Roland Musical Instrument Musical Instrument User Manual

Roland Musical Instrument Musical Instrument User Manual
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Çikira Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
~ mad scientist's music composing tool ~
Users' Guide
Revised March 2007
Application and documentation by
Çikira -- Amanda Pehlke
Copyright 2000 - 2007
All rights reserved
RedMoon Music
evolutionary electronica
This document uses the Arial font.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Meet maxWerk / System Requirements
Concepts and a Tour
Global Setup
Menu Items
The Main Screen
Features to Note
Basic Loops
Drum Loops
The Transposer
10 Melody
11. The Block Map
12. Improv
13. Noodle
maxWerk In Depth
Main Settings
Patch Changes
User Scales
Loop Magic 1
Loop Magic 2
Step-Split Tracks
Offset Note Lines
Keyboard Entry
The Idea Track
10. Deeper Drums
11. Control Tricks
12. phatWerk
13. Copy / Import
14. More Melodizing
15. PC-1600 Setup
16. Werk Files
Key Commands Reference
Contact Information
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Meet maxWerk
maxWerk is a loop-based MIDI composition tool that gets its name
from the Max programming language with which it was built. It can
give endless musical suggestions, but it also encourages entirely
original ideas. Using tracks set up in GS mode, you can work with a
set of standardized but editable sounds in a single-device
environment, and prioritize the construction of your Werk before
becoming preoccupied with sound design and multiple-device
mixing. Using normally enabled tracks, you can include up to 16
different devices if you prefer to address a favorite synthesizer
setup that suits your creativity. maxWerk lets you experiment as you
compose, making changes to various ways of structuring your music
without disturbing or changing aspects that you already like. You
can produce widely divergent flavors of music in maxWerk without
formal training, instrument "chops", or knowledge of music notation.
maxWerk can incorporate your recorded MIDI input to its looping
tracks along with generated ideas and on-screen edits. As your
maxWerk composition develops, you can create and change any of
the following components:
A note pattern: one to four bars long, with a selectable number
of steps per bar
A corresponding velocity pattern, randomized in groups
A pattern of octave shifts per step
A pattern of wrap steps (octave cutoff points) per step
A harmony pattern (several types are available)
A mode of note duration (various types), including a random
treatment of durations
A loop timing offset relative to global bar lines
Up to three parallel note lines. You can offset the above
elements independently in each one, and you can reassign
each to play through any other Basic Loop instrument.
A pattern of play direction
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Two control patterns and pitch bend. Control destinations are
freely selectable, and pattern choices include various
generated or hand-drawn sweeps, which can retrigger with
new notes. You can enter step-synced patterns, and you can
have patterns dynamically creep or randomize.
A pattern of progressively mutating the core note-pattern and
reverting to the original, with adjustable parameters
Eleven completely independent Basic Loops incorporate all the
features listed above. Besides these, there are two dedicated Drum
Loop tracks with a pattern generator, and three more specialpurpose tracks, for a total of sixteen. Specialized tracks include the
Melody engine, the Noodle track, and maxWerk's eager volunteer,
the Improv player.
For a full "Werk", you can create and store the following kinds of
data for each bar:
Patterns of chord (triadic) transposition change
Patterns of transposition of an independent fourth chord note
Patterns of scale change underlying the chordal notes
Patterns of key change underlying scales and chords
Mid-bar changes to any of the data above
Global key offsets underlying the other transpositions
Patterns of track muting
Tempo changes
Linear or parabolic level fades for each track
You can save and copy individual loops, move them around in the
current Werk, and you can import from a completed and saved
Werk or a single-loop file. You can also import Transposer or
Melody patterns from a saved Werk.
While you are working on progression or melody ideas, you can
disable Transposer information and use a controller keyboard, your
computer's keyboard, or a hardware fader box to "play" maxWerk
live while you add your own accompanying part to the mix.
Comprehensive key commands let you play and Werk effectively
using only the computer's QWERTY keys.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
You can use external hardware or software as a MIDI clock source
or destination. Your finished Werk plays in a locked-tempo mode as
it records its output to a standard midifile for export to a full-featured
sequencer. Support for an optional Peavey PC-1600 or PC-1600x
MIDI controller unit is included.
What maxWerk Doesn't Do
maxWerk contains no music at all when you begin a new Werk,
except for arpeggiated chords that help you audition progressions. It
is not an auto-accompaniment program with canned patterns! Its
huge array of possibilities begins with choices made by you.
maxWerk is not a notation program either, but it saves all the types
of information about your composition listed above, and it creates a
reference text you can save and print that shows, by bar, everything
you need to know about the structure of your composition. Although
you may use fewer than seven scale pitches (as in the Pentatonic
scale, for example), maxWerk does not support scales that have
more. However, it does let you store a custom scale for each Werk.
maxWerk does not directly produce audio files. Because it deals
with MIDI data, a world of possibilities remains for developing the
music you begin here. maxWerk is not a full-featured sequence
production environment, but it can be a partner to your favorite one.
System Requirements
• A Power Macintosh running OMS, with operating system 8.5
through 9.2. See the OMS manual for instructions on how to
install this MIDI management system and how to create a
studio setup document.
• At least 5 MB of free hard disk space
• 40,000K of free RAM
• A MIDI interface
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
• A MIDI sound module compatible with the Roland GS standard
is highly recommended. Alternatively, you may address
multiple polyphonic and multi-timbral synthesizers. Bear in
mind that maxWerk allows up to sixteen polyphonic parts, and
you are likely to think of uses for all of them!
This fully functional version of maxWerk is freeware, and your
comments and feedback are sincerely appreciated. Being in touch
with users who are enjoying maxWerk and finding it useful is the
author's reward for making it available to others.
An important note: The files "maxWerk_default_setup" and
“untitled.mWk” should remain in the same folder as the
“maxWerk” application file.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
I. Concepts and a Tour
It's fine to explore maxWerk without first reading this Guide, by
simply entering some notes and playing with its various functions as
a voyage of discovery. The material that follows covers almost
everything you'll find out this way, and listed later on are
descriptions of maxWerk's key commands that expand on some of
the terms you'll see in the Key Commands reference window. Most
window-opening Key Commands are easy to remember because
they simply involve the shift key and the first letter of the window
name. Reading through this first section is valuable, however,
because it can give a perspective to help you consider and develop
your own style or approach to composing complete Werks.
Many play functions and parameter settings are not discussed in
this section, but you can often easily figure them out. If you can't,
look for descriptions in the second part of this Guide. If you are used
to the composing process, you will find many of the function and
parameter labels informative enough. The primary aim of this Guide
is to show how even if you have little knowledge of music theory or
keyboard playing skill, with maxWerk you can set up ambitious and
rewarding experiments in song-design.
1.1 Global Setup
On first launching maxWerk, you will need to modify and save the
"maxWerk_default_setup" file that lives in your maxWerk folder. This
prepares the program to talk to your synthesizer setup thereafter.
When you set tracks to GS mode, which is tailored to one of the
range of Roland Sound Canvas modules or other GS-compatible
synthesizers, this setup file, among other things, lets maxWerk
provide the correct alphabetized patch list for your particular model.
The maxWerk_default_setup set of customized, user-created data
remains separate from Werk (.mWk-suffixed) song-data files. In the
Global Setup window, which appears when you press the Main
Screen “Globals” button, you can enable GS or normal MIDI mode
for each OMS device you want to use, and confirm which one is to
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
be the target for each of maxWerk's tracks and your live “Noodle”
play. maxWerk creates a list of available preset names for GS mode
use according to the GS module model parameter setting in this file.
You can find the GS mode MIDI channel layout of maxWerk's tracks
in the "Werk Files" section near the end of this Guide.
Checkboxes let you transmit or suppress sending and recording to
midifile of normal banks/program changes as well as GS patches
and sound settings. Other Global Setup parameters include MIDI
clock source and clock enable for driving external devices. You
can make click settings for the metronome, and there are options
to send transposer notes to an external device along with MIDI
beat clock. You can read about QWERTY keys and the keyboard
map mode settings for MIDI input from your controller at the start of
Part II of this Guide, "maxWerk in Depth".
After you have prepared a Global Setup for the device/channels
desired, you must reload any already-open Werk file in order for the
MIDI information it contains to be directed properly to the newly
defined setup. A useful trick to know is that the "Back to Werk in
progress" command under the Panic menubar heading lets you
quickly re-transmit the current Werk's MIDI settings to the currently
enabled set of sound-generating devices.
maxWerk launches with an untitled (default) Werk template or
opens one of your choice, and then routes MIDI thru to the Noodle
track, which is dedicated to your live playing. Open the window for
this track to make basic settings for MIDI input from your controller.
These include an offset for incoming note velocities and an octave
shift from center. Other settings for your live play directed through
Noodle allow optional automatic mod wheel or aftertouch ramping,
along with forward or reversed ramps of GS sound shaping.
1.2 Menu Items
Whenever you choose New from the File menu, maxWerk loads an
8-count meter Werk file of default data called untitled.mWk, a copy
of which resides in the maxWerk application folder. You should not
change this locked file. While it's possible to change the Meter of an
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
existing file, you will find copies of alternative template files in the
"maxWerk Filing Cabinet" folder that can save you having to make
many tedious associated editor window changes. Once you are
used to maxWerk, you might wish to use these as a basis for
creating your own template files, especially if you find you often use
loops longer than one bar. Be sure to rename Werk files you wish to
save! It's a good idea to use a sequential numbering scheme to
save each update; for example, "TuesdayTune_03". maxWerk
automatically appends the suffix .mWk when you name your file.
maxWerk doesn't use the standard Macintosh Edit and Windows
menus, and you should leave "All Windows Active" checked for it
to work properly. The MIDI-thru menu lets you change the target
for your controller keyboard input to any of the instrument/channels
assigned to tracks. Note that when the Auto-thru checkbox in the
upper left section of the Main Screen is enabled, MIDI thru will follow
each track visited for editing. At the top of the menu is a switchable
item THRU-ENABLED, which disables and enables keyboard thru
play. This does not disable MIDI notes triggered by the computer's
QWERTY keys. You can quickly check the state of this function by
the presence or absence of color in the MIDI indicator LED. When
external MIDI input is enabled, you will see a green background
against which the LED flashes yellow on incoming MIDI signals.
When it is disabled, the LED continues to flash yellow in response to
computer keyboard play, but the background color is gray.
The Arp-thru menu lets you redirect notes from the chordauditioning Arpeggiator to any pitched-note track other than the
default Noodle. Learn about this feature under "The Transposer".
The Panic menu includes a manual trigger for maxWerk's normal
Stop Play procedure, which resets several internal functions and
sends an All Notes Off command to all MIDI destinations. The
second Panic menu item triggers the notes-off message by itself. As
a last resort in case of intractable behavior from a GS module,
choose the item GS reset to initialize your device. Built into this
system exclusive message is the GS command assigning Channel
11 as well as the default 10 to Drum Kit instruments. The Reset
Controllers message addresses all targets. The Back to Werk in
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
progress command restores your sound generating setup to match
the current state, saved or unsaved, of maxWerk's MIDI messagebased settings and patches, according to the Global Setup. Revert
to last save lets you go back to your last-stored set of information.
The Commands menu simply lets you bring up an important
reference list in the Key Commands window. Typing [shift-k] does
the same. The Key Commands Reference at the end of this Guide
describes each in detail. Since keystroke shortcuts greatly speed
using maxWerk, it's a good idea to refer to this list until reminders
are no longer necessary.
The Extras menu offers Quick Mutes, a handy window for
controlling play of multiple tracks manually when Automute is not
engaged. It also has handy editor window buttons and a key
command. From this menu you can also open the Idea window for
quick midifile recording from your controller keyboard, which has
access buttons in the Note and Drum Editors. The last menu item
brings up a complete Werk text Leadsheet. Read more about the
Idea track in Part II, and about the Leadsheet in the closing section
"Werk Files".
1.3 The Main Screen
Music is comprised of time segments or measures, and we'll call
them bars for brevity of labeling. maxWerk can store data for up to
128 bars. An important first decision in composition is how many
eighth-note beats or counts you want in a bar, and maxWerk's
Meter can be set at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or 12 beats. You can make
your desired choice in the meter menu in the upper left section of
the Main Screen, which defaults to 8 eighth-counts. Meter governs
the eighth-note click of the metronome, which is provided purely for
guidance as you enter data while listening to your tracks, and which
you can switch in and out with a key command. Meter also
determines the automatically computed step resolution of two
special-purpose tracks. One of these is the Melody line, and the
other is Improv, where maxWerk "expresses itself" given constraints
that you can impose. We won't cover everything now about how
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
these work, but using them comes easily once you get a feel for
making looping tracks.
While maxWerk supports only one Meter choice per Werk, but
tracks based on step numbers that are multiples of 6 and 8 counts
are compatible in the same Werk, and may be included in either
Meter. In other words, besides steps in multiples of 8, you can
choose step numbers of 12, 24, and 48 in an 8-count Werk.
Similarly, besides 12, 24, and 48, the number of steps can be 8, 16,
or 32 in a 6-count Werk. To create a piece that has changes in
Meter, you can save a Werk to become a midifile source, change
Meter, edit as necessary, and save it again under a new name, so
that at a later time you can paste together music segments from
midifiles of each. You should take into account that decreasing the
number of counts may shorten some loops and Melody lines such
that notes may be lost, and increasing the count will of course add
empty steps.
Tempo in BPM (beats per minute) is set from a Main Screen tempo
slider. You can adjust it by using key commands as long as you are
not in Performance mode, which refers to a Tempo Map. Next to the
Tempo slider is the tempo map button, which is described fully in
the "Main Settings" section of Part II. Briefly, the Tempo Map takes
effect when you engage Performance mode and allows a tempo
change at each bar. When you open Werk file, the Tempo setting
saved for bar 1 appears as the default.
The round play status indicator below the Tempo indicator is also a
start/stop button, though it's easiest to use the spacebar to toggle
play. Play always starts at the beginning of the next bar after the
one that was in play when it was stopped. By means of a key
command you can switch playback from full tempo to half-timed
while editing. This lets you think about exact note positions if, for
example, you are working with a higher resolution pattern that has a
swing feel.
Below the play-status section of the information panel there is a
bank of function switch-buttons that have key command
equivalents. These always reflect the status of their respective
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
contributions. Important dynamic indicators in the lower left section
of the Main Screen show the four elements that contribute to
maxWerk's transposition status at every bar: a Key number from 0
through 11 representing A though G# with an offset flag, a Scale
name, a Tonic note number, a (+)Note number, and a triad
chord quality. We explain fully the significance of these below.
A panel of window-opening buttons fills the lower right section of
maxWerk's Main Screen. When you use one of these buttons or an
equivalent key command to open the Transposer, Melody, or
Automute windows, maxWerk automatically enables the associated
function, and the left panel function switch-button reflects its state.
A vertical row of blue LED's lies to the left of the track access
buttons on the Main Screen, across from sets of virtual pan and
volume knobs for each. Besides showing track play status, the
LED's are also mute/enable switches like those in the Quick-Mutes
window. A “maxWerk” preset for Peavey’s PC-1600 MIDI controller,
described in detail in Part II, provides more mute/enable buttons in
hardware, along with a set of faders that control track volumes. One
PC-1600 fader is reserved to echo the bar scrolling key command.
1.4 Features to Note
A display lock switch appears at the bottom of maxWerk's three
larger editor screens, the Automute window, the Transposer and the
Melody Editor. This feature locks out manual edits to the graphic
displays, and is included to prevent errant mouse clicks from
damaging data until you are ready to change it. By default, display
lock re-activates when the window that includes it becomes
frontmost, but you can un-check an accompanying control box for
this feature, which affects the displays in all three windows.
Also shared among these windows is a row of locator buttons that
let you move quickly between sections of your Werk. When you go
to edit locator bar numbers, you will find this function residing in the
Scales window, where you also audition various scales or modes.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Pairs of arrow-shaped "Go-to" bar buttons appear in many edit
windows. Some edit functions take effect beginning at or only on the
last "go-to" bar you manually set. To go to any bar quickly, hold an
arrow button or one of the command keys for bar scrolling, or simply
press one of the locator buttons and then fine-tune the bar location.
1.5 Automute
In order to offer a perspective of a full Werk, we'll jump right away to
a preview of Automute - a function that is normally not used until
you have created a few tracks. Then we'll zoom in to the patternmaking level.
maxWerk plays looping patterns on thirteen of its tracks, not
counting the Melody track, which we will discuss separately. With
Automute active, you can have Basic Loop and Drum tracks either
mute or continue playing as they reach each new bar. The
information that controls this appears for editing in the Automute
window. The Automute track strips are essentially horizontal bar
graphs of 128 bars that have a vertical range of 1, so that each
track stores a value of 0 or 1 for each bar. Values of 1 appear as
colored bars in the strip and 0's are empty, and the thirteen fully
enabled strips appear entirely filled-in in a new file, for the default
state is that all tracks are enabled all the time. Automuting may be
enabled or bypassed for all tracks at once by means of a key
command. Bear in mind as you create track material that you'll be
able to introduce creative track muting and interweaving of patterns
into your composition in whatever way suits your creative style.
The first of the individual Automute track strip controls is a check
(toggle) box to temporarily mute GS instrument parts by means of
system exclusive MIDI commands. For tracks in GS mode, this
provides a handy temporary way to silence parts without affecting
stored data, even though the Automute function may be enabled.
You can enter Automutes by hand, but two different ways of using
the track label switch-button make the job of editing across many
bars easier. A single click of the label brings up a small window
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Published by RedMoon Music -
where you can enable or mute all 128 bars of the track at once from
any point in the Werk, depending on the status of the window's
control button. Double-clicking the track label brings up a patternentry dialog, where you can enter a binary pattern of ones and
zeroes that will apply starting with the last set "go-to" bar.
At each bar where a track is muted, maxWerk also resets the loop it
plays to its beginning state. For example, if you play a three-bar
pattern muted after two bars and enabled several bars later, the
pattern restarts at the head of the loop on being enabled without
having played its third bar. With multiple patterns in play, it may spoil
your intent if you mute and enable at the wrong places; so a helpful
dynamically updating feature of Automute is provided as follows:
Say for example that track 1 does its looping job over four bars. It
has a two-bar graphic editor pattern, but on alternate repetitions a
function is triggered that produces changed note values, so that four
bars of listening are required to appreciate the effect. maxWerk
automatically displays the number of bars in one pitch cycle by way
of the small number tag located to the right of the track label. The
gradual 'mutate' function is an exception not reflected this way.
Noting the reminder in this case, you might enter a pattern such as
001111 into the dialog presented. This appears in the track strip as
a repeating sequence starting from the "go-to" bar all the way to the
last. This particular pattern causes two bars of silence followed by a
full function cycle. After it plays you'll hear two more silent bars, and
then the play pattern of ones repeats.
On its own in the upper left window corner is a setting to loop the
song in its entirety, and across the top of the Automute window
under the bar locators is a set of editing buttons. Enable improv
settings automatically bring in and silences one interlude from
maxWerk's bonus strolling musician. Another setting specifies the
end bar of your Werk and optionally applies it to all the loops.
You can move mutes, shifting them by several bars in either
direction. You can randomize mutes or copy and invert mutes
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relative to data present in any other track. Keep in mind that
processing always begins from the "go-to" bar.
Automute has a global end bar setting, a refinement to which is
found for each track in the lower panel of the Note Editor. There
you'll find a 16ths sustain on mute menu setting for each loop that
determines the number of sixteenth-note durations the last step
plays before automuting cuts notes off. These delayed note-offs do
not follow the transpositions of succeeding bars. This feature is
designed to allow creative overlapping of sounds as tracks enter
and leave your mix, and, like end bars, the function applies only
when Automute is enabled.
Another function related to Automute and accessible only from the
Automute window can lend interest to your mix. The Autofade
button brings up a single bar graph display at a time that represents
all bars of the last edited Basic or Drum Loop track. A trackswitching menu in Autofade does the obvious. These switchable
track strips store an Expression Controller 11 value with a range of
0 through 127 at each bar, giving you a way to bring tracks in and
out of your Werk in a subtle manner over any number of bars.
Autofade is always active along with Automute, and you can
creatively layer the two functions. Be aware that when Autofade
levels are down, you may not be able to hear anything, but notes
enabled by Automute still consume the available MIDI notes
(polyphony) of the targeted sound-generating device.
1.6 Basic Loops
Let's go back to the Main Screen to begin making some looping
tracks. A click on the numbered panel button for any one of them
opens the Note Editor window (as does a key command), and the
loop you are editing is temporarily solo'ed, as shown by the enable
indicator LED/button at the bottom of the Note Editor. Even if
Automute is enabled and this track is currently muted, maxWerk
suspends muting (enables the track) while the Note Editor is open.
The first items at the top of the window, the steps number menu
and loop length menu, set the event resolution for this loop and
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the number of bars it contains. The length of a Basic or Drum Loop
with no change of play direction can be from one to four bars. In
order to be able to tell what is going in a multi-track Werk and to be
able to edit loops easily, it is a good idea not to overdo the total
number of steps; that is, the steps per bar menu number multiplied
by the number of bars. Instead, think of maxWerk as an analogstyle step sequencer. Step-entering notes to match a previously
stored midifile motif may sometimes call for a higher step resolution
so that the results can reflect as well as possible the timing of the
original. (There are window buttons and key commands that make
doing that easy. We'll talk about them later under "Keyboard Entry".)
Each Meter offers several levels of step resolution, and as we have
previously mentioned, step number choices for 6 and 8 count
Meters are interchangeable. If you pick a number of steps that is not
an even multiple of Meter count, a dialog appears reminding you of
the appropriate choices, and the rejected menu selection will not
"stick". (If the total steps were out of sync with bar starts on playthrough, the resulting repetition of beginning steps or skipping of
end steps would cause confusing track behavior. Read on to
discover maxWerk's much better ways of creatively shifting loops.)
If you are unfamiliar with music theory, the first of the four sections
of bar graph data in the Note Editor, the nine-value notes display,
offers a fundamental maxWerk concept. Here is where you can
begin making musical patterns, using as your components the
seven pitches found in most western musical scales, represented by
values 1 through 7. As you might expect, a value of 0 represents a
rest or silence. When you enter a number 0 through 7 on the
computer's QWERTY keyboard or play back numbers that you store
for each bar, maxWerk transposes all the patterns made in the note
displays to play over any of the seven different triadic chords or
positions in the current Scale. This means that you should view the
patterns you enter here as patterns of relationship between pitches,
not as representations of fixed ones.
Value 8 in note patterns is a more elusive symbol for a pitch that is
variable. In order to allow musically sophisticated leading tones that
are not part of the current chord triad, 8’s trigger notes (again,
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either stored or played live) from a transposition engine that is
separate and independent of the one triggered by values 1 through
7. Although an 8-step has the appearance of being “larger” than the
other values in the display because its vertical bar is longer, the
Scale pitch value that it represents can in fact change at each bar,
and it is always mapped to correspond to one of the other seven. A
value 8 together with a 1, 3, and 5 sounds a four-note chord.
If the description above was hard to follow, don't worry about it. With
transposing disabled, simply enter some notes (perhaps a stairstepped pattern), leaving out 8-steps until we get to "The
Transposer". With maxWerk in play, try out the key commands that
make tonic transpositions happen. Do some experimenting with
patterns that contain primarily 1's, 3's, 5's and 0's (rests) to
experience first-hand a sense of this explanation. It's maxWerk's job
to make your patterns sound pleasing and musically useful!
A nine-value velocities display, the second in the Note Editor, has
a range of 0 through 8, and produces values from 0 through 127.
To accomplish this, steps 1 though 7 trigger values that maxWerk
randomizes at the start of each bar within subgroups of 16, while
value 8 triggers a constant value of 127. As an example, a velocity
entered as value 7 actually floats around somewhere between 112
and 127 as repetitions progress, but value 8 is always the maximum
127, and the minimum value 0 is always velocity zero. The amount
of offset in turn rotates dynamically between all tracks at each bar.
When the velocities menu in the lower panel is set to normal, the
relationship of velocities to notes is always just as depicted in the
displays. Velocities that cycle become offset in time relative to notes
by one increment with the start of each new loop. This creates a
variable note-gating effect when 0-values are encountered in the
notes pattern or the velocities pattern. In other words, you can
devise an interaction of arpeggiating notes lined up with velocities
such that certain pitch patterns kick in and out. Velocities that rotate
respect existing rests, but values 1-8 increment and wrap around
with each loop repetition, and can be used to fade a loop in and out.
Try the 2 ways setting that activates both functions at once!
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The data in the octaves display, the third of the set, defaults to a
value of 4. This initially places all the notes you enter into the octave
that includes middle C. While maxWerk stores Basic Loop pitch step
information in the default middle sound range, notes' octaves shift
according to changing data that comes from this set. Octave values
range from 0 through 8, and they are read on a per-step basis just
like note and velocity data, so by making patterns of octave steps
you can easily construct wide-ranging arpeggio loops.
You can also specify for each step an octave cutoff point, or the
scale step above which maxWerk will bump down by one octave the
result of any transpositions, so that you can keep loop notes in a
desired range. This is a function of values in the fourth and last
Editor graphic, the wrap steps display. You can hear the effects of
wrap values only when your loop is playing over changing tonic
transpositions. When you set any or all wrap steps to value 0,
maxWerk uses a random wrap step value that changes once per
bar. Value 8 tells it to use the current (+)Note value as wrap step. A
repeating figure takes on craziness with creative octave wrapping.
Four dedicated display reset controls with menus and quick
refresh buttons set all note, velocity, octave, or wrap steps to the
desired value at once. The controller THRU menu above the
octaves display mirrors the Noodle track window's octave offset
setting, to quickly shift the incoming notes from your MIDI controller.
To spark your imagination, we'll describe just a few of the play
options found in the Note Editor window before going on to a taste
of heavier stuff. Using menus along the top, you can choose a
starting step other than 1, or opt instead to rotate or randomize the
step that is counted as 1 with each loop pass. Here you can also
add random note-re-triggers to any step-starting style.
In the lower panel the direction menu determines whether the loop
plays forward, backward, or in a reversing fashion. Reversing play
causes forward-backward pendulum-like readout of all step data,
repeating both beginning and end values and effectively doubling
the loop length. A fourth menu item called alt-scrambles is not
strictly a direction parameter. This option allows all data to play in a
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
forward direction, but applies a note-scrambling function that causes
a fresh shuffle of existing step values at each new loop-start, while
leaving unchanged the pattern of durations that gives the loop its
rhythmic feel. The next play direction is random, followed by endsinward and two variations of this pattern, alt ends-in and rdm
ends-in. These play the first step, then the last, the second, the
next-to-last, and so on, working toward the middle of the displayed
pattern. The 'alt' variation begins with normal forward play, makes
an ends-inward pass, plays normally again, and on the next endsinward pass begins at the middle. Randomized ends-inward
behavior mixes with normal play for the final menu option.
With the play mode menu set to its default first item play changes,
a note sounds until another of a different value replaces it, or until it
is given a companion velocity of 0. Each changed note triggers a
note-off of the last, and uses by default the velocity, octave, and
wrap data at the same step number. A note value of 0 turns the last
note off, whatever the velocity at that time.
When you choose the second item play all steps, maxWerk
triggers a new note at each non-zero step in a robotic manner after
the manner of older analog hardware step sequencers, regardless
of the changing state of note values or step resolution.
The third menu item is sustain note-groups. This mode tells
maxWerk to trigger and sustain all added pitches until the next note
(not velocity!) value of 0 in the Editor, or until the end of the loop,
whichever occurs first. The only velocity values that make a
difference are those that begin notes; in sustain mode maxWerk
ignores velocity values of 0. You can make a multi-note pad hold
and move with transpositions for up to four bars, for if there is no
note value of 0 in the loop, with the transposing function enabled
only changes in pitch cause the notes to cut off and re-trigger.
When you try out this mode, the color-changing gate time slider
alongside the mode menu automatically resets to its default value 0.
Leave it there or at its full right position while you investigate play
modes. In modes other than sustain, you can store a setting shorter
than a full step, albeit with coarse resolution when step resolution is
high. Read about gating possibilities under "Loop Magic 1" in Part II.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
The fourth item is random retrig, and at this setting note values of
zero produce note-offs as always, but repeating values 1 through 8,
which would tie notes in play-changes mode, instead trigger new
notes randomly, so that each repetition of the pitch pattern is given
a degree of unpredictable rhythmic interest.
The final six modes of play are sets of alt1 and alt2 notefilters.
Each set includes all-steps, changes, random, and retrig play
mode variations, which differ only in their switched state on starting.
These settings remove passing tones on alternate passes of the
loop. This effect, therefore, can be heard only when the entered
note pattern contains even-numbered scale steps, not just triadic
tones. Note filtering is an effective and entertaining function when
you apply it to busier loops that have many passing tones.
