Self generating patches....tips and ideas ?

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sb
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Self generating patches....tips and ideas ?

Post by sb » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:51 am

For a long time now I've been intrigued with the idea of setting up a patch on my modular, hitting record and walking away for an hour....ultimately reviewing the outcome later on and being surprised by the ensuing soundscape...changing timbres, random melodies, etc etc.

Unfortunately in my experience this is easier said than done. It's obviously very easy to generate random cv and direct it at different parameters, but it's more difficult to have this result in something 'musical' that doesn't ultimately become repetitive (and quite quickly in my experience). Btw..by 'musical' I simply mean interesting to listen to...I guess I'm thinking psychedelic noise here rather than minimal techno but whatever ....as long as its surprising and most importantly automatic.

I've tried the Allen Strange tail chasing type stuff and this is great for generating randomly changing cv but how to apply this to timbre ? The best I've managed to come up with involves the use of multiple Tyme Sefari's sampling and resampling a main patch (which involves the tail chasing patch....source of uncertainty being clocked by an LFO which is ultimately having it's rate cv'd). Throwing some shortwave into the mix has also turned up some interesting stuff...a cv'able radio would-be lovely. I'm also thinking an ASR would be very handy for this kind of stuff...if only there was one in Euro :-(.

Anyway, just wandering if anyone else tries their hand at similar stuff and if they've got any ideas, tips / tricks etc ?

Simon

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Post by nrdvrgr » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:10 am

Just a small trick - random CV source (Wogglebug/Noisering) clocked by a clock div (/64) controlling switches... this way you can get dramtic changes that happens a few minutes away. uLFO´s might be handy too - got real slow cycles. Ohter than that - hell knows... experimentation is the key.

Also, I´d like to hear Mono-Poly´s take on this. He is the KING of noodling in my books.
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Re: Self generating patches....tips and ideas ?

Post by frijitz » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:00 am

sb wrote:Anyway, just wandering if anyone else tries their hand at similar stuff and if they've got any ideas, tips / tricks etc ?
You might have a look at the work I've been doing on applying mathematical chaos theory. Chaotic signals are irregular but they are not based on noise. This means they have more correlation than the usual noise-based circuits. The amount and of irregularity can be dialed in with the circuits controls. Have a look at my website to get some idea of the possibilities. You can get my ChaQuO combined chaos generator/quadrature oscillator in Euro from Elby Designs.

Elby will also be coming out with my 4x4 EG There is a little writeup at the Elby website. There is also a youtube video.

Ian

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Post by kindredlost » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:42 am

Generative patches are a passion after my own heart. Everyone has a different sound idea to pursue so my suggestions may be way off from where you need to go, but here they are anyway.

I've been pursuing this idea (albeit digitally) since 1980 when I built a PAIA P4700J and correlated 8700 computer controller. It came packaged with "Pink Tunes" from John Simonton.

No mainly I work in the 5U MU modular format which some of this is less easily done than with some of the Euro and Buchla modules which seem more digitally robust to me (e.g. Wogglebug etc.). Modcan modules are the obvious exception and are rich in features-per-module to overcome some of the functional limits.

My main interest is to have limited control of various parameters of the modular so that it can be free enough to generate patterns on it's own but within a constraint imposed by me. This is essentially what "Pink Tunes" is all about but with a digital random function. Now I do it without a computer or random generator like "Pink Tunes" by using several discrete ideas with modules.

---

1) Old Standby - noise to a S&H for random cv. Using this to an LFO to generate odd clocking is helpful too.

2) Soft and Hard Sync feedback. Sending the output of one osc into the hard or soft sync of a second and then returning the output of that one back into the first one. Adding other cv's to each of these and controlling the amount of sync feedback through a vca is useful for changing tonalities. Similar ideas can be done with ring modulators and wavefolders.

3) Gate delay's and random gates. These modules come in handy for breaking up patterns and making things change over longer time periods. I've built and bought some of the Yves Usson designs. I'm planning to build his time divisions modules too.

