Notating Elektron Gear Performance

Do you ever notate your performances? Have you created a written or drawn system of notation for electronically synthesized music?

It doesn’t have to be for Elektron gear only, although there is a structure to Elektron gear that makes some sorts of organized notation possible. And i realize that your performance is likely improvisational. But even regular jazz improvisers will write down basics; a title, the tempo, a head riff, basic instrumentation, a chordal melody, and overall organization of a piece. There is a basis to a performance that goes beyond a set-list. Or perhaps you’ve considered the options for organized notation and have explicitly decided to not do it for some reason – and that reasoning would be interesting to know as well.

Obviously there are ways to electronically save details of your performance. You can make an audio and/or video recording, or save a picture of your modular patch and knob settings, or save electronic data from synths that allow that. And that’s all useful. But what about something scratched down on a sheet of paper, that will guide you through the flow of a musical performance that you have prepared? What about something to give to another person to guide them in performance? What about written ways to reflect so that you can improve a piece? What about some way for you to recall and relearn a performance you made a few years back? That’s what i’m interested in hearing about here.

Now clearly many performers have really good memories, and they’ll get by without any written system. But i bet many of them too, have times where they forget, ‘fail’ even, where a sketch or a small reminder would have given them just that much better of a performance.

So what is it? Can you show an example?

Anestis Logothetis: Agglomeration


I just wiggle around and call it improvisation :smiley:


Nothing on paper, tje basics are in the sequenzers, the rest is muscle memory, muscle spastics and pretending to always have control.

Interesting thread idea. Curious what will follow.


I played a show last night, one of the other performers (Snuise, should check him out)
had a notebook open the enitire time. He absolutely killed it with a blend of improv and planned changes.

Anything that helps you notate your own thoughts and structures in shorthand or symbolically is great. My problem with alternative notation is that it is generally meaningless to anyone who didn’t create it. It is especially complicated when the system involves traditional means of notation juxtaposed with novel symbols and graphs without the proper context to evaluate them

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I keep a notebook handy during the writing phase for ideas in general, overall arrangement and scene/performance effects. I’m not entirely in sync with my trinity yet and I find ideas escaping me as I try to implement them. I blame this on being a DAW slave for several years and being very in tune with that workflow. I’m still in the trinity phase of “okay, that’s what I want to happen…now how do I do it?” The notebook is a new edition but helps immensely.


While writing songs I’ll basically only write down chords and melody notes. So I perform those bits as written until they’re memorised. The rest is improvised - basically the drums, bass, background stuff and transitioning between the different sections is adjusted by feeling it out and each section has a prepared melody or chord part I’ll play with a keyboard.

Notes for my last show:

Wrote down name of each song in order. Each song had the tempo and starting pattern number next to it. It helps to keep notes if I want to play songs in a different order and set the right tempo quickly.