Submarine Channel


Generative Music Sites

These interactive generative music sites can leave you feeling surprised, delighted and strangely ‘art-satisfied.’ The experimental interfaces of these websites approach the interplay of digital sounds and visual arts in a completely innovative way. This is art. But the pedestal it deserves is nowhere to be found… We filtered out the 5 best expressions of this underrated digital art form.


1. Patatap

Patatap, Interactive Generative Music Website

Showcase site Chrome Experiments is a precious goldmine for all kinds of surprising web experiments. If you want a big smile on your face, you should definitely check out Patatap. The best interactive sound/vision art is simple, elegant and takes no more than a few seconds to figure out. Patatap is all that. In its interface, every letter key on your keyboard is a different synth sound, accompanied by a simple but elegant animation.

Looks: pastel colored animation in Miami art deco style.
Sounds: a minimal kind of trap music. It takes a little practice to make it sound nice though. Find some inspiration over here.
Feels: happy and fresh.


2. Plink

Plink, Interactive Generative Music website

Also found on Chrome Experiments: Plink. It has a familiar musical interface and it makes use of a sequencer to structure your input into a melody that sounds OK. So far so good, but the fun of Plink is that it lets you jam in real time with others who are also logged in on the interface. 

Sounds: very random music for a documentary about tech stuff.
Looks: like a simplistic multi-player arcade video game
Feels: playful and it’s easy to work together to create a nice melody. And even if you don’t work together, it still sounds fine.


3. Tonfall Sequencer

Tonfall Sequencer, Interactive Generative Music website

The digital art thingies represented in this top 5 are all open source. Its creators are encouraging everyone to use the technology behind the art and just create whatever you want with it. So does Justin Windle, creator of the Tonfall Sequencer, a musical interface which is based on the nervous system. 

Looks: wandering neurons and receptor cells. Altering their numbers and proximity creates simple tones.
Sounds: electronic minimal ambient music. Very repetitive and soothing.
Feels: beautifully scientific.


4. Maccina1

Macchina1, Interactive Generative Music website

5013 is a very talented member of the creative coding community. She made Macchina1, an interactive generative music composing tool that’s fascinating for its complexity. We still haven’t figured out how to interact with it properly, but the Machina1 is also doing just fine on its own…

Sounds: very complex minimal classical music. Electronic and oscillating.
Looks: moving and shifting algorithms.
Feels: mathematical.


5. Radar

Radar, Interactive Generative Music website

Radar makes use of a radar interface to generate music. Just put pins in the grid. You can give each radar signal a different key. 

Sounds: loopy ambient tones.
Looks: hypnotizing radar love.
Feels: easy peasy.




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