Another Generative Music Project


I’ve spent quite a lot of time exploring Generative Music ideas over the last few years, and even gave a talk on the subject (titled ‘Pure Data, Indeterminacy, and Computer as Musician‘) at a Bath Camp event last year.

Since that talk I have been keen to find a more elegant solution for a music generating PD patch – I’ve always felt that my original Music Generator solution was pretty crude, using a large bank of pitched samples, and numerous arrays for determining their playback.

I wanted to see if I could achieve a result using only one sound source, and one set of control values, and then design a program that used those limited resources in an intelligent way to create a piece of music.

The solution I am working on at the moment involves one array of control values, and then several ‘streams’ that read back those values, but from different starting points in the array, and then cycling through the array indices with a different increment on each execution of the patch.

The control values are then used to determine the playback speed of the sound source, which obviously determines the pitch of each sound, the volume of the sound, the speed in which each ‘stream’ cycles through the array, the size of each increment for cycling through the array, and the length of the piece.

You can hear the results so far here:

(I have only uploaded a short example of a piece, and the reverb has been added after recording)

The patch also includes a feedback mechanism for the control values. As each set of values is chosen, the patch determines their average, and then re-writes them into the array.

This function still needs some work, but I really like the idea of designing a program that can evaluate itself, and then start to evolve into something new.

The patch is very much a work in progress, but I think I like where it’s heading. The plan eventually is to be able to distribute the patch as an Android app, or a PDDroidParty patch at the very least.

Screenshot from 2014-02-23 12:24:15


One Response to “Another Generative Music Project”

  1. […] « Another Generative Music Project […]

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