In the upper right margin of the Note Editor, the split button opens
the step-split window, where you can make note pattern entries
differentiated between several target loops all at once. Below the
window button is a split-status LED that is also a disabling
shortcut. The step-split function is described in detail under "StepSplit Tricks" in Part II, as are features lying behind the windowopening button labeled <-expand-pattern-> in the top left section.
Below the four graphic displays are various additional controls to
generate patterns, to add offset note lines with a variety of
parameters, and to direct these lines to other tracks. Perhaps
maxWerk's most useful features, these are also covered in detail in
Part II, but the basics can be fun to discover through your own
experiments. Take note of the handy checkboxes in the lower panel
of the Note Editor for the metronome click and for track soloing, to
keep you oriented and clear about what's going on in the loop.
It doesn't take much doing to make a set of interesting loops that
form the basis for a Werk. You might feel like creating a swarm of
crazed pianos at first, but remember that you can achieve the most
useful results by applying one or two functions to a pattern of just a
few notes. Try making loops that pair complex controller patterns
(more on these follows) with simple, sustained pads. Simpler note
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
patterns are best if you intend your final MIDI tracks to play patches
that have a lot of programmed movement!
In the Note Editor's lower panel you can give your loop a track
name of up to 12 characters. Newly assigned track names always
update track lists displayed in the Global Setup window as well as
track labels in Automute, the Copy/Import window's source and
destination menus, and the text recap of Werk information in the
Leadsheet. You can visit Copy/Import to mix and match loop data
between Werks however you please.
1.7 Drum Loops
The Editor for the two Drum Loops lacks some of the features of
Basic Loops, but has tricks of its own. It displays a range of note
numbers compatible with GS drums, but you can offset these as
necessary to trigger the sounds in a non-GS device. The beat
generator lets you choose a note number using the slider to the
right of the Drum notes display, and it will drop a selectable number
of hits into the remaining available steps randomly. When you hold
down one of the test buttons, you'll hear repeating beats of the
slider-selected kit instrument, and you can rotate up or down
through the kit with button presses. Using another button, you can
remove all beats at the last-selected note number and let maxWerk
place them again differently until you like your groove. To learn
more about looping percussion, see "Deeper Drums" in Part II.
1.8 Controllers
In maxWerk's Control A, Control B, and Bend windows you can
add two different controller patterns to each loop and pitch bend
messages. There are three play modes to choose from for each:
one called 96 for control sweeps, one called trig, and one called
sync. By default, maxWerk sends Control and Bend MIDI messages
at a rate of 96 steps per loop, whatever the loop length. Trig
creates denser control data, as each changed note of more than
one step generates a control pattern modified to fit into its allotted
time duration. Sync mode pairs each Note Editor step with a single
accompanying message of your choice for controller, bend, or GS
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
sound-shaping, sending values just ahead of note information to
create distinct rhythmic changes or stepped effects.
The Control and Bend windows differ from the main Note Editor in
that once you enter values, to have them transmit you must enable
MIDI output via the activation menu in the right margin of the
display. This lets you block and unblock controller and bend effects
while you consider patch selections. You can invert transmitted
values here too, and maxWerk remembers the activation setting.
It's best not to move Controller and Bend windows because they
open positioned over the Note Editor on your computer screen, so
you can conveniently compare their patterns against your pattern of
notes. While you can draw in values by hand, both Control Editors
and the Bend Editor offer generated patterns of sawtooth, sine,
pulse, triangle, or either of two parabolic curves. You can autogenerate one to four cycles of any of these waveforms, and you
can compress values on entry. As an alternative approach, you can
quickly generate repeating sequences by entering one instance of
the desired set beginning at step 1. Press the button labeled repeat
a series, and enter the number of steps to be repeated into the
dialog box presented. You'll find the same function available for
each of the displays in the Note and Drum Editor windows.
You can shift entered values up or down all at once by using the
vertical arrow buttons to the right of the displays. When you adjust
patterns vertically, all values 0-127 wrap around in the display.
Instead of a function to horizontally rotate displayed values, there is
a control to set the starting step of the displayed sequence. Finally,
using the direction options menu you can control response to
loop play direction changes called for by the Note Editor.
The randomize/latch button always engages step-sync mode.
When you use the randomizing function, maxWerk generates a
single set of step-synced random values that you can keep or edit.
When you check the random-latch checkbox, maxWerk generates
a new set of step values each time the loop repeats. This dynamic
sample-and-hold style function is particularly interesting when you
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
apply it to filter cutoff, resonance or pitch bend. If you use the
latching checkbox, there is no need to enter a starting pattern
because maxWerk creates a new one at the start of each loop. The
window's step mode indicator changes to read rdm, but since these
patterns are not editable, the changing sets of values don't appear
in the display. Part II describes in detail these and more features of
the Control A, Control B, and Bend Editors.
1.9 The Transposer
The Transposer contains maxWerk's pitch-filtering system. Your
Werk can change Key and Scale automatically as it makes modal
chord changes within both Key and Scale. As a fun bonus, while
maxWerk is in play and the Transposer is enabled and making
chordal transformations to stored patterns, your keyboard re-maps
itself according to Key and Scale as you play, so that all you have to
do to competently noodle a live line over tracks is repeat simple
patterns emotively on the white keys in C.
The Transposer has bar-graph displays of four different sets of data
for 128 bars. The values that you see in the primary window of the
Transposer appear again in the smaller displays of the Patterns
window, which is accessible via one of the secondary-window
buttons along the bottom edge of the Transposer. The Patterns
window reflects the state of any 16 bars of Werk that you wish to
bring into focus. Whenever it is opened, and whenever you use the
bar scrolling function with buttons or key commands, the current bar
becomes the first shown in the Patterns display.
A more fundamental form of transposition underlying these, for
which there is no graphic display, comes from the Global Offset
Map, accessed by a button at the top of the main Transposer
window. Here you can shift the root pitch of your Werk and your
MIDI controller's input up or down by semitones up to a full octave
from the default C (key signature 3). You can use it to create
overall shifts in the mood of your piece when all is said and done by
making further offsets at any bar. The offset flag appears in the
form of a semitone number following the Key display on the Main
Screen. Global Offsets work behind the scenes, along with all the
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
graphically displayed Transposer values, to arrive at the chord
information in the Leadsheet and the chord names you see
displayed on the Main Screen. Unlike other Transposer elements
that can be disabled, Global Offsets are always in effect.
To make the clearest explanation, we'll describe the displayed data
types starting with the bottom-most of the four in the Transposer
window. We'll move upward, and then mix them up. They are:
4. Key - Transposing Keys cover the twelve semitones of the
western octave. Values 0 through 11 set the Tonic pitch for the
musical Scale in use. These pitches, summed with Global Offsets,
partly determine the chord names shown on the Main Screen. Their
combined I-chord result tells the "key signature" as in conventionally
notated music, with the difference that in maxWerk each bar is
tagged with its own Transposing Key number and Global Offset.
You may wish to change Key only once or twice during your song
for emotional effect, or you may wish to let maxWerk change Key
values automatically many times to accommodate complex chord
progressions. You may elect not to use changing Transposing Key
information at all, if you are feeling entirely modal in your approach
to your Werk. Of course, doing experiments with one data set will
not harm any of the others.
3. Scale - Scale values determine the selection for each bar of
seven pitches out of twelve that are represented by the note values
entered in maxWerk. These values take effect after Key data, but
before any further transposing you do in the remaining two displays.
Scales, also called modes, have values 0 through 11 in the display.
They include the seven traditional ones at 1 through 7, with the
familiar names Natural-Minor, Locrian, Major (the default scale),
Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian. The Harmonic-Minor and
Blues scales are given values 7 and 8, and the Suspended,
Diminished, and Augmented scales, often used for special-purpose
chord changes, have values 9 through 11.
In case you hadn't thought about it before, differences between
scales have to do with the patterns of whole and half-step intervals
found between the notes of each set, and maxWerk has memorized
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
the harmonically useful ones for you. The user scale available at
value 0 is for the adventurous, offering a seven-pitch set of
definable intervals that you can add as part of your Werk file. You
can repeat or re-order the pitches in this scale any way you please.
With the transposing function disabled, you can test the sound of
Scales from the Scales window before you enter new Transposer
data. If you want to base your Werk patterns on one particular
Scale, be aware that Scales at values 8 and above may not produce
normal Major, Minor, Diminished or Augmented triads on all their
notes, and instead you may hear some quirky chords. If you are
new to music theory, bear with us a minute about this, and you'll find
out how maxWerk can make many helpful scale changes for you.
1. Tonics – The values for Tonics and (+)Notes you see in the first
two bar graphs determine the degree of transposition within Key
and Scale that maxWerk applies to Note Editor values. The pattern
of Tonic shifts from bar to bar by itself forms the basis of a scalic or
modal chord progression. Consider a Basic Loop note line that
includes values 1, 3, and 5. A Tonic transposition of 1 makes those
values trigger Scale notes in positions of the same number, so if the
default Key is C, as 1's, 3's, and 5's play you hear the root, the third
and the fifth pitches, or notes C, E, and G.
If we first hear a note line (along with any notes on other enabled
tracks) based on a Tonic of C, and the Tonic pattern then shifts to 5,
the note value at position 1 now triggers the fifth note of the current
Scale. Value 3 now refers to the third above that, and so on; so that
1, 3, and 5 values now sound the pitches of the triad on 5. As a
result, we hear G Major produced by values 1, 3, and 5. If the
transposition changes to 7, it moves the pitches to the seventh triad
(in the Major Scale the diminished). Each transposition gives us a
valid triad on 1, 3, and 5, and values 2, 4, 6, and 7, when and if they
appear in the Note Editor, sound the passing tones of the pattern.
When you disable playback of Transposer data, the numeric keypad
keys 1 through 7 let you make Tonic changes over all patterns as
they play in tracks enabled for transposing. Be sure you disable the
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Transposer before you try out real-time transposing. Otherwise, you
will find that stored values override your input at the start of each
bar. The spacebar toggles the timing engine that stops and starts
play. You can stop and reset the whole Werk with the left arrow key,
at the same time restoring both forms of scalic transposition to their
default value 1.
Both? Yes, the transposition type we describe here last derives from
the data you see in the second display of the Transposer and
Patterns windows, and operates in tandem with Tonic transposition:
2. (+)Notes - The word (+)Note is read aloud as “plus-note” or
“added-note”, and is maxWerk's term for adding a fourth chordal
tone to one of the simple triads. The second Transposer display
specifies the variable Scale step you hear whenever maxWerk
encounters a value of 8 in the Note Editor. It lets you add a fourth
pitch to the Scale triad created by values 1, 3, and 5 to create
different qualities of chords. A Tonic 1 chord might have a 9th
added to it (the second scale pitch) by means of a (+)Note
transposition of 2 at the bar in question. If the Tonic value in display
1 stays the same, but the new bar has a (+)Note value of 6, we hear
the same Tonic triad with an added sixth (an A if we're using the C
Major Scale) wherever a pattern value appears at 8. When you first
experiment with this, you will notice that the seven possible (+)Notes
follow (i.e. are shifted to match) the Tonics when you press keys 1
through 7, but they change independently when you press the Q-WE-R-T-Y-U keys. If you are Werking within a certain scale, that is to
say, modally, you can leave (+)Notes alone, or you can use them to
make a slow melody, devoting a pattern or pad to heavily feature
value 8, and using Tonic transpositions to highlight this independent
chordal movement.
To experiment with transpositions, you can use the Patterns window
to create 16-bar transposition sequences in bar graph form. Quickchord buttons in this window use the dedicated arpeggiator to
audition Tonic and (+)Note changes for modal composing. Note that
you can fine-tune the behavior of the arpeggiator if you toggle the
combined control and window button labeled arp settings in the top
right corner of the main Transposer window. Two horizontal scroll
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
buttons in the Patterns window advance the edit locator, and when
maxWerk is not in play, mouse clicks that change display values
always cause the Arpeggiator to report the combined information
from all four value sets. By means of a repeat control switch at the
top of the Patterns window, you can spare yourself much hand
editing by repeat-entering sixteen-bar segments of information from
the current bar onwards into the main displays.
The chord map is a second composer's tool available in the
Transposer. Like the Patterns window, this one makes use of the
Arpeggiator and contains specialized audition buttons as well as
entry buttons that are active whenever maxWerk is not in play. Its
diagram of chord names is also an active button panel for exploring
and creating pleasing progressions. This diagram was adapted by
permission from the music instructional graphics presented by Steve
Mugglin at his website "Music Theory for Songwriters", found at
You can work with the chord map in either of two ways. First, you
must make a mode menu choice at the top. If you select 'modally
by shifting triads', only the seven colored chord buttons are active,
and the map triggers combinations of Tonics that sound scalic triads
along with (+)Notes defaulted to echo the Tonic. These are chords
that make sense musically in modal composing and work in any
traditional scale. When you select the second mode 'by shifting keys
and scales', the colored buttons achieve the same result by
triggering combinations of Scales and Keys that use the Major scale
as "home". The remaining chord buttons become active in Scales
and Keys mode, so you can add complex variations to your
progressions in the form of Tonic and (+)Note changes. Some
complex chords involve all four transposition types. This
transposition mode allows for progressions that digress from scalic
pitches, because variations that use non-scale notes can be easily
(for maxWerk) accomplished by changes in key, scale and (+)Note
values over a fixed Tonic value of 1. In the Chord Map, as in the
Patterns window, there are rows of audition buttons along the
bottom that use the Arpeggiator to let you review one by one chords
you have already entered in the current 16-bar group. Toggle boxes
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
in both Transposer sub-windows enable 1-bar looping buttons, a
button mode that disables the arpeggiator and lets you hear instead
the current Werk bar repeating as long as you hold the button down.
When 1-bar looping is disabled, the Arpeggiator works again.
The main Transposer and the Patterns and Chord Map windows
have mid-bar change buttons. These open a small window where
all four data types can be entered or removed at the current bar. In
the absence of mid-bar change data the original bar data remains in
effect. Mid-bar change data is not graphically displayed, but it is
copied, pasted, and stored along with the rest. You'll hear mid-bar
changes begin at the middle beat of odd Meters; for example, at
beat 3 of a 5-count Werk.
The Copy & save progressions window is accessible from the
main Transposer and from the Patterns window, where its button is
labeled copy/paste. Here you can select one or more types of
Transposer information, copy a sequence of values for any number
of bars, and then apply them anywhere else in the Transposer. You
can also save a transpositions-only data file for later import in its
entirety. Be sure to give your saved Chord files names that remind
you how many bars they cover!
