The Flashbulb Algorithmic Piano


That’s not going to happen - we still have a lot of work left to do for Audulus 3, including implementing AUv3 and MIDI out.

If it comes out before the end of the year, it will be a miracle. Taylor is working on another app right now that takes up a lot of his time, so once he gets that one in a good place, he’ll start on Audulus 4 dev.


@biminiroad The reason I added the external input unit is so I can easily sequence some chords as well as melodic lines. I’m pretty pleased with the way these turned out, and I’m looking forward to trying to put together something more engaging. The current demo was slapped together without too much care as far as the actual musical output was concerned, as I was more interested in getting the modules to interact properly. @RobertSyrett has quite a flair for this sort of composition and I’m sure he can come up with something more harmonious


Yeah I’ve been digging the background music in the patch tutorial videos he makes!


I think its the other way around, we developed algorithms to describe what was happening intuitively with creative composition. Still it is remarkable how close you can get to random and remain within musically accessible so long as you are also repetitive and diatonic.


I disagree, but maybe it’s just semantics - the algorithms are present in the intuition, which is culturally shaped as well. The algorithms we create to describe what is there are just abstractions of the actual algorithms that are present there. It’s why music theory is a bit like physics - it both describes what’s there already, and predicts what’s possible.

Giant Steps by Coltrane is a great example of this. He didn’t intuit the chord progressions, but used the algorithm of the Circle of Fifths to guide his composition, finding new amazing music that was hidden there within the structures that naturally evolved.


Giant steps’ motif can actually be fount in the pages of “Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns”, a copy of which Coltrane was rarely without according to Quincy Jones.

I think we are having one of those conversations where we are saying more or less the same thing, but disagreeing somehow. To me, the algorithm is a set of instructions, so naive compositions get an exemption from being described as algorithmic. But this is very much like the old zen koan: Two monks are arguing if it is the flag that is moving or if it is the wind which is moving, so they go to the master and he tells his students, “Neither, it is your minds that are moving.”


Sure, so the set of instructions for intuitive composition might start with the scale, then go to measure and beat counting, and so on.

It’s the same way in your other post about the Golden Ratio - it’s not like the plants are following the formula, but the formula describes it. And yet the formula does exist in the world in this abstract way.

What I mean in particular about algorithms is the set of “rules” your brain gets fed when thinking about what is possible in music. When you hear a “wrong” note, you hear it as wrong because even if you’re not trained in music, you have these socially-indoctrinated algorithms for what is and is not appropriate in music, similar to how you can tell when someone uses a wrong word from the context of the conversation or the culture.


Definition of a philosopher; or, how one does philosophy

See phi·los·o·phy - fəˈläsəfē - In the end, full agreement is not preferred.


One thing I really like about long drives are podcasts. I can’t always sit at home and listen, but on the road I love them. So I figured I would post a link to these, as some of you might also appreciate being in a situation where you have no choice but to listen to a radio program for an hour.

@robertsyrett posted a video interview on another thread from Why We Bleep: Episode 4, which was really entertaining.

However, Episode 1 concerns the subject in question on this thread about “socially-indoctrinated algorithms” and the like, so I decided to post a link to it on this thread.

Here is the discussion with Tom Whitwell, creator of the Turing Machine, if anyone hasn’t already listened to it.