Designed by UK electronic music legends Coldcut and inspired by Steve Reich’s seminal ‘Music for 18 Musicians’, MidiVolve is a Max For Live arpeggiator, riff generator and pattern sequencer that automatically ‘evolves’ MIDI patterns into new riffs, melodies and grooves, say Ableton.
MidiVolve instantly converts incoming MIDI notes (played live or imported) into an arpeggio or auto-generated riff, which in turn serves as the initial stage of the user-guided evolutionary process.
Clicking the Evolve button instantly mutates various parameters (note Pitch, Velocity, Duration, etc), to create a new sequence; and activating Auto mode re-evolves the current or initial sequence on playback every 1–32 cycles. You can opt for subtle, organic shifts by evolving just one or two parameters, through to radical transformations by evolving all of them.
Also included is a library of 11 unique Instruments (with 60 presets) and 8 Audio Effects Racks, developed in conjunction with Johannesburg musician and samplist Behr. The Instrument Racks are based on a 1GB library of sampled African instrumentation and sounds from the Coldcut archive, and have been built specifically for use with MidiVolve.
With an intuitive interface that lets you get as deeply involved in the auto-evolutionary process as you want, claim Ableton, MidiVolve is aimed at every producer, from the fast-moving beat maker looking to quickly conjure up new basslines and riffs, to the high-concept electronic artist seeking a generative compositional system for multimedia installations and studio projects. Coldcut’s Matt Black sums his creation up as “a next gen warp drive sequencer for creating and mutating musical ideas”.