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Morfing with the Kawai K5000 made easy!
So you have read the manual. And you know how to edit harmonic levels (DHL). But editing harmonic envelopes (DHE) is still something you consider unintuitive, if not painful. (So do I.) Therefore, you have tried that promising, mysterious MORF function. But you don't lose the feeling that your results are just a matter of chance.
Well, they don't have to!
This little tutorial is meant to give you a basic understanding of the MORF function, to eliminate some of its obstacles and traps and to provide a sort of recipe to begin your creative work with.
Are you ready? Here we go!


What MORF does (and what not)
MORF is an alternative to editing harmonic envelopes (DHE) for an ADD source.
It calculates the DHE values from the harmonic level (DHL) settings of other existing patches. Here is a major difference to "normal" parameter editing - it's a function that alters 576 values at the push of a single button! Have a look at either the Harmonic Envelope View or the Harmonic Envelope Multiview menu - the values that you see there are the ones which are changed by the execution of a morf - no others!
In order to invoke this calculation, you must first put the appropriate ADD source in Morf Mode, then enter some parameters in the Morf menu and finally press a start button.
Morf is executed for one source at a time, not for the whole patch - and, of course, only for ADD sources!
There are still lots of other parameters in a patch to be edited by you, like pitch, filters, LFO and so on. None of them will be "morfed", whatever this could mean. But because they strongly influence the overall sound, you should keep them as neutral as possible (like in the template patch) while you are morfing around.
The result of the Morf calculation is a (more or less) smooth transition between the DHL spectra of 4 original ADD sources. They correspond to the 4 DHE phases: ATK-DC1-DC2-RLS. Every harmonic does the transition between different levels, but in the same time. The result can not only be listened to, but also be visually inspected in the DHE menus.
Morf mode implies that the DHL parameters of the appropriate source are not in use: No Soft spectrum, no Loud spectrum, and no velocity crossfade between them. But that's not really a drawback, because you can switch back to Normal Mode once the morfing is done.

Obstacles and Traps
  • There are no source selection buttons in the Additive menu where you select Normal/Morf mode. But this of all menus is the only one where the selected source's mode can be set (depending on whether you push a right-side or a left-side button)! You have to memorize which source was selected in the previous screen, wherever you came from, to know whose source's mode is being set.
    If you are in, say, the DHL submenu of a normal source and then select a source which was set to morf mode before, this doesn't mean that you change it to normal mode just by that. Don't get confused by the fact that you can do DHL edits with the morf source then - they won't have an effect.
  • The dynamic range of the original sources' spectra is restricted: Only DHL levels from 64 to 127 are usable. All lower values will be treated as 64.
  • Don't forget that all DHLs of the ADD source are assumed to be maximum (127) as long as it is in morf mode. So take them into account again when you switch back to normal mode in order to refine DHE's. You can avoid confusion by setting all DHLs to maximum (like in the template patch) before you start your morf/refine experiments. You can still edit the DHL spectrum when morfing is done.
  • If the levels of a harmonic of two successive original sources are equal, then one of them is slightly altered by morfing - why? Because of a strange behavior of the harmonic envelope mechanism which results in a zero time difference if start and end levels of an envelope phase are equal. (This applies generally for DHE's, not only for morf results.) So watch out when you refine DHE's by hand - you may accidentally make successive levels of a harmonic equal, the envelope phase will be skipped for that harmonic and, as a result, the patch may sound strange.
  • The manual shows a nice, but incomplete graphic in the MORF section: There should be an additional spectrum to the left with harmonic levels which are all zero. This represents the "key-down" moment. Draw (or imagine) the bundle of rising slopes to the "Phase1" spectrum, like between the other phases. Now you can see the 4 transition times associated to the 4 spectra.

Step1 - Prepare
Download the file "mrftmplt.zip", unzip the patch "MRFTMPLT.KA1" to a diskette and load it to some location in your K5000's memory.
The "MrfTmplt" template patch is prepared to contain both the morf origin and destination sources. This is meant to facilitate your work, because with it, you can edit the DHL spectra and morf them without changing patches.
Sources 3, 4, 5 and 6 contain the origin spectra and are in normal mode, sources 1 and 2 are morf destinations and are already in morf mode. You don't need both - it's just convenient to have two morf destinations, because you can easily compare two different morf results by simply muting/unmuting sources.
Now press EDIT, select source 1 and call the Morf menu. The 4 origin sources have to be entered here as "pointers" to a memory location (SNGL). In this case, the patch has to point to itself. Therefore, you have to select the patches' own memory location as the SNGL value for all 4 phases (P1...P4). Do the same for source 2.
Save the patch and keep it always at its memory location.

Step2 - Edit Spectra
Edit the DHL's of the sources 3, 4, 5 and 6. These spectra will become the attack, decay1, decay2 (=sustain) and release phases of the morfed sound.
Anything goes. Use the Harmonic Level Copy menu to import spectra from other patches. Instant auditioning is easy: Just mute every source but the one being edited. Make sure that the harmonic levels mainly use the upper (64...127) dynamic range. Spectral movements are important now, and those below 64 will not appear in the morf result! Rather give the spectra a rich overall harmonic content - you can still filter them to your needs after morfing.

Step3 - Morf
You have prepared the 4 spectra, but they are still located in the edit buffer. Save the patch now - otherwise the morf origin source pointers will point to anything but your spectra!
Select either source 1 or 2 and mute all others.
Enter the 4 transition times. The time scale is unknown to me, you will have to experiment. Note that this is really a time scale, in contrast to the rate scale of the DHE's. The morf process will convert times to rates for you.
Here goes! Press Execute.
Play a few notes and listen. Try other times, morf again and listen. You may notice that - strangely - the timbre transitions appear less smooth than what could be expected. I can't help. It seems to be a general characteristic of the DHE process.
Inspect the resulting harmonic envelopes in the DHE menus: Note that the level range 64...127 has been mapped to 0...63 and that the rate values are not all the same, though there was only one transition time value for all harmonics. That's correct!

Step 4 - Refine
First save the patch to a different memory location and do the refinements there! The template patch should retain its neutral character (besides the morf origin pointers pointing to its own location).
Re-activate normal mode and apply a DHL spectrum.
Introduce slight variations to the DHE rates - this will help making the timbre transitions smoother.
Season to your taste... Now - that would go beyond this tutorial.

Have fun!



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