Drifting Phantoms 90 BPM - 4/4 Ambient/Trance Lead Synth
hand diagram
This Ambient/Trance Performance features ghostly singing voices that drift in and out of the mix periodically, alternating with an occasional analog synth arpeggio. It consists of a somewhat funky drum groove with offbeat snare, coupled with a kick-accentuating bass line with some long bending notes, an analog synth in fifths with a slowly opening filter cutoff pattern, and a subtly randomized marimba pattern. What's interesting is that the previously mentioned ghostly voices and analog synth arpeggio are being produced by a single KARMA module, using the GE's two phases with high and low note transpositions and controlling which voices they play by key-zoning the voices in the Motif song. Hence, there are six different sounding parts being generated by five Modules. The sixth Module is triggered by the Fill button to provide a complimentary drum fill with some radically different configurations in the various scenes.

A sweeping atmospheric synth pad comprised of three different voice layers is provided in the LH/KARMA area, while the RH area provides a dark monophonic analog lead with portamento and filter cutoff control on the mod wheel (along with vibrato) and filter cutoff and resonance control on the ribbon. A.Sw2 adds an additional element tuned down a fourth to the lead, while A.Sw1 modulates filter cutoff and resonance on the Synth and Voices/Arp to create an alternate tonal variation. In this Performance, the A.Switches are not set to be stored in the scenes, so they can be freely toggled on and off at any time without scene changes affecting them. Some radically different sounding scenes have been configured in this one, and listen out for Scene 8 which takes the whole thing in a different, more improvisational and experimental direction!
Left Hand: Sweeping layered synth pad
Right Hand: Dark analog lead (mono) w/ portamento
A.Sw2 = add fourth below
Split Points: * B2/C3
Motif Arps/Special Notes
  • Two Motif arps can be added as additional elements: Pads 9 to 12 trigger a vocoder-like chordal pattern, while Pads 13 to 16 trigger a bouncy plucked synth riff - both of which have ascending scale steps based on the last-played chord and can be layered on top of each other.
  • In several of the scenes, one or more parts are muted to provide space - but be sure to try unmuting them for additional variations and real-time mixing.
Pads 1-8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chord Progression: C Min Bb Maj Ab Maj G Min F Min Eb Maj Db Maj C Maj
Pads 9-16 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Arp1: Vocoder, Arp2: Plucked Arp1 (root) Arp1 (2nd) Arp1 (3rd) Arp1 (4th) Arp2 (root) Arp2 (2nd) Arp2 (3rd) Arp2 (4th)
Exclusive: Ex1, Scene Change Ex2, Scene Change
KARMA Module 1 2 3
Instrument: Drums Bass Synth
GE: 04/018 03/018 02/007
GE Name: Funky Jazz Funk Bass w/Bend Rhythmic Synth 2
Category: Drum Bass Pattern Melodic
RTC Model: DP1 - Drum/Perc 1 BL1 - Bass/Lead 1 CL1 - Comp/Lead 1
KARMA Module 4 5 6
Instrument: Marimba Voices/Arp Fill-Drums
GE: 02/014 01/103 04/008
GE Name: Subtle Mallet 1 Voices & Arp Fill-PopRock 5 [k1s1] 2
Category: Melodic Arpeggio Drum
RTC Model: CL1 - Comp/Lead 1 CL1 - Comp/Lead 1 DF1 - Drum Fill 1
MASTER LAYER
RT Controls Modules Name Function
1 2 3 4 5 6
Switch 1: x           Rhythm Multiplier [1] Multiplies the rhythm of the Drums by 200% (half-time)
Switch 2:   x         Rhythm Multiplier [2] Multiplies the rhythm of the Bass by 200% (half-time)
Switch 3:     x       Time Signature [3] Changes the time signature of the Synth from 2/4 to 8/4, lengthening the phrase
Switch 4:       x     Time Signature [4] Changes the time signature of the Marimba from 2/4 to 4/4, lengthening the phrase
Switch 5:     x       FX/Ctrl Fixed/Patn[3] Activates a slowly swelling filter cutoff pattern on the Synth
Switch 6:   x         Octave [2] Transposes the octave of the Bass
Switch 7:     x       Octave [3] Transposes the octave of the Synth
Switch 8:       x     Octave [4] Transposes the octave of the Marimba
Slider 1: x x x x x x Rhythm Swing % Varies the swing feel for all six Modules
Slider 2: x x x x x   Rhythm Complexity Varies the rhythmic activity of the Drums, Bass, Synth, Marimba, and Voices/Arp
Slider 3:   x x x x   Duration Control Varies the length of notes for the Bass, Synth, Marimba, and Voices/Arp
