Building a Melody with Cycling Samples

One way to make a melody is to cycle through notes whose root has been pitched up or down by half or whole steps. Follow along with the Electronic Drum School video below or read on for the instructions on how to build a melodic drum in Sensory Percussion with cycling samples.

Check out the other installments in this series on the Sunhouse Blog or on Youtube.

First you'll need to create a sampler and set it to cycle.

an empty Sensory Percussion sampler set to cycle with the cycle parameter highlighted

Next, drag a tonal sample into the sampler. Consider turning on retrig so that the eventual cycled samples don't layer over each other (which sometimes sounds cool).

A sampler loaded with one tonal sample with the retrig parameter highlighted.

With a right click, copy/paste the tonal sample, then change its root note to the next step in the melody.

Displays the right click action required to copy and paste the sampler. The changed root note of the pasted sample is highlighted and changed to 3.

Repeat copying and pasting the sample and changing its root note for as many notes as you want in the melody. Whenever you want a break in the melody, you can:

Copy/paste the tonal sample again, and deselect normalize.

the normalize sample parameter is deselected and highlighted.

Trim the sample to the end of the sample (where there is essentially no sound -- or pick a different sample that has a silent part and trim so that the silent part is selected)

The sample trimmer is shown with the selection trimmed to the very end of the sample where there is no sound.

And now you know how to create a melodic cycle using Sensory Percussion! Watch the EDS video embedded above to learn how to reset your cycle using the “rim-tip” (or any) zone.

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Lenny 'The Ox' Reece is controlling a melody on the floor tom with cycled notes.
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