Today is a special day. That’s why I expanded Mantikor with – Bloom!
Now I think Qu-Bit calls that “fractal sequencer” or something, however I prefer the term “Messiaen in a box”.
It is setup in a way that Bloom’s channels 1 and 2 replace Marbles outs T1/T3 and X1/X3 that usually are pitch/gate sources in Mantikor.
The question is: how will Bloom work in a setup which is meant to be played in a “non-programmable” fashion?
The usual way to use Bloom is to program sequences into it and then let it do counterpoint-style transformations (like cancer, transposition, inversion). However, by twisting “Mutate”, you can change an existing sequence randomly. Well, not completely. It will only change the (pitch) CV values. Other settings, including which steps will play, are not randomly done.
Note that with the exception of the pitches and gates we use for voices 1 and 2, nothing has changed from the last setup. BIA and Plaits still get their triggers from either Pamela or Grids.
So the question is: can Bloom be a replacement for Marbles, in the context of Mantikor, or more generally, in Riemann’s World?
I’d like to break the answer down into three parts:
What about the generated CV/gate sequences? Then, what about other things Marbles can do and has done so far in Riemann’s World? Finally, what would an actual system look like?
I already mentioned this – the downside within the rules of Riemann’s World is that I can’t do randomly generated gate sequences. Once I’ve programmed something, the paths and branches will at least invert them, but apart from that, I get out what I programmed into it.
A solution for that could be simply not to use the gate sequences. I have, with Grids and Pamela, already a few gate sources, and I could work with that.
As for the pitch CV: it’s a completely different approach, but I believe it will lend to more interesting – in the sense of counterpoint – results what I can achieve with Bloom than what I can with Marbles. Plus, for the purely Turing-machine-generated stuff, I still have Stages.
And from the usability, I get the chance to freely shift the sequences. And, a very important change, to work on both sequences individually, rather than to influence both at once with one set of controls. This is a big plus in my book.
Now, Marbles has not only been sending two sequences of pitch/gate. There’s still the t2 output, which can do a jittery clock, but which I haven’t used so far, so we can ignore it. Then there’s Y and X2, two CV sequences that I’ve been using as modulation sources. So choices would be to either not have them anymore, or to get additional modulation sources. Like a simple LFO, or a stepped sequence, or something more outrageous. In modules names: 2hp LFO, Clep Diaz, Ornament&Crime.
As for the other features of Marbles with the Ukyzky firmware: I can store and recall sequences with Bloom just fine. I can also easily retrigger it. And finally, it allows for control via CV, so that’s also a checkmark.
It’s also important to point out things that Bloom can do that I wasn’t able to do so far: with Bloom, I can set root notes for both channels independently. As I can do the same for the two other pitch sequences coming from Stages, I might even get rid of the Quant Gemi in turn.
Looking at the current Mantikor, there’s 4HP to spare.
And I have already identified two modules which I’ve never used so far, which gives me another 4HP. Plus, Bloom is 2HP smaller than Marbles.
As I’ve identified the need for additional CV sources earlier, one solution could be to use an Ornament&Crime, and maybe add a 2hp LFO.
And using that as a branch of the planned changes I had already considered, I could get rid of Quant Gemi, add a VCA instead because you can never have too many VCAs, and finally do something for the 2bus.
With all that said, there’s still the “will I do it?” question, and the short answer is “maybe”.
On the plus side, it’s really a great option to do new things, or rather do things differently. On the minus side, using the programmed gates officially has no place in Riemann’s World. But there’s a workaround. So let’s see what I will do in the end.