VenomTakeFive Challenge (May 2024)

Really nice patch Luca, highly musically enjoyable!

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Many thanks, Lars, for the positive support!

Beautiful patch with wonderful sound design!

I really like how you took the time to explore some of the more esoteric Venom module capabilities and work them into a conscious design, rather than simply patch random connections and see what sticks.

A few points in particular:

  • I know the Benjolin is a good source of chaotic CV, but in my own explorations I have concentrated on using it as an audio source (maybe with a second Benjolin Oscillator for added CV options). Nice to see someone use it in part just for CV.
  • Rhythm Explorer - good to see creative use as both a clock divider as well as more complicated pattern generator
  • Reformation - Nice way to pick out one voice from a multi voice chord and transform the audio into a new voice (basically a type of wave folder to bring in some higher harmonics)
  • Recurse - That is certainly an interesting (and obtuse) way of splitting out one channel from a polyphonic input (with some additional amplification and offset). Not how I would patch that up, but if given a limited fixed rack with Recurse, then that would be a creative way to use the module if it is not needed for more “traditional” usage (actually there is nothing traditional about that module, I know!)
  • NORSIQ + NORSIQ chord to scale - That is a surprising application of my quantizer! (no V/Oct input but rather changing the root to alter the chord as well as individual note selection). I haven’t figured out if it is actually providing a unique functionality in your use case, or if there are other modules out there that could get the same result more simply.
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Hi Dave…Many thanks for the flowers.

I didn’t really understand the “NORSIQ + NORSIQ chord2scale” and what I did there is purely coincidental. I find the trigger input strange. I would have thought that you can trigger the octave fold. It doesn’t actually do that. That’s why I didn’t use the trigger input.

What does “traditional” use of modules mean? A good friend of mine, who soldered his huge modular from scratch, is always wondering how I use and wire modules. Finally I get a result that I like. In any case, it was interesting to get to know your modules better.

In the documentation I struggled with terminology because I couldn’t find simple existing terms for some of the concepts. But the whole point of NORSIQ is to allow definition of scales that fold at some interval other than an octave. Of course nothing stops you from defining scales that fold at the octave. The sum of the N intervals defines the fold point. The scale you have defined folds at two octaves. I was surprised you did not provide input to the IN port - the V/Oct signal that is to be quantized. I think the documentation for the TRIG input is pretty clear - it functions as a sample and hold, determining when to quantize the IN signal. If not patched then the IN signal is continuously quantized.

My use of quoted “traditional” was tongue in cheek. There is nothing traditional about the Recurse module given that it is reliant on polyphonic modules, which are definitely not traditional to Eurorack. Again the documentation describes the typical intent of the module. It allows you to recursively process an input signal by a polyphonic module via Send and Return. Each recursive iteration uses one polyphonic channel.

Wonderful vibe to this patch.

In order to have a pentatonic scale, the scale length must be fixed at 5. Given the percussive nature of that voice, I’m not sure the scale matters so much.

If you are curious how to setup the NORSIQ for a pentatonic scale - there are presets available for both major and minor pentatonic scales under the “Octave Repeating 12ET Examples” sub-menu. Playing around with the presets and observing the results can be a good way to gain an understanding of how the module works.

Cool! Thanks for the hints, Dave. I’ll have a go at it.

Very musical…Great patching, I really like the rhythmic & “noisy” sounds througout the piece. The blurry ballet dancer is a nice touch.

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Yes, you have also made some great work. I also saw in your patch that you have developed modules yourself. I’m definitely going to try them out.

I have a patch centered around the “Non-Octave-Repeating Scale Intervallic Quantizer”. This module threw me off the track, but in a positive sense. I was so confused by the name and wondered what a “Non-Octave scale” might be. I had no clue that such a thing exists. After researching a bit I discovered the “Bohlen-Pierce scale” (that is not so exotic for many, but for me it was and still is). I’ve spent the last days to find out more and made the patch in that scale.

Well, it’s not so great musically, and other people have proven that Bohlen-Pierce can sound much better, but anyway, it was very fun and exciting to try something off the beaten track, tonality-wise.

For those who are, like me, not familiar with Bohlen-Pierce, I’ve written a kind of brief summary in the video description.

