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Creating full tracks with the Electribes
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cooptrol
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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject: Creating full tracks with the Electribes Reply with quote

I have been using Electribes for some years now, and haven't yet figured out which is the best way to accomplish fully produced and arranged music with them.

I thought it would be inspiring to hear from you guys and see what are your methods.

I have tried different techniques but none of them has convinced me:

_Creating a pattern and recording an improv via audio on my computer. Turning on and off parts to achieve some sort of song structure. Then editing the resulting stereo audio track to polish the song. This is fun but the editing part is very boring and sometimes the good parts of your take are too few to make a full track.

_Creating several patterns that work consecutively as a song. Then using the Song mode to arrange them, and recording tweaks to make variations. Well, this is heavy work, and the end results can be rigid, since the song goes in patterns structure. And you don't have the visual aid of the song structure that the computer gives you.

_Sequencing the Electribe with a computer via MIDI, and then recording the sequence in a song with empty patterns, to be able to reproduce the song without using the computer in a live situation. This is good cos you still use song mode, but the structure doesn't have to stick to the pattern dictatorship. And you can record motion seqs later. As I have an ESX, I usually create melodies using pitch motion sequence, so I would need CC to NRPN translator software to draw these motion sequences in my software sequencer. This is a little bit impractical.

_Like option 1, recording your pattern-based improv on a computer via audio, but routing parts to the 4 different outputs using pan routing, and a 4-input sound card. Then re-arranging and correcting mistakes editing the 4 resulting audio tracks. This demands pre-mixing of parts into the busses, and may cut the freedom of editing pre mixed parts.

_Recording various takes of different sounds and sequences on to the computer, and then edit and arrange them to create a song. If you do this using a pre-composed pattern, then your song will resemble the pattern, but may not as well. Plus, it takes all the fun of creating a song flow by playing the Electribe directly.

Well, these are some of my thoughts, hopw you find this post interesting enough to share your own.
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johnagiambalvo



Joined: 09 Nov 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing is missing> You do not know what you want. You have no plan. One way is first to have some thing in mind. I mean some theme. Then write music and or words to express your theme. Music is a series of cliches that express what ever you are trying to express. So just get it going. Start with a beat, then a base line. Try some words that express the theme. add some rhythm. So know you have one part of the song. Try any number of interesting changes, a bridge, a digression, and or a musical brake part. NOW all of this are just ghosts tracks. Then go back and embellish and tweak all the goast parts. Add some of the parts that you fell into. A song over time changes. Have other musicians give there opinions and let them tell you what they are hearing. Let them embellish as well. Use what you want and throw away the rest. The rest is TECH.. Johnny G.
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Aciphecs
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Joined: 16 Aug 2010
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Location: Biblical Proportion, Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnagiambalvo wrote:
One thing is missing> You do not know what you want. You have no plan. One way is first to have some thing in mind. I mean some theme. Then write music and or words to express your theme. Music is a series of cliches that express what ever you are trying to express. So just get it going. Start with a beat, then a base line. Try some words that express the theme. add some rhythm. So know you have one part of the song. Try any number of interesting changes, a bridge, a digression, and or a musical brake part. NOW all of this are just ghosts tracks. Then go back and embellish and tweak all the goast parts. Add some of the parts that you fell into. A song over time changes. Have other musicians give there opinions and let them tell you what they are hearing. Let them embellish as well. Use what you want and throw away the rest. The rest is TECH.. Johnny G.


You definitely have some valid points, but expressing that in song mode on an electribe is a whole 'nother story Shocked
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sadist%vince



Joined: 29 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every track I made on the link below was made with the EMX + ESX www.reverbnation.com/mecanikill
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cooptrol
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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You definitely have some valid points, but expressing that in song mode on an electribe is a whole 'nother story


Can't agree more..It's hideous...
Right now I'm composing a track for a performance with video mapping, and since I plan to do it live with the ESX, I'm arranging it in Ableton Live controlling ESX's parts via MIDI. When I finish I'll record the whole song into a song in the ESX, and then record the tweaks.

