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SEQUENTIAL/DSI => Tempest => Topic started by: John the Savage on March 24, 2020, 10:37:26 PM

Title: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on March 24, 2020, 10:37:26 PM
The other thread sort of lost focus, so I decided to start a separate thread for these templates.

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Okay, folks, as promised, polyrhythms for your Tempest!

I’ve decided to post these in batches, mostly so it won’t seem as overwhelming.  In total, there are 6 polymeter templates, and 11 polyrhythm templates.  Together, they cover every possible polyrhythmic combination that the Tempest is capable of.  I’ll start with the 6 polymeter templates, because they are easier to explain and visualize, and therefore a better way to get to grips with the concept.

Before I talk about how they work, let me first say, forget what you know about making sequences on the Tempest, and this will all be a lot easier.   ;)  You don’t have to record or enter any notes into the sequencer, because I’ve already done that for you.  You could think of it like using the Tempest as an old-school modular sequencer, wherein all the steps are fixed, and you just get to decide which ones are active, and make changes to the sound on each step.  It’s also worth noting that these templates are really only good for standalone use: i.e. because of the math involved, it was necessary to use odd time signatures, step divisions, bar counts, and extreme tempos to create these sequences and make them loop seamlessly; so, there are limited tempo ranges within which they are usable, and it won’t be practical (though not impossible I suppose) to sync them with your other gear.

Each template is saved as a beat file.  I’ve also attached a Word document containing reference charts, which you will need to refer to, at least until you get to know how the steps of each sequence are laid out on the pads (this will all make more sense when you see it).

I figure the best way to get started is for me to simply talk you through one of the templates while you’re looking at it.  So, go ahead and download the files, dump them into your Tempest, and load the beat file named “PolyMETER 23456 & 10”; then switch the pad view to 16 Mutes – Sound Bank A.  *Don’t change the mute status of any of the pads (yet).  Now open the Word document, and you’ll see that the first chart on the page has the same name… That’s your road map for this template.  What you’re looking at here is a graphical representation of the pads on your Tempest, and their current mute status, for both Bank A (bottom 2 rows) and Bank B (top 2 rows).

What you should be seeing on your Tempest (in 16 Mutes mode, Bank A) is the pads lit in groups: i.e. a group of 2 and a group of 5 on pads 1—8, and a group of 3 and a group of 4 on pads 9—16.  Hopefully its obvious how that correlates with the related chart on the Word doc; but, to be thorough, basically the coloured squares on the chart represent the unmuted pads, and how they are grouped together (colour-coded in this case simply to distinguish each group).  The dark squares indicate inactive pads.  I’ve also labelled the pads on the OLED screen (lead, bass, and other), but only as a visual cue to further help distinguish each group; the names themselves are otherwise arbitrary.

Let’s make some noise…

Change your BPM to the tempo I’ve recommended (80bpm in this case), and press play.  Look at the group of 2… You’ll see by the lights blinking that it cycles back and forth like a sequence unto itself: 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2… Now, look at the group of 3, and you’ll see that it also cycles in a sequence unto itself: 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3… And the same is true of the group of 4 and the group of 5.  Each little sequence plodding away at the same tempo and time division, but with a different step count.  This is polymeter.  Of course, right now, all you’re hearing is a chorus of bloop, bloop, bloop… All in unison, all with the same sound.  Bare with me.

The trick here is to think of the pad mutes as on/off switches for the “steps” or “trigs” in each of these groups of notes or “sequences” if you will.  Go ahead and mute the middle step in the group of 3, for instance, and you’ll see that it still counts in a cycle of three, but the middle “step” is no longer sounding (of course, at this point, you’re still listening to the steps in all the other sequences playing simultaneously; so, it won’t be obvious that the step is muted, but it is).  Moving on… Unmute that pad again, and let’s try something more obvious.  Go to Sound Bank B and mute ALL the pads, then come back to Bank A and mute all the pads except for the first one in each group… Now it should be more obvious that each “sequence” of notes is cycling independently of each other, and you’ll be hearing a true 2 against 3 against 4 against 5 polymetric phrase.

Still with me?

Now let’s change the sound on one of the steps.  Let’s keep the current mute status for now.  Switch to 16 Sounds mode, tap Pad A1, and start tweaking any of the sound parameters for that pad (FYI, just for fun, I set up some basic LFO routings in the mod matrix, so all you have to do is add an amount).  Now try doing the same with Pads A4, A9, and A13.  The effects of all this should be obvious enough, and by now you should be seeing the potential of these templates.  Of course, you could also just load your own sounds onto each “step” this way, but I kind of like the pseudo-modular aspect of this approach.  It’s up to you.  In the end, all you need to remember is that Mutes are what you use to turn the “steps” on and off, and Sounds mode is where you select a “step” in order to edit the sound on it.  You could think of this as a type of “parameter locking” (à la Elektron).

