In diesem zweiten Teil zum euklidischen Rhythmus möchte ich den Music Pattern Generator und XronoMorph kurz vorstellen.

Music Pattern Generator

Der Music Pattern Generator ist eine kostenlose Webanwendung zur Erstellung musikalischer Rhythmusmuster, welche von Wouter Hisschemöller programmiert wurde. Die Patterns werden durch animierte Grafiken dargestellt, die es einfach machen, komplexe Polyrhythmen zu erstellen und zu verstehen.

Der Music Pattern Generator überträgt seine Patterns als MIDI-Daten, so kann man die App leicht in andere Musiksoftware und -hardware integrieren. Es gibt ihn als Webanwendung, als auch als Installationsprogramm, um die App auch als reguläre Desktop-Anwendung zu verwenden.

Auf dem Github des Programmieres findet man alle nötigen Informationen zum Download und zur Anwendung.

Hier eine kurze Einführung zum Music Pattern Generator

Der MPG in Verbindung mit externer Hardware


Online Application


User Guide


XronoMorph ist eine kostenlose macOS- und Windows-App zur Erstellung mehrschichtiger rhythmischer und melodischer Loops (Hockets). Jede rhythmische Schicht wird als ein in einen Kreis eingeschriebenes Polygon visualisiert, und jedes Polygon kann nach zwei verschiedenen mathematischen Prinzipien konstruiert werden: perfekte Balance und Wohlgeformtheit (auch bekannt als MOS). Diese Prinzipien verallgemeinern Polyrhythmen, additive und euklidische Rhythmen. Darüber hinaus können die Rhythmen nahtlos ineinander übergehen, und auch irrationale Rhythmen ohne regelmäßigen Puls können leicht konstruiert werden. Die Patterns lassen sich sowohl als Midi als auch Audio-Datei exportieren.

Einführung in XronoMorph:

XronoMorph: An Introduction

Perfectly Balanced Rhythms

“Ein Rhythmus oder eine Skala kann als Punkte auf einem Kreis dargestellt werden. Der Rhythmus ist perfekt ausbalanciert, wenn die mittlere Position (Schwerpunkt) dieser Punkte in der Mitte des Kreises liegt.

Komplexe, perfekt ausbalancierte Rhythmen können durch die Addition einer beliebigen Anzahl von einfacheren, perfekt ausbalancierten “Elementar”-Rhythmen erzeugt werden. XronoMorph enthält eine Vielzahl dieser elementaren, perfekt ausbalancierten Muster.”

perfectly balanced rhythms

Well-formed Rhythms

„Well-formed Rhythms (auch MOS genannt) enthalten zwei Schlaggrößen, die so angeordnet sind, dass der Rhythmus so gleichmäßig wie möglich ist. Jeder dieser Rhythmen hat einen übergeordneten Rhythmus, der die ursprünglichen Beats in zwei neue Größen aufteilt. Auf diese Weise lässt sich eine komplexe, verschachtelte Hierarchie von Rhythmen erstellen.

Well-formed Rhythms sind eine Obermenge der euklidischen Rhythmen. Sie umfassen zum Beispiel auch Rhythmen ohne regelmäßigen Puls.“

Well-formed rhythms


Hischemöller, Wouter. „Wouter Hisschemöller Music Pattern Generator v2.1“. Zugegriffen 15. Dezember 2021.

Hisschemöller, Wouter. „Music Pattern Generator“. Zugegriffen 15. Dezember 2021.

Hisschemöller, Wouter. Music Pattern Generator. JavaScript, 2021.

Milne, Andy. „XronoMorph: Loop generator“. dynamic tonality, o. J.

Milne, Andrew, Steffen Herff, David Bulger, William Sethares, und Roger Dean. „XronoMorph: Algorithmic generation of perfectly balanced and well-formed rhythms“, 2016.


