Pierre Schaeffer created *musique concrete * WAY before sampling, where sounds from the natural or mechanised world could be gathered and presented as music, and I cant help thinking of John Cage who would draw lines on a weather map and play the music that fell on the intersections of the lines, or other different thinking composers from any age would appreciate what generating composition ideas based on semi structured random formula means for music.
WELL NOW THERES AN APP FOR THAT. haha gees really
If you get what I’m on about, you might also be interested in WIDI.
Play it audio and it quantises the frequency spectrum to a chromatic scale. Have you wondered what an explosion sounds like rendered on a piano? Ok it’s a bit like what the piano does when you throw your family pet on the keys. Just imagine it don’t do it.
If you scan musical audio into it, it will of course guess the key and tempo and do a decent job of making a MIDI file of it for you to use in the studio, or make a midi ringtone that you could then quickly sell on an chinese ringtone webiste and make several yuan.
Seriously though, if you like sampling, this is a kind of sampling, but with a way to avoid any pesky licensing problems. Steal a groovy riff you like, played by a very old and long dead jazz genius and change the key and slow it down or speed it up and turn it into a minor progression when it was major or whatever.
You can do far more with this scheme than with a piece of cut up audio and with no ill effects, because it’s just midi. You then decide what instrument should play it.
Those of us that write music on computer in a sequencer can’t sit down drunk like a guitarist and noodle away. It doesn’t work like that, and If you get wasted in front of your computer you’ll just pour beer and ash into the keyboard, and probably end up watching porn.
For centuries musicians have sat down high in front of their instruments, tried to play their favorite songs, messed it up, and created something new that interested them enough, and a new song was born.
A sequencer programming musician can’t really have that process, even with ableton live, its harmonically too structured.
So widi gives you fuel for the sequencer. it wont just pick out the notes of a song, it picks out harmonics. You can scan a song into this and get all sorts of amazing results and ways of hearing a piece of audio you may not have realised. It can generate fistfulls of notes and several channels of it all at once.
This is good news if you don’t like or have a music keyboard, and compose DJ style just in the sequencer. if you’re so inclined, Widi might just be that opportunity to break the creative block you’re having.
The downside is the app is a bit geeky. Not such a good UI with some relevant things put out of immediate reach, and a few odd things to deal with. The PC version is more elaborate than the Mac version which I am personally really offended about. But it delivers the goods, and its under more development.
Don’t under estimate what this humble app represents.
your next progressive symphony could be ~ Possum going thru the bins ~ for cello , in A minor