KARMA 2: Expressive playing with manual advance and direct index
karma2.jpg

Note: While this discusses the OASYS, it should be very similar on the Kronos. Should rewrite this article to include specific descriptions for the Kronos.

Note: this is a very big tutorial to convert to wiki format and then expand to encompass the M3 too. So this will take several days to complete. Currently, this article is entirely missing the screenshots of finished examples, and the description of the example PCG file that Stephen created for the OASYS.

Scenario

You want to manually control the timing and grouping of note series in a GE for a more realistic and varied performance, including the possibility to play with rubato tempos. For example, with a guitar strumming/picking GE you can play a chord in the "chord zone" and then individually advance the notes in the GE's resulting note series by playing keys in a "trigger zone" at the tempo and clustering you prefer, easily switching between arpeggio picking and chord strumming just by the number of keys you press at the same time in the trigger zone. You can also use the ribbon controller or other controllers to do glissando sweeps or strums through the note series generated by the GE.

An excellent example of this technique can be found in this video demo of the Korg OASYS (but the technique can be done on the Korg M3 as well): Music Player Live Part 3: GE Examples 1

Manual Advance

“Manual Advance” is activated and controlled through the “Clock Advance” parameters of the KARMA > Control Page. The Clock Advance parameters allow you to disconnect the internal clock, and use some Dynamic MIDI Source to provide the clocks manually, thereby advancing the effect through its pattern – hence the term “Manual Advance”.

Page 99 of the OASYS Parameter Guide (E1 version) explains these parameters.

Procedure - Setting up manual advance: the chord zone and trigger zone

To set up the Manual Advance effect, you have to:

  • Set up the KARMA key zones to create a chord zone and a trigger zone
  • Set up Dynamic MIDI to route the trigger zone into Manual Advance
  • Set up the Clock Advance Parameters to respond properly.

Once you've performed this procedure, you will be able to play a chord in the chord zone, hear the first note of the chord, and then continue advancing the effect by playing trigger notes in the trigger zone. If you play more than one trigger note at the same time, you get more than one note. Play clumps of 3 and 4 trigger notes to get strums out of the effect.

On the Korg OASYS

For this example on the OASYS, we’ll take Factory Program C034 3-Way SteelString Guitar, and set it up to do Manual Advance. (A completed version of this example can be located in U-G 009 of the Example PCG File, explained below. But try it yourself!)

  1. Make a copy of C034 3-Way SteelString Guitar into an unused user bank slot so that you can save your changes to it.
  2. Switch to your new program.
  3. Assign the GE.
    1. Go to 7.1 KARMA > GE Setup and select GE 1004: Express Gtr 1.
    2. Set the Tempo to about 88 BPM.
    3. Go to 7.2 KARMA > MIDI Filter and check all 3 of the Envelope boxes under Transmit MIDI Filter, to restore the use of envelopes in this program.
    4. Play a chord on the lower part of the keyboard (such as E2,G#2,B2,E3) – you should hear a finger-picking pattern.
    5. Go to 7.4 KARMA > Trigger and clear the Quantize Triggers checkbox. This will only get in the way for this kind of effect, as it is going to be a free form, rubato effect that does not need synchronization to a rhythmic grid.
    6. Turn on the LATCH switch so that it continues after releasing the keys (it will die down because of the GE’s Velocity Envelope.
  4. Assign Manual Advance.
    1. First, let’s setup the Key Zone.
      1. Go to 7.1 GE Setup/Key Zones, and set the Top Key to B4. You can select the Top Key field, hold the ENTER key of the 9-keypad area, and play B4 to enter it, or simply dial it in. In this way, we have set only the notes from B4 and below to provide input to KARMA. This will be the “chord zone”. Everything from C5 and up will be the “trigger zone”.
      2. Ensure that the Thru Out Z checkbox is cleared. If this is selected then your trigger notes will also play their own note as well as triggering the advance of the GE clock, which is not what you want.
    2. Now, let’s set up the Dynamic MIDI to handle the Trigger Notes. Go to 7.7 Dynamic MIDI. Ignore the two settings that are already there, and use Row 3. Set up like this:
      • Source: select Note Outside Zone
        • Remember, we set up a zone from C-1 to B4; therefore, the easy way to get the “other part” of this zone is to use the source “Notes Outside of Zone” – this gives us the C5 and up area. Also, if you then modify the Key Zone Top Note later, this will automatically be adjusted to follow.
      • Destination: select Clock Advance
        • This routes input from the trigger zone into the Clock Advance Parameters, which we'll set up in a moment.
      • Action: select Continuous
      • Bottom/Top: ignored
      • Polarity: select +
    3. Last, we’ll set up the Clock Advance Parameters. Go to 7.3 Control. Set up like this:
      • Mode: select Dyn
        • (This selects only the Dynamic MIDI Triggers as input – later, you can experiment with both Internal (Auto) and Dyn at the same time, if you wish.)
      • Size: select Event
        • This makes each trigger advance the pattern by 1 event, regardless of the internal Rhythm Pattern. More on this later.
      • Chord Trigger Mode: select 1st
        • This makes a chord in the chord zone play the first note of the chord, in addition to simply inputting the notes into KARMA.
      • Velocity Sense Bottom: select 32
        • This sets the overall Velocity Sensitivity of the Trigger notes, as they cause notes to be generated from the GE. Setting the bottom to 1 gives you full range, 32 makes it slightly less sensitive, 64 makes it half sensitive, setting it to 127 makes no sensitivity whatsoever, and every trigger note you play will come out at maximum level.
  5. Ensure that both the KARMA button and the LATCH button are on, and experiment with different KARMA scene numbers and chord/trigger notes until you find a pleasing starting scene.
  6. Save your new program.

On the Korg M3

For this example on the M3, we’ll start with the system program I-E011 Spanish Guitar, and set it up to do Manual Advance.

  1. Make a copy of Program I-E011 Spanish Guitar into an unused user bank slot so that you can save your changes to it.
  2. Switch to your new program.
  3. Assign the GE.
    1. Go to page P7-1 KARMA1 GE Setup/Module and on the GE Setup tab, touch the > icon and select GE 1009: Express Gtr 1.
    2. Set the Tempo to about 88 BPM.
    3. On the MIDI Filter tab, in the Transmit MIDI Filter section, make sure that the Env.1, Env.2, and Env.3 checkboxes are all selected.
    4. Play a chord on the lower part of the keyboard (such as E2,G#2,B2,E3) – you should hear a finger-picked arppegio pattern.
    5. On the Trigger tab, clear the Quantize Trigger checkbox. This will only get in the way for this kind of effect, as it is going to be a free form, rubato effect that does not need synchronization to a rhythmic grid.
    6. Turn on the LATCH switch so that it continues after releasing the keys (it will die down because of the GE’s Velocity Envelope.
  4. Assign Manual Advance.
    1. First, let’s setup the Key Zone.
      1. Go back to the GE Setup tab and set the Top Key to B4. You can select the Top Key field, hold the ENTER key of the 9-keypad area, and play B4 to enter it, or simply dial it in. In this way, we have set only the notes from B4 and below to provide input to KARMA. This will be the “chord zone”. Everything from C5 and up will be the “trigger zone”.
      2. Ensure that the Thru Out Z checkbox is cleared. If this is selected then your trigger notes will also play their own note as well as triggering the advance of the GE clock, which is not what you want.
    2. Now, let’s set up the Dynamic MIDI to handle the Trigger Notes. Go to page P7-2 KARMA GE RTP/Perf and then to the Dynamic MIDI tab. Only 3 settings are configured by default for this GE. We're going to leave settings 1 and 2 like they are, but make changes to setting 3 as follows::
      • Source: select Note Outside Zone
        • Remember, we set up a zone from C-1 to B4; therefore, the easy way to get the “other part” of this zone is to use the source “Notes Outside of Zone” – this gives us the C5 and up area. Also, if you then modify the Key Zone Top Note later, this will automatically be adjusted to follow.
      • Destination: select Clock Advance
        • This routes input from the trigger zone into the Clock Advance Parameters, which we'll set up in a moment.
      • Action: select Continuous
      • Bottom/Top: these are ignored by this particular input source
      • Polarity: select +
    3. Last, we’ll set up the Clock Advance Parameters. Go to page P7-1 KARMA1 GE Setup/Module and on the Control tab, set up the Clock Advance section like this:
      • Mode: select Dyn
        • (This selects only the Dynamic MIDI Triggers as input – later, you can experiment with both Internal (Auto) and Dyn at the same time, if you wish.)
      • Size: select Event
        • This makes each trigger advance the pattern by 1 event, regardless of the internal Rhythm Pattern. More on this later.
      • Chord Trigger Mode: select 1st
        • This makes a chord in the chord zone play the first note of the chord, in addition to simply inputting the notes into KARMA.
      • Velocity Sense Bottom: select 32
        • This sets the overall Velocity Sensitivity of the Trigger notes, as they cause notes to be generated from the GE. Setting the bottom to 1 gives you full range, 32 makes it slightly less sensitive, 64 makes it half sensitive, setting it to 127 makes no sensitivity whatsoever, and every trigger note you play will come out at maximum level.
  5. Ensure that both the KARMA button and the LATCH button are on, and experiment with different KARMA scene numbers and chord/trigger notes until you find a pleasing starting scene.
  6. Save your new program.

