Chaircrusher Music Thread

Apparently releasing any new music on a single subject thread is the done thing around these parts – prior to now I’ve made a new post for each thing that I’ve wanted to share.

So the inaugural message has an inaugural piece. This is ambient in the vein of Raymond Scott, in that it’s basically one patch that plays while I change the mix and tweak sequences.

Patch file here

I don’t know how evident it is, but I was enjoying turning JW GridSeq steps on and off as a way to change up the music. Having the output quantized to scale means you can drop things in at a good rhythmic spot, and even if the note is a surprise, it won’t be sour.

The noise bed is a sample of Wax Cylinder surface noise, with some effects added.

http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-Breakadawn.mp3

The wax cylinder crackle sample is here

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I believe it’s a choice left up to the user.
edit to add: Should Music posts be limited to one thread per artist?

JW Noteseq is good as well. I had a lot of fun rotating the thing every so often. It was an interesting challenge.

I’ve gone through a bunch of iterations on the idea that are basically the same organization: 3 voices driven by JW GridSeq with roughly overlapping clocks.

This is the latest: http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-Breakadawn-3.mp3

The variations between all of these patches is determined primarily by the clock ratios of the various GridSeqs and the scale quantization.

This latest one uses what I call the Benta-tonic scale. You get a Pentatonic scale with the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 10th notes of the scale, giving you a minor 7th scale with the added 5th step. Benta-tonic adds the 3rd step, removes the 10th and adds the 11th. This introduces two 1/2 step intervals – between the 2nd and Minor 3rd and, the major 7th and the root note.

Which is maybe more music theory than you care to read. The short version is it has the feel of the Pentatonic scale but adds a couple of dissonant notes.

As for the rhythm: If you use the clock multipliers x4 and x1 on Gridseg for the ‘left’ and ‘down’ clocks, it will give you an orderly step advance through the Gridseq grid which repeats once per 4/4 measure (i.e. 16 16th notes).

This goes a bit wonky by using /2.5:x1.5, /2.5:x2.5 and /4:x1 for the three voices. For example, dividing by 2.5 give you a step down every 10 16th notes & multiplying by 1.5 gives you a step right every dotted quarter note. When you go away from /4:x1 for a gridseq, it gives you odd note trigger intervals, because it will skip down a row before playing every note in the row.

This combination of stepping patterns gives it a random feel without being random at all. The combination of the three sequencers will repeat over some time period, but the math to figure that out is more complicated than I want to work out.

Patch file here

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I called this “New Instant Plaid” because it has some of the melodic quality of the UK group Plaid’s Music.
Patch file http://cornwarning.com/xfer/VCV/NewInstantPlaid.vcv
Audio Example: http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-NewInstantPlaid.mp3

@jeremy Wentworth’s GridSeq is deceptively simple. I’ve explored using different clocks to step through its grid in interesting ways before. What this patch does is to play with modulating the ‘Range’ parameter on Gridseq.

I’ve noticed this in the past, that although the Gridseq quantizer does stick to the specified musical scale, the range knob has interesting consequences. Changing the range changes the perceived/implied root note and chord. It’s like magic!

In the audio example, I only play the patch manually by adding and removing steps from the sequence, so the rhythm is steady but evolving at a human-controlled pace. The sequence changes over time by randomly modulating the Gridseq Range.

The only other usefully wacky thing happening is that the reverb is sent through two of @modlfo Vult Freq filters so they’re effectively a modulated bandpass filter. This is modulated by random values smoothed through Bogaudio slew limiters.

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cool :grinning:

The funny thing with GridSeq – if I trigger the random input on beat, things completely fall apart. Not because it’s doing anything wrong, it’s just one variation too many.

What I’d really like to know is this: how does the Scale knob work? Is it just scaling the voltage of each step before the quantizer?

You mean the range? Yes, the it rescales the voltage according to the max range and then quantizes.

That makes sense. I could do that with pretty much any sequencer’s output – scale the unquantized value before a quantizer.

The fascinating thing is the harmonic effect of this scaling, because shifting between two scale values shifts the implied chord along the scale. I guess I mentioned that above but it really is remarkable. So you can get repeating chord sequences if you sequence the scale – say, with a second GridSeq with different clock divisions!

have you tried dbiz bene? it’s a similar cartesian sequencer. Mental modules has one as well. neither of them is identical but it’s a while since I used them.
Edit: just to add the Bene allows you to have one output per line of knobs, thus allowing quite complex and interrelated arrangements of notes.

