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 Post subject: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Admittedly this is a term I've only recently come to know. It's answered many a question I've had about how a certain track was made. Do any of you guys use this method much in your productions.
Also any tips so I don't go overboard and end up with a mess of a tune.


I think it was when I realised that Mike Parker's tracks where generally off bar that the idea of making something similar appealled. I'm not entirely sure if he works to a difference time signature, or whether that is actually the same thing. I read an article about making tracks using polyrhythms, but the time signature element 4/4 marrying up with 6/8 started to confuse me.

I use tremor which can naturally and easily change the length of any bar within it's drum lane, but I dunno if it will end up all out of sync when I try sequencing?


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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:58 pm 
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Poly-rhythms are useful. Depending on how and what kind of beat you're using it will turn around at some point and "go back" to the beginning. So it wont turn out of sync. It was discussed in another thread also I think.

I personally like to use the classic 4/4 with 3/16 or 6/8 as you mentioned already. In my signature, the first track in the Soundcloud player is an example of 4/4 + 6/8

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:02 pm 
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I use it all the time.
Polyrythms can make static loops appear more live by looping out of the standard 4-16-32 structure.
They also give a rolling effect, pushing everything forward.

It`s great, easy to do, can be very complex and can be applied to anything, not just synths.

Try making a simple one note stab, have it play (within the 4x4 structure) every 3 notes (in a 16 note pattern), then have the loop, looping every 9 steps rather than every 16

Then try making a 3 note melody instead of the 1 note stab that plays 3 times over 9 steps.

Maybe try making that 3 note melody a 5 note melody, hitting every 3rd note but this time over 15 steps rather than 9

Once you get the basics, go wild.

Patterns that run for 65 steps with ambient pads playing a melody that runs to a different lock than the rest of the tune, or try with percussion.

It`s a really great way to add organic movement, within a rigid structure, whilst still actually making use of that rigid structure.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:10 pm 
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Ok, here is an example of one of my tunes that is chock full of polyrhythms



First off, the percussion that comes in at 00:31 is a percussion sequence that is a basic 3 step loop. Just 3 notes per bar.
Then at 2:31 a piano-ish melody comes in, which is also a 3 step sequence.
Just after that a one note "Riff" comes in, again on a 3 step bar.

It`s unusual for me to use so many 3 step loops, normally I would mix a 3 step, a 5 step and so on, just for more fluidity.

Its pretty simple but can add a "hidden" complexity.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:36 pm 
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Crazy, I was thinking about making a thread about this exact thing earlier this morning. Ashley beat me to it!

I was messing around with polyrhythms last night. I remember hearing Mattias mention in a thread once, but never really considered trying it.

Well lately I feel like my tracks are feeling really stiff and lifeless and I can't seem to get anything done because of it. So I started programming my LFOs with odd rates and sizing my clips to different lengths and it really seemed to rid my work of that rigid, straight sound. But I think I need some more time to experiment and master it because what I was doing didn't work perfectly. It's also really hard to play my keyboard like that, my muscle memory pushes me to play certain patterns/rhythms, so I really have to try hard to break out of my habits.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:52 pm 
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I love this technique. I think this Surgeon remix is an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwm2_OZS92M

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Yeah, really great technique for adding some variety to loops.

That tune is beautiful by the way voidloss!


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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Wonder if anyone has ever made a tune like this:

1. Start out with the original rhythm (the actual bpm of the song) and add the poly

2. Original rhythm drops out leaving just the poly. Add other elements in time with the poly so that it sounds like the actual rhythm. IE a kick drum on the "downbeat" of the poly. In the DAW some of these would be off the grid.

3. Take out the off-grid elements of the poly and add back the original rhythm.

Excuse my rambling, I suppose I should just try it.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Voidloss & Mattias, loving those tracks.
Yeah see it's this kind of stuff which used to baffle me when I tried to dissect it.

Was making a loop on my phone before I posted this thread, with a 4/4 kick on a 16 step, then placing some random simple note patterns of other sounds over 12 steps, and was amazed just how much of a difference it made.
Think this is a technique I need to explore a bit further.

What's the deal with time signatures there seem to be quite a few?


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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:28 pm 
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Ttinga wrote:
I love this technique. I think this Surgeon remix is an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwm2_OZS92M


That's some tune :D


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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:31 pm 
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yeah i do it a bit myselt but not to a structure just random and see if it works out or not. like just leave it to chance

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:38 pm 
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ashley BORG wrote:
Voidlo
What's the deal with time signatures there seem to be quite a few?


