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Old 02-09-2011, 03:55 PM
baltimoroder baltimoroder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 110
Default MachineDrum-style "Mute Groups"

If you've ever used an Elektron MachineDrum, you may have noticed the "function + mute" feature (I call it "Mute Groups"; the manual doesn't have a name for it.) It's a fun, subtle performance-oriented feature that I fell in love with when using the MD that I missed in Numerology so I decided to re-create it.

It works like this... On the MachineDrum itself, there is a mute page where individual drum channels can be muted/unmuted using 16 buttons. Normally, they behave like any other mute button would UNLESS you are holding down the "function" key; in that case, changes to the mute status (on or off) ARE HELD UNTIL THE FUNCTION KEY IS RELEASED (technically-speaking,... the function key changes the behavior of the mute controller from a toggle to a delayed flip-flop.)

This means you can setup a something like, "mute tracks 1-4, unmute tracks 5-8" and then have all of those changes occur at the instant you release the function key. I think it sounds more deliberate than muting tracks one at a time and allows you to do wholesale changes without worrying too much about your timing/dexterity or relying on presets.

In this stack I have a Drum Kit, DrumSeq, and a ButtonBox plus multiple CV processors. I believe I've fully recreated the MD functionality (if you want 16 drum channels, import this stack twice.) To use, map a MIDI controller to the MIDI-to-CV module. Drop in some drum sounds. Add some gates to the Drum Seq. And hit play. The ButtonBox controls the mutes and the MIDI-to-CV module (I'm using a simple usb keyboard) generates a gate equivalent to the "function" key.

You could easily map the buttons to an external controller and/or generate the required gate signal with a foot pedal/keyboard module/other seq to eliminate mouse clicks. If you use a sequencer, you can effectively "quantize" mute changes to whatever clock division you want.

Further out, I'd love to see this capability native to Numerology ('Shift' key? Button on Launchpad?.) Not just for mutes but for anything and everything really. Queueing up AD-HOC changes to a sequence and having them initiate at the same time is powerfully fun stuff. Imagine making changes while your sequence is playing; you change a few pitches, a few gates, skip a step, bring the tempo down, wait a little bit, release LP button/footswitch/shift key and BAM!... it all drops in on the downbeat.

(*Actually, the Sequencer modules _sort_of_ behave like this now... If you move the Start or EndStep with the mouse, the change is not done until you release the mouse button. If you haven't noticed, this means when you drag a running 32-step sequence down to 2, you don't get the "bouncing ball" effect.)

At any rate, enjoy.
Attached Files
File Type: zip DrumSeq with Mute (21.3 KB, 64 views)

Last edited by baltimoroder; 02-09-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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