Syntheogen Guide

Track Properties

Updated July 19, 2014

The TRACK PROPERTIES dialog is displayed by tapping the title bar on the TRACK SYNTH or TRACK EFFECTS dialogs:

TRACK PROPERTIES dialog

TRACK PROPERTIES dialog

The dialog contains the following controls:

NAME Sets the name of the track.
LENGTH

Sets the pattern length, which cannot be less than four beats or greater than 64 beats.

It is permissible to assign different lengths to tracks in the same loop, and this provides an easy way to create polyrhythms. For a two-against-three rhythm, create one pattern four beats long, another six beats long, and set the loop repeat length to twelve; the loop will repeat the first track three times and the second twice before restarting both at the same time.
(SCALE tonic) Opens the SCALE TONIC dialog, which you can use to set the pattern's tonic note. Changing the tonic transposes the pattern, shifting the pitch of each step by a constant amount. Because the intervals between steps are maintained, this leaves the basic character of melodies and chords unchanged.
(SCALE type)

Pitches are represented as rows in the LOOP STEPS dialog. Tapping this control lets you change the scale or mode of the track; this presents a different set of pitches in the LOOP STEPS view, and it also modulates set steps to fit the new scale or mode. This changes the character of melodies and harmonies without changing the tonic note.

Different scales and modes contain different numbers of notes:

Scale or mode Length
Chromatic 12
Diminished 8
Major, Minor, Harmonic minor, Melodic minor, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Locrian 7
Whole tone 6
Pentatonic major, Pentatonic minor 5

If you change from a longer scale to a shorter one, there is a chance that notes which were on separate lines will now overlap at some point on the same line. Set steps are not allowed to overlap, so if this happens, one of the steps will be deleted. More generally, because changing to a shorter scale requires that some lines be merged, it is not always possible to restore the original pattern by returning to the longer scale. If you attempt to make such a change, Syntheogen will warn you that the change may not be reversible, and will not proceed without confirmation.

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