Gleeok — a 3-track mixable drum machine/sequencer

Gleeok is a drum sequencer that began with the thought experiment of “What if I could get something kind of sort of like the Mutable Instruments Grids for ZOIA?” Now, this patch is absolutely not a clone, it’s not even very similar — Grids uses a coordinate map to morph between different drum patterns; it uses all sorts of coding options that are not strictly impossible in ZOIA but cumbersome.

Instead of morphing between a multitude of pre-programmed drum patterns, Gleeok instead allows you to mix between three different user-programmed drum patterns. The points in between use probability to determine what will be heard, and since this probability is constantly recalculated, the results can very quite a lot. So, you have nodes of stability (the three patterns) with degrees of instability spread between them.

Then, I threw in some drum voices, because I had the CPU so why not, so you can use it with either external devices — over CV or MIDI — or with the internal voices, if you want.

Let’s wade into the controls:

So, the way that this works is that there are three TRACKS, with each track being up to sixteen steps. Each track has a sequencer lane for bass drum (BD — mango), snare (SN — aqua), and hats (HT — purple) — obviously if used with external gear, these can be any drum voices you want (all toms, my friend), but they needed -some- names to differentiate them — which correspond to the internal voices.

You program these sequences by pressing on the step you want to produce a hit; the sequencers are gate sequencers, so everything is on/off, which makes for very quick sequencing.

Each track has an additional sequencer for length. Place a gate on the step you want to reset the sequence on. Remove the gate to return the sequence to 16 steps. (If more than one gate is placed, only the first gate in the sequence will be used for setting the length of the sequence.)

There are three tracks, so do that three times over. It goes pretty quick, editing gates.

Now, let’s return to the CONTROL PAGE:

On the control page is a control called MIX. This lets you mix between the three tracks. At -1 only track 1 is heard. At 0 only track 2 is heard. At 1 only track 3 is heard. But as you mix to points in between, they tracks will probabilistically be mixed: Let’s say the mix is at -.5, and on the current step there is a beat on track 1 but not on track 2. Since the mix control is halfway between the two tracks, there is a 50% chance a beat will be produced. If the control were at -.25, there is a 25% chance a beat will be produced, etc.

So, when the mix control only deviates slightly from a track (e.g. -.9), you will mostly get that track, but with some random variations thrown in, which can be nice. Or you can throw things into more chaotic spaces between the tracks.

Along with the mix control, there is a global SWING control, with positive or negative swing.

Across the top of the control page are parameters for the internal drum voices, along with an audio mixer. You can send the output of each voice to both audio outputs, or either the left or right output, if you want to process them separately. You can get a lot of variety out of the drum voices, although I tried to keep the parameter set low.

There is also an option to switch the output to TRIGGERS instead of gates.

Above the CV outputs are ON/OFF switches for each sequence. Turning these off and on will mute the internal voices, but they will also mute any external gear controlled with the patch.

CV inputs:

Clock — 0-10V. You may need to adjust the clock filter setting, depending on your clock source. The patch also accepts MIDI clock and tap tempo.

Mix — -5 to +5V. There is a mix attenuverter for this input on the Control page.

Reset — 0-10V. A gate or trigger at this input will reset the sequencer. You may need to adjust the clock filter settings depending on what your gate or trigger source is.

CV outputs:

BD — 0-10V, gate or trigger (depending on the option selected on control page).

SN — 0-10V, ditto above.

HT — 0-10V, ditto above.

NOT — this output goes high when the other outputs are low. In trigger mode, that means it’s mostly high, but in gate mode it can provide an additional rhythmic element derived from the other three sequences.

MIDI:

There is a MIDI page for setting the MIDI channel and MIDI note number. I attached value modules to the MIDI note inputs, if that makes it easier to dial in the destination (some MIDI devices specify a MIDI note number, some use a specific pitch, e.g. C3).

User buttons:

Tap tempo — momentary, overridden by CV or MIDI clock

Reset — momentary, will reset the sequencers

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  • Category: Sequencer Synthesizer
  • Revision: 0.1
  • License: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0
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  • Modified: 2 weeks ago
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