Music Theory: Introduction to Polyrhythms or Cross Rhythms

What are Polyrhythms?

Without going into too-technical theory, a polyrhythm is made from two or more rhythms that haven’t been designed to work together, played at the same time.

We classifying polymetre as a form of polyrhythm for the purposes of this tutorial, although some would argue that it doesn’t really qualify, since a polymetric piece of music doesn’t necessarily have to be polyrhythmic.

Famous examples of polymetric music include Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir (in which the drums and vocals are in 4/4, while everything else is in 3/4) and numerous tracks by Swedish metal outfit Meshuggah.

African and Latin music is heavily polyrhythmic in the more traditional sense of the word, with the ensemble coming together to create its rhythmically intricate overall effect.

The influence of African and Latin styles on jazz, pop, rock and dance music is evident in the involvement of polyrhythmic techniques in all of them. No matter how simple or complex its execution, several disparate elements combining to form a single.

Polymetre is the use of more than one time signature at the same time – usually on a per-instrument or per- element basis – but with everything playing at the same tempo.

Tremor Drum Machine VSTTremor drum machine developed by FXpansion has an ingeniously simple way of implementing polyrhythms.

The TransMod modulation system in Tremor is easier and deeper than a mod-matrix. It offers new sound design possibilities and lets you animate sounds with LFOs, step-automation sequences and real-time macro controls while the synthesis engine reacts just like real analogue circuits. Tremor’s sonic potential is showcased in the included suite of presets by a team of elite sound designers.

Tremor Main Features:

  • Synthetic drum machine software
  • DCAM-modelled synthesis and FX
  • Specialised oscillator with drumskin vibration partials
  • Filtering and drive with multiple responses
  • Deep, intuitive TransMod modulation system
  • Polyrhythmic pattern step-sequencer
  • VST, AU, RTAS and standalone for Mac and Windows

Read more details and specifications: Tremor (available for £99.00 at PluginBoutique.com)

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