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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:19 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:18 am
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Location: wales UK
^^^^

yeah i do something similar myself, i was asking from a theory point of view on the omitted 5th, and you answered it.
i never include the 5th in my 'chords', as it seems like a waste of an oscillator, as the 5th will usually be heavily present as a sinewave in the waveform of the root oscillator when i'm using it as a - 2 octave sub, or in the bass, but also i find the extensions more interesting for colour, the 5th kind of just blends in with the root.

also similar to what you are saying, i will transpose most 'chords' to an interesting interval away from the tonic as a starting point in a tune structure, which affectively is the same as the piano player ignoring the tonic and 5th, to avoid doubling up on frequencies with my low percussion sounds and upper harmonics of the bass etc..

i'm still not sure if my original question has really been touched on, but maybe there isnt an answer.
it stemmed from reading on a jazz forum about transposing stacked fourths, but it didnt go any deepeer and didnt mention any other combinations of tones. whenever i read anything about music that i was unaware of, i have to explore.

i suppose it will just have to be trial and error like everything else :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:01 am 
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mnml mmbr
mnml mmbr

Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:57 pm
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I have a friend who is a bit of a mad genius when it comes to theory(he is trying to devise his own harmonic system outside of jazz and Bach, he would be working on the equiv of a doctorate if he was still in the university system. Brilliant guy...)

I will give him a call this weekend and see if I can't get some info on this for you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:21 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:01 pm
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Location: Worcestershire
Good stuff, I hadn't heard of shell chords either, although the underlying principle is certainly something I have done when dividing up a piece of music I have played in to convert it into separate parts.

Rather than just playing a single chord, if it's a 'big' chord, I like to separate the intervals over several different sounds/instruments ( not always obviously ) Take say a Cm13 chord and the bass may be playing a simple rhythm comprising of a C and another C in the next octave. On top of that I might play some Gm7 stabs or something or some Dm stabs or an EbM7 etc etc, then something high in an octave like 'D/Eb/G' and an 'A/Bb/D' - or some other tense sounding chord - but all the time, for however long I am on that underlying chord, the parts themselves are just components of the Cm13 chord and the overall sound, when combined is what I hear. Big chords like that give rise to such an array of interesting possibilities and I like to look at the chord itself as the scale - well essential a m13 chord ARE the intervals for the Dorian mode but for me, it just loosens the mind and frees you from scale related thinking when you work with a handful of 'big' chords.

I've always been interested by chord progressions which are illogical. I'm so indoctrinated that diatonic chord progressions ( to me ) sound almost cliche - at least for the type of music I write. I like to try and approach things based purely on the chord and after a chord like the Cm13 above, I might jump to an Em13 - which should sound shite, but omit the 'E', the 'B' and you are left with a perfect 5th between the G & D ( both in the previous scale ) and introduce an F#m chord into the mix with the F#,A,C#. Essentially, replacing the the two flats with these 2 sharps. In other words, trying to move to a seemingly illogical chord, or one that simple 'shouldn't work and omitting a few naff intervals/notes and leaving the listener with a feeling that is does work but kinda shouldn't.

Probably not the best example but it is one I was doing recently so it's fresh in my head. But some of the large two-handed chords can obviously be broken down into smaller chords upon analysis and provide a great harmonic base to get some interesting ideas going. It's a really good way out of writers block too ( well I think so ) That kind of stagnant feeling when creating something quickly evaporates when you just give yourself a bunch of large chords to work with. Ideas come thick and fast. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:23 pm 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

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AK wrote:
It's a really good way out of writers block too ( well I think so ) That kind of stagnant feeling when creating something quickly evaporates when you just give yourself a bunch of large chords to work with. Ideas come thick and fast. :)


absolutely.
i work in a similar way, but i just listen to the various elements and create my own chords, and until recently had no idea what those chords were.
starting from a very specific chord set sounds like a very good way to focus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:33 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:18 am
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Location: wales UK
heres something ive found from the limitations of using a monosynth with three oscillators.

theres no such thing as a dissonant chord if you mix your oscillators in the right blend.
its a really simple technique, by manipulating the levels of each oscillator, you can obtain a huge range of different sounding chords from the same three notes.
with a polysynth, when you want a more complex chord or create a different mood, you just add another extension.

