Nothing quite like the 'Play'

I often think when it comes to the device people are too quick to judge (myself included) coming from I suppose traditional grooveboxes, such as the MPC, Electribe, Roland MC series, RM1x etc and maybe some folk find them easier to create the radio friendly genres of electronic music on, as they are used to their workflow.

From a personal point of view I think the Play is probably one of the greatest devices when it comes to quickly starting tracks, just jamming away on some samples and creating loops.
The device is incredible for basically whatever samples I throw into it, I’m not into pop/chart radio friendly music and I don’t tend to produce a specific genre, but the music tends to end up as anything from industrial, breakbeat, techno, idm, glitch, experimental music and the Play is an absolute beast for these genres.

Here’s some things I do with samples on the Play when messing around.


  1. Load a sample pack

  2. Beat fill some drums to quickly get a beat going

  3. Select some other tracks and use the beat fill ‘Randomiser’ randomise the steps, with those same tracks selected and randomise the sample pool to fill those steps with samples, the sample selection might not sound great straight away.

  4. With those same tracks selected, select randomise in sample folder/pool turn it a few % such as 5 to begin with, some of the samples will change on the steps, now hit ‘Shift+Save’ which will reset the randomisation and the samples will change again, keep doing this till you find a loop you like and then save that as a new pattern, you can just keep doing this and before you know it you have a shit ton of awesome loops to mess with, also try changing the randomise % to generate different ranges of selected samples.


Another thing to try is a similar thing to the Ctrl-All on the Elektron Digitakt

Repeat step 1 to 3 to get some samples quickly loaded in.

Make sure you hit the ‘Save/Reset’ to save your current pattern session to save the current sample and parameter settings.

Select all tracks 1-8, hit the sample encoder and start turning the encoder, all the samples will change to a different sample form within the folder they are from.
Start turning the cutoff, reverb, overdrive or any of the other parameters to change you pattern sound, then hit ‘Ctrl +Save’ to revert back to the saved session.

You can also combine the 2 examples above together messing around with the sample selection encoder then reset the randomisation and these samples with change again.

Try using the Duke or Duke Nuke randomiser action with various % then again hit ‘Shift+Save’ to reset… again more loop fodder.


I am just waiting for the sample slicing feature to hopefully appear soon, so I can try all this this out on loops aswell.

The Play is absolutely tremendous to mess around with, people just need to get stuck in and forget about what it doesn’t have compared to other grooveboxes and concentrate on what it does differently and does well.

Hopefully I’ve described the steps correctly, I’m not with the device at the moment, if I can manage to do a video of it, i’ll upload one.

12 Likes

play rules :heart:

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Totally agreed.
People think too much of limitations and missing features instead of focusing on what the device actually brings them.
‘Real’ instruments, like the piano or the guitar, are much more limited but that doesn’t stop people from playing them.
Just play your Play. It’s just an instrument, treat it like so, use its unique features.
I simply can’t think of a device that could get me engaged in making a track faster than the Play.
My English is bad. Hope you get my point.

6 Likes

I think the same, I’m in love with my Play+, but…

At least the “+” need urgently a firmware update to fix the lot of bugs that it has and corrupt the amazing experience that you mentioned.

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A vídeo with all that steps and stuff will be very very Nice!

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