Here it is! Part 3 of my series on generative music making. My first video was about phased loops, inspired by Steve Reich (, and the second was about a bunch of tools and techniques inspired by Brian Eno ( This video is heavily inspired by Ólafur Arnalds Player Pianos software and performances (you can check out his work here) Here’s a timeline of the video: 0:00 Intro 1:25 MIDI effects 2:10 Tools for creating MIDI effects chains 3:25 Midihub 4:35 Simple MIDI effects example 5:30 Creating longer chains 6:45 Parallel chains 9:50 Mapping controllers to control MIDI parameters 11:15 Inverted generative MIDI effect chainRead More →

Matriarch is Moog’s flagship semi-modular synth – with stereo filters, stereo delays and stereo VCAs, four oscillators and a few paraphonic modes, and 90 patch points, there’s a lot of territory to explore and cover. Here’s my full review, detailed tutorial and quite a few patch tips (see full list below as well as in the video’s description):   TIMELINE: 0:00 Intro 0:55 Overview 2:15 The different Paraphonic modes 6:00 Round robin mode7:05 Oscillators overview9:50 Mixer 10:45 Filters 14:40 Envelopes 15:50 Split mode 17:20 Stereo delays 20:25 Main LFO 22:55 Utilities 24:55 Arpeggiator 26:00 Sequencer 28:00 Settings 30:00 Patch ideas:30:00 Using velocity and aftertouch 31:00Read More →

With the Minilogue XD, KORG did something which may prove to be one of the most interesting things a synth manufacturer can do: they opened up its digital oscillator and effects engine to any developer that cares to create plugins for it, without going through Korg for approval or certification. This is already bearing fruit with a few very interesting plug-ins, and most likely more to come. Here’s a review and full beginner friendly tutorial of the XD, a few advanced patching ideas and an explanation of its digital engine alongside a few examples of third party plugs. Detailed timeline with list of tips andRead More →

Crave from Behringer is a semi-modular analog monosynth based their 3340 oscillator and ladder filter, with a single LFO and envelope, an arpeggiator/sequencer and a 32 jack eurorack compatible patch bay priced at around $200. The market for analog synths at this price is getting pretty heated up, so let’s check out how Crave compares – a full timeline is just under the video below: 0:00 Intro  0:45 Overview  2:30 Connectivity  4:00 Oscillator  6:00 Osc mods  7:05 Filter  8:45 Filter mods  10:45 Envelope  12:30 LFO  14:10 Utility  15:15 Arpeggiator  16:05 Sequencer  21:10 Global controls  22:00 Patch bay  22:20 Assign output  24:40 Patching ideas  25:35 Playing the filter Read More →

Most drum machines and sequencers don’t support importing MIDI clips or loops, which is a shame because there are plenty of MIDI clip/loop libraries out there with excellent content, many played by real drummers with obvious human groove and feel, which is quite hard to program manually. This video offers a workflow to “import” MIDI clips into practically any modern drum machine and sequencer using a DAW and a simple MIDI effect. It then shows how you can quickly find loops in at least one large database – using the “tap to find” feature in Toontracks’ products. If you’re familiar with other such tools, pleaseRead More →

“Generative Music” is a term coined by Brian Eno to describe music that is always different and changing, generated by a system but led by creative guidelines, rather than typical music which follows a set of predetermined notes intended to be played the same way every time. This video includes 20 ideas and even more tools for creating generative music inspired by Brian Eno’s generative work. It’s focused on ideas rather than one platform, and covers eurorack, iOS, VCV and Ableton tools for creating generative and probability based music. TIMELINE OF IDEAS AND TOOLS: 0:00 Defining Generative 1:05 Simple randomization – Ableton MIDI LFO Max4LiveRead More →

Morphagene from Make Noise may seem like a simple module, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. This video walks through 20 tips and ideas for using Morphagene, including using it as a mono and “poly” granular synth, several types of delay, a synced looper, a drum machine and more. Here’s a timeline of the video: 0:00 Overview 2:05 Stereo recorder 2:55 “Tape” speed control 4:30 Using splices 5:50 Morphagene as a Drum machine 6:20 Overdubbing 7:35 Resampling 8:30 Simple delay 9:30 Reverse delay 9:50 Harmonized delay 11:00 Single repeat effect 12:20 Gene and Slide 14:30 Gene smoothing 15:00 Morph explained 17:20 PhasedRead More →

This video looks at two cool uses for Eurorack samplers as custom and rhythmic CV modulators rather than just for audio playback.  Typically, LFOs and multi stage envelopes are what you’d use for modulation. This video discusses two other ways of creating modulation, using samplers: Motion Sequencing The first method uses a sampler module with DC coupled inputs (Disting MK4 in this case) to record manual modulation and play it back. Motion sequencing is common place in DAWs and “DAWless” gear. This method shows how to bring manual motion sequencing to eurorack by recording it and then playing it back using a sampler. Rhythmic Waveforms The secondRead More →

This video explains a neat little sampler trick that lets you create music by *ignoring* a sampler’s sequencer: In the early 60’s groundbreaking composer Steve Reich pioneered the technique of using different length tape loops, and later on musical patterns, in composition. The idea is that two or more short loops, either identical either identical but one slightly shorter than the other, or completely different, drift in and out of phase to create textures, patterns and rhythms that weren’t there before. This tape loop technique is used by William Basisnki to create wonderful sonic soundscapes, and in the lovely “Walkman Symphony” by Amulets. In thisRead More →

Here it is! A full, detailed review of Elektron’s new Model:Samples, and a feature by feature comparison to Digitakt, which is the question I believe most people interested have on their mind: what are the tradeoffs, and what can one do that the other can’t. I’ve also narrowed the gap between the two a bit with a few tips and hacks that fill in the blanks in Model:Samples’ feature set, like the lack of sample locks and filter envelope. Below are two timelines, one for the 10 tips/hacks in the video, and another based on overall content. TIP/HACK TIMELINE: 1:40 Add Amp envelope stages usingRead More →