Take equal parts Coldcut, Steve Reich, a sequencer, and African percussion, then put it into Ableton Live, and you get something like MidiVolve.
The creation of Coldcut (electronic music duo and NinjaTune founders Matt Black and Jonathan More), MidiVolve is a sound pack and Max for Live musical aid in one.
On the Max for Live side, you get an arpeggiator / auto accompaniment / riff generator/ sequencer, which produces and modulates melodies, rhythms, and grooves. You won’t quite hear it in the demo video, but Steve Reich’s minimal composition Music for 18 Musicians was an inspiration.
On the sound side, there are bits from the Coldcut archives and sampled African percussion, produced together with Johannesburg musician and samplist Behr. These are organized into instruments and effect racks for easy integration with Ableton.
So you get sounds, and tools for coming up with melodies and rhythms. It looks terrific, and like every project Matt has been involved in, terrifically innovative.
• Powerful melody generation with no music theory knowledge required
• Evolve sounds over time, subtly or dramatically
• Conform notes to user-defined scales and modes
• 12 Instrument and Audio Effects Racks included, built on 1GB of samples by Behr and Coldcut