A visit at STEIM (on 7 June 2011) was inspiring (again). After a demo of the automatic sampling features and triggered by remarks of Taku Mizuta Lippit, Frank Balde and Jonathan Reus, Jazzperiments Jam is made rhythm sensitive now.
The rhythm measurement is based on dynamic and melodic variations (in this context Fourier analysis is very important too). This means that not only the dynamic ‘beat’ but also the speed of melodic changes are measured. However putting this measurement to use in an interactive/intuitive way was quite challenging. Experiments with a variable beat were no success at all (though quite funny: a bit like playing with a very drunken drummer).
In the present configuration the rhythm measurement can be applied to the number of notes played in a bar, either following the tempo of the input (Auto Sync = default now) or opposing it (Auto Async). The rhythm always changes to equal parts of the bar at the chosen tempo (bpm). The resulting note length is displayed. This addition to the system allows a musician to change the ‘speed’ by playing ‘examples’ of a desired rhythm and makes the resulting music much more lively.
You can check out the application at http://www.jazzperiments.com. Click on JAM> to start the applet or launch as Webstart Application.