Plugin Boutique has launched an exclusive sale on Audiomodern, offering discounts of up to 60% off regular on its Random Chords, Groove and Riff Generator Max For Live devices and Riffer MIDI plugin. Random Chords Generator PRO is an instrument built to create midi chords from the MIDI notes received. It comes with 52 chord […]
It Might Get Loud Productions has launched a Holiday Sale, offering a 50% discount on its products through January 7th, 2019. 2019 is about to hit deck! To celebrate the future, we’ll have -50% sale for the last days of 2018. Now is the best time as ever to flip that coin for goodies you […]
Plugin Boutique has launched the first two deals of its 12 Days of Christmas promotion. For a limited time you can save 25% off on the Scaler creative chord composer plugin. Scaler is a unique and inspirational MIDI effect that makes finding chords and progressions intuitive and fun! With note detection, scale selection and chord […]
Toontrack’s Boogie EZkeys MIDI features a collection of boogie inspired piano or keyboard MIDI with 4/4 playing variations in swing/straight. From the turn-of-the-century barrelhouses in the no-name towns of the Southern states, the uniform bass line of the boogie has echoed unconverted to our present day. With one unmistakable chord sequence, it’s managed to seep […]
Hagai Davidoff has announced the release of NoteMatrix, a Kontakt multi-script that allows you to swap incoming MIDI notes with other MIDI notes and channels. NoteMatrix is a elegant and sophisticated Kontakt multi-script, comprised of a 12-cell matrix. It grabs incoming MIDI notes from your pad controller (or any other MIDI hardware), and swaps them […]
Live coding environments are free, run on the cheapest hardware as well as the latest laptops, and offer new ways of thinking about music and sound that are leading a global movement. And one of the leading tools of that movement just hit a big milestone.
This isn’t just about a nerdy way of making music. TidalCycles is free, and tribes of people form around using it. Just as important as how impressive the tool may be, the results are spectacular and varied.
There are some people who take on live coding as their primary instrument – some who haven’t had experiencing using even computers or electronic music production tools before, let alone whole coding environments. But I think they’re worth a look even if you don’t envision yourself projecting code onstage as you type live. TidalCycles in particular had its origins not in computer science, but in creator Alex McLean’s research into rhythm and cycle. It’s a way of experiencing a musical idea as much as it is a particular tool.
TidalCycles has been one of the more popular tools, because it’s really easy to learn and musical. The one downside is a slightly convoluted install process, since it’s built on SuperCollider, as opposed to tools that now run in a Web browser. On the other hand, the payoff for that added work is you’ll never outgrow TidalCycles itself – because you can move to SuperCollider’s wider arrange of tools if you choose.
New in version 1.0 is a whole bunch of architectural improvement that really makes the environment feel mature. And there’s one major addition: controller input means you can play TidalCycles like an instrument, even without coding as your perform:
New ways of combining patterns
Input from live controllers
The ability to set tempo with patterns
Maybe just as important as the plumbing improvements, you also get expanded documentation and an all-new website.
You’ll need to update some of your code as there’s been some renaming and so on.
But the ability to input OSC and MIDI is especially cool, not least because you can now “play” all the musical, rhythmic stuff TidalCycles does with patterns.
There’s enough musicality and sonic power in TidalCycles that it’s easy to imagine some people will take advantage of the live coding feedback as they create a patch, but play more in a conventional sense with controllers. I’ll be honest; I couldn’t quite wrap my head around typing code as the performance element in front of an audience. And that makes some sense; some people who aren’t comfortable playing actually find themselves more comfortable coding – and those people aren’t always programmers. Sometimes they’re non-programmers who find this an easier way to express themselves musically. Now, you can choose, or even combine the two approaches.
Also worth saying – TidalCycles has happened partly because of community contributions, but it’s also the work primarily of Alex himself. You can keep him doing this by “sending a coffee” – TidalCycles works on the old donationware model, even as the code itself is licensed free and open source. Do that here:
While we’ve got your attention, let’s look at what you can actually do with TidalCycles. Here’s our friend Miri Kat with her new single out this week, the sounds developed in that environment. It’s an ethereal, organic trip (the single is also on Bandcamp):
We put out Miri’s album Pursuit last year, not really having anything to do with it being made in a livecoding environment so much as I was in love with the music – and a lot of listeners responded the same way:
For an extended live set, here’s Alex himself playing in November in Tokyo:
And Alexandra Cardenas, one of the more active members of the TidalCycles scene, played what looked like a mind-blowing set in Bogota recently. On visuals is Olivia Jack, who created vibrant, eye-searing goodness in the live coding visual environment of her own invention, Hydra. (Hydra works in the browser, so you can try it right now.)
Unfortunately there are only clips – you had to be there – but here’s a taste of what we’re all missing out on:
HighLife Samples has announced the release of EDM 2019 Big Drops, a new Big Sounds sample pack featuring 5 construction kits with loops & samples and MIDI files. Are you the kind of person who lives for the build up and explodes with a massive drop? Big Sounds has got you covered, and is always […]
Steinberg has announced the release of Cubasis 2.7, the iOS music production app exclusively available for the iPad. The update adds a large number of user-requested features and improvements. A streamlined, multitouch sequencer for the iPad, Cubasis is for discerning music producers and musicians looking for mobile recording, editing and mixing capabilities, combined with unmatched […]
Alonso Sound has released a new volume in the Revealed MIDI Anthems series of MIDI packs. Spanning a collection of 90 original Revealed-style MIDI + 30 Bonus Loops, you’ll find what you need to boost your creative flow and inspiration. Just drag and drop a huge variety of inspiring Revealed-style MIDI files; from melodic chords, […]
Cherry Audio has announced the release of version 1.1 of the Voltage Modular and Voltage Module Designer, which now includes polyphonic outputs on the I/O panel, along with 11 new Polyphonic modules added as part of the Voltage Core package. New Poly modules include Poly Oscillator, Poly Filter, Poly Envelope Generator, Poly Amplifier, Poly Glide, […]