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Anyone doing melodic stuff?

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  • Anyone doing melodic stuff?

    I've got my TD10 midi'd to other synths and love having some melodic sounds playing concurrently with the drum sounds sometimes. I control the mix with an external mixer.

    The midi note numbers that the TD10's set to aren't necessarily tuned to any kind of logical scale. But you can change the note numbers transmitted for each kit to anything you want.

    So I've programmed a couple of kits so that the note numbers correspond to something that makes sense. My approach is kind of like tuning wind chimes. Basically all the notes could go well with each other regardless of order.

    I can then wail away and not really think about specific notes so much but to play like I'm just playing drums. The scale is sort of chromatic (ie the black keys on a keyboard). I'd like to try other scales but don't really know much about doing so. I just picked these notes by ear.

    Another approach would be to tune the drums to the kinds of scales where you'd have to learn the note positions, just like any other instrument. I haven't done much with that.

    But I'm curious if others are doing these kinds of things. What kinds of music do you do this for? What kind of scales do you use? Anything with chords? How do you approach playing with others where key signature might be a factor? Are there any ways to do microtonally tuned things such as for getting a gamelan sound?

    Personally, I've always felt about e-drums that if you just see them as replacements for regular drums, you're missing out on a lot of creative potential.

    Thanks much

  • #2
    I've got aproject I've been tinkering with for a while now. It involves a lot of heavy melodic stuff. I run a TD-5.

    The songs I'm playing are covers of old game music, so the scales and patterns are pretty much preset. when setting up for a song, I play the melody lines on a keyboard and write down how many notes are used. There's an effect in the -5 that pitches chromatically fairly nicely, so I'll sit down with my module and a pitch pipe and assign specific notes to pads. That gives me sort of a "soprano/tenor" voice. For a more mid-range voice, I'll do the same thing with -808 toms.

    Bass notes I asign to foot triggers through a TMC-6. Old Roland 808/909 bass drum notes work really well for that. If it's a moving bass line, I'll program a delay in the notes so my feet don't have to work as hard.

    If I want to incorporate drum sounds or chords, I have to go to outside sources. For chords, I plan on using an external sampler and MIDI it to an SPD-6. Drum loops/sounds, I have an old Yammie DD-8 that sounds adequate.

    This whole thing is a solo project, so I don't really have to worry about key signatures or anything. However, I think in that in that instance, you'd want to chain several Patches together with the various keys/scales.

    I think the biggest thing with melodic e-p is the preperation process. That's the downside. You have to do a lot pf planning beforehand. But it sounds and looks so damn cool when you pull it off.



    • #3
      I'm doing some melodic stuff, I use either a Drumkat Turbo and Emu E4XT or a DTX. The reason I use this stuff is because it's possible to play chords and melody lines on one or two pads. Chords on either the Drumkat or DTX can be setup automatically with only a couple of steps, both machines can send all CC# and the Kat can send a bunch of controllers like pitch bend up sustain, mod sustain etc.................Of the two, the DK Turbo is a midi monster although the DTX can hold its own. Both can send MSB/LSB to call up banks on any module, the surface of the DK Turbo responds to pressure to send any CC# value, plus any pad including external pads can do tempo change, send patch change info, link to two other pads, kit changes etc.........just way to much for me to cover here. If you can think of it the Turbo can do it, no problem. And then there's the auto pad stuff, unbelievable, here's a link:

      Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......


      • #4

        I've got a drumkat too. I like the melodic patches in it such as the Koto and lulabye ones. I like the koto especially and should try to create a copy that uses different scales. I guess I'll have to sit down with a keyboard and figure some out.

        The textural patches that Mario at ALternate mode's created are cool but I wonder if he's the only person that really knows how to set them up and play them well. They're fun to toy with but a little odd to play since it's easy to loose one's place. Ie, you do a double stroke and skip a note ahead of where you mean to be.

        Have you done anything with his approach? ie, where each pad's cycling through motif's and other pads are setup for transposing them?

        There's so much I know the drumkat can do but I just really hate programming it. Have you programmed a lot of custom patches on the drumkat in general?



        • #5
          It's really easy to program the Kat, you have to use the copy functions which are the best I've used. To set up a muliple chord kit, I set up one pad to the chord I want, then save it to the kit and go into "copy screens" and copy the pad to all the pads in the kit. Then all you have to do is step on the edit pedal, hit the pad you want to change, and change the chord type and root number. It doesn't take a long time to do. You can also copy each parameter to either all notes within the pad, or all parameters in all pads or all triggers in a kit from the pad your working on. I've found if you're going to do something complex, its best to start with a notebook and a pencil and work out precisely what you want to do as a kind of template that you can refer to and not get distracted or lost. The transpose function is very cool, what I usually do is go into the default screen and set the transpose default to +1 so all you have to do is cusor to the parameter and hit pad 8 and you're in the ballpark. Then you can go either up or down from there. It works better with very small increments of maybe {-15} - {+15} , any more than that and the intervals become a bit useless. From there all you have to do is decide which pads are going to be affected by the transpose control pad. I hope this helps to some extent.
          Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......


          • #6
            Sounds interesting. I'll have to experiment with it a lot more.

            I think I need to move the Kat away from my main setup for a while to force myself to program with it. I need to apply some discipline to it.

            BTW, I have a Korg Karma and using the chords as you describe would be ideal with it. Since the Karma's special events are primarily triggered by chord combinations.

            I'd love to hear some samples of what you do. Send me some mp3's or weblinks if you can. [email protected]



            • #7
              It sounds like you guys have been triggering both the internal drum sounds along with the external synth notes...

              I've been thinking about doing this in an attempt to get something like the "Haunted/Spooky" settings that are built-in. It'd be cool to have a real bass note (I've got a dx100 mounted to my rack, with that awesome bass sound) along with the percussive slap.

              I'm just realizing now, though, that I won't have the expression control over the note with the hi-hat pedal, since it will be controlling the td8, not the dx100. Maybe I can handle that with midi too, though. I'm fairly new to midi, so a lot of what is possible escapes me.

              The possibilities are so endless that I end up lying awake at night with my brain racing through all of the ideas I want to try. Today I finally got all of the technical kinks worked out to the point where I can actually try them.