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Aleatoric/generative/algorithmic composition apps/plugins/etc
Got any good ones?


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73 replies to this topic

#1 modey

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:45 AM

Alright! I've been thinking of getting into generative music composition, but I'm not quite at the level of learning Max/MSP yet. Is there anything out there that will let me get into it without requiring coding knowledge? I've been playing around with a Reaktor ensemble called Super Random Machine but it's a bit limiting. Ideally I'd like to be able to plug a VSTi or three into a generative sequencer and adjust parameters until it's creating melodies and chord progressions the way I like. Or even something with it's own synthesis engine. Numerology comes close but it doesn't seem to work the way I want it to.

I'm on a mac if it helps.



#2 Djeroek

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:56 AM

...but I'm not quite at the level of learning Max/MSP yet.

 

Max has very good tutorials, documentation... it might take a while before you've created your own daw in it, but don't be fooled by spaghetti hell screenshots. It is not that difficult, if you read the manual you'll be on a roll soon.



#3 logakght

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:07 AM

This has been said many times but I think it's worth it... why don't learn pure data? it's really easy with some tuts.



#4 phling

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:50 AM

basically imo, all the fun in this area of music comes from building the systems.

so if you're interested in this topic, you should look into learning to program.


Numerology comes close but it doesn't seem to work the way I want it to.

 

you need to make the software which works the way you want it to.



#5 foresense

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:08 PM

there's this plugin dev that's working on a modular environment for algorithmic composition. check this thread here, he's been working on it for over two years now: http://www.kvraudio....?f=141&t=341953

#6 mcbpete

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:11 PM

modey - May have got you confused with someone else, but don't you use Jeskola Buzz ? If so it's possible in that with Peer Machines

EDIT: "I'm on a mac if it helps." - Yep, clearly confusing you with someone else !

#7 th555

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:22 PM

Question: why do people prefer max/msp and the likes over regular (audio) programming languages? I've fiddled around with PureData a bit, but I found it really annoying to have to make all these huge contraptions of little boxes for things that would normally take only a few seconds to type out.

#8 mcbpete

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:32 PM

Probably since encapsulation became common place (especially in Max) you don't really have to create massive contraptions to do simple things. Like how in traditional text based languages you use load libraries to do common tasks, here you just use subpatches to manipulate the data in a similar way cleanly.

So yeah you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time :)

p.s. I also prefer it as text in pretty boxes with cables intimidate me less than entire pages of text - especially as it takes me back to my happy Buzz days !

#9 modey

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:52 PM

Max/PD/etc all look like too much work for too little output though. Maybe if I could work with someone's pre-existing building blocks, but then I might as well just learn to do it in Reaktor.. Maybe I'll dedicate some time to trying to get my head around that.

modey - May have got you confused with someone else, but don't you use Jeskola Buzz ? If so it's possible in that with Peer Machines

EDIT: "I'm on a mac if it helps." - Yep, clearly confusing you with someone else !

I got a lot of use out of Buzz but recently moved on to Renoise, and thus switched to mac, since Buzz was the last part of the chain that was still pc-only. You're right though, I should look into the peercontrol stuff.

#10 luke viia

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:58 PM

a fun 32 step sequencer with some generative options: 

 

 

way simpler than you're probably looking for, but it's fun for a buck or two.



#11 weakmassive

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:23 PM

I was thinking of Xynthesizr as well. I'm testing the next beta version and you can define a "custom morph area" where the random/life transformations take place, while keeping the rest of the notes fixed. Very cool.



#12 logakght

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:59 PM

fuck it, bro. I've been learning PD since the start of this week with help of some books and vids and that now I can say I can create a "generative" random synth effect thing. try it out!


Edited by logakght, 15 April 2014 - 11:00 PM.


#13 modey

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:44 AM

how much do you have to know in order to get it to output midi sync info/control external synths, though? I want to control my volca and/or a Nord Lead Reaktor ensemble, and also tempo/play/stop information for a drum machine


a fun 32 step sequencer with some generative options: 

 

 

way simpler than you're probably looking for, but it's fun for a buck or two.

that actually looks really cool, thanks! something like that but with the ability to control external hardware would be ideal

 

edit: wait, it can! awesome


Edited by modey, 16 April 2014 - 03:46 AM.


#14 mcbpete

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:52 AM

You're right though, I should look into the peercontrol stuff.

It's far less daunting than I first thought it'd be. You just go -

PeerLFO (which'll oscillator between values in a chosen shape) assigned to PeerCtrl Note-> PeerCtrl assigned to Machine note -> Machine

And you can get funky by doing stuff like: Peer LFO -> Peer LFO -> PeerChord (set to arpegiate) -> ....

The only thing that's a bit weird with Peer Machines (and why they seem odd) is that you don't physically connect them together - Instead of wires you use the peer assignment submenu of every machine

This was done using that: http://terminalwindo...arameter-window
(didn't programme any notes or drum patterns, got the LFO to do it all for me - including tempo changes !)

#15 Guest_Jonah_*

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 03:59 PM

what don't you like about numerology? i do pretty the exact same thing as described with peercrtl. and damn lol i wish i had known about that when it came out in 2003 or whatever. i'm on mac now,  gotta setup bootcamp or something to try buzz again. i remember the last time i looked at it in like 2000 it just seemed like there were too many machines or something, half of them crashed, i didn't know where to start, etc. i should start a thread or something. anyway. 

 

there's logic's environment. between that and numerology i was able to do a lot of fun stuff.

 

these two examples are pretty basic and kinda silly, but i think explains enough to jump into the environment and start making shit. and being about trap is actually just a decoy(!) haha. add in some more transform objects, chord memorizers, delays, etc.

