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What is BoxyLady?

BoxyLady is a mark-up based music sequencer. Instead of using a graphical interface to organised notes into a tune, you prepare a text file of instructions, a little like a computer program. Once prepared, you instruct the console-driven BoxyLady program to interpret this file of instructions, and the results can be one or more music files, typically in the form of a WAV file. (MP3 is also an option.)

Please see the adjoining music clip for a very example of BoxyLady ouput.

What features does BoxyLady have?

BoxyLady has several modes of operation when parsing its input file. The three most important are:

  • Sample mode, where you can load and save patches containing music (WAV files), apply filters, and other effects.
  • Synth mode, where you impose waveforms on blocks of sound to build up instruments and effects.
  • Notes mode, where you specify sequences of previously-generated notes to produce tunes and overlays.

I designed BoxyLady for maximum flexibility to avoid the trap of defaulting to tech only suitable for genres such as Common Practice Period or pop. There are a number of ways in which it is extensible.

  • You are not restricted to rhythms based on divisions of 2 and 3. If you want seventh notes, or dotted eleventh notes, that's fine.
  • You can use whichever tuning system and pitch transposition you like. Why not invent 13 divisions to the tritave, rather than 12 to the octave?
  • You can invent new notes. Want to have a note "Susan" between G and A? No problem.

Please see the video for a short walkthrough of some basic BoxyLady features.


Online LP (2016)

Breamscape is a selection of tracks produced using BoxyLady.

All tracks are produced from the ground up, starting by synthesising the very waveforms (in BoxyLady) that constitute the notes and ambient effects.

Many of the tracks on Breamscape have an aquatic connection. Hence the terrible pun.

Please listen here on BandCamp. You can even buy the tracks or the whole album if you like!

How can I use it?

At the moment there is no executable provided for BoxyLady. It is written in C++ of a very vanilla type using few libraries, and so you can download the source code and compile it using your IDE of choice. It has been developed using Linux and Eclipse.

A complete manual of BoxyLady is provided on these pages. You may particularly want to see the main menu, and the licensing and source page.

Part of an example .box file is shown here.