November 30, 2007


by Chris Randall

Adam is on forced sabbatical this week, because sometimes coding makes him want to go drown kittens or something. So I've been busying myself working on the Record That Never Ends, otherwise known as Callisto, and fooling about with Processing. During the latter phase of operations, I discovered that while it is fairly good at flipping pixels, it ain't so hot when it comes to sound. (Most Java applications that deal with sound are s-s-s-s-s-stuttery, in my experience, so this comes as no surprise.)

But I was mainly fooling with algorithmic composition, as usual, and I was curious as to what else is out there these days that is Worth A Shit. I still use M and UpBeat because, well, they work for me. And I can generally write my own code in this regard which gives fair to middling results (and thus puts it in the same class as most algorithmic composition software.) What's the Good Stuff, though? What do you use? Why? Turn me on to something I don't know about that isn't Max or CSound. (The former because I don't care for it, and the latter because, well, I have a life.)



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Nov.30.2007 @ 8:35 PM
Lin Mu here;

Well I have been into generitive sound for some time playing with M, Max, and others. Yet the tool I use most often to generate new sound explorations is "Numerology" . Yes I know it is not as cool for code writers to use a gui where a comanad line would work better. Yet I get a whole lot of creative stuff done in a much shorter amount of time. "Numerology" is as fine grained a sequencer as I would need to play with. I can add control after control, easily add or change timing, play with lot of randomized midi, take quick snaps of work to come back to later. With a good set of plug-in's, and a midi controller, I often surprise myself with odd ideas by just playing. Yes "Numerology" is getting a bit long in the tooth but ver. 2.0 is on the way.
Ok I confess I am lazy and learning a new programing environment is harder to do as I get older. So consider this an old fart's opinion.


Nov.30.2007 @ 11:19 PM
The nice people behind the wondrous, but ill fated, Koan generative software are releasing a new midi only vst/dxi/au plugin next week. I can pretty much guarantee it will be the greatest thing since sliced bread if you're into generative stuff. See There are some demos and tutorials on youTube and Vimeo (search for Noatikl).

Nov.30.2007 @ 11:29 PM
The dude behind Composer's Dekstop also has a program called Tabula Vigilans that looks interesting. It's got a "C" like scripting language that is interpreted at machine speed, meaning you can edit the script in real-time.

link [composersdesktos.htm...]">link []


Dec.01.2007 @ 12:33 AM
Chris Randall
I like the concept of Numerology. The execution, however, is a fairly tragic mess. Perhaps I'd have a different opinion if I had a PPC Mac running 10.3.9 or something. But I have two Intel Macs running 10.5.1, so, well... Perhaps 2.0 will be a little more together. But I don't tend to think of songs in blocks of time like Numerology more or less demands, so it doesn't really appeal to my workflow. And take out those blocks and it is a fairly non-capable MIDI sequencer. Since I have a fairly capable one in Cubase or Logic, it's really just there to fuck up my workflow.

Thanks for the heads-up on the Noatikl stuff. I recall being informed somehow that they were up to something new, but for some reason I had forgotten it. Note that it is not a plugin, but a stand-alone application. In all cases, you need to use CoreMIDI or MIDIYoke or some other silly go-between to link it to your DAW. Now I just need to find where I stuck that CD-ROM full of gamelan samples and I'll be set.



Dec.01.2007 @ 1:07 AM
From what I gather, Noatikl will be available both as a standalone app and as vst, dxi or AU plugins. The tutorials on youTube show how to set it up with various DAWs as plugin or standalone.

Dec.01.2007 @ 2:59 AM
Chris Randall
Uh, no. It shows you how to use either CoreMIDI or MIDIYoke to route the MIDI in and out of the app to various DAWs. You might want to watch the videos.

EDIT: Actually, _I_ might want to watch the videos. No VST, but there is an AU. I stand corrected.



Dec.01.2007 @ 3:04 AM
M run through Numerology is crazy good. that is all.

Dec.01.2007 @ 3:06 AM
Chris Randall
Heh. M run through Numerology = 1 crash every 5 seconds, and 1 kernel panic every 30 seconds. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll stick to shit that works.



Dec.01.2007 @ 3:09 AM
...and of course run the M->Numerology MIDI output into your sequencer via IAC, so you don't have to think in "blocks of time". always changing, fucking least what i got set up one fine evening. M generates, N modulates, DAW records.

Dec.01.2007 @ 3:10 AM
wow that was realtime, damn CR :)

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