I’m about to start getting into performance mode. I’ve avoided it due to the tedious setup. What setting do you guys find the most useful I wonder? Set me off in the right direction for my first template pattern.
The obvious ones are a filter sweeps, and effects, what other setting are really cool to mess with on the fly?
too many to pick from, but a few classic favourites include :
LFO speed, depth and start phase
delay and reverb send, with highpass filter
amp decay, release, and chorus send
osc pitch, one going up, the other one going down (fun times)
the possibilities are endless, and the only limit is your imagination, and your patience in setting it all up.
I find it really sad that Elektron did not think to continue the crossfader / scene paradigm, as I think this is the most elegant and flowing way of setting up intricate modulations on the fly.
The A4’s performance macros are clunky, clumsy, and dissuasive. I almost never use them because of this, and it’s a shame as they unlock incredible potential.
Ah well, I suppose it rewards whoever is going to actually spend time setting them up
I wasn’t too concerned about the performance knobs from the start either, until I happened to play a preset pattern and decided I might as well try and twist some of the knobs.
Now I almost think of the performance knobs as the heart of the unit. It is a big part of what allows you to make dynamic music live/in real time.
The setting up isn’t really tedious as soon as you’ve done it a couple of times. Start by making a routine of naming a knob before you start to edit it. That way you will at least know what it does when you come back to the pattern.
I tend to use the performance knobs in different ways. Some examples:
sometimes one or more knob can be controlling one track/sound. Filters, overdrive, volume to work against the overdrive to ensure a consistent level, envelope (attack, decay), lfo depth, fading in oscillator 2, adding noise, whatever really.
a knob can be set to alter something about the whole arrangement, or more than one part of it. Close the filter a little on several tracks for instance, dulling everything down. Or different things for the channels that transform the piece in interesting ways. Adding overdrive to several part at the same time. Dulling some parts down while opening others up. Bathing the melodic instruments in reverb while drying up the drums.
I still use the A4 in mono mode, so my chords consist of two detuned oscillators. Then what? For instance, say osc 2 is playing a third. A knob can be used to tune that up two seminotes across the whole range. Then you can press the knob down and turn it whenever you want to change the chord. You will get quite fast note changes, but with a nice little portamento at your speed of choice.