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using monos like polys

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:07 am
by ned-ryarson
just bought an MEK, and its gonna take me a while to get my slow brain around its capabilities no doubt. and im f**k excited about it.
however, the type of music i make involves slow/medium tempo arppeggios, which suit being played on guitars, pianos and poly synths (chords obviosly too). this is my first mono.

i remember stab frenzy once saying how some of the patches he creates he would have great use for them with a bit of polyphony, and i feel the same (realising if necassary i can overdub). and the MEK was the choice over the poly evolver because it was more affordable, same here.

anyway, how do you go about using excellent patches on an amazing mono to do the things you would do on a poly, what are your tricks?

for arppeggios i find that delay is crutial, so two or more notes are being heard at the same time, so theres overlap and harmonies, and it sounds natural.


cheers.

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:20 pm
by premieklovn
For pads-like sounds on a mono I use long delays and a lot of it.
Also try to tune the oscillators in different intervals (or just make chords out of your 4 osc).

It's also cool to use a delay with a lot of feedback and first hit a bass note and then play lead over the bass echoing. Can get quite messy but try it out.

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:57 pm
by ned-ryarson
premieklovn wrote:For pads-like sounds on a mono I use long delays and a lot of it.
Also try to tune the oscillators in different intervals (or just make chords out of your 4 osc).
like 'faking chords', i do mess with that, gives you a good idea how a chord would sound

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:07 pm
by JSRockit
You can program the sequencer with each osc at a seperate note value...then use the keyboard to play the sequencer in different keys ...no?

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:15 pm
by otto
Yeah you can but really only duophonically if you want all notes in the "chord" to sound the same. In theory I guess you could have 4 notes (I never tried that) but since you have 2 osc types you would have 2 different sounds in duo, 2 analog and 2 digital.

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:25 pm
by haj
Overdub?

Half of traditional non-electric instruments are mono. :D

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:36 pm
by shaft9000
i think the evolver is the only hardwired instrument w/ a sequencr that can control independent osc pitches, making it quasi-polyphonic :wink:
use different shapes for each osc and it's quasi-multitimbral to boot...but that's quite a stretch.

sounds like you'll be in the market for the PER before long

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:49 pm
by justinvm
I've been thinking about designing a polyphier. A piece of software that would take a real time sample of a patch from your monophonic (or limited polyphonic) synthesizer and give you a pitch shifted range of that sound across your entire keyboard.

Basically an extension of a sampler but specifically designed to work in real time with your analog synth. So that your tweaks take effect instantaneously across all frequencies.

This would solve all our polyphonic problems.

If anyone knows if this exists already please let me know :) ?

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:10 pm
by nvbrkr
Analog delay. Usually set to rather long delay times, so that the pitch-shifting occuring in that domain composes actual intervals (you can use two pedals / boxes after one another - mind you, a tape delay used in this same sense doesn't quite work). Upwards pitch shifting doesn't sound that pleasant - I haven't really had that much success with proper pitch shifters.

I personally find that monophonic synths coupled with effects are far better for ambient music than polysynths. Haven't tried something like the A6, but on the overall, too obvious chord changes in the ambient format are what spoils the music. As for turning monosynths for pad machines to be used in pop music, something that would be worth trying would be just to try to run a (even a digital) polysynth through a monosynth's filter. The MEK does have an external audio input for the filter, doesn't it? Not the best of solutions, but workable in some instances I guess. Requires quite a lot of tweaking though, according to my own experiences.

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:32 pm
by devetron
Here's a video I came across of Queen guitarist, Brian May, showcasing his masterful use of delay to mimic polyphony. Techniques are applicable to synths as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs87GuoOvYo

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:42 pm
by clubbedtodeath
justinvm wrote:I've been thinking about designing a polyphier. A piece of software that would take a real time sample of a patch from your monophonic (or limited polyphonic) synthesizer and give you a pitch shifted range of that sound across your entire keyboard.
It's called a harmoniser.

http://www.tweakheadz.com/harmonizers_and_more.htm

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:38 am
by Sexor
If your monosynth has an arpeggiator here's a nice trick....

Set the arpeggiator clock as fast as possible on your synth and play chords with a long reverb and use only the wet reverb sound. That sounds pretty much like a polyphonic ambient pad.

I made a quick example with my SH-101.... this goes from pad to dry arpeggiator and back to the pad to show how it's done:

https://www.yousendit.com/download/Q01F ... YUJFQlE9PQ

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:15 am
by sacredcow
The desktop evo has a 3x16 parameter sequencer
Route each of the channels to an independent osc's semitone detune and you can have pseudopolyphonic sequences on it

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:23 am
by CZ Rider
Sexor wrote:I made a quick example with my SH-101.... this goes from pad to dry arpeggiator and back to the pad to show how it's done:

https://www.yousendit.com/download/Q01F ... YUJFQlE9PQ

Very nice! Good to see someone else using delays to push the boundaries of the typical monophonic synthesizer.
I have been doing this for a few years now. Started because my live rig had a few analog monophonics, and I needed to figure a way to get more out of these synthesizers. Typically my CS-15, Odyssey, or MS-20. But with these, there is no built in arpeggio, so I play the arpeggios manually instead. Using reverb with just the wet processed sound is key for this technique. I can get quite convincing ambient pads this way, and it does not sound like any other of my pad synths. There is massive animation in the sound due to the fast arpeggios shaping the overall complexity of the new waveform created with the delay.
I have been experimenting with YouTube videos, and uploaded a try with an MS-20, but the audio doesn't sound as sweet as the wave file?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ynu8vPu2amg
And a better quality MP3 audio of same:
Mono Synth Chords

Great thread! Anyone else with other examples? The Brian May video was awesome. Thanks for the link devetron.

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:46 am
by Sexor
Great video CZ! Clever use of the trigger as well ("as swell" hohohohahaha - sorry people, I cat help it :cat: -oh man! another one #-o )

The only downside to arpeggiating manually is that you don't get the ridiculously precise fast arpeggio speeds that you can hear in my demo. On the other hand it does sound more natural and gives you more control over the tone and dynamics.