kria (icelandic name for arctic tern) defend their nesting grounds together as an imposing flock.
a new grid application. parameter-phased modulator. a step sequencer arpeggiator. two voices with independent loop positions and speed per parameter: trigger, accent, duration, note, octave, transposition, scale.
shown here is the alt firmware for white whale. will do a max-js-based version also.
alpha version and full explanation forthcoming.
(update jan 23)
here’s the ww-alt-firm hex to try out: https://github.com/tehn/mod/releases/tag/k-v0.1
a text explanation of the layout (diagrams forthcoming, though any volunteers would be most welcome):
bottom row is navigation, from left to right
- ch 1
- ch 2
- trigger / accent / octave
- loop start
- loop end
- (soon) scale editor
- (soon) pattern selection
two voices, selected with channel 1/2 keys.
ch 1 = TR1, CV1, TR3 (accent)
ch 2 = TR2, CV2, TR4 (accent)
an “event” is only generated on trigger-- TR and CV are coupled. to simplify: on each trigger all current parameters (note, duration, etc) are used at that moment to generate an “event”. this is important to understand, as the non-trigger parameters may be cycling at different rates or different loop points than the master trigger. for example: if the accent row is fully lit up, it still will only create a trigger on the TR3/4 in correlation with a trigger event. so everything follows the triggers for each channel.
bottom row keys 4-8 change the edit mode. mode details:
- trigger, accent, and octave are on the same first page: trigger on top row, accent on second, the rest are octave.
- duration has a channel-global multiplier which is the top row. shorter on the left, longer on the right. the rest of the rows are vertical “sliders” with shorter values towards the top and longer towards the bottom. (it makes visual sense when you use it-- i tried to make each screen look sufficiently different for intuitive navigation)
- note is low to high. these follow the scale, a latter page.
- transposition is global to the channel, meaning it does not get conformed into the scale. you can actually sequence fully chromatic runs similar to the earthsea by simply not using the note/scale screens. top row is “step” and remaining middle rows are chromatic horizontal, 4th vertical. to edit each step you need to change the top row. highlighting is intuitive here.
- scale relates to the “note” screen. currently the scales are fixed but an editor is forthcoming (which will be performative as well, given it’s a realtime scale editor).
scales are (top to bottom) ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian, locrian
up to this point, everything is still sync’d like a normal step sequencer, which is a perfectly permissible use.
to phase the individual parameter tracks, use the modifier loop start, loop end keys. hold the key while touching the step you wish to assign in the upper rows.
note - this is a different loop selection than white whale. i wanted to experiment with loop length following the position change of loop start. so changing the loop end will effective change the loop length. playback position is appropriately moved to stay within bounds.
speed changes! hold down both the loop start/end keys to change the playback speed of the parameter/track. you will see two horizontal sliders. (on the trig page you will see three pairs, for trig/ac/oct).
the top is the multiple, the bottom is the divider. the default is 1/1 which is no change in base speed. if you want double speed, divide the base speed by two-- set to 1/2. to go 2/3 the base speed, set to 3/2.
explaining this is confusing, because the speed multiple is on the period (length) of the pulse. i’m up for suggestions if this should be flipped, so you are operating on the “tempo” which is the inverse of period.
given you have 16 gradations, you can do some very slow phasing-- try 16/15. also-- it’s very possible to divide the speeds to impossibly fast cycles (which will overload the cpu) so i limit the period to 10ms minimum (this is thoroughly in synth spew territory).
scale editor (stepwise) and patterns (memory of all params) coming soon.
alt at the moment is only used as phase/position reset: hold alt while pushing ch1 or ch2.
preset saving works.
varbright 128 only. external clock input not yet implemented.
i’m open to feature changes/suggestions at this point, though i’d prefer not to overcomplicate this already data-heavy application.
enjoy! please post videos and help spread the word. more people need to see how flexible and performative grids can be in modular. i still feel we haven’t reached the eyes of very many synth people that might really enjoy these developments.
ps. thanks to many many people for feedback on sequencer ideas. this is really an amalgam of techniques collected over the years.