Interact with particle beams to make unique cool sounds from an equal tempered scale with between 2 and 53 notes per octave. Ever wondered what music sounds like with more, or less than 12 notes per octave? nows your chance!
The music pad is a multitouch area where you can make sounds depending on which of the beams you touch and subsequent movement. Horizontally you can select the pitch of the note which gets higher towards the right. The right hand beam is the same note as the first beam (C), but one octave above. Vertically, each line corresponds to one octave. play up to three octaves above or below the central octave which spans from C4 (261.6 Hz) up to C5 (523.2 Hz). Slide on the particle beams to increase/decrease the pitch through the octaves without changing note. The settings icon in the top left of the pad will open up another screen where some settings can be changed.
5 notes per octave screen
Notes per Octave
One octave corresponds to a doubling of frequency. In western music an octave has 12 notes and is split into 1200 cents with 100 cents between each successive semitone. The equal spreading of the notes is referred to equal tempered scale. Whilst we normally always use 12 notes per octave, we don’t have too, and it is a chance for you to experiment & create a unique instrument. Suggested notes per octave to reflect a few unique instruments are 5, 7, 19, 24, 31 & 53. To change the number of notes per octave, go into the settings and slide the notes per octave control to select the required value. For more notes, it will take a little longer for the app to calculate the new sounds. Only a few scales, 12-ET, 19-ET, 31-ET will have the corresponding note name above the pad.
To Snap or not to Snap to Octave
If snap to octave is selected, notes will be played at nearest octave to the touch and not in between them as in the snap to octave off state. Snap to octave is useful for being able to play accurately a given tune , whilst being able to slide across octaves is more fun.
Four different sounds with different rise/decay times and harmonic content are available to select in the settings menu.
A frequency ratio of 2:3 corresponds to the perfect fifth. Two
notes played with this ratio (e.g. C and G) will sound great
together (also known as a consonance). There are other ratios
that will also sound good, for example the perfect fourth with
ratio 3:4, major third with ratio 4:5, and minor third with ratio
5:6, the septimal minor third with ratio 6:7. Major tone is 8:9.
Three notes played together with the ratio 4:5:6 give a major chord. On the Music Pad try playing 5:6 (light blue) and 2:3 (red) ratios together. Since 4:5:6 sounds great, what about 3:4:5? or 5:6:7? or 6:7:8? or 8:9:10? In settings, you can turn on or off any of eight different ratios as you experiment with different combinations.
The suggested ratios appear on the music pad after the first key has been pressed indicating where the next note should be played. Depending on the number of notes per octave, these ratios may or may not sit on an actual note. If the ratio doesn’t sit on a note and you try to play it, it will probably sound terrible(aka dissonance).
|Ratio||Name||Music pad colors|
|5:6||Minor third||light blue|
|6:7||Septimal minor third||turquoise|
|3:4:5||orange + green|
|4:5:6||Major chord||red + light blue|
|5:6:7||light blue + pink|
|6:7:8||turquoise + orange|
|3:4:5||yellow + dark blue|
Screenshot showing some note ratios