Saturday, July 27, 2013

Noatikl for iPad pt. 5

In the last tutorial, we finished off our drum parts which were all hooked up to MIDI channel 10. This tutorial is going to add a nice acoustic guitar to our song. As the picture above shows, we have Sampletank playing its guitar part on MIDI channel 1 using samples for a nylon string acoustic.

In Noatikl, we are going to add a new voice by press ing the + button in the design window, selecting fixed pattern voice and pressing the Add button on the upper right hand of the screen.


Press OK to merge it into the current song file and rename it to Guitar. By default, it should be connected to MIDI channel 1. If it isn't, just drag for the voice to the MIDI channel.


For the guitar, we will use several patterns but we also want the guitar to play its own thing 25% of the time. As before, we will create some patterns and set the percent use to 75%. So far, we have used only rhythmic patterns such as <100 R -60 30 30 -60 60>. For the guitar part, we will use another pattern type in Noatikl where we specify both the rhythm and the note interval. The note interval is a relative number within the scale we specified and means that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. note of the scale will be played.

Instead of the "R" in the pattern, we will use "B" and we will specify both note length and note interval. Our first pattern is:

<100 B 60 5 60 8 60 12 60 2>

100 is the relative weight or probability, "B" means both rhythm and notes, and the next numbers are pairs that specify duration and pitch. This pattern plays a quarter note 5th, a quarter note 8th (meaning first note of scale but one octave up), a quarter note 12th (octave up 5th), and then a quarter note 2nd.

We are going to adjust the root pitch to be 33 (this is I think A#) in the pitch slider in the basics screen for the voice.


Notice that the use patch is turned off for this voice. We are not using General MIDI codes here. We are using a sampled instrument. The patch name shows guitar but it is not relevant (I selected the patch just for documentation purposes).

While we are here, I'm going to set the note rest % to 10 to give the patterns some variation. 10% of the notes will be replaced with silence giving us a little syncopation.


If we play at this point, you should hear a boring one note guitar sound as well as your drums. Let's add two more patterns with same 100 weight (makes each of them equally likely) so our pattern looks like:


Let's make some chords now. We want the chords to be strummed and to be either 3,4 or 5 strings. Go to the Chords screen and specify 3 for the chord depth (meaning 3 strings will sound) and 2 for the depth range (this will vary the number up to 3+2 strings).

The default strategy says Chordal harmony but we will change it to Interval within Scale Rule to use sounds closer together as a real guitar would sound. In the Shift/Interval field put 2 so we get 3rds or 5ths. I also put the Shift Interval range at 2 to provide some variety. Experiment with these! The Delay on the chard is set to zero with a range of 4. This means each note of the chord may have a few ms delay which makes them sound 'strummed'. Again, experiment. If you play now, you'll hear some nice rhythms and chord progressions.


Lastly, remember that we put 75% on the use pattern percentage, so we need a rhythm rule to use for the other 25%. Set it to Slow:

Voila! We now have drum and guitar playing together. Next parts will cover a flute and some vocals.



  1. Thanks Michael. Coming along nicely!

  2. Appreciate the feedback - takes much longer to describe than to do it :)