Beat Mangler X is an automatic splice and stutter instrument that generates variations of a looped sample. This instrument is a descendant of the beat mangler Jean-Luc and I designed back in 2007. We’ve created several versions since, with today’s example having a reduced set of features compared to its ancestors. It supports random splicing, stereo stuttering and splice enveloping. The randomness of the instrument is controlled in the score; The user sets the odds that a random splice or stutter will occur. Though it shares many qualities of the built-in opcodes bbcutm and bbcuts, it definitely has its own personality. Since it is also coded in Csound, the internals of the instrument are exposed, and can easily be modified. For example, adding random pitch control.
There are two main principles used to drive the mangler. 1) Using a phasor to read through a stored loop in memory. 2) Using random for musical purposes. These will be covered this week as we continue with more synthesizer fundamentals tutorials.
Download beat_mangler_x.csd here.
For the source material of the audio example, we used the infamous Amen Break, “a brief drum solo performed in 1969 by Gregory Cylvester “G. C.” Coleman in the song “Amen, Brother” performed by the 1960s funk and soul outfit The Winstons.” You can acquire the loop in Step 1 of the Audio Tuts article Make a Crazy Drum and Bass Breakbeat by Slicing and Dicing in FL Studio. The loop itself has a fascinating history, which the following video makes apparent:
If you want to play with the instrument, which I highly recommend, try modifying the csd file in the following ways and see how far you can get: Load in a different loop, change the tempo, and play with the various p-fields. And of course, ask questions if you have any.