4) Long clock divisions for sequential stages. Having a way to divide a clock into up to 32 or even 64 divisions and sending these to sequencers to transpose pitches, LFO rates or change filter settings over a long period of time. I currently use a Moon Octal Divider but there are many to choose from. Odd divisions are helpful such as 7 or 13.

5) Long subtle ramps with an inverted (or ramp) from an EG, LFO or function generator applied to something drastic like a wavefolder, ring modulator, filter overdrive or digital delay. Long periods of minutes in which it builds and abruptly ends or changes.

6) Slew generators timed at odd intervals with things like the random gates or sequential switches. Sometimes sending these through a quantizer or S&H to give it glissando rather than portamento.

7) A minimum of two mid/upper range tones with a lower octave tone with all three in a specific tuning or key signature. Occasionally transpose all this. Quantizers are paramount help here. This of course is a classic ambient/minimal tonal idea but it can be good with microtonal pitch or alternate tunings too. If you have enough quantizers and switches then occasionally switching in one of the quantizers that is set for a different tuning can create spontaneous interest that comes and goes.

8) Loopers. I use a Korg Kaoss 3 pad but there are many to choose from. Looping a segment and feeding it back into the modular can be interesting. Mostly though this is an operator interferance in what otherwise would be an automatice process. To avoid that I'd suggest randomly sending audio to and from the looper by means of the modular.

---

The thing that I've found helpful is to have a large enough modular to have several things in counter to each other. This adds enough complexity to give it interest. When having many different events happening sometimes thing interefere destructively or add together dynamically. This adds surprise and intrigue.

I've had a patch generating something that sounded planned and by the time I got the recording going it was over, never to return (for a long time anyway). Recording events like these can lead to entirely seperate pieces.

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Post by kindredlost » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:02 am

Ian, your ChaQuO and BiNTic are two items on the "short list" that I want to build. I've been eye-balling the Bridechamber kits for a while now. Your suggestion here is enough to bump the ChaQuO up on the list. :tu: I'll admit I never thought of it in this way until now. Thanks.

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Post by sb » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:26 am

Hey guys, thanks for all your comments. There are loads of interesting tips in there that I'm going to try out..plenty to keep me busy.

Ian - I'm familiar with your modules (I think the TGTSH is one of yours ?)....the new EG certainly looks like very interesting and I think I'll have to pick one up when they become available.

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Post by mono-poly » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:37 am

Wogglebugs, noiserings, slope detectors and clock dividers are my most used tools in my noodles.
Most stuff is already mentioned in the topic but slow glides between changes also works well to.
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Post by chamomileshark » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:13 pm

I like this thread 8_)
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Post by frijitz » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:20 pm

kindredlost wrote:Ian, your ChaQuO and BiNTic are two items on the "short list" that I want to build.
The BiNTic is a cool device, but unfortunately I can't take credit for it. It was originally designed by Jan Hall and published in Electronotes (#92). Interestingly, this article directly followed my writeup of my ADAR envelope generator, which is available at bridechamber and which is the precursor to the 4x4.

:grin:

Ian

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Post by dude » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:29 pm

there is no short answer..well for me there is a short answer and it is modcan. but the concepts could be applied to any system, bruce just happens to include it a lot more. all his recent vcos have a ton of morphing potential in various ways. modulators do too. and many of his modules have vc movements built in. he has the 66 control module and cv recorder which allow for memory to be incorporated easily and simply into the control side of patches. i could go on but you get the point. i believe a lot of his work and designs geared towards what you seem to be seeking...but of course these thing can be done on any system with planning and patching. things like mixers/switches/panners...complex waveforms mixed together with vc control of mix. vcas everywhere. the concept of modulating the modulator is big.

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Post by 7thDanSound » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:52 pm

One thing though that I find is key -be careful not to overmodulate stuff! Like mentioned earlier, "within constraints". That's key IMO. Otherwise you quickly end up with just noise more or less.

