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Reply To: Live Performance Phrase Sequencer

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RELEASE is a powerful control over the shape of conversion from input notes to the trailing sequences.  In this ‘fast’ preset tweak, sparse note input can quickly build to complex repeating phrases.  Less of the phrase is ‘erased’ with the rapid 10 mS return to full volume.  Note attacks are preserved.  Again, holding a chord from a Whole note or greater will overwrite the current phase completely.  Some nicely timed chords can serve as a background riff that can be edited on-the-fly.

For any close-to-infinite sequencing or looping scheme, there should be some kind of escape hatch.  You can avoid the self-oscillation levels [100-110], but in some algorithms, it’s better to stay lower [90-95].  You can use an AUX switch to kill or reduce FEEDBACK levels.  I like to use an expression pedal; mapped from maximum FEEDBACK, to 0 (or slightly higher for smoother fade-outs).  A 2nd benefit is that the repeating sequence can be ‘edited’ with rapid expression pedal movement (between its extremes).

At the other end, a ‘slow’ RELEASE of 500 mS opens up the dynamic control of envelope shaping.  ‘Slow Gear’ effects are more pronounced over the 1/2 second build-up.  Volume control adjustments at the instrument become more layered & nuanced.  The ‘erase head’ time over the repeating phrase is increased.  This is a versatile setting: arpeggios, mixed phrases, & legato chord work.

One cool technique involves sustaining chords with the instrument volume at a minimum.  Let the chord rings out, then fade in the instrument volume.  When you fade the instrument volume back down to zero, the ducking compressor will fade-in the recorded background to maximum.  Great for pseudo-string ensembles, synth sounds, and ambient washes.

Of course, you can map the ‘fast’ through the ‘slow’ RELEASE on the expression pedal.  I dropped the FEEDBACK safety valve, so those levels were reduced to 75.  I also increased the WET MIX to 75%, for more emphasis on the phrase attack variation.  This is the way to go for really dynamic phrase sequences, with a deep mixture of envelope shapes.

You can add another wrinkle by boosting the WET MIX to 100.  Now your input notes & chords will always be muted, and ‘silent’ input will fade in the resulting phrases.  It’s a type of reverse mixing that helps to accent the current RELEASE setting [500 mS here].  Both FEEDBACKs are reduced slightly.  The lowpass/high-cut FILTER is introduced in-line.  It helps out regeneration decay with increased darkening on each repeat.

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I offset DELAY A & DELAY B by a small amount here.  It adds the feel of the phrases slowing down, yet everything remains in sync.



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