To focus on editing a particular section of your Werk, you can use a
key command to loop bars or a button to do this found in several
windows including the Transposer. It brings up a dialog for entering
the number of bars you want to loop and any starting bar in the 128bar song. Keyed again, this section-looping function switches off
and linear play is restored. maxWerk reports the loop-bars function
status just below the Main Screen bar counter.
To summarize important Transposer points, this maxWerk function
lets you build music on chords that consist of up to four pitches and
refer to the passing tones of the scales you use in your patterns and
their key. You can arrive at exotic chord sequences by layering
changes to the various forms of transposition, without having to play
them consistently and correctly on your MIDI keyboard.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
If all of this seems like a lot to stay on top of, let's outline the
possibilities of composing purely by trial-and-error, using live scalic
transposing from the computer's QWERTY keyboard. Transposing
can trigger arpeggiated feedback if maxWerk is not playing, or it can
alter looping patterns in play. To trigger Tonic transpositions with a
matching (+)Note, use the numeric keypad or the number keys 1-23-4-5-6-7 in the top row. The Arpeggiator sounds chordal tones
over two octaves on key presses and key releases, and the tones
when you press and release these keys are the same. Press one of
the keys Q-W-E-R-T-Y-U, which represent only (+)Notes 1 though 7,
and the (+)Note transposes independently from the last value
transmitted by the press of a number key.
Release the (+)Note key, and the (+)Note defaults; in other words,
maxWerk applies to it a step value that matches the last Tonic. With
the transpose function disabled and stored data bypassed, you can
trigger (+)Notes from the Q-W-E-R-T-Y-U keys just after you trigger
Tonics from the number keys, and make harmonious arpeggiated
chord changes. You can also do this while listening to your entered
patterns with the Transposer disabled and maxWerk playing. When
maxWerk is not playing, a toggling key command turns off the
Arpeggiator if you don't want to hear it.
The up and down keyboard arrows shift the Transposing Key (not
the Global Offset) by half-steps, and the lower left section of the
Main Screen always keeps you informed about the current Tonic,
(+)Note, Scale, and Key, and any Global Offset amount in effect.
With the Transpose function disabled, you can make changes of
Scale by means of the buttons in the Scales window if you wish.
Because of the tight timing required to do this with maxWerk
running, we don't recommend trying to manually shift everything at
once to do a live MIDI-driven performance. As long as maxWerk
sends note patterns, it may as well handle Transposer patterns for
you too.
We have seen now that an underlying principle of maxWerk is to let
you build songs in a premeditated or serendipity-driven combination
of any or all transposition types, slipping in a new set of changes
whenever you please, with any or all types taking effect at once. It
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
lets you deal separately and independently with loop-making,
Automute, Melody, and Improv functions.
Notice that you can enable playback of all stored data types at once
with the single key command or the Main Screen button-press that
engages Performance mode. This shortcut effectively locks out any
further changes, but it allows Noodle play. maxWerk's internal
sequencer can be told to activate Performance mode and initiate a
fully automated play-through of your Werk in order as it records a
standard midifile. Alternatively, you can record a midifile manually
beginning at any bar number, having activated only the functions
you want.
1.10 Melody
Composition in the maxWerk environment can begin just as easily
with a melody line as with a sequence of looping notes or a chord
progression. If you use the traditional songwriters' approach,
melody and transposition data that you develop first can provide a
structure that inspires supporting Basic Loops. The best way to
discover maxWerk's Melody Editor is by walking through some
melody-making behavior. You will see by the status buttons on the
Main Screen that opening the Melody window automatically enables
Melody play. The Melody track draws from up to five four-bar
Blocks. Each of these can originate from notes you enter directly
into the main Editor, or you can build a Block from a seed Phrase.
You can hand-enter, auto-generate, or key in one of five two-bar
seed Phrases in a window opened through the Melody Editor. Step
resolution is set automatically to 16th-notes totaling twice your
Werk's Meter count per bar. Melody notes have a two-octave range
before transposing, and the range covered after transposing can be
narrowed in the Melody Sound window. You can ask each Block to
follow the Transposer or remain constant relative to the other
tracks, and you can set each of the five Blocks to its own time base.
maxWerk continuously loops the last Block that you selected by a
key command or a Phrase window button-press. While a two-octave
note range is represented, entered note values do not necessarily
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
represent definitive pitches unless you disable Block transposing. By
default, they behave like the values in the Basic Loops' Note Editor
in that they initially represent starting Scale note positions without
any transposing, and their played pitches are determined by stored
Transposer data or by value-changing real-time key presses.
To explore Phrases, press a numbered window-access button.
Before entering any notes you will need to unlock the dataprotecting block lock switch of the corresponding Block. These
are marked with an L, and are located to the right of each Block in
the main Melody Editor and also in the Phrase window. In the lower
part of the Phrase window, play pattern menus offer choices for
pitch order direction and chordal tone variation for the values in
this two-bar Phrase. maxWerk applies both pattern types to two
copies of your Phrase and stores them sequentially in the main
Editor, where they comprise a four-bar Block.
We will describe these full Phrase treatments shortly, but for now,
let’s look at Phrase-making functions, letting stand the default
symbol --> --> in the first play pattern menu to indicate no changes
in pitch order direction, and == == in the second menu meaning no
tone variation. Add some notes into the first bar of the Phrase, and
you will see them transfer automatically into a small non-editable
representation of the main Editor's display of the full Block, located
just below the Phrase display and labeled block view. Your two-bar
note pattern appears identically twice, reflecting the state of the
main Melody Editor that lies beneath this window.
A set of edit 2nd bar buttons labeled repeat, reverse pitch order,
expand, and variation let you quickly fill the second bar of your
Phrase with a pattern related to the first. With every new Phrase
edit, the full Block refreshes its values according to the currently
imposed patterns of pitch order direction and variation, changing in
two corresponding places to reflect your input.
By selecting different play pattern menu items, you can
superimpose functions similar to second-bar edits on the pair of
two-bar Phrases in the context of their Block. The menu choices for
pitch order direction appear as follows:
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
To give an example, the second menu choice --> <-- means that
when bars 3 and 4 of the four-bar Block repeat the seed Phrase, a
contrasting pitch order direction is imposed and layered over any
pre-existing edits. This function is notably different from the
"reversing" direction option found in Basic Loops, in which the
original step sequence is simply read backwards. Here, the pitch
order reverses but the original pattern of note durations and rests is
preserved for a melodically more useful result.
The menu for chordal tone variation offers these choices:
== ==
== var
var var
var ==
When you choose the second menu item, for example, which reads
== var, the symbol == tells you that the Phrase's chordal tones
remain as originally entered in the first half of the Block, bars 1 and
2. In Block View you will see that bars 3 and 4 have changed, and
now Scale note positions…
1-2-3-4-5-6-7…are inverted to
…in the second expression of the Phrase This creates a pleasing
and harmonically compatible alternate figure as thirds and fifths
swap along with their passing tones, while the root, fourths and any
seventh steps remain the same. Another notable difference here is
that this type of tonal inversion around a mid-point does not result in
any chordal alteration, as does the function invert on alt. Loops
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that is among the Basic Loop Note Editor's options.
Since we brought up the subject: when you use the similar function
in the Note Editor by enabling the invert alt. loops checkbox, the
value set:
1-2-3-4-5-6-7…changes to
…on alternate repetitions. Note the difference between this remapped value pattern and the one previously illustrated. In contrast
to Melody's "variation" function that inverts chordal tones, the Note
Editor’s play "inversion" function follows the traditional musician's
definition of the term, and changes the triadic chord expressed.
The two types of play patterns work together on the Phrase, and
because Phrase and Block information is stored separately, you can
edit by hand the resulting sequences in the full Block display. You
might wish to remove some notes in the last Block bar, for example.
Since any further edits to Phrases will refresh an unlocked Block
display, you should engage the Block lock switch and make finishing
touches to Block displays last. You can use copy block to clone a
favorite Phrase before experimenting with new direction and
variation patterns, and then repeat any needed finish-work in the
Block editor.
When maxWerk generates Phrases, it doesn't provide for value 8,
since Melody transposing does not need to reference (+)Notes.
While any transposition-enabled Block is in play, the pattern notes
you hear derive from the combined pitch-determining data of Keyswith-Offsets, Scales, and Tonics. Melody displays have a range of
two octaves plus one step, beginning and topping out with the pitch
at Scale step 5. Even when transposed, Melodies do not exceed this
range, which by default is maximized. The Melody Sound window
has constrain to scale steps settings that let you narrow the range
of pitches allowed for all Blocks by adjusting upper and lower wraparound points.
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Published by RedMoon Music -
The Phrase generator menu offers new starting patterns at one of
four levels of complexity on a press of the generate button. This
creative assistant and some more Block output-modifying features
in the main Melody Editor window are described in Part II.
1.11 The Block Map
You can create up to five different four-bar melodies in the manner
described above, and you can build each on a different Phrase or
on different combinations of patterns applied to copies of the same
Phrase. While a Block is up to four bars long, you don't have to play
any Block all the way through, or even have note data present in all
bars of the Block. In fact, you can create a melody using a pattern
consisting of portions read from the start of each of five Blocks. This
versatility is possible because you can make a block map that lets
you play any Block from its beginning (and only from its beginning),
starting at any bar in the Werk.
A Block's number from 1 through 5 can be stored at each bar of the
Map, which looks like yet another bar graph. When a set of Block
values is stored and subsequently enabled, maxWerk triggers a new
Block with every changed value, and silences Melody when there is
a Block value 0, regardless of the lengths of the patterns stored in
the Blocks. When the same Block number is entered for more than
four bars in a row, that Block will repeat from the beginning; but
when a Block's value changes after three bars, for example, you will
hear only one of its combined direction and inversion patterns
played and half of the next before new notes are read from a
different Block. If part of a Block in play has no entered notes, there
is silence while the empty steps pass.
Melody Blocks can be further embellished in the main Editor,
Phrases, and Melody Sound windows. To preview information from
Part II: velocities can randomly walk within a range you can set for
each half-bar, and there are options for automatic modulation or
aftertouch. The main Melody window has checkboxes for each
Block that let you disable transposing or add various kinds of
harmony lines. There are also settings for octave adjustments and
for the delay of all harmony lines by 16th-note steps.
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1.12 Improv
To round out this introductory description of features, we'll describe
one more specialty track whose settings become part of a Werk file
and whose output is recorded in midifiles. maxWerk's Improv player
looks for inspiration to your choices from source menus, where you
can select up to four existing Basic Loops and/or Melody Phrases.
These sources may be important motifs in your Werk, or they may
be ones dedicated to Improv. Improv can combine them with default
new generated phrases or fills. For each new musical idea, it picks
sections of different step lengths beginning from the starts of its
source patterns, and assembles these into a new phrase. It then
applies Melody-style treatments to develop and resolve the material.
Without asking your opinion, Improv indefatigably composes a new
tune after a certain number of bars you can set, filtering it through a
combination of direction and inversion functions. When you select
busier source patterns, Improv plays livelier tunes. Using the style
menu setting, you can stretch these over additional bars to produce
more moderate and relaxed lines.
Once enabled, by default Improv pops up wherever it pleases in the
stereo field. Improv has a resolution of sixteenth notes, and you can
impose a start delay in 32nd note increments. Several more play
options similar to those of other tracks make Improv an interesting
companion while you try out chord progressions or simply noodle.
With Automute active, maxWerk can trigger a section of Improv bars
and silence them for you at selected points for recording to a
midifile. The setting for in/out bar numbers is in the performanceoriented Automute window. However, there is no telling exactly what
Improv's note patterns will be. Alternatively, you can start up and
discontinue Improv manually during recording; on being dismissed,
it holds its last note a little before dropping out gracefully. Get more
insight as to how Improv works and its other parameters by reading
about the similar, but relatively more predictable and obedient
Melody track, under "More Melodizing" in Part II of this Guide.
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1.13 Noodle
You may enjoy playing and recording your controller keyboard along
with your Werk. A MIDI device/channel through the program is
reserved for this purpose, complete with basic controller and GS
phatWerk settings. More about phatWerk is coming up in Part II.
In the Noodle window there are two parameters that can help your
live playing stand out amid the sound of your other tracks, whether
you have a MIDI controller keyboard or are simply using computer
keys. One is a general note velocity adjustment, and another is a
menu setting to adjust input MIDI by an octave shift. The octave
shift parameter is the same one you see in Note and Drum Editors,
and your Werk file remembers its last setting. There is a companion
setting found in the Noodle window only to double octaves on
Auto-modulation sends a ramp of mod wheel or aftertouch values
to any depth you like as each new note is played. One of several GS
NRPN controllers can also auto-modulate your noodles, with an
option to invert the values it sends for fun and variety.
1.14 Werksync
This collaborators' aid deserves a heading of its own. By activating
the Werksync button in the lower section of the Noodle window, you
can enable sending MIDI beat clock along with continuous controller
messages that are understood as transposition commands by a
second maxWerking computer setup. A reset from your master
Werk sets up the slave to ignore its own tempo map and transposer
data, and you can remotely set the "go-to" bar. The operator of a
slaved Werk has full normal control when the master is not in play.
If you've made it through the Guide this far, you may be interested
to discover the many more features of maxWerk covered in Part II.
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II. maxWerk In Depth
We have seen that maxWerk's eleven Basic Loops and two Drum
Loops can play patterns up to four bars long. Add to these the
three special-purpose tracks - Melody, automatic Improv, and the
Noodle track for accompanying live play, and maxWerk gives you
sixteen MIDI channels' worth of creative engines. There is a bonus
Idea layer that you can mix in with any track to make Werkmusic.
2.1 Main Settings
After you have customized Global Setup and Noodle settings upon
getting started with maxWerk, you'll find the thru MIDI destination
automatically switching as you move between tracks. An indicator in
the upper left section of the Main Screen shows the current target
instrument and MIDI channel. Switching takes place because the
auto-thru checkbox is enabled by default. As we have seen in Part
I, from the MIDI-thru heading in the menubar you can manually
change the MIDI target, and if you disable the auto-thru checkbox,
incoming notes and other information remain directed to the track
instrument/channel last edited or selected for thru play.
