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Tuesday, November 19 • 12:30 - 14:00
Demo: Bytebeat - fractal self-similarity in algorithmic music

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Bytebeat is a music synthesis technique which principle of operation is based on that an audio stream of normally 8-bit PCM samples is generated using a function of a sample index. The function corresponds to a program that employs bitwise (and, or, xor, not) and basic arithmetic operators (add, multiply, subtract, divide, modulo and bit-shifts). The method was discovered by Ville-Matias Heikkilä in 2011. Bytebeat is also sometimes regarded as a new genre of music.

In its purest form bytebeat doesn't use any scores, instruments, oscillators or samples, yet the generated songs show the presence of melody and rhythm which is often complex and polyrhythmic. It could be mysterious how one-line C programs produce such results. In the talk, it will be shown how musical and self-similarity properties of generated waveforms follow from the math properties of bitwise and arithmetic operations.

The further development of bytebeat technique for using it as a control source for various synthesizer parameters like pitch, amplitude, modulation, etc. will be presented. It’ll also be shown that simple formulas could be applied for generating sequences of MIDI notes that could feed any generic synthesizer or sampler.

avatar for Alexander Obuschenko

Alexander Obuschenko

I’m a freelance mobile software engineer. While I’m not working on my client’s jobs, I’m doing audio and graphics programming. One of my recent music projects is a sequencer application with intrinsic support for polyrhythmic and pure intonation music. I would love to talk... Read More →

Tuesday November 19, 2019 12:30 - 14:00 GMT
Newgate Room Puddle Dock, London EC4V 3DB