The Basics

The picture above shows Harmor’s interface. We can group the Interface into three sections: The red part, the gray part and the window to the right. Firstly, the easiest section to understand is the window to the right. Harmor is an additive synthesizer, which means the sounds it generates are made up of sine waves added on top of each other. The window on the right displays the frequencies of the individual sine waves, played over the last few seconds. Secondly, the red window is where most of the sound is generated. There are different sections and color-coded knobs to be able to identify what works together. Left of the center you can see an A/B switch. The red section exists twice: once for state A and once for state B. These states can be mixed together via the fader below. Lastly the gray area is for global controls. The only exception is the IMG tab, which we will cover a little later. As you can see there are many knob, tabs and dropdowns. But in addition to that most most of the processing can be altered with envelopes. These allow the user to draw a graph with infinitely many points to either use it as an ADSR curve, an LFO, or map it to keyboard, velocity, X, Y & Z quick modulation and more. At this point it already might become clear that Harmor is a hugely versatile synth. It’s marketed as an additive / subtractive synthesizer and features an immense amount of features which we will take a closer look at now.

Additive or Subtractive?

As mentioned above Harmor is marketed as an additive / subtractive synthesizer. But what does that mean? While Harmor is built using additive synthesis as its foundation, the available features closely resemble a typical subtractive synth. But because Harmor is additive, there are no audio streams being processed. Instead a table of frequency and amplitude data is manipulated resulting in an efficient, accurate and partly very unfamiliar and creative way to generate audio streams. Harmor features four of these additive / subtractive oscillators. Two can be seen on the image above in the top left corner. These can be mixed in different modes and then again mixed with the other two via the A/B switch. In addition to the four oscillators, Harmor is also able to synthesize sound from the IMG section. The user can drag-and-drop audio or image files in and Harmor can act like a sampler, re-synthesizing audio or even generating audio from images drawn in Photoshop.

The Generator Section

As you can see in addition to the different subsections being walled in by dotted lines, this section is color coded as well. The Timbre section allows you to select any waveform by again drawing and then morphing between two of them with different mixing modes. Harmor allows you to import a single cycle waveform to generate the envelope. But you can import any sample and generate a waveform from it. Here is an example where I dragged a full song into it and processed it with the internal compressor module only:

The blur module allows you to generate reverb-like effects and also preverb. Tremolo generates the effect of a stereo vibrato, think about jazz organs. Harmonizer clones existing harmonics by the offset/octaves defined. And prism shifts partials away from their original relationship with the fundamental frequency. A little prism usually generates a detune-like effect, more usually metallic sounds. And here is the interesting part: As with many other parameters as well, you can edit the harmonic prism mapping via the envelopes section. This allows you to create an offset to the amount knob on a per frequency basis. Here is an example of a usage of prism:

As you can see in the analyzer on the right: There is movement over time. In the Harmonic prism envelope I painted a graph so that the knob does not modify lower frequencies but only starts at +3 octaves.
The other options from this section, unison, pitch, vibrato and legato should be clear from other synthesizers.

The Filter Section

As seen above, Harmor features two filters per state. Each filter can have a curve selected from the presets menu. The presets include low pass, band pass, high pass and comb filtering. Additionally you can draw your own curve as explained in the Basics section above. The filters can additionally be control the mix for the envelope, keyboard tracking, width, actual frequency and resonance. But the cool thing is how these filters are combined: The knob in the middle lets you fade between only filter 2, parallel processing, only filter 1, filter 1 + serial processing and serial processing only. In the bottom half there is a one-knob pluck knob as well as a phaser module with, again, custom shaped filters.

The Bottom Section

As you can see above the bottom section features some general global functions. On the left side most should be clear. The XYZ coordinate grid offers a fast way to automate many parameters by mapping them to either X Y or Z and then just editing events in the DAW. On the top right however there are four tabs that open new views. Above we have seen the ENV section where you can modulate about anything. The green tab is the image tab. We already know that Harmor can generate sound from images and sound (not that this is a different way of using existing sound, before I loaded it into an oscillator, now we are talking about the IMG tab). On the right you can see a whole lot of knobs, some of them can be modified by clicking in the image. C and F are course and fine playback speed adjustments, time is the time offset. The other controls are used to change how the image is interpreted and partially could be outsourced to image editors. I’m going to skip this part, as this post would get a whole lot more complicated if not. It would probably be best to just try it out yourself.

