New App, Rhythm Necklace, Lets You Explore The Geometry Of Rhythm

rhythm-necklace-appRhythm Necklace is a new ‘geometric sequencer’ for iOS, designed to let you explore the geometry of rhythm.

The concept of ‘Rhythm necklaces’ – circular representations of repeating patterns – comes from author Godfried T. Toussaint’s book, The Geometry of Musical Rhythm.

According to Toussaint, circular representations of rhythms show the underlying geometric properties that make them enjoyable, such as the degrees of evenness and symmetry.

And Toussaint has found that analyzing rhythms geometrically reveals relationships between rhythms the world over. For example, a core group of geometric algorithms are shared in rhythms iused in African, Cuban, Balkan, and Spanish folk music. Continue reading

New App, Wilsonic, Lets You Explore ‘Profound’ Microtonal Harmonies

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Wilsonic is a new app for iPad that is designed to let you explore the microtonal systems of scale theorist Ervin Wilson.

Here’s what developer Marcus Satellite has to say about the app: Continue reading

Sundog Scale Studio For Mac, Windows Gets Major Update has updated its MIDI composition software Sundog Scale Studio, for Mac & Windows, to version 1.4.0.

Sundog is a stand-alone MIDI sequencer that is designed to provide tools focused on composition.

It works like this:

  1. Connect Sundog to your DAW via MIDI.
  2. Pick a scale – like C Major or E Minor.
  3. Sundog will show you a list of chords that can be used on this scale.
  4. Create a chord progression by clicking and listening.
  5. Use the internal step sequencer to create melodies or arpeggios on your chords and scale notes.

The update adds enhanced sequencing options, improved MIDI support, ‘tighter’ MIDI clock, new views and more.  Continue reading

Fourier Analysis With A 100-year-old Mechanical Computer

‘Engineer Guy’ Bill Hammack is the professor you wish you had. He’s a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois and the creator of a series of videos that explain technology.

This set of videos take a look at Albert Michelson’s Harmonic Analyzer – a nineteenth century mechanical computer that performed Fourier analysis by using gears, springs and levers to calculate with sines and cosines—an astonishing feat in an age before electronic computers.

Fourier analysis is the study of how complex functions can be broken down into simple ones. In the area of sound and synthesis, Fourier analysis can be used to break down any periodic sound into component sine (and cosine) waves. And, going in the opposite direction, sine waves can be combined to create complex sounds.

This is now done with computers, but 100 years ago, it was done with machines.  Continue reading