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  1. dave
  2. MODX
  3. Monday, 29 June 2020
I’m looking for the best way to achieve the following.

Ill be doing some band practices without a drummer soon. Seeing the MODX has some fantastic drums I thought I’d use it to keep time etc.

At the moment ive got about 5-6 different performances in total that i use for the songs we play. Nothing complicated, just the usual Piano/brass/organ etc. I know how to add a drum part to each, but then I’m a bit lost to get the function below. At home for my own stuff ive managed to program different variations of the drums in to different scenes, but i dont want to do that with the band songs. We have about 50 songs and wont be doing them all, but i wont know what ones were are doing until we do them.

I dont want to pre program anything until I’m at the rehearsal. I want to be able to add in a rhythm part to a performance, and have easy access to its 8 variants to quickly find the most suitable, and maybe drop in some fills etc. Doesn’t have to follow the song as such, just something in the style of the song, so I’m not looking to crate backing tracks etc. I guess i could program just the basic kit in to all the patches to start with, but ill need to change the Arp (or rhythm) on a per song basis. Ill also need to be able to go through the different styles etc and chose the most appropriate one.

Ill need the drums to stay on throughout the the song. I appreciate i cant change performances without it stopping, so ill just stick to one sound for now.

Its really just a temporary thing so i dont want to spend too much time on it, its more just i dont want to waste the bands time fiddling about, so looking for pointers how to to get to things quickly.

Thanks for any tips. Although i think i know how to achieve this I’m sure someone knows a better one. Still not got to grips with the Arp stuff yet.
Responses (8)
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
My first tip is: stop thinking you are going to be able to do this quickly and easily at rehearsal. In order to accomplish that we highly recommend a lot of preparation. At least in navigating the front panel logistics.

We suggest you prepare several different scenarios — have them setup and ready to go.

There are far too many Arp Phrases in the Drum category for you to causally think you’re going to do this without pre-programming anything. When you find yourself scrolling through over 3000 drum grooves you’ll wish you had a better way!

And when you say “it doesn’t have to follow the song as such” — we disagree! Of course it does!

Method 1
When you press the [RHYTHM PATTERN] button
You are taken to a special Drum Kit search screen... which let’s you “merge” a Drum Kit to the current Performance
Choosing a Drum Kit by name automatically recalls a set of Arp Select Phrases that go with that Kit’s name. If you select a Rock Kit expect a set of Rock drum patterns and fills, if you select a Hip Hop Kit expect a set of Hip Hop Phrases mapped your the Arp Select buttons... and so on.

I would start here. When you recall a Kit it will automatically have a set of Arps associated — accessible via the Arp Select buttons.
Do some advance work... try different Kits and imagine what they might be good for. The special [RHYTHM PATTERN] screen has Tempo, Arp Select buttons, every thing you need to add a Drum Kit with a set of Arp Phrases already linked.

Method 2
Call up your Performance
Press the [RECORD] button
This will take you to the Sequencer and select a blank Pattern
Touch an available Part slot “+” and add a Drum Kit
In this method you can record your own basic Pattern
Deactivate the KBD CTRL icon on this Drum Kit.
Select the Drum Part directly so that you can play just the Drum sounds.

Setup and record a drum groove appropriate for the composition you are going to do. Use SCENE 1.
4 Bars (the default), Record as many as you feel appropriate
Set the Tempo and Time Signature before entering any note data.

With this method your Drum groove will playback with the help of the Pattern Sequencer... your Performance Parts will be linked by KBD CTRL - Select any one of them to make them all sound when you’re ready to play along with your newly recorded Drum Pattern.

You may find it easier to record your own basic drum grooves for rehearsal.

In either Method your comfort with the logistics of navigation will be critical to the success you achieve. If you are unclear on how to navigate - trying to do it under pressure (even the reduced pressure of rehearsal) becomes insurmountable. Work out a few ideas well ahead of time. Find some generic Arps or practice building some basic grooves so that you are not struggling during rehearsal.

Important... playing along with a drum machine is different from playing along with an actual drummer. Not just for you, but probably for all your band mates— they are going to have to listen to the drums (we know they say they do normally) you’ll discover exactly HOW MUCH they listen during this experiment.

Hint: when there is a drum machine (or any automated rhythm) involved, it becomes the ’conductor’ — all musicians must follow the conductor... so hearing the drum beat becomes your first issue!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

I’m going to take your suggestions and try them later. It looks like the first will be ideal. With a set of 50+ songs i really cant program that many as suggested in method 2, and I’m not a drummer so it would take me a long time to do that. Ive already tried recording songs from scratch, and the rhythms parts are the hardest for me. The songs are just standard club cover stuff, so the rock kit and that type of kit is all i need.

What I’m really asking is how to get to the variations and different rhythms quickly, and make sure they keep playing when i take my hand off the keyboard. I know the Montage has physical buttons, and the MODX has soft buttons, but I’m not sure about getting to all this quickly. I would of course practice all this before hand, but i wanted to be on the right track before i get started. Ive hardly does anything with Arps, other than keep tuning them off. I did program a couple in as i said above, but this was just me finding my way around, and it seemed quite long winded. I’m still not 100% up on the terms used. I assume an Arp is what makes the drum patterns as well? If that is correct can i use more than the 8 that are automatically assigned?