The way it works is the number after the slash is the kind of note that gets a beat, and the number before the slash is how many of those beats per measure.

So with 3/4 time, the number after the slash is a four, so a quarter note is one beat. The number before the slash is three, so three quarter notes makes a measure. You feel the pulse in groups of three (waltzes are all in this signature, they have that ONE-two-three TWO-two-three thing you always hear in period movies).

With 4/4 time four quarter notes make a measure (in rock derived music beats two and four are emphasized, with snare usuall7). With 6/8 time, an eighth note gets a beat and there are six beats per measure.

There are several time signatures because you can have a measure be equal to various numbers of notes of varying duration. 3/4 and 4/4 are common in western music just because we've grown up with them. There are odd ones like 7/8 (eighth note gets a pulse, seven of them equal a measure).


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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Ttinga wrote:
Wonder if anyone has ever made a tune like this:

1. Start out with the original rhythm (the actual bpm of the song) and add the poly

2. Original rhythm drops out leaving just the poly. Add other elements in time with the poly so that it sounds like the actual rhythm. IE a kick drum on the "downbeat" of the poly. In the DAW some of these would be off the grid.

3. Take out the off-grid elements of the poly and add back the original rhythm.

Excuse my rambling, I suppose I should just try it.


I feel like I hear a variation on this sometimes in some tunes (I need to stop being so lazy and listen harder). Basically the song starts out with the poly ryhthm sounding like it'll be the rhythm of the song, and then the kick comes in establishing the actual rhythm.


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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:46 pm 
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mjudge wrote:
Ttinga wrote:
Wonder if anyone has ever made a tune like this:

1. Start out with the original rhythm (the actual bpm of the song) and add the poly

2. Original rhythm drops out leaving just the poly. Add other elements in time with the poly so that it sounds like the actual rhythm. IE a kick drum on the "downbeat" of the poly. In the DAW some of these would be off the grid.

3. Take out the off-grid elements of the poly and add back the original rhythm.

Excuse my rambling, I suppose I should just try it.


I feel like I hear a variation on this sometimes in some tunes (I need to stop being so lazy and listen harder). Basically the song starts out with the poly ryhthm sounding like it'll be the rhythm of the song, and then the kick comes in establishing the actual rhythm.



Yeah, I think I know what you mean. I think a slight variation that you hear a lot is that the song starts off sounding like the beat is shifted half a beat forward or backward because just the off-beat sound is playing but is established when the kick drum comes in.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:20 am 
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One of my favorites, especially around 2:30 when the delay times are modulated.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_voht-3HKvA[/youtube]

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:55 am 
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Not especially similar, but if I have a bit with no kick, ill usually try shifting the rest of the loop . the hats up to where the 1st kick would have been. Can sound cool when stuff comes back in.. and everything goes back the way it was

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
Ok, here is an example of one of my tunes that is chock full of polyrhythms



First off, the percussion that comes in at 00:31 is a percussion sequence that is a basic 3 step loop. Just 3 notes per bar.
Then at 2:31 a piano-ish melody comes in, which is also a 3 step sequence.
Just after that a one note "Riff" comes in, again on a 3 step bar.

It`s unusual for me to use so many 3 step loops, normally I would mix a 3 step, a 5 step and so on, just for more fluidity.

Its pretty simple but can add a "hidden" complexity.

woooaaa that tune is amazing! love it

and a classic example:

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Last edited by rein on Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:19 pm 
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rein wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
Ok, here is an example of one of my tunes that is chock full of polyrhythms



First off, the percussion that comes in at 00:31 is a percussion sequence that is a basic 3 step loop. Just 3 notes per bar.
Then at 2:31 a piano-ish melody comes in, which is also a 3 step sequence.
Just after that a one note "Riff" comes in, again on a 3 step bar.

It`s unusual for me to use so many 3 step loops, normally I would mix a 3 step, a 5 step and so on, just for more fluidity.

Its pretty simple but can add a "hidden" complexity.

woooaaa that tune is amazing! love it


+1......BIG TUUUUUNE!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:54 pm 
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rein wrote:
and a classic example:


+1 :)


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 Post subject: Re: Polyrhythms
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:19 am 
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