And, of course, you can use any combination of these little sequences together, at the same, with any or all of the steps active in each, and whatever sound you want on each step.  Bank B in this template, by the way, as you’ll see in the reference chart, is comprised of two more, slightly longer sequences: a 10 step sequence and a 6 step sequence.  They work the same as the others, and can be used at the same time as well.

Okay, now that you know how this particular template works, hopefully you’ll be able to figure the rest out using their respective reference charts.  To that end, I’m going to stop talking now, and see if my instructions don't prove adequate.   :P  If not, feel free to ask questions.  Lord knows, I’ve got the time now to answer a few.

See attachments...

Stay healthy, y’all.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on March 25, 2020, 03:00:51 AM
Okay, here are the first of the polyrhythm templates.  I’ve chosen to post this batch next, because 4 of these templates share the same pad layout as the first 4 polymeter templates that I posted above, and are to be used similarly; the only difference, of course, being that these sequences result in true polyrhythms instead of polymetric sequences.

As before, each template is saved as a beat file, and there is a Word document containing reference charts for each of the templates.

Since using these templates is basically the same as the others, there’s less for me to explain.  Regardless, at risk of repeating myself, I figure the best way to get started is for me to simply talk you through one of the templates while you’re looking at it.  So, go ahead and download these new files, dump them into your Tempest, and this time load the beat file named “PolyRHYTHM 23456 & 10”; then switch the pad view to 16 Mutes – Sound Bank A.  *Don’t change the mute status of any of the pads (yet).  Now open the Word document, and you’ll see that the first chart on the page has the same name… You know the drill.   ;)  What you’re looking at here is another graphical representation of the pads on your Tempest, and their current mute status, for both Bank A (bottom 2 rows) and Bank B (top 2 rows).  This should all be familiar to you by now; but, if not, please go back to the first post in this thread, download those templates, and follow my instructions before you proceed.

Just like before, what you should be seeing on your Tempest (in 16 Mutes mode, Bank A) is the pads lit in groups: i.e. a group of 2 and a group of 5 on pads 1—8, and a group of 3 and a group of 4 on pads 9—16.  So, let’s dive straight in…

Change your BPM to the tempo I’ve recommended (200bpm for this one).  This time, however, before you press play, I want you to mute ALL the pads in both banks, then return to Bank A.  Just a reminder that the trick here is to think of the pad mutes as on/off switches for the “steps” or “trigs” in each of these groups of notes or “sequences”.  With that in mind, I want you to look at the chart, and unmute the group of 2 (indicated on the chart in purple), and press play.  Just like before, you should see the lights going back and forth, like a little sequence unto itself: 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2… Now, unmute the group of 3 (orange), and you’ll see that it does the same, only with 3 steps of course.  However, unlike before, you’ll notice that this time the sequence of 2 and the sequence of 3 run at different meters, and restart at the same time with every pass, creating a true 2:3 polyrhythm.  If you then mute the group of 2, and unmute the group of 4 (dark blue), you’ll now have a 3:4 polyrhythm.  Mute the group of 3, unmute the group of 5, and you get 4:5.  And so on.  Any combination of these little sequences will give you a true X against Y polyrhythm: i.e. 3:5, 4:6, 2:10… Want all of them at once?  You got it!

Still with me?

Changing the sound on each step works the same as before; so, please read my first post if you don’t already know how to do that.

The last two templates in this batch (67 78 and 67 79) are a little different.  Once the numbers start getting bigger, the math doesn’t always allow for every potential rhythmic combination to happen at once.  So, in order to squeeze every last polyrhythm out of the Tempest, I had to start dedicating entire templates to just a couple of ratios at a time.  In these two templates, specifically, Bank A and Bank B are running the polyrhythms you see on the chart, but they are running them at different meters.  This means you could, for example, run both sequences of 7 against each other polyrhythmically.  Shit getting crazy now!   ???

I think that’s enough for this round.  I have a few more templates to post yet, covering yet more complex polyrhythmic structures.  I might even get to that before bed tonight.  I’ve got the charts done already, so I’ve only to motivate myself to write the descriptions, and a nightcap is imminent, so… We’ll see.   ;D

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.  And if you get any good jams going with these templates, by all means, feel free to post the results in this thread too.

Stay healthy, y’all.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on March 25, 2020, 04:14:51 AM
4a.m.

