Thoughts on Generative Music – Part 16
(Excerpt from my e-book “A Systematic Introduction To Making Generative Music With Modular Synths”, Volume 1. Read more here: https://www.dev.rofilm-media.net/node/331)
Instruo “harmonàig” - Part 2
(modules, that are especially useful for making generative music)
There is a transpose slider with an activate/deactivate button just below the CV in jack. This slider is inactive by default, but can be switched to different modes by tapping the button on the left below the slider. The modes are “quantised” (octave jumps), “global quantised” (jumps from note to note) and “fine tune”.
But which CVs do we get at the four outputs? Or an even better question: To which pitches do the CVs at the 4 outputs correspond?
Well, at the leftmost output we get the root note (= the pitch which is - in form of CV - patched in the CV in jack).
Next to the root note output we get the third (musical interval) of the root note. That´s the reason, why this output is labelled “3”.
Further to the right we get the fifth of the root note, and at the rightmost output there we get the 7th of the root note.
Each of these 4 outputs is equipped with a SLEW potentiometer, so that we can make them glide between different notes (coming in at the CV in jack) or jump between them individually for each of the 4 outputs.
There is a GATE output below the CV outputs, but – most unfortunately – it puts out only triggers in QUANTISER mode (in PERFORMANCE mode it puts out real gate signals). It´s usefulness to activate envelope generators is quite limited therefore.
The chord quality now (those of you, who may not be called the “Einsteins of music theory” may not worry: just try out what´s written in the following paragraphs – and you will grasp the musical meaning quite fast,
even without knowing all the mentioned terms – or find yourself a second job to be able to book my workshop ). There are 8 different chord qualities available by default, and additionally 4 user programmable ones (only in the hardware version so far – the VCV Rack version does not support this function, but it is said, that it will in the future). The following graphic shows what we can get in the Ionian scale. (and equivalently in the other adjustable scales.
We can switch between these chords after pushing the DIATONIC button to activate this function. We can switch manually or we can modulate the chord quality via external CV.
Let me take the chord C4-E4-G4-B4 to show the meaning of INVERSION and VOICING even to those of you, who were at the dentist´s, when these terms were explained at school.
Root close C4-E4-G4-B4
Root drop 2 C4-E5-G4-B4
Root drop 3 C4-E5-G5-B4
Root open C4-E5-G4-B5
1st inversion close C5-E4-G4-B4
1st inversion drop 2 C5-E4-G5-B4
1st inversion drop 3 C5-E4-G5-B5
1st inversion open C6-E4-G5-B4
2nd inversion close C5-E5-G4-B4
2nd inversion drop 2 C5-E5-G4-B5
2nd inversion drop 3 C6-E5-G4-B5
2nd inversion open C5-E6-G4-B5
3rd inversion close C5-E5-G5-B4
3rd inversion drop 2 C6-E5-G5-B4
3rd inversion drop 3 C6-E6-G5-B4
3rd inversion open C6-E5-G6-B4
Both, INVERSION as well as VOICING can be adjusted manually or modulated by external CV:
We can operate the module in different modal scales. In the software version we simply open the right-click menu. In the hardware version we have to proceed as follows:
first: press and hold the TRANSPOSE button.
second: press the DIATONIC button to switch
between the families “Ionian” and
third: tap the following keys on the keyboard
of the module to choose a certain scale
fourth: press the TRANSPOSE button again to
And here are the scales and corresponding buttons:
Ionian Modes: Harmonic Minor Modes:
C – Ionian C – Aeolian #7
D – Dorian D – Locrian #6
E – Phrygian D# - Ionian #5
F – Lydian F – Dorian #4
G – Mixolydian G – Phrygian #3
A – Aeolian G# - Lydian #2
B – Locrian B – Super Locrian
The presets “harmonaig_1.vcv”. “harmonaig_2.vcv”, “harmonaig_3.vcv” and the video behind the following link lead you deep into the world of “harmonaig” (presets and video are only available in the book)
… to be continued.