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The Manhattan Rhythm Machine

generative beat maker

The Manhattan Rhythm Machine is an interactive generative beat maker. Loops for each instrument are represented with cut up segments of a circle. These are moved through a two dimensional space of rhythms with axes of edginess and density which are mapped to rhythms through a beat hierarchy derived from how off-beat each position in the bar is.

It was created as a part of a project exploring the relationship between constraints, creativity and engagement with interactive music systems. It was designed with the aim of being quick and intuitive to grasp without losing the capacity for more complex or subtle musical outputs but more subtly complex in its range of musical output.

Created using Processing, Python, Ableton Live and Max for Live.

Tim Murray-Browne - Manhattan Rhythm Machine - a view of the generative beat maker interface

Publications

  • T. Murray-Browne, M. D. Plumbley, N. Bryan-Kinns, "An empirical study measuring the effect of delayed feature introduction on the user experience of an interactive music system," Technical Report, Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London, 2011. (bibtex)

Acknowledgements

The Manhattan Rhythm Machine was created whilst at the Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary, University of London under an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Account, with the support of Mark D. Plumbley and Nick Bryan-Kinns.