Korg IMS-20 Tutorial 3: Sequencing for Synth and Drum tracks

Here’s some detail about how to create a nice sequence, including the long-awaited journey into the world of Deepest, Darkest What-the-heck-is-the-difference-between-the-drum-and-synth-tracks-land.

In Tutorial 1, we struck a glancing blow at the step sequencer by showing where it is and how to change the length of a sequence’s loop, and then waving our arms vaguely and mumbling “and then you just turn some knobs and you’re done.” We also claimed that the difference between drum and synth sequencing is “pretty much ‘nothing,'” but promised to get into it later.

Now it is later. The Future. And indeed we get into it. This time we learn just what all those knobs do, except for the ‘voltage’ knobs, which got some of our famous hand-waving this time, and we promise to address on Patch Bay Day, which is now the New Future.

And in this tutorial we explore the differences between synth and drum channels, which pretty much comes down to this:

–A Synth patch can change from pattern to pattern during a song.

–A Drum patch can’t. Set a drum to a certain patch, it stays on that patch throughout the song.

–Drum and Synth sequencers all share rows of knobs that can store and control “pitch,” “octave,” and “gate” separately for each step of the sequence.

–Drum and Synth sequencers also both have similar rows for “volume” and “pan.”

–The Synth track’s step sequencer also boasts three rows of “voltage” knobs, and three rows of “parameter” knobs. The Drum channels cannot make that claim.

–Drum tracks have the easy “on-off” buttons for each step, as well as a pretty “all-drums-at-once” matrix view. Synths don’t.

–When you edit the sound of a drum, the software triggers a single note over and over for your editing convenience.

–When you edit the sound of a synth, you can access your step sequencer for the synth in that same screen. Not so with drums.

Well, heck, that’s about it, isn’t it? Make some noise, now.

As always, please leave a comment if you’d like something further illustrated or explained or elaborated upon or made an excuse for or eliminated from the planet for a small fee.

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