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Databroth (serial knob twiddler on Youtube)


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Not really on topic but artist names starting with or containing "data" get a massive -12 penalty in originality and even if their stuff sounds cool I sometimes skip hitting play (not this time though).

Anyway that's not generative at all, you see the guy is clicking around doing stuff! That's cheating. You ought to just film your massive pile of modular gear tinkling on it's own because that's what generative really is: if your gear costs above a certain limit of €€€, it starts making music on it's own and all you have to do is keep the power on and setup a GoPro along with a YouTube channel - viola passive income!


Anyway x2 the DAW is Bitwig, right? I am super not familiar with that so I am now wondering how much of that what is happening is thanks to the DAW features and how much is built into Vital?

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vital doesn't have it's own midi note generation or a typical kind of arp, so you are absolutely rightish. however, some sorts of knobdraggery can end you up with a one-note sequence that can go on basically evolving and never repeat, mostly never repeat. Some of us have been pestering the developer Matt Tytel to add note generation and other cool stuff though. Vital seems to have been modeled after Serum. But at the end of the day, all Databroth seems to do is twiddle knobs, which on reflection one might think it to be over-glorified activity but really the starting point of many a music maker's forays into footbrain. Not that all brainfeet are whiff-readable.

edit: and yes he uses mostly commercial software which is paid, and i imagine he's got devs attention and i imagine they give him licenses possibly since he demos the stuff on tv. but i do learn a bit about some of the newer sound design tools from there.

Edited by rek
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I mean he would be right not to add MIDI generation - that's a job for a different tool anyway. M4L and Pure Data, hell any modern DAW should have the basic building blocks: an arpeggiator, pitch randomiser, velocity modulation/gating and scale normalizer to force all the mess into the notes that you actually selected.

Here's an Ableton Live rack that does this. No M4L devices or advanced stuff like that - if you ever had a Live Lite license from somewhere, you too can do this at the comfort of your own home. Slap that on a MIDI track, play your favorite chord and that's basically it. You get the best results with a plugin/synth that responds nicely to higher/lower velocities.

Most of the mappings should be self-explanatory. Threshold maps to the last Velocity device's Lowest parameter. The point is that by playing with  Threshold/Random you control the density of notes generated, and by combining with Final Out Hi, you can sort of "fade" in/out your generative MIDI from a deluge of notes to a quiet trickle.

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Edited by thawkins
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some of the first things i ever did on a modular was with vaz, i'd just mess with stuff until it started to do random sounding patterns. i didn't even know what generative music was. another thing i did was i bought 5 cd players and recorded myself playing different instruments to a metronome, with varying durations, and burning cds with different instruments per disc and put them on repeat and just hit play. everything would be in time but playing back in a pattern that would probably never exactly repeat, or if it would i'd never notice. hey but that's not exactly generative music, but it's ok since i didn't know what generative music was back then.

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i'm not Databroth and I don't know them, but i think they make a decent channel of just knob twiddling with good sounding software tools. Whether he stays on the topic exactly isn't important, I just think it's a neat concept for a channel. Anybody could do this kind of channel, but I don't see too many people just focusing like this and no words or anything. It's his thing, not necessarily my thing but there's good demos of just the noises and knob twiddling.  I'll peep them sometimes just to see what all the buzz may be about with this or that generator or effect. whether those tools may be worth the hype or not.


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It's definitely a neat concept for a channel, although I don't feel like I have time to watch this kind of stuff attentively. I definitely like audio demos with no talking, that's for sure. Maybe I should make an effort to have this stuff playing in the background when doing other things, so that when something cool happens I can check it out and see how it's made.

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