Oh and as my first foray into the world of Max this year was to revisit an old Max for Live patch I started a few years ago. As expected, the patch was a total mess, in fact it didn't even work. So I re-started it and now it works again (for now). The inspiration for the patch came from reading about analogue shift registers, devices which were occasionally found in modular systems. Basically such devices allow you to route identical voltage (or MIDI) values to multiple sources in sequence. The concept is relatively generic so you can achieve all sorts of effects using it. In Live routing is done with velocity since I haven't found a way to take advantage of MIDI channel data. I recently uploaded a demonstration of what it can sound like, but I suggest just downloading it and trying it out for yourself to see what happens. Basically all you need is a Live set that consists of a single MIDI channel with: 1) the effect followed by 2) an instrument rack with chains configured to receive single velocity values between 1 and 8. Play some MIDI into the channel and you should hear the effect immediately. It can be subtle or profound depending on the input so be sure to try different sequences and note lengths.
|Delay using Live's auxiliary busses|
Now you can send audio via the auxiuliary sends on any audio playing channel and you'll get a delayed sound, but with no feedback. In this configuration you can turn up the auxiliary send on 'Delay loopback' to send 'A' in order to create feedback. Setting the send to 0.0dB (100%) will create an infinite delay.
Now if you set the auxiliary sends from your audio source and the delay loopback to maximum the delay effect will eventually clip (in a bad way).
|Control feedback with a volume-attenuating effect, such as a compressor|
Try experimenting with the Q value on the Auto Filter. At some point the echo will go into self-oscillation but, depending on the settings of the device(s) in the effect chain you can keep this from sounding nasty. Again, different sounds and settings will give very different results so you'll just need to experiment. Pay attention in particular to gain and timing settings (e. g. attack and release of a compressor) as these will have pronounced effects on the sound.
I've been spending some more time with my sequencer idea for the Novation Launchpad using only the built-in MIDI functionality included in Live. The latest version makes it possible to play the sequence from step 1 to 8 while at the same time playing the same sequence but from steps 1 to n, where n is <= 8. In other words, it's possible to make a canon out of a sequence.
Besides this, each step's on/off, pitch, octave up/down, octave up every 3rd bar, random velocity, high velocity and short/long note length are programmable. Steps on the grid are arranged horizontally, that is, step 1 is represented by the first column, step 2 by the second, and so on. The sequences to play are determined by the last column of buttons on the Launchpad (normally used to play scenes in Live), where the top button plays a 1 step long sequence, and the last 8 steps. And the buttons on the top of the Launchpad are used to repeat the last step of the active sequence(s), which can be useful for hearing changes to steps.
Here's a short video of me messing around with the sequencer. It includes basic instructions on how the sequencer works:
To use the sequencer, download the Live set and place it in the Templates folder of your Live library. This way you can create new Live sets with the set without overwriting the original. You can also download a Live project that works like the one in the video above to try it for yourself. You'll need a Launchpad and Live's included MIDI plug-ins to use the sequencer.
Please send any comments or feedback to me via Twitter @mattpatey. Enjoy!
I've started hacking together a four-operator FM synth, which so far just generates random sounds, but I think it shouldn't be too long until I get the full idea implemented.