My Motivic Metropolix

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Thanks for the post. Interesting.

Pressing the eight orange skip buttons for each track can provide a tremendous range of combinations and unexpected but generative outcomes especially when unusual 'order’ings are driving both tracks.

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Using the skip buttons that way is a great idea. Nice! I imagine I could get very comfortable leaving the eight orange skip buttons out/on and jamming/improvising on them. I put a Planar 2 to the left of my Metropolix for melodic modulation… That would be a neat way of decoupling the rhythmic and harmonic elements from each other and to different hands.

Flipping the skips with the left hand via Skip Invert parameter and changing skips with the right hand would be great, too.

skip invert FTW!

Another tip is to run a steady high signal into the three X, Y, Z inputs which means that the three associated attenutators can be manually tweaked to control any chosen aspect of the Metropolix. It’s like having three more knobs to tweak.

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I too have put a Planar 2 stationed to the left of Metropolix. A lot of people are sleeping on on Worng Electronics Vector Space. It pairs really well with Planar 2 and another modulation source as a giant macro controller for panning and modulation.

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Nice. I can spend hours just looping Planar 2 movements into Metropolix CV for Offset, Pitch-Pre and the rest.

The Vector Space looks great! I don’t have enough room for it though… It reminds me of Let’s Splosh by Nonlinearcircuits (which I should make room for)… Those CV extrapolators have a way of making me feel like a modular megalomaniac when combined with Planar 2. Fun!

Here’s an example of the performance power couple that is metropolix + Planar 2. Detailed patch notes can be found in the description of the video.

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