This software can turn spreadsheets into music

Featuring a trio of Max for Life devices that transform real-world data sets to new musical ideas.

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Sonification Tools

Image: Manifest Audio

Does the word ‘spreadsheet’ send shivers down your spine? Here’s a piece of software that might make your workdays a little better by transforming those tiny numbers into music instead.

The brainchild of producer and developer Noah Pred, Sonification Tools is a trio of Max for Life devices that can help you create new musical ideas using real-world data sets.

Just type or copy and paste raw numeric data into the text entry field of all three devices to turn them into music, modulation, effects and audio. Data MIDI will convert any string of numbers into a MIDI sequence to create melodies and harmonies; Data Mod will turn data into modulation sequences; while Data FX allows you to control three audio effects – spectral filtration, wavefolding distortion, and impulse convolution – or even to generate raw audio using the input data.

Data can be typed in manually, randomly generated, or copied and pasted from pretty much any source. After which, select and loop the data as you like, with the lowest data value automatically corresponding to your lowest allowed output, and the highest data point automatically corresponding to your specified upper output limit – be it note pitch, velocity, length, or modulation.

Users can also adjust how the raw data is processed and transformed using the parameters featured in each device. Data MIDI and Data Mod allow you to trigger data at any factored or fractional metrical base rate with optional cycle reset for a wide variety of rhythmic patterns. Offset delay and swing further enhance MIDI output timing. You can also trigger data at a millisecond rate for more abstracted results, or via arbitrary note input.

Data MIDI is also equipped with a variety of ‘trigger modes’, allowing you to engage with its output in a variety of ways, all of which can be constrained via 69 scales in any key. Better yet, you can expand or contract the range of data pitch, velocity, or length output in real time to dynamically express the data in highly musical ways.

Data MIDI and Data Mod can also be Gated to only output MIDI above or below a certain threshold for more rhythmically complex output.

Available now for Windows and Mac, Sonification Tools is priced at €50.

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