Category Archives: Algorithmic

Desync/Resync City

Some more Isle of Tune experimentation here, although this time the focus is much more on how altering, reversing, and shifting the sequence of notes creates interesting new interactions between the various melodies “played” by each of the individual sequencers.


And, just for fun, I created some effectized versions that make the sequence sound a bit more dynamic and interesting (or at least trancegated):



Slicing/Percolating City

As you may know by now, I’m quite a fan of the democratizing nature of technology in terms of music creation, and the proliferation of tools designed to make creating music fun and accessible to people of all ages and skill levels.  An application that I came across recently, Isle of Tune for iOS, definitely fits the bill: it’s a simple algorithmic sequencer cleverly disguised as a city-building sim.  You lay out roads to define the sequence, buildings and scenery placed alongside generate nodes and effects, and cars on the road serve as the “pulse” to trigger the sounds in sequence.  The program gets more interesting, though, when you realize that the cars can travel at different speeds, in different directions, and that the roads can be constructed to be far more than a simple loop or linear sequence.  This makes the program great for exploring Reich-esque phased patterns, and makes for some surprisingly unique musical opportunities.

Below is the sound of a couple of cities that I designed, although I’m currently working on some that are far more complex…




This is actually a visual pattern exercise rendered into musical form. Each of the notes start out playing in sequence, then slowly move, one by one, into different phases in relation to each other’s positions. The first iteration of this track was rendered using a bunch of loud bells, but it didn’t seem quite… interesting enough. This version switches over to Logic’s venerable EFM1 synth, and adds slowly varying modulation amounts to the mix. The result is a track that I find both intriguing, and at times almost unbearable to listen to all the way. If you are able to listen to this track all the way through, you have my full permission to remove the letter F from the title should you so desire.