Procedure - Setting up manual advance: the mute zone

Currently this procedure is written specifically for the OASYS, but I will be adapting it soon to show the proper steps for both the OASYS and the M3

In this procedure, you're set up a string-muting effect on the top octave of the keyboard, effectively creating a "mute zone" to mute the decay of your trigger notes. For example, to emulate a palm mute when strumming a guitar.

You must resort to some trickery to make this work. You might think you could use the Dyn MIDI Destination “Module Stop” to shut off the notes, and you could, but this also empties the Note Series buffer internally, so Trigger Notes after that point do nothing until you play a chord again. Really, what you want is to just stop the ringing of the notes, but leave everything ready for the next trigger note. As it turns out, there are several parameters that cause any ringing notes to be shut off when they are changed: the Module Transpose parameter is one of them, on the Control Page. So you're going to assign the top octave to transpose the GE, thereby silencing the notes, yet leaving them in the buffer for further triggering.

Once you've performed the following procedure, you will be able to play a chord in the LH, play some trigger notes to advance the notes, and then play C7 or higher – it mutes the strings. Play more trigger notes, and
again C7 or higher.

On the Korg OASYS

  1. On the Control page, set Module Transpose to Note. (Since we are going to split the top part of the keyboard into several zones with different actions, we can no longer use “Note Outside Zone” as the Dynamic MIDI Destination).
  2. Set the Bottom/Top to 72/95 (which is C5 to B6). Now our Trigger Notes go up to B6 and stop.
  3. Set up Dyn MIDI row 4 like this:
      • Source: select Note
      • Bottom/Top: select 96/127 (this sets C7 and up)
      • Action: select Momentary
        • We want to transpose on press, shutting off the notes, and back to our current transpose value on release.)
      • Destination: select RT Params Control
        • As you may remember from my Video Tutorial on GE Drum Rolls, this routes the Dynamic MIDI into either the GE RTP page, or the Perf RTP Page.
      • Polarity: select +
  4. Now, we need to set up the Transpose Parameter to respond to the Dyn MIDI Source. Go to 7.6 Perf RTP and set up row 1 up like this:
      • Group: select Mix
      • Parameter: select Transpose
      • Min/Max/Val: select 0/+12/0
      • A: select this checkbox
      • Assign: select Dyn4 (this selects Dyn MIDI Row 4)
      • Polarity: select +

On the Korg M3

Coming soon

Further manual advance information/experimentation

Velocity Pattern

At this point, play trigger notes in the RH area and listen to the velocities. You can play harder and softer and influence the velocities that are generated. However, if you pay attention, you will notice that there are still some accents in the notes that you are NOT providing. This is because the Velocity Pattern is still active in the GE, and it will be cumulatively added to the velocity you cause it to generate with your trigger note.

To disable this…

  • OASYS: go to 1.6 Play > KARMA GE
  • M3: go to page P0 Play, then to the KARMA RTC tab

…and set Slider 4 to Max 127, disabling the Velocity Accents. Or, you may like this effect, and may want to make the accents more apparent! In this case, go the other way with the Slider.

Chord Trigger Modes

Experiment with this parameter in the Clock Advance section. If you set it to one of the Chord options, the chord that you play in the input area will strum the whole chord. Then, the trigger notes will advance it from that point in several different ways, depending on the Chord option – see the OASYS Parameter Guide (page 99, E1 version) for further information, in the Clock Advance Parameter descriptions.

Clock Advance “Size”

Typically, you set this to “Event”, so that each trigger note produces 1 event from the pattern and moves to the next, regardless of the internal rhythm pattern. However, the way this works with any other setting is that it sends the amount of clocks necessary to advance the effect by the specified note value into the effect. For example, this GE is based on a 16th note Rhythm Pattern. So if you se the Size parameter to a 16th, it will work the same as Event. But set it to 32nd – now, each trigger note is a 32nd note, and it takes 2 triggers to make each note of the pattern sound. If you play them one at a time, every other trigger will make a sound.

Why would you want to do this? Mainly for Combi Mode, where you can set up several Modules to do Manual Advance at the same time. So a guitar GE could be advancing with each trigger note, while another GE (a piano, let’s say), is doing something different and advancing every other note, or every 4 notes. So each trigger gives you a guitar note, but it takes 2 or 4 triggers to get a piano note at the same time.

Likewise, in this example, if you set it to “Quarter” note, then each trigger will play 4 notes at once (4 16th notes.) However, as you may hear, this does not take advantage of the GE’s Strum parameter, so all notes will sound simultaneously. With guitars, it’s not as realistic as finding a GE that actually strums. But it can work well with other GEs.

Clock Advance Mode

Change this to “Auto” and play a chord in the LH Area. Now it’s back to running like a usual KARMA GE. Try the “Auto + Dyn1” setting. This allows the GE to run normally, while your Trigger Notes actually “jump in there” and cause the effect to advance at the same time. And the “Auto + Dyn2” setting allows the GE to run normally, but the first Trigger Note will stop the effect and let your Trigger Notes take over – which is how the examples in the example PCG file (see below) are setup.

