one sequencer from say Em to Gmaj with a second sequencer - that can be a bit of a pain - to put it mildly

& can you switch the quality (maj/min etc) of the key using cv on the sq1?
Foghorn
Jumbuktu says
Yes, there are modules that do things like melodies, scales, chords, rhythms etc, but they tend to interest me less.

As I can not really play music well, I enjoy these modules such as:

all the Turing machines
Ladik S-610 composer N

and for percussion
Mutable Instruments Grids
Ladik D-420 Drum girl

Sequencers like these can be fiddled with and sometimes a magical thing happens when you come up with a melody, such as:
IME's Stillson Hammer
Intellijels Metropolis
Ladiks S-141, S-142 and S-143 sequencers
Tip Tops QuantiZer
And finally, TINRS Tuesday Procedural Sequencer often sounds like it is playing a melody.


Foghorn

EDIT: I deleted a useless post and put this one here
batch
Agawell wrote:
motorhead412 wrote:

A basic step sequencer like the SQ-1 can switch from minor to major on the fly. And you can get one used for pretty cheap.


yes, as can most sequencers, but I wasn't meaning a single sequencer switching from major to minor I was meaning when transposing a sequence on one sequencer from say Em to Gmaj with a second sequencer - that can be a bit of a pain - to put it mildly

& can you switch the quality (maj/min etc) of the key using cv on the sq1?


This is easy with the ACL Sinfonion
nicholasyu
codabass wrote:
Hey community,

So over the past many years, I've produced using VST's in ableton.. now that I found modular (and fell in love with the sound), I'm wondering if in this world we have modules that help with actual song creation.. i.e. melody makers, chord progress tools, etc...

Thanks everyone


I feel that it's great to get away from the traditional way of writing when each note plays when. I would suggest in addition to the above:

tip top trigger riot
mannequins just friends and/or mangrove
any complex lfo into a quantizer (with optional sample/hold)
batch
Muff McMuff wrote:
The Imaginator....

https://ask.audio/articles/vince-clarke-imaginator-vcx378-eurorack-mod ule-adds-unique-creative-elements


This looks really interesting and have never seen it before. Anyone actually got their hands on one? Doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Shame it only puts out MIDI.
guigui
batch wrote:
Agawell wrote:
motorhead412 wrote:

A basic step sequencer like the SQ-1 can switch from minor to major on the fly. And you can get one used for pretty cheap.


yes, as can most sequencers, but I wasn't meaning a single sequencer switching from major to minor I was meaning when transposing a sequence on one sequencer from say Em to Gmaj with a second sequencer - that can be a bit of a pain - to put it mildly

& can you switch the quality (maj/min etc) of the key using cv on the sq1?


This is easy with the ACL Sinfonion


Sinfonion!!!!
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