Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

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Audiotom
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Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by Audiotom » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:56 pm

Hi everyone - just joined your forum - very engaging place.’

My question is this.

I play a little upright bass and last year I bought a brand new Mini Moog model D reissue.

I love playing with the mini moog - making soundscapes at home

I am not a proficient pianist/musician but I do enjoy putting together various sound collages
Brings me back to the 70s - I love prog especially Yes, Eno, King Crimson, Floyd and Genesis and also was into the German electronica scene - Tangerine Dream/Neu/Cluster etc. Always was fascinated by the seductive sound of Moogs

I have a Tascam digital 24 track recorder and various instruments I could lay down loose organic soundscapes.

I would like to develop a synth envelope

Pardon my lack of using the right phrases
What I would like to do is be able to build a repeating motif where I can change the note as I layer minimoog improv on top of it

It sounds like the ideal scenario would include a sequencer/arpeggio generator
Any suggestions on that or other options for my setup?

I’m not constrained from the financial end so I would rather buy something nice that is easy to use, intuitive with on the fly variation and most importantly a rich organic sound.

Looking for suggestions on things that would allow me to build a bank of sound to play the minimoog on top of it. Not looking to be a gear head - just round out what is possible


Thank you so much
Tom
Last edited by Audiotom on Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Z
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Re: Have mini moog - o to sequensers - ?

Post by Z » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:21 pm

Congratulations on your purchase, the MiniiMoog is a fine instrument.

The reissue model has MIDI unlike the original synth and can be sequenced via MIDI with a stand-along hardware sequencer or with a software sequencer on your computer or tablet along with a MIDI interface.

The MiniMoog is a monophonic (one note/voice at a time) and monotimbral (only one specific sound produced at a time). So whatever sequence you create to loop, that is all you will be able to hear or play from the MiniMoog unless you record that loop to your Tascam recorder and play it back to improvise or record other sound parts on the MiniMoog. Since synthesizers were expensive back in the 70s, that's how a lot of large synthesizer parts were recorded: one synth, one track at a time.

I hope that answers your questions. Do not hesitate to reach out for more help. This is a great community.
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Re: Have mini moog - o to sequensers - ?

Post by Audiotom » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:08 pm

Thanks Z

I understand the monophonic capabilities of the Mini
I am not interested in patching into it (unless there is something I am overlooking)
But instead adding additional instruments / sequencers etc to round out the mix

My aim isn’t for recording - although that is a fun side thing to add acoustic instruments for a side project recording

What I am really looking to do is have some fun
Have a cohesive backing element
And just play on top of it
Build up those musician skills and perhaps sit in with some friends as wallpaper to their music

I grew up in the 70s and am so happy to have my hands on such a warm, wonderful musical gift

As for playback
I have both an SWR California Blonde and an active amplified set of monitors and a few other amps to use
I can utilize several amps at once.

The additions can be vintage or modern but I don’t want something that sounds like a toy.
I would want the setup to complement tonally with what I am putting on top of it via the moog

Thanks for the warm welcome

Tom

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Re: Have mini moog - o to sequensers - ?

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:16 pm

Audiotom wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:08 pm
What I am really looking to do is have some fun
Have a cohesive backing element
And just play on top of it
That requires a sequencer of sorts; a monophonic one will do in this case. There are loads of them, many of which aren't too expensive - for instance, the Arturia Beatstep (Pro) and Keystep, the Korg SQ-1, plus many more.

You could then (just as a suggestion) program a bass line that "plays automatically" when you start the sequencer, to which you can then play your guitar or whatever.

You could even create three note chords by tuning the oscillators of your Minimoog in suitable intervals (e.g. keynote, minor third and fifth). You'd then program the keynotes into the sequencer and have the synth play chords. However, there's no way to alter intervals but to do so manually. So you'd usually have only minor chords, or only major chords, etc.

Creating "real" chord accompaniments would require a polyphonic or at least paraphonic synth, which either has a built-in polyphonic sequencer, or is controled by an external one (the above mentioned Arturia Keystep is an example).
Don't forget to TURN ON THE SYNTHESIZER. Often this is the reason why you get no sound out of it. - ARP 2600 manual, 1971

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by Z » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:48 am

Audiotom wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:56 pm

What I would like to do is be able to build a repeating motif where I can change the note as I layer minimoog improv on top of it

It sounds like the ideal scenario would include a sequencer/arpeggio generator
Any suggestions on that or other options for my setup?

Looking for suggestions on things that would allow me to build a bank of sound to play the minimoog on top of it. Not looking to be a gear head - just round out what is possible
OK, so I think you're looking for some sort of programmable accompaniment device, right?

If so, you might want to take a look at the Roland JD-Xi. I've had one of these since they were first introduced in 2015 and lately it has been integral in my live rig. I use it to arrange my backing tracks while I play other synths live.

The JD-Xi is a 4 part multi-timbral synth/sequencer. It has 2 digital polyphonic parts, a monophonic analog part and a digital drum part. It sounds great and is very easy to use. You can buy one new for $500 or less and I've seen them used for $350 or less. A lot of bang-for-your-buck.
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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by Audiotom » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:04 am

Thanks guys

Yes a sequencer / arpeggio where I can set down a rythum and change chords / modulate up and down

Straight forward user interface is great

Is there Moog equivalent?

Thanks I will look into these

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:19 pm

Audiotom wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:04 am
Is there Moog equivalent?
Nope, Moog has never done anything digital and never anything with song-based sequencing.

