Nerds: It’s an OSC sequencer. It’s JavaScript-programmable for making your own generative music. It works with hardware and other software. You can use it in real-time.

Everyone: it makes spectacularly strange sounds out of spectacularly beautiful flows of geometries through space.

IanniX, the latest-generation descendant of work done by pioneering experimental composer Iannis Xenakis, has been evolving at rapid pace into what may be the most sophisticated graphical sequencer ever. Xenakis originally had to content himself to drawing elaborate, architectural graphics on paper, then later being one of the first to use a graphical tablet for interactive scores. IanniX, backed by the French Ministry of Culture, is now barely recognizable even from more primitive versions that carried the same name. But the idea is the same: graphical geometries represent events in pitch and time, now sequencing other software (any software that can handle OSC or MIDI) to produce sound.

Free on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and now with growing documentation, IanniX can be seen producing the kinds of warped sounds Xenakis made in his music. But it is one of the first steps toward a graphical sequencer that could be used in all kinds of cases. And it’s free and open source under the GPL v3.

I’ve included some of the recent videos that show off what it can do. I especially like the recursive demo. But since it runs on your OS — well, unless you’re sticking to your beloved Atari ST or BeBox — you can just go grab it yourself.

My sense is that IanniX could have implications even beyond this software. Imagine a greater variety of music software that begins to work in spatial and graphical interfaces, not just the traditional piano rolls and linear tape-style arrangement views. And imagine that such tools, using protocols like OSC and MIDI, begin to establish common means of communicating with one another over a network. (OSC and, in particular, MIDI, are in need of some evolution to fully satisfy that. But these kinds of tools might be an ideal way to prod that very evolution.)

Speaking of prodding, thanks to Mark Birchall on Twitter for reminding me to write this up.

Now, if I can just find some hyperspace portal to additional space and time to play with this properly… there must be a productivity jump gate around here somewhere.

  • Jim Aikin

    I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago. Couldn't make heads nor tails of it — completely obscure with respect to configuration and operations. By now I can't remember whether the docs were nonexistent or just sketchy and unhelpful. If I'm wrong — if there's good documentation somewhere — somebody please tell me, because it LOOKS cool!

  • I really love IanniX.  It's great for experimentation, and in the realm of OSC it really stands on it own.  My one critique would be more effort should be made for traditional uses.  Alternately someone needs to become inspired and work on a similar platform with more traditional uses.  But hey that's me wanting OSC to conquer the world.

  • This is the sort of thing I read CDMu for.

  • I have the Max4live patch and the Iannix program that it works in conjunction with.  I haven't tried it yet, but fully intend to, especially after seeing this.  I love this sort of thing.  Don't know where it could lead, but it's definitely interesting from a programming perspective.   At the very least, I think we'll be seeing a lot more circular shaped representation of looped operations inside DAW software and hardware alike.  It just makes more sense to represent a loop with a clockwork  or rotary type shape.  … ….   

  • reset

    love it!

  • dudemaestro

    Is the site o Iannix down?
    I can acces it U.U

  • greg

    +1 on "why I read create digital music."
    More, please.

  • kdw

    good stuff, thanks 

    another step towards breaking down barriers between visual and audio !

  • Cool find. thanks!

    i appreciate CDM most when it isn't gawking at iCrap.

  • lovely stuff. i found it fairly easy to get running. click the button marked open projects folder, look at the png images for help. bring on the wild geometries!

  • 'open patches folder'

  • digid

    It looks fantastic, but not sure I am prepared to learn yet another scripting language … 

  • Talking about breaking down barriers between visual and audio, that's what Autechre succeed in:

  • Looks pretty amazing. Gave it a quick spin, and I must say it looks quite interesting to experiment with.
    The only problem is that it's still pretty obscure regarding how it actually works, and it crashed quite frequently on my system.

    As far as I could find out the documentation is quite sketchy and does not provide an easy way to learn the basics of the program. Due to this the learning curve seems quite steep, which makes it something for the hardcore geek atm. Somebody really should make some tutorials, otherwise it will remain like that.

  • Ascetic

    Having looked at this and Nodal I have to say that I think Nodal is better for more 'traditional' musical applications (and certainly has better documentation and amazing support on their forum), but it doesnt have the scripting or osc power of iannix. Id love to see some better documentation for Iannix so its more accesible

  • J

    'Talking about breaking down barriers between visual and audio, that’s what Autechre succeed in' [Gantz Graf]

    Alex Rutterford made that video.
    He's the real genius there, imo.
    It's still my favourite piece of computer animation ever. I've tried to find more of this but it seems the other animators aren't as good [aesthetically speaking].

  • J

    @Brian Tuley
    'I think we’ll be seeing a lot more circular shaped representation of looped operations inside DAW software and hardware alike. It just makes more sense to represent a loop with a clockwork or rotary type shape.'

    I agree circular representations of loops are cool and we will probably see more of them [already happening], but in terms of 'making sense' I think it depends how you look at it:
    – the loop as source, a discrete looping 'object', circular time
    – its continuous output, linear time.

    Which do we want to focus on?
    It depends..

    Does the actual loop function as a loop on a symbolic musical level? Or is it too long to notice as such, or too short? Does it dissolve in other sounds, is it part of a wavesequence for example? My point is, there are so many loops behind the scenes, many of which are not perceived [or meant] as loops by the musician.

  • Seems to be a useful tool. Will check it out. In the video clips I spotted some compositional techniques I'm fond of and I got the impression that InniX can help you get to the point faster.

  • Mark

    The OSC max4live patch is handy – but note that the latest version of Iannix includes MIDI output – and a handy example patch for Live (and several other DAWs).

    You may need to use Midi Yoke or something similar to get it working on the PC. Well worth the (tiny) effort.

    As far as the scripting goes – it's not mandatory. Scripts allow you to procedurally generate layouts and let you tweak existing patches – but it's perfectly possible to design a score with the 'drawing' tools provided.

    Admittedly, the learning curve is a little steep. This is partly because it is so unique and partly due to lack of documentation.

    But then, if it starts to get the interest it deserves – this is bound to improve!

  • Casey James Basichis

    I see the new version has midi… There is a list of MIDI IN found in the inspector Messages section…

    Where can i set the midi out?

  • Anybody want to shed light on how to set the pitch frequency of midi note triggers on Iannix?

  • This software is great alongside max! here's a little something I threw together this evening using them.&nbsp ;

  • @Sand Nice work! Some beautiful sounds coming from your patch – I like the animation in the lcd object too. Great stuff and use of IanniX.

  • medo

    +2 “why I read create digital music.”

    been waiting for something like this for a long long time

  • not a nerd

    Hey Nerds – how does it work?

  • Far too complicated. Cool stuff, but I'm not a programmer, I want to make music.

  • Chris

    A few days ago greatly improved documentation was posted to the IanniX site: Here: