Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

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bozz
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Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by bozz »

I hope this place can give a nice overview of available options over time. Goal is to find out the best sounding and easiest to setup option which works reliably.

It should work with any machines, so probably it should be a global setting or method.

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onecircles
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by onecircles »

I do this manually by first subdividing the beat into 12 so that I can easily utilize 16th notes and triplets, then if you enter your note data in the midi channels you can use the midi note delay parameter for further subdivision into a more granular "feel". A bit of a headache but works great actually and is easy if you record your note data in live. Only some machines support the midi channels though,

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nathansnider
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by nathansnider »

Polac VST has a shuffle command, and it comes with an Internal MIDI instrument for sending MIDI to other machines. For machines that can't receive MIDI data, you can route the MIDI to Ix Split, and have that control whatever you like.

The PVST shuffle is one of the global delay commands, 08 1xyy, where, per the manual:
x(0-F): shuffle step x*2 tick(s)
yy(0-FF): shuffle amount
So if you're working at 4 tpb, 08 1100 is straight, 08 11FF is swung almost to oblivion, and intermediate values are actually useful. At the beginning of your pattern just enter, say, 08 1150 in the global command/value columns, and you'll have a solid swing.

Here's an example of sending some swung MIDI to Split, then to some Jeskola machines. There's a kind of basic drum machine controlled by the notes C-1 through E-1 and a Bass 3 controlled by notes C-2 and above, with the MIDI velocity controlling the Envmod parameter. Not going to win any awards, but it shows the usefulness of the Internal MIDI/Ix Split combo.
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Joachip
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by Joachip »

The shuffle plugin will typically cause many tempo delays to misbehave badly, and it also won't give you an option to place an instrument whereever you want.

If you're looking for straight up western-world triplets, I highly recommend onecircles' suggestion of setting "Rows per beat" to 3 or 6 (for PatternXP).

Outside the western world (e.g. west africa, pakistan or india), the concept of groove becomes more complex, but is still possible using pattern XP. Let me know if this is what you're trying to do.

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nathansnider
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by nathansnider »

To be clear, the PVST shuffle doesn't affect the Buzz global tempo at all; it's only "global" in the sense that it affects all tracks in that particular instance of PVST. So it shouldn't cause any tempo-dependent machines to glitch out. Jeskola Groove 1, which shuffles the Buzz global tempo, will cause some machines to glitch, whereas just delaying the MIDI notes with the PVST shuffle causes no such problems.

As for just putting everything in 6 rows/beat, I don't know if that's really a solution in all cases. There's definitely a place for syncopation that lies somewhere between straight 4/4 and 6/8, which is exactly what shuffle type effects are for.

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mcbpete
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by mcbpete »

Do the ol' skool tracker method by making a pattern for the Master track frequently alternating between two (or more different) TBP

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HerrFornit
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by HerrFornit »

mcbpete wrote:Do the ol' skool tracker method by making a pattern for the Master track frequently alternating between two (or more different) TBP
for dummys: would be nice to see it in an example pattern. :)

Thanx a lot

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Joachip
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by Joachip »

nathansnider wrote:To be clear, the PVST shuffle doesn't affect the Buzz global tempo at all
I'm blind. :D I was thinking about the Jeskola Groove machine. That one causes trouble with certain delays.

The old hack of changing Buzz' master tempo by making a pattern for the master machine has even more horrible repercussions than that. Try using the "loop fit command" (12) in matilde tracker and fuck with the tempo like that, and you'll hear the most crazy effect.

The way I prefer making triplets (or "swing"):

Image
Left track: Kick drum. Right track: Hihat.

