Dynamic Tonality has released an updated version of XronoMorph, a freeware rhythm generator app for PC and Mac.
XronoMorph is a free loop generator instrument which utilizes polygons and geometric patterns to trigger very unique rhythmic patterns via MIDI. The core principles behind the scenes here are two concepts called “well-formedness” and “perfect balance”.
Perfect balance ensures that the generated rhythms, when expressed on a circle, center around the middle of that circle. In other words, you wouldn’t have a lot of events happening at the very beginning and then none in the middle or end. The formula dictates there has to be a sense of balance and weight of the rhythm. The concept is borrowed from traditional jazz and African polyrhythms. Well-formed rhythms are a little more complicated but suffice to say they add more complex elements.
I find the workflow in XronoMorph rather intriguing since it is a new way of building rhythms for me. Instead of playing them manually, the polygons generate unique interlocking patterns that you may never have thought of before and help inspire new elements to your music.
The instrument’s layout is relatively complex, and you won’t find many familiar controls seen other samplers and beat machines. Thankfully, there is a demonstration video highlighting the basic features you will need to understand before using XronoMorph. The main visualizer is perhaps the most important part which helps you see how the playhead is circling around the polygon and triggering an event at every point.
The “Tracks” section shows you the list of samples being used in your beat along with the controls for each one. There is a parameter window for controlling the polygons. Here you can adjust the number of layers, the shape/size of the polygons and likely there are many other controls that I don’t fully understand yet. Taking up much of the right side of the GUI is the preset menu which looks like a large grid of touchpads. Currently, there is no MIDI learn feature for the preset menu. Once this is integrated, XronoMorph will take on an Ableton Live feel in its ability to switch quickly between different sample sets and rhythmic patterns.
XronoMorph is available for free download via Dynamic Tonality (98.1 MB download size, ZIP archive, standalone application for Windows & Mac OS).