unVerse is a generative music generation system created by Ian Snyder and ported to iOS by Lucky Frame. It uses a minimalist system of white points floating on a black screen. When two points approach they connect and push each other away, generating a musical tone. The app was submitted to the AppStore and rejected, now only available as a source download from GitHub.
The app, available as open source from GitHub, was created using openFrameworks. Jonathan Brodsky, who created the port, describes it as “quite simple”:
There are a bunch of dots floating around. When they get within a certain distance of each other, they get pushed away from each other and play a sine tone. When you drag your finger, the speed of your finger is added to all the dots within a certain distance. You can modify collision and touch distance as well as maximum speed and maximum number of dots on the screen.
There is a dot class that handles updating the position of the dots, and a soundcontainer class that handles all of the tones that are playing and the echo and mixing. The tones themselves are produced in the tone class. There is also a title screen that has all of the initial positions for the dots and lines. The rest of the logic (collision detection, touch updating, and tone picking) happens in the testApp.mm file. The testApp.mm also handles the FBO that does the sorta motion blur effect.
Unfortunately, