FROM THE LAB: Shout out to Ableton for posting our Lessons From the Modular video!!

As you might have guessed, we’ve been having a great deal of fun with the Make Noise 0-Coast lately… Another Make Noise module that has captivated the modular community since it’s release is René, the complex, 16 step “Cartesian” sequencer. Using the X and Y axis clock input controls and some harmonic programming, we can generate arpeggiated chord sequences and use the touchplates to create interesting, improvised and musical patterns. Especially when using monophonic instruments (as we often find in the Eurorack world) chords are not an option, so arpeggios are a handy alternative.

When the Y-clock input receives pulses, René advances in vertical motion, ascending through the 4 steps in the current selected column of notes before repeating the process. If these 4 steps are harmonized to spell out a chord, for instance a triad, the cycling sequence of notes will spell out the chord just like an arpeggiator.

Spelling out a chord in each column, we can create up to a 4 chord sequence. Accessing the Y function page, we can alter the play direction, so instead of the default “FWD” motion (which in the Y axis means Up), we can switch to “BWD” or downward motion, or “PEND” or pendulum mode, bouncing up and down.

By employing an LFO or triggered function like an envelope, these arpeggios can become even more complex and unique. Routing a channel from Maths to the Y-CV input, for example, can give us some more active motion in the arpeggiation. With an envelope or triggered LFOs, this effect can be repeatable and quite musical.

How are you generating arpeggios in your Eurorack system? Tell us in the comments!

Our next round of courses starts soon, including Modular 101 and The Many Faces of Maths! Join us!!

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Arpeggios With Make Noise René

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