On the Main Screen, the KB map checkbox appears for the benefit
of those who aren't accomplished keyboardists. Checked, it enables
one of two note mapping modes chosen in the Global Setup
window. Both allow very non-traditional keyboarding behavior. When
chords & scales is selected, above an adjustable split point the
pitches of the currently selected Key and Scale, having been
adjusted by any Global Offset(s), lock to the set of white keys
starting on C, and the black keys are silent. You can use the white
keys above the split point for melodic lead line playing while you
trigger Tonic transposing from the remaining white keys. The black
keys in the left-hand group trigger (+)Notes as you press them, and
remove those (+)Notes when they are released. Starting at C#, the
scale step (+)Notes triggered by black keys are 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
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When maxWerk is not in play and the Arpeggiator is enabled, both
presses and releases of the left hand keys trigger two-octave
chordal tone sets. The (+)Note-triggering black keys, however,
remove their changed chordal values and restore the (+)Note to the
Tonic value when you release them.
When you select the keyboard mapping mode called global key
shifts in the Global Setup window, the stored split point does not
apply. Instead, maxWerk enables all controller keys to make simple
chromatic transpositions that are suitable for certain musical styles.
The two lower letter rows of your computer's QWERTY keyboard
are always in polyphonic MIDI note entry mode in maxWerk. They
cover two and a half adjustable octaves of notes in the current
Scale, so that you can use the program without a MIDI controller
keyboard. They respond to the octave adjustment found in the
Noodle and Note Editor windows, and they are not affected by the
MIDI keyboard split point.
When Automute is disabled, you can selectively mute and enable
tracks and see their status by means of the blue LED's on the Main
Screen. Mute and solo switches for the track you are editing are
also in the lower section of the Note and Drum Editor windows.
Notice that soloing in an Editor window temporarily overrides
automuting of the track. The positions you set for the pan and
volume knobs on the Main Screen become the default values when
these controls automatically reset and when you save your Werk.
You will see the tempo-setting slider change color from reddish to
green when you enable Performance mode. This reminder tells you
that any Tempo map saved with the Werk is now in effect. Pressing
the Tempos button next to the slider brings up the Tempo Map
window. Here you can store changes to the beats-per-minute
values transmitted to maxWerk's timing engine with each passing
bar. When you take maxWerk out of Performance mode, it takes the
Tempo Map out of service. While midifiles are being prepared,
tempo is temporarily set to a constant 60 or 120 beats per minute
according to a Global Setup parameter, for the sake of accurate
event timing for file export.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
2.2 Patch Changes
GS patch names selected for your Werk appear below the track
name labels on the Main Screen for each of the eleven Basic Loops
and the two Drum Loops, as well as in the Improv, Melody Sound,
and Noodle windows. A patch button is found in each Editor
window. When a track is globally enabled for GS use, the button
bears the label GS bank/varia. For normal MIDI device use, this
button is labeled program change. The patch entry window that it
opens lets you enable the messages required by your MIDI device,
which may include one or more types of Bank Select controller.
For tracks globally set up for GS use, the patch button produces a
window of sixteen GS patch name menus. These are divided by
general instrument category and listed alphabetically, and they are
specific to the model of Roland GS module selected in the Global
Setup window. Across the maps for the hierarchy of GS models,
there are some differences in the naming of sounds of certain
combinations of bank and variation numbers. When this is the case,
the name for the later version of the sound has been used. For
cross-reference, the GS patch selection window shows Bank and
Tone variation numbers, and arrow buttons let you move forward
and back through each set of sounds to audition them.
A Global Setup parameter lets you enable or disable program
change messages transmitted via MIDI, both to your devices and to
your recorded Werk midifile. When any part assignment is switched
off in the Global Setup window, the referencing patch button reads
track disabled! and is not functional. If a track is enabled and
patches don't change as expected, check the lower left section of
Globals to see if bank and program changes are being filtered from
the transmitted MIDI stream. This filtering capability is provided so
that you can create midifiles and share Werks between different
setups without including potentially incompatible patch selections.
maxWerk does not support program changes MIDI'ed thru from an
external controller. The program makes unconventional use of this
incoming MIDI message type to mute and enable tracks.
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2.3 User Scales
We have seen how various scales, also called modes or pitch sets,
are available for audition in the Scales window so long as the
Transposer is not overriding your setting, and how the enabled
Transposer calls on one of the stored scale sets at each bar. An
edit user scale button lets you compare, enter, and store a custom
Scale for your Werk by auditioning and entering seven chromatic
pitches from the set of twelve. maxWerk calls on the Werk's User
Scale information at every stored Transposer Scale value of 0.
Because the musical structure of maxWerk depends upon triadic
interval harmonies, if you make chordal changes based simply on
transpositions of the Tonic, any generated note patterns, Melody
Phrases, and Improv patterns which refer to unusual or usercreated Scales may produce more dissonances than those based
on the Scales numbered 1 through 7. Note too that in order to make
pentatonic music, you can start from either a Major or Natural-Minor
Scale, and simply avoid the use of steps 4 and 7 when you create
step patterns and when you transpose Tonics or (+)Notes.
2.4 Loop Magic 1
As you've seen, the displays referred to throughout this Guide are
vertical bar graphs that represent data patterns read sequentially in
a repeating fashion, into which you can place values with the
mouse. There are four such editable displays in the Note Editor, two
in the Drum Editor, and one in each of the Control and Bend
Resetting note data to default values is differentiated by parameter
groups for convenience, and this does not affect the loop's number
of bars or step resolution. At the top right corner of the loop editing
windows there is a clear all notes button. In the Offset Note Lines
section, each of the three lines has its own clear-button whose color
reflects the presence of settings for that line, and others to reset all
routings and velocities. Use the clear all 3 offsets button to restore
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
the default values of all at once. A play-defaults button in the lower
right window section serves to restore all the settings that determine
how you hear the displayed patterns, but it does not change the
graphics. Initializing is therefore a three-step process.
The Note Editor functions detailed below have settings that are
located along the top of the Note Editor window or framed in the
rectangular section nearest the bottom. You can set step
resolution independently for each loop, and the program fits steps
into their allotted time correctly so long as your choice from the
steps menu is a multiple of the Meter (the number of counts per
bar). The multiples listed in the steps menu include sixteenths,
32nds, and in most Meters triplets, allowing in the case of 7-count
Meter, for example, 14, 28, and 21 steps respectively. After a little
practice making loops, it becomes easy to anticipate the resolution
or count-multiple you need for a particular effect.
Whenever you change the parameters for either step resolution or
loop length, maxWerk resizes the four displays to accommodate
the new total number of steps; that is to say, step resolution
multiplied by a number of bars from one to four, up to a limit of 128
steps per loop. The default size is a one-bar loop of 16 steps. If you
assign number of steps and bar length to a loop, then proceed to
make a note pattern, and afterwards decide to lengthen the loop by
adding bars or doubling the step resolution, the existing bar graph
data shifts to the left, leaving some empty space to show the extra
room created for more. If you reduce the number of steps in the
loop by reducing the number of bars or halving its resolution, some
of the entered values towards the end of the loop will be truncated
and disappear.
The button that reads <-expand pattern->, located next to the loop
length and step number menus at the top of the Note Editor window,
opens a window that includes some of maxWerk's handiest
features. Here are options for dealing with an increased number of
loop steps without disturbing the patterns you have already entered.
You can double existing note, velocity, octave, and wrap step
patterns using the stretch function, or you can automatically enter
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
repeats of the pattern to fill added bars. (Use the editor's 'repeat a
series' function in the generator panel to copy-paste patterns within
one bar.) You can overwrite or build a pattern from scratch using
the uniform time interval edits menu-and-button interface. Be
careful how you order operations, so you don't lose entered data!
You can adjust the starting step for any loop by using the
horizontal display rotator buttons if you want to re-align the loop's
contents in time without revising entered data. To do so, set a step
number and leave the start mode menu set to the on every loop
default. The second menu item rotating starts tells maxWerk to
begin playing the loop one step further into the pattern with each
repetition. You might set a percussive sound to rotate its start point
against a straightforwardly repeating Drum Loop. Since Note as well
as Control and Bend patterns have independently adjustable
starting steps, you can contrive interactions between them that are
unpredictable and interesting. When you choose random starts,
whatever the number of bars, maxWerk starts each loop from one
of several musically useful Meter counts (ones that mark quarternote segments) in the first loop bar. This has the effect of shifting
the pattern unpredictably in relation to your other tracks. When you
choose the second or third menu items, the starting step displayed
is reset to 1. The three remaining menu items let you incorporate
into any of the above start modes some random ratchets, or
occasional stuttered note-starts.
In the lower area of the Note Editor, the direction menu settings
forward, backward, and reversing accomplish the obvious. The
alt-scrambles setting follows the original note duration pattern and
plays loops in the forward direction, but at the start of every second
bar it re-shuffles the pitches triggered by values 1 through 7,
excluding the independent value 8. In other words, the rhythm of
notes and rests remains the same, but the original pitches change
order. This setting can produce a variety of interesting results,
particularly with three-bar loops, depending on the step values
included in your pattern and the durations of notes. More direction
menu items are random and the interestingly repeating endsinward. This one is followed by an alt ends-in variation, which is
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useful for doubling the length of a loop, and a rdm ends-in variation
that also alternates with normal passes.
Next to the direction menu, the note triggering modes menu
makes four principal options and six variations available for Basic
Loops' behavior. Five selections have quick-access buttons above
the menu. They interact with the settings of the gate times slider,
so they are described together. The modes of triggering are:
Play changes mode - maxWerk sends a note-off and triggers a
new note with each changed step value or Tonic transposition
value. This is the most "normal" sounding monophonic play mode
for the notes entered in the displays, because it can produce
different note lengths as well as rests. These are all multiples of
the chosen step length if the default gate time setting (off) is used.
In this mode, repeating note values that wrap around to the start
of the loop without any transposition sustain without retriggering.
You can make a persistent drone sound by entering a single
value across your loop without any rests and disabling the
"transpose" function. Leave the gate times slider set to its default
'off' for normal play-changes mode. A reddish slider indicates that
gate times are being imposed, and the green setting indicates
randomizing. These effects mask the tied notes in play-changes
mode and shorten the durations of single-step notes.
Play all steps mode - maxWerk sends a note-off and triggers a
new note with each step that is not a rest. Step resolution as well
as the number of included rests greatly affects the result of this
setting, which is particularly good for rhythmic figures. Play-allsteps mode works well with gate times, for they affect all steps
and produce staccato patterns. Shorten the gate times setting to
decrease step durations. The fewer loop steps there are, the finer
the available gate resolution will be as shown by the slider. A full
left setting turns it green and produces randomized gate times.
Sustain groups mode - new notes are held until the next note
value 0 or the end of the loop, whichever occurs first. Then they
are cut off after the duration of any sustain-on-mute set for the
track. When you pick this mode, the gate times slider turns gray
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and automatically moves to the gate-off position. This mode is
good for pads and special effects. Be careful about adding Offset
Note Lines (described below) in this mode, for they can greatly
increase the demands on your sound module for polyphony
(notes that can sound at once). Experiment with various gate
times with the remaining modes described below!
Random retrig - maxWerk follows all pitch changes but decides
at each step whether to sustain or re-trigger repeating note
values. The timing of pitch pattern changes is preserved, but
there is variety in the rhythm pattern of the notes.
Alt1 and alt2 notefilters - The last six menu choices are based
on the principle of selectively triggering passing or non-chordal
tones. On alternating loops, maxWerk substitutes or sustains the
last played triadic tone at each passing tone, thereby ignoring any
passing tones while preserving the basic figure. Passing tones are
scale steps 2, 4, 6, or 7, pitches that are not part of a triadic chord
built on the Tonic note value 1. The effect of alt1 all-steps, alt1
changes, and alt1 random on any loop that contains passing
tones is that a musical statement in chordal tones is followed by,
and then alternated with, a response with added passing tones.
The difference in the alt2 notefilter set is that maxWerk plays the
unfiltered figure first. Obviously, these modes can't enhance any
step pattern of notes that does not already include passing tones.
2.5 Loop Magic 2
To be thorough, we'll revisit explanations of the pattern graphics
with added detail. The notes display has values that represent
pitches of any seven-step Scale. When you arrange these values 0
through 8 in patterns, a value of 0 (a rest) always causes silence,
whatever the value in the velocity display below. Values 1 through 7
trigger Scale notes in the various modes of play described above,
and their pitches wrap around as you transpose the Scale. Value 8
always triggers the independently transposable note, referred to in
maxWerk as a (+)Note. With a transposition of 1 set for value 8,
maxWerk triggers the current Tonic as though the step with value 8
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has a value of 1. A checkbox at the bottom of the Note Editor lets
you defeat all forms of transposition for a Basic Loop. You may wish
to disable transposing in order to produce a drone, or to avoid pitch
shifts if you have a track dedicated to a percussive sound.
The Drum Editor notes display by default triggers notes 35-68, a
scheme that works well for GS drum kits and many other MIDI
percussion instruments. Each of the two Drum Loops saves a note
number offset that can be useful in normal (non-GS) MIDI Mode to
allow for differences in percussion sound modules. The verticalarrow test buttons to the right of the display let you use repeated
presses to locate desired kit notes by sound. Holding either button
causes a single drum sound to repeat in eighth-note time.
The velocities display has nine values that represent: 0 (a rest),
seven randomized values within groups of sixteen, and a constant
value of 127. Velocity values of 0 cause silence even when they are
coincident with the start of a new note. Drum notes can't be tied,
and they hold for no more than a full step's duration.
The octaves display has nine available values to pair with entered
notes, covering the full range of MIDI note numbers. The nine
values of the wrap steps display below it determine the highest
allowable Scale pitch after the effect of transposing that will sound in
the designated octave; i.e. the octave wrap-around point for each
step. Values transposed above the wrap step will sound in the
octave below. You can use wrap step settings in conjunction with
Offset Note Lines (described in the next section) to fine-tune chord
inversion effects as a finishing touch once you have established
your Werk’s transposition patterns. For randomized unpredictable
octave shifting at each bar, use value 0 wrap steps. To have the
wrap step follow changing (+)Notes, use value 8. Note that wrap
step values take effect together with changes in octave, and before
global changes of Key or the Global Offset map.
Between the velocity and octave displays there is a portamento
switch menu (control 65) and a portamento time slider (control 5)
for each track. Pan and volume setting knobs, as we mentioned
earlier, are on the Main Screen panel beside the track buttons.
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There are sets of arrow-buttons above and beside the Note Editor
displays that let you rotate their contents one step at a time. The
horizontal step rotator buttons have a menu letting you shift
values in all four displays at once (the default) or just one at a time.
The vertical value rotator buttons do not affect notes and
velocities of 0, so that rests already entered are not disturbed.
