Blofeld / Monomachine hypnosis (tech)

Blofeld: drum samples, one mono synth voice.
Monomachine: sequencing, fx, one FM voice.

Test Blofeld’s sample playback capabilities for drums in multi-mode, along with it’s virtual analog capability for mono basslines alongside Monomachine’s midi CC# parameter locks.

Top notch Adam! :+1:
The MNM FM sound is that dark pad/bassline in background?

The FM voice comes in around 2:07

Tnx, got right then :slight_smile:
It sets a nice mood.

enjoying this whole vid series, adam. sounds like you’ve hit upon a compact yet capable setup.

Thanks. It’s working out.
This was the first thing I made with imported drum samples into Blofeld.
I’m going to take the time to put together 500 chosen drum samples to import all at once, so I never have to do it again.
The Sceptre software is a bit of a chore to use.

And getting multis to switch between MnM patterns and kits seems to hold a few more mysteries to unlock before I can feel assured it will behave in the way I expect/command.

Also reprogramming my MnM CC# midi track assignments. Adding Modwheel to all of them, as I can then reprogram that for each patch in Blofeld and keep the MnM assignments locked, for more flexibility.

But wow the bass sound when running the filters as serial hp–>lp is huge! My desire for a Pulse 2 quickly diminished.
The self resonating filters are great when p-locking the resonance in small doses.

And cheers, Rics

The only time it crashed was when I loaded a sample bank onto both Osc 1 & 2 of a patch.
The drums sounded really fat for about 3 seconds, though! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Organizing samples with Sceptre is a pain. I recommend putting together your 4 banks once to do it one time and never again.
One issue I am having is just getting the Multi mode program changes synchronized from MnM.
I’m using CC#0 plucked at 127 on the base channel, as I’m supposed to.
But it seems to be a relativity issue. Like I have to start the pattern/kit that uses Program Change #1, with that multi manually cued on Blofeld first… And then after that, all the Multis switch as expected. Because the program change is relative to that as a starting point.
But every now and then a wrench gets thrown in and the change isn’t happening as expected.
Sometimes a p-lock got lost, or a paramater in the midi track got nudged. Or maybe stopping the sequencer throws it off.
It’s like taming a wild horse. I’ll get to the bottom of it.
It’s only made worse by the fact that the Blofeld display doesn’t update when the change is made. I have to hit Blo play button twice to see what Multi I am in.
But this hasn’t been bad for workflow. These are things I need for the stage, not the writing process. That workflow has been relatively smooth.
I’m not a big fan of modulation matrixes for LFOs. I prefer the Elektron LFO standard of having destination, amount, shape, speed… all in the same section. That slows me down a little, but it’s not a deal-breaker on a $500 box that can do so, so much.
Multi mode isn’t as bad as people say it is, once you know your way around.

Spent a little more time with the combo this morning…

Something I really like about this pair is sequencing a drum sample map with MnM.
For all its fussiness, the “sound font” style of sample mapping in Spectre is powerful. With Spectre, you assign one sample to one note#. You can then choose to have that sample respond to pitch, by assign it to additional note#s, or you can just assign othersamples to the additional note#s if you wish.

What’s great about this is with MnM’s midi sequencer, sending polyphonic trigs can trigger multiple samples on the same step in one midi track.
So I can have a massive drum pattern going on with just two midi tracks, and still have several tracks left over for the rest of the multi.

The whole environment of the Monomachine feels much less limited this with Blofeld strapped to those 6 midi channels.
By assigning multiple layers in the multi to the same midi channel, you can stack and layer pad patches for thick soundscapes and atmospheres, on top of your 2 drum channels (with 7 or 8 drum hits going), your bass track, your lead track, and an fx/hook track. I’ve been doing this and haven’t encountered any voice stealing yet, though I’ve not used PPG filter, comb filter, or more than 3 wavetables total. More testing is necessary, as that comb filter under LFO automation is very sweet sounding.

And all of that voicing is without any MnM voices. So, this really opens up the modular side of MnM’s neighbor routing, and keeps the MnM’s shared LFOs free for quick assignments on midi tracks too.

I’m sure that a Nord Drum 2 would be a far more immediate drum solution, but it feels like putting in the time to plan sample banks, and know your way around the Blofeld makes it one of the most effective single instrument expansions for Monomachine.

Next step is taking the time to organize patches used in multis into a dedicated “DO NOT EDIT” bank.

This was pretty dope. The VA on the Blo sounds far more realistic than the VA machines on the Mono. You’ve certainly helped put the Blofeld on my list of gear to buy in the next few months.

Also, what stand do you have the Monomachine on? The angle looks like it would be perfect for my desk.

You should experiment with using this with the Monomachine’s “SID” mode in the Arp settings. I bet you could get some cool fills that way.

