Modular Beats

I don’t have anything online at the moment, but I used the patch on a few songs of an album I have coming out soon.

Well I’d be interested to hear if you every snag a phone clip. :slight_smile:

My favorite modular percussion patch has been a combination of the DPO generating FM sequences backed by a counter-rhythm from the Mysteron. Sequencing is done by Rene and the Squarp Pyramid. You can hear an example here:

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oh wow this is cool! also omg dBridge!

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Also omg Kabuki! I have 12"s of yours from 1999 and 2000.

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Nice to meet you this way!

Guess that makes both of us officially old :wink:

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Very much interested to listening. The patch you described sounds intriguing. I always find that the most nice drum sequences come from simpler means, or a combination of simpler means and basic sequencers, so I’d be very interested to hear your results with this patch.

That being said, here’s an old iteration that I went through in my search for the perfect modular jazz drum sequencer:

I used a Ladik module which can be programmed to keep user sequences and then sequenced it externally using an STG Graphic Sequencer (you can see it on the bottom row. It’s the second one as the one on the left is playing the melody). I’m mixing the different pattern outputs in a mixer and the using the differences in gate levels to change velocity levels. I can’t stand drums without dynamics! Lots of ghost notes in there.

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@grey @ParanormalPatroler I’ll have to do a bit of rearranging before I can record a demo, but I’ll post something this week. I tried it using my Reflex Liveloop last night, but since there aren’t individual triggers for each sample it didn’t sound quite right. Works best when I send the triggers to a trigger>MIDI module and into a proper sampler but I don’t have my MIDI module installed at the moment.

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Lately, I’ve been using an Ultra Random Analog’s pulse out intoto a Doepfer A162 Double Trigger Delay to create crazy party rhythms.

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I usually don’t do much with drums in my music anymore. But I recorded something this weekend where Teletype as a multichannel pattern sequencer was driving Sputnik 5-Step, which controlled Plaits’ pitch/model/timbre. Had a nice linear beat with bass and drums that I could mutate by tweaking knobs on the Sputnik.

At the same time I had Teletype generate 16th note synced decaying ramps, with time varying from longer to shorter over the course of each bar, to modulate the filter on my Microbrute.

old wise and experienced

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I haven’t done many modular beats since downsizing my modular, but a great wow moment was using the time-stretching mode of Clouds at the end of the audio path.

This was nearly two years ago so I hardly remember the patch or own many of those modules anymore, but if the day comes I decide to expand my modular again, I will definitely re visit this.

Honorable mention for Braids’ meta mode modulation. I always went super glitched out with it in the brief time I owned a Braids, but as percussive voice layered with others or with attention to sequencing and modulation you can totally get perceptible patterns and such out of it.

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I’ve been slowly experimenting with clocking my Volca Beat with Maths for rhythm and using Rene to sequence either Mangrove or Elements for melody. Then after some reverb/delay/etc. sampling the melody into Morphagene. Here’s an example:

This time, Maths kind of un-quantaized the drum sequence which I thought was very cool.

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Found this gem deep in the Trigger Riot thread regarding how to soften the feel of resetting a drum pattern at odd intervals.

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This is the area of my practice that needs the most improvement, I suspect. I use the DC1 Drumcomputer which doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but is essentially an 8 track sixteen step gate sequencer, where you’ve got independent control of sequence length on each track. There are four additional cv inputs for various functions.

There’s a visual display of each track simultaneously which is super helpful.

It’s not perfect - there are some idiosyncrasies around using an external clock. And saving patterns is a bit clunky, and chaining patterns doesn’t work with different pattern lengths. (Although I’m not sure what a solution might be)

But for this volume of functionality, it seemed the best available tool for price/size ratio at the time. I had the original varigate 4, but didn’t get on with the UI, and mine had a fault too.

I have on order - arriving today woo-hoo - the Malekko gate delay, which I’ve got high hopes for it terms of adding a bit of funk/swing etc to my beats.

The other thing I think is important is to have a number of different types of modulation if possible, ie a lot of VCAs doing stuff. So for high hats type stuff, I get the best results (for me) so far with subtle modulation on decay time, bandpass filter, and volume/velocity.

Also, I’ve got a drum submix with a VC aux send to add spot fx.

My beats still suck though - clearly I need to work on the programming rather than trying to solve it by buying more gear…

One technique I’m using in one set up is to have a global reset using a clock division coming from Pamela’s Workout. PW offers probability over skipping a clock tick. I plug a 1/4 or lower division of this clock to a manual switch and then mult it to all reset inputs in the patch. When the switch is pressed there’s a chance that the reset will get fired or not; holding the button down means the current phrase is played either whole or in part (depending on the division, could be a whole meter, could be less).

This not only gives the impression of an intended break, but of multiple parts being extremely in sync doing timed cuts of the phrase.

Tweak to taste!

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I’m not sure if Chris Meyer from Learning Modular is a member of this forum, but he’s been putting together a really excellent rundown of his live, beat making case for his Patreon supporters. Lots of well thought through info about his experiences creating beats in modular: combining euclidean beats with other types of rhythms, sound sources, ways to introduce variation in patterns, integrating modular with other musicians, etc.

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Hi can someone help me to figure out how to program non linear (not 4/$) drum beat with a modular synth?
for example how to achieve something like that:

kick kick snare pause kick pause snare pause

thanks so much!

well this would be tough w/o knowing your system

if you have multiple unsynced sequencers you probably dont even need to try to make things non linear

even with just one seq
use of logic utilities (for probability/variation) or modulation should help achieve results you want

@glia I have tempi and renè (I know that I can use it to make non linear beats), so I’m wondering how to make it with something like tempi or maths eoc/eor

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