To conjure up something Zappa like:

Use 3-4 ZMachines
Set the PPQN’s at odd-even contrasts like:

1. 4
2. 3
3. 8
4. 6

Dial back the Holdtime to the low end to get very short percussive notes.

Selecting mallet instruments conjures up Ruth Underwood who played the complex Marimba and Xylophone parts.

BPM’s between 60-85 seem to help produce a groove and not just a complex muddle.

I like to focus on one ZMachine dialing in something interesting and repetitive.
Then add a 2nd that contrasts and creates extra rhythmic complexity I find interesting.
Then add the third to blend in with 1 or 2. Usually a multiple of the formers PPQN.
Optionally keep adding more parts.

The Roots determine the keys with 36,48,60,72 all being C’s… I generally keep the roots on C’s finding an octave that makes the part work as a bass middle or lead.

Changing the Holdtimes might be a good idea for leads or mids.

I find a ZMachine sent to the Drum Computer adds interesting drums and the drums can be dialed in by tweaking the Root… generally between 36-48.

UPDATE 1.2: I added a “one finger” input that produces some “Gil Evans” chords in the selected key.

I chose a 4 note chord using the 7th, 3rd, 5th and 9th that moves with notes that are in the select scale. Note outside the scale are ignored.

UPDATE:1.1 added more Sequences
stretched Sequence Length to 24 for 2 bars of 12/8 (Game of Thrones)
knobs set correctly on Load

ZMachine is intended to be used in clusters of 3-6 instances in AUM to create complex arrangements by turning knobs. Experiment and you’ll probably get the idea.

Here’s 4 instances spread across 6 synths in AUM with a Funk Drummer added “so people wanna move their feet”.

Urban Organ Transplant

-ZMachine Ambient Settings

Orchestra Composer Demo (I added a MIDI channel knob) and pointed it at 1 iSymphonic IAA instance which supports multi-channel MIDI configs


Zappa Band Re-Mix

George Duke Rhodes Abortion

Ruth Underwood Solo

2 comments on “ZMachine
  • Intrepolicious on said:

    I just tried this. It’s amazing with drums! Thank you for making this. Is there a manual?

  • McD on said:

    There is no manual… (cruel jest) just read the code… please don’t read the code… it’s a mess but it works.

    I’d recommend you turn knobs and maybe save the script with unique names to have effective presets to recall specific grooves easily.

    I was considering adding a “presets” like function to save/recall grooves but I lost the energy to keep
    working on this one and all my other scripts.

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    • Platform:
    • Category: Composition
    • Revision: 1.2
    • License: Do What The F*ck You Want To Public License
    • Modified: 2 years ago
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      Likes: 8
      Downloads: 26