Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding your question, but from how I read it it seems as though you’re looking for a “1” beat from your clock, but clock pulses don’t distinguish between beats as far as putting an emphasis on any particular pulse, so how would you expect to achieve your result? I don’t use Marbles in this mode, so everyone feel free to educate me if I’m off base…


Use a quarter note or even whole note clock.
Marbles will be in phase with your clock always but not necessarily with what you perceive as the 1.
also, you should always use clocks with a 50% duty cycle as per to oliviers instructions.


Ah, I see…
Thanks for the replies. I was thought that after 5 seconds the clock would reset, but I guess that won’t reset the clock to a fixed phase. Not a very big deal, still a great module.


As @ksparling says, clock signals carry no information about what step the receiving module is to play on receiving a clock pulse.

That’s why more conventional sequencer modules have a Reset input.

Marbles isn’t a conventional sequencer module, though, and is designed to produce continuous streams of trigger and CV signals, so the concept of ‘phase’ doesn’t really apply.

I can understand how this is a little confusing though, and arguably, a Reset input would have made some sense, in the case of the particular mode you’re talking about.

It wouldn’t have added anything useful to the other two modes, though, and I guess having an input that only operates in one particular mode would be odd.


I personally think a reset input would have added much to the module, performance-wise. My thinking here is that once you déjà vu something and hold it, the listener learns the rhythm/melody - then messing with it using the reset input would simply be a way to intrigue the listener. But I guess it’s never happening, so this is just idle reflection :slight_smile:


Probably some crafty coder could come up with some way of utilizing an input for a reset?
After all, if people take the time to write entire parasites for mutable modules…


Oh yeah, that’s true. There lies my hope :slight_smile: Didn’t even think of that possibility.


Doesn’t have hitting the illuminated push buttons a very similar effect?
Or a slowly mutating sequence by setting Deja Vu past 1 o’clock?

Reset button or trigger resp. in terms of Rotation: Ok you can let the Module know when to reset, but to what note should it be reset to? How would Marbles know what note you perceive as 1 1 1 1 and what the starting note after the reset should be?

You’re basically describing how i imagined to use Metropolis as i contemplated buying it.
Create a sequence (which you can also set randomly) and mess with the step length to rotate or alter it. Maybe Metropolis is something for you?


I’m not familiar enough with Marbles’ workings to give an informed answer, but you have great points – I, in my mind, tie the one to the moment when you press the push button, but that might not be what actually happens.

What drew me to Marbles was the fact that you have controllable randomness, and I see resets as being a step towards that direction. Some other person mentioned getting the Grids mode to align so that the ‘kick’ gate is on the one, which I think is a similar situation. There’s no problem in going off searching for new dimensions, but surely we agree that a kickdrum is often on the one? :slight_smile: So, I guess my viewpoint is that I’m fairly “pop” in my musical tastes, by euro standards :smiley: But yes, I hear you about the Metropolis, too!


Yikes! Now we’re out in the weeds! Let’s agree that in many forms of western popular music the kick falls on the one, but I need only remind you of the multiple forms of Jamaican “one drop” music, from reggae through dub, which explicitly eliminate the kick on the one – to magnificent effect!

My impression from your descriptions is that a sequencer, which assigns value to voltages in a cycling queue is a better way to get the effect you’re after than adapting a deliberately random-generating module to that purpose.


Hehe. I know the kick drum thing is provocative, but refer to my mention of my pop sensibilities :slight_smile:

And yes, something like a Metropolis of course excels at this type of thing, but I feel Marbles has great potential for similar stuff – but done differently.

In any case, this discussion is nice – and I know I’m kind of swimming against what Marbles’ philosophy could be, but it’s sometimes fun to do that. Appreciate the sensible comments, they give me lots of food for thought concerning my approach to Marbles.


Note that if you stop the clock signal for a few seconds, it’ll reset to the first beat when the clock resumes.


I’ve been using exactly that technique of stopping clock for a few seconds and then restarting it to get the Marbles to loop in sync with my Analog 4. However, I’ll often have a great melodic phrase that musically starts on the third beat (for example) when I’ve reset to the first beat. What would be useful to me is a way to shift/rotate the locked loop so I can get that melodic phrase that was on the third beat to be on the first.

That said, I’m loving Marbles for what it is. The bias and spread on the X side is an endless source of inspiration.


A shift/rotate function would male more sense than a reset, given how Marbles works.


If it is clocked externally, is it possible to run the clocksignal through an OR first, and have something like ears as well to tap additional clock pulses in, there by advancing Marbles an extra step? It may stutter the timing until the predictive clock evens back out in a couple pulses?


Shakmat Modular’s Bishop’s Miscellany module allows you to record 2 CV and gate pairs into a buffer, which can be shifted so it starts at a different step.

It’s a very different module, so I’m neither suggesting it as an alternative to Marbles, nor that the feature should necessarily be added to Marbles.


You can use Temps Utile in conjunction with Marbles to offset or shift triggers using the SEQ mode - I’ve done the same thing when using Temps with O&C Quantermain where you can face similar challenges

In effect you are offsetting the “other stuff” to marry up with where you identify the “start” of a melody.

I’ve not tried it yet, but maybe leaving a long enough empty section of the trigger pattern might also serve as a reset for Marbles - something to experiment with!


I will say that these limitations can lead to some really interesting creative possibilities and I’m constantly amazed at the really interesting musical output which can be had from this “generated” approach, it’s really liberating and between Marbles and Quantermain I have no desire for a traditional sequencer in my setup.


Is the BeatStep Pro’s clock out a good option to clock Marbles ?
Which option is the best ?

  • 1 pulse par step : 16 in a 4/4 row, so a division by 4 is needed to convert in bpm
  • 24 ppqn (pulse per quarter note) : standard DIN sync
  • 48 ppqn

Maybe it’s better to use a separate drum out to clock at the wanted bpm ?


1 pulse per-step would be the obvious choice, I think. Then again, using one of the drum outputs could be fun, as you could trigger a new sample on Marbles in other ways than on straight 16ths.