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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Multitouch VJ App Uses Microsoft Surface, Reactable-Style Nodal Interface

Microsoft Research have added live, collaborative visuals to their bag of tricks for the Microsoft Surface multitouch table. Of course, in the process, they’re really demonstrating not only what you might to with Surface but with multitouch interfaces in general. In fact, it’s particularly odd that Microsoft hasn’t apparently made the connection with more generally-available multitouch hardware coming out, particularly with multitouch APIs built directly into Windows 7. HP is already shipping a mainstream laptop with a convertible, tablet-like form factor. And I don’t need to point out that this could lead to cross-platform, open source applications, not just those …

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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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Faux Quartz Composer in Java, for Cross-Platform Nodal Visuals: Bean Machine

It’s still early in development (read: it often crashes), but The Bean Machine applies nodal, patch-based development to Java. The interface is mysteriously close to Quartz Composer, down to capabilities, UI, and even the 3D cube tutorial. Personally, I use Java because it can do things Quartz Composer can’t, but it’s interesting nonetheless — and raises, again, the question of why we don’t see more tools that try to meld the capabilities of code and patches. The cool bit: nodes are Java Beans, so you really could use this to combine the best of both worlds if it matures. No …

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Vuo in Beta: A New Hope for Visual Development? [Resources]

So, without a line of code, you want to make something new, visually. You’ve got Max, you’ve got Pd, you’ve got vvvv. But for quickly cooking up generative visuals, dynamic interaction, live animation, and more from a clean slate, the other option had been Apple’s Quartz Composer, a tool that has lost a lot of steam (and acquired quite a few bugs) lately. Somehow, many people want some fresh blood on this scene. And that’s where Vuo comes in. From the creators of the Kineme plug-ins, it’s a chance to start anew. We’ve been eyeing Vuo with interest for a …

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