 

plogue bidule? i haven't used it in forever and only really used the spectral stuff. 

 

there's open music too.

http://repmus.ircam....music/documents

http://recherche.irc...Files/Tutorial/

 

sometimes i open two copies of renoise (copy the app). with the new metapatterns in v3, which i haven't really messed with in depth yet, because i was waiting for it to come out of beta, you could probably get things going just bouncing MIDI back and forth. there's that sillily named thing too what was it the the doofer or duffer or something that would be useful.

 

as long as you're careful about feedback bouncing MIDI between any programs is actually a pretty fun way to go about it, i think. logic makes itself the hub, so you gotta watch out!

 

reaper annoys me the way it's laid out, and it adds cool features before figuring out how to fit them in imo, but it's actually pretty interesting with a lot of cool midi processing plugins, you can assign LFOs to anything and you can also assign audio tracking modulation, so by using the tone generator plug in at low rates you even get into some self modulating processes w/o using a second program. 

 

personally, i found the max side of max/msp, that is all the MIDI sequencing doo-doo, pretty easy to get up and running. if you ignore the audio stuff, i don't think it'd take more than a day to get up and running, enough to start getting excited about the possibilities. i went over to it because it allows me easier access to adding on to things, trying new things out, integrating new ideas and overall more robustness, but i still like the "higher level" stuff to get implementation ideas.

 

as to why max rather than coding (well i use gen too) it allows you to work messily which i find good for musical creativity and also still come back and reuse things, understand things. code, if i'm not commenting,  i'm pretty well fucked if i try to reuse it and if i'm commenting i'm not sop much in a musical headspace. or i've had cool code bugs that inspired things, but it's much more likely going with the flow patching style will just lead to things being broken or adding complexity breaks things that i have to go back to and trouble shoot, that doesn't happen in max for me so much. and personally, i find encapsulation to be kinda bullshit, i dunno, i find it very bureaucratic or something, c was the first thing i got into since basic that really clicked with me.  

 

i mostly mess with coding for iterative processes just because i'm lazy lol. i like coding for graphics more, i think. although gen lets you be super lazy about integrating stuff so i'm getting pretty into it lately.

 


#16 modey

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:36 PM

Cool, thanks for the tips. Yeah, I might play around more with numerology; there must be some way I can get it to do what I want.

#17 iococoi

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 04:06 AM

you could use something like iannix. it's basically a graphical sequencer but it's quite easy to get some recursive moments..bind them via osc to your favourite daw and it will get pretty generative.

 

http://www.iannix.org/

 

[vimeo]25045003[/vimeo]

 

 

and there is still a free version of usine available..which got everything you need to do generative stuff incl. graphical modular avec scripting..

 

http://www.sensomusi...pic.php?id=4255



#18 modey

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:52 AM

Nice! Gonna give Iannix a try.

#19 zemudene

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:05 AM

Renoise 3? With new 0Yxx command, random LFOs, phrases, harmonic scales, macros etc there is a lot of generative possibilities.



#20 modey

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:26 AM

Yeah, I haven't even installed v3 yet. To be honest though, Renoise never really seemed ideal for live performance. Maybe I'll just boot into Windows and use Buzz.

#21 Kcinsu

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:09 AM

I know you said you weren't interested in code based answers, but I have to say, Logic Pro X Scripter is extremely powerful and fun, and it is abstracted just enough to be fairly approachable, if you have a general knowledge of JavaScript. Basically, your imagination is the limit.

#22 zemudene

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:00 PM

Yeah, I haven't even installed v3 yet. To be honest though, Renoise never really seemed ideal for live performance. Maybe I'll just boot into Windows and use Buzz.

That`s true, it would take quite a planning and practice to work everything out to the level where you would feel comfortable enough to use such a system live. But the results could be quite interesting and working around the limitations of Renoise can give you some rewarding eureka moments. I`ve always been very obsessive in carefully sequencing my stuff but in the last few months I just prepare a some phrases with variations in Renoise and then record it with windows recorder while jamming around, works wonderfully for me, should have done it much sooner, getting a lot of ideas this way, a lot of happy accidents too....But yeah, on windows to create generative stuff is much simpler IMO, at least for free, there are some great plugins for that, like xoxos stuff http://www.xoxos.net/vst/vst.html#midi ,tonecarver stuf- for example this one http://tonecarver.wo...-sequencer-vst/ and other interesting midi plugins, like http://www.kvraudio....hp?f=6&t=389803 and all the Piz`s tools http://www.thepiz.org/plugins/ etc etc...but numerology looks great though, wish it was n windows too....
 



#23 modey

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:23 PM

Yeah, PC apps are probably the way to go. I just have such an overexposure problem though; my PC laptop has far too many programs installed, hah! I suppose I could strip it down and run a minimal win7 setup on it for live use though.

I know you said you weren't interested in code based answers, but I have to say, Logic Pro X Scripter is extremely powerful and fun, and it is abstracted just enough to be fairly approachable, if you have a general knowledge of JavaScript. Basically, your imagination is the limit.

I have almost no knowledge of code, beyond being able to fumble my way around scripts if I need to modify/repair them. I suppose I should get into it, but I think Logic is a bit too bloated/expensive for what I want to do.

#24 Guest_pafr_*

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:06 AM

http://algorithmicco...erator-max.html

 

[youtubehd]5FBO7ChpgOo[/youtubehd]



#25 Guest_pafr_*

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:08 AM

you should learn to code if you want to make generative/algorithmic music. Or you can use apps made by other people, which will probably have a preset of algorithms for generating midi notes or turning knobs. It's like you can use VST presets or make your own instruments with a synth.