Slow music on elektron devices

hello elektronauts! i’d appreciate your hints on how you create long melodic/harmonic patterns on elektron sequencers. i find it frustratingly difficult to come up with some evolving pattern.
sounds like 128 steps master len, 1/8 scale on track for example + live recording, but then you have to wait full cycle each time to make precise adjustments or put plocks. pattern chains? there’s no way to stack first pattern several times if i need to in that case. start scattering notes in arrange mode? well, it’s ok on OT but there’s DN next to it which i don’t always want to follow OT’s program change (still sound like the best option so far, still a little tedious).

how do you do this? let it be another topic on workflow for rather slow (but not drone/ambient) melodic/evolving music on elektron boxes.


EDIT: i don’t mean ‘slow’ in terms of bpm, or stuck one-note drones with heavy modulations, it’s more about temperate non-repetitive harmonic progressions and melodic phrases

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I’m working on something like this right now. I have the OT controlling and sequencing the DN. Using slower pattern time multiples and conditional trigs, I can get some pretty slow random stuff. There’s the Octatone Merging thread that may have some more info for you, too. The only thing I can’t seem to figure out is how to properly control soundlocks on the DN with the OT.

For ambient style music I try to avoid using Elektron sequencers. There is much possible, but it feels to me more like workarounds and gets me off-track and disturbes my creative flow.

I suppose it’s about using step-sequencers in the first place, which are more dedicated to create and change short patterns, rather than support long and slow evolving pieces. For ambient I use linear sequencers instead … like on the MPC or the Pyramid.

The best advice I can give is to create counter point , Have lots of slowly evolving lfos and set sequencers to different lengths so every bar they go a bit out of time with each other and then eventually back in sync.

Like this sort of thing

i adore this trick.
still, how cumbersome turns out to ‘consciously’ edit patterns makes me think i’m missing something, considering how awesome stuff people do on elektron boxes.

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this is what i’m trying to avoid for now, trying to get to more ‘conscious’ approach, like, ‘this is exactly how i wanted it to be’. which brings this to:

this is what i was afraid of. sounds like i should just grab my push2 and go from there. which is a bummer since i tried to give up using the laptop in my setup

When I’ve done really slow stuff on my Digitone, I tend to keep the patterns short for this very reason. Better to have four or five short patterns that I can switch between relatively easily than one long pattern that I’m stuck with for ages.
I also find polymetering more effective on shorter patterns at slow speeds.


how about the Arranger? You can tell it to repeat patterns, play patterns in an order, loop sets of patterns

this seems to be the most viable option, i’m not sure how it’ll work out with different pattern length on devices though (OT->A4->DN). oh, and there’s chains+song mode on A4!

Definitely study some baroque music theory. As odd as that sounds. Many ambient or slow synth music is based on those sort of techniques.

so this way mastering OT’s arranger and A4’s song mode feels like piece of cake)