but many of those extensions already exist in the harmonics of the waveforms of the triad (sometimes in higher octaves, but nevertheless, the tones can have a similar effect especially when using pulsewaves)

by reducing the level of any oscillator that sounds dissonant in the mix, and manipulating pulsewidths etc. an equillibrium can usually be found which no longer sounds dissonant, but creates an interesting chord. this very effective with tone clusters, and diminished type chords.
this really increases the pallette with a monosynth, because you can use combinations of notes which you would probably normally avoid.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:16 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:01 pm
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Location: Worcestershire
steevio wrote:
heres something ive found from the limitations of using a monosynth with three oscillators.

theres no such thing as a dissonant chord if you mix your oscillators in the right blend.
its a really simple technique, by manipulating the levels of each oscillator, you can obtain a huge range of different sounding chords from the same three notes.
with a polysynth, when you want a more complex chord or create a different mood, you just add another extension.

but many of those extensions already exist in the harmonics of the waveforms of the triad (sometimes in higher octaves, but nevertheless, the tones can have a similar effect especially when using pulsewaves)

by reducing the level of any oscillator that sounds dissonant in the mix, and manipulating pulsewidths etc. an equillibrium can usually be found which no longer sounds dissonant, but creates an interesting chord. this very effective with tone clusters, and diminished type chords.
this really increases the pallette with a monosynth, because you can use combinations of notes which you would probably normally avoid.


That's a very interesting point but I'm always wanting to question whether something so subtle can actually be heard through a mix. I mean I can make out the 2nd harmonic ( and perhaps the 3rd harmonic in isolated instances ) but I wouldn't be able to appreciate any significant subtleties within a mix. Anyways, I quite like dissonance myself - not to the point of blasting out a chord built on semitone intervals or whatever and claiming it's a dissonant chord, I'm talking about tension, the kind of stuff built about by maybe even playing something consonant but not necessarily diatonic. ie: the chord itself being meaningless in isolation but in context its function becomes apparent and lends itself to the music in either a dissonant or consonant way.

But with the monosynth stuff and oscillator detuning, I guess I'd have to have a very good monosynth to be able to appreciate all those subtleties. I've experimented with digital/VA type stuff where you dial in a digital oscillator with say inharmonic overtones alongside a couple of analog type oscillators, and create a chord to be played as a parallel, it kinda does my head in though when I am unaware of the frequencies of those type of overtones though. Like some of those clangy/metallic type noises, you can make some really interesting sounds but getting them to sound ok chromatically is a nightmare ( well, it is for me )

I was gonna mention something but I'll save it for another time as I have to do some work.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:17 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:18 am
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Location: wales UK
AK wrote:

That's a very interesting point but I'm always wanting to question whether something so subtle can actually be heard through a mix. I mean I can make out the 2nd harmonic ( and perhaps the 3rd harmonic in isolated instances ) but I wouldn't be able to appreciate any significant subtleties within a mix.


you need to try it bro before writing off in theory. i have a digital oscilloscope permemantly inline with my synths so i can see exactly whats going on when i'm manipulating harmonics with pulsewidths and filters, you'd be very suprised at how accurately you can remove entire frequencies from a waveform leaving the ones you want.
yes it is subtle to the ear, but thats what its about for me, just flavouring the timbres.
i think these subtleties can be heard very clearly in minimal music, infact its these subtleties that keep it interesting for me, but if there's claps, snares and hihats banging away and cluttering up the mix, then maybe not.

AK wrote:
But with the monosynth stuff and oscillator detuning, I guess I'd have to have a very good monosynth to be able to appreciate all those subtleties.


youre probably right, ive never attempted to do anything like this with a soft synth, but i dont see why it shouldnt work in theory.
i can listen to the subtleties in a Moogs VCOs all day


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:37 am 
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mnml maxi
mnml maxi

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:01 pm
Posts: 1971
Location: Worcestershire
steevio wrote:
i have a digital oscilloscope permemantly inline with my synths


I reckon I could benefit from one of them, is it a software thing you use?

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