I think I'm gonna stick with this method for a while..
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Aciphecs
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Joined: 16 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooptrol wrote:
Quote:
You definitely have some valid points, but expressing that in song mode on an electribe is a whole 'nother story


Can't agree more..It's hideous...
Right now I'm composing a track for a performance with video mapping, and since I plan to do it live with the ESX, I'm arranging it in Ableton Live controlling ESX's parts via MIDI. When I finish I'll record the whole song into a song in the ESX, and then record the tweaks.

I think I'm gonna stick with this method for a while..


Sounds like you have a good method! I don't have a PC right now, so I'm constrained to in-box song layout, which get's tedious Evil or Very Mad You know!
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cooptrol
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah it works ok, and it's the way all electronic music was made before computers could handle audio. Still many people is doing this with their external gear. The advantage of the Electribes is that they have a more or less good sequencer that can record all the sequences from your computer so that you don't have to take the laptop with you in a live situation.
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Aciphecs
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I play live all the time with no laptop! Just my trusty ESX, cd table for longer loops and monotron. I don't use song mode, just have my patterns that I want to play that night grouped together and start jammin. No one set is the same when I play..good fun Very Happy
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Badvibration



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:37 am    Post subject: Re: Creating full tracks with the Electribes Reply with quote

cooptrol wrote:

_Sequencing the Electribe with a computer via MIDI, and then recording the sequence in a song with empty patterns, to be able to reproduce the song without using the computer in a live situation. This is good cos you still use song mode, but the structure doesn't have to stick to the pattern dictatorship. And you can record motion seqs later. As I have an ESX, I usually create melodies using pitch motion sequence, so I would need CC to NRPN translator software to draw these motion sequences in my software sequencer. This is a little bit impractical.


As of right now, I just do everything on the electribe in song mode. But it can get frustrating with some of its limitations. I'd like to try sequencing it via midi, but i can't figure out how.

I have pro tools 8 and a usb uno 1x1 as my midi interface and I've figured out how to do a data dump into pro tools, but that's as far as I've gotten. I can see that it has been recorded, or uploaded, because there is a sysex file when i put the view mode into sysex. But I can't play it or view its contents and really i don't know what i should be able to do with it because this is new to me. So if anyone could pass on their knowledge, I'd be delighted.
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cooptrol
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well let's assume you have an ESX

It's easy. You first setupo the Uno as a MIDI port in Pro Tools preferences. Then create 3 MIDI tracks. In the first track's output you must put the Uno as output port and MIDI channel 10. In the next two tracks you put Uno as output port and MIDI channels 1 and 2 respectively.

The first track (channel 10) is for the drum parts and the stretch and slice parts of you ESX. You have to find out which MIDI notes are assigned to each part. To do this go to your ESX and press GLOBAL and then SHIFT and pad 15 (MIDI Utility). then turn the data wheel until you find "DrNote". Press pad 15 again and you will see the MIDI note assigned to each drum part as you select them. Take a note of which notes are they, or change them to you own taste. I usually use them starting from C1 on Part 1 and so on. The same for stretch and slice. Then press pad 15 again and press WRITE to save the settings.

You have to have the Uno cable labeled "To MIDI In" connected to the MIDID IN of the ESX. Now you can sequence the drum stretch and lsice parts on Track 1 of Pro Tools. For the Keyboard Parts, you use Track 2 (channel 1) and Track 3 (channel 2). You can sequence the notes normally on each track. If all this is not working, press GLOBAL on the ESX and scroll with the arrow buttons until you find "MIDI Ch". Press any drum part and the keyboart parts to see if channel 10 is assigned to drums and channels 1 and 2 to keyboard parts. If they aren't, change them and then press WRITE to save.

If you also want to send MIDI clock to the ESX (that means that you press play on the pro Tools and the ESX starts playing), you should find the MIDI Clock setting on the Pro Tools and set it to "send MIDI clock" . On the ESX you press GLOBAL and scroll to "Clock" and set it to "Auto", and the WRITE. It should work.
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Badvibration



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, first off thank you. I still need a little help though, if it isn't too much to ask.

