What is Flow?
Flow is a generative, non-linear MIDI sequencer for Ableton Live that allows you to create music by defining simple steps and rules that determine how the music will change over time, and cause more complex behaviors and patterns to emerge.
You define the rules, and Flow executes them, producing infinitely long and varying musical patterns.
Flow offers a new way of making music that is based on generative and organic principles, and that lets you explore new possibilities beyond the conventional approaches of linear sequencing.
We created Flow to explore a new way of making music that is generative and organic, and to free ourselves from the limitations of linear sequencing, such as fixed patterns, rigid structures, and repetitive loops. We aimed to create music that was more dynamic and unpredictable, but also coherent and harmonious; music that was inspired by our own preferences and tastes, but also challenged us with new possibilities and surprises. We wanted a tool we could use for different purposes, such as:
Algorithmic composition: We wanted a tool that could generate music that followed our musical vision and intention, by defining the rules and algorithms that determine how the music will change over time, without having to manually input every note and event.
Inspiration: We wanted a tool that could serve as a source of inspiration and material for our compositions. We wanted to record the music that the tool generated, and then select and use the best parts in our pieces, saving our time and effort by letting the tool do some of the creative work for us.
Experimentation: We wanted to experiment with different musical elements, such as harmony, melody and rhythm, and see how they interact and create musical patterns. We wanted a tool that would let us explore new possibilities of musical expression, creativity and experimentation.
Sound design: We wanted a tool that could generate music that wouldn't repeat while we worked on the sonic aspects of our music, such as timbres, effects and mixing. This way, we can focus on the sound design without getting bored by the same loop playing over and over again.
Live performance: We wanted a tool that could make our live performances unique and never repeating. A tool that we could interact with in real time, changing the rules and parameters of the music while we perform, to create a dynamic musical experience for ourselves and our audience.
Entertainment: We wanted a tool that could provide us with a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction by seeing and hearing generative music unfold in real-time, knowing that it's us who created the rules behind this music.
That's how Flow was born, a generative sequencer that lets you do all that and more.
The Journey Begins
We hope that Flow will become your guide to new music territories. Whether you want to create soothing ambient soundscapes with complex generative chords, go wild with fast and chaotic breakcore rhythms, or craft melodies and arpeggios that reharmonize with unpredictable yet harmonious chord changes — Flow can handle all of these, and anything in between.
You're about to dive into the world of generative music, and trust us, it's going to be an absolute blast. We can't wait to see and hear what you create with Flow!
In the next section, we will explain how Flow achieves its power by explaining the core concept behind it: the state machine.