# Phrases, Polyrhythm Example

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Dreamy

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What is happening?

… ‘sonified pendulum waves’ - Native Feature Request for Renoise 3.3.1

What is happening?

The dBlue plinky-plonky-polyryhthms.xrns example sounds very natural, like something a keyboardist or pianist might do if they were improvising.

phrase 1 is 16 lines in length

phrase 2 is 15 lines in length

phrase 3 is 14 lines in length

phrase 5 is 13 lines in length

phrase 4 is 12 lines in length

phrase 6 is 11 lines in length

phrase 7 is 10 lines in length

phrase 8 is 9 lines in length

The 16 line phrase is the only phrase in the example which completes its cycle ( the main pattern editor pattern length is 16 lines, phrases and main pattern editor are set to 4 LPB ).

All the others do one and a bit.

If the main pattern editor pattern length were to be set to 288 lines, it wold be possible to have 18 complete cycles of phrase 1 ( 16 line phrase, 18x16=288 ), 24 complete cycles of phrase 4 ( 12 line phrase, 24x12=288 ) and 32 complete cycles of phrase 8 ( 9 line phrase, 32x9=288 ).

If a very, very long pattern or multiple patterns were used it may be possible to get all of the phrases doing multiple complete cycles.

You would have to find, for example a multiple of 14 which is also a multiple of 16, or a multiple of 11 which is also a mulitple of 16.

I have no idea how to work out that kind of thing. How is it done?

Although the example sounds beautiful, technically it is not a polyrythmic pattern as only the 16 line phrase completes its cycle, which makes it just a 4/4 pattern with interesting rhythms inside it…a repeating 16 line ryhthm.

If the pattern were 288 lines in length ( or more, to get the other multiples of phrase lengths in ) then it would be a polyrhythm as the phrases other than the 16 line phrase would be completing their cycles.

As far as I am aware a polyrhythm must have complete cycles, like layering different time signatures ontop of each other.

Pattern 8 plays for 8 lines - that is 2/4 is it not? Technically it is a polyrythm, and just complex fractions, like 15/16, 14/16, 13/16 and such – or am I completely and totally wrong? I could be way off.

I did notice that you would have trouble doing polyrhythms like 4/4 and 12/8 without a calculator and some major renoise trickery – example at link below

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AjwgVV5LsMaonlLVURwM4_GOIKHD

Now for Techno, or House things get extremely confusing. And it beckons the question, is it truly polyrhythmic? There are definitely syncopated rhythms, is it multiple time signatures? What if it is complex fractions, are those not multiple time sigs?

If a kick is moving a 120 bpm, than you probably have to go with 2/4, or 3/4 to easily institute polyrhythms. However, I am also not 100% sure that polyrythms must be from different time sigs. it could just be two contrasting syncopated rhythms? Yes/no?

I’m also learning, and just thinking it out. This is way beyond what I know in terms of theory, and rhythm etc.

But as for House and Techno and dance and club music. - – yes, it can be polyrhythmic. it is hard to program the stuff, but you can easily layer samples over the 4/4 beat that are polyrhythms

Btw, you can get 256 lines per beat, and 512 total lines in a pattern. You are only limited by your ability to work out your polyrhythms with pen, paper, and calculator lol

Edit again =

This one here is, “maybe, maybe 4/4 and 6/4.” I mean, “I am pretty sure it is.” But I don’t want to be like, “it is,” and than I am wrong — make sure when you load this example your master tempo is 60. Your lpb is 128.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AjwgVV5LsMaonlNQES7MzFC0fBr9

Notice the song is at 120 and not 60 bpm. That the triplets should make about 6 beats to the bar, using my ears. Could use the same procedure to make 9/4 quite easily

technically it is not a polyrythmic pattern as only the 16 line phrase completes its cycle

Note that I applied a glide command GF on every note in the pattern.

The first time the notes play they get triggered like normal, because nothing is sustained/looping/gliding yet.

When the pattern loops back around and the (still playing) notes are encountered again, the glide command prevents them from retriggering and simply lets the phrase continue like a looped/sustained note.

So in this particular example the pattern length is actually quite irrelevant, and the phrases will continue to play and loop out of phase until they all eventually cycle back around in sync again.

You can even reduce the pattern length to 1 line and it will sound the same.

I didn’t bother to do the calculations myself, but yeah, it’ll take quite a while before everything syncs back up again

Cheers.

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I have no idea how to work out that kind of thing. How is it done?

“Least common multiple” is the term you’re looking for.

Here’s a lua snippet you can run in the Renoise scripting console:

``````function gcd(m,n)
while n ~= 0 do
local q = m
m = n
n = q % n
end
return m
end

function lcm(m,n)
return ( m ~= 0 and n ~= 0 ) and m * n / gcd( m, n ) or 0
end

function least_common(t)
local cm = t[1]
for i=1,#t-1,1 do
cm = lcm(cm,t[i+1])
end
return cm
end

print(least_common({16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9}))
``````

In case you’re wondering, the output is: 720720 lines.

So yes_, quite a while _

https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/math/lcm.php

2 Likes

Wow

Yeah, there’s no way we are going to have patterns upwards to a million lines

But it just goes to show why the trick that dblue pointed out is so useful (using the Gxx command to “trigger once”). You can do a lot of evolving stuff with a single pattern + matrix muting.

Also: @2 daze j: I think you would find euclidean rhythms quite cool - they can produce almost any thinkable basic polyrhythm.

Check out xStream for an implementation of this idea

Also: @2 daze j: I think you would find euclidean rhythms quite cool - they can produce almost any thinkable basic polyrhythm.

