May 06, 2005

DIY Algorithmic Music

Critters, a free OS X app from grain-brain, lets you design music based on algorithms.

Our goal at grain-brain is to provide a versatile, easy-to-use tool that anyone can use to compose original music. No musical ability required. Listen to a batch of critters, rate them and create a new generation based on your preferences. Breed them repeatedly, 'steering' your critters towards your desired destination. Or, start over with a fresh litter of random critters. Critters is not a loop-based composer. There are an infinite number of potential compositions (Well actually only 2 to the 10,000th). Create endless subtle (or not) mutations of your favorite critters. If you know what you like you can compose.

Apparently Critters supports Audio Units like Crystal and will export files to iTunes or to sequencers or GarageBand for dissection/use. As the Critter's site says, this could be a useful app for creating soundtracks to use in animations, movies, and presentations. There are several dozen features you can tweak, ranging from virtual instrument (there must be around a hundred patches included), key, scale, and lots more. I've only been playing with it for a few minutes (I have a weird techno/gamelan orchestra/tubular bells thing running in the background right now), but it's way cool. You should download this; trust me.

Posted by johndan at May 6, 2005 11:28 PM | TrackBack