So What's A Stream?

A simplistic way to put it would be to say that a stream is an endless album. That's a little misleading because using the word album generally implies a sequence of tracks, and the sequence of movements in a stream isn't predetermined.

Unless you've disabled it, you are listening to one of the five movements from our first stream, Facets:

  • Phased Arrays
  • The Honey Trap
  • Trubris
  • Dr. Dispersion
  • Q.E.D.

These may occur in any order. When we use the word "stream", we are really referring to the audio that our instruments produce as they receive data from our in-house plugin, the Aleator. The plugin reads XML documents that are packaged within it that describe various chord progressions, modulations and melodic elements. All of this information is used along with randomizing components to write musical compositions on the fly. You can read about some of the methods used to accomplish that on the other pages, but suffice it to say it's pretty involved. Included in this system are changes in instrumentation, tempo and other parameters. There is of course a lot more to the actual broadcasting of a stream, and you can get an idea of what's involved by viewing the diagram immediately following this paragraph. At a high level, the plugin and virtual synths are loaded into an host program (called a digital audio workstation or DAW) running on a virtual machine. The audio generated within this host program is sent to a streaming server real time and from there, directly to the end user - you.

This is how we do it.

This is how we do it.

The XML documents that hold the composition data are really what differentiates one stream from another and give each one its specific character. They are basically blueprints that define what is allowed to occur when the computer creates a movement - most of the specifics beyond that are left to chance.

Streams are designed to run live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Aleator will play through the compositions indefinitely, rendering the movements anew with each iteration. The result is that the listener will hear themes recited from one set to the next, but no composition is ever repeated exactly. Instead of songs, it's really a collection of moving targets that only come into focus after repeated listens. Whereas a recording artist commits music to disk or tape as songs or albums, the audio in our streams only exists at the particular time you hear it. Unless you were to record it, you'd never hear that movement again. That's a stream.

Ok. Where Are The Other Streams?

We are currently compiling material for our next stream and expect it to be in production before 2014 expires.