KARMA 2: Why the GE Editor lists the groups in the order that it does

Note: this independently contributed article has not yet been reviewed for accuracy by Karma-Lab.


The order in which the GE parameter groups are listed in the "tabs" on the left side of the GE Editor window represents the general "flow of events" that happens from the moment that you first (re)trigger a GE. I won't dwell on this too long because when you're first learning how GEs work I feel it's more useful to categorize these GE groups into three "plain English" components. But briefly, the flow of events in a GE goes like this:


1. You (re)trigger the GE (there are various different ways you can do this, explained further below)

2. The GE examines the notes that you played at the moment it was (re)triggered (these are called the input notes, and if applicable for the GE Type (more on these later), it builds something called a Note Series out of your input notes. The Note Series is a list of note pitches that were extrapolated from your original input notes. (Some GEs Types do not actually use the Note Series.)

3. The GE next examines all the settings in the Phase group to determine what range of notes in the Note Series are available to be played, and to determine some parameters for how many of the other GE groups will be allowed to "act" during each Phase of the GE.

4. The Rhythm Group then sets up the timing with which steps will occur in many of the subsequent GEs during the Phase, and also the total number of steps that will occur in this play-through of the Phase. (Depending on how randomized the Rhythm Pattern is, there might be a different number of steps that occur in each playthrough of the same Phase.

5. The next four GE groups (Duration, Index, Cluster, and Velocity) then interact with each other (as controlled by the Phase and Rhythm groups) to select which notes to actually play and what the velocity and duration of those notes should be. The list of available notes to choose from depends on the GE Type:
Generated-Riff and Generated-Gated GEs use the playable Phase Area of the Note Series as their pool of available "base note" pitches.
Generated-Drum GEs use either one or all three of the Drum Pattern grids in the Drum group as their pool of available note pitches, usually without much modification (so the Drum Patterns are more or less played back like a step-sequencer pattern).
Real-Time GEs ignore both the Note Series and the Drum Patterns and instead use only the input notes that you actually play.

6. The remaining GE groups (other than the Drum group and the RT Parms group) essentially add various MIDI-based effects to the notes and rhythm being played.

7. The RT Parms group doesn't do anything to notes and rhythm being played but instead defines exactly which 32 of all the hundreds of available parameters from all the GE groups will be available for manipulation on your workstation.

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