Check out xStream for an implementation of this idea

I wont be able to mess around with the scripting. My poor brain really can’t think like that. LOL. I will definitely try and use the glide command and chop up more samples

I overlooked the volume column GF command.

Gx - Glide towards given note by x semitones. A value of F will make the slide instant.

Interesting. Instant glide lets the phrases sustain / loop indefinitely instead of retriggering.

I understand now why the pattern length is irrelevant.

I was thinking, if a polyrhythm were to be made up of only 16 line, 12 line and 9 line phrases then a pattern length of 144 would work out nicely

( 9x16=144, 12x12=144, 16x9=144 ).

The most common polyrythm, or the example that I have heard about quite often before, is 3/4 over 4/4.

The full polyrythm cycles every 24 beats.

Eight sets of three beats and six sets of four beats ( 8x3=24, 6x4=24 ).

Thankyou. I will look up ‘least common multiple’.

I have no idea how to use lua yet.

1 Like

I have no idea how to use lua yet.

All that information is here:https://github.com/renoise/xrnx

I remember when this ability first appeared in 2.8? I believe it came with the arranger tracks. At first you could just access the scripting windows. Now they are off by default. I don’t mind. I may alter the config file to see them.

As far as scripting in renoise goes… from what I can see is that from 2.7 - to 3.1 the program became incredibly modular. and many of the community ideas that were tools, kind of became native to the program itself.

@dblue: Thank you!

Oh boy this glide trick for not retriggering the phrase is awesome .

Even workds on vst instruments and midi out .( but only when assigned to phrases )

Interesting. Instant glide lets the phrases sustain / loop indefinitely instead of retriggering.

Technically any glide value will work here, so the speed itself is not important.

Applying glide to a sustained sample that is already playing simply prevents the note from being retriggered on subsequent plays.

In this case, a looped phrase is also treated just like a sustained sample that will essentially play forever until you manually stop it, so the glide trick works nicely here, too.

Thats a nice trick. Another way to use the glide commands other than for gliding.

So glide command is also ‘prevent phrase from being retriggered when pattern loops’ command.

Thats a nice trick. Another way to use the glide commands other than for gliding.

So glide command is also ‘prevent phrase from being retriggered when pattern loops’ command.

WHich is why this trick is simply amazing .

Multiple phrases of different length looping endlesly could only be achieved by setting a trigger once and create multiple empty clips ( autoseeked )

This little trick gives the same result within a single pattern .

Some Poly-rhythms :

3 over 2 ( 6 ‘quarter note’ / 6 ‘beat’ cycle )

2 x 3 = 6 ( 2 bars of 3 quarter notes / beats each )

3 x 2 = 6 ( 3 bars of 2 quarter notes / beats each )

3 over 4 ( 12 ‘quarter note’ / 12 ‘beat’ cycle )

3 x 4 = 12 ( 3 bars of 4 quarter notes / beats each )

4 x 3 = 12 ( 4 bars of 3 quarter notes / beats each )

5 over 4 ( 20 ‘quarter note’ / 20 ‘beat’ cycle )

4 x 5 = 20 ( 4 bars of 5 quarter notes / beats each )

5 x 4 = 20 ( 5 bars of 4 quarter notes / beats each )

6 over 4 ( 12 ‘quarter note’ / 12 ‘beat’ cycle )

2 x 6 = 12 ( 2 bars of 6 quarter notes / beats each )

3 x 4 = 12 ( 3 bars of 4 quarter notes / beats each )

7 over 4 ( 28 ‘quarter note’ / 28 ‘beat’ cycle )

4 x 7 = 28 ( 4 bars of 7 quarter notes / beats each )

7 x 4 = 28 ( 7 bars of 4 quarter notes / beats each )

9 ‘eighth notes’ / ‘half beats’ per bar over 4 ‘quarter notes’ / ‘beats’ per bar ( 36 ‘quarter note’ cycle / 36 ‘beat’ cycle )

8 x 4.5 = 36 ( 8 bars of 4.5 quarter notes / beats each, or, 8 bars of 9 eighth notes / half beats each)

9 x 4 = 36 ( 9 bars of 4 quarter notes / beats each)

Mad props to anyone with the skills to play these polyrhythms live, whether it be on keyboard, drums or maybe even ragtime style guitar.

Its so hard to count and split the left hand and right hand ( or fingers ) in that way.

The time signatures by themselves would not be polyrhythms. we have to combine the signatures to get polyrhythms. Again we to look to jazz – two or more meters:https://www.moderndrummer.com/article/january-1978-jazz-drummers-workshop-polyrhythms/

3/4 in and of itself is considered simple time as is 2/4 and 4/4

As far as playing polyrhythms on guitar, bass, keyboard, and this is related to a post I edited in this thread - my last post in the thread that simply says, “edit… etc,” and it is basically a deleted post:https://forum.renoise.com/t/how-african-polyrhythms-are-the-root-of-european-club-music/49150

Polyrhythm is really something that exists in the lands of drums and percussion - obviously, rhythm instruments. While rhythm is a big part of playing guitar I think it would be a little difficult to play two rhythms on guitar simultaneously without 3 hands.

A drummer in a rock band has two hands, and two feet. Allowing for example: a 4/4 to be played on the kick, a 6/4 on the pedal of a hat, and two hands you could theoretically play 3/4 on the snare, and hit your toms in 12/4

Now you can begin to layer the instruments over that in different time signatures if you want, but at some point you loose groove. So if the guitarist comes in with a rhythm in a completely different time, and the bassist, and the keyboardist. You have, “experimental music,” that may not groove.

Groove, and whether something is in the pocket are also things to consider with music, and polyrhythm.