Ableton & Coldcut have introduced MidiVolve – a Max For Live arpeggiator, riff generator and sequencer.
Designed by Coldcut (Matt Black and Jonathan More), MidiVolve is inspired by Steve Reich’s seminal work, Music for 18 Musicians, and lets you create patterns that automatically ‘evolve’. It also comes with a collection of hybrid electronic/acoustic Instrument and Effects Racks, with sounds of Coldcut.
In Black’s own words: “It’s a next gen warp drive sequencer for creating and mutating musical ideas.”
Entering A Sequence
Notes are entered into MidiVolve’s sequencer window from Push or a MIDI keyboard, or by simply playing back a MIDI clip on the same track.
In Arp mode, they generate an arpeggio; in Riff mode, they’re used as the basis for an auto-generated freeform melodic pattern.
With a sequence in place, clicking the Evolve button instantly mutates the note Pitch, Velocity, Duration, Density and horizontal position (Swap), plus two freely assignable Map parameters, to create a new sequence; and activating Auto mode re-evolves the current or initial sequence on playback every 1-32 cycles.
The probability, range, direction and amount of change applied with each evolution are adjustable for each parameter – so you can opt for subtle, organic shifts by evolving just one or two parameters, radical transformation of all of them, or anything in between.
You can also make manual edits to all seven parameters at any stage directly in the sequencer, too, and evolve each parameter individually as well as collectively.
A number of global operations are also on hand for further shaping of the sequence. Note pitches can be conformed to a user-defined scale or mode and limited in range, while sequence length (1-64 steps), playback direction, speed and swing are manipulable, and rhythmic irregularities and fills can be introduced using Euclidian clock operations.
Transferring your evolved patterns to Live’s Session View is as easy as hitting the Export button, which prints it to the next free clip slot.
Pricing and Availability
MidiVolve is available now for US $49.