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  #1  
Old 08-09-2011, 12:59 AM
NedRob NedRob is offline
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Question Newbie Roadmap

Hi All,

I just bought Numerology and am a little overwhelmed by all the powerful features. I've watched the tutorial videos and read many of the helpful posts in the forum but still feel like I don't know where to get started. I have limited time due to family and work and don't usually get to start working with Numerology until very late at night. Some sort of roadmap would be very helpful.

Thanks,

Ned
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2011, 02:47 AM
ignatius ignatius is offline
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are you using hardware midi instruments or all software plug ins?

i like to use numerology with hardware a lot. nordlead loves numerology.

anyway - typically, i'll start with a polynote and the nord and come up with a melody or something... or perhaps a drum sequencer since the nord has a drum mode and just start jamming. start simple and see where the sounds lead me. sometimes they want to stay simple and sometimes the sequences want to be modulated..

since you are new to numerology i would suggest just getting to know it. be patient. pick a sequencer and get to know how it works.. and before you know it you'll be adding modulation and other stuff and it'll start to click a little bit.

numerology is great for jamming.. even with just the mouse. maybe you should watch the tutorial and just copy it and then make it your own?
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2011, 12:10 AM
jim jim is offline
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I have some thoughts on this, but need more time to organize them, stay tuned...

Jim
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2011, 07:52 PM
jim jim is offline
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Here goes...

The general approach I recommend is to focus on just one or two modules, and only use those until you feel that you know them really well. The MonoNote, PolyNote and DrumSeq modules are all good choices, but probably start with just one. Find some sounds you really like -- either samples you can load into the built-in sampling modules (AudioSample & DrumKit), or patches in an AU synth, and start experimenting.

Pick a genre of music you're really interested in and focus on working in that area. If it's old berlin-school, stick with the MonoNote with short sequences (8 or fewer notes) and a moog-ish type sound. For Ambient, use a pair of polynotes running slowly at different lengths, each driving a smooth synth pad (see the stack library example "Ambient Counterpoint"). For techno, use classic roland analog sounds and a MonoNote (or two) and a DrumSeq. Be sure to save your basic setups so that when the mood strikes you, you can re-visit a setup quickly. There is a culinary equivalent to this idea of 'having everything ready' called "mise en place".

If you can get your hands on a Launchpad, go for it -- with the new realtime recording features, you can freely jump between grid-based editing and freeform improv. It makes using Numerology the same physical experience as using a hardware sequencer -- but one that pretty much runs rings around everything else. Or, if you've got some MIDI knobs/faders lying around, map those to the steps of a MonoNote -- but don't try to map *everything*, just 8-16 steps for pitch, and perhaps a speed control, or the end step of a sequence. Regardless of all the features that are packed into each sequence, less usually, really is more: I've had loads of fun playing an 8 step sequence in realtime and never really feel that it isn't long enough, not if you're tweaking it almost each pass through.

As you start to generate patterns you like, be sure to save them into stack presets, so you can get back to them later. Next, add a second stack with one of the other modules and more sounds, and make more presets. When you'r ready to 'finalize' a track, make simple arrangements using the preset playlist or timeline, then record everything as MIDI or Audio files that you can load into a DAW for finishing.

When you're ready to get a bit more experimental, start learning to use parameter modulation: modulate params on a sequencer (sequence length and rate are the place to start), or with params on AUs or the built-in synths & FX. Try out some different approaches, save the things you like into the stack library. Or take the Eno approach and write suggestions on some blank business cards you can keep around for semi-random inspiration. (google: "oblique strategies").

Another advanced technique is that described in the Discrete Sequencing video: using CV-based sequencers where you can control the lengths of the pitch and rhythm parts of a melody independently. This approach really does take a while to get used to, so in that case you'll want to back up a bit and just spend some time experimenting.

After a while, you may find that you will start to come up some ideas for stacks before sitting down with the program. For instance, using an Interval Sequencer that is 5 steps long, running at quarter notes to pitch-shift a MonoNote sequence 16 steps long running in 16th notes. Or, instead of using a DrumSeq to create a percussion pattern, use several MonoNotes, each running at different rates. I refer to this approach as "conceptual composition", where you have a general idea of what sort of pattersn you want to make, using a novel combination of modules, but you're not quite sure how it will behave. Typically that is where some very interesting things happen: you start to stumble upon new sonic ideas that you never expected to. When that starts to happen, you are there....

Cheers,
Jim
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  #5  
Old 08-13-2011, 07:27 AM
JES JES is offline
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Really interesting post, Jim.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2011, 07:06 PM
capitan mission capitan mission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim View Post
Here goes...

... Or take the Eno approach and write suggestions on some blank business cards you can keep around for semi-random inspiration. (google: "oblique strategies")......

......I refer to this approach as "conceptual composition", where you have a general idea of what sort of pattersn you want to make, using a novel combination of modules, but you're not quite sure how it will behave. Typically that is where some very interesting things happen: you start to stumble upon new sonic ideas that you never expected to. When that starts to happen, you are there....

Cheers,
Jim
Great post Jim! I manage to learn the tools relatively easy, but thinking outside the box is the real deal!
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2011, 05:37 PM
foreward foreward is offline
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I am pretty new to Numerology, also. I downloaded the demo in my previous studio, liked it, but then sold everything and didn't have any instruments to use Numerology with. I'm kind of relearning everything.

If you are learning multiple things, I'd highly recommend you focus on Numerology. When I bought N3, I was trying to also learn Bidule. I felt like I had patch cords coming out of my wazzoo!

I think the best idea is to focus on the midi modules first, and go from there. One feature that really opened up a lot of ideas for me was the right click on element->add modulation. This automatically places a modulation CV source on the parameter selected. Using the Modulation Sequencer here helps a lot to get some rudimentary variation. I do this a lot to change notes individually over time.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2011, 05:44 PM
NedRob NedRob is offline
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Thanks, Jim. I bought Abelton with LaunchPad, N3 and Alchemy (plus a bunch of other soft synths) all at the same time and was definately overloaded. The dust has settled and I am going to take your suggestions to focus on one style of music with 1 module at a time.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2011, 01:50 AM
TwoToneshuzz TwoToneshuzz is offline
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Default Love this thread!

I love some of the points that have come up in this thread..

The idea of getting overloaded by having two many new pieces of gear to learn at the same time..

It's a very real problem.. I think the old saying that money can't buy happiness is somehow strangely relevant here..

I'ts so easy to create your own feature bloat in a sound studio enviroment.

The software is cheap and good quality lots of free samples and small utilties to download and try...

I think I'll make a related thread related to this post about the idea of managing the learning curve in the sound area..

I have a degree as a Tonemeister from the Royal Conservatory here in Copenhagen a 4 year education not for the faint of heart. The pensum covered a broad range subjects both technological and musical aimed at turning musicians and engineers into super producers. If there's one education that can be called information overloaded then that was it, in contrast the german Tonemeisters education lasts 10 years!!

I'll post the thread in Sideareal section.

It's all about time management, where the learning curve has to be managed so the fun factor, the driving force of fruitful learning doesn't get quashed.

Wade

Last edited by TwoToneshuzz; 09-23-2011 at 02:04 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2011, 01:04 PM
jim jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NedRob View Post
Thanks, Jim. I bought Abelton with LaunchPad, N3 and Alchemy (plus a bunch of other soft synths) all at the same time and was definately overloaded. The dust has settled and I am going to take your suggestions to focus on one style of music with 1 module at a time.
Yup -- that's a lot to get a handle on all at once!

Cheers,
Jim
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