Clapping Looper (A Performance of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music)

So if you don’t know Clapping Music, here it is:

And that’s what this patch does (kind of).

If you want to just play, here’s your instructions (note that you should be doing stereo outputs here):

Hold the left footswitch momentarily to record a short loop of sound, preferably just a super quick strum or a single sustained note. You have to be quick. This will be the sound source coming out of the left channel. You’ll see a pixel on the left light up to show you have something captured.

Do the same thing with the right footswitch, right channel, pixel on the right, but try a different note or sound.

Center footswitch enters play mode. It will use a gate to rhythmically process your loops in the pattern of Clapping Music. It lasts about a minute and a half.

Some creative inspirations!

– The buffer is a 16sec looper. Try recording an evolving pad with modulation to increase variety.

– You can overwrite the loops while playing (I’d only recommend doing this with a short loop since you momentarily erase existing loop, unless you set the loopers to “hear while rec” or whatever it is. I didn’t think about this when building the patch, so it might be good for you to do. But I’ll fix it if I update this).

– As I demonstrated in my video below, you can record parts of chords on either side so when the channels match up, it plays a full chord.

And there you go. Here’s some interesting mod points and technical details.

Page 0 is all UI. Recording indicators in lower left and right are tied to the footswitch, audio in buffer indicator connected to looper outputs, and rhythmic indicator connected to the same place as the VCAs on page 1. Nothing super fun.

Page 1 is a ton of logic to make the play mode work the right way, but also includes IO. Upper left is audio in, upper right audio out, yeLlow for left switch, Magenta for middle, Red for right. Important points! Second row is huge. Why? On the left is the left channel VCA. Whatever you feed into that VCA will be chopped via our sequencer matrix on the left channel (consistent performer). Same thing with the right side of that row, right VCA (phased performer). The middle of that has a yellow LFO. This is your master clock. Speed it up, slow it down, FM it. Whatever you want!

Two important pieces on page 1, third row. Two clock dividers. Your left clock divider multiplies clock by 4. Important to drive the sequencers at the correct speed corresponding to tempo. Double time it by setting to 8 if you want! And the right clock divider divides by 24. 6×4 is 24. 6 is the number of clock pulses in our sequence, 4 is the number of bars the phased performer repeats each variation (the original piece is 8, so set this to 48 if you want to be true to Reich’s original arrangement).

The rest of page 1 is just stuff that makes sure that clocks send to the right place when you hit the center switch (play mode).

Page 2 is two loopers. These are our “buffers” for the channel. Nothing fancy. They take audio directly in, spit audio to the VCAs. This page is pretty blank to encourage experimentation. Throw an effect on each looper. Delete the loopers and replace them with pitch tracked synths. I don’t know. Point is, you should build a sound source here to feed into the VCA.

Page 3 is the brains of how it works, a meta-sequencer, that we’ll come back to in a moment.

Pages 4-15 are all sequencers that are programmed to do that patterns written out in the sheet music. These all go to page 3’s input switch, except page 4, which is also attached to the left VCA (our consistent performer) and the left pixel on page 0 indicating the trigger.

So page 3 is a 12 channel in switch, a trigger, and a 12 step sequencer. The sequencer is clocked by our right clock divider from page 1 (divide by 24) and will advance (I think, this is a potential bug that I don’t know if I’ll figure out) every four repetitions of the sequence. This drives the input switch to select the next sequencer (pages 4-15). And that in switch outputs to the right VCA on page 1 and the right pixel on page 0 indicating the trigger.

And there you go. Hopefully I can update this patch to make sure it performs consistently (having one or two issues with sometimes the meta-sequencer allowing three or five repititions). But it’s a start, and it’s modifiable for you to make Clapping Music out of any sound.

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  • Category: Composition Sequencer Sound
  • Revision: 1.0
  • License: Do What The F*ck You Want To Public License
  • Views: 902
  • Modified: 9 months ago
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