MATRIXSYNTH: The best DB-01 feature you're probably not using

Friday, March 03, 2023

The best DB-01 feature you're probably not using

video upload by Richard DeHove

"It's the one trick grammy award winning dentists don't want you to know - yet nine out of 10 cats agree! Seriously though there are functions on some machines that you just never get to unless you go digging. I'm a big fan of the DB-01 arp, especially jamming over the top of existing sequences. And recently I made a huge discovery. Well, actually, a tiny and insignificant realization, but it was that in the DB-01 arp section "PIA" stands for "piano" and "STP" stands for "step". For two years I was guessing at that acronym. A cosmic ray must have nudged a defective neuron aside. Yeah, obvious to you but not me. It turns out that "step" is a fantastic auto-slicing jamming function.

In the comments a while back someone said they enjoyed my "crusty" take on things. That means "a little bit grumpy". I like that. I am a little bit grumpy - about a lot of things. One thing I don't like is demos with too many machines. What tends to happen is that one (or more) machines get latched onto some never-ending-16-step-loopy-thing. Or maybe more than one. I don't like that (but of course I've done it lots of times). I get irritated these days when just one machine is endlessly repeating a 16-step pattern. Did any of the great composers just mindlessly copy bar after bar after bar of the same sludge just to fill out supporting instruments? Of course not. (Although I do like Phillip Glass)

OTOH modern machines usually present you with a 16-step grid. So what can you do?
Which brings us back to STP "step" mode on the DB-01 arp. A single, boring, 16-step pattern can be sliced up on the fly and made into endless variations. Possibly the best use of this is recording it as audio and slicing it up in the DAW. Or perhaps live performance. Whatever you do it's a good way to make 16-steps a lot more interesting. The quick version of this is to take an empty pattern, go into the randomizer and "randomize all" (the button on the far right). Now you have an unplayable mess. But with the "step" arp (latched) you can probably pick out selected parts and make something coherent. In any case it's entertaining. What do you think?

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My other channel "IntraCosmos" of long-play dark ambient textures:

/ @intracosmos"

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