Polyrhythmic Sequencing With Euclidean Rhythms

This video, via White Noises, takes a look at polyrhythmic sequencing with Euclidean Rhythms, using a Qu-Bit Pulsar Eurorack module.

The Euclidean algorithm is an ancient formula that computes the greatest common divisor of two given integers. It can be used to create a class of rhythms, Euclidean Rhythms, where beats are distributed as evenly as possible across the length of the sequence. Examples of Euclidean Rhythms are common in many types of music – ranging from the four-on-the-floor of dance music to West African bell patterns.

The application of the Euclidean algorithm to rhythm was outlined in a paper by Godfried Toussaint.

The video demonstrates generating Euclidean Rhythm gate patterns with a Qu-Bit Pulsar module, and using them to create rhythmic sequences with a Eurorack modular synthesizer. There are many other modules that have modes for generating Euclidean Rhythms, including the 20 Objects Ardcore, Mutable Instruments Grid, the mxmxmx Ornament & Crime and many others.

Pricing and Availability

Pulsar is available now for US $289.00.

10 thoughts on “Polyrhythmic Sequencing With Euclidean Rhythms

    1. Richard, if you haven’t checked out Patterning, you MUST.

      Though it doesn’t specifically generate the actual Euclidian spread, it does everything else. You set the number of steps, tap in the spread of notes, and there’s a rotation setting (that even automates the rotation).

  1. For those of you who are messing around with this, try setting the number of steps to 12 (i.e. 4 beats of triplets) and generating Euclidian patterns there. It’s groovy!

  2. there is ipad app Patterning in euclidean (divide) mode… if there is a better way to explore and play with euclidean rhythms i haven’t found it

  3. I read Toussaint’s book, and later when the Drumbrute came out, I thought it would be the perfect tool for playing with the types of rhythms he discusses. I hope to get said gear in the near future for this reason.

  4. Wow…lucky acoustic drum kits were invented before sequential flashing LED’s! Otherwise we’d all be ‘listening’ to sets of LED’s rotating in a circle…pfff!!! Nerd

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