KARMA 2: Making a GE play a constant number of notes per measure


You want to use one of KARMA's simple arpeggiator GEs to create an arpeggiator effect that plays a constant rhythm over the same span of time regardless of how many notes you play (which is not the case with the classic up/down arpeggiators found on many synths). An example of an arpeggiator that had this feature was the Casio 1000P.

Procedure for KARMA OASYS Software (or KARMA Kronos Software)

This technique can be done directly in the Korg Kronos, OASYS or M3 to a more limited degree, but the easiest and fullest control over this method is done directly in the KARMA Software. In this case, we'll demonstrate using the KARMA OASYS Software (which is the same for KARMA Kronos Software).

In the GE Editor > Phase Page, you have a parameter called "Length Mode" - this determines when the Phase of the GE will change based on the Phase Pattern, which sort of determines the length of the riff. When set to "Actual", then it bases the length of the phase on the number of notes held and the Note Series settings that determine how many octaves the riff is - just like a "standard arpeggiator". If you set the Note Series Replications to 3 and Interval to 12, then you get a 3 octave arpeggio. If you play 4 notes, you get those 4 notes repeated in each of the three octaves (12 notes). If you play 3 notes, you get a 9 note riff. If you play 2 notes, you get a 6 note riff, and so on.

If you set Phase Length Mode to "Time Signature", then you are able to specify a time signature for the Phase, such as 2/4, 4/4 etc. Regardless of how many notes you play, it will fill up that amount of time cycling across the octaves. If you play 2 notes or 4 notes, it will still fill up 2/4 worth of time before changing phases (or repeating the pattern).

If you set Phase Length Mode to "Events", then you simply specify a number of events such as "8" and that is what is filled up before repeating the pattern or changing Phases. If you play 2 notes or 4 notes, it still fills up 8 notes before repeating.

Both of those last two modes therefore keep a specific amount of events regardless of how many notes you play.

KARMA's Index Pattern allows you to set up a Pattern of movement between notes in the Note Series.

To experiment with this, select Program A000 Piano in the KO Software, and select GE 0000 Arp Model 1. Make these changes:

  1. Go to the GE Editor Note Series page, and turn off the Symmetry button (Symmetry adds an extra octave note at the end of a Phase for use when going up/down so that the pattern appears more "symmetrical". In this case, we would like it off so as not to confuse the issue.)
  2. Go the Phase Page, and set Length Mode to Events, which has a default setting of 8 events per phase.
  3. Set the Phase Pattern Items to 1 (instead of 8) so that you are dealing with a single Phase moving in a single upwards direction.
  4. Use the Real-Time Control Editor window to set Slider 5 Note Range to around 64, so the KARMA Value is 200 (2.00 octaves). You can change this later if you want a wider or narrower spread.
  5. Make sure to turn on KARMA in the Real-Time Controls Editor as well (it's off in this program by default.)

Now, play different numbers of notes on the keyboard. You will always get a pattern of 8 events before it starts over, and it spreads across the number of octaves you have selected with the Note Range slider.

You can then experiment with drawing different patterns in the Index Page grid, which controls how KARMA moves through the notes you are holding. The default value is simply "1", which moves through the notes in this order {1,2,3,4, etc.} - because it specifies the amount of indexes to jump to the next note. Try some simple patterns like {2,-1} or {1,0} or {1,2,-1}. For example, {2,-1} says "play the first note (1), jump 2 to the next note (3), go back one (2) jump 2 (4) go back 1 (3)" etc. yielding this sequence: 1,3,2,4,3,5,4,6 etc.

Procedure for Korg Kronos/OASYS (and M3)

The following procedure is specific to the Korg Kronos/OASYS but can also be done on the Korg M3 if you go to the proper KARMA pages.

You can try this right in the Kronos, OASYS and M3 - however, the "Symmetry" setting in the GE's Note Series is generally on for most of the Arp Model GEs, giving an extra top octave note at points in the pattern (and this cannot be edited without the KARMA Software.)

  1. Select Program A000 Piano.
  2. Select GE 0011 Arp Model 12 Up (this is one that is set up to use Phase Length Mode = Time Signature).
  3. On the KARMA GE page (0-6) Set Slider 5 Note Range to around 55.
  4. On the GE RTP Page, set RTP #30 Phase:TSig Numerator to 1 (you are changing the top value of the time signature, and the numbers are 0 relative, so 0 = 1/4, 1 = 2/4, 2 = 3/4, 3= 4/4 etc.) So a value of "1" sets this to 2/4, meaning we will get 8 16th notes repeated as the pattern.)
  5. Turn KARMA On and play some notes. Regardless of how many notes you play, or where your hand (or hands) are on the keyboard, it will play a 2/4 repeated pattern.
  6. On the GE RTP Page, you can play with #28 Index: Template[1]. This controls the Index Pattern discussed above in the previous section, and selects different configurations of the Index Pattern. It will change the order of the notes that is being generated in many different interesting ways. 19 is straight up, while the others provide different movements.
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