All posts by John M

Hatsune Miku

Hatsune Miku (初音ミク) is a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application, portrayed as a 16-year-old pop star with long turquoise twintails. She was developed by Crypton Future Media, using Yamaha’s Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3, along with her voice being created by taking vocal samples from voice actress Saki Fujita at a controlled pitch and tone. Those different samples all contain a single Japanese or English phone which, when strung together, create full lyrics and phrases and as a result.

To aid in the production of 3D animations, MikuMikuDance was developed as an independent program. The free software allowed a boom in fan-made and derivative characters to be developed, as well as acted as a boost for the promoting of the Vocaloid songs themselves.

In August 2010, over 22,000 original songs had been written for Hatsune Miku. Later reports confirmed that she had 100,000 songs in 2011 to her name. She’s played a number of “live” concerts at venues all over the world.

Convolve it: Harmonies

My personal/thesis work is centered around pitch-shifting, harmonies, and live voice, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try some of those techniques in an environment like Max.

All of my recordings are in pretty echo-y places, since we already had some as a class from more dead spaces. Live spaces sound great for singing, too.

I expanded upon the skeleton convolution system by adding in a polyphonal pitch-shifting machine (using gizmo~, which I think is a frequency-domain shifter, as opposed to a time-domain shifter). It’s controlled with a Qwerty-based keyboard mechanism, but could easily incorporate a MIDI piano with few adjustments.

The following recordings are of me playing around with the application. Enjoy.



Antescofo~ is a modular polyphonic Score Following system as well as a Synchronous Programming language for musical composition. The module allows for automatic recognition of music score position and tempo from a realtime audio Stream coming from performer(s), making it possible to synchronize an instrumental performance with computer realized elements. The synchronous language within Antescofo allows flexible writing of time and interaction in computer music.


illucia is a patchbay controller by chris novello. It lets you use physical cables to connect things like videogames, music software, text editors, synthesizers, and more. It has a free suite of interconnectable games and software, plus it speaks OSC so it works with many existing programs.

Also, illucia is open source everything (built with Arduino and Processing), so you’re free to build, reimagine, remix, or replicate in any way.

Three tools for iOS

First up is libpd, an embeddable version of PureData (the open source version of Max).

Second, MusicKit, a toolkit for Swift that makes it easy to create, analyze, and translate notes and music.

Finally, AudioKit, a cool wrapper for CSound that allows you to do complex instrument creation, analysis, sequencing, synthesizing, etc.