Direct Index

“Direct Index” is a term for assigning a controller to directly index the notes that are part of the GE’s Note Series. In other words, when you play a chord as input into the KARMA GE, in most cases this creates a Note Series in memory, which is a collection of pitches and velocities in a buffer, arranged in a particular order and with additional notes, as influenced by the Note Series parameters. So you might play 4 notes, but because of those settings, there are 12 notes in the Note Series.

Direct Indexing simply allows you to map a controller into those 12 notes (for example). It is different from Manual Advance, in that there is no “advancing” of the internal effect through its pattern, nor any effect on the notes from the normal GE settings that govern the generation of the effect – simply a mapping of a controller value to the selection and playing of a note. So typically, this can be used to “sweep” the ribbon or JS through the Note Series, producing a glissando on top of whatever the GE is doing. The Dynamic MIDI Destinations for Direct Indexing provide several different options, such as allowing the normal GE’s effect to continue while you are doing this, stopping it at the first Direct Index Note, and Direct Indexing in only one direction of the controller (i.e. doing a strum on the way up, but nothing on the way back.)

There are some parameters associated with Direct Indexing, but they are usually not able to be edited from the GE RTP selection of parameters. So you’re kind of “stuck” with how each GE reacts to the assignment of this particular feature. Sometimes the durations of the Direct Index notes will ring out, sometimes they will be short. Sometimes they may be too low or too high in pitch – you have to finesse the effect according to the GE. For more information on the Direct Index group of parameters, see
the KARMA GE Guide Section of the OASYS Parameter Guide.

Procedure - setting up direct index

Continuing with our example from the Manual Advance section, let’s set up the ribbon to do Direct Indexing sweeps with our Manual Advance Guitar.

On the Korg OASYS

  1. Go to the Dyn MIDI page (7-7). Set up the first unused row (Row 5 in this example) like this:
    • Source: select Ribbon (CC#16)
    • Destination: select Direct Index
    • Action: select Continuous (only choice)
    • Bottom/Top: specify 0/127
    • Polarity: specify +
      • So now, you should have the ribbon sweeping through the notes (you may need to play a chord first in the LH area.) However, note that it is also affecting the filter cutoff frequency (which is what it was originally doing.)
  2. Let’s remove that. Go to 7-2 MIDI Filter/CC Offset, and uncheck the Ribbon checkbox under Receive MIFI Filter. Now the ribbon does Direct Index, without also affecting the filter cutoff.

On the Korg M3

  1. Go to page P7-2 KARMA2 GE RTP/Perf, and on the Dynamic MIDI tabs set up the first unused row (Row 4 in this example) like this:
    • Source: select Ribbon (CC#16)
    • Destination: select Direct Index
    • Action: select Continuous (only choice)
    • Bottom/Top: specify 0/127
    • Polarity: specify +
      • So now, you should have the ribbon sweeping through the notes (you may need to play a chord first in the LH area.) However, note that it is also affecting the filter cutoff frequency (which is what it was originally doing.)
  2. Let’s remove that. Go to page P7-1 KARMA1 GE Setup/Module, and on the MIDI Filter tab, in the Receive MIDI Filter section, uncheck the Ribbon checkbox. Now the ribbon does Direct Index, without also affecting the filter cutoff.

Further direct index information/exploration

Dynamic MIDI Destinations

Try using either of these:

  • Direct Idx & Mdl Stop (OASYS) D.Index&ModuleStop (M3)
  • Dir.Idx1 Way & Mdl Stop

Assuming your GE is running normally (set the Clock Advance Mode back to Auto, or
one of the Auto + Dyn options), the Direct Idx & Mdl Stop (Module Stop) settings
allows your operation of the Direct Index Source (ribbon) to stop the effect at the same
time. Otherwise, you will be simply Direct Indexing on top of it (which can also be cool).

Try using either of these:

  • Direct Index 1 Way
  • Dir.Idx1 Way & Mdl Stop (OASYS) D.Idx1way&MdlStop (M3)

Use the Ribbon to do Direct Indexing – it glisses up in the one direction, and down in
the other. But pay attention to what happens when you release the ribbon at the end of
the sweep – it jumps back to center (64) and plays a single note. And actually, this is
more of a problem with a source like a Joystick – you sweep or strum in the up
direction, but then you must release it, and it must sweep back in the other direction.
You can avoid this by using the “1 way” option – the controller only sweeps in the one
direction, and releasing it does nothing until the next time you sweep.

Note Range

Varying the Note Range parameter on the Control Surface Slider 6 (1-6 Play > KARMA
GE) controls the overall range that the Direct Index will sweep. The wider the Note
Range (and the internal Note Series), the wider the sweep.

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