Marbles alongside O&C Quantermain?

Hi folks - Marbles is the only one of the most recent MI releases I haven’t ordered as yet (Stages is in my rack, and Plaits is pre-ordered so will hopefully arrive in the next week or three as part of the next run).

I currently use O&C Quantermain as the musical brain of my setup, predominately using the included integer sequences to generate 3 to 4 channels of melodic content, alongside this Temps Utile provides triggers. Looking from the outside, Marbles seems like a wonderful means of getting similar results as well as providing an inbuilt really useful source of triggers (and more!).

My question is has anyone used Marble in conjunction with Quantermain and do you feel they complement each other or is it a case that they cover a lot of the same ground and you use one or the other?

My gut feeling is that they will play very well together, but would value some insight from those who use both before I decide to buy!

Yeah, I’d say the go very well together. You might want to use a precision adder to allow a Marbles to transpose O&C Quantermain pitch CVs or v-v. The 2:2 section of MI Links is very suitable for this (I only wish there were a version of Links with three 2:2 sections). Marbles into CopierMaschine probably sounds rather good too. If you have enough VCOs you could have 6 voices (two directly from Marbles and one into four from Marbles via CopierMaschine). And so on…

With some clock dividers (Temps Utile), O&C could add some higher-level structure through transposing to Marbles pitch CV output, or v-v. Second or higher order structural variation is what is lacking from all current generative sequencers in Eurorack, but it can be added by using generative sequences in combination (plus precision adders and clock dividers).


Thanks for replying! Yes, I’ve used Links in that type of capacity before,

One of my initial thoughts when seeing the first few videos was being able to use switches to flip between Marbles and Quantermain outputs for structural variation but I’ve found the biggest challenge with that when using generated melodies is having those switches flip at musically convenient points without fiddly use of triggers which are offset to suit.

I’m also intrigued by the potential for Marbles t section to trigger channels in interesting ways and for the X Generator to influence various parameters as a piece progresses and being able to actively tweak these parameters…I guess I need to try it to see! :slight_smile:

Marbles also has a built-in quantizer, which is quite different in its approach from Quantermain… and anything else I’ve seen so far.
The big fun with Marbles is to be able to influence the scale density, register, distribution and looping/randomness of the quantized pitches in real time, which is really cool once you get the hang of it (which doesn’t take much).
O&C on the other hand is much more focused on being a module with very fine-grained control over parameters which you set up and then mostly let do its thing. So I think they both have their strengths and can take care of different areas of a modular patch. One being more about jamming and performing the other more about creating a complex system that plays autonomously. How you combine these is of course up to you, but it makes sense to use each for their strength.


Thanks for the reply Papernoise, I appreciate your input - Certainly in my case most of the tweaking with Quantermain is done to reach a particular “place” where something harmonious and musically interesting is happening - So another use case for Marbles in this context could be to provide content which can be more readily influenced but retains a degree of consonance with the other elements…food for thought!

As I understand it, Marbles should be able to learn whatever scale(s) (including non-equal temperaments, microtonal scales, microtonal scales etc which O&C emit) and the histogram for the notes being output by Quantermain from that scale. Thus it should be able to produce accompaniment with variations to whatever Quantermain emits.

Yes that is correct and is indeed a possible application. One thing to keep in mind though is that Marbles will not learn the scale in real-time. You have to actively enter learn mode, then send a pair of CV+Gates to it, so it can learn the notes and after you sent it enough save the scale to a slot (which is done automatically when you leave learn mode).
So this works well if you stay in one scale or set of pitches.

I actually imagine it to be the opposite. Quantermain creates the accompainment… while Marbles does the main voice. A bit like it works in classic Jazz, where the drums and bass create the more solid, repetitive foundation onto which the trumpet or saxophone improvise.

I’ve been curious, does it remember the octave and frequency of the notes or is it more like you play in C maj and marbles figures the scale out?

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I use O&C after Marbles (which is after Monome) to change key and transpose octaves. I cannot figure out how to do those two things wo/ the o&c. Pls lmk if you have a better way.

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LPZW do a module wk1, that I believe can be modified (basically a jumper, iirc, it;s called the “aroom mod”) that can act as a 3 in 3 out transposer - just send a quantized voltage to the cv in and it should work - obviously it won’t do anything complicated, which maybe o_c can, but it will get the basics I think, and it’s pretty cheap €85 from schneidersladen

Hey I know this is old and you probably already know the answer, but for the sake of future internet researchers:

The way Marbles learns scales is very customizable. It weighs the “importance” of notes based on how frequently they appear on the Spread CV input. You could, for instance, send a series of notes such as this:

[C1, G1, C2, E2, G2, C3, E3, G3, A3, C4, D4, E4, F4, G4, A4, B4]

And you will get only root in 5th in the low end, with the occasional 3rd one octave up, while the higher registers will include more notes from the C scale. You can also tell it that certain notes should show up more. How? Playing that note more often.

It’s important to note that it isn’t necessary to play the notes in order like above. You can just run some keyboard riffs and solos for 30 seconds and it will figure it out. I would just suggest making sure your root note gets a fair amount of attention during the jam to make sure it gets anchored around that note.

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