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Cellular Automata Composition

Cellular Automata is a discreet mathematic model related to fractals. I've chosen to use a one-dimensional cellular automata simulator as the basis for a process composition using Max/MSP. This was originally an assignment for an electroacoustic music course instructed by Arne Eigenfeldt at SFU.


How to use it

  1. Make sure the midi objects are configured to play through quicktime or another instrument
  2. Turn on the metro object in the gray panel
  3. Start the simulation by clicking one of the large checkboxes in the red panel which represent cells
  4. As the simulation continues, you can continue to interact with it by turning cells on or off manually.

How it works

At every time step, each cell takes on a new value based on the values that it and its two neighbours had at the previous time step. The value is determined by the "celaut" object which I also created. This particular version of celaut uses the standard "Rule 150" of cellular automata.

Each cell is mapped to a midi note which are divided among three channels. The programs of each of these channels change periodically to a new random value.

Cellular Automata Screenshot

More info

More information about the theory of cellular automata is at:

Another example of its use in music is at:

Luke Cyca .com