New Song - Turn into a Tune

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-05-22T07:01:38+02:00

A song starting as a simple arpeggio slowly evolving into a tune

Recorded and Mixed in Bitwig Studio drums are from a volca beats and sample, pads from streichfett and blofeld. The synth sound are from bitwigs polysynth and a 0-Coast


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creating midifiles using ruby

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-03-26T07:21:37+02:00

I have been experimenting with randomly generated drum patterns lately and found out pretty soon, that a totally random generated pattern isn't exacly what I was after, I wanted a pattern generator where I can specify propabilities for each drum hit to occure. So I wrote a ruby script using midilib that generates midi files containing patterns, which I can then import into bitwig and loop and arrange for my tracks.


Midilib is a nifty little ruby library that allows you to read or write midifiles. For my purpose I used the library to write the files.

the library can be installed using gem

gem install midilib

A midifile contains sequences, sequences contain tracks and tracks contain midi events. These events can be any midi event like noteOn, noteOf, controlChange, programChange, ... For each midiEvent in a track the delta time to the last event is stored.

in midi lib you can specify a time_from_start value and lets midilib recalculate the delta values before saving the track.

So here is a ruby script that generates a hihat pattern (channel 1, midi note 44 in my kit), where the notes are placed on a 16th grid with a random chance between 20% and 50%.

require 'midilib/sequence'
require 'midilib/consts'
include MIDI

seq =

track =
seq.tracks << track << <<, 'Test Pattern')

track =
seq.tracks << track = 'Loop1'

s = 0
l = seq.note_to_delta('16th')
e = Random.rand(0.2..0.5)

16.times do
    if ( Random.rand < e ) then
    on =,44,127,0)
    on.time_from_start = s
    off =,44,127,0)
    off.time_from_start = s + l << on << off
s += l

track.recalc_delta_from_times'pattern3.mid', 'wb') { |file| seq.write(file) }
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new Song Ice5

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-03-01T05:20:02+01:00

An ambient electronic 5/4 track inspired by the -10°C we currently have outside


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processing sound visualizer

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-02-14T20:27:41+01:00

I made a visualizer for my track Walk in the rain using processing. I used a stereo autocorrelation function to generate the line drawing using the minim framework and added a glsl shader to create the lens distortion effect.

Processing sound Visualizer

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Volca Sample SuperCollider Drum Set

Nikolaus Gradwohl2018-02-09T21:00:59+01:00

I generated some random drum samples using supercollider and selected 100 samples as my new main drum kit for the volca sample. This is the first track I used my new drum sounds one. The volca sample gets a little help from the volca beats kick drum. The Bass sound is from the MiniNova, The synth track is from the Blofeld.

Volca Sample Supercollider Drum Set

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new Track: Glipse of worlds that might be

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-11-28T07:13:51+01:00

a mix of analog and digital synths, plugins, samples, passion, fragments of half remembered dreams and an arpeggiator.

and yes - I'm in a slightly wired mood today

and also yes - this is the blender default cube - with beveled edges, floating slightly above a plane with a diffuse shader and a sun light with a size of 0.8 rendered in cycles

glimpse of worlds that might be

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Calculating Euclidean Rhythmns using the Bresenham Algorithm

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-11-24T06:43:52+01:00

Recently I started playing with euclidean rhythms and implemented the bjorklund algorithm shown in the paper by Godfired Toussaint in ruby. The implementation isn't really rocket science (actually it's ring accelerator science :-)) but it uses recursive function calls, two arrays, multiple stages, ... and I had the feeling that this is far more complicated than it needs to be. After reading several posts, blogs and papers about the implementations of the algorithm I read somewhere that the algorithm produces the same result as the bresenham algorithm - at first I ignored the sentence and unfortunately I have no idea anymore where I read it but today I implemented a simple version of it an the results I get are the same as my recursive version - or rotations, which is fine because you usually loop over the sequences and are free to choose a starting point - so in case anyone is interested here is my bresenhamish method for calculating euclidean rhythms in ruby - shouldn't be too complicated to port it to different languages

def eucledean(k,n)
    f = 1.0*n/k
    res =,0);
    a = 0
    k.times do |i|
        res[a.to_i] = 1
        a += f
    return res

(1..8).each do |i|
print eucledian(i,8)
print "\n"

and this are the results I get for the 8 possible rhythms with 8 steps

[1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
[1, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0]
[1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0]
[1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0]
[1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, 1, 0]
[1, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0]
[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0]
[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1]
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new Song: Walk in the Rain

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-11-21T09:23:38+01:00

A first electronic, ambient track recorded with my new Waldorf Blofeld with a little help from the Moog Mother32 and the Novation MiniNova.

Oh! And did I mention? I got a new Synthesizer... :-)

walk in the rain

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Processing and Blender Sound Visualizer for Magical Dreams

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-09-29T07:51:40+02:00

I finally managed to finish a project where I could combine most of the tools I love and use. I created a processing sketch to visualize the stereo correlation of my song "Magical Dreams", exported the frames and used blender to create an animated highfield based on the brightness of the images. Then I rendered these frames and combined them to a video with the original track exported from bitwig.

Hmmm ... maybe a bit more complicated than needed, but that's one of advantage of a hobby project - you don't have to justify yourself for inefficient processes and toy around as long as you want to :-)

Magic Dreams

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new Song: Still Awake

Nikolaus Gradwohl2017-09-27T07:14:31+02:00

I finally found the time to sit down and arrange and mix one of the song fragments that are waiting on my harddisk. I'm currenly very tired after a week full of nightshifts, overtime and bughunting but I'm still awake ... (ok not the best song title ever, but my thoughts are still a bit fuzzy - did I mention sleep deprivation?)

Still awake

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