The pleasures of sequencing.
Sequencers are an absolutely essential tool for the aspiring and established modular musicians alike. One of the main draws to modular is the variety of seriously cool and unique sequencers. There’s no shortage of our lovable HP hogs out there, each offering their owner an ability to craft a rhythm, pattern, riff or melody all their own.
Unfortunately, there’s the downside to sequencing. More often than not, phrases can become repetitive, really, really repetitive. You may start with a nice sequence but as it plays while you proceed to build your track it can begin to feel less interesting, and a lot more irritating. And while there’s even some science to prove that we as humans really like repetition in music, the modular musician may want greater variation and complexity.
Patchable encourages learning by means of embracing challenge, head on. So this month we’re going to learn about avoiding repetition by creating a whole lot of it.
This month’s challenge tasks the performer to use just one sequencer track to perform an entire composition. Build it, mult it, then slice, sample, modulate, divide, and do whatever it takes to keep things fresh. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Switch things up: Use a switch (or better yet, a sequential switch) to move the phrase around your system, into and out of different modules
- S&H the result: Send your sequence into a sample and hold; use it to create a new derivative of the original
- Remember your sequencers built in functionality: Bust out the manual! Transpose, retrigger, set conditions, change the run length, fill, divide, anything and everything
- Apply logic: Use gate logic to give your sequence an entirely new feel
- Vary the sound itself: Push your pattern using filters and effect modules, create feedback loops, distort and destroy, build a sound bath with endless reverb and delay, use that Beads you inevitably just bought and granularize it into something entirely new…
- Modulate it!: Duh. Your 1V/Oct input may be repetitive, but that doesn’t mean the other CV inputs need to be
- Reset: Don’t forget about your reset functionality. Using that in creative ways and with unique timings can lead to interesting new variances on your existing sequence
HOW TO PLAY
THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL.
- Create an original piece of music using the framework above. For normal Patchable submissions, please detail about what times in the performance you implement each step, and what they are.
- Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0025 in the track title and the number of the patchable you chose. A completed track title would look like this: AgainAndAgainAndAgainAndAgainAndA PATCHABLE-0025
- Upload your track to Soundcloud.
- Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.
PLAY YOUR PATCH LIVE
If you would like to play a performance on Patchable Performers, please contact @saddleuptherobots on Discord to apply for a time slot.
Don’t forget to press record (!) and then post your set on Soundcloud after the show.