The Official Sequential/DSI Forum

One more octave on keybed

Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2021, 02:21:14 PM »
Bach composed most of his keyboard pieces with just a 4 octave keyboard, yet the counterpoint and harmony is just so rich.
 

Wait a minute now.  Anybody who has played Bach's organ music knows that five octaves are normally needed, and that his pieces often require split-second changes to a second (or third) manual.  Even more, the pedal parts descend into the 32' range, which is almost as low as one can musically go without beginning to lose pitch.  And the pedalboard is an extension of the lower end of the keyboard. 

It's true that some of Bach's other keyboard works require only four octaves.  But that's because many of them were composed for beginning students.  The shortest pieces were composed for the clavichord, which had a short keyboard of miniature keys, because the instrument itself was designed as a portable practice instrument for the home. 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 08:49:15 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2021, 02:03:32 AM »
Bach composed most of his keyboard pieces with just a 4 octave keyboard, yet the counterpoint and harmony is just so rich.
 

It's true that some of his other keyboard works require only four or even three octaves.  But that's because many of them were composed for beginning students.  The pieces covering only three octaves were composed for the clavichord, which had a short keyboard of miniature keys, because the instrument itself was designed as a portable practice instrument.

Yeah, that's true that his organ works have a wider octave span, but that is an ultimate instrument at that time, not everyone can afford it and it is mostly for religious purposes.

Bach's keyboard work is more personal and domestic setting. However, I don't think it is right to say most of its keyboard works are for beginners. Since, clavichord and harpsichord are just invented at the time and people are just new to that. Same as you can't compare a Minimoog to Eurorack / Digital Rompler these days ...

Anyways, I can point out some Bach's keyboard pieces that show his mastery in counterpoint that can be performed with just a 4 octave keyboard. Most of them took months / years to master ...

Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue (BWV 903),
Toccatas (e.g. BWV 911),
Goldberg Variations (e.g. BWV 988),

Also, The Musical Offering (BWV 1079) and The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080), can be played by a 4 octave keyboard, although Bach hasn't specified the instrument.

I consider playing Bach's Ricercar a 6 in The Musical Offering with a Prophet 6 one of the ultimate polyphonic experiences. :P

I don't think it is a limitation in modern context either. For example, in jazz it is a common practice to avoid the 'butter note' (i.e. drop notes instead playing a full 8 note chord). I can play the chord in a closer cluster or I can use my 88 keyboard for composition.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 02:25:59 AM by Wavtekt »

Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2021, 11:30:30 AM »
However, I don't think it is right to say most of its keyboard works are for beginners.

I didn't say "most;" I said "many."

The point is that a short keyboard is musically limiting.  It's one thing to have a five-octave keyboard, but to freely compose a piece within a four-octave range.  It's another thing to have to compose within a four-octave range, because one's keyboard allows no other option.  If you've got the longer keyboard, the whole repertoire is open to you - three-octave, four-octave, and five-octave pieces.  But if you've got the shorter keyboard, many pieces are out of reach for that reason. 

And again, the pedalboard - whether on an organ or rarely on a harpsichord - further extends the range of Bach's keyboard music.  And then appeared the pianoforte, which pertains to an even greater keyboard length.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 08:50:33 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

chysn

  • ***
  • 1399
Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2021, 08:07:48 PM »
I do like the 3-octave format. I've had several instruments with that range, and I wouldn't agree that it's musically limiting. Most woodwind and brass instruments have about a three-octave range, and still manage to be expressive solo instruments. I spent two years doing synthesis with no keys, and it wasn't a hardship.

I'm not expecting anyone to say, "Oh, yeah, you're right, three octaves is fine after all." I'm just saying I wouldn't impose some kind of "all monosynths should have four octaves" rule on Sequential. All an extra octave gives you is more notes; the thought of that, as a modification, fills me with waves of boredom. I'd rather see that space used for other tools of expression.

For example, I'd rather have a second slider than a fourth octave. Or a pressure-sensitive two-dimensional pad, which would really play to the Pro 3's strengths.
Pro 3 #1640
macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2, Serum, Pianoteq
www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2021, 08:39:17 PM »
Three octaves isn't musically limiting if you decide to compose within those three octaves and that suits you, or if you carefully pick from a three-octave musical repertoire.  But then again, that's...musically limiting.