Whisky… Check!  Because alcohol kills viruses, right?   ;)

Okay then, what the hell, here are the rest of them…

As I mention previously, the bigger (and odder) the numbers, the more prohibitive the math, and the more restricted the sequences have to be.  5’s, 7’s, and 9’s, in particular, tend to throw a wrench in the mathematical gears of polyrhythmic sequencing, by making the least common multiple HUGE.  Hence, this last batch of templates covers a handful of ratios that aren’t possible in any other context.

As you’ll see from the charts (Word doc – attached), the first three templates are dedicated to ratios of 5, 7, and 9: i.e. 5:7, 5:8, and 5:9 respectively.  But, in this case, simply because I could, I made it so that Bank A contains the polyrhythmic phrases, and Bank B contains their polymetric counterparts.  And, as with all the other templates, you can of course play them ALL at the same time, in any combination you so choose (though, to what rhythmic end, I can’t quite determine).   :o

Lastly, using that same concept, I decided to do one more complex template – this one allowing for every combination of 2:3:4:5, both polyrhythmically and polymetrically.  This required two charts, but they both pertain to the same template.  The charts simply show, by colour, what combinations of pads need to be unmuted together in order to achieve each rhythm.  For example, as per the chart labelled “Polyrhythm Combos”, if you wanted, say, a 3:5 polyrhythm, you would unmute all the blue pads shown on that chart.  Conversely, if you wanted a 3:5 polymeter sequence instead, you’d unmute all the purple pads shown on the other chart, aptly labelled “Polymeter Combos”.  And, again, any combination of these rhythms is yours to be had.

A few oddities…

-   The darker-purple group of pads labelled (3 DT), in the “Polymeter Combos” chart, is just a redundant sequence of 3 notes, but it runs double-time to the other purple group of 3.  Why?  Well, simply because I had empty pads to fill, and the math allowed for it.

-   You'll notice there are two of these templates: 2—5 {8} and 2—5 {16}… They are the same, but the one labelled {8} runs half the speed of the one labelled {16}.  Why?  Well, again, because the math allows, and I just want to give you as many options as possible.  As you will find out, some of these sequences, because of the way the sequencer must be used to make them happen, run either really fast or really slow.  In this case, I was able to do the same group of sequences using different step resolutions, to give you a broader tempo range.

That’s all folks.  Enjoy…

Cheers!
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on March 25, 2020, 04:29:08 AM
Wait, here's one more for you.  It's not a polyrhythm template per se, but it uses the same technique...

It's a simple 16x2 Berlin School template, wherein Bank A and Bank B each contain a single 16 step sequence, both running at the same tempo and scale.  Still loads of fun to be had regardless.

No chart required for this one.  Just load it up, go into 16 Mutes mode, pick a tempo, press play, and start unmuting pads... You’ll get it.   ;)

Cheers!
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: itslifesaidhe on March 25, 2020, 04:02:41 PM
I literally JUST TODAY started going through the Sound Design folder and found the prototypes for these I think, posted asking for more info in the sound design thread. Then you post this today... what are the chances!?

Very cool stuff, makes sense now.
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on March 25, 2020, 08:53:24 PM
 8)   ;)

Check your PM's...
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: T-Punk on April 06, 2020, 06:39:24 PM
This is super lovely,
THANKS A LOT! : )


Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on April 07, 2020, 02:03:12 AM
You're welcome, T.  :)

Cheers!
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on May 01, 2020, 03:34:39 PM
Just curious if any of you guys and gals are getting any use out of these templates... Any musical results to report?

I can see by the download count that they haven't been overly popular, but... Perhaps people only think they want polyrhythms, until they actually try to take them to task.  Like...  ??? :o :P

 ;)

Cheers!
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: Stoss on May 06, 2020, 10:19:11 PM
Every single bit of this is super impressive. The complexity of it all is exactly the opposite of what I’ve done lately on the Tempest, as I’ve recently crafted one kit of “only” 32 sounds and I am seeing how cozy I can get with more limitations. It has been really nice. I will however download all of this at some point and dig into it... if nothing else but to gain a different perspective on this instrument and have more possibilities running through my mind. Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Polyrhythm & Polymeter Templates...
Post by: John the Savage on May 07, 2020, 12:26:42 AM
Thanks, Stoss!

With regards to the complexity (or perceived complexity) of these templates, I'd just like to assure people that they are much easier to use than they are to explain in text.  In actuality, they are very immediate and fun to use.  If I had the equipment here, I could have literally replaced the novel of words I wrote above with a 10-second tutorial video.  Once the basic concept clicks, it's as simple as muting/unmuting pads and tweaking sounds.

Anyway, should you decide to dig in with these, I'd love to hear what you come up with.

Cheers!