Rhythms, noises, feedbacking patterns and modulation are the bread and butter of Strokes and version 2 brings in intelligent trigger manipulation, note rotation and Push 2 support.
It’s a complex box of extraordinary happenings. It triggers, pulsates, moves and grooves about the place, patterns endlessly changing and evolving but it a way that looks graspable and usable.
Strokes is built in Max For Live and runs as a device inside Ableton Live. It consists of a number of modules that define the parameters of its rhythmic explorations. The main focus is the big section in the middle where all the stroking occurs. Cong burn calls it a rhythmic flow controller and it generates complex Euclidean grooves. You have 4 parameters to play with – Length, Radius, Strokes and Shift and apparently that’s all you need to create everything from “Colombian Cumbia to Brazilian Bossa Nova to Bulgarian Rachenitsa” – sounds awesome!
Running along this main feature we have:
- Matrix: six overlapping step sequencers.
- Shares: trigger probability system.
- Patterns: Stores and recalls patterns by leaping or crossfading through patterns.
- Values: Defines certain settings and ranges.
- Weights: Envelope followers which converts the triggers and rhythms into modulation sources.
- Mapping & Recall: Where everything goes and back again.
The demo video is awesomely experimental and fascinating although I would like to see something a bit more basic just to have some idea as to what is going on.
Cong Burn developer John Howes says:
Its a lot of things… you could call it a euclidean groovebox, a generative feedback network, a modulation toolkit. It all depends on how you approach it. It was initially inspired by Jaki Liebezeit, the drummmer from Can, but has since spiralled into an all in one sequencing station.
Strokes 2.0 is available now for £25 and is well worth exploring.
- Cong Burn Strokes website.