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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » Nord Modular G2 Discussion
I just realized why I'm frustrated!
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ark



Joined: Mar 06, 2008
Posts: 679
Location: New Jersey
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:49 am    Post subject: I just realized why I'm frustrated!
Subject description: How do I understand what's happening without a computer?
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I've been making slow but steady progress in learning how to make G2 patches. Nevertheless, there's been this feeling of frustration that I've found it hard to define. Today I finally figured out what it is.

Suppose I want to use a G2 as a plain ordinary musical instrument, perhaps in playing with other people. So I put it in my lap or on a stand, hook it to an amplifier, and make music.

Now, suppose I've piced out a patch that sounds approximately like what I want, but I want to make it sound different. I have a pretty good idea what sound I want -- but without seeing what's going on inside the patch, how do I figure out what I need to change?

Suppose, for example, we start out with factory patch 1:128, "Basics NL2." That patch seems to be a straightforward implementation of a subtractive synth. However, straightforward or not, the parameter overview page shows 79 separate parameters that can be adjusted. It's not too hard to look at the computer display and see what's going on; but it's a right royal pain to page through the parameters on the G2's LCDs and understand what's happening.

How do you experienced G2ers deal with that problem? Use only a few patches that you understand well? Flail around at random and hope for the best? Always carry a computer with you?
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I thyink this has come up before, and the only good advice (I think it was from Howard) is to make a few synth patches you are extremely comfortable with, and use them for those generic situations.

Or, with a computer connected (not available in the synth) is the Patch Adjuster tool, that was released along with the Patch Mutator tool. That will adjust some "generic" high level parameters, so you don't have to dig through a patch! Nobody really talks about that tool, but I think it's very useful to learn some of the possibilities of a new complex patch you come across.
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ark



Joined: Mar 06, 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
I thyink this has come up before, and the only good advice (I think it was from Howard) is to make a few synth patches you are extremely comfortable with, and use them for those generic situations.


It is comforting that there isn't an obvious solution that I haven't thought of.

Interestingly, a lot of other compact synths seem to have a similar problem: there are far more parameters than there are controls, and you can't tell how they're set without scrolling through lots of options. Even the Moog Little Phatty has that problem.
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egw
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

For me, the solution is to develop patches specifically intended for live performance / jamming with friends. After doing this for years, I know which aspects of the sounds I'll want to adjust in real time, so I map those parameters to the knobs. Sometimes when I'm playing I wish I could change something that's not assigned to a knob. I make a note of those things, and go back and modify the patches later. Most of the time I only use 10 or 20 patches. Besides remembering how they work, another advantage of being familiar with them is that in an improv situation, I can call up the sound I need without having to "preview" first.
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purusha



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Set up access to parameters as ergonomically as possible is the way I approach things.

I guess you could always buy a little netbook purely for G2 editing and use that live?

I use the G2 in combination with various other synths though. Lately I've been using the G2's inputs and using it as an effects units for my NL3 and Moog Voyager.

Smile

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zynthetix



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What the other guys have mentioned is sound advice. You'll get to playing certain patches a lot and map what you really editing all the time to the controls. In situations where you want to do more or don't have that set-up, I would use Patch edit mode.

To get into patch edit mode, hit the patch button just left to the red 'store' button above the main LCD screen.

You can then 'focus' and adjust each module of the patch using the cursor keys above the 'patch changing knob' on the synth. All the knob controls will change to whatever the currently highlighted module is so you can tweak every aspect of the patch in real time with no computer.

To get a really good idea of what this is doing, try this with the G2 plugged into the computer. As you use the cursor keys, you will see what is highlighted as a module and how the cursor moves you around on the computer screen. If you look to the G2 knobs then, you will see how the current module's controls are on the G2.

This, of course, will take some knowledge of the patches themselves and how the modules in them are physically organized on the screen. I do this systematically though: oscillators on top, LFO's below that, filters below that, amps below that, etc. Similar groups of objects grouped left to right such that you can just hit left / right to go to similar objects.

It will take knowledge of the instrument / patches to use it effectively, but this is true of every instrument. With a little practice this type of editing becomes very intuitive. I even use it when editing patches _with_ the computer hooked up because it is far faster to tweak the knobs on the G2 then change them with a mouse on the screen.

IMHO, this functionality should not be overlooked as it is a unique (and one of the biggest advantages) of using a hardware / software hybrid device like the G2. Something like Reaktor can't touch this type of editing - you'd be hitting 'Midi Learn' on the screen constantly and then tweaking your MIDI controller for every knob /slider to get this type of editing power.
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kara



Joined: Sep 07, 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I work in a simular way...
Another thing I do, is building all my patches from scratch, even if I see a good patch here, I will study it and the rebuild it. The advantage is that I realy know how it works and that all the knobs are assigned how I want.
Allso in all my patches the knobs are assigned in the same way.
With some practise you'll find your way in editing you proper patches quite fast.

I've attached an example of one of my typical jam synth's. If I need a particular sound on the fly for a jam, I'll get close with a patch like that since I can allmost controll it completely from the G2X panel.
Patch parameters are in the patch pages, FX parameters are in the global pages.


k


Mydefaultsynth.pch2
 Description:
Example of a live synth

Download
 Filename:  Mydefaultsynth.pch2
 Filesize:  3.61 KB
 Downloaded:  1081 Time(s)


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sebber



Joined: Aug 27, 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My guess would be that you don't need all 79 parameters. So just throw the ones out that you're certain you'll never use and rearrange the others.
For a subtractive synth the printings on the G2 (Osc, LFO, Env) might be useful (I don't like it though).
Clicking and dropping in the parameter overview and the parameter pages is just great and I always think a lot how I want to do it. I try to find out what I'll find logic when sitting at the G2 only. I also love it that you can click on an empty paramter and drag it to the control you want to control.
In the end you have to realize this: a patch in the G2 is a whole new instrument, like one of the other hardware synths. And it just takes time to get to know them and knowing, where that knob is. I found, that when I finished a patch, the next thing is, learning to play with the patch. In other words: practizing. It's a brand new instrument and even an Okarina takes it's time.

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ark



Joined: Mar 06, 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

zynthetix wrote:
What the other guys have mentioned is sound advice. You'll get to playing certain patches a lot and map what you really editing all the time to the controls. In situations where you want to do more or don't have that set-up, I would use Patch edit mode.

I'm familiar with Patch Edit mode. Indeed, I just discovered that when you're in that mode, the scroll knob lets you quickly scroll through the patches. Indeed, that's very nice.

My problem, though, is that I don't necessarily know what the modules actually do, and I can look at them only one at a time. It would be nice to be able to print the module layout as a guide, and I was surprised to find that the G2 editor doesn't let you do that other than by printing a screenshot of its window.

I'm sure you're right that the way around the problem is to learn the instrument--and the patch(es) you're using--thoroughly. Which will happen in the fullness of time. But it's frustrating, which is why I started this thread in the first place Smile
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