MIDI Grid - Create evolving patterns (Free plug-in download)
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MIDI Grid by ADSR – a Grid-Based Generative MIDI Sequencer
MIDI Grid, a MIDI sequencer that can create constantly morphing patterns. The user can select a key and scale to work with, and the data generated can be sent to any synth that accepts MIDI.
MIDI Grid is a generative MIDI sequencer that can create evolving patterns in a chosen key and scale. MIDI Grid will work with any synth that accepts MIDI input.
The bulk of MIDI Grid’s interface is a simple 8×8 grid.
Each square in the grid can have one of three basic types: dead, alive, or buffer.
Click on any square to change it’s type.
Dead squares don’t do anything, and they appear as an empty square on the interface. These should make up the majority of the grid.
Alive squares move in a direction, and they appear as an arrow pointing in that direction on the interface. Whenever they run into the edge of the grid, another alive square, or a buffer square, they change direction. Alive squares also trigger MIDI notes whenever they hit the edge of the grid. There are controls to the left of and above the grid that select which notes are triggered when this happens.
Buffer squares simply sit still and wait for alive squares to bump into them. They appear purple on the interface.
The key to creating a nice, evolving, patch in MIDI Grid is to set things up so that you have a few alive squares and buffer squares that will bump into each other as sequencer advances.
The collisions will cause the squares to change direction, which will cause the MIDI output to morph over time.
It is this that will add an element of randomness to your system (if you set your grid up so that no collisions occur between squares, it will never evolve at all).
To the right of the grid, there are controls for the key and scale, the speed of the sequencer, the length of the generated notes, and velocity. When changing key and scale, the changes made will be harmonically informed – you will always change to a key or scale that is harmonically adjacent to the one you just left.
As a MIDI generator, MIDI Grid does not create any sound on it’s own. You must route the MIDI data to the synth of your choice.
In the video provided, an example is shown using Ableton Live. While the exact method may differ slightly from DAW to DAW, it should be very similar in your program of choice.