Another grand experiment in sequenced glitch processing using Ableton, a couple of Korgs (MS-20 and microKorg) as well as a Digitech RP90 (thanks, Dan!)
No words, just patching. The “base” patch on the Korg MS-20 is the most boring sound on the planet, which makes you immediately grab a handful of lowpass…
In this example we used both inverted envelopes, both normal envelopes, and every filter mod. I’d have split some of the routings but I don’t have any of those little stackable patch cables. I really need a patch / split / inverter box. That may have to be a project video.
In any case, we start with Korg Basic and end up with a lead patch with a bit of after-touch effect thanks to the inverted envelopes which are routed to the Hi and Lo pass filter mod ports. This is Ned’s go-to solo patch, but it never sounds the same twice.
Ned was inspired after the last few sessions of MIDI basics. The arpeggio / Local Off project wasn’t finished decoding on YouTube when this piece started to take shape.
I did have to solve one technical issue to create this piece. I wanted to sync up my SQ-1, which is playing the MS-20. I’m out of MIDI cables (I used 3 to create the instrument chain for Local Off), so I had to get creative and make what we call a “Ghost Track”. In Ableton, I created a new send that only goes to output 3 and 4 on my 4×4 audio interface. Next I created a new drum track, and set it to “Sends Only”. I cranked the knob to my new send on the ‘silent’ drum channel. I take either of those outputs and run them to Sync In on the SQ-1. Now all I need is a short pulse (like a drum hit) to trigger the sequencer step by step. You’ll hear the SQ1 and MS20 come in at about 2:00. On the drum track I put a cymbal running 16th notes, with a pulse length of about 10 ms. That was enough to make the SQ-1 happy and advance the sequence with each cymbal hit. So it’s not technically voltage control, but it’s close enough.
As promised, we’ve been working on a video to demonstrate a technique that will revitalize your creativity if you have at least one MIDI synthesizer laying about that supports “MIDI Local”. You need to be able to set “Local” to “Off” for this technique, but it will be worth it. If you’re fortunate enough to have more than one MIDI synth and a few MIDI cables, you can do some really cool stuff by using your DAW as a big MIDI pedalboard.
What is this “Local” thing I’ve been yammering on about? Its simply a keyboard-equipped synth’s way of separating the keyboard from the built in synth. When Local is on, the synth can be played by its own keyboard. When Local is Off, the synth might as well be a rack module, and the keyboard is just a dumb controller. This allows us to inject MIDI effects between the keyboard and the “module” (our internal synth).
Have a look and a listen, try out the technique, and let me know what you think!
We’re working on our next video. It will demonstrate Local Off, and show you how to use Ableton as a big midi arpeggiator for your external instruments. It has tremendous possibilities, and is a blast to play.
Ned has owned a K5 for awhile now, and it’s had a problem with the patch selection buttons not wanting to be pressed. If you press really hard and rock them back and forth, perhaps you can get “2” selected.
We posted a video that demonstrates a fix we applied to our K5 that seems to be working just fine. Take a look and let us know. There’s got to be a better solution, but mine worked. So far. 🙂
Just a strange combination of video and multiple tracks of real, physical synthesizers. Slightly psychedelic. Note: We’re using a new video editor that seems to be quite capable. Now if the operator can become as capable as the software…
Listen, enjoy, and subscribe. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well!
After we finished editing the MIDI 101 videos, Ned had a room full of synthesizers all wired up with no-where to go. Ned took care of that – Sample this, remix it, make something out of it – it’s a Sequencer Jam Session, just the thing to start out August.
Here’s what’s wired up:
All of the instruments pass through Ableton, but only the Lyricon (K5) got any special treatment (I applied a couple of virtual guitar pedals). The rest of the video and audio is as it was created. No post on the audio of any kind, and the video was edited only to add captions.