This will be my first time out with the MODX, in fact first time playing keys for about 30 years with a band (I’m mainly a bass player these days, only got the MODX two weeks ago) but I’m used to playing with a drum machine. Ive done a lot of ‘acoustic’ rehearsals over the years, and to be honest i really enjoy the discipline of playing with a machine sometimes.

To clarify my post.
When i say it doesn’t need to follow the song, I’m talking about intro, breaks, solos etc. I dont need a full drums track, just a rhythm in the style of the song that we can play along to with the correct feel. If i can trigger a fill or two so much the better, but its not a must. We have worked like this before with drums coming from a Zoom B1-Four. This is very basic though but did the job. I just feel the MODX has much more potent ion. its just so we can go thought a few things without needing a drummer and a drum kit.
I would be favouriting Aprs before going, making notes about which ones i feel work, i just don’t want to programme them in, as i dont know what songs we will do. This is why i want to have quick access to the ones i know i want to use as and when we play a song. Finding the quickest route and less button pressing.

Thanks gain for the tips.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Ok, I’m back :-)
Ive got things working better now, thanks for the tips.
I am having a hard time figuring what happened here. Its only happened once so far, but i would like to know why.

Ive got a performance with no drums. If i hit the Rhythm button i get the drums come up on the screen. I chose one, and go back to the home screen and turn off keyboard control, highlight the original sound and i can play along to the drums, without them re triggering each time i hit a key. Perfect. I had to go back to the home screen because the drums were triggering with every key i played.

What i would like to do though is to keep the rhythm screen open, so i can select the different arps/rhythms that have been assigned to it. Those 8 boxes across the bottom.
Normally it works fine but I’d like to avoid having the above happen again if possible, so I’d like to know if anything comes to mind. I appreciate its a hard one to diagnose, but maybe something comes to mind?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Ok. Forget that last post. It seems its just DUB-Kit 1+2 thats doing this. Dub kit has a bass drum on every key, and Dub kit 2 has a cymbal on every key.
Can anyone help to explain how this is programmed, and how i can take it off?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 4
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Here are two very important things to know about Drum Kits with Arpeggios assigned to them: (Yours sounds like the second one... but you need to know both of these...

If you build a Performance where an Arp Drum Kit is playing as one of the Parts, you want to have KBD CTRL active so that playback begins when you press a key. However, if you STOP the Arpeggiator, you will notice that a Drum sound will occupy each key between C0~C6. When the Arpeggio is Stopped naturally the Drum Kit Part is layered on the Keyboard.

It will sound like someone threw a drum Kit down a flight of stairs because some drum is playing with each Key pressed... enter the Part Arpeggio parameter called “Arp Play Only” when this is set to ON, then only an Arp Phrase will cause the drums to sound. Your key presses will no longer trigger the Drum sounds via normal direct key on... while the [Arp On/Off] is OFF

This is necessary in order to STOP the Arp and NOT have drums sounding on each Key.
From the HOME screen
Select the Drum Kit Part
Press [EDIT]
Touch “Arpeggio” > “Common” > Find “Arp Play Only”
Set it to ON.

Second thing to know. When working with certain Drum Arpeggios, (see DATA LIST pdf) there is what’s called an “Accent Phrase”
See page 87 of the Reference Manual: “Accent Velocity Threshold”.
This Accent (typically, a Kick drum + Cymbal Crash) can be triggered by Velocity.

Translation: you can set an “Velocity Threshold” — basically anytime you exceed this velocity the “Accent phrase” is triggered. This sounds very much like what you are describing.

While editing the Drum Part “Arpeggio” > touch “Advanced”
Find “Accent”, set the “Vel Threshold” to a value like 126 so that only when you hit the keys hard do you trigger the Kick and Cymbal. Set to taste — If set too low, you will trigger it with each key press. You can turn it completely OFF, if you like.

The default is 64 (pretty much guaranteeing you will get a Kick + Cymbal). —they want you to adjust it.

Hope that helps
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 5
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thanks very much for the detailed reply. I had a look at the Accent section and it was set to 1. I turned it off and now the world is a much better place lol.

Seems there is still a lot to learn with this synth, but its great fun doing it.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 6
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Very good info about ARP settings.

I took a look at mine and it appears that ARP PLAY ONLY defaults to ON and VELOCITY THRESHOLD defaults to OFF.

I've set the threshold on my performances to 126 and I'll see how that works for accents.

Velocity threshold at 126 was too high for me. Couldn't get it to trigger so set to 115. Good starting point.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 7
Bad Mister
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Very good info about ARP settings.

I took a look at mine and it appears that ARP PLAY ONLY defaults to ON and VELOCITY THRESHOLD defaults to OFF.

I've set the threshold on my performances to 126 and I'll see how that works for accents.
The default is 64 for Accent Vel Threshold when you build your own Performances and assign the Drum Arps yourself. If you see set to OFF, it’s because the original programmer set it to Off. Same with ARP PLAY ONLY, the default is OFF when constructing your own Performances and assigning Drum Arp Phrases. Again, it is the programmer’s choice.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. MODX
  3. # 8
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