Yea, I agree. I’m focusing MnM voices on FM and FX routing now, which is where its biggest strengths are, I think. The DigiPro will still get used as well.
Blofeld’s drive algos in the filter sections help to make it come alive. Don Solaris’ “Analog Voltage” pack youtube video was something that made me stop and consider Blofeld as a solid V/A. There was also a “Blofeld vs Juno 60 Quiz” shootout on Gearslutz some time ago. They sounded different, but both sounded quite good, in that instance.

It gets so much press for its wavetable capabilities but it is actually a good all arounder. It just takes a little work to etch out that last 5% to get it into the sonic crossover territory with its competition, and less like a Waldorf.
In fact, the Analog Voltage patches make great springboards to get you there faster.

But there is so much to the synth I am barely even using. It is quite deep. There are loads of modulation slots still unused. The filter routing configurations can turn it into a whole other synth as well. Still so much to explore. The single stereo output doesn’t even bother me that much. As each voice has dual filters, and the multi section has pan/level. It’s easy to get a good mix out of the stereo outputs. And for fine adjustments, I just p-lock the velocity on steps to bring them up or down.

Also, what stand do you have the Monomachine on? The angle looks like it would be perfect for my desk.

It’s an mStand for elevation/tilt + Blue Lounge Cool Feet for further forward tilt. There is also a weight on the base of the Mstand to keep it all from tipping forward when I start hitting MnM’s trigs.
Yea, the whole setup is about $60 but worth it for ergonomics. Before Blofeld I had it elevated over my Rytm+A4, and it is all right there where I need it. Just enough room for the Rytm & A4 cabling, and that’s with Cool Feet under those boxes for better tilt as well:

I may get another mStand. We’ll see how I can set it all up when I get my Rytm back this evening. I’ve grown to like having the MnM above the Blofeld.
Maybe A4 on an mStand above Rytm, next to MnM+Blofeld could work.

And yea I have been using the MnM ARP a bit on those drum tracks. Can get a fun re-trig style fill in.
Saving that stuff for the stage. :slight_smile:

Ironically, Blofeld has allowed me to view MnM as a different kind of live instrument than I did before. Using the ARP and FX as realtime performance parameters more, with more in the moment tweaks, and less reliance on programmed automation.

Very good (as usual).
It really show how powerful the Blofeld is.

Would you see the blofeld replacing your AR?

Very different workflows, strengths, and weaknesses. Keep in mind, I don’t use Rytm as a mere drum machine. I write whole tracks on it, just as I do with A4+NordDrum, and MnM+Blofeld. My live pa is a layered mix of performances of those tracks.

So I’m not looking to replace anything. My desire for Blofeld came out of the fact that my MnM-only tracks were lacking in the drums and V/A departments, and there were 6 midi tracks sitting idle.
I had also been considering everything from TR-8, Virus B, SH-32, or even using my Volca Sample for drums and just manually changing programs.

And Rytm has great advantages for live performance with the macros. It’s not going anywhere.

If I had to travel for a few months and could only take one Elektron sequencer with me, it would be MnM+Blofeld. But that’s because I’m a synthesist at heart. There would be much more to explore with this combo.
More voices, filters, lfos, routing options.

I haven’t looked hard enough at the new BeatStep Pro, but I imagine it could be setup as a drum sequencer for Blofeld samples, and then you have two synth tracks on top of it, which could be layered in the Blofeld multi.
Not as powerful as MnM sequencing it, but not much else could take the Blofeld that far for only $250. It sends program change too.
It would probably only require some careful building of Blofeld sample maps so that whole drum kits are contained in 16 note clusters.

Hey Adam,

Just got my Blofeld through today and have just fathomed sequencing internal MnM tracks separately from Blofeld tracks (super basic discovery, this is the first time I’ve use the midi tracks on the MnM).

If I want each Midi track to trigger a different sound on the Blofeld in multi mode, do I need to change the Midi Channel on the Blofeld part that I want to trigger (in the line with the MnM channel), or leave it on ‘Global’ as suggested for live performances in the Blofeld manual?

I’ll keep beavering away and try finding through doing.
It’s a matter of attending to it in short bursts at the moment, so as not to get my head too tangled up.

I have my MnM midi seq setup for midi channels 7-12
Then in Blofeld multi, I assign those same midi channels to the different channels in the multi.
My advise is do this once, and save that as a multi template, then copy from that to build your multis going forward.

Cheers for that.


I think I cleared the steep bit of the learning curve, for now at least.

Maybe I even looped the loop!

I’m going to have fun with this villainous beast.

That kick… sounds SO nice… And the touch of rev/decay on the hats. they sit so well together. Tons of energy. Thanks for sharing :smiley: