patchable 0027

VOICE

Our modular and our voices. A rare combination, indeed.

Think of a band. One of the beauties of modular is that it allows us the ability to effectively perform the music of multiple members of a band without looking like this:

Mary Poppins GIF - Mary Poppins Bert - Discover & Share GIFs

None the less, the modern modular musician rarely embraces their inner vocalist and brings a voice into the mix. This of course does happen on occasion, but it’s pretty uncommon. It’s understandable that some modular artists don’t have a five octave range and prefer not to be the singer. There is no shame in that. However, this shouldn’t stop us from using our voice in alternative ways, perhaps even as a tool.

There’s lots of interesting ways to use your voice in modular, be it as vocals, or otherwise.

THE CHALLENGE

Use your voice! However you’d like. Of course, this Patchable welcomes singing – but it also will celebrate alternative methods to integrate our voices into the modular performance. We encourage you to make your voice an integral aspect of the performance; feel free to also explore more than one of these techniques if you wish. 

Here are some ideas to get started: 

  • Pre-record & sample! Read a poem out loud, tell us a story, hum a tune, sample and enjoy. Fine tune to taste. Chop it up, process it, sequence it. Go HAM.
  • Modulate it! Some lucky few of you have vocoders or talk boxes, but there are other ways to bring your voice into your machine in interesting and creative ways. A Ring Mod for example will get your voice sounding pretty alien. Mic into the signal input, then use an oscillator output into the carrier and before you know it things will start sounding like robots, aliens, haunting radio transmissions and more. Walker Farrell and Make Noise made a really fun video about this process about a year ago – check it out
  • Real time processing! Very similar to sampling, but challenge yourself to do it all in real time. Send your voice right into the modular, and as you talk and sing, experiment with different ways to manipulate and morph it. A granular module would certainly be a fun starting point.
  • Turn into a modulator! Turn your voice into a modulation source, envelopes, with a simple envelope follower. Lots of modules have envelope followers which allow you to turn the relative volume of your voice into modulation. Between Maths or Disting I’m guessing most reading now already have the ability.
  • Sing! Obviously! What a strange and unfamiliar notion! 

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS THROUGH THE MONTH OF JUNE.

  1. 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.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0027 in the track title and the number of the patchable you chose. A completed track title would look like this: NICEVICE PATCHABLE-0027
  3. Upload your track to Soundcloud. 
  4. 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 or @vcloki on Discord to apply for a time slot.

Don’t forget to press record (!) and then post your set after the show.

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