MATRIXSYNTH: Pastime & 3 Modules #24: Maths, Rings, Peaks

Dave Smith Instruments

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pastime & 3 Modules #24: Maths, Rings, Peaks

Published on Sep 13, 2017 Comparative Irrelevance

"A patch for the patient.


A fairly simple self-playing setup using Brain Seed for sequencing, and Rings/Clouds for the sounds. The 'strumming' motion is created with Maths.

I love how the tempo/density of notes is completely self-regulated, and creates variations that are only evident over a longer period of time. This is done by using a slow, random S&H from Noise Tools to regulate Maths' cycle rate and to occasionally let Brain Seed select new notes when the S&H signal passes above the ReSeed threshold. The number of notes in a given phrase depends on how long the ReSeed is "open" and how fast Maths is strumming while it is.

Repeated notes and negative voltages equal silence. In this patch I'm deliberately allowing quite long pauses to arise between phrases in the lower range of intensity, so this one's not for the impatient. :)

The only thing I'm manually controlling during this recording is the ┬ÁScale, where I'm changing the available notes every 10-20 minutes, or so. And a very minor tweaking of Rings' structure/dampening towards the end."

Published on Sep 21, 2017 Comparative Irrelevance

"Taking a page out of the Pastime video I posted a little over a week ago. Let's have a closer look at making strumming triggers with Maths.

Patch notes:

I'm using Maths' envelope functions and their respective gate outputs to create phrases consisting of a series of rapid triggers (a "strum").

Maths' channel 4 is cycling with a medium long rise and fall time, and the EOC gate output is active as long as the envelope is rising. Let's call each active gate a "phrase trigger". In other words it outputs a phrase trigger that last as long as the rise time with pauses between the phrases that are as long as the fall time. Now, that fall time is modulated by a slow random signal from Peaks' channel 1 (in LFO mode), which means that the pauses between phrases will be of random duration.

Maths channel 1 outputs the "strum triggers". It receives the phrase trigger from channel 4 to its cycle input, and with short rise and fall times the EOR output then starts spitting out rapid strums for the duration of the phrase. However, the fall time is being controlled by the channel 4 envelope, which is rising throughout the phrase. This means that the fall time increases, effectively slowing down the strum triggers. They start out fast, and gradually slow down a little over the course of each phrase.

Now that we have our strum triggers, let's feed those into Peaks' channel 2 which is in four-step sequencer mode. Each trigger advances the sequence by one step, and the sequence is fed into Rings' V/Oct input. Since each strum will – more or less – cycle through the entire sequence, the result is more like a strummed chord than a melody. I have Rings set to maximum polyphony to allow the notes to sound simultaneously.

Finally, I'm also using the random signal from Peaks' channel 1 to modulate Rings' dampening. As the signal gets higher the pause between phrase triggers gets longer and Rings' notes will also sustain for longer, and vice versa: more frequent phrases = shorter, dampened notes. Since Rings is in the "alternate red mode", the dampening parameter also adds reverb, which results in a strange, unreal atmosphere when modulated.

Thanks for watching!"

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