Thursday, May 06, 2010

Experimenting with Electroplankton


I picked up Electroplankton by Toshio Iwai for the Nintendo DS in town yesterday (after standing around in the shop checking a review from my phone - FYOOOTARRRR or what?). It was only a fiver. I'd never heard of it before, but the review made it sound interesting enough to buy.

There are 10 forms of Electroplankton, which you can play with separately. Each is a different way of producing sounds, ranging from the chaotic to the regulated, and from tuneful to those that sample the outside world. You can't save or re-play what you've done, which makes Electroplankton much more like an instrument than anything else. Here's someone else's video of it in action:

So in proper modern fashion, I hooked the little fellas up to the Mac and ran them through Garageband - the result is streamable at the top of this post, or downloadable via Dropbox. It's an intriguing way of producing noise - at some levels, you have some control over the velocity and impact of each layer (tempo, volume, etc). But at others, the system can be a complex one, and a small tweak to your current setup can spark off a whole new riff. This makes it surprising, and exciting so long as you get over the idea of controlling everything.

Will play with this more for sure, especially the more "regulated" beat stuff.

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