I've recorded a mere three pieces with my Odysseys, and each one required four to five octaves.  It wasn't my objective to cover such a range, but given the freedom to do so, I was happy to have it available.  It comes down to style of music, of course.  Much rock soloing fits within the shorter range, and that's probably one reason people are content with the length.  But what if you're not a rock musician and you compose a three octave-range melody and then want to transpose it up or down a fifth or an octave?  Too bad.  That idea will have to be denied.  And that's what I would like to avoid - musical instruments interfering with musical inspirations. 

My point about this keyboard range is simply to have at one's disposal a fuller musical potential, so that, if you need the keys, they're available; and if you don't, then maybe you will later.  But there's no harm in having them there.  That an instrument is monophonic changes nothing, since monophonic playing can entail all sorts of elements, such as arpeggios, that may require five octaves or even more. 

I have no interest in seeing my five-octave preference imposed.  I realize there are other concerns, such as studio space, rig arrangement, weight, and portability.  It's just that I know whenever Sequential produces a three-octave mono synth, I have to look elsewhere.  That's sad, because I love Sequential's sound and designs.  I would much rather have bought a couple of Pro 3 Modules and controlled them with a five-octave keyboard, but they don't exist.  And if the alleged forthcoming Pro One reissue has the expected keyboard length, then it's still back to Korg for me.

I think a happy compromise for a monophonic synthesizer would be a 3 1/2 octave keyboard, like the Pro 2 and Minimoog.  That would probably keep the greatest number of us happy.  But three octaves?  Three is truly three only if you're perpetually playing in the key of C.  Oh, you need just on low b-flat to finish the piece?  Sorry.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 09:01:20 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

chysn

  • ***
  • 1399
Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2021, 07:00:53 AM »
Three octaves isn't musically limiting if you decide to compose within those three octaves and that suits you

I wouldn't make that kind of concession at all. It's the keyboard that has three octaves, not the instrument. Per-oscillator octave is a sequencer track modulation destination on the Pro 3. The limitation is essentially the range of an adult's hearing.
Pro 3 #1640
macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2, Serum, Pianoteq
www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2021, 07:21:36 AM »
You can change pitches using parameters and go above and below the range of the human ear.  Yes, that's obvious.  But once one is playing with two hands (and maybe even two feet), the ability to make such parameter changes is almost eliminated, even regarding octave switches.  And who wants to interrupt a performance with such instant changes anyway?  Wouldn't it be easier to play without the hassles?  Or else, go ahead and change a slider or a knob mid-performance, and see if you can perfectly hit an octave jump on the fly.  The other alternative is to change a program, and that takes a free hand.

I know you understand what I'm saying, so I won't carry on about this.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 08:19:47 AM by Sacred Synthesis »
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com

chysn

  • ***
  • 1399
Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2021, 08:12:35 AM »
Sure, I understand. And 3.5 octaves would be fine by me. But Id still rather have a 2D touchpad.
Pro 3 #1640
macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2, Serum, Pianoteq
www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2021, 03:28:28 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZPXg_W0apY

Just a funny video I would like to share to cool the heat!

Limitation comes from the instrument, but creativity comes from the player ;)

Even with a 2 1/2 octaves Arturia Keystep I can make good music out of it.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 03:33:29 PM by Wavtekt »

chysn

  • ***
  • 1399
Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2021, 06:36:58 PM »
That's fun. It reminds me of the Seaboard Blocks, where the question is "how many octaves do you want?"

And you think this is heat? Somebody should introduce you to the internet.  :)
Pro 3 #1640
macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2, Serum, Pianoteq
www.wav2pro3.comwww.soundcloud.com/beige-mazewww.github.com/chysnwww.beigemaze.com

Re: One more octave on keybed
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2021, 06:44:16 PM »
No heat here at all.  We disagree from time to time, but always as gentlemen.  It keeps this forum interesting but civil.
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

- Henry David Thoreau

The Musical Synthesizer YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLGwGiRVs7rlZXnOG9_mUw

The Musical Synthesizer Blog: https://themusicalsynthesizer.wordpress.com