Glide, a new plugin based on the recently-explored method of melodic interpolation, will bring a new meaning to coherence in the mGen plugin library. As detailed in the previous post, this method leverages the coherence of a Fraccut-like block/space format, while leaning on an underlying grammar engine for variability.

If current performance is at all indicative of future payoffs, Glide is here to stay. It has already pumped out several extremely impressive compositions in which the melodies display a coherence unlike that obtainable with other plugins - even Fraccut!

The real long-term challenge with Glide will be extracting enough creativity while maintaining the underlying coherence. With only simple melodic interpolation, the algorithm is a mathematical system at best - which means little creativity. Building the blocks on top of grammar will certainly help. Still, it will no doubt be a challenge to get Glide to come up with highly original material. Unlike most of the other plugins, which always border on sounding aimless and uncoherent, Glide is most in danger of sounding predictable and repetitive.

Long-term goals for Glide:

  • Develop a method of reliability generating high-quality grammar dictionaries for use with the grammar underpinnings of the plugin
  • Build distinctive style settings that differentiate melodies
    • Ideally, we shouldn't be able to tell that two melodies produced with different style settings were even created by the same plugin
    • This entails carefully monitoring any "artifacts" that crop up as a result of the mathematical nature of the algorithm, like those that did with Fraccut
  • Create an evolutionary system that slowly evolves styles to give the plugin a dynamic feel over long periods of time
    • Rather than evolve as a function of executions, evolve as a function of absolute time to ensure that the plugin does not become stale quickly
    • Imagine putting mGen away for a month and then coming back to find that the same plugin has an entirely different feel!