D1 / Gliders

Categories: Software Prototypes/Non-Commercial Products

Submitted by:Akshay Sawhney and Ritwik Deshpande

24 May 2023

Elevator Pitch

D1 / Gliders

Simulated environments with delightful interactions that produce MIDI imbibed with natural motion.

Product Description

D1 / Gliders

As fans of experimental music, we are drawn to compositions that are unconstrained by the grid. But most piano rolls and sequencers are grid based. These tools make it easy to create precise rhythms or complete randomness. But when we tried to use them to create sequences with natural motion, we found ourselves fighting the grid. So we asked: What is the best way to create natural motion? Our answer: By simulating the natural world. We set out to create environments governed by the laws of physics. We populated them with entities that were affected around by forces like gravity, wind and friction. We created intuitive interactions to manipulate the entities. And we used the events triggered by their activity to produce MIDI, that we sent into our DAWs through a virtual MIDI bus. In this way, we were able to get MIDI sequences that had the satisfying physicality that we were going for. We were able to create music directly from simulations of natural phenomenon instead of trying to approximate the motion through painstaking, manual interactions. This exploration opened up a vast creative territory of bringing computer music closer to the natural world. You can check out our work so far here: https://dawnsonics.com/d1 https://dawnsonics.com/gliders

How It's Innovative

— Our simulated environments unlock a whole new class of musical interactions that produce natural sounding patterns. Musicians no longer need to spend tons of time manually nudging notes and drawing detailed automation curves to get organic movement. — The environments create an immersive atmosphere that triggers curiosity, engenders playfulness, and generates inspiration. — The patterns contain the expressive qualities of human performance, as well as the precision of computer generated sequences. Musicians no longer have to compromise one for another. — The core idea of deriving musical source from simulated environments can be scaled into an entire world with interlocking parts, bringing digital music creation closer to the realm of games. — The simulations are portable and lightweight. They exist in the browser. You can access them by just visiting a URL. You don't need to install anything. They work with any MIDI compatible device.

See MIDI Innovation In Action

Most Inspiring Use Cases

We hope that musicians are inspired by our creations to develop a new vocabulary of rhythm that considers the malleability of time. We want to empower them to bend the grid and create compositions that move like nature.

Expansion Plans

— The first step in our expansion plan is to build a system that enables musicians to pick and change notes. We want to go beyond conventional systems of organizing notes (scales etc.) and create new ways to navigate tonal systems through mood and feel (warm, dark, sunny etc.). — We have a queue of experiments in development right now. We want to go deeper with physics simulations, but we also want to explore otherworldly environments with unconventional physics. — We want to give our entities more system awareness so they are able to respond to each other and create interlocked motion. — We want to introduce loose, morphing and evolving grids to enable rhythmic composition that still has an organic feel. — We are also exploring generative AI, and are planning to build capabilities enabled by it.


— As of today, we’ve uploaded our prototypes to the open web, and they are free to use. For the near future, our experiments will remain free and open source. — At a later point, when the scope and complexity of the experiments reaches a point where we need revenue to sustain development, we shall explore creating paid plugins or a subscription-based web service.