Very nice piece!

Yet another experiment with the idea of a trio of voices improvised with GridSeqs. Using @synthi’s Quantizer and the Kirnberger scale.

Trying to come up with a new idea for effects but hard to top randomly band-passed delay. :wink:

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This is what I like about Polyphonic rack: You can go into and out of polyphonic processing and do all sorts of fun stuff.
4voiceEchoes.vcv (55.7 KB)
4 Voice Echoes Audio Example
This uses 4 notes values & gates derived from an instance of SkyLights Alan Turing Sequencer, and uses them to drive a polyphonic signal chain of XFX-Wave -> XFX-F35. Oh and I use Bernoulli gates to thin out the gates coming from the Turing Sequencer.

And it also generates 8 random modulations for the Wave wavetable position and F35 cutoff frequency, and uses merge to pass them to the polyphonic oscillator and filter.

And for even more fun it splits the polyphonic synth signal to pass it through 4 different delays before merging the delay output to send to the mixer.

But wait! There’s more! the send/return loops of the AS DelayPlus instances are merged into a poly signal that’s passed through a F35 filter and then split to go to the return jacks.

This may be overkill on the polyphony hacking but it is fun to mess with and the sound generated is cool.

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This is a patch that is based around 4 instances of the Skylights Alan Turing Machine. Each Alan has a different sequence length (and input clock) so even though they all start ‘locked’ to an unchanging sequence, the length of the polyphonic pattern before the patten repeats is quite long.

I performed a recording of this patch live and my playing comprised 2 things: Muting/unmuting individual voices by bypassing the gate signals, and adding and removing notes in the VCV Scalar quantizer.

I’ve done a lot of patches that follow this basic template, but to me they all sound different enough to be distinct compositions. This one in particular has a ghost in the machine, with some notes sustaining for longer than I’d expect them to. But hey, that’s when you know you have a good patch: it surprises you.

ForSky.vcv (50.5 KB)
Chaircrusher-ForSky.mp3

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Very nice even the audio-8 module looks surprised :grinning:

I think that @modlfo’s new Dopamine module has really endless possibilities for serious melodic f*ckery, and in this case using @Skrylar’s Alan Turing Machine as the input source is perfect. It creates an endless stream of related melodic material based on what the Alan module is generating.

I could never really get it to record what the Alan is generating and play it back, but I guess that’s rather the point, isn’t it?

I change up the clock input driving Alan and the Dopamine using a router to randomly select a clock divider. At the beginning the audio sample uses a steady 1/8th note clock at 128bpm, but later on I introduce other dividers at random intervals.

The other thing going on is there is a set of 4 delays on an effect send, and they are hooked up to 4:1 routers, so that based on clocks (out of a Bernoulli gate) is randomly selecting amongst the delays to pass to the return for that effect send.

One can start out with a simple idea and follow logically to a complicated result!

AlanVsDopamine.vcv (75.3 KB)
http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-AlanVsDopamine.mp3

@modlfo – this patch uses Dopamine but I’m not sure I totally understand what’s happening with it. When you use both an input (i.e. from the Turing Machine) and feedback, are they both used? If I set the error rate to zero, should it be able to play back the recorded input, more or less? If I use the ‘no-input’ mode, where does it get its outputs from?

I just posted a video explaining how it works. Addressing your questions, you can record one sequence and play it back. It needs to be the only recording in the module and you have to turn the level of Defects to 0%.

When an input is provided, the pairs of input CV + Gate are played back (including Defects) only when the Gate is active. When the input Gate is inactive, Dopamine will playback its own creations.

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/-9xNi164g64

This is a @modlfo Vult Mystery patch. A Vult-stery if you will. The idea is simple: Sequence one Vult Basal Oscillator from a SEQ-3 and use that sequence to drive a Vult Dopamine, sequencing a second Basal.

That alone is interesting enough, but since I an’t leave anything nice alone, The Basal Oscillators FM each other using Stoermelder μMap modules. Apparently you can modulate the Tune and Octave knobs on Basal at audio rate!

Then because that’s not nearly enough, I use a BogAudio AM/RM working on the two Basal Operators. This only produces audio when the two notes overlap.

The result is dirty and weird and has no reverb or other effects, but sounds pretty full anyway. I didn’t record an audio example, you’ll just have to download it and try it for yourself.
VultSteries.vcv (38.2 KB)

I never tried to do FM with Basal. I wasn’t sure how it would behave but now I see it’s not that bad!

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