Ned Frankly

Music is Therapy.

Category: MIDI

SevenEight Video

SevenEight – What time signature?

To badly paraphrase several movies, “We don’t need no stinking Time Signature!” This one kind of got out of hand, and I let it. The groove was there after a few hours, but I’ve spent days trying to play the solo in.

The drums are all programmed by hand (not played in – clicking squares in the MIDI grid… I can’t play drums.) The solo “instrument” is a stack of every real synth in my arsenal, meaning my Kawai K3 and K5, the trusty microKorg, and Korg MS-20.

Enjoy Responsibly!

Jay

Advanced MIDI and Voltage Controlled Sync – Live Modular Jam 

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.

Ableton Tip 1 – External Instruments and Local “Off”

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!

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