IMPROVISOR for AudioCubes

June 27, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized 

IMPROVISOR is an application that makes it easy to create complex melodies and rhythms, all while staying in tempo, rhythm and in key (if you want), and without having to be a music theory genius. It’s a generative music software application that takes advantage of the unique capabilities of the AudioCubes, our easy to use smart musical blocks.

The idea of IMPROVISOR is that each cube is linked with a groove and a relative note pattern, which is played back in a loop. You can add and remove loops by adding and removing cubes. By placing the cubes next to each other, their note patterns are added to each other, creating completely new melodies, all in key and in rhythm. These can be sent via MIDI to your favourite software or hardware synth. You can enter your own grooves and relative note patterns (in semitones) in the software, using the built in editor and you can choose which cubes should be linked to which patterns. The loops are entered using a step sequencer, which contains 64 steps. What is special about IMPROVISOR, is that you enter the notes in a relative fashion, using the velocity editor and the semitone steps editor.

Why is that interesting?

Well, you can let the cubes each play back their sequences of semitone steps, and you can add them to each other when the cubes are placed next to each other, creating completely new melodies. This is called “following”. Each cube can follow the semitones of the other cubes, which basically means they are added together. The semitone steps are added to a “root note” for playback, which can be set per cube.

Each cube is associated with a sequence of notes (semitone steps), as well as a velocity sequence. The velocity sequence determines which semitone steps are played and how loud. This means you can tell two cubes to play different notes using the same “groove” or you can play the same notes using different grooves, for example. The length of the sequence being played back as well as the length of the notes can be set using a rotary knob in the user interface. Each cube can send notes to its own MIDI output port / channel. So one cube could be playing back bass notes to a bass synth while another one is playing a melody on a lead synth for example. To use IMPROVISOR you just have to have one cube connected to your computer. The other cubes are autodetected as they are added. You can set cubes to have a specific colour using the colour picker.

IMPROVISOR can synchronize to other MIDI compatible hardware or software (e.g. a drum machine) using MIDI clock. You can select the MIDI input port to enable this at the top left in the transport bar. Alternatively you can tap the tempo or enter it manually.

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