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Oh my - I love this post in so many ways!

Despite your protestations, I think the piece is incredibly musical and exciting! I love it so much, I have already listened to it a half dozen times in the past half hour. I love the steady arc of building energy and tension. It has great rhythmic interest, and I do like the sound of the Bohlen-Pierce scale. Overall it has a very symphonic feel to me.

I love that this challenge introduced you to the world of xenharmonic scales. Just like you, I knew pretty much nothing about any of this 1 year ago. When I wrote my Harmonic Quantizer (quantize frequencies to integral multiples of a root), some good folk over on the Surge XT team took interest, and in the process introduced me to the Surge Discord “Tuning” thread. Without that introduction I would never have dreamed up the NORSIQ.

You also have a great write-up accompanying your video!

Best of all, I love that my NORSIQ made your wonderful patch possible. I have been giddy ever since I saw your post! I was really hoping someone would take an interest in a non-octave repeating scale, and you have surpassed my hopes.

OK if I post a link to your patch over on the Surge XT Discord “tuning” thread? I think people there will enjoy it. Or maybe you prefer to post yourself? Or maybe neither?

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Please excuse me, if it has allready been written, but you have to join the Surge Discord by following this link Surge Synth Team , or you won’t have access to the previously mentioned tuning thread: Discord

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Thank you, Dave, for the very nice feedback! Yes, this introduction to xenharmonics was more than just a side-effect of this thread and especially your great module. While I never heard of “macrotonal” scales, I knew that microtonality is a thing, but my understanding was more or less limited to “that’s something with quarter-notes…”. In the meantime, I’ve learned it’s way, way more and that there are scales far beyond quarter notes, like 31-edo, and 15, and 19, even 81, and what not, and I’ve subscribed to a bunch of channels from people I didn’t know before and who create amazing music outside the familiar scales.

Yes, of course, you can post a link in the Surge thread. I always have all the do-whatever-you-want-with-my-video options enabled when I publish a video.

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I don’t know what to say…simply jaw dropping…never heard of the Bohlen-Pierce scale, so will do some reading-up on this…

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@MinorNoise, this is a wonderful composition. Very fun to listen to. I suspect you listened to it too much while you were making it, thus dulling your own enthusiasm. It is far from lifeless! It sounds surprisingly natural for an alternative tuning, and definitely fresh and exotic.

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Thank you! I guess I was mainly disappointed by the failed chord progression when comparing it with the great Bohlen-Pierce harmonies that Elaine Walker created in one of the linked videos. But well, she has more than 30 years experience with that scale. I probably expected too much from my first attempt in regard to harmonic movement… :slight_smile:

After my first patch did not feature any Benjolin Oscillator, I created a second patch that’s using 8 of them. I’m using this oscillator mainly as a noise source in the patch. It’s really great and very versatile for this purpose.

The last of the 8 oscillators is less noisy and feels a bit like an outsider in the overall atmosphere. You won’t overhear it. I could not resist to leave it in the patch because it’s so funny: The oscillator has a completely static configuration, just one output to the mixer, no modulation, no changes of any setting during the whole patch, and yet it’s doing its own random thing… pitch, length, repetitions, how often it is hearable at all.

I’m sorry that the recording has a length of about 07:30 and exceeds the 5-minutes range quite a bit. But the piece is so slow that a shorter recording felt too rushed to me.

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@MinorNoise : Totally support your decision to make it 7:30 mins…what a beautiful ambient composition…I could see this work as background music in some dramatic fantasy movie scene or so…

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I think you hit another home run with that patch. I downloaded the patch and listened to it for hours last night as I was adding new features to my up and coming VCO LAB module for Venom 2.8 (a bit of a teaser!)

I hope to use your patch as a “backing track” for some Native American flute (and maybe voice?) improvisation at an open mic this Sunday. The event is typically recorded and posted on YouTube at a later date. I will post a link if/when that happens.

I am glad to see you are disovering / appreciating the beautiful chaos that a Benjolin generates with just a handful of components! I have spent many hours exploring autogenerative possibilities with my Benjolin emulations and my Benjolin Oscillator. The range is astounding. Here is one example using two instances of the Benjolin Oscillator - Benjolin Safari.

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Thank you!