This machine only accepts a few valid instructions, and you control it by placing each command letter within a grid, along with setting some associated parameter sliders. The machine runs through the grid, following the instructions to create the output sounds, which are usually of a somewhat noisy character, hopefully interestingly so.
The historical antecedents include instruction synthesis as pionneered at the Institute of Sonology in the 1970s, and the live coding movement, of modifying a running program as it acts.
This app is intended for those interested in more experimental sound art, and is in no way a traditional diatonic melody generator.
“Don’t download this unless you are open to stranger computer music sounds,” warns Collins.
Be careful of your ears, this app can produce wild sounds at high volume. Program this sound synthesis puzzle machine by dragging letters TOPLAp to the grid; you can also set a parameter for each position via the slider at each slot. The audio engine whizzes through the states many times per second. Press ! to clear the grid, and ? to randomise. No save or load is allowed, to promote improvisation. Live coding engineered by Click Nilson.
TOPLAP is the Transnational Organisation for the Promotion of Live Algorithm Programming, or somesuch abbreviation (TOPLAP website).