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Inspiration. Serendipity. Control. Personality. Not Necessarily in that Order.

This is the first article in a series of posts from users of Liquid Notes reporting about their experience with our intelligent composing assistant. In the weeks to come we will present you with more such articles, giving you a better idea about how Liquid Notes is perceived, and what others use it for and how.

Dinu Ivancu

Dinu Ivancu is a freelance sound designer, architect, and musician who loves to manipulate and contextualize both sound and forms. His focus is on conveying emotions through harmony and abstract sounds, following an organised but organic structure.

The fascination for sound and music from a young age led him on a path that had him discover the fantastic properties of sound and be forever fascinated by it. Having a few years of classical training in his youth made this connection permanent.

Even though later in life he specialised in architecture, sound and music were always of high interest to him. This had him involved in various events indoors or outdoors, from traditional events/parties to experimental and avant-garde venues.

As a sound designer, he has worked, solo or together with visual artists, on various projects including commercial work for major companies such as Samsung, Lexus, and Champions League. Working as an architect thus being involved in major projects allowed him to develop a taste for organization, structure, function, and efficiency, principles he then sought to apply to sound creations and composing.

Currently, he is working on the release of more of his abstract tracks under the alias Moduler, setting up a performance and creating a soundtrack for a children's game that involves a lot of harmonic variations. He looks forward to the future where he plans to use the expressive possibilities of new technology, both software and hardware and bringing closer together architecture and sound in an interactive way.

Liquid Notes is not a simple chord generator.

When I saw Liquid Notes I thought of it as a simple chord generator. That can't be further from the truth. Working with Liquid Notes feels like having a world-renowned composer partner (although without the big ego) by your side suggesting harmonic directions, which you then choose to take depending on your own sensibilities.
While at first the experience was a bit alien to me, once I realised the power of this tool and the amount of personal involvement there still is in the process and the final result, I was hooked.

I can't stress this enough: it's like having the cake and eating it too. Other harmonic tools feel like doing the whole work for you.
Liquid Notes feels like you just gained a vocabulary of chord relations and harmonic progressions. It helps you escape from the prison of routine and beaten paths.
As any musician, I have also fallen into this trap of using comfortable progressions which I know and love and always seem to play and use while composing, even if I think of something else beforehand.

This is a mechanical behaviour as the brain feels good using things that are well known to it, and thankfully Liquid Notes changes these routines.

Liquid Notes behaves like a world-renowned composer partner.

As I said my fears were that I would be played by Liquid Notes' power and not play with it so the way I use it now is even more personal than I could imagine at first.

I use a MIDI controller based on the chromatic table (a C-Thru Axis 49) and make some compositions and chord progressions. So this way I make sure my workflow is starting from the ground up with my own artistic views.

I find that I can, for example, create a simple chord progression, then start Liquid Notes and try various changes. Sometimes based on my initial impulse, I get closer to what I really wanted and I can scrape together my initial harmonic content and use only Liquid Notes' mutated version.
So Liquid Notes also works really well for finding something more appropriate, via empirical listening and testing, rather than just creating new variations.

So a workflow is usually like this:

  1. I make an appropriate chord progression or simple chord sequence.
  2. Use Liquid Notes in parallel and play around and find new variations.
  3. In Ableton with the MIDI info from Liquid Notes I have new changes.
  4. Make MIDI clips out of all of these combinations and change their order on the fly with the help of Live's session view.
  5. Settle on some progressions and start the arrangement.
  6. Rinse and repeat from step #1.

... and the process is never boring or dull!

Besides a bit of routing and adjustment at first, Liquid Notes is really something amazing and the development so far has been really good. Liquid Notes for me works as an amazing catalyst for composing and I find it quite valuable (even if I don't use it or need it all the time).

At its best it helps me create a lot of variations I would have only dreamed of achieving, at its worst it just gives me the inspiration I need when in artistic entropy.

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