Day 391 @ ITP: The Code of Music

Assignment #3: Melody Sequencer

View the sketch here

Screen shot of the melody sequencer playing a pattern.

Screen shot of the melody sequencer playing a pattern.

For this project I decided to build off the 8-step drum sequencer example from class. I multiplied the number of squares by four, so there are 16 tracks and 32 steps. The result reminded me of one of my favorite toys/instruments, the Tenori-on, a grid-based sequencer which works like this sketch in its simplest mode.

I ended up using the notes C, E, G, and A in different octaves, so technically it is creating a “C7” chord. I like how having multiple instances of the same note gives the option to layer them on top of each other to create different timbres, as well as creating chords from the different notes. The chord is very simple, but I think it could be a nice start to a song, or a motif to enter in with. Ideally next I would add more high notes and different sounds, but I will stop here for this first experiment and keep that in mind for something more complex further down the line, with different instruments being introduced rather than only the piano sound.

One gripe while working on this was that somehow the volumes of my sounds changed drastically once I put them into the sketch, and also at times would glitch and sound like they were peaking, and at other times not. This can be seen slightly in the video below when it glitches as it reaches the highest note. I also wanted to have more color interaction, but wasn’t able to get different colors to show up with the different notes. I also attempted adding a slider to change the bpm, and a pitch shift effect, but neither worked. In the future I will attempt tricks like this again with some help.