grafting proof of concept: Baba O'Riley in Synplant 2.0.1

Michael // MSLD166 views3 posts
  • Michael // MSLD

    Yesterday it occurred to me that the new grafting script in Synplant 2.0.1 would allow me to recreate (with limitations, based on Synplant's parameters) the "marimba repeat" function of the Lowrey TBO-1 organ as used by Pete Townshend on "Baba O'Riley". For those uninitiated, here is the song.

    The Lowrey "marimba repeat" function has F-G and B-C♯ hitting on the beat and the other six notes off, so it's great fun to play on a Lowrey organ equipped with the functionality. I recreated it, after a fashion, in this way:

    After setting sync to 1/4 to lock all the LFOs to tempo, I dialed in a warm, hollow sound, then duplicated the patch to fine tune the "off-beat" notes. After some trial and error with grafting (for some reason, grafted branches between patches were not consistently playing the expected pitch), I managed to latch onto something like unto our old friend Baba.

    To sound like the record: set your session tempo to 118.33 BPM, tune +33 cents, and play to your heart's content in the key of F.

    Baba O'Lidstrom patch(3.5kB, 62 downloads)

    A couple quirks worth mentioning:

    (1) Effect amount in the default position (as used in this patch) will cause individual branches to assume a position within the stereo panorama. Effect amount at -50% collapses the panning to mono, BUT it also gets rid of all the reverb. As a feature request (perhaps for Synplant 3 next decade?), I'd like every slider on the face to be freely (un)assignable. For now, it's a rock-and-a-hard-place scenario between too much pan and not enough reverb.

    (2) Due to Synplant's LFO / envelope limitations, the off-beat notes are not actually hitting off beat, but are triggering twice as fast with some alterations to the envelope shapes in order to almost fool the listener. (Something something … won't get fooled again.) It does not sound the way it should, or (hopefully) could. My suggestion of LFO phase control elsewhere in the forum would come in handy in this scenario. (So would "mono", i.e. synchronized-for-all-notes, LFO / envelope triggering. Within Synplant, even notes within the same "on" or "off" group can marimba repeat against each other if you don't play with robotic precision.)

  • jayuhfree

    Brilliant work and a gas to jam with. Saw them live in '77! in Baton Rouge.

  • Michael // MSLD

    - jayuhfree wrote:
    Brilliant work and a gas to jam with. Saw them live in '77! in Baton Rouge.

    Thank you! And wow, that's awesome. I love seeing new bands (Utah's indie scene isn't just Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees), but I wish I could've been there to see their stylistic ancestors.

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