Let's Dance on a Monomachine

Figured I’d show you how I made a neat patch with a smattering of music theory lessons, too. Skip to 2:00 if you want to not hear my caveats about transpositions. Sorry about the washed out screen–I’m new to video world and still learning the ropes. If anyone has any tips on how to get decent lighting for these Elektron boxes I’m all ears :slight_smile:

I’ve heard people mention on here they’d like to see more MnM videos and that the box is sorely missing from youtube. If there are other things you’d like to hear/discuss, let me know.


Enjoyed it and the final result sounds cool!

Thanks dude!

Awesome - I’m just gonna sway through the crowd to an empty space and watch this again :+1:t3:

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Cool video and track! Could probably benefit from a little trimming to make it more concise… Also re the screen thing, a cool trick I’ve seen in use is creating a new overlapping layer that’s just the screen, but cropped, enlarged and contrast-adjusted so you can see the parameters nice and big.

Yes it could be more concise I agree…

I wanted to do the overlapping thing but 1. I didn’t know how to do that and 2. I had recorded it so poorly I didn’t think it could be fixed. You’ll see the first few minutes of the video are fine, for the contrast, but when I began rerecording somehow it got messed up. I messed around with color correction in Lightworks (shit software) but it was all still washed out.

My favourite Bowie track by far, and great to hear the monomachine version!
Nice one @GirTheRobot :sunglasses:
This deserves some serious moonlight :smile:


Wow, that is fantastic!

You’ve brought back some wonderful memories. The one and only time I saw Bowie live was the Serious Moonlight tour’s stop in Phoenix. I camped out all night to buy tickets, meeting a fellow who would become one of my best lifelong friends in the process. He, I, and a group of friends then camped out all night outside Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum for the general admission show.

Thanks for sharing this. Impressive work.


Hey I live in Phoenix!! But I never got to see Bowie…I’m too young :frowning:

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I haven’t lived in Phoenix for decades, but I spent my entire teens and twenties there. I still ahve friends there, though.

I’ve got around this on my mk1 OT by using coloured translucent plastic sheets cut to the size of the screen. It’s not perfect, and the screen doesn’t look as good, but on camera it’s a lot easier to see without having to do anything in post-production.

Also, good work with the track! I haven’t watched the how-to video yet but the track itself is awesome. I agree there aren’t enough recent Monomachine videos on Youtube… I should make some as well.

seriously cool!

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Thanks much for the idea! Where might I find these translucent plastic sheets?

Are you using a smart phone to record? Usually a smart phone video camera can adjust exposure and lock that exposure. It works on iPhone by holding down on the screen and then dragging up/down to adjust locked exposure.

I tried this!! Like I said, I thought I had the exposure locked, but it didn’t work. Either way I’m going to stop using my smart phone because the variable frame rate is a total pain in the ass. Can’t figure out how to get that locked on recording, either…

I have a Samsung Galaxy S7

I love it…

Love this, thanks a lot man.

Monomachine covers are great stuff.

Someone made a cover of ‘Moon over Marin’ by Dead Kennedys with the Monomachine that is quite superb.

If anyone is inclined…

Great explanations while staying natural btw.

Do you use a Machinedrum at all?

Also, a cover of Bruce Haack’s ‘Party Machine’ would be splendid.

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Very neat. Also jelly of that MS2000B. I use an MS2000 as my midi controller >_> Very unconventional, I know, but it has this weird output problem where I have to crank the master up to max to get anything. Idk what happened. So I never use it as a synth. Plus when producing I like using softsynths anyway!

I do have a Machinedrum!! JUST out of frame to the left of my MnM is my Machinedrum SPS-1 Mk1 non-UW :wink: But I made this Let’s Dance patch when I was trying to deeply learn the ins and outs of the MnM so I sat down with it by itself, my MD far away. Now the two are right in front of me, never disconnected from each other.

With the two of these beasts I’ve been working on some covers for a gig I got coming up. A video of My Girls by Animal Collective should be forthcoming

Nice video. I’ve also been wanting to do some ‘synth-how-to-explore-etc’ videos on under-represented synths I have and like (like Monomachine, Modor NF-1m, etc). I’ve been trying to start with a similar simple overhead setup.

But I’m struggling on sound - basically, trying to get a good microphone and mix it with the synth sound. What is your setup for this?

The sound was the ONLY thing I had covered! If you know how to record anything then you can record it no problem. I just took a microphone (I’ve got a Blue Baby Bottle, but I’m sure any vocal mic would work…People use SM7Bs and RE-20s for this stuff frequently if you’ve got one or you’ve got the cash), put it on my desk (you could put it on a stand and aim it at your face, but this whole thing is so cumbersome I wanted to avoid that), and pointed it at my mouth. I made this a mono input in my DAW–Studio One 4. I then took the stereo out of the MnM into my interface and made this a stereo input in my DAW–that’s it. My monitors were muted and I was using (open back, though really closed back is preferred but it didn’t matter) headphones. I pressed record on the camera, then pressed record on the DAW. I said “1, 2, 3, 4!” and then hit play on the MnM, so I could later clearly see where to sync my audio. Then I just cut the countdown from the project entirely. The audio on the camera itself I decided not to use at all.

For video I got a cheapo Amazon-brand Tripod, put it up high, angled it straight down and straddled that bad boy between my legs like the precarious little slut I am. This is why a few minutes into the first part of the video I just barely bump it and the whole thing is angled poorly for a bit :man_shrugging:

Syncing isn’t that bad as long as you don’t have variable frame rate which I’ve discovered is a BITCH to deal with. Phones record in variable frame rate instead of fixed frame rate (apparently there are apps to work around this?)…This means for whatever reason your audio is going to jump/skip around if you import the file into video editing software. I had my recorded audio matched up perfectly with the video audio and halfway into the video it was completely out of sync. I had to take this crappy video recording, use a crappy converting software that took an hour to convert 13 minutes worth of video, then import it back in to my crappy video editing software and try again. The syncing got a little off as I mentioned–requiring me to shift some things around throughout the video–but it was much more workable than before.

EDIT: Oh I also recommend having a script in front of you or at least an outline. I thought I’d know what to talk about but when I pressed record my mind went blank and I froze. So real quick I pulled up notepad and stream-of-conscious wrote everything I wanted to talk about. This made it WAY easier and I didn’t have as many pauses or moments where I ask myself what to talk about next.

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