Today my small discovery was

I’m not very active on MW anymore but I still go back and look at this “discovery” thread because it’s packed full of interesting patching ideas, technical illuminations and even the odd general life tip. Haven’t seen a similar thread here yet - correct me if I’m wrong! - so thought I’d start one.

I’ll start with this: Recently I’ve started keeping one of my Pamela’s New Workout outputs dedicated to being the “fill activator” - fun and handy in beat-driven generative patches. Using a rotated 1-step Euclidean pattern, it outputs a gate that stays high for every eighth bar. I mult this to open VCAs that let additional triggers come through in patterns, make an additional percussion voice audible, initiate envelopes that create sweeps or risers, etc…

Hope to hear about the discoveries you’ve been making!

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not very familiar with MW, so unsure if this counts, but I discovered the cover to this excellent album

was taken less than 2 hours from my house (Altoona, PA):

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I have three today (good day!)

Combining a hand-played offset and envelope (of variable length) through an OR circuit to control the amplitude of a busy additive voice – this way one can use the offset to decide if the additive voice is in ‘triggered’ mode or is ‘free-playing’ – really useful since I’ve invested a lot in additive voices that are nearly a song in themselves, but would like them to do a better job of sharing the stage, without having to be simplified. Also good for changing many parameters of a voice while the last ‘version’ of that voice plays out through a delay, for all the poly-timbrel, poly-chromatic goodness.

Using two separate controls over clock speed – one for a base ‘coefficient’ and the other to cycle through a table of multipliers corresponding to a section of the harmonic series – this way you have a ‘fine’ control with a very narrow range, the ability to perform gradient temp changes, and a ‘scale’ control that isn’t just vapid halving / doubling.

Finally, more of an observation on additive synthesis: WOW DO DIFFERENT SCALES LEND THEMSELVES TO DIFFERENT TIMBRES HOLY CRAP MODAL CHANGES ARE A TRIP WITH ADDITIVE VOICES WOW.

Thanks for starting this thread – a one-stop-shop for the sense of wonder I’m always combing threads to unearth :slight_smile:

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Today I was in a phone conversation with a fellow synth lover and he asked me to explain to him how I used the Metropolis (by Intellijel) sequencer as he had just picked up a used one. So I went through all of my favorite “tricks” and “preferences” and after about 20 minutes I ended with " …and there is one button that I’ve never touched and its labeled “SWING”. He then said that I really needed to play with that button as the ability to adjust swing could humanize (or dehumanize) my sequences, especially for percussion.

Bingo! He was right on and I’ve been creating swinging sequences all night!

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Today I was reminded how joyful the (good) films of Mel Brooks can be…

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I love that thread. It’s a great idea to start one here, so it will be not only limited to eurorack :slight_smile:

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Discovered you could use gates/triggers to create stepped cv using an attenuverting/summing mixer, with 4 channels you have 15 possible notes. Gate logic determines which notes are chosen from the set.

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Maybe not today but general cool thing that I heard about (which might be obvious to some, but wasn’t to me):

  • steps in scales can not only be defined as notes but could be any sequence of events. So for example imagine a simple scale which has four notes C E G A but G always needs to be played in such way: play G slide very fast to F then to G# and back to G.

I heard about it in context of Ragas and it made me think about how what we often call riff/lick etc. could be treated as musical atom (non divisable thing) and then use it as we use notes.

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The cell-based style of minimalist composition is sort of like this. I’m also reminded of the use of fixed register in serial/atonal/posttonal music, and also of my pet peeve about musical tools that collapse pitch into pitch class, thereby suppressing the potential for non-octave-repeating scales or other interesting structures.

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What’s an example of a non-octave-repeating scale? Might ragas be one? Are there good resources for learning about this in greater depth?

Is it feasible to combine a sequencer that reduces pitch to pitch-class (Kria seems to be this way) with another, smaller, secondary sequencer programmed not to do so, thus retaining the advantages embedded in this reduction (kaleidoscooooooooope) while mitigating the limitations in the over-all affect of the piece?

Ragas have octaves.

Here’s some info about non octave repeating scales.
https://en.xen.wiki/w/Nonoctave

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love this technique. to expand on it, you can also attenuate any or all of the gates at different times / different amounts for lots of variation.

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this made me think of combining an attenuated copy of a sequence with itself, which seems like it would lead to a scale with exponentially growing spacing between notes as you go up. not sure if that would really count as “repeating” in the traditional sense even though there would be a certain pattern to all the pitch relationships.

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My small discovery is filter resonance! I have genuinely never cared for the sound of “standard” low pass filter resonance. At least in my own music it’s always felt too cheesy and either like acid house or over the top sci-fi laser sounds. I do like how resonance works on my QPAS but that feels like a pretty different thing.

But yesterday I was making some patches on my Minilogue and I realized that I actually need to tune the filter cut off! Tuning the filter cut off so it brings out a specific harmonic related to the note I’m playing and leaving the filter keytracking at 100% has lead me to a ton of cool tones that sound somewhat additive in nature to me.

Still don’t think I’m a fan of acidy sweeps or laser beam sounds (for my own music at least haha) but now I at least finally have a reason to not leave that knob at super low values in all of my patches.

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Thinking of it as something programmable / multi-state as in, accessing different scales depending on the octave of the input. So primary sequencer is running voices, and all the while one (or several) of its outputs is quantized to octaves and fed into a ‘scale selection’ input or something to that effect on the secondary sequencer.

Admittedly this is very straightforward to do with Teletype, but I’d imagine is not so straightforward with other sequencers, and so the thought is in my brain as TT code, and expressing it in English is a challenge.

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One recent Discovery was combining two trigs through a VCA and then attenuating each trig channel down equally. The result seem to be some sort of trig phasing when both channels fight for dominance. Even mixing two really boring trig sequences this way garners some really cool trig sequences

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I spent an afternoon figuring out how to calculate cent offsets for converting ratio-based tuning specifications to offsets from equal temperament. Came up with a spreadsheet that will let you do the same operation for any ratio-based scale definition you have.

https://pemungkah.com/the-harp-of-new-albions-tuning-for-logic/

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I followed Ciani’s patch diagram and patched white noise into one of my matrix mixer inputs, three outs going into 3 sisters inputs, and one to a LPG then 3 sisters all in, sending noise everywhere adding it a little bit all over, filtered, gated, etc. Special shoutout to @EPTC 's recent podcast for also inspiring exploration of noise. The discovery is, it’s wonderful and I need to use it more :3

(from the paper shared by @madeofoak over here, highly recommend reading and experimentation)

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A good use of resonance that I recently learned about is using a HPF on any sound of which you want the bass frequency accentuated. Use thr cutoff to find the frequency and then use the resonance to make the bass frequency more apparent. Typical use on kicks but it can be done on anything.

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This is probably v/ familiar to many a modular meister, but Klangbau Köln’s fantastic Twin Peak Resonator showed me how fantastic this can be:

Patch the signal you are filtering to also modulate the filter’s cutoff. With a lowpass, this creates ’flutter’ in the upper frequencies, creating fragile, beautiful (to my ear) tones.

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