Saturday, October 17, 2009

Note Randomization

Have you ever tried to write a song picking notes at random? Of course, most of the time, it's gonna sound like crap as is but if you keep at it and add some delay when all is said and almost done, it may end up sounding decent and worth saving (for youtube at least).

Practically, one would do the random thing on one pattern and then copy/paste/modify that pattern in sequencer mode to build up a full song. Trying to build up a song just on the KAOSS pad and tapping at random for all the patterns might be a little too much though. As with everything, it should be done in moderation (I think).

It's quite easy to experiment with note randomization on the KORG DS-10 thanks to the KAOSS pad. Since the pattern is looping when you record, it's quite a no-brainer to figure out that after a while of doing random taps, you might just end up with something that works. All the notes you randomly pick are automatically in key (that's the beauty of the KAOSS pad). This explains why, no matter what the notes end up being, there ain't gonna be any dissonance in the final product.

It's too bad the Korg DS-10 doesn't have a randomizer like this piano roll randomize tool from fl studio. I think one could waste a lot of time playing with it.

Writing a song pattern on the DS-10 using a whole bunch of random notes ... and a good dose of delay.

In the video, I am playing mostly with the pitch as I couldn't care less about the gate. Recall that KAOSS pad 1 has the pitch on the X axis and the gate on the Y axis. If you are really ambitious, you may to want to play with KAOSS pad 2 which controls the cutoff and the peak and even KAOSS pad 3 which is pretty much a free for all.

In KAOSS pad mode, click on the SET button and you have the ability to choose the key (C is the default) and the scale (Ionian is the default). When you play with the stylus on the pad and then go into the sequencer mode (to check things out), you will see that the notes are all of that scale and key.

Now, if somebody could explain the difference between the SMT (smooth) and HLD (hold) settings in the KAOSS pad, I'd be real grateful.


  1. SMT and HLD often don't make much of a difference, depending on the Synth Edit & Patch settings. Where I have heard it make a difference is on the white noise kind of sounds. Check out pattern 10 on Demo 1 session on the DS-10 cartridge. (Synth 2 will only sound on the KAOSS pad while the pattern is playing.) But drag your stylus from the lower left to upper right while playing Synth 2 solo, and you'll hear the difference between SMT and HLD.

  2. yeah, on the video, i do press the button but it's just for show :) Thanks a lot.