Grids / Trigger man
  • Hello,

    I found similarities between the two products ( Would someone experienced with both tell me his opinion on them ?

  • None then… ^^

  • From the Triggerman manual:

    A sequence is a set of 8 steps. Each output jack has its own sequence. You can think of it as an 8X8 grid, with steps in the X axis and the outputs in the Y axis – just like the step and output LEDs on the panel. A pattern is a set of 8 sequences. There are 8 pattern memories.
    In Algorithmic Mode, the Step LEDs at the top of the module show the sequence of on and off steps for one output jack at a time. An illuminated LED corresponds to a positive 12 volts on the output jack for that step. An off LED represents a rest where the output jack is zero volts (grounded). One of the output LEDs on the right side of the module is illuminated to indicate which output is currently being edited. Turn Knob 1 to increase or decrease the complexity of the sequence. Complexity is the term we use to describe the number of on steps and the rests between them. There are 36 levels of complexity, including all steps off and all steps on. Most of the possible step sequences are simply shifted versions of other sequences.Turn Knob 2 to shift the steps to the right or left.

    Thus each of the 8 trigger outputs has an 8 step sequence, and knob 1 progressively mask the steps, and knob 2 phase shifts them (or bit shifts them since there are only 8 steps). It looks like there is a single voltage control input available to change the knob 1 & 2 values.

    I won’t reproduce the Grids manual here, but has three gate/trigger outputs, and uses a Kohonen self-organising map of rhythms obtained from analysis of lots of music, no doubt using automated rhythm extraction methods developed by Dr Gillet while working on his doctoral thesis. Two controls or voltages steer the played rhythm around this Kohonen map. Plus there are facilities for injecting elements of randomness into the large scale rhythmic structure. And it also does purely Euclidean algorithimic rhythms too.

    Thus one of these two modules uses computer science and mathematical techniques to generate pleasing, varied rhythms in an intellectually elegant manner, and one doesn’t.

  • Thus one of these two modules uses computer science and mathematical techniques to generate pleasing, varied rhythms in an intellectually elegant manner, and one doesn’t.

    to be fair, both are fine modules, only the concept behind them is very different. Grids is more easily used as a preset machine. It sure can be tweaked, but you will not be able to program specific rhythms.
    The Triggerman (but never used it) seems to be a conventional 8-step trigger sequencer. Unconventional is only the way of trigger entry. All possible sequences are arranged in a table and you dial them in with two knobs (all 36 basic patterns plus phase shifts). Neighboring sequences are not necessarily musically related. However, unlike Grids, the triggerman allows you to actually input any sequence you like. So for the pleasing, varied rhythms you have to be the intellectually elegant one, not the module.

  • @morcego: yes, fair enough. I didn’t mean to unduly disparage the TriggerMan paradigm, just to point out that it is a (useful) extension of traditional 8-step rhythm sequencers, rather than a whole new way of approaching the problem of banging things with sticks and hammers in interesting but pleasing ways.

    Thus, TriggerMan is the Klaus Dinger of eurorack drum trigger modules, while Grids is more, the um, err, Carl Palmer of such things. Personally, I’m old enough to like both Palmer and Dinger.

  • @Morcego
    Grids is no “Preset” Module. The actual playing Rhythm is calculated by a sophisticated Model based on analysis of a huge amount of Music. Having 6 Dimensions to tweak and 6 Outputs you would need an attached HD to have it move this smooth thru preprogrammed Patterns. Its not the classic machine drummy approach “choose a preset pattern” its more “hey, play me XYZ Style”. So while its right you can’t play a preprogrammed Pattern i can’t imagine why you would want to do this while you have Simon Phillips in a Box happily playing everything you want him to ;-)

  • OK, Grids is like having both Bill Bruford and Jamie Muir in your rack, whereas TriggerMan is like having Phil Collins in there.

  • I like Phil Collins for drums. Especially if he hits 2 CR78 Buttons simultaneously. The only other Person with that skill is Daryl Hall, but he is not a Drummer by profession ;-)

  • Grids is no “Preset” Module.

    I knew this had to come ;) ... the phrase was meant mainly as a bit deliberately provocative counterpoint to the “one pleasing and varied rhythms, the other not”, not so much as a comprehensive and fair description of the way Grids generates its output.

    That said, “Simon Phillips in a Box happily playing what I want” is actually pretty much my definition of a “preset machine”, and no one said present machines cannot be sophisticated and adaptive. In fact, there is a rather smooth transition between algorithmic composing and some of the more clever auto accompaniment/band-in-a-box algorithms. Does it matter? Probably not. In the end it depends how you use it, and for sure one can use Grids as a simple present machine for drums (maybe a waste of its potential, but still entirely possible), that is, to generate pleasing and sophisticated rhythms with an own contribution that amounts mainly to pushing the “play” button. And there isn’t even anything wrong with this. But, of course, one can also go beyond …

  • You don’t like Simon Phillips, don’t you? ;-)

  • I know it’s not directed at me,but can’t we get Billy Cobham in a box?! ;)

  • @jojjelito
    Just run your Simon Phillips in a box at 2,5V Supply Voltage – or your Phil Collins in a Box on 230V AC

  • You can get most drummers in a box, sooner than anyone expects. (RIP Klaus Dinger)

  • Ahh, that sad, and I didn’t mean to allude to those who have passed. Still, I would like there to be a little Billy Cobham, some Gota Yashiki, some Charlie Watts and of course the inimitable Clyde Stubblefield as part of the soul in the machine. Mix it up a bit.

    I’d kill for some Stax and Northern Soul settings… Yes, I’m a nerd and proud of it ;-)

  • Haha! Always trust in Spinal Tap to bring the weird :)
    These go to 11!

  • Is it bad that I just use my proto grids as a clock source at the moment?
    (Meh, I don’t have any eurorack drums, and while I plan on eventually buying and building a LXR, it doesn’t accept CV input at the moment, a point I’m thinking of raising if I ever get around to joining that forum..)

    And to get the thread re-railed –
    The difference is that the trigger man is more or less a (entirely user adjustable)sequencer, while the grids is a drum sequencer, with a map (X,Y) based recall of the individual patterns(non-adjustable), with accent outputs, and voltage control of both map coordinates and density.

  • Well… that escalated quickly.

    Thanks for the clarification !

  • Yeah, we are pro at escalating and derailing ;-)

  • well… after more than 3 years I finally bought a grids ^^

    Has anyone already made an extension to exploit the pcb patch points ? (asking just before I roll my own as midi input will be very useful for me…)

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