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mcbpete
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by mcbpete »

HerrFornit wrote:
mcbpete wrote:Do the ol' skool tracker method by making a pattern for the Master track frequently alternating between two (or more different) TBP
for dummys: would be nice to see it in an example pattern. :)

Thanx a lot
i.e. playing around with a small combination of TPB values in a Master pattern, experimenting to taste:

Image
Joachip wrote: The old hack of changing Buzz' master tempo by making a pattern for the master machine has even more horrible repercussions than that. Try using the "loop fit command" (12) in matilde tracker and fuck with the tempo like that, and you'll hear the most crazy effect.
This, however, is very true - Obviously any quantization effects are going to correct for the first tick but immediately go weird when the TPB is changed mid loop. This was just the method I employed back in the 90s mod days when something like 'loop fit' seemed a distant impossibility :D

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onecircles
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by onecircles »

To clarify, what I have found works for me is setting rows per beat to 12, 60 or 120. 12 is the best option because in addition to it's numerical features, it doesn't interfere terribly with the readability of the tracker.

If you subdivide the beat into 4 or 8 or 3 or 6, you're locking yourself into a 3 beat or 4 beat time signature, with no possibility of mixing triplets and eighths. This used to cause me a lot of grief, because I mostly work in buzz by recording parts in live using f7, and I often found that my rhythms weren't being accurately reproduced. I eventually realized that I was often subdividing the beat into triplets to create little offsets and things that I thought were interesting, while still primarily using patterns of quarters eighths and sixteenths.

Setting rows per beat to 12 is pretty weird, and you do have to get used to multiples of 6 representing eighth notes etc. The benefit is that, because 12 is divisible by 1 2 3 4 6 and 12 you are able to freely mix and overlay quarter notes, half notes, quarter triplets, eighth notes and eighth triplets. In my case I find that this setting lets buzz accurately and logically reproduce the things I play, with midi note delay accounting for the additional little movements of "feel" before and behind the beat.

But what about pentuplets? Pentuplets sound really cool, so can we subdivide the beat in order to have access to them as well? It's easy to have access to whatever subdivisions you like, just set rows per beat to that number! But it gets trickier if you want to be able to mix and overlay beat structures of different divisions within a single pattern. An easy way to find numbers with correct divisibility for whatever you're trying to achieve is wolfram alpha. You can investigate whatever you like, but here's an example aiming at rhythmic flexibility:

Say we want to freely mix the common types of eights, triplets and pentuplets. If you type in "what number is divisible by 2 3 4 5 and 6" into wolfram alpha you'll get back 60 as the lowest number. If you can live without 16th notes for your pattern, this is a good option. Set rows per beat to 60. I think I could still work in the tracker this way. If you really need those 16th notes though, in addition to your triplets and pentuplets, you're going to have to subdivide the beat into 120.

People often think, when working with computer music, especially tracking music, that the computer somehow can't "understand" or reproduce the rhythms that they think of. This is true if you set the computer up to fail by not giving it adequate subdivisions, but if you have a low latency system and subdivide the beat properly, it's amazing the funky stuff that the tracker can accommodate.

What's going on here mathematically is that we want subdivisions of the beat which are highly divisible. In maths, numbers that have a large number of factors are referred to as "abundant" and they can sort of be thought of as the opposite of prime numbers. 12 is the first abundant number, the sum of it's proper divisors being greater than itself. As a side note, Plato's republic was intended to be composed of 5040 people. The reason being that 5040 is a highly composite number, easily and evenly divided in many ways.

This is one of my favorite subjects in Buzz, and I'm so glad that our amazing DAW can accommodate such craziness!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundant_number
https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=w ... +3+4+5+6+8
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5040_(number)

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nikmis
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by nikmis »

you are absolutely right! I have been doing 4 beats rows of 12 for a while now, its the best. Then sometimes I go to 120 for whatever reason. But the best thing is you can do 4 x 12 for most patterns than if a certain pattern needs to be different, the division can be different for just that pattern.

jeskola buzz is the best. I can't believe its 20 years old. At this point I have been using it since about 2006. Will I still be using jeskola buzz when I'm old and gray? In a nursing home plugging in my patterns

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onecircles
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Re: Best way to add groove/swing to your tracks?

Post by onecircles »

But wait, what does ticks per beat do though? I admit I don't really understand this. Is this like a rhythmic resolution so I set it to the highest number!? lol.

I'm leaving it at 4 for now, never cause me any issues in the past. I kind of understand what this is and I kind of don't.

What is ticks per beat and how does it impact your work flow?

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