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Show HN: Turtle.audio – a music sequencer inspired by turtle graphics (turtle.audio)
126 points by kylestetz 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

Reminds me of another fascinating project I saw recently:

"Deltaphone is a programming language for generating music that uses the ideas from turtle geometry to jump around the staff"


Damn, this is really similar to an idea that I filed away and have wanted to build for a long time. But I think it's even better than what I was imagining. Nice work! I'm going to spend some time playing around with it.

I think this has a ton of potential and could be used for serious music production. MIDI export would be awesome. Or even a VST plugin that emits MIDI into a DAW. It would be great to use something like this inside REAPER [1].

[1] https://www.reaper.fm

Super fun to play with! The first time I messed with this a week ago I had no clue what I was doing and didn't accomplish much. Giving it a second go I'm starting to get the hang of it and coming up with some weird and fun stuff.

I think my two immediate ideas would be 1) a line type that might be a sustain or held open gate and 2) maybe a mixing list with all the lines on it so that you can selectively mute/unmute paths.

I played a little bit with Slang a week ago too, looking forward to messing with the more options in there. Seems like you're into a lot of cool stuff, thanks for making this all!

Also, what I've got looping right now: http://turtle.audio/play/3mu3sm

Interesting idea. Visual music design can inspire new ideas for composition.

Reminds me of SimTunes! "Bugs" move around the screen according to simple rules, triggering notes as they pass over them. For example: https://youtu.be/DAluHrsCKxw

SimTunes was (and will always be) a huge source of inspiration for me. Played it a bunch as a kid. :)

This is absolutely beautiful! My wish for a tool like this is to not have it in a web environment, but as a Jack-pluggable standalone program. Then it could be used for real music composition.

But anyway, this is a really nice little app!

this is very cool, i want to stop all that i am doing and just fiddle with it.

Amazing project. Do you plan to create some kind of gallery for the "scenes"? I'm sure people will create unbelievable things with it and it would be greta to learn from such examples.

Hey, yeah that's a great idea! I have been keeping my eye out for neat sketches in the wild.

I love this tool but as an amateur musician, I have to wonder: who is your target audience? Anyone remotely serious about making music won't use it. I'll play around with it but if I want to make a track, I'll just head over to Ableton.

There is value in making music easier, but you're only good enough for a little while before people move on to more professional tools

There's a huge market for musical software and instruments that are ultimately just games. I would guess more than 99% of any music equipment and software bought is never used to create commercially used music, which is fine - it's fun and interesting, and it's challenging to learn.

A clear example is everything made by [Teenage Engineering](https://teenage.engineering) - check out the OP-Z. The interface is completely weird in the age of hi-res screens, but I'm sure it's going to be a hit.

Another point is that in a creative process, sometimes the 'easiest' way to produce output causes all the output to be similar and uninteresting. When you change the rules, and make the creation process significantly different, you can sometimes see new results you wouldn't have expected.

I've used the OP-1 and loved it, but I don't see it fitting into my workflow (Serum is a far more capable synth).

But I guess I'm approaching this from a very different perspective. I hope to go pro some day, so I also use tools that are not meant to "just have fun" (which the OP-1 is a whole load of).

The majority of musicians are just doing it for fun. For them, I can see something like this being another tool to play around in.

I take my comment back. I now understand what kind of people might use this (anyone not insane enough to want to be a professional musician)

Case in point, no clue about music but love my Pocket Operator!

I think the point is to get people interested in more serious tools, not to prevent people from using them. Crayons are great for getting kids to draw. Doesn't mean a professional artist would use them (well, now that I think about it I'm sure there's at least a sculpture or two with crayons, but you get my point).

If you're familiar with turtle graphics it fills the same niche. It's not for any use but a simple introduction and exploratory tool for novices. It gets you 0-30 as fast as possible, and let's you start playing.

I think this would make a fun max4live sequencer tool.

My first play: http://turtle.audio/play/9qz2ni

Looks cool, no undo/redo though? Makes it feel harder to use/less forgiving.

I love this too ;) Thanks for building.

I like such projects! Too bad I am unmusical and have no time either.

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