If you’re interested in generative and algorithmic music – music that evolves organically rather than being pre-composed in start-to-finish linear fashion – you won’t want to miss this site. Nodal is a free (for non-commercial use) app for developing generative musical systems and transmitting MIDI. You’ll need a Mac (PowerPC/Intel) to run the software, but even if you’re on Windows or Linux, you’ll find a number of interesting research papers on the site. vinayk writes:
The program is called Nodal – osx only, BEAUTIFUL interface, and FREE, it does a bit more sophisticated things but I basically plugged the output into sculpture – and it sounded amazing… well worth a look! And if anyone can tell me how to sync this to live or logic then i’d be much obliged!
Since it sends MIDI, it’d also be interesting to use this hooked up to visuals or triggering clips in Ableton Live.
Nodal Project Page, Tutorials, Examples, Research [Monash University]
I’ll be giving this a try soon. If you know of other generative software and research we should be checking out, perhaps we can put together a full round-up.
See also Noatikl / Mixtikl, from Intermorphic – developers who built the ground-breaking Koan generative system for Brian Eno. And we’re getting close to the release of the game Spore, which will feature a new generative engine and Eno’s composition.
(Note that we learned this week that Mixtikl is not coming to iPhone in the immediate future. It’s available on plenty of other platforms, however, and if you’ve got a Mac for both, let the generative music making commence!)