AI Programs A DX7

midimutant runs on a Raspberry Pi and uses artificial evolution to grow new sounds      12/07/17

foam, who describe themselves as a transdisciplinary laboratory at the interstices of art, science, nature and everyday life, has posted details of their midimutant. They tell us that, made in collaboration with Aphex Twin, the midimutant learns how to program your DX7 synth so you don't have to. Here's some details in foam's own words...

Equipped only with a microphone input and MIDI output, the midimutant runs on a Raspberry Pi and uses artificial evolution to grow new sounds on hardware synthesisers that mimic an example sound you provide.

How it works: Every sound in a population of initially random patches is sent and auditioned via sysex midi messages, sampled and checked for similarity using MFCC analysis. The best patches are chosen to form the next generation using the sysex patch data as genetic material, converging (most of the time) on similar sounds. Unlike a neural network or machine learning algorithms, the artificial evolution does not need to model the underlying parameter space - i.e. how the synth internally functions to create sound. Midimutant can therefore be used on any synthesiser with a documented sysex dump format.

Source code and instructions on how to build your own will be available soon...

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