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TOPIC: Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing
#234190
YNE
Boo
Posts: 141
MDUW/MM/OT/A4/
Minitaur/Virus TI/Electribe MX
Bass & Emotion
http://soundcloud.com/y-ne
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
Interesting stuff - and lots of different approaches.

I also own all 4. Use the OT as master and the other devices are daisy chained. The sequences I do directly on the different elektrons, because the midi tracks from the OT I usually need for my Virus and a Minitaur.

For composing I work in pattern mode and when I programmed something I like I put it into song mode on all devices. So I can just press play and record everything from my mixer main out when I´m ready. Sometimes that ends up a bit static, because I don´t really use the performance features from the OT and the A4. But that´s more my still lacking skills.

I also tend to use each device for only a certain part all the time. OT and MD for drums and fx, Minitaur for Bass, Virus, A4 and MM for melodic stuff and chords (but often not all in the same song).
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#234204
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
I have MD and MNM. Most times my tracks are (as others mentioned) 90% one of the units, and the other comes in and adds whatever I find missing in the picture - some bass, perc or pads etc.

I think it's quite complex to control two machines simultaneously. Think I'm in the same boat as YNE. My tweaking skills are poor. I tend to compose patterns with a lot of detailed p-lock. Then when I get to the point where I wanna make a full track out of them, the hard part starts.
I've worked a lot in song mode, but it's just such a boring approach. To me it's more hard work than fun.

I've also used song mode with both units synced, but thats just double up on hard, boring work .

I wanna get better at tweaking, so for the moment i'm trying to see it as a part of the process of making a track, to learn to play it on the machines. So I record my tweaks, then listen and find out what I need to do differently, then try again.
Tweaking at my poor level, means mostly just fading different sounds in and out, and sometimes the filters.
But I really like it when I feel like I'm playing those machines rather than programming them. Thats a whole other experience
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#234205
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
...btw - this is a excellent thread.
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#234206
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
Very exciting all these different approaches. One can see that the elektron machines are open ended, deep and versatile in usage and music making. Pure beauty.

Derek, this composing on the fly is very interesting. You say you use just 1 pattern. So there is nothing prepared before the live impro?
Are you constantly changing the pattern? When i listen to your music, what i am doing at the moment, it does not sound that there is running always a 64 step loop. Maybe you can explain some details here.

Tarekith, everytime i am starting a new piece, i think about to structure the tracks like you mentioned. but then when i start e.g. with a rhythm track and add and add something in the end the first track was only the first splash on the white paper from where everything evolves and its not projectable which machine makes lead, beat or noise. I love that but often the thing that occurs is an exploration or adventure, not a piece (sometime of course an exploration is a piece).

Thanks to all of you so far for all these interesting contributions.
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#234208
Cappy
Posts: 85
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
I also have the MD and MM, and use song mode a lot with both machines. I find it is the only way I can actually write tracks without tweaking and never finishing anything (tho I have plenty of songs to finish too...). I jump into it early and start putting together parts line by line with both machines, and will then go back and edit after I have some basic structure put together.

For me, the problems start when i start adding variation. I like to run the MD as slave to the MM, and will chop up MD patterns to make things more interesting. Running playback with the Mono often means jumping back many bars to make sure things are in sync.

The other frustrating thing is a lack of song mode locks/automation. It would be nice to program in something like a filter sweep on just one bar in a song without having to use a new pattern and lock. The problem comes down to a lack of hands.
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#234270
King Koopa
Posts: 316
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
SLX wrote:

Derek, this composing on the fly is very interesting. You say you use just 1 pattern. So there is nothing prepared before the live impro?
Are you constantly changing the pattern? When i listen to your music, what i am doing at the moment, it does not sound that there is running always a 64 step loop. Maybe you can explain some details here.


Christian and I have a similar way of dealing with this. A4 always runs in infinite mode. My approach to the a4 is start with track 1 and build my way down to track 4. We try to evolve at a pace, so that by the time track 4 is in full swing, I can take out track 1 and start doing something else with it. I typically will start my MDUW in 16 steps to get a basic idea going and then extend that to whatever step length I feel fits, typically 64, and start tweaking drums from there. The OT was easy because I used it primarily for movie samples and 1shots and with as much stuff as we have on our table, I seldom need 8 tracks. I can tweak 3-4 to my liking and by the time I'm ready to move on I just build on the remaining tracks as I fade out the originals. Our typical way of evolving is to start with nothing, try to get a good groove going around the 10 minute mark or so, then destroy it. I will usually wash everything into a reverb noise mess, start fading out parts, and start over. Go from noise to another groove, mess it up and wash it out, then repeat. The idea is to build a groove and then destroy it into mush, then start again. Having the other machines (op1, 303, iPad, marsynths, etc) it's easy because I play them live while we are building up the next part. It's a very organic approach for us. Build it up / tear it down. We don't need to switch patterns with this mode, because we have so much hardware that we can just play with something else while one of us starts sequencing the next movement. The only thought we have before we start is a basic tempo range, and a key. Aside from that, we just do whatever we want.
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#234626
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
IHATEDEREKREED, thanks for the insightful and detailed description. Many good points.

The last days i am trying to explore the possibilities of sequencing the MM from the OT.
I am using OT input A and C with the MM outputs A and C.
Between OT input B and MM output E are some external effects.
OT MIDI tracks 1-6 are MM tracks 1-6 and so on.
The OT MIDI track is the sound / melody / rhythm layer, the OT "normal" track is the envelope and effect layer. Sound sculpting happens on the MM.
So far i have pretty much fun with the elektrons, but that is what i always have.
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#234630
Hammer Bro
Posts: 665
www.soundcloud.com/highsage
Detroit Techno, from Vinyl to Live Performances and everything in between. Elektron Fanatic.
Re:Apporaching 2 elektrons - technical aspects of composing 10 Years, 9 Months ago
I use a single pattern ='s 'one song' when performing live. Sometimes even just 16 steps is all that's needed to go for 4-5 minutes. 16 parts on the MD, and 7 on the OT and that's more than enough firepower for me. I've even done a one hour set starting with just one pattern and keeping it on that patter for the entire hour as a proof of concept, and to allow myself to settle into the modulations, evolutions, and the energy/tension management of the set. It results in a one hour 'experience' instead of a set of 'songs'... constant and every-changing progression and subtraction like rolling energy waves. This allows you to program "what you hear" in your mind in terms of where the energy and sound needs to move towards. Very liberating, and it never comes out the same way twice, at all. For the MD/percussion, I usually just have one 808 and one 909 ROM pattern each. and just go back and fourth between the two, reprogramming step patterns, tunings, etc. as I go along according to what I'm hearing the track 'want's.
On the OT, I am a little more structured in terms of what sounds are in each part... but i still do a lot of on the fly pattern programming with those sounds. What i do try to avoid is actively loading up a new sound in the middle of a set, so that is what I prepare in the studio instead so I don't have to worry about it.

The less structure the better for me overall...it always ends up better that way and people dance more and harder, and it's what they learned to expect: a journey into the unknown that you experience WITH them, instead of prescribe TO them. Others work differently with equally good results, however...and for some, structure provides liberation and an invitation to explore with confidence within that structure. Everyone works different. I 12+years, I've never once used song mode on an elektron machine. Hell I've never once even used more than one pattern to write or perform 'a song'. Those things scare me, lol. I'm too dumb to pull it off....
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