Instead, notes and note-producing velocities greater than 0 rotate
among values 1 through 8. Similar value rotator buttons (that do not
mask value 0) also appear in the Control and Bend windows.
Under the four bar graph displays on the right side of the window
there is a field of settings labeled generate notes and velocities.
These let you build a loop in several ways other than the direct
method of clicking directly on the displays and amending your edits
as you listen to the result. You can jump-start the creative process
with a generated idea. After you choose from the accompanying
pattern type menu and adjust the note density menu setting to
your liking, a button press fills the loop with a pattern of notes and
rests for your consideration. You can generate alternative patterns
of accompanying velocities for existing notes. Octave and wrap step
data remains unchanged through both of these procedures. To lend
interesting dynamics when the loop is in play-all-steps mode, you
can have new independently generated velocities appear in
ascending and descending stair-step patterns, covering the full
range of random-value groups .
As an alternative approach to loop making for lovers of techno
styling and arpeggiation, you can use the repeat a series buttons
to conveniently enter patterns of notes, velocities, octaves, or wrap
steps. maxWerk automatically copies entered values beginning with
step 1 through a dialog-entered number, and repeat-enters the set
to fill the pattern without changing the accompanying data types.
There are four menu settings located between the note and velocity
displays that together set up patterns to mutate. They accomplish
this by having maxWerk randomly swap two adjacent note and
velocity steps in synchrony each time a certain number of bars
passes, while octave and wrap step data remains unchanged. You
can hear these mutation swaps, but you won't see them reflected in
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
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the displays. You can have mutations occur once every bar to once
every four bars via the mutation control menu. The revert menu
tells mutation-enabled loops to go back to their original play pattern
after a certain number of bars. Make in/out bar settings for this
track's mutate function in the remaining two menus. Since patternmutating counts the number of bars, not loop repetitions, between
new mutations, you might double the enabled section length if the
loop is set for half-timed play. Be sure too that the frequency of
mutating does not exceed the frequency of reverting, or you won't
hear the intended effect. Two alternative mutating styles at the
end of the mutation control menu let you add in or drop out (mask)
pattern data at the rate of one additional step-set per bar. Mutations
are not affected by automuting, but these are effective used with
Automutes to gradually introduce a loop or "devolve" its pattern.
At the bottom of the Note Editor is a field of play controls comprised
of menus and checkboxes. Steps delay shifts the loop's onset by a
selectable number of steps, the duration of which varies according
to the step resolution. The 16ths sustain on mute menu directs
Automute to switch off that part following a delay setting measured
in 16th-note durations. For example, muting a track with a sustainon-mute setting of 2 has the effect of cutting off the last note one
count into the following muted bar.
The velocities menu, normal by default, offers velocity treatments
that can create changing effects with each loop repetition. With
cycle enabled, velocity step numbers increment by one relative to
note steps, so that you can create a variable note-gating effect by
including velocity values of 0. The selection to rotate velocities
increments all values greater than 0 with each pass, wrapping them
around from 8 to 1. Used separately or combined via the 2 ways
selection, these functions are most effective in play-all-steps mode.
The pitch rotate menu shuffles pitches harmoniously. flip 2-6
inverts a subset of scale notes on alternate loop passes. The option
for 1-7 up 2 causes triadic tones 1-3-5 and passing tones 2-4-6 to
rotate within their tone type, but values 7 and 8 remain unchanged.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
A setting for the end bar is next in line as we move toward the right
side of the play parameters panel. A similar end bar setting in the
Automutes window determines the point after which maxWerk
automatically stops playing all tracks, and for convenience you can
set one bar number there that triggers ending behavior globally.
However, once you have done this you can set earlier end bars
individually by track in the Note Editor. At the end bar for a Basic
Loop, maxWerk converts all pattern notes to the current tonic value.
You can apply coordinated end bar settings, perhaps in combination
with delayed muting and an extra bar of play set globally in the
Automutes window, to bring your Werk to a pleasing close.
The transpose menu enables loop transposing by default, allowing
chordal changes driven by maxWerk's stored data or by your live
playing. You can obtain droning notes and use Basic Loops
effectively for non-pitched instrument patterns if you disable this
function so that the defaulted state of transposition for the loop
remains unchanged.
The third transpose-menu option alt-loop inversions applies its
processing on alternate repetitions to Scale pitches 2 thru 7,
whatever their play direction. For example, a note and rest pattern
of 1 1 0 2 3 4 5 5 becomes 1 1 0 7 6 5 4 4. Values 1 and 8
remain unchanged. This has the effect of changing the chordal
response to transpositions during alternate loops, and you can
exploit this as a feature if it pleases your ear. Layer this function with
pitch rotating options to defy analysis! If you use it along with
maxWerk's general transposing capabilities, interesting dissonances
will emanate from this track on every other loop.
The track name button lets you enter up to 12 characters, which
subsequently appear the Editor window, on the Main Screen track
panels, in maxWerk's various indicator labels, in loop-copy menus,
and in the Leadsheet.
2.6 Step-Split Tracks
maxWerk makes it easy to create an overly dense texture of notes
from overlapping patterns, filling the empty spaces that are always
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
necessary to give interesting definition to a mix. The step-split
function lets you direct individual scale steps of a single pattern (the
values in the note graphic you are editing) separately or in groups
across a selected set of target tracks. They will enter as you make a
pattern in the normal manner, or you can re-direct a source motif
that's already entered. In a conventional linear sequencer you can
separate out sets of notes into individual tracks, but they must be
selected by note name or MIDI note number. Thanks to its scalic
approach to pitch management, maxWerk can offer you a way to
separate original pattern chordal steps by their tone qualities, and
as we have seen, these are constant through chord transpositions.
Using step-split, you can give each scale step or set of steps in a
pattern its unique sound and style, which will follow it through chord
changes and through the effect of octave data combined with wrapstep data that effectively creates chordal inversions. In other words,
you can explore tonal hocketing within note patterns.
Use the split button to access target track menus in the step-split
window. There is a menu for each scale step. Target tracks may be
any except the source; that is, any but the one you are currently
editing. Any scale step can be excluded so that if entered, it plays
only in the source loop. Once setup is complete, edits you make to
the note graphic after enabling the split function cause
corresponding notes to appear in all destination loops, allowed or
filtered (replaced by rests) according to your setup. As an example,
if you enter into the following values into the source note graphic:
1110 3325 5054 3320
…a loop that you have designated to be the player only of thirds
relative to the root will play and display, upon calling up its editor:
0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0.
To investigate the usefulness of step-split loop groups, you might
first experiment by sending chordal tones to one type of sound and
passing tones to another. A step-split audition subgroup of
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setup-enabled Basic Loops is always available, regardless of the
function's status. It always reflects the current setup, and this can be
handy even if you aren't using the step-split function in your Werk.
Step-split track values other than notes, as well as all other loop
parameters, are dealt with through their respective editors. You can
add more notes and Offset Note Lines, and you can make other
track, patch, and controller settings to lend interest to the resulting
fragmentary pattern bits. Your original note pattern will have
imparted its cohesive element to the track subgroup, so that
together they comprise a "meta-part". You can optionally adapt the
original in any way to be part of the set.
When you enable the split function, maxWerk always clears the
target loops' note graphics and sizes them to match the available
bars and steps in the source. A status LED immediately below the
setup window button in the note editor window lights red when stepsplit is enabled. Disable it by clicking the LED when you have
finished entering your pattern. The split setup is not remembered in
your Werk file, but remains in the setup window so that you can reactivate it at any time during your composing session. In order to
avoid losing earlier work, be careful to re-activate the setup for
further edits only if the source pattern is still available, either in its
original editor window or as a saved Basic Loop file. Making any
mouse-edit to the source loop's note graphic will cause target tracks
to restore their filtered patterns. By making a setup and simply
toggling the function button, you can take advantage of this
behavior if you want to clear and re-size a subgroup of loops all at
once. Other types of editor data and parameter settings in splitcleared loops are not affected. After you are through using step-split
and have disabled it, you can re-use the source loop normally.
2.7 Offset Note Lines
You can add offset note lines A, B, and C in the Note Editor, with
settings for each one to create various kinds of differences from the
graphically entered notes. These counterpoint patterns add major
interest value to any form of music. The randomize button for each
line gives you an endless supply of new ideas for consideration
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
within conservative delay and octave limits, initially using the
random note retriggering mode. Once you add a note line, it uses
the loop's gate time setting, but by means of its thru part menu you
can route its notes to any Basic Loop's MIDI device/channel. Each
Offset Note Line is controlled by the automute pattern of the track
selected in its obey auto menu. These two matrices for MIDI
destination and Automute source let you create interdependent
decorative patterns or contrasting sonic treatments of parallel
motifs. At the bottom of the Offset Lines parameter panel an editaudition menu with associated shortcut buttons lets you hear the
loop in various ways: soloed, together with one other track, together
with a subgroup of tracks as defined in the step-split setup, or in the
context of automutes. If you can't hear a redirected offset line, be
sure the edit-audition setting allows for it! For editing convenience
the as automuted button has a hidden function--it opens the
automute window on a double-click--and maxWerk remembers the
last audition setting made for each loop.
Parameters for Offset Note Lines are as follows:
Line A, labeled “triadic”, can be set to sound in unison with the
original or a constant third or fifth apart, according to your selection
from the intervals menu. A “random” selection lets maxWerk
choose for you among these harmonizing intervals with each new
note. Another Line A intervals menu item applies the active (+)Note
interval as the offset from each new note, so that the character of
the line can change with each bar. This (+)Note menu selection is
not among the randomizer choices, because it calls for advance
planning to include value 8's when you enter primary loop notes.
You can shift all three Offset Note Lines by an up or down octave
adjustment. A velocity adjustment is available that lets you create
interesting effects ranging from faint echoes to patterns that are
louder than the original. You can set a delay of any number of loop
steps, and choose from three play modes. Line A is the easiest
additional note line to use because it never sounds dissonant.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
You can assign Line B, labeled “scalic”, a base scale-step Tonic
transposition value different from the original, and you can shift it by
octaves relative to the original and adjust velocities. You can
delayLine B by any number of steps, as you can Line A. The last
Line B intervals menu item inv affords an interesting contrast to the
offset pattern of notes that does not by itself cause any
dissonances: scale steps 2 through 6 are inverted, i.e. flipped,
before pitch is offset. Step 4 pitches unchanged along with tonic and
seventh notes.
Line C, labeled “chromatic”, lets you transpose the note line by any
chromatic interval relative to the original notes, instead of
transposing by a certain Scale step. This one is for the adventurous!
Line C’s randomizer conservatively sticks to a choice between
tonics, fifths and (+)Notes, but of course you can change the setting.
Experiment with other chromatic steps for dissonant effects. Line C
also can be delayed by steps. It has no pitch inversion option.
Note that the choices of “unison” for Line A's base note value and 1
as Lines B and C base note values produce the same effect in all,
which is to sound secondary note lines identical to the primary one.
This is useful for offset arpeggios that feature an interplay of lines.
You can enable one, two, or all three Offset Note Lines. You can
minimize velocities of the original note line so that the displayed
pattern is in effect merely a template for the others, as long as you
bear in mind the polyphony limitations of your sound module. All
three lines may be set to play on alternate repetitions. Line A's
menu items prefixed alt1 and alt2 and the similar play settings for B
and C let you set any pair of Lines to trade off on loop passes.
2.8 Keyboard Entry
For some, auditioning and editing of maxWerk-generated loops in
combination with randomized Offset Note Lines may prove to be an
invaluable creative strategy. But if you already have a motif in mind
and would like to enter it yourself via MIDI, you can use the
keyboard step entry switch-button or its associated key
command to prepare the displays of Basic and Drum Loops or
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Melody Phrases to capture incoming MIDI notes. You can enter step
values from your controller or the computer's QWERTY keys, so
long as you are careful to release each note before playing the next
and remember to repeat-enter notes in order to extend durations.
Keyboard step entry for Melody Phrases uses a step resolution that
is fixed for that track according to the meter. Played note values
appear in the Melody display only if they fall within the available twooctave range.
To allow keyboard step-entry of notes to Basic Loops and Phrases,
maxWerk necessarily activates keyboard mapping to the current
Scale, and a number of other play settings revert to their defaults.
When you switch off the function, maxWerk restores the status of
keyboard mapping to that displayed on the Main Screen. When you
use your computer keyboard to enter notes to the Basic and Drum
Loops, maxWerk generates random accompanying velocity values.
As each set of step information appears in the displays, the
progress bar advances to the next step. While the function is active,
incoming values overdub existing ones with each pass through the
available steps. To enter a rest, press the 0 [zero] number key. You
can overwrite the last-entered step of both Basic Loops and
Phrases by pressing any MIDI key below the split point and entering
another value. Toggle the function button or its command key (by a
double press) to enter notes again from the beginning of the loop.
When you are making Drum Loops, keyboard step entry temporarily
disables MIDI keyboard mapping, so that you can play any notes
that are assigned to or offset from the range of MIDI note numbers
35 (B1) through 68 (G#4) on your controller keyboard. To place
Drum notes into steps with imaginative help from maxWerk, use the
drum pattern generator, which enters and removes sets of beats
independently for each drum kit instrument.
The keyboard step entry button flashes yellow as a status reminder
if you leave it enabled while your Werk is in play, and maxWerk
automatically disables the function when you exit Editor windows.
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Published by RedMoon Music -
2.9 The Idea Track
An alternative to keyboard step entry that you can use to help
create Basic and Drum Loops or Melody Phrases is the liverecorded, no-frills Idea track. This is a non-editable midifile recorder
and player of non-transposing sequences that can serve as a
simple motif-entering guide. Once you have armed this track for
recording, maxWerk will capture live MIDI input beginning at the
designated bar number. Subsequent recordings clear and overwrite
material already present. Your Idea plays back with adjustable
tempo to the instrument selected in the Idea window, layered with
any MIDI messages that this device/channel already receives. You
can quickly switch off Idea playback or ready it for automatic
triggering by means of checkboxes in the Note Editor and Melody
Phrase windows, making it unnecessary to revisit the Idea window
for this purpose.
Once you have captured an Idea of any length, you can set it to play
starting at any bar number you wish. If you set maxWerk to loop a
certain selection of bars that includes the set starting bar, you'll hear
your Idea play repeatedly along with any stored loop or Melody
information. You might even use a longer Idea track to add an
unstructured part to your finished Werk. However, the Idea track is
not recorded into your Werk midifile, nor is it saved as part of a
Werk file. Instead, you can save any number of Ideas as midifiles,
bearing in mind that in maxWerk you can play only one at a time.
