Magenta: The project looking for ‘nerds’


The goal of Magenta is to: “interface with the outside world”

The Magenta team returned to this year’s Moogfest to showcase the last twelve months of work and to seek help

Just last year, Adam Roberts and Colin Raffel, two Google engineers, brought the Magenta project to Moogfest. Well, this year saw the pair return to the popular technology festival in Durham, NC.

But to do this the two engineers need help. They are relying on the public to use Magenta’s latest tools at home, so they can contribute code which will help the project develop. This is made possible as Magenta is an open source project.

Roberts explains: “The goal of the project is to interface with the outside world, especially creators.”

The engineers lead a workshop showcasing the MIDI musical sequence generator API. But that wasn’t the only workshop the Magenta team hosted over the four days. They also demoed their web-based NSynth.

And this is where things get trippy. The tech uses maths to blend sounds to create new ones. It isn’t as simple as adding sound waves together. The sound is turned into numbers, but those numbers don’t represent the sound wave. Just click the link above and it becomes clear.

If you are a budding programmer, or just love to code as a hobby, Magenta’s code base can be found on GitHub. But this isn’t for the faint hearted.

Roberts warns: “We’re definitely not a place where you can sit down, open something up, and just start playing around with it.”

Adding: “There is a lot of overhead and you have to know how to use the command line and all that stuff.”

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