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Tutorials/Melodic cycles

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THIS TUTORIAL IS NOW SUPERSEDED, AS YOU CAN USE INSTR >> Add Melodic Sequence or Chord Progression (Ctrl + 275) (sorry no screenshot yet if you follow through that link)

The idea here is to have several melodic patterns going on simultaneously, repeating over and over - and melodic sequence perhaps with a different number of notes. And - it would be nice if we can also do it so that the number of notes in the melodic fragment doesn't have to match the number of beats in the part so it can repeat at different places in the measure each time around.

So - how do you set this up in Bounce Metronome?

I didn't even realize it could do this until asked the question, but turns out, it is quite easy to do.

The most flexible way to do this in Bounce Metronome is to use the notation C1, D1 etc to notate single notes as a "chord progression"

This works with any Bounce Metronome rhythm, and is an option available throughout the program including the free taster.

First (in the main menu) go to Parts >> Chord Progression For Part (Ctrl + 250)

If you don't see this option, then you need to go to Instr >> Add melodic instruments, beeps, ....

Switch on the option to play a chord progression.

Then use C1 for C on its own without any chord and / and \ for octave shifts, so for instance this "chord progression" will play a melodic pattern instead of a sequence of chords:

C1 D1 e1 g1 a1 \c1 /c1

Like this:

Melodic sequence as chord progression.png

If you don't hear a melody when you play it - then make sure you select a melodic instrument into the part.

This chord progression option in Bounce Metronome only lets you have a chord progression in one part at a time.

There is no technical reason for that - it is just for simplicity - most users only want one chord progression playing at a time.

What we need now is the option in Bounce Metronome to play several different chord progressions simultaneously.

Playing several different chord progressions simultaneously in Bounce Metronome

To find this, (in the main menu) go to Instr >> Custom Multi Instruments (Ctrl + 37) - in the Pro metronome it's under More Instr >> Custom Multi Instruments (Ctrl + 37)

If you don't see this, you need to go to Instr >> MORE Windows and options .... first.

Go to the bottom of the list and you will see your new chord progression.

Click on it and use the Copy button to make a new instrument. Should now look like this:

Copy of chord progression.png

Now highlight the chord progression and click Edit Instrument and you see this

Edit copy of chord progression.png

You can edit that as you like, then go back to the previous window and enter your desired name for the new instrument here:

Name for melodic sequence.png

It then appears in your Instruments window under Custom like this:

Melodic sequence in menu.png

You can go on and make any more melodic sequences in same way by copying these instruments.

You can then select your melodic sequences into any of the parts.

Default is for it to repeat over from the beginning right away as soon as the sequence ends, even if you are in the middle of a measure when it happens.

If you prefer it to just repeat its last note to the end of the measure and start at the start of each measure, you can customize that in Edit Custom Instrument for Multi Instrument (Ctrl + 44) and there are other options for customizing the chord sequence there as well.

Microtonal options

There are some microtonal options for the chord sequences but it's a bit clumsy especially for the root of the chord - not designed particularly for melodic sequences. And is all a bit ad hoc at present. Some time I hope to add Sagittal notation but haven't had the time to do it yet.

Still, it does work.

To get an exact microtonal pitch you prefix with y. As before you need to add a 1 after the note name to show that you just want to play the root of the chord.

The default for exact tuning is nineteen equal for the flats and sharps so

yC1 yC#1 yDb1 yD1 yD#1 yEb1 yE1 yE#1 yF1

plays first few notes of 19 equal

You can play ratios and cents also.

The thing you need to know here is you need to start every note with the sequence


So for instance: yC0@5/4 yC0@81/64 plays a 5/4 followed by an 81/64 above the 1/1.

The C0 here is a chord with no notes in it yet and the @ adds note to the chord.

So, if you are really keen to do a particular microtonal melodic cycle of pitches, with Bounce Metronome, then you can do anything you want with this notation.

Just a bit clumsy - but you only have to make your microtonal melodic sequence instrument once for each cycle you want to use.

You can also use the option to quantize to the current tuning whatever it is and then set that from the scale and arpeggio windows. This quantizes to the nearest microtonal pitch - so for instance C# will quantize to nearest pitch in your tuning to first degree of 19 equal, and Db to whatever pitch is closest to the second degree of 19 equal.

If your tuning hasn't got too many notes in it - that might be enough to get the notes you want just using flats and sharps. (Leave out the "y" if you want to quantize to the tuning).

It's a feature I programmed many years ago in Tune Smithy, for its chord progression player and Bounce Metronome has just inherited it, not done any more work on it since I started on Bounce Metronome.

More details here: Accepted note names

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(By Robert Walker)