TIPS FOR CREATING PATTERNS BY MAURICIO BALMA

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TIPS FOR CREATING PATTERNS BY MAURICIO BALMA

Post  balma on Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:44 pm

Tips for creating natural patterns on the Command Station or other sequencers:
Sometimes, patterns created throught step-by-rec method, results in non-human, boring or repetitive sequences. Recording music with exact perfect timing gives an unnatural feeling to the music, because 100% accuracy isn't normal. When a human foot hits a kick drum, it's leading the tempo of the song, but it has diminute, small innacuracies on the timing. I'm unable to repeat that kick at the exact moment each time when pressing the pedal with my foot. There will be differences of milliseconds, sometimes earlier, sometimes later than the exact 4/4. Also, there is a variation on the strenght of each kick, sometimes, I press a little bit harder, others, softer than expected. These little variations can be almost imperceptible on a good drummer. But the brain can perceive this little differents when listened on a consecutive and acumulative way. And that's the reason why we get bored of listening the same exact loop during several repetitions, because the brain recognizes that the pattern is always the same, with no variations, so, there is no more information to process, only the same picture again and again. We lose interest on the melody.

There are certain process that we can execute in order to give a natural feeling to our music, specifically, the compositions with the EMU command station. When we record a bassline, with any process diferent than realtime rercording with the Quantizer OFF, the notes will be aligned to strict tempo locations after finalizing the recording. This is the result of a recording on realtime, but quantizing the results. Recording on step by rec or GRID will result even in more strict and rigid parameters. This example, is a recording of 16 notes on 1 mesuer, using a resolution of 1/16, according to the EMU Command Station sequencer: Location01-01-000 velo 120 gate time 70 01-01-096 velo 100 gate time 7001-01-192 velo 110 gate time 7501-01-288 velo 100 gate time 7501-02-000 velo 120 gate time 9501-02-096 velo 120 gate time 9501-02-192 velo 120 gate time 9501-02-288 velo 100 gate time 9901-03-000 velo 112 gate time 7001-03-096 velo 127 gate time 9901-03-192 velo 120 gate time 9901-03-288 velo 127 gate time 9901-04-000 velo 100 gate time 9601-04-096 velo 112 gate time 9601-04-192 velo 112 gate time 7001-04-288 velo 127 gate time 99 The programmation of the patch also plays an important role on the patterns' overall sound. So, be sure to include in all your patches, random variations or sensitivity to the key pressure. These cords will help a lot in our goal: give a nature and human feeling to our patterns: CORD 1AmpEnvelope +/- ----> Ampvol +100 CORD 2Velo +/- -----> Ampvol +75 CORD 3Keyrandom1 -----> Fine tune -3 CORD 4Keyrandom2 ----->Ampvol +3 CORD 5Velo + ------> Fine tune +8 On CORDS 3 & 4, the value is small because we don't want to cause an excesive effect of aleatory values, just a little bit. On the natural kicks, for example, if you press harder the pedal, the pitch of the kick sound will rise a little bit, so we try to emulate this, linking the key velocity with a increase on the fine tune. The harder you press the pad, the higher the fine pitch. That's what we tried on the CORD 5. Now, let's change the 16 notes table example. Remember: The range of velocity is 1~127The resolution is 384 per kick We have 16 notes. Why repeat exactly the same value on each note? why repeat a value twice, when we have more than 16 velo options to choose? Let's apply this concept, let's create patterns inside patterns. On the first note, never start at 01-01-000. Give a break to the sequencer, some milliseconds at the beggining of the loop. Let's use 16 different values, on the gate, the velo and the start time. Don't repeat the same value twice inside one measure. don't understimate micro variations on values. Your brain will perceive them, and will find pleasure on them. 1) Modifying the start time 01-01-003 velo 120 gate time 70 +301-01-095 velo 100 gate time 70 -101-01-198 velo 110 gate time 75 +201-01-292 velo 100 gate time 75 +401-01-381 velo 120 gate time 95 -201-02-096 velo 120 gate time 95 =01-02-189 velo 120 gate time 95 -301-02-293 velo 100 gate time 99 +501-03-383 velo 112 gate time 70 -101-03-092 velo 127 gate time 99 -4 01-03-198 velo 120 gate time 99 +601-03-283 velo 127 gate time 99 -501-04-007 velo 100 gate time 96 +701-04-104 velo 112 gate time 96 +801-04-201 velo 112 gate time 70 +901-04-282 velo 127 gate time 99 -6 So, now realize that all the start times are different. This is not absolutely necessary, a couple of values could coincide, that will be natural too???? (repetition, is also a form of change....Brian Eno).We are moving in a range of -6 minimum, and +9 maximun. If we go to far away on unnacuraccy timing, you could lose the tempo. Modifying the velo> 01-01-003 velo 118 gate time 70 01-01-095 velo 98 gate time 70 01-01-198 velo 108 gate time 75 01-01-292 velo 100 gate time 75 01-01-381 velo 110 gate time 95 01-02-096 velo 120 gate time 95 01-02-189 velo 95 gate time 95 01-02-293 velo 105 gate time 99 01-03-383 velo 115 gate time 70 01-03-092 velo 102 gate time 99 01-03-198 velo 112 gate time 99 01-03-283 velo 122 gate time 99 01-04-007 velo 101 gate time 96 01-04-104 velo 111 gate time 96 01-04-201 velo 91 gate time 70 01-04-282 velo 121 gate time 99 Now, on the velo time, we applied a similar concept. But not the exact concept. You'll notice that I didn't repeated a single value, but I kept a pattern: there are groups of three, that end with the same value. The first group, 118,98 and 108, ends with 8, and goes on a range of 20. The same with the 2nd group of three notes, 100,110 and 120.

Use your imagination. Find order inside the chaos. Find patterns between a group of values that seem to have no relation between them. (for a good reference about the world of patterns on the nature and mathemathics, watch "PI, faith in chaos") For example, on a group of numbers, that seems to be aleatory, you can hide a code of order. Use, for example, the FIBONNACCI numbers, or PRIME numbers, inside a group of random values, of, for example, velocity range numbers. some Fibonnacci numbers: 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89, On a sequence of 16 notes, on the notes, 1,2,5,,8 and 13, use a velocity on a range between 80 and 90. Just an example.... Could you find a pattern on a sequence of notes like this one???? Maybe you won't find it in a concious way, but be sure, you're subconcious will appreciate it. some Prime numbers:1,2,3,5,7,11,13,17,23,29 Apply prime numbers, on the start time, from backwards, to forwards, using only the 1,2,3,5,7,11,13 and 23 prime numbers.... There are infinite ways, to create hidden ordered patterns inside values that seem have no sense of order. In this way, going deep inside the mathematic world of music, you can create very complex harmonies, that will sound fresh each time you play them, because your brain will discover something new, from time to time.... I hope to be helpful with this information. It took me a long time to write it down. I didn't copy this information from any source, everything comes from the imagination. Maurricio Balma Costa Rica

balma

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Re: TIPS FOR CREATING PATTERNS BY MAURICIO BALMA

Post  zoot on Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:22 am

some good tip but very hard to read

any chance of some paragraphs?

edit

i know i will copy and reformat it...

If there is a way i can set it up to reformat it let me know, im new to php.

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Re: TIPS FOR CREATING PATTERNS BY MAURICIO BALMA

Post  Solace on Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:04 am

I am going to reformat this and then repost with your credit balma to make it easier to read for all.

Thanks for the great tips.

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Re: TIPS FOR CREATING PATTERNS BY MAURICIO BALMA

Post  balma on Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:32 pm

sorry man, when I posted, I had the message "post too long" so I had to "slice" it. Those tips are from 2 years ago, have a new experience with the C.Stations so I'll soon will post an update of these tips in a more formal way.

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