The development of GGrewve is going well, but rather slowly. This is partly because of the difficulty in expanding the dictionary. This is not an unfamiliar problem: I ran into the same issues with Variating Drummer. It's generally difficult to write drum patterns in anything short of a full-blown sequencer. Since writing a sequencer is beyond my capabilities, I have developed a pretty cool alternative.

Enter GGrewveWriter, the intelligent drum pattern analysis tool that disects a drum beat and packages it up for use with GGrewve.

In a nutshell, GGrewveWriter takes a MIDI file that contains a drum beat, splits the beat up into sections of an appropriate length, and derives "words" from these small sections. GGrewveWriter pays close attention to the placement of words within the original beat and the subtleties of wordly interactions. GGrewveWriter then creates a compressed dictionary file that contains all the grammatical data about the drum beat found in the MIDI file. This compressed dictionary can be read directly by GGrewve, and is actually more efficient than the uncompressed dictionaries used previously.

The whole thing is very impressive in practice.

It took me no more than a few minutes to write eight measures of a neat little drum beat in a sequencer and export it to a MIDI file. After exporting, I let GGrewveWriter go to work with the file. After only a few seconds, I had a fresh compressed dictionary sitting in the folder. I loaded the dictionary into GGrewve and let the generation begin. Sure enough, out came forty measures (I had requested this much) of well-placed, humanized drum beat. I had actually made the original MIDI beat sound very stale (I did not vary the volume levels at ALL, so it sounded very robotic) to see how well the humanization routines within Grewve were working. Sure enough, the computer's output sounded a heck of a lot more human than the beat that I, a human, had created. The output was varied and clearly derived from my beat, but not exactly a copy and pleasantly unpredecatable.

Writing the beat, creating the dictionary, and generating took about seven minutes. Had I tried to achieve the same thing with the Variating Drummer, it would have taken hours and hours and the final result would not have been as impressive.

This is a very successful test for GGrewve, and I look forward to more impressive results in the future (we may finally be ready for drum fills!)