Fractal Tunes

Bounce Metronome Feature:
Pro Version Only

Youtube Video

Example fractal tune

What are they?

Tunes generated using fractals. This is closely connected to the way many natural sounds are patterned, also composed music is often fractal in various ways, especially rhythmicaly.

What can you do?.

Make any of the rhythms into an automatically generated fractal tune. The tunes are randomised so each time you click the button you hear a new tune.

Where is it?

Where do I find it in Bounce Metronome:

Pick Fractal Tunes from the drop-down list in the main window.

To find out how to download and use the companion program Tune Smithy - see  the Tune Smithy Bonus

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Tune Smithy

If you are interested in fractal tunes like these, you might want to take it beyond these simple tunes to create your own royalty free fractal music "as intricate as snowflakes".

To help you do this, Bounce Metronome Pro comes with a "Tune Smithy Bonus", giving you free access to all the Tune Smithy fractal tunes and its Fractal Tune Composer.

Here is what Martin Walker says about the Tune Smithy fractal tunes in Sound on Sound:

"The final stage in the journey is the Fractal Tune — a combination of Scale, Arpeggio and Musical Seed, plus a choice of one or more instruments across multiple MIDI channels. Using the Play button now generates continuous, ever-changing tunes based on your settings. If you want impressionistic flurries and cascades of notes, try 'rushes blown in a storm' or 'echo effects in rests'. More extreme examples include 'Fibonacci rain shower', the unsettling 'Paleolithic field recording', and 'bird calls with Afro-Caribbean percussion'.

Don't go away thinking FTS can only generate avant-garde meanderings for classical and jazz buffs. Although many of the offerings are 'off the beaten track', they may still inspire new songs, while others, such as 'string quintet' and 'shakuhachi and koto' are gently melodic, and still others (such as 'resting in the shade') create floating backdrops. You can also explore the more rhythmically-based offerings, such as the improvised 'percussion medley' and 'non-repeating bongos'."

To find out more about the Bounce Metronome Pro bonus, go to the Tune Smithy Bonus page

Compatibility note

Bounce Metronome Pro has some rhythm features which aren't yet included in Tune Smithy. They will be included in a future update of Tune Smithy. All updates of both programs are free to purchasers of an unlock key..

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Amazing Tunings

Perhaps the most fun part of the fractal tune player is the option to play the melodies using any arpeggio, or tuning you like. Bounce Metronome is preset to play pentatonic melodies, but this is just a starting point for the fractal musical journey.

You can use an astonishing range of scales and arpeggios, originating from the SCALA program and used with the permission of its author, Manuel Op de Coul.

Here is what Martin Walker said about them in Sound on Sound in his review of Tune Smithy (exactly the same scales and arpeggios are available in Bounce Metronome):

"There's a huge number of scales to choose from. The default list contains 32 options, including standard 12-tone equal temperament, plus 15-tone to 31-tone equal tempered, just temperament, and various ethnic and folk tunings, such as Gamelan from Indonesia and Java, Japanese Koto, West African Xylophone and Indian Raga. Further drop-down lists cover historical and modern twelve-tone scales, bagpipes, Idiophones, and even wind chimes..."

"Since music makes more sense if you stick to recognised scales, arpeggios or modes, along with the desired tuning, the drop-down Arpeggio box lets you choose from shedloads of options (a couple of hundred, at least). Along with the better-known options, such as Major, Minor, Diminished, Whole Tone and Diminished Seventh, there are many more exotic modes containing two, four, five, six, seven, or eight or more notes per octave. To give you an idea of the available scope, a few examples selected at random are Messiaen Truncated Mode 5, Bi Yu (China), a set of Raga options, and 'Half-diminished Bebop'!"

Martin Walker, Sound on Sound October 2004

To find out more about the Bounce Metronome Pro bonus, go to the Tune Smithy Bonus page

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Musical Seeds

The fractal tunes are generated using seeds. This is a short "seed phrase" which gets combined together with many copies or slight variations of itself to generate the complete "fractal melody". What makes these melodies interesting is that it uses seeds of vastly different time scales - so the same phrase is used at a short time scale very fast, and also at very long time scales as well.

This gives a kind of scaling structure to the music like the patterns of trees, or the wind, or mountains etc. in nature.

The seeds are automatically randomised whenever you make a new rhythm. Even if you just click on a preset button to make the same rhythm again you get a new tune.

You can also make your own seeds interactively as well either enter it as numbers, or click on a grid to make it - or play the notes of the seed from  the PC keyboard.

So - though it is just a small part of Bounce Metronome, you have many of the basic features of the Fractal Tunes of Tune Smithy.

What you don't have in Bounce Metronome are some of the fractal tune capabilities such as permutations, reflect and rotate the phrases, fibonacci rhythms, ways of varying how the instruments get selected and so on. However, these are all in the Bounce Metronome Pro bonus. To find out more, go to the Tune Smithy Bonus page

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