The age of automated consumer content is nigh… Technologists propose the possibility of “functional” music, fully synthesized by algorithms that have integrated the silicon combinations of tonality to a standard of perfection. A.I hiveminds crunching our audio pleasure information into infinite automatic arrangements rendered on-demand… But like most glacial inevitables, coming to grips with, and understanding where the ideas come from and perhaps how to apply components of it to your approach can enhance what makes your work individualized, an expression of your intellect and character.
Generative Music was the brainchild of Brian Eno who cleverly dreamed up music created by a system. Embracing the concept of manufactured tones composed with asymmetrically played magnetic tape loops that never meet at the same points, the results caught in the record “2/1” are an ever-changing tone poem that would birth the possibilities imagined in what Eno called “Ambient Music”. Fast forward into the digital blur of the present where artists such as Holly Herndon utilize bespoke A.I to coproducer her brilliant collisions of multilayered folk futurism and legions of bedroom producers are programing music as much as they are arranging notes. Everything is dynamic and customizable to randomization, much like the present moment’s vibe itself a bit overwhelming with what is authentic to the artist or algorithm.
Chill out. This approach needn’t spiral into utter chaos. But observed as a hidden technique to enliven lifeless musical passages or lift the imagination out of a creative rut. Sometimes it’s refreshing to simply guide something automatic along and enjoy the spontaneous possibilities, a vast army of Modular Synth devotees will attest to this. An easy entry into this idea lies in LFO’s and creative modulation of note information or audio parameters, which can now be done with most DAW’s and of course the MOD system.
Here is one proposal for an environment that integrates an internal generative system along with external audio processing with the idea of making controlled spontaneously adjustable soundscapes. Ideal for creative sessions or bold performances and utilizes Mod Devices CV clock and parameter adjustments assigned to parameter controls to create an ever-shifting but guidable sonic manifold.