So yes i have an esx, and i sequenced about a minute and a half long song to pro tools. It recorded and showed the correct midi notes and everything. But i'm wondering is it possible to hear the song back through pro tools? Do i have to upload sysex data or something? Also i recorded the song on three separate midi tracks with the different outputs (although now that i think of it, should i have set different inputs rather than outputs?) but they all show the same midi data. And lastly, if i do edit the data, do i just have to hit record on the esx and play on pro tools to sequence it back?

Your help is greatly appreciated as this is opening a magnitude of possibilities for me.
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cooptrol
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if I understand your questions but I'll try to schematize all the possibilities for you:


1) Create a sequence on Pro Tools using sounds IN the ESX:

Track 1 (Output MIDI channel: 10, Output MIDI port: Uno)
Track 2 (Output MIDI channel: 1, Output MIDI port: Uno)
Track 3 (Output MIDI channel: 2, Output MIDI port: Uno)

You draw the notes on the Pro Tools and when you press play the sequence makes the ESX part sound. If you wan to record this sequenc ON the ESX you have to set the MIDI Clock to control the ESX. The pattern on the ESX must have no sequences, only sounds. Press REC on the ESX and then play on Pro Tools and the ESX will record all the notes in the pattern.

2) Record into Pro Tools a sequence that you already have in the ESX:

Track 1 (Input MIDI channel: 10, Input MIDI port: Uno)
Track 2 (Input MIDI channel: 1, Input MIDI port: Uno)
Track 3 (Input MIDI channel: 2, Input MIDI port: Uno)

You must ARM the 3 tracks so that they record incoming MIDI signal, then press REC and PLAY on the Pro Tools. This way you will record the Drum Parts MIDI sequence into Track 1, and the Keyboard Parts MIDI sequences into Tracks 2 and 3.

NOTE: All these procedures don't involve recording ACTUAL SOUND into the computer, just MIDI information. If you want to record the ESX sound into the Pro Tools you must connect the audio output of the ESX to the audio input of your sound card, create a stereo audio track, arm it, press rec and play on the Pro Tools. MIDI and Audio are COMPLETELY SEPARATE THINGS.

NOTE2: I would advise not to use Pro Tools. It's a piece of crap. Beleive me, I know what I'm talking about, I used it for 10 years, and got rid of it for Ableton Live.
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swakst



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
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Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: listen different technique of music Reply with quote

listen a lot of different type of music using by electribe here :

http://www.youtube.com/swakst
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Badvibration



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try this tonight. #2 answered my question, i was setting the output channels not the input channels. I'm not sure i understand #1 but I'll mess around with it and see what happens.

As for the sound, I know that midi only records data and not audio but i was just curious if i could like the play the esx alongside the midi notes or uploading the system exclusive data or something, so that i could hear what i was editing. Or else I don't know what the point is of sequencing a song to pro tools.

And yeah, I don't like pro tools either. It's really restricting in what i want to do. I bought it at a local store when it was bundled with an interface for $100. I don't regret buying it, because it's got me into home recording, but i am looking to replace it. I'm planning on getting Live because Max for Live is really intriguing to me and Live just looks fantastic for drums. Logic looks really good too, but no mac for me Sad

Thanks again for all your help, I think i should be able to figure it out from here.
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Badvibration



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I figured out how to do both of them, but as of right now I'm not sure what the point is. I mean it's great to be able to use the midi editor in pt as opposed to song mode on the esx, but without being able to hear what i'm playing/editing in unison with pt, it seems kinda pointless. For instance, when doing option 1, i can record the midi notes and hear them through the esx as i'm playing. But then say i want to record a snare to the beat of what i just played. I can record and hear the snare, but i can't hear what i'm recording it on top of.

I mean it's still nice, like in case i don't like a part of the song i made using song mode, i can just simply edit out that note(s) and record it back to the esx. But you said that you record all the parts in Live, so how do you go about doing this?
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