Chain, Chain, Chain: Crazy Nodal Note Sequencing Departs from Everyday Step Sequencers [Kontakt]

Ready to step beyond normal step sequencers? Skip ahead in the tutorial videos here, and you’ll see what’s possible: elaborate grid patterns that don’t just play looped patterns ad infinitum. Now, as in milkshakes and ice cream cones, sometimes vanilla is just fine. For instance, this week, Nord released Nord Beat, a free step sequencer for iOS. And, apart from being free if you’ve got the iThing to run it, it’s a nice offering. You can chain together multiple loops of steps, and there’s a clever mode for switching to finger drumming. The system works: you get four tracks, velocity …

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dewan

Nodal Music Making Hands-on, as Creative Compositional Worlds Meet Synth Laboratories

What’s a “lab,” anyway? For music, any number of tools – software or hardware – can become gateways to creative musical explorations. Chris Stack joins us again to look at Nodal, Mac/Windows software that generates musical patterns from graphical maps of nodes, alongside hardware explorations. Along the way, Chris has some reflections on composition itself. -Ed. Sometimes life imitates art. Sometimes life imitates avant-garde art. Random events placed together can often form surprising harmonies, causing daily affairs to resemble an aleatoric composition. This concept was brought to mind by the juxtaposition of a pair of recent events. The first was …

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nodalUI

With Networks of Notes, Nodal Generates Music: Updated Mac+Windows App Now Adds MIDI

What makes music software popular? Simple recording, DJ, and remix apps unsurprisingly do well. But perhaps as a testament to the importance of individual music expression, some stranger entries do, too. And those less-typical software creations can give you new ways of exploring music creation and performance. Just take Nodal. GarageBand sits comfortably at the top of the sellers list on Apple’s App Store. But, at least briefly, a generative composition tool has rocketed to second place. Nodal 1.7, available for both Mac and Windows, is unlike most music production tools. In place of linear track arrangement, clusters of graphical …

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Pretty, Nodal, Non-Linear Music, on iPad + iPhone and Big Dodecahedrons

Brian Eno should be proud. Generative sequencing – making lovely, shimmering music mapped to pleasant-sounding modes – is totally in this season. At top, exhibit A: Aura Flux, a new iOS ambient music generator. Priced at US$1.99, it nonetheless packs some 48 different instruments, ambient sounds, four keys, save/load capability, and multitasking support. Sequences are arrayed into editable nodes: touch and explore, or tweak specific settings like pulse speed and decay, trigger rates, and pitch to get the results you want. Generative music has a key advantage for mobile devices, too: it doesn’t take up as much space. In the …

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Free Nodal Generative Sequencer: Now on Windows, Too; Live Improvisation Video

Sequencers by definition traditionally lock musical patterns into repetitive, unchanging blocks of time. But a new generation of generative sequencers can instead form organic patterns that change and transform. Nodal is a totally free-as-in-beer (closed-source) sequencer for composing music. (A license is needed for commercial use.) As the name implies, it uses a matrix of nodes to represent musical structure. The best way to understand what that means exactly is to check out the examples and give the app a shot, but is good fun – and capable of creating some lovely, unusual musical textures. The good news now is …

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Tiction: Animated, Nodal Generative Music App in Progress, in Processing

Electronic music is filled with grids and repeating loops. But get off that grid, and you can quickly wind up, well, floating in space. The challenge of marrying music that’s pre-sequenced with music that can generate itself, between self-evolving music and music that you can control live, is the challenge a lot of people are exploring right now. Hans Kuder has been sharing a promising-looking project on the CDM forums, built in the code-sketching tool Processing (site | CDMu | CDMo). The idea: explore nodes live and let your sequences float free on the screen. Hans writes: tiction – early …

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Nodal: Generative Music Software for Mac (Free for Non-Commercial Use)

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 …

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Stepping Through Music, Interactively: Drum Kits and Monomes Navigate Notes

Left to right, beginning to end, the same in a loop — there’s no reason music has to work this way once you’ve got a computer. But if you associate generative or algorithmic music with some sort of magical black box machine you switch on, an automaton spitting out notes while you sip tea and stroke your beard, think again. Here are two examples that use interactive structures as a way to make music more live, not less. One is the latest creation from the ingenious mind of monome creator Brian Crabtree (who, perhaps unexpectedly, seems to have redirected the …

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Dodecahedronists, Unite: An Audiovisual Controller, Gestures and Polyhedra, Open Hardware

I love this controller, but I think we should keep it Platonic. Solid. Sorry, geometry humor. See, the controller in question is constructed as a convex regular polyhedron, such that all its faces are themselves congruent regular polygons meeting at each vertex, and … uh, never mind. Above, a stunningly gorgeous video from Polish media art group panGenerator, with some lovely chiming music following by the evidently-now-requisite dubstep demo. (Tip all of us could use, guys and gals – makeup. Styling. Now, they just need some post-production so you can’t see the IR sensors or the wires.) Hedoco, also based …

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Put a Hex on You: New Game, Crazy Music Sequencer with Hexagons

Hexagons are the new squares. After years of square grids, music is discovering the hexagon in a big way. Hexagonal lattices have advantages of their own, in terms of how efficiently they pack space and the way adjacent sides align. Don’t believe your local mathematician? Ask your local bee. What’s interesting is that, as musicians experiment with interfaces and structures, they may wind up with either a wild, experimental music synthesizer, or a fun game. On the game side, at top, we have a trailer for the upcoming “Fractal.” It appears to match the productivity-annihilating addictiveness of puzzle games with …

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