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Handling melodies within a tracker framework


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#1 bryemye

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 02:32

Hi all, coming from the world of more traditional DAWs (specifically Reaper) and I am finding a lot to like about setting up grooves with the tracker model so far. One question I have: when it comes to establishing a groove I have no problem with the pattern framework and actually quite like it. But with melodies I often want to have the melody span multiple patterns, which feels kind of cumbersome. Do you typically do this or do you prefer to just make a pattern 128 instead of 64 (or 256, etc) so you can have a musical phrase be fully contained within one pattern?

 

I hope this makes sense. A quick search did not show any results but I probably just searched the wrong term. I appreciate any tips from your experience.  



#2 Neurogami

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 03:22

For those cases I use longer patterns.   Sort of depends on what else is going on (maybe the backing music is doing something fairly repetitive in 64 or 32 lines) but I do find it cumbersome to manage cohesive themes across multiple patterns.  

 

You can have different sized patterns in the same song (but all patterns across a given row must be the same size).  

 

Sometimes it's handy to work with, say, 64 lines as the default size but change to 32 or 128 (or whatever) as suits the composition.



#3 m.arthur

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 05:10

Do you typically do this or do you prefer to just make a pattern 128 instead of 64 (or 256, etc) so you can have a musical phrase be fully contained within one pattern?

 

 

No, I hate dealing with super long patterns, I find it cumbersome and it makes editing the pattern much more difficult for me. 

 

So, for melodies, I simply have them spanning multiple patterns. Here's my recommendation for doing this more comfortably: if you're not already, start making regular use of the little gray boxes that allow you to create looping playback of all the patterns that are currently selected.

 

Check out the screen shot. On the left, you see that some of the boxes next to each pattern in the Pattern Sequencer are grey. You can drag through this area to select a long strip of sequences, or just one at a time, etc. When you hit play, the sequencer will loop through only the grayed-patterns. 

 

So, for a melody, I'll build a beat that usually is just One pattern. Then I'll duplicate that pattern a few times, let's say for example 3 times -- usually I just click the + box three times to create three new empty patterns, then drag down on the drum pattern data from the original Pattern to paste it quickly into all three of the new patterns. 

 

Then I select the gray boxes mentioned above so that only this new "chunk" will play. Now, when recording from the first pattern, I can play a melody that covers all four patterns. Anything before or after this 'chunk' won't be part of the loop, making it feel very natural to record the Melody into just the part I want. 

 

hope this makes sense, and if not, please ask about any of it and I can try to clarify further!

 

-M

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#4 bryemye

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 06:17

 

 

Then I select the gray boxes mentioned above so that only this new "chunk" will play. Now, when recording from the first pattern, I can play a melody that covers all four patterns. Anything before or after this 'chunk' won't be part of the loop, making it feel very natural to record the Melody into just the part I want. 

 

 This is interesting. Is there a way to group the four patterns together just so when I come back to the project I can more easily see they belong together? Or is it just renaming them "Main Melody #1," "Main Melody #2" etc. ? A quick search on Google did not yield me anything useful with regards to organizing patterns by grouping. 



#5 Neurogami

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 06:29

 This is interesting. Is there a way to group the four patterns together just so when I come back to the project I can more easily see they belong together? Or is it just renaming them "Main Melody #1," "Main Melody #2" etc. ? A quick search on Google did not yield me anything useful with regards to organizing patterns by grouping. 

 

I use headers in the sequencer pane to demarcate sections.   I sometimes change pattern colors for individual boxes to highlight things.

 

 

http://tutorials.ren...ttern_Sequencer



#6 bryemye

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 07:52

I use headers in the sequencer pane to demarcate sections.   I sometimes change pattern colors for individual boxes to highlight things.

 

 

http://tutorials.ren...ttern_Sequencer

Guh. Of course I just need it to be a header. I kept trying to group it around but I guess that is not necessary.