Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Making Music with computers...

Music without Thorn

Kanta Laga? Hai Laga? If today's music hurts you hard, it is high time you head strait towards your computer to make some cool music for yourself. Loose no heart if you do not understand Sa Re Ga Ma of music; your little computing experience will only count. You will wonder that you will be able to make cool music for yourself despite the fact that you only enjoy listening music and never cared about learning it. Well, believe it; here is your computer that will help you become a cool musician, that too without any formal musical background. However, if you do have some musical background, it will definitely be a plus point. Your computer, with the help of some cool program has all the potential to soothe any pricking of Kanta type Music. Here is how:

a Musical Generator : Create cool music from any file.

Ever thought that the ‘Excel File’ containing your ‘TAX Returns’ sound music to your ears? Yes, it can. With ‘a Musical Generator’ Program you can generate music from variety of files including Excel File containing your tax returns or balance sheets. Now if the music so created from your tax file does not sound pleasant to you, give a second look to your balance sheet. Meanwhile, try to compose some really pleasant music with this program.

The program supports your sound card’s midi port and produce 128 or 256 instrument sounds that may include from Piano to Violin to Banjo to Sehnai; depending on your sound card. Similarly, there are dozens of pre-defined shapes and figures (Vector from which it generates music) to select to generate music. Select specific vector either from its built in available options or from your own picture / text files which it converts in to vector. Now assign that vector to any or all of available 127 track, assign its instrument, channel; give tone, length, pitch, tempo etc. to suit to your taste and when done, click on play button. Your composed music will be played instantly. If you are not satisfied with your composition, try to change some settings such as vector, instrument, tempo, pitch, tone etc. and in no time you will be able to create different set of cool music for you. Some cool Midi files included in this month’s i.t. CD are created with this program having default settings and without much user interaction. Try this musical program from http://www.musoft-builders.com/mu_gen/amg31.zip .

Sounder : The infinite, interactive cool music

Sounder is a nice little program that creates interactive music for you for an infinite length of time. In fact, once you assign sounder objects, it will play cool music for forever until it is stopped. In this application, cool sound effects and music are produced through impact of moving object (sound object). You can put as many object and sounder window to produce desired music. You can experiment a little with number of sound object and sounder window to get your taste of music. The music played for forever and since objects collide randomly to make music that is rhythmic, you get infinite possibility. The speed and frequency of collision and thus effect of music can be controlled in an infinite way.

Sounder also supports musical instruments of your midi port. You can save your creation as tiny sounder file of a few hundred bytes, yet they are capable to give you unlimited fun. There are some sample sounder files in the program itself that can be taken as reference in creation of music through Sounder. While music is playing through Sounder, staring in sounder window on its sounder object makes mesmerizing effect. It has two versions. One is Player version, which is free to download (Not for free distribution) from http://www.sounder.com . The other is full version but that comes for a price. Free version lets you play music for limited time and do not allow you to save your creation.

Tangent : The music to put you on hold

Precisely, with only one mouse click (and precisely no other user interaction), if you will be able to compose full blown interesting Orchestra pieces; then what do you call it? Miracle? No, it is called Tangent, the orchestra generator.

Tangent’s author maintains that Tangent is an advanced quasi fractal composer which generates musical tones through combination of various methods such as Algorithmic, Heuristic, Deterministic, Stochastic, Generative and Transformational approach. The generated music thus become orchestral, melodic, and tonal and shows rhythmic coherence. Tangent music are rich in instrument, large and lush, deep and dense, intricate and interesting and are enough to surprise you.

Tangent is a shareware program and you can download it from : http://www.randomtunes.com . Its unregistered version, which is free for use and distribute, only prohibit you in saving your music in midi format (you still can save your music composition in Tangent native format), else it works with all its features enabled. Though you can manually control every aspect of music that you can compose with Tangent through its Parameter and Orcherstration controls, it works fine as random orchestra generator in its Elevator mode. Simply click Elevator button on Tangent application and listen hours of interesting Orchestra. You can experiment manually with various options and settings only to find some more interesting results. Try it to believe it - that - once fired, Tangent will refuse to die down off your head if you really love Music.

Mandelbrot32 : Music in Indian Ragas

Mandelbrot32 is a music generator program that uses Mandelbrot Set to compose music. Fractals are famous in their vibrant colors, and have infinite yet rhythmic possibilities in their shapes. The very natures of these fractals are used in making music that is hypnotic. Length, direction, width, iteration, patch, volume, scale, number of voice, temperament, tone and other parameters of music are taken from fractal figure. The generated music become rich if the figure is heavy and rich. If the fractal is monotonous, the generated music will also be accordingly low in variety, but not necessarily in melody. For example, if there is black or hollow in fractal, the corresponding music will be having no sound (Denoting Peace) and if it is filled with fine multicolor grains, the music produced will be agitating (Denoting Life).

Mandelbrot32 is a small freeware program and you can download it from http://www.fin.ne.jp/~yokubota/ . Take note that the site is in Japani, but the link to download works. Mandelbrot simulates various instruments from Hindu JalTarang to Chinese and from Raga Kalyan to Asawari. Simply experiment with assigning different X – Y parameters along with other variable parameters and click on draw button to draw fractal on Mandelbrot’s fractal window. Right click on the area of fractal where you think is most populated and are most dramatic in nature. The area between point A and B are selected. Then click on Go button to play music on your Midi player. Note that Mandelbrot32 does not have built in Midi player. If you are happy with your music composition, click on Save N button; give it a name without extension to save it as midi file and click on ok. You can now use your created music anywhere, any time.

Chaos von Eschenbach : What? Music?

It is another freeware program that uses Mandelbrot Set to generate music. It is better in utilizing Midi Instrument, but quite slow in drawing fractal. You have to draw a line through your mouse pointer to select parameters to compose music on a completed fractal figure. The program is simple and need only simple parameter settings from you.

Once the fractal is drawn, (click on ‘Always’ check box else it will wait for computer’s idle time to draw and takes much more time) draw a line on the fractal you think most rich and dramatic, click on compose and your music is ready. Now play it and refine it with desired instrument (Part Setup button) and if you like it, save it as midi file. Chaos von Eschenbach, is a simple music generator with limited features. It nowhere comes near to Tangent in performance. However, you can create and save small yet appealing midi files for your different need. Download it from http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VAO12736/chaos/chaoscmp.zip

Now you have composed enough music that does not hurt anybody any more, why don’t you consider distributing it to your community? Alternately, think perhaps for a Music Launch?

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