I just wanted to share a Metropolix technique/strategy that I have been enjoying for a while. I intended to make a video but this is easier for me and I just shared it elsewhere so time to share amongst the initiated…
A) Set your Pulses to something like 8 or 16.
B) Set your Stages length to something short, like 3 or 4,
C) Set ModLanes or Knob/CV to 3 things, but only one from each of these three types/categories:
- Offset or Play Order… Because Stages is short, when modulating this you are essentially moving through a bank of motifs to create a longer melody.
- PitchPre or Slider Range… Focusing on changing the implied harmony without effecting the rhythm, order or direction of your melodies is nice. Done fast enough, they really can morph the motifs quite a bit.
- Pulse Count or Probability…. these help me change the rhythm, which I really like because Metropolix often gets stuck in an endless barrage of 1/16 or 1/8th notes and I want more space/timing variety in my melodies. I tend to use Probability with a gate to turn the stage/note on or off instead of as a random variation, in this technique anyway.
I like modulating the parameters in C) by hand at first, or even with an LFO, but you can definitely get more intentionality with ModLanes. Making each stage unique from the others using per stage slide, gate type, pulse count helps create a more diverse bank of motifs when you consider the stage window will create different combinations of those attributes when modulating offset.
Lastly, the Accumulator, Probability and Ratcheting take this technique into generative territory very quickly. I usually defer those modulations till later, I think because I personally have a harder time predicting/reasoning about what each modulation will do to the melody.
Happy to hear other people’s techniques and if any of the above was helpful.