I’ve taken thIs quotes from the Clouds manual: “Clouds (Beads) rewards the freezing, fragmentation and dissolution of the unexpected instant, rather than the careful planning of what might very well not come.”
This 45 minute video shows a lot of examples with acoustic instruments:
This is a patch I set up yesterday:
1: Plaits - 2: Ripples - 3: Warps - 4: Rings - 5: Beads - 6: Overseer (with each module under 7:modulation).
You could set this up with a different modular than mine as such:
1: harmonically rich oscillator drone (could be a mix of more than one oscillator: modulated sound sources such as pwm, fm, am, sync, etc).
2: filter of your choice
3: effects which change over time. You could use a multiple of your filtered drone and send it to whatever effects you have eg: distortion, wavefolder, ring mod, chorus, delay, etc. these effects then could go into a sequential switch which you play one at a time or into say a four-channel vca mixer where each effected voice comes in and out at different times.
4: Rings if you have one. If not you could skip this. You could also maybe use a reverb where you manually change the parameters.
5: Beads. Input can be mono or stereo. I have it set fully wet so that you are only hearing the grains. Reverb and feedback to taste. Quality setting to taste, but the two longer settings are more likely to scatter the variety at the input. I have Time at noon and use heavy internal modulation (fully clockwise) to get maximum randomisation. Density is set to about 2 o’clock to create occassional random flurries of sound. Shape is set to an envelope shape I like which is then subtlety internally modulated. Something I like doing is setting Size to the minimum envelope length I want and then using interesting unipolar modulation to increase the length. For this patch the is probably the key ingredient. I have chosen not to modulate the Pitch in this patch. When I do I will either go ‘wild’ with unplanned internal modulation, or more regularly sequence the pitch in time to triggers I am sending the seed input with Density at noon. Alternatively, I set up Beads to fire a trigger with each grain (out of right output) and use this trigger to advance an external pitch sequencer. If it any time there is a tone that you like you can manually press freeze and have this stored in the buffer until you want to return to the more varied input signal again.
6: filtering after Beads is of course optional. I often use WMD overseer because it has stereo high pass and low pass filtering. The stereo operation maintains the interesting stereo panning of Beads. In this patch I did the post-Beads filtering manually.
7: Modulation. The key to this patch is that the input signal to Beads is constantly evolving and at the same time drastically changing. Therefore it is necessary to have quite a bit of interesting modulation to achieve these changes/evolutions. Of course use what you’ve got and experiment.
Obviously this all goes into a mixer, output, speakers etc… Because this patch was all about evolving ambience I put some external reverb over the top as a send effect.
If you’d like some other examples give me an idea of what you would like?