Processing does MIDI

Douglas Edric Stanley


I just saw this post by Marius Watz over at Code & Form about Daniel Dihardja’s still-beta MIDI library for Processing, entitled jm-Etude. Basically, it’s an internal sequencer for Processing.

This is really good news for me. Most of my machines for the abstractmachine project use MIDI via this commerically idiotic little xtra for Director. I do it this way because I need to be able to compose musical phrases, and not just play musical notes. I tried many years ago to build rhythmic structures via Director, but the timing just wasn’t there. If you’re working with samples, you might be able to get away with it, or with some abstract sound synthesis, but not when it comes to note-for-note interactive composition; i.e. if you don’t have a sequencer, you can forget the gabber machine gun. I wanted to keep the abstractmachine project in a more accessible language than C (Processing wasn’t available back in 2001) as pretty much all of my code gets recycled by a student in some form or another. So I ended up with Director and the aforementioned xtra that is now killing me.

For some examples of what I’m talking about, you can try out Trane or Cubed, and for a more entertaining example you can check out this 8=8 video:

We just couldn’t do shit like that without an easily programmable MIDI sequencer running in the background. But hope is now there to finally pry us from the last pitiful grip on the Director platform, and that in maybe a year’s time I can rewrite these machines for a more foreward-compatible platform (merci open source! merci Processing!).