Machines that go beep

The New Ruckus is a brand new group for music makers in the Twin Cities. New Music USA is slightly less new, but also supports new music artists.


Tonic is a library for coding synthesizers in C++. I like the syntax, which manages the rare trick of feeling both C-ish and Lisp-ish at the same time. I’m using it to create all the audio in Solar Surfing in Opti Space.

(If I ever remember which hard drive I stashed it away on, I will share the goofy Lisp-like music language I created years ago for notation/sequencing.)


If you prefer building synths to coding them, there are plenty of DIY options out there, like Bleep Labs’ Bleep Drum:


The Well-Sequenced Synthesizer: ITP researcher Luisa Pereira built synths in boxes that allow you to explore musical principles (strict counterpoint (using CFGen), harmonic theory, etc.) with the flick of a switch.


The classic PC demo Second Reality was recently open-sourced. Fabien Sanglard presents a thorough overview of the demo’s many components:

I was expecting a monolithic mess of assembly but instead I found a surprisingly elaborated architecture, mixing several languages in an elegant way. The code is something like I had never seen before that perfectly represents two essential aspects of demomaking: team work [and] obfuscation.

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum has added a music visualizer, Planetary, to its collection. Instead of hanging it in a gallery, they put the code up on their GitHub.