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In the Vortex

Sequencers aplenty for Pitch Distribution

(10 Votes)
1.0 (Updated 2 months ago)
May 30, 2021
Reaktor 6
Instrument Sequencer


In the Vortex

Credits: though there are 2 builder/authors on this project, more than the lion’s share of the work was Jim’s (Arachnaut’s).
That work was voluminous, including: analyzing Spiral, writing and rewriting it completely, cleanly, and intelligibly into ‘Vortex’, making it beautiful, much smaller than the factory instrument it was based on, and ultimately providing a pitch algorithm derived from his Morse Thue Sequencer for the MTS Vortex.

Catman Dude’s contributions consist of the algorithm for pitch distribution for Pitch Vortex Quant, in addition to the pitch selection tool therein, which is basically a rewrite of the factory Pitch Quant block.

We both had fun providing snapshots, particularly for ensembles that rely for sound on the factory instrument, 2-Osc. The collaboration too has been rewarding.

Oddly enough this project began with research into Krypt, the factory ‘groovebox’. This was well off our normal targets: neither of us is a groovebox kind of guy. But as those percussive things go, Krypt is worthy: dazzling and unique, if generally opaque as to structure. (Thanks, lazyfish.)

The beginnings of an investigation into Krypt led Catman to query Arachnaut on the subject. Not surprisingly, Jim had no real awareness or experience there. But as the conversation began to heat up, along with interest in what a modified Krypt might be capable of, Jim decided that a good way to explore Krypt for him would be to drive it with notes from Spiral.

Spiral, we agreed, had some interesting aspects, especially the mesmerizing look of its rotating ‘blobs’. But it had real drawbacks as well. In particular its algorithm for pitch distribution seemed willfully peculiar, and in fact not all that suitable for job of sample selection in Krypt. And from that point Jim got fully immersed in a total overhaul of Spiral, morphing it into a streamlined and snazzy Vortex.

The ‘Spiral Vortex’ came first, now called simply ‘Vortex’. After that, on parallel paths, we each worked on a version of Vortex that suited our pitch-choosing sensibilities. Thus were born MTS Vortex and Pitch Vortex Quant.

This upload gives users 6 differently colored Vortex instruments for each of the 3 types of Vortex mentioned above (‘Vortex’, ‘MTS Vortex’, ‘Pitch Vortex Quant’). Using a group of these from one of the types in an ensemble, each of which supplies its own time-world and pitch range, and even a different pitch-selection set, can make for interesting musical mayhem.
Also provided for each type of Vortex is an experimental ensemble that features 2-Osc.

Additions by Jim:

The attached folder collects a summary of all our work on enhancing Spiral. I re-wrote the Morse-Thue Sequencer for this project to make it easily extendable and contributed it in the form of the MTS Vortex series.

A special version of MTS is included called SF MTS Vortex. Just a single colored version, and it uses the Superformula as the sequence modulator. It is a special version taken from the Superformula Delay bank in my OMega3 upload.

Finally, a color resource file is added which holds the panel colors, icon colors, etc. in case a user wants to change the color scheme. They are all monochromatic, so a simple Colorize or Hue shifter will work fine. I wanted maximal visible difference between each Vortex so they may be found easily in the GUI or the edit panel.

I made a very serious attempt to document every button, knob, and major macro, and to isolate functionality in macros.

The simple Vortex is practically identical to Spiral.
The MTS Vortex always makes fractal tunes that bounce notes around a pitch center.
The Pitch Vortex that Catman did is an amazing pitch generator unlike anything I've seen, and I really don't understand how it works, but it is easy to use and sounds wonderful.


michael lancaster
3 weeks ago
Just spent an afternoon with this playing the new piano colours on kontakt, almost made for each other
Brett Lavallee
2 months ago
Awesome thanks
2 months ago
I would like to remind folks that the MTS Vortex has a radically different B-View for setting up the pitch variations.
Catman Dude
2 months ago
Hi Mike, glad you're around and jumping into the Vortex!
2 months ago
Thank you, both!
michael lancaster
2 months ago
Excellent , just having first play. a lot of variations to explore.Thank you
Catman Dude
2 months ago
Same back at you, Arachnaut!
2 months ago
Thanks for uploading this, Catman. It has been a fruitful and exciting several months of work and exploration. I've learn a lot while working on this.