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In-depth Feature:  MonoMachine SFX-6
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Several ways of working
Six individual tracks.
If you want to use the Monomachine to play six independent tracks of monophonic sounds, you can program each track with one of the individual sound generating machines and effects settings. For each track you have access to tweak all parameters from the eight knobs controls of the front of the unit. Synthesis method, amplification, filter, effects and LFOs 1, 2 and 3 can all be set for each track via the mode switch. A read-out at the bottom left of the display tells you what a track is currently set to (synthesis type or effect).

The track select button routes the keyboard to the relevant machine, enabling you to quickly access any one of the six parts or tracks.

In Poly mode, the Monomachine assigns all six sound generating tracks to offer one track of six voice polyphonic sound - being the currently active track.

Six track sequencing
The sequencer controls each of the six tracks. As well as the pitch and note on/off commands, you can use it to control all the sound generation parameters and envelope triggers using parameter lock - like the Machinedrum. Six additional tracks of polyphonic MIDI sequencing for the control of external hardware are also available and make the MonoMachine a viable live performance tool.

Multi Trig mode
In this mode, accessed by using a button at the bottom right of the unit, all six sound generating tracks are controlled from a single control track. The sequencer can be used as part of the control, and can be transposed in realtime. This makes it possible to build dynamic and complex monophonic sounds. Also in Multi map mode, sequences can be laid out over a keyboard.

The Monomachine's sequencer is based on a traditional analogue drum machine grid system, with up to four 16 measure bars. You can of course change the number of steps to allow for shorter patterns, alternative time signatures or triplets. Sequences can be recorded either in step time or real-time.

In grid compose mode, the 16 Trig keys represent one page of 1/16th notes. Using step record you can punch in notes for each step of the sequence for each of the six tracks, using the trig buttons or the keys on the keyboard. By holding record and pressing play, you can record information in realtime in the same way. Changes are stored directly in pattern memory, so if working on new patterns you must either copy and paste a pattern into an empty slot or start working from scratch in an empty preset.

Sequences are stored in 8 banks, A to H, each bank holding 16 sequences so you that makes, erm 256 patches/sequences in total.

The Monomachine doesn't arrange sounds in patches as we traditionally think of them, but rather in kits, which are accessed through the kit/song setup menu, where it?s also possible to edit patches in fine detail, altering synthesis methods, waveforms and parameters for the sounds. If using the six tracks as individual synthesisers or in poly mode, you could think of a kit as holding six patches. In Multi Trig mode, all six tracks are triggered from the Multi Trig track, and a kit could be thought of as a patch in its own right. If using Multi Trig mode with a sequencer track, the "patch" would incorporate both the kit and the sequencer pattern linked to it. The Monomachine's presets are set up in this way.

One thing to remember is that you must save the kit setup if you want to make any synth voice changes permanent, or when you hit play again the previous stored kit will be recalled - wiping your changes. A godsend is the undo function, which can get you out of sticky situations, recalling your last edit buffer - although it's not well documented. You get 128 kit storage locations.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • MonoMachine Mp3 (10mb)
  • MonoMachine Video @ NAMM2004
  • Monomachine.com - for more info and sales

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