Since you keep asking about straight forward user interfaces, you should just be ready to accept that digtal gear will never be as straightforward as something like a MiniMoog...it just can't be with all the functionality it has. What you need to look into is how much immediate control is possible and decide if that is enough for your purposes.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by Audiotom » Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:25 am

Bought the Arturia Beat Step Pro

The youtube videos showed it’s flexibility on the fly.

My next question is running tthe BS Pro to another unit to make the sound richer.

A synth or modular?

I love the Minimoog sound / interface

Just looking for something to hold down the track to play free form moog over at home
And perhaps a second set of keys (analog) to play both simultaneously at times

Thanks for all the helpful insights

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:38 pm

You don't want a modular, trust me as someone who used them for ten years.
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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by Audiotom » Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:07 pm

Modular was the wrong word

I played with a Grandmother at guitar center yesterday.
That thing is so ugly.

Did a iittle research and a bit of Youtube videos

a Moog Matriarch might be up my alley.

Polyphonic, expansive sequencer which changes on the fly, 4 oscillators stereo options.

May not be as immediately straight forward / on the fly as a grandmother, little phatty or subsequent 37

Seems like the Matriarch could compliment the Mini Moog nicely.

Insights ?

Thanks

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:39 pm

1. Matriarch is not truly polyphonic. It's what is now called paraphonic. The difference is a true polyphonic instrument has a complete signal path per note. Paraphonic synths have an oscillator per note but do not have a full signal path per note. In the Matriarch's case, the filter and amp stages are shared. Here's our veteran VSE member Automatic Gainsay explaining.



2. The sequencer in the Matriarch has a step sequencer that plays patterns. The BeatStep is the same. You play guitar, so imagine a guitar that only plays riffs that last 1, 2, 3, or 4 bars and repeats them endlessly until you choose a new riff. Now imagine something like a player piano, nowadays we call sequencers that work like that linear or song-based. With these you can program entire songs. You have to decide which you want.

P.S. I will skip a long explanation about how step sequencers faded away in favor of song-based sequencers and then staged a huge comeback in the last 20 years.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by Audiotom » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:39 pm

Thanks for the link

I am going to go through the whole Automaticgamesay youtube series

Not being a pianist - I am less interested in fully functioned chords with separate filters.

Playing several “notes” through the same filter simultaneously would seem to take away from the bit of an individual note with multi oscillators via the Minimoog

Watching Lisa Bella Donna extract some pretty intense sounds out of the Matriarch while playing off sequencer backing patterns is pretty impressive.

I am looking at a sequencer where one could change the pitch (or notes on the fly) like the Beatstep Pro. Having a whole second synth with analog feel and additional sequencing looks very appealing.

Wanting to do more Tangerine Dream type stuff - not a song based approach.

I should get playing a bit with the BeatStep Pro - kick out my holiday company

Any advice on whether I should consider the Matriarch to my setup is appreciated

Thank you

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:10 pm

Audiotom wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:39 pm
I am going to go through the whole Automaticgamesay youtube series
Be careful. There is an awful lot to get through. ;)
I am looking at a sequencer where one could change the pitch (or notes on the fly) like the Beatstep Pro.
Word of caution on the original Beatstep - I have one - whilst it is a lot of fun, and you can certainly sequence a pattern of notes, tweak individual note pitches on the fly, and even mute them, it can't:
- sequence chains of patterns for songs (ie. Pat A -> Pat B -> Pat C). You have to change the pattern yourself.
- sequence two+ synths with individual patterns.

I gather the Beatstep Pro does these things, but I'd confirm that with someone who actually uses one.
Having a whole second synth with analog feel and additional sequencing looks very appealing.

Wanting to do more Tangerine Dream type stuff - not a song based approach
Have you thought using effects to spice up your sound? It strikes me as a good reverb/delay unit might do you well.

Cheers
Angus

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by Weirdofromouterspace » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:08 pm

Audiotom wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:39 pm
Not being a pianist - I am less interested in fully functioned chords with separate filters.
That's not all there is.

For instance, imagine playing and holding a three note chord in the lower register. It started with a fairly loud attack but got quieter in volume by now.
Now you want to start a melody in the upper register while still holding that chord. And *bam* - now there are two options in a paraphonic synth, neither of which is what you'd probably want:

a) The melody starts at the low volume of the chord being held, and without a significant attack.
b) The chord you intended to just hold at a low volume is hit again together with the note you play in the upper register, and with the same attack at that. This is called "multi-trigger" in many paraphonic synths.

As a popular and well-known example: Due to this fact, it is simply not possible to play one of the so-called 'Inventions' or many other pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach on a paraphonic synth. It is, however, possible on a (truly) polyphonic synth - a sufficiently sized keyboard or a suitable sequencer provided - as it can actually trigger just the "new" note with a new envelope and all that, while simply holding the other notes without retriggering them.

Paraphonic synths can be great instruments that provide a lot of fun and possibilities, but be aware of their limitations :).
Don't forget to TURN ON THE SYNTHESIZER. Often this is the reason why you get no sound out of it. - ARP 2600 manual, 1971

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Re: Have mini moog - on to sequensers - ?

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:34 pm

Audiotom wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:39 pm
Wanting to do more Tangerine Dream type stuff - not a song based approach.
Save some money and buy either a Mother 32 or even the cheaper Behringer copy, the Crave, to do TD-ish sequenced lines.

Or spend your money on a Matriarch if you can easily afford it.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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