Day 405 @ ITP: Code of Music

Assignment: Parallel Harmony

For this assignment I decided to keep working on my interface from last week’s synthesis assignment, I am familiarizing myself with Tone.js and am excited about the possibilities, but still getting the hang of it, so not building an entirely new interface is helpful to just experiment with the sounds more

For this week I added some new buttons with new melodies and tones to add on top of each other, and played with the Tone.MembraneSynth to add some percussive sounds as well as with changing the timings of the notes and rests between notes, though it still sounds a bit of a mess to my ears. My next goal would be to come up with more of a composition.

Here is the sketch:

[Note: when I first tried to take a screen recording the sketch suddenly started to sound like garbage. I finally realized it was because I was trying to use a program to record the audio separately and it was getting confused by the sketch also trying to take the audio input from the computer’s mic. So I ended up just using the computer’s built in mic to record the audio, and that worked.]

The interface I realized is loosely inspired by the Buchla easel, and I’d like to model it a bit more after the way the easel looks (without the patch cables, etc but with sliders and knobs/buttons to create effects) and also with creating similar kind of robotic and playful rhythms and melodies, but maybe a bit more ambient/evolving than the slightly jerky sounds in the video below:


I also enjoyed doing the Ableton making music tutorial and the Catalog piece on parsing out elements of music you like. I’ve always felt limited by pre-built synthesizers and it is very fun to try to imagine creating something that does exactly what you want it to do. Feeling the free to borrow elements from synthesizers that already exist to create interfaces with is also helpful.