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Post by jenamu6 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:04 pm

7thDanSound wrote:One thing though that I find is key -be careful not to overmodulate stuff! Like mentioned earlier, "within constraints". That's key IMO. Otherwise you quickly end up with just noise more or less.
Yep been in the more or less lots a times.

Use cv mixers.... I like to take 1 out of the Wogglebug and 1 out of my sequencer......put them in a mixer and use that cv to go to a quantizer, instant tonal semi random melodies.
And use attuenators ofcourse

But.....I suck at dowing the very slow evolving things.....my attention span is...wow look at that?

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Post by mono-poly » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:24 pm

7thDanSound wrote:One thing though that I find is key -be careful not to overmodulate stuff! Like mentioned earlier, "within constraints". That's key IMO. Otherwise you quickly end up with just noise more or less.
Always a chalenge to find the balance between noise and boring.
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Post by Oldstench » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:40 pm

Thanks for starting this thread. I've been in an inspirational slump recently and this might be just the kick in the nuts I need to get back to making some music.
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Post by 7thDanSound » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:30 pm

mono-poly wrote:Always a chalenge to find the balance between noise and boring.
Oh yes! And it's individual too, for composer and listener alike

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Post by laserpalace » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:14 pm

I've been delving more into this and have found logic modules to help a great deal. Sending slow cycles to something like intellijel's j/k flip flop lets compositions grow. My Noisering keeps the shifts fairly random as well.

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Post by diophantine » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:20 pm

kindredlost wrote:7) A minimum of two mid/upper range tones with a lower octave tone with all three in a specific tuning or key signature. Occasionally transpose all this. Quantizers are paramount help here. This of course is a classic ambient/minimal tonal idea but it can be good with microtonal pitch or alternate tunings too.
Some great suggestions in your list I hadn't thought of! On this one in particular, have any recommendations to resources (online or print) about this? I am vaguely aware of it from some liner notes, but would be curious to read more in-depth discussion and descriptions.

Also, how do most folks get their LFOs or slew limiters running at varying odd (or prime) intervals? Do you just try and time it on a clock, or is there some trick I'm not thinking of? Resetting them with a clock divider wouldn't be ideal, as you'd lose part of the waveform, unless you just used it to try and get timing synchronized.
jenamu6 wrote:But.....I suck at dowing the very slow evolving things.....my attention span is...wow look at that?
Haha, I experience much of the same thing. While I frequently listen to such things (Monos, Radigue, Reich, etc.) straight through (and often want to hit play again at the end), I struggle with creating pieces that evolve anywhere near as slow. Somehow I manage it every couple of years, though.

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Post by mono-poly » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:28 pm

diophantine thx man!
The farad is the captain of my print.

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Post by rezzn8r » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:39 pm

the noise ring has received a lot of props in this thread, and justifiably so. Its Chance and Change controls allow for quick and easy configuration for voltage patterns that alter over time.
Clock/Pulse Dividers are well represented in the comments above. Even dividers are cool, but I have found odd divisions to be the most rewarding for Noodles.
Slow modulation sources are also important in this context. nrdvrgr mentions the uLFO. I don't own one, but I assume it goes slower than others. I have the Modcan Quad Digital, and that runs down to glacial speeds. Slow speeds are important if your patch is going to evolve. Something as simple as a 5 minute cycle on a VCF's cutoff can produce fairly dynamic results.
I am a big fan of the self-playing patch. Good luck in your experiments, and please share your results!
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Post by rezzn8r » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:44 pm

diophantine wrote:
Also, how do most folks get their LFOs or slew limiters running at varying odd (or prime) intervals? Do you just try and time it on a clock, or is there some trick I'm not thinking of? Resetting them with a clock divider wouldn't be ideal, as you'd lose part of the waveform, unless you just used it to try and get timing synchronized.
.
The Modcan Quad Digital has an internal divider (1 to 10) that can synch to an incoming clock signal (possibly already divided down from the master clock). It can reset, or synch the internal waveforms.
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Post by Johnisfaster » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:48 pm

Id say the doepfer a152 would be perfect for this kind of thing. 8 track and holds!

