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.