STUDYING DIFFERENT WAYS OF PLAYING THE MOOG GRANDMOTHER KEYBOARD WITH ARPEGGIATOR AND HOLD ON – CYCLICAL PATTERNS PATCH.

January 31, 2022 § Leave a comment

I am adoring how a single patch can lead you to a myriad of possibilities, and the Cyclical Patterns patch from the Grandmother manual is doing just that for me. I intend to work through all available patches in the manual and the other free PDFs Moog have made available, but I haven’t moved on since coming across this one, as I have become obsessed with it. In this patch you take the output from the Oscillators, feed it into the Hi Pass Filter, then feed that back to the Noise Oscillator In. The interaction that then ensues from moving all those parameters (the 2 Oscillators with all their characteristics, the Noise Osc, the Hi Pass Filter, and of course everything else) is just mindblowing in its endless possibilities.
Another thing that has kept me busy is trying to find a way of playing this synth in a way that feels personal and like I’m actually *playing* an instrument, ie making conscious (although sometimes spontaneous and/or semi-improvised in origin) interpretation choices and decisions – not entering random notes on a keyboard for arpeggiating or sequencing, which seems to be a recurrent feature in a lot of gear demos. I sometimes play the keyboard as if it were just that, a keyboard instrument, with no Arp on, the challenge being its monophonic nature, which is pushing me to work extra hard on bass lines, chord inversions, and a kind of “stuttering” way of playing to get a chord-like feel.
But I find the interaction between Arp mode, Hold button and actual playing particularly interesting: it really makes a difference how you play, and with my favorite addition to the Grandmother being a delay – in this case the MF-104M – the way the Grandmother gets “caught” – or not – by the delay is really dependent on that. For the first two repeats I am using my right hand in a mallet-like way, then on the 3rd repeat I’m leaving my fingers on, which is kind of killing the delay, then on the 4th I manage to get a bit more delay by slightly lifting them. I think I prefer the “mallet” style.

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