Dynamic Triggers: Repetition and Small Changes using TATAT

One of the newest members of the OOG (“out of grid”) family, TATAT looks fairly simple on the surface: select four notes and three tempi, and let probably sliders create a sequence of triggers.

In practice, however, TATAT is much more than the sum of its parts. With flexible controls to shape things either live or with automation, you’ll find that many of TATAT’s results are far more “human” feeling than anything you’d even come up with on a piano roll or classic step sequencer.

TATAT was inspired by the minimal repetitive sequencers and subtle variations of artists like Lorenzo Senni (and precursors like minimalist composer Terry Riley). Keeping Senni in mind, for this article let’s start with a rich “supersaw” sound from U-He’s DIVA synth, which emulates the Roland JP-8000 synth favored by Senni (and the 90s trance producers from which he gathers influence). We’ll start with a basic 16th-note sequence:

So far, so good – and for many tracks, this set of notes with subtle variations in the ordering is enough for building a track. But we can also make things more dynamic. Let’s add some variation in note length using the “rand” button, use the “bichord” option to add fifths and octaves and make chords at random points, and use the “les” slider to increase the probability that a note will stay silent. Now let’s hear the new result:

This sounds great! And with well-crafted changes, such a sequence could even be a full track. But let’s build a little bit more for this example.

TATAT sequencing Simpler
TATAT sequencing Simpler

I’ve sliced up a pad sample in Simpler, and am using TATAT to trigger select slices. I’m also using Twistor to give me some evolving OOG modulation on the cutoff of Simpler’s lowpass filter. Here’s how that sounds:

The sudden cuts of the slices would be repetitive with a normal sequence, but the variations provided by the probabilistic controls of timing and note triggers in TATAT make it easy to create something dynamic and grabbing.

Lastly, let’s hear the pad at the supersaw lead together – along with some drums triggered by AutoTrig:

Without putting a single note down on a piano role, I’ve got a track that evolves and leaves the grid only as much as I want it to. Of course, if I wantto set things to a grid, it’s as easy as clicking the “export” button in TATAT to create a Clip.

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