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Creating and Exploring Huge Parameter Spaces: Interactive Evolution as a Tool for Sound Generation

Conference paper
Authors Palle Dahlstedt
Published in Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference. Habana, Cuba: Instituto Cubano de la Musica, and San Francisco, CA: International Computer Music Association.
Publication year 2001
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords interactive evolution, genetic algorithms, music composition, sound design, sound synthesis
Subject categories Musicology, Computer Science


In this paper, a program is presented that applies interactive evolution to sound generation, i.e., preferred individuals are repeatedly selected from a population of genetically bred sound objects, created with various synthesis and pattern generation algorithms. This simplifies aural exploration of huge synthesis parameter spaces, and presents a possibility for the sound artist to create new sound engines customized for this kind of creation and exploration – sound engines too complex to control in any other way. Different sound engines are presented, together with a discussion of compositional applications. It is also shown how this technique can be used to simplify sound design in standard hardware synthesizers, a task normally avoided by most musicians, due to the required amount of technical understanding.

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