TBD. I don’t know if there is any, or if more than one slew limiting device makes any sense. Just something I’ve played with, with mixed results. Kind of like gain staging - staging multiples to smooth out a derived control signal more than a single one can.
Great topic, @TheMM, and nice work on the patch. Quite a few of the bespoke units I’ve built recently are really intended to be generative enablers. Definitely a topic of interest for me. Forgive me for what will probably be a lengthy post.
So here’s a generic generative recipe for a generative patch that I’ve been playing around with since I assembled my Eurorack system. I don’t think it’s just me - you can find countless examples of some flavor of this recipe on youtube and modular forums.
- Start with 1 or more sources of random
- Assign them to CV destinations like pitch, filter cutoffs, other modulators, to modulate your voices
- Possibly have additional randoms modulate the original randoms
- Dedicate the rest of your modules and tweaking to trying to tame the random and make it something musical.
- Wait, tweak, and hope something nice pops out
It’s good fun. You can get some happy accidents. You can record it and call it a song if you want to.
But on the whole (outside of having some fun), this recipe is not really working for me. It never really results in what I would call a “composition” that has repeat listening value over a long period. More often than not for me it results in what I call “blip music.”
So my hope is that modules from Orthogonal Devices, monome, and the like will help me to break out of this recipe and get into some next-gen generative types of patching. A recipe that looks more like this:
- Start with 1 or more deliberate ideas
- Assign one or more voices to execute these ideas
- Have “the system” generate ideas based on the original idea - follow it somehow
- Start to introduce changes to the idea - possibly from a source of random, or possibly deliberate, discrete, human injected change
- Have the system as a whole react to the change in a musical manner and generate something new
To further clarify, let’s set the modular aside for a sec and imagine that I play guitar (I do - we could debate how well). Let’s say I’ve worked out an idea. You could call it a pattern. Outside of the electronic music context you’d probably call it a riff, or a hook, maybe.
I invite some other musicians over to play bass, drums, and keys. I start playing my riff and in doing so I’ve defined some things - key, tempo, time sig, and some other things that define a “feel”. From that the other players are able to jump in and construct some additional parts to accompany it. Everyone is listening to each other so what gets generated is cohesive.
Before you know it, we have a really nice thing going, and we’re playing it in a loop. It’s cool but it will get boring after a few minutes if it just keeps repeating.
At that point in this jam, anyone could introduce a change. It can’t be a drastic change, or the whole thing will fall apart. But if a change is introduced a little at a time by one player at a time, the others can listen and react to that and modify what they’re playing. Over time, the piece may change a significantly from the original idea due to repeated introductions of small, manageable changes.
So, I don’t know if this is a pipe dream or not - to start to model something like this in a modular synth. Modules like the ER-301 and Teletype spark ideas that make it seem like this next-gen generative patching might be feasible.
OK, I’ve rambled quite a bit. Any thoughts?