Sinkapater -An Untethered Beat Sequencer

Harriman, Jiffer

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper provides an overview of a new method for approaching beat sequencing. As we have come to know them drum machines provide means to loop rhythmic patterns over a certain interval. Usually with the option to specify different beat divisions. What I developed and propose for consideration is a rethinking of the traditional drum machine confines. The Sinkapater is an untethered beat sequencer in that the beat division, and the loop length can be arbitrarily modified for each track. The result is the capability to create complex syncopated patterns which evolve over time as different tracks follow their own loop rate. To keep cohesion all channels can be locked to a master channel forcing a loop to be an integer number of "Master Beats". Further a visualization mode enables exploring the patterns in another new way. Using synchronized OpenGL a 3-Dimensional environment visualizes the beats as droplets falling from faucets of varying heights determined by the loop length. Waves form in the bottom as beats splash into the virtual "sink". By combining compelling visuals and a new approach to sequencing a new way of exploring beats and experiencing music has been created.