Self generating patches....tips and ideas ?

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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Electrostatic
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Post by Electrostatic » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:27 am

Pascal wrote:this is nice
Cheers Pascal.

I tried adding more CV to it (see below), but I kinda prefer the more simple version of it. Sometimes less is more.

[video][/video]

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odecahedron
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Post by odecahedron » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:10 pm

What a pleasure to discover this thread, so much useful ideas in here and I'm gagging for my 3rd osillator and yu triple dividers to show up (any day now) to try some of these suggestions out.

Not sure if its been mentioned (probably), but I've had some sweet results from a hot vcf freq (lo cut off, hi resonance) with the TTLFO on slowest possible rate/0.5 multiplier and on random waveform, then modulating the cutoff with another lfo with a medium tempo sine. The hotness of the vcf picks out and "spikes" eemingly random pitches and is 'mismatched against the faster lfo. Maybe not so much generative but it took a longtime to get boring.

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Post by jonah » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:39 pm

This thread reminded me how amazing MIDI is for this purpose. The upshot to digital quantization is that it let's you perform some pretty amazing transforms/deforms! :) Unfortunately, it's not as forgiving as CV and feedback can easily choke out your processor if it isn't carefully controlled.

Is there a modular MIDI module? I know there was a lot of strange rack gear in the 80s. :spin: Perhaps Yamaha or Akai?

Maybe something like a cross between CME bitstream and MIDIpal that takes MIDI in one end and spit it out the other with some operations in the middle. Hopefully, with CV input and multiple MIDI ins n outs.

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sausmatoe
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Post by sausmatoe » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:40 pm

Awesome thread! So many cool ideas and sounds :sb:

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wsy
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Other ways....

Post by wsy » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:15 am

The nature of music is repetition in pitch, rhythm, and dynamics - but not too much!

Here's a few of the tricks I use:

1) Slides in pitch usually work. Slides in rhythm don't. So - if you're taking a
varying pitch CV and adding a sine or a ramp, that usually works esthetically.
But if you're modulating a rhythm, that usually won't (there are, of course, exceptions).

2) Quantizing a signal can be good. VARYING the quantization (say, by adding a slow
ramp or slow sine) to the pre-quantized signal can be even better.

3) Don't worry about relative primality. Unless you are absolutely OCD about getting
your LFOs into perfect 3:2 time, you WILL have relative primality, and unless your
LFOs have some phaselocking (say, thru the power supply voltages) they won't
stay phaselocked for long as they warm up.

4) Infrasonic random (like from an Oakley Noise Dual Filter, which itself is an extended
clone of a Moog percussive module that nobody ever remembers but that CoTK has
cloned) is a powerful random. I believe Buchla also has a similar module. But-
you can create it yourself by taking noise > sample and hold > slew limiter, and vary
the S/H and slew limit time constants to get the durations you want.

5) Random "sequencers" are god-in-a-box for this. There are a couple out there-
the basic principle is to have a shift register of bits; the shift register recirculates,
copying the lowermost bit to the uppermost (or vice versa). BUT - there's a
finite chance probability of mutation - of flipping the bit. The resulting full contents
of the shift register goes to a DAC and is used as a CV. This works amazingly
well to autogenerate melodic hooks... the probability of a bit flip can be set really
low to create a slowly evolving theme; i.e. one bit flip every 10 or 20 seconds
works really well for keeping attention (disclosure: I wrote the TTLFOGRE code
that lets an SSL Tap Tempo LFO or Modulation Orgydo exactly this). But you can
do it with the Euro Random Looping Sequencer too:
viewtopic.php?t=60740&highlight=random+sequencer

6) Change the timbre of a repeating phrase. Say you've got a Dotcom Q960 or
other wall-o-knobs sequencer pounding out the same couple of bars over and
over - it gets boring fast. So, use a phaser or wavefolder, CVed at some relatively
slow pace. If you're using a filter, wiggle the cutoff. Wiggle the resonance (if your
filter has CV resonance like the Dotcom Q106). Ping that filter with a rhythmic
square wave to get a beat.

7) Fade across several chains. The SSL 1520 Segwencer does this, but only
for offsetted voltages, which makes it hard to use on an LFO output. Another
way is to use an Oakley Multimix, which has attenuverter inputs. A third way is
to use a Dotcom Q125 CV Processor to invert a CV and then use the inverted and
noninverted signals as inputs to a pair of VCAs (or alternatively, use the Walsh
trick and run the envelope signal to the filter cutoff in a relatively "normalled" patch
subchain.

Darn it, I gotta make a demoing video on this.

- Bill
"Life is short. But we can always buy longer patch cords" - Savage

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odecahedron
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Post by odecahedron » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:01 pm

i noticed a couple posters mentioning the uLFO for suuuper slooow morphs ... but im not a euro-guy, so whats the slowest 5U LFO module ávailable.

edit: i mean the TTLFO can go pretty damn slow with the multiplier on 0.5, but is there anything slower ?

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wsy
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Here's a self-generating patch

Post by wsy » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:57 pm

Here's a self-generating patch; the "controllers" for the patch are an SSL Quad
LFO, an SSL TTLFO with the TTLFOGRE chip (natch!), and an Oakley Noise/Dual
Filter. There's some quantization thrown in too.

[video][/video]
Or here (direct link:) http://youtu.be/xqUo1cZrY1I

- Bill
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Post by JeshuaW » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:08 pm

I find the Vulcan Modulator with the Intellijel expansion is great for randomizing your patches. The two lfo's can cross modulate (and that can be attenuated) and you can input your own custom waveforms into the expansion with reset jacks for each lfo. :)

I've also heard some really good random from Buchla land, surprised no one mentioned Don's instruments.

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Evns
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Post by Evns » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:24 pm

Yeah, the Vulcan & Mind Meld are fantastic!
I just recently came across the trick of putting a constantly low DC offset from something like the 8NU8R into the CV control of the Vulcan to make it cycle even more slowly than having the knobs at 0. It's probably still not as slow as the uLFO, but its really, really slow. :tu:

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Michael O.
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Post by Michael O. » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:12 pm

I think one of the most interesting ways of getting a self-composing/playing patch going is to set up a chaotic feedback system. Basically, you start with at least two elements that can be linear, like the outputs of a cycling voltage controllable dual envelope generator (Maths, Envelator, DUSG, 281, etc.) or some sort of other voltage controllable cyclical waveform generators (VCO, Sport Mod, SSG, and the like) and have those two linear elements patched to modulate each other, like a tail chasing oscillator patch (that is, for instance, Maths ch.1 out multed to ch.4 Both mod in, and ch.4 out multed to ch.1 Both mod in, both set to cycle). Then, you need a voltage controllable nonlinear element (Wogglebug, Serge Random Source, Sport Mod patched as a stepped/smooth random source, 265/6, vc slewed sample+hold, etc.) thrown into the feedback loop (in the aforementioned example, take the outputs of the Maths ch.1+4 and the nonlinear element and feed them all into a mixer, a polarizing one is obviously great there, and send the output to VC ins on each of the elements, like Rise/Fall mod in on the maths and the VC in on the nonlinear element). The outputs are taken from the mixer, the individual elements, etc., which gives you a wide range of modulation sources and destinations to patch into/out of other parts of the modular, like other feedback loops, for instance, to create a very complex non-repetitive self-generating system.

Attenuation of modulation and the initial settings of each of the elements are obviously paramount here, and the whole combo can result in a wildly large array of complex modulations that won't repeat but will still have some semblance of structure, as opposed to utter randomness or noise, to patch around your system. Also, as with everything in modular synthesis land, there's a total infinitude of ways in which to go about patching this sort of thing. This is basically what's at work in this patch that I posted in the Tunes section but is somewhat relevant, though it may not be the most musical example it does show the really wide range of timbres and modulations you can get with even a relatively simple iteration of this chaotic system concept (the only adjustments I make are to mute different voices/parts in and out on the M9 mixer and to switch modes on the sport mod a couple of times):
[video][/video]

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Post by HueMonContact » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:38 pm

@Michael O.

Nice patch! I love the sounds.
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Post by kindredlost » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:37 pm

@Michael O.

One of the best generative pieces I've heard in - well forever!

Sounds like the Krell have returned!

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Post by pugix » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:34 pm

Great patch, Michael O. :hail:

Thanks for that video!
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Michael O.
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Post by Michael O. » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:57 am

Thanks a lot guys, I will definitely have to post more in the future, which is a possibility now that I have access to a camera and a computer (I'd bet one day iphones will have video editing capabilities, assuming that they don't already and I'm just ignorant of it hah).

For more patch concept inspiration check out Ian Fritz's website for his writings on chaos theory in electronic circuit design, most of which is very technical and well beyond my realms of expertise or even proper understanding, but a lot of the more intelligible stuff is applicable on the patching/musical side of things. Also, the key for a lot of interesting non-repetitive self-generating patches is feedback that's just on the verge of becoming wildly uncontrollable noise, but is not yet so. It can go a long way in creating controlled chaos that you can predictably alter that can be used to great effect on both the modulation/control and audio sides of things. Further, if things are even more judiciously attenuated and controlled, then the same concepts can be applied to any patch (regardless of whether it's a simple monosynth voice or an entire self-orchestrating complex system) to add variety and nonlinearities that are more interesting than more typical, less controllable random and pseudorandom modulation sources.

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Post by strettara » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:58 am

I use generative methods for most of what I do. Feedback is of course the key. Personally I prefer to use S&H to control the oscillators and the 149-1 for the envelopes. This is because the 149-1 modulates in quite a controllable way so that you can have moments in which envelopes are sprightly and gay, others in which they are mere sluggish slowcoaches, without them being chaotically mixed together. On the other hand, the S&H for the oscillators is less predictable than the 149-1, which is my preference. Add in some RM and FM to taste (often combining the oscillator signals in a ring modulator and using that as an FM source). The Z3000 and the cyclebox both excel at this kind of thing, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

I like to set up a patch which can then be played with a bit of judicious wiggling - i.e. the patch is really an instrument you can play. Here's an example, set up in exactly the way I described, using the cyclebox:

http://soundcloud.com/strettara/morning-meditation
“It must be abstract. It must change. It must give pleasure."


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chamomileshark
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Post by chamomileshark » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:40 am

I think it was this thread that got me thinking about having a go myself. I recorded this a while back and seeing as the thread has been revived I thought I would post.

It's my first attempt, there are no feedback loops but apart from a little reverb nothing was touched or fiddled with - just sat back and hit record and hope I didn't hit one of the minute long silences.

http://soundcloud.com/chamomile-shark/permutations


Edit - can someone confirm the above is working for them? I could not get the embed to work until I edited https to http
Key Gear: Wiard 300 Series, EMS VCS3, Frac Modular (Blacet, Wiard, Bananalogue & Synthesis Technology).

Pastoral Music: Mark Ellery Griffiths
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pugix
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Post by pugix » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:30 pm

Yes, it works. Nice! How did you do it without using feedback?
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"Everything in our world is actually always modulated by everything else." - Peter B

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Michael O.
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Post by Michael O. » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:33 pm

@Chamomoileshark: That is way cool, digging the audio-rate modulation squishiness; is it done with 300 series, I think that's what I see in the picture, if so, some wogglebug action going on?

@Strettara: very nice spacey atmosphere, I need to invest in a proper digital oscillator as opposed to the miniwave wavetable lookup I use. Is there any external effecting or is the cool echo-like amplitude dynamic just patched in there?

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strettara
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Post by strettara » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:45 am

Z-DSP.
“It must be abstract. It must change. It must give pleasure."


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chamomileshark
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Post by chamomileshark » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:53 am

thanks, here are my notes on the patch

Timing - Semi random triggers S&H to In of Blacet Window Comparitor. Level modulated by stepped voltage from Wogglebug

Pitch - Gate also to Sequantiser (select modulated for random order) – unquantised goes to Frequency control. {Poss two Sequantisers to mixer or Jag, both modulated Sel]

Lin FM – modulator oscillator frequency modulated by Wogglebug smooth or stepped voltage

to Borg 1 LPG (mod at max, switch to VCA, freq at zero).

Envelator – both A mod and R mod to max – taking one unquantised sequantiser output each.

Position in space

Standard output into 2nd mixolator – outputs X and Y to mixer. Z at 12 o’clock? Jag output to slew (or it clicks) and then to Z mod.

It is basically a single path patch.


I did a further slightly less random patch that I'll dig out which used tail chasing with four voices - I'll put that up sometime.
Key Gear: Wiard 300 Series, EMS VCS3, Frac Modular (Blacet, Wiard, Bananalogue & Synthesis Technology).

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strettara
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Post by strettara » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:24 am

This time a completely self-generating patch I can't begin to explain - suffice it to say that 2 Z3000's and a cyclebox (in 0010 mode) are beating the crap out of each other while a couple of envelators look on laughing. A schoolyard fight. Someone should really call the teacher.

http://soundcloud.com/strettara/generative-5
“It must be abstract. It must change. It must give pleasure."


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Evns
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Post by Evns » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:34 pm

These are great examples!
I'm curious if someone could elaborate on the finer details of the aforementioned Allen Strange "tail chasing patch". Is it as simple as finding any two sources that will modulate one another? I've searched the forum and even tried to buy the PDF of Allen Strange's book, but it's not offered anymore by McGraw-Hill.

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Post by BKehew » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:45 am

Just bought something I've wanted for some time, a Psychtone (also Psyctone). This was something I'd seen as a project in Popular Electronics in the 70s, self-composing patch. Predates the Triadex MUSE Box (sold mine when I needed money, sadly, loved it) and post-dates the Raymond Scott Electronium.

But it's a similar self-composing melody box. The one I got works ok, will find a way to mutate it into a module. Re-Synthesis makes great 5U panels for custom things like this. Adding some jacks for CV control will be fun.

http://www.swtpc.com/mholley/PopularEle ... eb1971.htm

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Post by pugix » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:12 pm

Here's a completely self-generating patch, controlled by the Cocoquantus. The timber is made by passing triangle wave VCOs from the Cocoquantus through BugBrand Low Pass Gates and Frequency Shifter. What makes the Cocoquantus so powerful is its five inter-modulating VCOs, each of which can be switched to high, medium, or low frequency. In the lowest range the LFO period can be quite long, making for very long, slowing changing patterns. And the ten sample and holds take unpredictability to the limit.

http://pugix.com/synth/prediction/
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Post by shortsleeves » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:15 pm

strettara wrote:Here's an example, set up in exactly the way I described, using the cyclebox:

http://soundcloud.com/strettara/morning-meditation
That-was-so-fucking-fantastic! Thank you. I love self-generating patches, and this one's just became one of my favourite :hail:

Cheers,
Lukasz

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