I wanted to see how far I can get FMing a sine or tri osc with a drum beat. So I routed my TR909 into the modular via an Intellijel Audio Interface and patched it up to FM a Cwejman PH4 (set to triangle). The beat must be rather hot in order to actually do something. I was fooling around with the patch during the last few days and gradually started to add some stuff. First, I put the 909 FM path through a VCA4MX channel to have an attenuator and be able to mix in more stuff. A Doepfer A142-4 channel, triggered from the 909 rim, controls the PH4 level, thus acting like a global VCA for the audio path. Some feedback FM (from the PH4 90° output) is mixed into the VCA4MX path modulating the PH4, gated from a further A142-4 channel on the VCA4MX (which is triggered by a straight 16th 707 rimshot). Finally, a RG6 tuned noise is routed via the VCA4MX to modulate the PH4 offset. Its VCA4MX channel is also controlled by a further A142-4 channel (triggered by the steady 707 rimshot, as well). The noise gives a hihat-ish effect.
As you know, I was also experimenting with using the CTG-VC as a "triggered" osc lately - so obviously I wanted to see how a beat works and thought I could include it in the patch. So I multed the 909 to the CTG trigger input and simply mixed the CTG output with the PH4 FM patch (with a SSF Mixmode). It proves to be a very cool addition to the patch: While the PH4 FM mostly accentuates low frequencies, the synced CTG "osc" brings out the highs (that was also why I had added the noise in the first place). Especially since there is another very cool trick: The 909 audio, which is triggering the CTG and FMing the PH4, is also multed to the CTG level control, thus acting like a ring modulator of the 909 and CTG. Good fun. One thing that had to be done to get it to trigger more reliably is to offset the audio input a bit (I used Maths channels 2 and 3) - the CTG input comparator is set to 2V, so that helps to get it to "drone". The offset parameter changes the groove a lot, from very choppy staccato to a basically steady drone. In effect, it's the same as changing the CTG input comparator threshold.
After playing around for some time, I also decided that a compressor on the 909 would be very useful to tame those transients a bit and provide a slightly more steady input to the CTG (helps a lot, especially in combination with the offset control described above). Of course, you don't want to smash it to death but remain some of the dynamics. So I gently set up my Warm Audio WA76 in between the 909 and modular - works a treat. For the recording, I basically almost only play with the various levels (on the 909, the FM paths and the two outputs - the FMd PH4 and triggered CTG "osc") and the decay of the RG6 noise. The CTG is only brought in sometimes, you should definitely hear it - the parts in which you can actually hear some cymbals. In the beginning and end, you are only hearing the raw PH4 output as it is without 909 FM, but gated and with the feedback FM. Then, I bring up the various things and jam the patch. All recorded in one go in Ableton, no edits at all but as usual a slight bit of compression, EQ, delay and reverb to bring it all together. Remember that at no point you are hearing any 909 - it's only the PH4 and CTG, the raw 909 audio is not mixed into the audio path at any point.
Hope you enjoy it and cheers!