Slider 4:   x x x x   Velocity Accents Varies the velocity levels of certain notes for the Bass, Synth, Marimba, and Voices/Arp
Slider 5: x           Alternate Drum Map Selects one of many alternate mappings for the Drums
Slider 6: x           Percussion Pattern Selects one of many percussion patterns for the Drums
Slider 7:     x       Note Pattern [3] Selects one of many note patterns for the Synth
Slider 8:       x     Note Pattern [4] Selects one of many note patterns for the Marimba
Wheels Function
Pitch Bend on the RH synth lead
Mod (CC01) Vibrato and filter cutoff modulation on the RH synth lead
Tone 1 Knobs Modules Keyboard IFX/ MFX Controller CC# Function
1 2 3 4 5 6 LH RH
Knob 1: x         x       Filter Cutoff 74 Controls filter cutoff on the Drums and Fill
Knob 2: x         x       Resonance 71 Controls resonance on the Drums and Fill
Knob 3:               x   AEG Attack 73 Controls amplitude EG attack time on the RH lead synth
Knob 4:               x   AEG Decay 75 Controls amplitude EG decay time on the RH lead synth
Knob 5:               x   AEG Sustain 31* Controls amplitude EG sustain level on the RH lead synth
Knob 6:               x   AEG Release 72 Controls amplitude EG release time on the RH lead synth
Knob 7: x     x   x     x Assign 1 16 Controls the amount of reverb on the Drums, Fill and Marimba
Knob 8:     x x       x x Assign 2 17 Controls the amount of delay on the Synth, Marimba and RH lead synth
For an explanation of how these parameters relate to different Yamaha Models, see the Tone 1 Knobs Reference. *AEG Sustain is SysEx for XS/XF (no CC).
Other Controllers Modules Keyboard IFX/ MFX CC# Function
1 2 3 4 5 6 LH RH
A. Switch 1:     x   x         86 Modulates filter cutoff and resonance on the Synth and Voices/Arp for an alternate tonal variation
A. Switch 2:               x   87 Adds an additional element to the RH synth lead down a fourth
Ribbon:               x   22 Controls filter cutoff and resonance on the RH synth lead
Damper:             x     64 Latches the LH synth pad
Scenes (Master) Description
Scene 1 (simplest) - an echoing sparse drum groove with filter modulation, a single bent bass note every 8 beats, synth plays single root notes in fifths, a sustaining voice chord that pans slowly around, a 3-note synth arpeggio in the fourth bar of the eight-bar phrase, marimba is muted; panning sparse high-pitched snare and toms fill ending in vibraslap
Scene 2 (simpler) - drums move to ride and backbeat piccolo snare and analog snare, ghostly panning random voice notes, randomized synth arpeggio every 4 bars with repeated notes, throbbing single note bass with bend, repetitive marimba pattern, synth is muted; panning snare and toms fill with tight delays
Scene 3 (simpler) - drums move to a solid syncopated feel with alternate kick/snare, half-time bass, low voice note drone with short duration synth arpeggio every 4 bars, marimba doubles up with a fifth interval, synth is muted; downwards bending snare and toms fill
Scene 4 (simpler) - pitch-bending drums and percussion, throbbing single note bass line, ascending melodic repeats on the marimba, ghostly panning random voice notes, randomized synth arpeggio every 4 bars with repeats, L/R synth notes in fifths; panning snare and toms fill with tight delays
Scene 5 (simpler) - a simplified version of the startup groove with a high snare noise, simplified bass (no bends), synth and marimba similar to startup scene, sparse ghostly panning random voice notes, randomized synth arpeggio every 4 bars with repeats; high-pitched bending snare and toms fill
Scene 6 (startup) - the basic full groove; straight snare/kick/hi-hat fill
Scene 7 (busier) - really picks up with drums moving to the ride and sidestick and a tambourine pattern, funky bass line variation, marimba moves to a higher variation, sparse ghostly panning random voice notes, ascending higher synth arp every 4 bars, synth fifths variation; panning low-pitched snare and toms fill with slow delays
Scene 8 (busiest/improv) - an experimental/improvisational variation suitable for a breakdown, with randomized pitch-bending drums and perc with tight delays, a climbing synth riff, bass line variation with bends, ghostly voices alternate with synth arp notes and a climbing riff every 4 bars, sparse marimba; ascending pitch-bending panning fill with tight delays