Where Do Beats Come From? Man Or Machine?

Patternarium is a new generative beat making software.

Lisa Baldini
Lisa Baldini on June 11, 2010.

Patternarium is a new software that offers a “generative” beat making tool that is also guided by the user. Embodying a more crowdsourced ethos with its functionality, the rhythms are initially generated by the computer; however, users are allowed to vote on the way the rhythm is shaped. The result is both user and computer generated.

While many producers may have some difficulty with a database generating beats and how it allows for the novice to operate alongside the professional, it is important to remember that technology has already shaped the way in which we treat music making — from what types of vibrations are picked up by analogue mics to the way in which digital processes crunch the musical data. In each instance, information is added or removed. So, while many say this allows the novice to move closer to an expert, the question for the musician/producer is whether it is possible that their choices in technology shape their musical capabilities? If so, where do we differentiate choice in the case of something like Patternarium or say a soundboard?

See the video below for a demonstration:


[via: Create Digital Music]

TOPICS: Arts & Culture, Electronics & Gadgets, Entertainment, Web & Technology
Lisa Baldini

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Lisa Baldini is a regular contributor to As a student of Graham Harwood, Luciana Parisi, and Matthew Fuller, Lisa's interest in technology lies in how culture is changed from the bottom up through history, materiality, databases, user experience, and affective computing. A student of social media marketing, she sees how people try to engage consumers through technology and how much failure is at hand by misunderstanding the medium. A teacher at heart, she writes and curates in an effort to link the knowledge derived between the academic, art, and business worlds.