Binary Beats is a probabilistic drum machine I wrote so to produce variable drum beats with some musical sense. Its quite amazing how prominent powers of two (binary) numbers are in music with a simple metre. Binary Beats generates beats according to weighted probabilities, so the music may not always be the same each cycle. The degree of variation is specified by the probability weightings from 0 no probability, through 50 where there is a 50/50 change of playing, to 99 where you are certain that a beat will sound. This is the binary influence (these numbers are all powers of 2).

The drum machine only works in 4/4 time and changes in the 1 column effect the first beat of the bar only. Changes in the 2 column effect the 3rd beat of the bar. Changes under 4 effect beats 2 and 4. Changes under 8 effect all off beats. Column 16 effects all 16th notes not previously part of another column. This is a surprisingly musical organisation when you get used to it and one of the major advances this software provides. The density control effects all probabilities in the one part, while intensity effects probabilities in all parts. At 50 they have a 1:1 multiplying effect (no change). Below 50 they thin out the music by lowering the probabilities, above 50 to thicken the texture by increasing all probabilities. Very cool for live performance when you want to have “more” or “less” full-on drums.

Hear an audio example of the output of Binary Beats.