Generative music

Generative music

Generative music is where creative control is almost take off the human artist and instead replaced with algorithms designed to randomise the structure and/or the midi notes played. Two terms you must become familiar with as part of generative music are voice and path, a voice is a sound similar to voices on a keyboard, the more voices you use at once the more interesting or complex your piece can be. Paths are what the voice follows and there for determine what pattern the voices will play these paths can change as they go along or hold a linear pattern.

A piece of software designed to create generative music is Noatikl which is a 16 track generative midi programme it also has MIDI out support which means that you can use it to play your hardware synthesizers with generated paths, however this piece of software is more designed toward drones and ambient sounds opposed to more of a song structure. Noatikl uses an interface similar to that of Max where you connect up objects to move along the signal flow this means that the user interface is quite intuitive and makes it easier to pick up and opening up the objects is where you set the parameters for each one or add effects onto voices.

It’s hard to talk about generative music without talking about Brian Eno he is an artist/producer and thought of as a pioneer of generative music one of his releases “music for airports” released in 1978 used sungnotes repeating at unorthodox timings Brian Eno said that this was so that “they are not likely to come back into sync again.” (Eno, 1996) this means that the song will sound different with every loop of tape, this is important as it is a trope of generative music, you don’t want it to be repetitive or looping as it would then not feel generative or random as it should.

Generative music does not follow conventional rules like other genres such as a set tempo or drum pattern instead it has different rules more about the production or creation of it. Generative music almost needs to make itself the artist simply records the sounds or sets the parameters and the system put in place does the rest. This means that generative music cant be described the same way as other genres because there is no limitation to or expected instrumentation and no expected mood or feel to the track.


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