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Concentric Rhythm by Jeff Holtzkener

Jeff Holtzkener released Concentric Rhythm, a totally free new way to explore musical patterns with geometric transformations in concentric circles. It sounds like fun, but requires iOS 10. Thanks to reader Chris for the heads-up on this one.

Concentric Rhythm iTunes Description:

Concentric Rhythm is an interactive tool for generating, developing, and combining musical patterns. It uses geometric transformations and many other simple processes to create, develop, and evolve music. It provides a unique way to look at and explore musical ideas.

The looping musical timeline is visualized as a circle, which allows you to treat musical patterns as concentric shapes. This makes performing geometric transformations such as rotations, reflections and folding very natural and intuitive.
It also provides tools for melodic lines such as random-walk generation and scale-based inversion and transposition.
You can generate rhythmic lines using cross-rhythms or the Euclidean algorithm, and allows for great visualisations of complex polyrhythms.

Concentric Rhythm was originally developed as a new way to improvise electronic music, but it is also a great tool experimenting with and developing musical material, or just for casually playing with music in a unique, hands-on, way.

Many of the ideas here were inspired by the book ‘The Geometry of Musical Rhythm’ and this app is a powerful tool for anyone who is interested in exploring these ideas. But at the same time is easy enough to use that anyone (even with no musical or mathematical background) can make interesting musical patterns and think about the musical world a little differently.

Developer Jeff has even provided a detailed, and well recorded, tutorial video for the free app!

Reader Comments 11

When you choose the number of "beats", it seems to be a misleading use of the term. It seems that everything is based on 4 beats, and the number of "beats" is really how a 4-beat measure is subdivided.

It would be nice to see ways to make each ring run rhythmically free of each other, with longer patterns and unusual ways to divide the beats.
February 17, 2017  | favorite_border stub
Would love to see MIDI out added later.
February 17, 2017  | person_outline Bob
Yar, without midi it's use is limited.

I liked the rhythm in the video though.

February 18, 2017  | person grammatonfeather
Developer here. Hopefully be adding midi out soon.
February 18, 2017  | touch_app jeff_h
That's great news Jeff.

If each ring could output MIDI on it's own channel (with maybe Ableton Link for syncing with external apps), this could be a great tool for generating interesting rhythm patterns.
February 19, 2017  | person_outline Bob
I agree with Stub's suggestion also to add MIDI and Link would be awesome.
February 19, 2017  | person That guy
Hi Jeff, welcome to the site! I've given you developer flair so that your comments will stand out.
Flair! Nice!

The developer has kindly replied to my email. Super nice guy.

I was suggesting that perhaps Concentric Rhythm could be updated to receive sync (via Beat Clock) from an external sequencer, and then just use that as the basis for calibrating the tempo (ignoring actual beats & time signatures) and just using the incoming 24 ppqn to regulate the internal clock.

I don't really know how that stuff works internally, so it might be easier said than done.
February 20, 2017  | favorite_border stub
Jeff, very nice app and really deep and well thought out. MIDI out would be nice but considering you can import samples, not a requirement for me. I have lots, and lots of MIDI apps. However, the ability to record what I create is very important to me. So IMO, making the app IAA or even better available as an AU plugin would be awesomed something I would be willing to pay for.

Congrats on making a fun and detailed app and for offering it for free. I look forward to future updates and creations from you.
This has got to be the BEST Euclidian generator ive seen. Seriously, the integration of the scales and the AMAZINGBALLS transformation button... Holy shit!

If this had Link, midi in to control trigger parameters, and of course midi out... OMG! Reason enough to buy an ipad and put it in your modular rig!

February 24, 2017  | person DrüMünkey
If anyone is interested, the first major update is out. Here’s what it’s got:
- Inter-App Audio and Audiobus Compatibility
- MIDI output (each polygon can be assigned to the MIDI channel of your choice - this is an IAP of $5.00 USD)
- Landscape for iPad
- Completely redesigned Note List (much faster and now integrated into the main display)
- Velocity based transformations
- Global reverb control
- Better import sample management
- Improved system for project saving
- You can choose the underlying meter on which the tempo calculation is based
- Many many bug fixes and small improvements

The big things I’m planning to do next:
- Sequencing/chaining patterns together into ‘meta-patterns’ (I’m really looking forward to writing this as soon as I’m sure that everything is smooth with the current update)
- Ableton Link

I’m still very open to suggestions, so please get in touch if you have ideas (or questions).
April 26, 2017  | touch_app jeff_h

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