There are two basic ways to approach computer music making: work with a system that’s already built for you (think traditional sequencers), or build your own, modular, unique way of working. Both approaches can be valid, but for a small but dedicated band of hard-core computer musicians, only the latter will do. The Buzz project for Windows attempted to merge modular capabilities with a tracker-style sequencer. (Buzzmachines.com isn’t working for me at the moment; see also the Buzz Wikipedia entry.)
There’s a new hope, however. Linux-native but build-able on Windows, free, and intensely powerful, early versions of the new Aldrin software for Windows look very promising. Formerly called Mute, Aldrin offers tracker capabilities, modular features, planned “1:1 compatibility with Buzz,” and integration with the Freesound creative commons sample library.
I can do better than a static screenshot here. The developer has just posted a video of the program in action. Let the techno commence:
Heck, you can even use DSP sources directly in your projects. Andy Selby writes with more:
… You should mention Aldrin (another clone of Jeskola Buzz – but only for Linux), because the latest version shows off its potential really well. It’s already been Computer Music’s [Linux] software of the month. It’s now got the promised Freesound integration and does many of the things that are difficult or impossible using Buzz under Wine [Windows emulation] on your Linux setup (audio input, MIDI control, JACK…)
To top it all off, you can extend the interface using Python and it lets coding-people include DSP sources in their song modules. The only downside is not many Buzz plugins are ported yet (for generators there’s only one synth and a tracker so far). I haven’t started using it in place of Buzz as some of my favorite plugins for Buzz aren’t ported yet (not many plugins are so far) but I’ve been testing it for quite a few versions and the host is developing really fast.
Looks interesting; as more modules appear, this could be reason to boot into Linux.
The Buzz About Aldrin [Linux music guru Dave Phillips, in Linux Journal]