I’m taking a class with Joel Zimmerman on electronic music. I love exploring and learning stuff on my own, but every now and then some structure is good, especially to try new modes of working and thinking.
One of the things I’m hoping to do with this course is improve my chops with my eurorack modular. So while I’ll almost certainly be recording loops and snippets etc, I’m going to try and focus on “pure” hardware as much as possible without being completely stupid about it.
With that as a preface, here are five harmony/melody loops (some rhythms etc applied just for fun) that are part of the course homework.
5/5 figuring out René. The assignment for the Joel Zimmerman masterclass is come up with and save five harmony loops. The normal way of doing things would be with MIDI in Ableton. But since I'm a special snowflake I want to see how much live modular I can pull off (I'll probably record loops for Ableton too because I want to learn that too, but it isn't as photogenic for the instantgrahams so you get these versions). Anyway… so René will save 4 pitch maps, not 5. So I count these videos as a manual recall sheet. 1-4 had full chromatic knobs, this one had CMajor plus an A flat. I've got a longer video that traces the rhythm and control voltages but it's too long for here.
Some things I learned:
The sequencer I’m using, René, only saves 4 maps of pitches. There’s a lot of ways I could have configured things because René is non-linear. But in these I went all with four chord collections moving left to right and sort of stacked. I saved the pitches for the first 4. The fifth, I made a video that was too long for Instagram that showed the complete patch map, sort of a video version of the old paper recall sheets. Since that one was as much about the existing rhythm etc probably just as well.
Some other ways I could’ve done things:
- Use a Beatstep Pro, it can spit out control voltage and also save a lot more banks of pitches etc.
- Notated the collection on sheet music after I found the pitches I like.
- Written it in Logic and run through the aforementioned Beatstep Pro to get CV.
- Recorded each collection as a loop into my DAW.
- Just leave it all patched upfor the last one.
None of these are especially great (thought I do like the sort of folksy feel of the No. 5). But for now I’m focusing mostly on craft, solving the technical problems, and getting basic facility with my hardware.