Once you abandon an Idea recording by switching off playback and
subsequently quit maxWerk, the material in it is lost unless you have
saved it as a midifile. Ideas cannot have tempo, notes or any other
elements changed after they are recorded, but you can of course
import saved Idea midifiles to another application for further work.
2.10 Deeper Drums
The d1 and d2 drum buttons in the top right Main Screen panel
open an editor dedicated to the two Drum Loops. Its layout bears
some similarities to the Basic Loops' Note Editor, but an obvious
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Published by RedMoon Music -
difference is the much larger drum notes display. It is bordered on
the right with GS default drum note numbers and accommodates a
much wider value range. Here, step values represent actual note
numbers rather than scale steps, and a note placement guide bar
can help you mark the right spots for hits before you make manual
note entries. As in the Note Editor, velocities have a set all to value
menu with an associated refresh button. There is also a repeat a
velocity series button. An octave display is not necessary for the
Drum Loops, and octave wrap step values aren't needed either
since transposition does not come into play. To maximize graphic
display space, the buttons to open the Controls A and B, Bend, and
phatWerk windows are placed along the top edge of the window .
Each Drum track is monophonic, and the Drum pattern generator
works with only one note (kit sound) at a time. Pattern generating
involves setting three menus below the note display and using the
buttons in the right margin that add and undo beats. Once you have
set the loop length and number of steps, the generator will decide
how many of up to six beats to give you, or it can try to give you
exactly as many beats as you want, so long as the step locations it
picks are not already occupied by hits. The default setting of the
beats add menu tells maxWerk to pick a random number of hits,
and specific options for one through six of them follow. Note that
once you have entered some beats into the display, depending
upon the number of available loop steps remaining, fewer new hits
may appear than you request.
The second setting, in the pattern length menu, takes effect if your
loop covers more than one bar. When you direct new hits to 1 bar
that repeats, the pattern is identical in all bars of the loop. The
selection across all bars spreads out the generated pattern field.
The third, in the beat placement menu, defaults to letting new
generated hits fall on empty eighth-note steps, whatever the loop
resolution. The alternate selection jogs placements by a sixteenthnote to add rhythmic interest. When you first make this selection, a
new set of empty slots equal in size to the first becomes available.
maxWerk does not pick the drum instrument number to be entered
by the Drum pattern generator--it's up to you to select the sound
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Published by RedMoon Music -
you want by indicating a step value (note) using the vertical slider to
the right of the display. As you move it up and down, you'll hear a hit
on each kit sound at the corresponding display position. The arrowshaped test buttons move the slider up or down one step with
each press. Drum hits sound repeatedly in eighth-note time as long
as a test button is held down. Press the add button to trigger the
generator to enter beats at the slider-selected note. The undo
button works by remembering the last note value placed by the
generator. It lets you remove all generator-placed hits at that display
value, so long as you have not manually added a hit at any other
value before you use it. To remove all hits of a certain drum sound
at a later time, set the slider at their note value level, press the add
button to re-target the display value, and then use the undo button
to remove all instances of that value.
Drum Editor controls for normal play or for loop start point variation
are the same as those in the Note Editor. Along with the solo
button there is a drums 1&2 button to solo both Drum tracks
together, and one to hear them as automuted. To the lower right of
the displays is another to switch drum parts directly to edit the
other Drum Loop, bypassing the Main Screen access panel.
Track names are not given to Drum Loops; they simply have the
designations "drum1" and "drum2".
2.11 Control Tricks
The MIDI controller number in the Controls A and B windows' right
side section makes available the full range (1 through 120) for
selection. If you are Werking in a GS mode track, select controllers
instead from the GS Control menu in the lower section. The GS
scheme for real-time sound shaping uses non-registered parameter
number sets (NRPN's) rather than conventional controller numbers;
hence maxWerk's separation of controller assignments by type. The
GS base number-box next to the GS Control menu shows you the
default value to which maxWerk reverts when you stop play and
when the controller is reassigned or disabled. You can enter control
number assignments for both normal MIDI and GS modes, and
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
these are stored together in your Werk file. As with program
changes, however, maxWerk transmits only the type of control
messages appropriate to each track's globally set instrument mode.
Creating Control A and B patterns begins with a setup of messages
to be sent either as independent sweeps or note-synced steps,
using a row of three buttons in the upper left window corner. Next to
these buttons is a status indicator showing the current control step
mode. The 96 button sets the step resolution for MIDI events to 96
per loop, an amount that remains fixed over the maximum loop
length of four bars. The trig button, especially useful for longer
loops, allows 96-step control patterns to re-trigger and occupy the
time duration of any set of note steps of the same value, so long as
the set is greater than a single step. In a 16-step loop, for example,
note values that change after only one step do not trigger a new
sweep. Controller re-triggering is based on the entered note pattern,
so it uses the same start points whichever mode of note triggering
you use. To hear sweeps retrigger over each note of an eight-step
pattern, double the resolution to 16 and use play-changes mode.
The actual number of MIDI controller events that comprise each
retriggered control sweep may be fewer than 96, for they are
subject to a default 20 ms. time grain for auto-modulation density
that can be adjusted in the Global setup window. Keep in mind that
control patterns designed for a primary loop motif will also affect any
Offset Note Lines sent to this instrument and MIDI channel.
The last of the three, the sync button, sizes the control loop to
reflect the total number of note steps, i.e. to equal the number of
bars times the note step resolution. The waveform pattern
generator works in 96 or trig modes only, and lets you automatically
enter a set of 96 controller events. Alternatively, you can draw a
sweep pattern or enter step-synced values into the display by hand.
You can repeat-enter a numeric pattern, just as you can with note,
velocity, and octave data. The button in the lower play control
section labeled repeat a series allows a value sequence entered
just once at the loop's start to repeat filling the entire display, using
whichever of the 96, trig or sync modes was last set. Activate the
value creep menu to increment all by a certain amount up to a
desired wrap point with each loop pass. If you want to create an
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
unusual pattern by hand with perfect timing, use the guide marker
menus to create temporary evenly-spaced value entries to help
your freehand drawing.
When you ask for one to four instances of a 96-step waveform, you
can choose between sawtooth, sine, pulse, triangle, and two types
of parabolic curves. Before you hear any results from the selected
controller, you will need to enable it via the activation menu to the
right of the display, which defaults to off. When controller output is
disabled, data in the display appears grayed out. The activation
menu lets you stop effecting the target device's sound for whatever
reason without losing entered settings, and it also lets you invert all
control values, changing the background color as a reminder.
The direction options menu lets you disable any play direction
changes that come from the Note Editor, so that the controller or
bend pattern always loops in one direction. Note that by using the
activation menu's invert play option you can effectively flip the
display of some control waveforms horizontally so that they read
from right to left. Should you then choose to narrow vertically the
resulting waveform by adjusting the compression percentage, you
will need to re-enter the waveform to see and hear the result.
When you press any of the three follow buttons for notes,
velocities, or octaves In the Control A or B windows, steps are
synced to note resolution, and a pattern similar to the note editor's
values, but vertically stretched, appears in the display. This function
processes values to be proportionate within the controller range of 0
though 127, letting you tie a controller imaginatively to scale steps.
You can rotate values up or down in the Control and Bend displays
by means of right side vertical arrow buttons, and all values 0-127
wrap around the range. Instead of including a second set of arrow
buttons to move values horizontally, the Control and Bend windows
have a start step setting to time-shift values relative to the Note
Editor's pattern set. The Bend window, with default values of 64, has
similar pattern entry functions, but lacks the "follow" function buttons
that allow expanded echoing of Note Editor patterns. You can set
GS bend range by means a system exclusive message. The bend
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
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range of non-GS sound modules must be adjusted outside of
In all three of these windows, you can have maxWerk generate a
set of step-synced random values by pressing the button labeled
randomize/latch, and these appear in the display. When you latch
this function via the associated checkbox, maxWerk makes a new
set behind the scenes with each repetition of the loop, which does
not appear in the display. The intensity of this effect, as with other
step-based functions, depends on the number of steps per bar set
in the Note Editor, and is most dramatic and useful at a 16th-note or
lower step resolution.
2.12 phatWerk
If you are Werking in a GS environment, you can make use of the
system exclusive and NRPN GS synth editing included in the
program and saved with Werk files. A phatWerk window-opening
button appears in the Note and Drum pattern Editors as well as in
the Improv, Melody Sound, and Noodle windows. An array of virtual
knobs and several menus store GS sound and effect settings for the
edited track. Your Roland GS product manual provides an in-depth
explanation of these parameters and the types of MIDI messages
that produce them.
2.13 Copy / Import
A key command or the press of a right side main screen button
opens the Copy/Import window. You can copy Loops to another
location in the same Werk, or you can load a complete previously
saved Werk file to a copy buffer to extract separate components for
import to the current Werk. To make these procedures easy,
maxWerk lists current track names in the copy buffer's source and
destination menus, as well as those of any source Werk loaded to
the imported file buffer. Besides individual loops, separate Melody
Phrases, Blocks, and play settings and the Transposer's full
information set are available for import. You should save your Werk
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before copying or importing data, as these changes overwrite
destination data and can't be undone!
2.14 More Melodizing
We have seen that melodies have 16th-note resolution, and
therefore global Meter affects the total number of steps in Melody
Phrases and Blocks. From 2-bar seed phrase buttons located at
the top of the Melody window you can bring up a second zoom-in
window that lies over it. Here you can compose melodies that use a
two-bar motif or Phrase as source material for each four-bar Block.
In the Phrases window is a smaller non-editable representation of
the full Block you are editing, labeled block view. Changes are
immediately reflected here as you make them in the Phrase display,
unless the Block's lock switch is activated. The set of lock
switches, located to the right of each Melody Editor Block and
having a corresponding button in the Phrases window, are all
engaged by default when you load a Werk file. The changeable
background color of the full Block display in both the Phrases and
main Melody windows is a quick lock-status indicator. When you
work with Phrases, unlock the Block you wish to edit first, in order to
allow data to pass through from the Phrase window to the main
Editor. The main Editor allows partial or complete departures from
Phrase-entered note lines by direct hand editing of the Block
sequences. When you lock the full Block pattern after final handedits, you ensure that further Phrase window edits will not overwrite
the Block.
The Melody track draws on eight random velocity groups for each
Block, one for each half-bar. An editable graphic below the Phrases
display beside Block View represents the full Block's worth of
velocity data. The eight vertical bars have five incremental steps
corresponding to a constant maximum value of 127 or one of four
randomized-value ranges between 64 and 127. Keep in mind that
this display doesn't depict velocities of single Phrase notes; these
are ranges for bar sections that may cover several notes! The
change between two value groups per bar from which velocities are
drawn occurs on the variable Transposer-stored mid-bar count.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Like the other editor windows, the lower portion of the Phrases
window contains a quick mutes window button, useful when
Automute is disabled to prevent distraction by other tracks as you
develop your Melody. The Idea window button lets you bring in the
specialty track described earlier. Engage the Improv and Idea tracks
if you find them helpful, or add helpfully MIDI-mapped Noodle input.
You can enter Phrases using only the mouse, without any help from
maxWerk. Alternatively, keyboard step entry is available, as it is
for Basic Loops. (See the section pertaining to it above to read more
about entering notes into Phrases by means of your MIDI
controller.) A difference between the Editors for Notes and Phrases
is that quantizing on entry to a Phrase step resolution higher than
16ths is not possible. Melody lines are always heard in playchanges mode, with note-offs triggered by changing pitches.
To have maxWerk's help coming up with a Melody, use the Phrase
Generator, which has a line of settings across the top of the
Phrases window. A four-level pattern complexity menu offers
sparse, simple, busier, and complex choices. A phrase length
menu gives you a choice between two-bar figures or a repeating
one-bar figure, and lastly there is an activation button. When you
ask for a repeating motif, four instances of a one-bar pattern pass
through to the Melody Block. To generate new Phrase notes without
disturbing notes already present, be sure there are rests (empty
pattern slots) to be filled, and mark the checkbox option to keep
existing notes. This lets you try decorating a simple Melody figure
in various ways until you have a keeper.
Generated Phrases occasionally include rests, and you can use the
add a random rest button to break up long tied notes. Because of
the two-octave range structure there is no use for an independently
transposed Scale note. Using the set of edit 2nd bar buttons you
can repeat, reverse pitch order, or expand the first Phrase bar to
cover two. Alternatively, you can substitute scale-inverted chordal
tone variation notes for values 2 through 6 in the second bar.
A pair of pattern menus below the Phrase displays automatically
imposes a two-step sequence of pitch order direction to fill the
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currently selected Block, followed by a two-step variation pattern
discussed fully in Part I. When you make menu choices, the Phrase
data for the full Block is immediately re-processed and sent to the
main Melody Editor. These menus apply the second-bar filtering
operations to whole two-bar Phrases. Since they may be optionally
imposed on the first Phrase of a Block, by mapping full Block
treatments to play in succession, you can bring about the same
sorts of mirrored musical behaviors over a longer time frame.
A copy block button below the Phrase window's displays lets you
capture Phrases, together with their associated velocity groups and
play pattern settings, and edit them differently in other Blocks.
Rather than risk losing a winning combination, it's best to
experiment on a copy to determine which level of manipulation gives
your melody line the preferred effect. Note that because Phrase
play pattern functions operate over and above second-bar Phrase
edit functions, they can sometimes cancel each other deceptively!
Complex or "busier" melody lines are best created with the
Transposer disabled, so that only changes in global Key take effect.
Like notes in the Basic Loops, Melody notes transpose rotationally,
constrained the by upper and lower settings for Scale-step octave
cutoff found in the Melody Sound window. Melodies have a twooctave maximum step range before transposing, and these two
parameters define the upper and lower step values beyond which
notes that transpose out of range fold back into the nearest octave.
Settings for each Block in the top panel of the main Melody Editor let
you tell maxWerk to allow transposing and to play 4 bars of the
Block timebase-shifted to fill 2, 3, 6 or 8 bars of the Block Map. You
can add harmony lines of selected or randomized intervals. There
is a base-octave setting for each of the melody and harmony
parts, as well as an option to octave-double the main line. You can
apply a harmony velocity offset and an adjustable steps delay
for harmonies to all Melody Blocks.
In the Melody Sound window you can make program changes
and phatWerk settings, and apply pan, volume, and portamento.
