MATRIXSYNTH: Modular Ambient Performance: "One Last Thing" : Tides, Rings, Elements, Peaks, Veils, ONE

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Modular Ambient Performance: "One Last Thing" : Tides, Rings, Elements, Peaks, Veils, ONE

Published on Jun 4, 2017 Mike Thomas

"One Last Thing: Patch Notes
Yet more patching with my smaller, Mutable Instruments-focused case. Wanted to practice a more ambient, simplistic melody approach, but with "movements" or different sections as variations on a theme.

Involved modules
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Intellijel 1U Random/Clock
4ms Rotating Clock Divider and Breakout
Mutable Instruments (MI) Rings
MI Clouds
MI Rings
MI Veils
MI Tides
MI Elements
2 x MI Peaks
TipTop ONE
Ornament & Crime (O+C)
Intellijel 1U Quadratt
Intellijel 1U Buffered Mult
Intellijel 1U Digitank Reverb
2hp Reverb
2hp 3:1
Transient Modules 6ch Mixer
Pittsburgh Outs

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This is a piece in five “movements”, I guess you’d say. I’m controlling the movements, but there’s some fancy patching going on to provide interest in a very simple sequence.

* Intellijel 1U Random/Clock source drives all timing. Rotating Clock Divider is in gate mode and is being “rotated” by Peaks #1 channel 1 in slow square LFO mode.

* Main melodic line is Rings in “sympathetic strings” mode, alternate function, and with 4-voice polyphony. Melodic sequencing for Rings is a little odd. The v/oct is ultimately controlled by Meta-Sequencer, which is quantized to a major scale, but I’m feeding its output to O+C in Quantizer (Quadraturia) mode, which is also quantized to a major scale (Ionian re the menu item). Haven’t dug down to see if there’s any odd/cool aliasing due to this combined quantization thing. I don’t even remember how I got there, to be honest. Anyway, both Meta-Sequencer and O+C are being triggered by RCD /6 output.

Here’s the really tricky part: The patch modulates Rings’ Structure parameter via Peaks #1 channel 1 in slow square LFO mode, attenuated by a channel of the 1U Quadratt, and further adjusted using the attenuverter associated with the input. I’m sure these two attenuations could have been normalized in some way, but this is what I ended up with. The trick was to have changes to Structure be such that we didn’t end up into inharmonic territory (too often, anyway). Also, this Peaks LFO channel is free-running, so it slowly gets out of phase with the main rhythm (such as is it) of the track. Actually, it all depends on where I “start the clock”. In this particular performance I feel I started fairly out of phase, so the beginning is a bit rough.

But further, *I’m* modulating the Structure parameter. This is what results in the five “movements” in the tune (combined with Rings default triggering, occasional Strum inputs via the 1U Random/Clock module, and a dummy cable (which essentially mutes Rings’ output)). The strumming from the Random/Clock T&H is turned on and off by Peaks #2 channel 1 in slow square LFO mode. So even when I’m trying to strum, I have to time it for when the trigger storm is actually available.

A widely-used modulation source is Peaks #1 in roughly in triangle mode with Tides UNI as the modulation via Veils. This is multed all over the place, including Rings’ Brightness, Damping, and Position (of course I’m spending quite a bit of time fooling with the attenuverters for those inputs). It’s also used to modulate Rings’ self-FM via another channel of Veils.

Rings stereo out to Clouds in looping delay mode. Clouds’ Size and Texture modulated by the Two Drunks BI output (from Quadratt channel 2, above). Clouds Freeze modulated by Peaks #1 channel 1 (that channel is working hard!).

* Bass is provided by Elements. It’s just hard-tuned to a good fundamental note and is being gated by the High output of Tides. Mallet is set such that we get the “bouncing mallet” feel from time to time. Strength input and Blow Timbre modulated by attenuated Peaks #1 channel 1 (yet again). Position and Strike Timbre modulated by Tides BI output.

* “Wind” sound effect by TipTop ONE triggered by RCE /8 and pitch modulated by Tides BI output. Audio is sent through 2hp Verb module, the mix of which is *also* modulated by Tides’ BI output.

* Light Drum/Percussion sound is Peaks #2 channel 2 triggered by RCD /1 output. Since the RCD is being rotated, this results in some basic rhythmic variety. Audio is sent to 1U DigiTank and mixed with the wind sound from above before hitting the 2hp Verb module.

Long left-hand side segment with Sony RX100 mk3 fully zoomed.
Right-hand side segments with Sony A6000 and Leica 90mm Summicron-R
Edited in iMovie"

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