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A music sequencer similar to tracker programs





Kunquat is a music sequencer similar to tracker applications. Some of its distinctive features will include high time resolution, flexible tuning configuration and composition of interactive music. Great care is also taken in designing a mixing infrastructure to allow mixing logical bodies instead of hardware forced channels. Kunquat is a work in progress. The current source release doesn't yet provide an editor, but includes an example composition.

NOTE: As we are not "there yet", we suggest you regard the following as a mission statement, rather than a status indicator.

Kunquat is a set of tools used by a musical composer for creating algorithms that produce audible music based on environmental stimulus. It can be used to write reactive musical scores that have a different outcome based on external factors. Such factors may include the events in a video game, or the amount of customers in a restaurant where the music is played.

Musical composers may have limited knowledge about algorithms. Thus, we hide all complications behind a graphical editor. The editor can be used to produce a Kunquat composition file, which is a serialized representation of the algorithm, and includes all data required for the effects and instruments to work. A Kunquat composition file has the kqt suffix, but may sometimes be postfixed with the suffix of compression software, if the file is compressed. The editor has some resemblance to music trackers, proven usable by various demo scene composers over time. Not everything is similar, though.

Traditional trackers used a grid to help placing notes accurately. It is optimal for having the bass drum kick at a computationally exact moment. The tuning system used in traditional trackers was pretty much tied to the twelve-tone equal temperament, which is typical for modern Western music. This limitation may have reduced the usage of more exotic instruments like sitar, and caused dissonance with some more widely used instruments. Finally, the instrument modelling used to be rather limited. Composers ended up inventing various hacks to work around the limitations.

While being inspired by the traditional trackers, Kunquat also differs from them in multiple ways. It has an extremely high time resolution which allows free placement of the notes anywhere in time. Having the robotic kick drum should still be possible, but having a humanly inaccurate sounding kick drum should be possible as well. Kunquat supports various tunings. Importing a sitar instrument, should with zero configuration provide you with the correct pitches that you would expect a sitar to produce. Finally, Kunquat supports enhanced modelling of instruments, which makes it possible to get DSP effects applied to the outcome of a guitar rather than each string separately.

Developer Team: https://launchpad.net/~kunquat-dev
2009 Workshop Wiki: http://wiki.helsinki.fi/display/lambda/Kunquat-workshop
screenshots & demo song: http://iki.fi/toni.ruottu/kunquat/contrib/portfolio/
presence in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kunquat/188595560505
Last updated on June 4th, 2012

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