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Post by dougcl » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:01 pm

dude wrote:there is no short answer..well for me there is a short answer and it is modcan. but the concepts could be applied to any system, bruce just happens to include it a lot more. all his recent vcos have a ton of morphing potential in various ways. modulators do too. and many of his modules have vc movements built in. he has the 66 control module and cv recorder which allow for memory to be incorporated easily and simply into the control side of patches. i could go on but you get the point. i believe a lot of his work and designs geared towards what you seem to be seeking...but of course these thing can be done on any system with planning and patching. things like mixers/switches/panners...complex waveforms mixed together with vc control of mix. vcas everywhere. the concept of modulating the modulator is big.
I agree. You really need to get a Modcan in order to make self generating patches. It seems the more experience you have, and the smarter you are, the more likely it is that you will own Modcan. I've seen it happen here many times.

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Post by dude » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:14 pm

dougcl wrote:
dude wrote:there is no short answer..well for me there is a short answer and it is modcan. but the concepts could be applied to any system, bruce just happens to include it a lot more. all his recent vcos have a ton of morphing potential in various ways. modulators do too. and many of his modules have vc movements built in. he has the 66 control module and cv recorder which allow for memory to be incorporated easily and simply into the control side of patches. i could go on but you get the point. i believe a lot of his work and designs geared towards what you seem to be seeking...but of course these thing can be done on any system with planning and patching. things like mixers/switches/panners...complex waveforms mixed together with vc control of mix. vcas everywhere. the concept of modulating the modulator is big.
I agree. You really need to get a Modcan in order to make self generating patches. It seems the more experience you have, and the smarter you are, the more likely it is that you will own Modcan. I've seen it happen here many times.
:doh:

i mentioned numerous times in there that my choices and bias are obvious and it is more than possible on any system. your cynicism as usual brings nothing at all helpful to the thread. what insecurity of yours makes it so difficult to let people voice their opinions without you shitting on them from behind the safety of your computer? it would be really cool if you could leave your personal attacks out of it and actually share some of your experience which is valid and valuable. i don't care if you don't agree with me whatsoever but you are old enough to keep your mouth shut if you don't have something to add right?

:fu:

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Post by dougcl » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:40 pm

dude wrote: i mentioned numerous times in there that my choices and bias are obvious and it is more than possible on any system. your cynicism as usual brings nothing at all helpful to the thread. what insecurity of yours makes it so difficult to let people voice their opinions without you shitting on them from behind the safety of your computer? it would be really cool if you could leave your personal attacks out of it and actually share some of your experience which is valid and valuable. i don't care if you don't agree with me whatsoever but you are old enough to keep your mouth shut if you don't have something to add right?

:fu:
It's easy to say that you need to buy Modcan, but it is utterly false. You know this to be false, but then say it anyway. It's irresponsible, and I am calling you on it. Boo hoo. I am not hiding behind anything as you know. I am not afraid to voice this simple thing to you or anyone else. I say nothing here I would not say to you in person. If you were standing in front of me right now and you said that you need Modcan to make self gemnerating patches, I would laugh at you, and probably make fun. It's no different here, I hope.
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Post by dude » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:51 pm

irresponsible is a moderator derailing a thread to attack people voicing opinions.

you are badly misreading my post if you think i am saying that anybody here needs to buy anything.

man, you can focus on something useful or you can pretend to be a valiant defender of reason up here in this community that you frequently are an asshole in.

and if you are unaware of fact vs opinion, i will share with you that i am voicing my opinion up here. that is based on my experience. my experience and opinion have nothing to do with you so feel free to put me ignore but quit pissing.

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