The third tab contains some standard effects. These are quite good but especially the compressor stands out as it rivals the easy-but-usefullness of OTT.

And finally, the last section: Advanced (did you really think this was advanced until now? :P) Literally the whole plugin can be restructured here. I usually only go in here to enable perfect precision mode, threaded mode (enables multi core processing) and high precision image resynthesis. Most of these features are usually not needed and seem more like debugging features so I will not go into detail about them, but like before I encourage you to try it out. Harmor can be very overwhelming and as many people mention in reviews: “Harmor’s biggest strength is also it’s greatest weakness, and probably why there are so few reviews for such an amazing synth. You can use Harmor for years, and still feel like a noob only scratching the surface. That makes writing a review difficult. How can you give an in-depth review, when you feel so green behind the ears? You only need to watch a few YT videos (e.g. Seamless) or chat with another user to discover yet another side to this truly versatile beast.”

Harmor on KVR ⬈
Harmor on Image-Line ⬈
Harmor Documentation ⬈ (a whole lot more details and a clickable image if you have more detailed questions)

Skeuomorphism in digital music production programs | Part 1

Digitalization has not only brought a technical change that has affected almost all areas of life, but also a social and cultural change. Dealing with technology is assumed as a matter of course nowadays, because that’s what modern life consists of. Everything should work as quickly and easily as possible, be intuitive to use, and best of all, everyone can use it themselves without a lot of external tools. But what does intuitive design mean for different industries and at this point in time? 

In view of this question and under the aspect of skeuo- and neumorphism, I had a discussion about the music industry in cooperation with a hobby music producer. Indeed, this very industry is characterized by skeuomorphic design elements in digital music production programs, mainly in plugins. 

Music production is of course a field that is very hardware related. It therefore made sense to take a skeuomorphic design approach in digital music production programs to represent digitally, often almost 1:1, how it works in analog. The target audience for programs, such as FL Studio, Ableton, Cubase, Logic Pro X, are not amateurs who have not handled an instrument or a mixing console before. Musicians and producers, with a passion for music, composition and analog instrument and mixing console knowledge are the ones who (should) use these programs. 

However, this raises a question for me: as has been shown through the research in my previous blog posts, there has of course always been modernization, other design styles, other approaches to design, especially at the level of interaction and intuition. Interfaces that we use every day are constantly changing and trying to adapt more and more to the needs of their target audience. However, I could hardly observe this very change in digital music production programs, especially in plugins. These interfaces adapted to the new technical requirements, but many of them remained almost unchanged in their operation and the design elements used. 

A knob still looks like a knob, a slider like a slider and a deployable instrument can be operated just like in real life only via digital inputs or buttons. Cables provide the right connections and show how the digital elements would be connected to each other in an analog way. Why is that? 

For me, as a layman in this field, it is not really intuitive to use, as I partly feel I have to learn the instrument or mixing console first, to be able to use the interface. Not only through the instruments, but also the design elements that are based on the mixing console, I can not comprehend without a minimum knowledge in this industry or by trying out a lot. In the interview with the hobby music producer we came to talk exactly about this and in some areas he simply could not imagine any other design solution than the one just used, because it is intuitive for musicians and producers, which as a layman can not be understood at first sight. For example, there are still ten elements next to each other, as it is on a real mixing console, rather than making it a flat dropdown menu to select individual wanted elements.

Intuitive does not mean the same thing for all industries and depends on existing prior knowledge. Other types of intuition also require a different type of interface. However, I think it also has a lot to do with Never change a running system, which indicates the little change in the music production programs and their plugins.

There are some changes going on and there are some other approaches, which I will talk about in my next blog entry. I am not interested in showing or telling what is better or more intuitive, because that is subjective. I want to explore how things are and have changed, how they could be different and how other approaches affect people in the music business, but also laymans.



FL Studio: (30.01.2021)

Logic Pro X: (30.01.2021)

Cubase: (30.01.2021)



Featured Image: Logic Pro X

Image01: FL Studio:

Image02: Plugin – Guitar-Amplifiers – Standalone / VST:

Image03:Plugin Sylenth1: