melody generators/sequencers

hi all! I’m new into VCV/modular but fair experienced with synths and a bit with modular synths. I’ve noticed that when creating random steps with a sequencer, the outcome doesn’t sound really in harmony or let’s say… “Good together” :slight_smile: - especially when there are multiple OSCs playing. I’ve tried to connect the sequencer output into the Fundamental Octave and Quantizer and things got better but my question is, how do you get good harmonics or melodies? which sequencer or quantizer should I start to use? any tutorials to watch/read? Thanks in advance!

It’s a personal thing, IMHO. In the library menu there are quantizer and sequencer items. Try them. Omri Cohen’s channel on youtube is a very rich source of amazing tutorials.

Try quantizing with just a chord instead of a whole diatonic scale (Example : put C E G B in the quantizer instead of CDEFGAB)


cool! thanks for the hint

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Building on what @Olival_Clanaro has said, using the Re-Win quantizer, you can store 16 scenes (ie, 16 chords) and switch them with a another sequencer. You can do the equivalent with other quantizers and the Stoermelder 8FACE module as a switcher.


Also, instead of quantizing with chords, you can use the Pentatonic “cheater’s” scale. Still a slight chance of some discordance, but less. Frozen Wasteland’s Probably Not(e) quantizer does some interesting stuff and he has a chord expander where you can adjust the probability of concordance/discordance. On top, there are a couple of chord sequencers/modules to try. Is your head spinning, yet??? :grinning:


thanks :sunglasses:

One thing I do a lot is: get a random or semi-random sequence going, let’s say timed with 16th notes, like an arpeggio or something using a quantizer set to a few notes that sound good together. Then using a sample & hold, trigger it to sample that quantized sequence at some slower division, like whole notes maybe. Then run through a Stack module to adjust the octave, and maybe even Sou Utils octave folder you reduce the number of octaves. Take this new signal and use for a bassline, pad, whatever. Also, if you use multiple Stack modules set to different intervals you can create chords out of it.

I still haven’t figured out how you would do a conditional (if/then) type thing where I say if there is this note then give this note/chord to remove all disharmony or make a completely random sequence have each individual note and chord sound completely intentional together. For now, just limiting notes and amount of different intervals seems to help greatly with random stuff.


you can achieve that effect with re-win’s scenes.


I’ve started to experiment with quantizer by setting a chord on it and got some improvements! I’ll check out also the other suggestions :slight_smile:

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This is a great idea I’m definitely gonna start doing that now, my F Phrygian hasn’t really been sounding phrygian at all I hope this fixes it.

Might as well drop something so as not to just waste memory, buy plugging a turing machine into a tuner and picking your chords based on what notes you lock is an approach I’ve been playing with lately, I’m not good at it because I am a music theory novice at best but ya gotta start somewhere

modes like phrygian are a bit tricky. you need to make sure that the root note (in your example f) is perceived as “home.” the easiest way to do this is by using a drone on the root note, or making sure that melodies begin and end on that root note. emphasize that first half step (in f phrygian that would be f-g♭).

and if you use chords, know that the usual chord progressions don’t apply. you will want to use a lot of i - II - i and i - vii - i. and avoid or de-emphasize the VI, because of its pull to major. this is also a good time to use quartal harmony (e.g. an f - b♭ - e♭ chord).

this all works together to give phrygian that floating, mystical quality.


That’s a good point about your modes getting pulled to a relative major or minor. Never really thought about it. On guitar it was always pretty easy. Bash out a lot of Eminor and Fmajor chords and there you go!

indeed. all the chords of c major “fit” in e phrygian, but if you play a lot of c - g - c progressions, you establish c as home. with your example of e minor and f major, you play the i - II - i as i mentioned, which emphasizes the character of phrygian.

and when playing guitar, you are likely to play over a chord or bass accompaniment that already establishes the root note, which makes it easier.

Which probably speaks to your original point, that it you want to utilize modes other than major and minor in your VCV music, you might need to think more about harmony than you would normally.

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