Tonight, I wanted to do a jam that had a more defined chord progression. So, I made some piano chord samples in Reason’s Radical Piano plugin. I know just enough music theory to figure out scales and chords, but my hands aren’t so dexterous on a keyboard…I learned note playing on xylophone and marimba in high school, so I’m about the equivalent of a two-finger typer when it comes to musical keyboards (I’m a pretty solid touch typist, for the record). Rather than muddle through playing and quantizing, I just used the chord player in Reason. I set the key to C minor, adjusted a couple parameters, and played around until I found a progression I liked. Then, after I froze and flattened the track (I was using Reason as a plugin in Ableton), I exported each chord as it’s own sample and dropped it in the Digitakt.
On the hardware side, I set up the Digitakt to send note data to the Model:Cycles. The Cycles has a great sequencer of it’s own, but this let me keep all the parts under my fingers on the Digitakt. I made two nearly identical beats. The first beat uses brush kit samples from my TD-6 and the second beat is sequenced on the Cycles. Arps, bass, and probability-limited melody were also on the Cycles.
I wanted to create some sonic variation besides dropping parts in and out, so about halfway through, I did a control all on the Digitakt to bit crush the samples. I tried lowering track volume to keep it from getting overwhelming, but it still ended up pretty loud. Sorry about that!