Maybe it’s just me but watching the promo video for Klysoft ITVL, my overwhelming reaction was that this is nuts! So, do I mean crazy, bonkers or that it’s the mutt’s nuts? Well, a bit of everything, I guess. ITVL (taken from the word Interval) seems to have the ability to create organic and apparently improvised melodies, sounds and percussion in response to a bit of mouse clicking. The jazz piece created in the video is a little bit jaw-dropping – I wonder if it can do anything else or am I fooled by the fact that any random notes thrown together will sound “jazz” to a degree?
ITVL is a step sequencer at heart. You have 4 tracks of 32 steps, notes, a velocity and gate controller lane, but then it starts to get interesting. Each step can be individually timed from whole note to 64th note and so in the top half of the GUI you have this “time-interval” area where you create timing patterns. So rather than creating the traditional even tempered step sequence (although it can do this too) it sounds more like a played melody – or a random bunch of nonsense depending on your point of view. They have a scaling function called Flexi-Scale which takes 7 notes and creates a scale with it to quantise the pitch of your notes. You can have two scales running and swap between them on the fly. This is also the reason why the note area doesn’t have a defined scale. Each yellow horizontal line marks an octave but the notes inbetween are set by the Flexi-Scale unless you hit the “chromatic” button to force it to regular notes.
On the generative side it has an improvisation function called “impv” which adds variation to the sequencer by using an algorithm to mess it about. There’s more fun to be had with something called Vari-channel which will automatically and randomly change MIDI channel while the pattern is playing, spilling notes from one track into another. So your drums might find themselves playing the lead synth for a while before finding itself at a piano. It’s weirdly genius.
Is the result always going to end up sounding like an expressive jazz improvisation for a third-year dance therapy student performance? Possibly, but with all the randomisation and improvisation algorithms embedded in this sequencer you’re going to have a lot of fun finding out.
I should mention that it’s a standalone program that can host up to two VST instruments. The 4 sequence tracks can also be routed via MIDI to external hardware or by adding virtual MIDI ports you can route it into your DAW.
ITVL is available now for OSX or Windows for an introductory price of USD $39.99 and you can download a free demo to whet your appetite.
More information: http://klysoft.bigcartel.com/itvl