Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Music visualisations

2 October 2014 Leave a comment

A collection of music visualisation using Magic (by Color and Music). It is  easy to use and very responsive to the music. It is still an initial exploration phase and I am liking the results. It is easy to focus on what you need to ceate rather than the interface. There could be a few more included effects but the program is under active development so these should eventuate.


Tracks with Sector

11 March 2014 Leave a comment

Sector (iOS Kymatica) creates interesting tracks by dividing a loop into sectors and providing the ability to jump to any other sector given a probability of that jump.

The examples given tend to use the full probability future where any sector jumps to any other. A more directed approach also provides interesting tracks. The aim of the directed approach is to combine repetition with variation. A track with too much variation can seem jumbled while too little variation will be bland.

For example; with a loop in Sector with 16 sections. 1 – 8 form part A and 9 -16 form part B. Sector 8 has a 50% chance to jump to sector  9 and 50% chance to jump back to sector 1. Sector 16 has a 50% chance to jump to sector  1 and 50% chance to jump back to sector 9. This with break the sequence from A B to AABABBAAABA depending on how the probabilities fall. Changing the probabilities leads to further directions. The jumps within the sections provide additional variation so the sequence is more like A A’ B A” B” A”’ B”’ A””.

From there 3 and 4 section can be used with variations to the probabilities. A sequence could be A c B c A where c is a transition sector. A section A ends there is a probability to go to section c which will go to section B . Likewise at the end of section B there is a probability to section c which then go to section . Alternatively there could be sections A B C where there a different probabilities to jump into those sectors. In all these examples the sections A will sound different from B but similar to each other which provides the continuity.

The ability to change the play back wave forms and their probability of occurrence provides addition variation which is important  for the transition sections.

With 4 possible sector mappings, 4 sequence mappings and the ability to set four sectors as triggers you can play Sector by setting up alternative mappings and sequences and moving between them.


Categories: music Tags: , ,

My Disquiet Junto set on Soundcloud

18 March 2013 Leave a comment

I often do the Disquiet Junto projects depending on if the final song is up to standard. Some of the projects I don’t get into if since they often seem to be just sound rather than music based.

Categories: music Tags: , , ,

SOTU – Sounds of the Universe [Hollow Sun]

26 February 2013 Leave a comment
Sounds of the Universe

Sounds of the Universe

Hollow Sun have finally revealed their true nature as Mandaloria space aliens with their release of SOTU. The device first opens with Mandaloria script and it took multiple explanations to explain to Earthings that a simple option+left click on the editing button would show Roman characters. If this was a intelligence test then Earth failed and I for one welcome our new Mandaloria masters. The device also fails to create wobble bass sounds which shows that the designers at Hollow Sun do not breath oxygen.

In practical terms SOTU comes with over 1 gigabyte worth of samples which are selected randomly from the large glowing control.The settings are straight forward with overall sound edits on the main panel and  secondary panel via the edit button to alter the mix and characteristics of the individual sounds. If you change the sounds the setting will remain the same. Usable even audible sounds generally require long sustains, a least half way along the semi circle slider, and often long notes.

As the individual sample can’t be selected for a patch directly once you have something you like save it as preset otherwise it might be hard to get it back. If you need preset name use one from a star name list. (


SOTU is quite easy to use and creates great ethereal spacey sounds which I know one day maybe not today or even tomorrow but someday I know will need.

SOTU is part of the Alien Devices series, costs £15 and really requires a full version of Kontakt :


Categories: music Tags: , ,


26 February 2013 Leave a comment

A good idea from Disquiet was for the Junto project 60 to be an Audiobiography on Souncloud. Here is mine:

Categories: music, personal Tags: ,

Sketching Music and Borderlands granular synthesis

27 November 2012 Leave a comment

A sketch composition for borderlands music A few ideas came together for this project. I had been working around the idea of sketching out music compositions. Originally this was thought up to get focus and work out a structure for making songs with Octatrack which then progressed to applying the idea in Propellerheads’ Reason.

The basic idea is to sketch out the major parts of a composition before even using the instruments or DAWs. This gives a compositional goal rather than just playing about with a few bars here and there.

This idea had more relevance when used with some of less structured music apps on the iPad such as Borderlands and Samplr. By working with a structure the composition can have more form and direction as you play. Notes and other settings can also be added.

The composition sketch is a guide. Not the exact notes or structure so deviations will occur. The extent of that is with the player.



Categories: music Tags: , ,

M – Cycling74 – great functions but major problems

25 September 2012 Leave a comment
M - An intelligent musical instrument

The M interface

M from Cycling74 has been around since 1986 as you can see from the interface. M works really well in creating variations to MIDI notes which can be performed but It has a few bugs. It can’t save files reliably. Note data from a saved file will be scrambled if it appears at all and MIDI connections are also set up. The whole file save functionality is fraught since a file save operation can often crash the program. I have informed the Cycling74 support crew so I hope this can be resolved.

Despite these flaws I really like using M. I load up MIDI files, 4 instruments each with 6 sequences, and then set up the variations. The notes can be randomised, have various probabilities of being included, randomised accents, legato and lengths. The variables can have 6 setting and allocated directions which are used to move between the setting with the automatic conducting functions. I did a quick example on SoundCloud using “All the along the watch tower”


The next step I wanted to do was a more deliberate approach using snapshots of various setting and building up a song from those. There where two approach I was working through.

The first was to setup a sequence based on a music concept such as breakdown which reduces the note density of some instruments such as heavy percussion and randomise the notes to some instruments to give a reduced sequence. Another sequence would be drop like with all instruments in and fairly straight.  There would be a snap shot for each of these variable collections which would serve as a basis in creating further sequences by changing the variations individually.

Another approach would be to create the variables separately and build up sequences with different arbitrary settings. For example with Note Density there would be setting 1 with all instruments having a high priority with other settings having different  instruments with different probablitiies depending on the emphasis you wanted to develop. This would be done then form Velocity Range, Note Order and so on. A snapshot would then be assemble from the arbitrary collections of variables. Alternatively the automatic conduction function could be used and as you listen to the variations snapshots could be taken of the ones which sounded the best.

But I will wait for a fix because I just can’t do everything in one session.