KARMA 2: Making KARMA play realistic fills and solos in a drum program
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Scenario

You are playing a drum program in real time (KARMA is off) and you want to be able to turn KARMA on at various points and have KARMA simulate realistic-sounding drum fills or even entire drum solos.

This can be done by creating a special version of the drum program that uses an Arpeggio GE Type with specific settings. By toggling KARMA on and off while playing the drum program, you can create very realistic-sounding drum tracks for recording or live performance.

Procedure for Korg Kronos and OASYS

This is a very generalized procedure to show a basic pattern for working with KARMA GEs to produce a specific effect. See the Tips section for info on some video tutorial files that demonstrate this process and explain a lot more details and nuances of this scenario.

  1. Make a copy of your desired drum program (such as I-A004: Studio Standard Kit in the OASYS or I-F078: Studio Standard Kit in the Kronos) to a new bank, because you are going to permanently modify the KARMA GE used in that program. If the LATCH button is lit, turn it off before saving the program because you don't want KARMA to latch on for this purpose.
  2. Ensure that KARMA is on for the following steps, so that you can hear what KARMA is doing as you modify its GE.
  3. On the KARMA GE tab for the program, touch the >Drum icon next to Module A. The GE Category Select pop-up appears.
    1. In the Arpeggio > All category, scroll to the start of the list and select 0018 Arp Model 19 DurEnv. (You can select any arpeggio GE but not all of them will work well for this purpose, so experiment!)
  4. Back in the program window, go to the KARMA tab.
    1. On the GE Setup/Key Zones sub-tab, clear the Thru In Zone checkbox to ensure that the notes you play to set the root notes used for the arpeggio pattern are not "played thru" on top of the first KARMA-generated notes. (Otherwise you'd hear those initial notes you play too, which can create a "flam" type effect when you turn KARMA on.)
    2. On the MIDI Filter CC Offset sub-tab, in the Transmit MIDI Filter section, clear the CC-A and Envelope 2 checkboxes to remove any note-panning (the CC value) and note duration variation (the Envelope value) that the GE might be performing. (In other GEs, you might need to clear a different set of CC and Envelope filters—experiment.)
    3. On the Trigger sub-tab, clear the Quantize Trigger checkbox to further reduce the potential for a "flam" type effect when you turn KARMA on.
  5. Now go to the Play tab for the program.
  6. Go to the KARMA GE sub-tab for the program.
    1. Drag Slider 5 (Note Range) down to a low slider value of about 022 to reduce the note range of the arpeggio pattern. (Experiment with other values near this range for different effects.)
    2. Drag Slider 2 (Rhythm Pattern) down to a low slider value of about 007 to speed up the KARMA-generated pattern to something more realistic for a drum fill/solo tempo. (Experiment with other values near this range for different effects.)
    3. Drag Slider 4 (Velocity Accents) up to a value of about 115 to impart a realistic variation in the volume (velocity) of the notes played in the pattern. (Experiment with other values near this range for different effects.)
  7. Play notes D, E, F, G, and A below middle C to hear what your KARMA-generated drum fill sounds like at this point.
  8. While continuing to play these notes, try some other RTC changes to hear their effect on this basic KARMA-generated fill pattern:
    1. Press KARMA switch 4 (Note Pattern<>Random) to randomize the KARMA-generated fill.
    2. Drag Slider 4 (Velocity Accents) down to a value of about 065 to make the fill even more realistically dynamic as it might be in a drum solo.
    3. Drag Slider 5 (Note Range) up even higher to start bringing in other drum sounds to emulate a really spastic drum solo.
  9. Don't forget to save this program again now that you've made all these changes to the GE.
  10. Now turn KARMA off and play a normal drum riff manually, then turn KARMA on and play various notes when you want to play a fill. Turn KARMA off again to go back to your simple manually-played riff.

Procedure for Korg M3

This is a very generalized procedure to show a basic pattern for working with KARMA GEs to produce a specific effect. See the Tips section for info on some video tutorial files that demonstrate this process and explain a lot more details and nuances of this scenario.