You can duck melody velocities by a selectable amount when
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Improv plays, so that Improv takes the spotlight in your mix. You can
have maxWerk automatically generate time-base-dependent automodulation, which can take the form of either Controller 1 (mod
wheel) or Aftertouch. Values will ramp towards an adjustable
maximum level with each new note. (To thin maxWerk's automodulation data, adjust the millisecond interval between elements
of the number stream in the Global Setup window. This setting is
saved as part of your Global Setup file.)
To recap important Melody track features: edits to two-bar Phrases
appear twice in their corresponding four-bar Melody Block display,
filtered according to the Block's last loaded patterns of pitch order
direction and chordal tone variation. Newly loaded patterns of
direction or variation act upon the latest state of the Phrase, and the
copy function remembers the last Phrase version stored for each
Block. Play settings and the Block Map further shape this Werk part.
maxWerk's Improv function, described earlier, uses a modified
version of the Melody engine and incorporates a number of its
features. You can tell Improv how long to play each new set of
notes, and it will generate another after the number of bars you set,
at the same time choosing a new direction pattern and a new
variation pattern for note values 2 thru 6. Improv is unlike Melody in
that it includes an option to play (+)Notes, and there is no option for
a harmonizing line. Unless you set it to pan to center, Improv
defaults to wandering pan, capriciously positioning itself in the
sound field and strolling across and back in steps of sixteen
controller values taken at the start of each bar.
2.15 PC-1600 Setup
The "maxWerk" preset for the Peavey PC-1600 or PC-1600X MIDI
Command Stations makes either of these a useful hardware
alternative to the Quick Mutes window. With Automute disabled, you
can easily experiment with combinations of tracks. The layout of
faders and buttons corresponds to the channel assignments for GS
mode. Note that the volume faders operate with inverted values! If
you wish to set up a different external hardware device to control
maxWerk, simply route knobs or faders to send Controllers 1
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
through 16 on MIDI channel 16, and buttons to send Program
Changes 1 through 16 on any MIDI channel.
PC-1600 maxWerk-control layout:
Faders 1-11
control volume of Basic Loops 1-9 and Drums 1
and 2.
Fader 12
controls volume of Improv on MIDI channel 12.
Fader 13
controls volume of the Melody track.
Faders 14-15 control Basic Loops 10 and 11
(See the MIDI channel layout below).
Buttons 1-11 mute tracks 1-9 and Drums on Buttons 10 and 11.
Buttons 14-15 mute the remaining Basic Loops 10 and 11.
Button 16
switches all so one may then be muted or soloed.
Fader 16
selects the "go-to" bar for playback or editing. The
Noodle track on MIDI channel 16 has volume and
other settings available in its own edit window.
2.16 Werk Files
Be sure to name and save your new Werk via standard Macintosh
File menu commands, while it's under development and before you
make a midifile recording. Werk files save with the extension .mWk
automatically added so the program can identify and load them.
There are buttons to save and load individual basic loop files and
drum loop files in their respective Editor windows. Single-loop files
include all the information in the Note Editor window as well as
Controls A and B and Bend. Take care to differentiate between the
two types of loop when you set up file folders for them, and store
them separately from Werk files. Note that when you import a saved
single loop you may need to adjust the number of steps before you
play it to make it compatible with a Werk of a different Meter. You'll
need to double-check its THRU assignments for Offset Note Lines,
as well as stored program changes, controller assignments, and the
GS bend range too if GS is your instrument mode.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Chord files, which may be saved and imported to the Transposer,
consist of data for any or all of the four graphically represented
transposition types along with any mid-bar changes. Chord files may
be up to 128 bars in length.
maxWerk can make Standard midifiles (SMF's) for import to other
sequencers. Its internal recorder temporarily imposes a recording
Tempo of either 60 or 120 BPM (a Global Setup parameter) and
disables the Tempo Map. maxWerk applies this Tempo constraint
during recording only, so that the resulting file can receive the most
accurate possible event time-stamps on transfer to a full-featured
sequencing environment. The spacebar press that stops play also
stops recording. As an alternative to manual stopping, if you are
recording a fully automated Werk Performance, you can specify in
the Automute window an automatic end bar number to be the last
bar played. Without either setting, maxWerk stops recording by itself
after 128 bars. When recording finishes, Tempo reverts to the initial
value stored with your Werk, and maxWerk offers to save the
midifile. After you import a maxWerk midifile to a linear sequencing
application, adjust playback tempo and map tempos to your liking in
that environment.
In GS mode, maxWerk's parts use the following layout for Basic
Loops, Drum Loops, Melody, Improv, and live controller play.
Basic Loops 1-9
Drum Loops 1 and 2
Basic Loops 10 and 11
MIDI channels 1-9
MIDI channels 10 and 11
MIDI channel 12
MIDI channel 13
MIDI channels 14 and 15
MIDI channel 16
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
The third type of data file you can save of your Werk is a
Leadsheet file, which is a text file made available when you call up
the Leadsheet window from the Extras menu. From here, you can
save information that may be useful when your midifile is imported
to a full-featured sequence-editor. This file begins with the name of
the Werk and a list of track names by MIDI channel. This is followed
by a listing of transposition data by bar number, including each triad
by its root name and chord quality (for example: major, minor,
diminished) that resulted from all combined transpositions, along
with the pitches of (+)Notes. Mid-bar changes are indicated, and the
number is given of any Melody Block in play. The Leadsheet is
dynamically overwritten as each bar passes, so long as maxWerk's
Transposer is enabled. The best time to save a Leadsheet,
therefore, is immediately after you have played through a full Werk
Performance, perhaps in the process of making a midifile recording.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
III. Key Commands Reference
(+)Notes - see Transpose
1-Bar Looping Buttons - see Arpeggiator
Accent - see Automute
Added notes - see Transpose
Apostrophe - see Click
Arrows - see Key, Mute, Reset
Arpeggiator [Shift 7] toggles a function to sound chordal notes over two octaves,
for convenience when making Transposer edits or when using the
computer keyboard's transposing keys. Enabled by default, it works
whenever maxWerk is NOT in play, and its play parameters are
adjustable in the main Transposer window. The Arpeggiator defaults
to the Noodle track, but you can direct it to any other via the Arpthru menu in the menubar. This key command also reverse-toggles
the Transposer's 1-bar Looping Buttons.
Automute [Shift a] opens the Automute window and enables both Automute
and Autofade. These functions are among those that can be
enabled by the Performance shortcut button before maxWerk
records a midifile. Double-clicking the as automuted loop editor
audition button also opens the Automute window.
Accent key [`] (lower case of the tilde key, not to be confused with
apostrophe) manually toggles Automute and Autofade together.
Direction, inversion, and triad tone rotation patterns revert to their
beginning state each time a track is enabled automatically or
manually. Note that maxWerk recognizes only ones and zeroes in
the Automute track pattern entry dialogs.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
BPM - see Tempo
Bar 1 - see Reset
Bar locators [Shift s] opens the Scales window, which includes the Bar Locators
Bar scroll [ ] The square bracket keys, held down one at a time, move quickly
up or down through the bar numbers.
Beat clock - see Sync
Block Map [Shift b] recalls maxWerk's map of Blocks for Melody pattern play,
whereby you can trigger and loop five pattern sequences that are
up to four bars long using changing Block values 1 through 5.
Block select - see Melody Block select
Chords - see Arpeggiator, Copy & save progressions, Leadsheet
Click The apostrophe ['] toggles the metronome click set in Global
Setup, which sounds according to the chosen Meter. An accent click
followed by an optional secondary one indicates 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, or
12 eighth-note counts per bar.
[Shift apostrophe] toggles only the secondary click sound.
Clock - See Sync
Close While most windows have dedicated close buttons, the escape
[esc] and [delete] keys also close most open sub-windows. The Key
Commands window is one that remains open for convenience.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Commands - see Key Commands
Copy & save progressionsThis window has no key command, and is accessed through the
Copy/Import [Shift c] opens the Copy/Import window for transfer of selectable
data types from any track in the current file or a saved Werk to any
other track of the same kind.
Drum Loops [Shift f] brings forward the Main Screen to make accessible the
Drum Editor window-opening buttons.
[Shift d] toggles the mute/enable status of both Drum Loops
together, unless their status is overridden by automuting.
Effects - see phatWerk
Entry - see Keyboard step entry
Globals [Shift g] opens the Global Setup window. See "Werk Files". Also
see Key shift.
Go-to bar - see 'Reset to "go-to" bar'
GS - see phatWerk
Idea [p] optionally toggles playback of the imported-midifile Idea track.
Import - see Copy/Import, Copy & save progressions
Improv [Shift i] opens and closes the Improv track settings window.
[i] toggles Improv's pattern-generating function over changing
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Increment - see Bar scroll
Key Commands [Shift k] opens this reminder list window.
Key shift When the Transpose function is disabled, the up and down arrow
keys shift the Key number (not the Global Offset) by semitones.
Keyboard mapping –
[Shift 8] toggles keyboard mapping, enabling the map mode
selected in the Global Setup window.
Keyboard step entry –
The tab key [tab] readies keyboard step entry of MIDI notes to a
Basic Loop, Drum Loop, or Melody Phrase, or toggles it off.
maxWerk captures and displays incoming sets of values one after
another, and values entered over successive loop repetitions
override previous data at the same step. Zero [0] enters a rest, and
in the case of Basic Loops and Melody Phrases, pressing any
controller note below the split point lets you correct the last step
entered. Toggle [tab] to start over from the beginning of the loop.
Leadsheet This window has no key command; access it from the Extras menu.
Locators - see Bar Locators, Bar 1 reset, Reset to "go-to" bar
Loop bars dialog [Shift l] is a toggle control that enables looping play of any number
of bars desired, starting from an entered bar number. Entering bar
value 0 or 128 has the effect of canceling the looping command, as
does pressing the dialog's cancel button. When maxWerk is looping
a subset of bars, the Main Screen status indicator below the bar
counter reads "looping N bars". When you switch off looping, this
indicator reads "linear play".
Loop editor - see Note Editor
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Main Screen [Shift f] brings the Main Screen to the front of other open windows.
Map - see Keyboard mapping, Block Map
Markers - see Bar Locators
Melody [Shift m] opens the Melody Editor and enables Melody play.
Melody block select [Shift followed by a number 1-5] sets one Melody Block to loop
[Shift accent], i.e. the tilde key, toggles the enable status of
Melody play, which is in turn governed by the Block Map [shift b].
Metronome - see Click
Mute The right-arrow key enables (un-mutes) all tracks unless
overridden by automuting. This command also enables any GSmode Werk parts that were disabled via sys-ex commands from
Automute window checkboxes. See Automute.
[Shift d] toggles mute/enable status of both Drum Loops together,
unless overridden by automuting. See Automute and Quick Mutes.
Note Editor [Option followed by a number 1- 9 opens Note Editor windows for
tracks 1-9. [Shift f] brings forward the Main Screen for access to the
Editor-opening buttons for Drum Loops 1 and 2.
Noodle [Shift n] opens the Noodle track window, which contains various
MIDI controller input adjustment settings.
Numeric keys - see Key, Loop, Transpose
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Play (and Stop) The spacebar starts and stops maxWerk's internal MIDI clock and
all enabled functions. After they stop, maxWerk flushes all held
notes for each track and follows up with an All Notes Off command.
The Arpeggiator for testing progressions works only when maxWerk
is stopped.
Performance mode [Shift p] toggles Performance mode, which is a shortcut command
enabling all functions necessary to listen a finished Werk or record a
midifile. maxWerk engages the Automute, Melody, and Transpose
functions as well as the Tempo Map. Metronome clicks are switched
off, and Improv is initially disabled, subject to the Automute window's
play controls that allow a section of Improv to switch in and out.
Plus/minus - see Tempo
Pointer – see Bar scroll
Quick mutes –
[Shift q] opens the Quick Mutes window for manual track control.
Scroll - see Bar scroll, Tempo scroll
Record notes - see Keyboard step entry, Step
Reset to Bar 1 The left-arrow key sets the counter to Bar 1 and resets all Werk
tracks and Melody Blocks. Mod wheel and pitch bend values are
reset to defaults on all assigned MIDI device channels, and in GS
mode, sound settings for all parts are restored to their last phatWerk
values. Play automatically stops before a reset. The main screen
bar counter briefly reads "resetting" while this takes place.
Reset to "go-to" bar
[Shift slash] sets the Werk to resume play from the last "go-to" bar.
Play automatically stops first, but track functions are not reset.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
Scales [Shift s] opens the Scales window, which also contains a subwindow for User Scale setup and the Bar Locators Editor.
Scroll - see Bar scroll, Tempo scroll
Setup - see Globals
Spacebar - see Play
Step - see Keyboard step entry
Sync [\] The backslash key toggles sending of MIDI beat clocks. Clock
and transposing notes are sent to an external device only if these
functions have been enabled in the Global Setup window. maxWerk
automatically syncs to incoming start, stop, and clock messages.
Tempo [Shift h] switches between full (at-tempo) rate of play and half-timed
play, which in turn determines the MIDI sync output tempo.
maxWerk displays the status of this function just beneath the tempo
indicator in the Main Screen.
Tempo scroll [- / =] The dash key and the equals-sign keys respectively
decrement and increment maxWerk's play tempo unless overridden
by Tempo Map activation in Performance mode.
Text - see Leadsheet
Transpose [Shift t] opens the Transposer window, where values for Tonics,
(+)Notes, Scales, and Keys can be generated, auditioned, and
hand-entered into a set of bar graph displays. This window includes
sub-window access buttons for pattern editing, the Chord Map, the
Global Offset Map, and the 'Copy & save progressions' window.
When the Transposer is opened, its functions engage automatically,
allowing stored data to take effect at each bar.
maxWerk - Copyright 2000-2007 Amanda Pehlke
Published by RedMoon Music -
[Shift x] toggles the Transposing function.
When the Transposer is disabled, the following key commands are
operational, enabling manual changes of mode:
The number keys 1-7 transpose within the current scale by shifting
the Tonic pitch, or root, and the equivalent value is assigned to the
Any key in the set [Q-W-E-R-T-Y-U], for as long as it is pressed,
transposes value 8 independently of the other step values. These
keys assign current scale pitches from 1 through 7 to all the (+)Note
data at value 8 without changing the current Tonic. Releasing the
held key restores the (+)Note to its default, which is always the
same as the current Tonic value.
[0] (Zero) normally restores both Tonic and (+)Notes to their default
value of 1. During keyboard step entry it temporarily enters a
skipped step, creating a rest.
The up and down arrow keys change the Transposing Key by
Contact Information
The author hopes you find as much creative stimulus in maxWerk
as we do! To inquire or comment about maxWerk, or for further help
and explanation, send email to:
[email protected]
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