Generative Music Apps


The other day @roamin posted a link on twitter to an article from by Mark Weidenbaum called, When Cells Collide

I found it very interesting and went to The App Store and downloaded, “Otomata”,  Batuhan Bozkurt’s generative sound app onto my iPhone 3GS. I found it utterly compelling and quite hypnotic. It is a simple streamlined app with just enough user controls and a genuine element of randomness in the musical output so you never get quite the same thing twice. I was delighted with it.

Then I told my old buddy Adrian4 about it thinking he’d enjoy it too.
To my foolish surprise it was old news to him and he suggested I try a similar app called Beatwave.
This was also quite impressive but a little more complicated.

Finally, he told me about the suite of generative, ambient music apps published by Opal Ltd. and developed by none other than the Godfather of Ambient Music himself, Mr. Brian Eno and a software developer and musician called Peter Chilvers. These are really smooth and stylish and I haven’t stopped playing with them or just plugging my iPhone into the hi-fi and letting them do their own thing while I lie back and enjoy the sounds.

I noticed one or two, “Nay-sayers”, amongst the App Store reviews and a common complaint that you can’t save, export, post on Facebook etc. Well where there’s a will there’s a way I say. The big photograph above illustrates more simply than a great many words how I recorded and saved some of the random audio these apps produce. It’s amazing what you can do with the right inter-connect cable! I’m almost as pleased with the cable as the apps!

I recorded a few minutes from each of the five apps as 16bit WAV files then opened them in Audacity and exported them as 128kbps mp3 files. Here are the results…





Otomata – screenshot


Beatwave – screenshot

More info here:


3 responses to “Generative Music Apps

  1. Reblogged this on adrian4 and commented:
    My good bud and fellow musical traveller posted the words below recently and kindly mentioned me. And as emulation is the best form of synthesis I have shelled out a princely £3.99 on an audio jack and can now out put from my phone straight into iRig on iPad. So, back soon with variations. Just remember, it’s an opt in system.


  2. Dude. Just noticed that as WordPress facilitates multiple simultaneous playback I can stream all of the above loops one on top of the other. If you can record this and post it on the same page you will achieve an auditory infinity mirror and fall back through the wormhole it creates. Result!


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