|Photo: Brad Linder|
I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to generate music digitally, ever since I decided that my acoustic guitar wasn’t going to be much help in writing a theme for the LPX Show.
So far, I’ve mostly been using mobile sequencer apps, because making patterns on a touch screen just feels right. But you can also make music by writing words… or rather, lines of code.
There are a lot of ways to make music with a computer… and the computer doesn’t even need to be all that powerful. You can even use synthesizer software to play tunes on a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero (although you’ll obviously need to spend a few bucks on speakers, a display, a mouse, and a keyboard).
Sonic Pi is an open source “live coding” synth that’s available for the Raspberry Pi (and other Linux-based operating systems), OS X, and Windows.
It’s been around for a little while, but I just discovered it today, installed it, and started following the tutorials to learn how to create a drum track, play tones, alter the sound of those tones, introduce samples, and… next thing I knew it was nearly 2 hours later.