  1. Make a copy of your desired drum program (such as I-A004: Studio Standard Kit) to a new bank, because you are going to permanently modify the KARMA GE used in that program. If the LATCH button is lit, turn it off before saving the program because you don't want KARMA to latch on for this purpose.
  2. Ensure that KARMA is on for the following steps, so that you can hear what KARMA is doing as you modify its GE.
  3. On the KARMA GE tab for the program (on page P0:Play), touch the >Drum icon next to Module A. The Category/GE Select pop-up appears.
    1. Touch the 00 Arpeggi tab to list all the available Arpeggio GEs.
    2. Scroll to the start of the list and select 0018 Arp Model 19 DurEnv. (You can select any arpeggio GE but not all of them will work well for this purpose, so experiment!)
  4. Press the PAGE SELECT* button on the M3 and go to the **P7-1 KARMA1 GE Setup/Module page.
    1. On the GE Setup tab, clear the Thru In Z checkbox to ensure that the notes you play to set the root notes used for the arpeggio pattern are not "played thru" on top of the first KARMA-generated notes. (Otherwise you'd hear those initial notes you play too, which can create a "flam" type effect when you turn KARMA on.)
    2. On the MIDI Filter tab, in the Transmit MIDI Filter section, clear the CC-A and Env.2 checkboxes to remove any note-panning (the CC value) and note duration variation (the Envelope value) that the GE might be performing. (In other GEs, you might need to clear a different set of CC and Envelope filters—experiment.)
    3. On the Trigger tab, clear the Quantize Trigger checkbox to further reduce the potential for a "flam" type effect when you turn KARMA on.
  5. Press the PAGE SELECT* button on the M3 and go to the **P0 Play page.
  6. Go to the KARMA RTC tab for the program and also press the KARMA button in the CONTROL ASSIGN area of your M3 so that your RTC sliders will control what you see on the KARMA RTC tab.
    1. Drag Slider 5 (Note Range) down to a low slider value of about 022 to reduce the note range of the arpeggio pattern. (Experiment with other values near this range for different effects.)
    2. Drag Slider 2 (Rhythm Pattern) down to a low slider value of about 007 to speed up the KARMA-generated pattern to something more realistic for a drum fill/solo tempo. (Experiment with other values near this range for different effects.)
    3. Drag Slider 4 (Velocity Accents) up to a value of about 115 to impart a realistic variation in the volume (velocity) of the notes played in the pattern. (Experiment with other values near this range for different effects.)
  7. Play notes D, E, F, G, and A below middle C to hear what your KARMA-generated drum fill sounds like at this point.
  8. While continuing to play these notes, try some other RTC changes to hear their effect on this basic KARMA-generated fill pattern:
    1. Press RTC switch 4 (Note Pattern<>Random) to randomize the KARMA-generated fill.
    2. Drag Slider 4 (Velocity Accents) down to a value of about 065 to make the fill even more realistically dynamic as it might be in a drum solo.
    3. Drag Slider 5 (Note Range) up even higher to start bringing in other drum sounds to emulate a really spastic drum solo.
  9. Don't forget to save this program again now that you've made all these changes to the GE.
  10. Now turn KARMA off and play a normal drum riff manually, then turn KARMA on and play various notes when you want to play a fill. Turn KARMA off again to go back to your simple manually-played riff.

Tips

Save different RTC slider and switch settings to various scenes so that you can choose among different-feeling fills and solos each time you turn KARMA on and off.

Stephen KayStephen Kay has produced two excellent video tutorials on the subject which describe this general procedure in great detail. It is highly recommended that you view these videos to better understand the nuances of this general procedure. The videos use the Korg OASYS but the way that KARMA works on the Kronos and OASYS is identical, and the M3 is similar enough to figure out where to find all these screens and tabs on the M3. To view these videos, click on the following links:

Modify GE-Drum Rolls (Part 1)
Modify GE-Drum Rolls (Part 2)

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