MnM sound design tips wanted

So, I’m fairly experienced when it comes to synths, but for some reason, I’m finding it difficult to get some of the sounds I’m after from the MnM.

Bass is fairly easy. I’m getting good results with the SID emulation and also with GND.

What I’m really looking for though is - airy pads and leads. I’m thinking cold and ghostly (if you know what I mean?).

Anyone got any general tips for doing that kind of thing? Which machine(s) would you recommend?

Any good existing resources for MnM sound design?


Lots to say here, but have you tried the Tips & Tricks document from the Elektron-Users forum Files section? Loads of information in there.

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Definitely the superwave ensemble machine for pads. Detune some of the oscillators, play with pulse width and generally just mess about with the LFO’s. :slight_smile:

I’d found Tareketh’s document previously, but thanks for the pointer. There’s at least one other doc on there which looks interesting.

Use filter trig with fltr env parameters lfoed. Parameter lock lfo + fltr when desired. Use trigless trigs for synthesis manip, etc.

Its all in the filter fun first then twiddle synthesis options. Also make sure filer tracking is OFF!

sometime i would approach using more than one track chaining the triggering.

Then don forget a highly subtracted VO machine going for only sustained vowel. Can give the pad a vocal/choir character that can result ghostly…

Thanks for the replies.

I’m starting to get results, but I think what I’m going to have to do is - start reverse engineering some of the sound-pack downloads.

I really like what Nicholas Lem is doing with the MnM here btw.

I know he has a sound-pack for download which I’ve tried, but when I tried it, it didn’t massively grab me.

My usual machine for doing this kind of thing is my Korg Z1, but I don’t want to take it gigging if I don’t have to. It’s rather large. :slight_smile:

A lot of what works well for me on the Z1 is: filtered noise with slow-moving LFO modulation. Maybe a sin wave for slightly discernable melody. That’s polyphonic though. Maybe I should be thinking of double or triple tracking on the MnM (as you suggest sicijk)?

I should also add that I have an A4 on order, so I can move some bass and arps over there. Hopefully the A4 and MnM’s different architectures should complement each other nicely.

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Completely! they will be gooood friends.
About trig stacking is a way.
Other is Poly mode. Depends what multi-timbrality you need during gigs.
I would expect more as you can.
so trig stacking will be an option since you can have different layers for one big mono sound. And modulations capability multiplied.
Give us some example of when the MM is giving satisfaction.
Im curious of what kind of timbre you’re speaking about. Or do you have references?
I’ll go check some Z1’s example!
something like

(there was a period i would have loved to own one)

The Z1 covers an astonishingly large range of synthesis possibility.

The various pads from around 2:50 on this video are in the territory I’m after I guess.

As for the MnM, Nicholas Lem’s video link above is very close to the kind of thing I’m after I think. A lot of what he’s doing there, is applying varying amounts of reverb via Octatrack. That’s something I should also possibly be considering (I have an Octatrack).

I’ve had my Z1 almost from the day they were released. I managed to find a rare voice expansion a few months ago. Was painful to fit without the original mounting kit, but very pleased it’s now 18 voice.

Part of what makes it very good at pads is the 4 LFOs and 4 envelopes per voice. Stack them up with polyphony and you can get some huge sounds.


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i did a fast sketch from what i understood…

uploaded a sysex in Files section called
PolyTimbric Pad

is less massive then those pads but has some low end

If played upper octaves gets more strident

Thanks. Will give it a go when I get home tonight.

The Mono’s reverb is great for pads. Also try to find something for each of the 3 LFOs plus Filter envelope to do. Lastly turn the distortion down to -7 and the gain up for smoother sounds. The distortion default makes things a bit brittle.

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I’m currently absorbing the tips in the ElektronNextLevel2011.pdf

Some interesting info in that one, even if it’s essentially glued-together tips from the forums.

I’m wondering why turning off the key tracking should make a difference though? I’m guessing you’d still want that enabled for arp-y / melodic material which spans an octave or two…?

That depends entirely on the sound you want. I turn HPF keytracking off almost all the time as it tends to thin out the timbre in the higher registers. It is essential to turn off keytracking for thru machines and effects, otherwise you’ll end up being one of those “the monomachine sounds thin” people. :slight_smile: LPF keytracking is good for most synth-y things. Not as good for percussion and effects. Try different things, see what sounds right to you.

Yep - that makes sense. No point in having key follow on reverb.

Haven’t gotten around to trying your sysex yet sicijk - sorry! The Analog 4 landed and it’s been eating my studio time. :slight_smile:

I really need to dig into the mnm more!

Since I now have the a4, I’m wondering if best result might be to use the MnM as a poly digital unit, feeding into the a4’s inputs for a4 delay and reverb.

All options available I guess. :wink:

No worries Purusha…i’ve got my A4 no more than 6 months after MM…! I know what you mean, because once it lands it will take you off!! ^:^

About Poly on MM…for me the answer is still: depends!

I like modularity and routing in MM so i will keep, at least, a pair of spare tracks to send somewhere else. Other kits could be thought as Poly patch, why not.

If i remember right, you can have different track sounds, so in Poly mode, when you focus on a particular track you’ll have that one poly-fied.

While still keeping beside me the MultiTrig channel…!

The MnM is my favorite machine ever! It is so “modular” and endless.

The ENSEMBLE machines (they make chords) are a great place to start for making pads. Then filter and EQ out the low end and some mids, and drench in reverb to get that ghostly effect. Lots of cool things can be done to a basic pad sound once you get into P-locking stuff and creating movement.