The Use of Interactive Genetic Algorithms in Sound Design: A Comparison Study

Yee-King, M J. 2016. The Use of Interactive Genetic Algorithms in Sound Design: A Comparison Study. Computers in Entertainmnent: Special Issue on Musical Metacreation, [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Two sound design methods were compared: modular synthesis and Evosynth, a novel variable architecture synthesizer programming system using an interactive genetic algorithm. They were compared using surveys, classification into established ontologies of creative systems and output analysis. Two surveys examined users’ opinions about the two synthesis methods. 430 modular synthesizer users and 14 Evosynth users responded. Both user groups valued unexpected output from the systems and tended to use exploratory approaches to sound design. Placed into ontologies of creative systems, the systems share characteristics such as autonomous signal and pattern generation, interactivity and the ability to generate novel output that was valued by their users. During a month long analysis period where Evosynth was online, 3552 breed events were recorded from 229 unique IP addresses and 90 ‘fit’ sounds were saved to the Evosynth server. The output and other analyses suggested that both systems can generate a wide range of timbres and that they allow a gradual exploration of timbre space.

Item Type:



Applied computing, Sound and music computing, Computing methodologies, Search methodologies, Musical metacreation, sound synthesis, genetic algorithms, audio analysis

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Goldsmiths Digital Studios


1 October 2016Accepted
31 December 2016Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2017 15:18

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:25

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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