Dynamic Tonality has introduced XronoMorph – a free app for OS X and Windows, that lets you make beats while exploring a new theory of rhythm.
XronoMorph is designed for beat making, using two mathematical principles: perfect balance and well-formedness:
- Perfect balance is a generalization of the polyrhythms found in many African and jazz musical traditions. A rhythm is perfectly balanced when the mean position (center of gravity) of all its rhythmic events, when arranged on a circle, is the center of that circle.
- Well-formedness is a generalization of the additive rhythms found in aksak (Balkan), sub-Saharan African, and progressive rock musical traditions. Well-formed rhythms contain no more than two interonset intervals, arranged as evenly as possible. WF rhythm are typically nested by faster WF rhythms, which in combination form complex interlocking rhythmic hierarchies.
These principles are outlined in the papers Perfect balance: A novel principle for the construction of musical scales and meters & Computational Creation and Morphing of Multi-Level Rhythms by Control of Evenness.
In XronoMorph, each rhythmic layer is visualized as a polygon inscribed in a circle, and each polygon can be constructed according to two different mathematical principles: perfect balance and well-formedness (aka MOS).
These principles generalize polyrhythms, additive, and Euclidean rhythms.
Rhythms can be smoothly morphed between, and irrational rhythms with no regular pulse can also be easily constructed.
Each polygon can play an independent sound, and XronoMorph comes with a useful selection of samples to play the rhythms. Alternatively, you can load your own VST or AU plugins, or send MIDI to an external software or hardware synth.
The rhythmic loops can be saved as presets within XronoMorph; they can also be saved as Scala scale tuning files, which means XronoMorph can be also used as a tool for designing well-formed (MOS) and perfectly balanced microtonal scales.
XronoMorph is available as a free download for OS X & Windows.
Note: On OS X, the legacy version of Java 6 must be installed.
If you’ve used XronoMorph, let us know what you think of it in the comments!