Make music by throwing shapes with this app (Wired UK)

Geometric Music

So you can’t read music. Or carry a tune. No big deal. If you’ve
always dreamed of making music but can barely tell the
difference between a treble clef and an ampersand, all is not lost.
A new app, called Geometric Music, requires no real musical skill
beyond making sounds and understanding shapes.

To say Geometric Music produces actual melodic
tunes is a little misleading. The app was originally dreamt up by
Gaëtan Libertiaux and Gaël Bertrand, co-founders of interactive
design Superbe with a deep fascination of beat-boxing. The
guys always wanted to learn the skill, but were too lazy to
practice. (Le sigh.) Geometric Music is their answer to that.

The app works like ultra-simple sample-production software,
allowing you to create layered beats. But while complex programs
will drown you in buttons and knobs, Geometric Music only uses
shapes to dictate how something sounds. Every noise you make is
translated into one of four shapes (circle, triangle, square or
hexagon), and you manipulate those shapes to change the rhythm,
speed and volume. Think of it as tapping into a digitally-enabled
form of shaped-based synesthesia.

It might sound odd, but it turns out shapes are a fairly
intuitive way to communicate musical ideas. Music might feel
ephemeral, but it has edges. Have you ever heard a song and
instantly imagined what it might look like? Geometric Music is
makes that notion concrete by directly translating what you see on
screen to what you hear.

Geometric MusicSuperbe

To channel your inner Kanye, you start by recording a
sound, whether that be a clap, a burp or whistle. From there you
choose your shape based on the sequence of the beat you’re looking
for. Each shape as its own rhythm; choose a circle and you’ll hear
your sound once, a triangle is three times, a square four times and
a hexagon six times. The concept is easier to grasp once you watch
your sound travel around the edges of the shape.

The size of the shape determines the tempo (the smaller the
shape, the faster the beat). And the shape’s orientation dictates
its dynamics (moving it up on the screen increases the volume, down
decreases) and how you’ll hear it (you can move the shape left and
right to impact the stereo). Added to all that is the ability to
reverse and distort your sounds.

Right now, you can’t save your recordings. Anything you create
dissolves into the creative ether as soon as you begin a new track.
The designers plan to incorporate a saving functionality on the
next version of the app along with filters to add variety to the
sounds. So as the app evolves, it’ll be easier to make more
sophisticated beats.

The app is a little bit addicting, if not an entirely efficient
way to edit music. Even with practice, it’s hard to produce a
controlled sample. “We don’t really care about the technical vision
itself or about creating the most efficient tool,” says Libertiaux.
And fair enough. Geometric Music is more about leveraging a new
kind of interaction and visualisation to teach a hard-learned
skill. The big question is, can shapes help us to learn music
without actually understanding the technicalities music? The
designers seem to think so. “Everybody is creative, it’s the
environment in which we live that tends to kill our creativity,”
says Libertiaux. “That’s what we want to achieve with the app, to
make people realise that they are musicians too.”

This article originally appeared on

If the article suppose to have a video or a photo gallery and it does not appear on your screen, please Click Here

22 August 2014 | 10:12 am – Source:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.