There’s a classic fairy tale in which elves make shoes during the night for a shoemaker. Imagine that, but with kick drum sounds.

The last time we caught up with Micah Frank, he was sharing free software that generates rhythms for you:

Leave this free software running, and it’ll come up with rhythms for you

It’s all built using a classic free and open source software tool called Csound – a tool so rooted in digital music history, it has a direct lineage to the very first real computer music synthesis software created by Max Mathews back in 1957. That may seem archaic, but Csound remains simple, direct, and musical – which is how it has endured.

With Micah’s tool, you can set the software in motion and use your ears to choose what you like – going as deep (or not) as you want in the mechanics of those sounds. He writes:

Kickblast is a little tool I built for quickly generating electronic kick drums. It will create a variety of sounds from classic 909-esque sustained basses, to modular and even acoustic sounding kick drums. You can define the parameters and how many kicks you wish to generate. It also has offline rendering capabilities so you can instantly populate a folder full of 17 billion* kick drums if you like.

* if you attempt this quantity, please let me know how it works out

Here’s what you can expect as far as sounds:

How to get going:

Kickblast is a Csound program that populates a folder full of computer (Csound) generated bass drums.

1) All you need is Csound: CsoundQT comes with Csound and will enable you to run Kickblast.

2) Once installed, open the Kickblast.csd file and hit “Render” for offline file generation or “Run” for real-time.

3) You can define a number of parameters up in the top section, including how many kick drums you wish to generate.

4) The folder which contains the Kickblast.csd will become populated with your kick drums.

There’s no need to get bored with kick drums. Billions of possibilities await. Let us know if you make something you love.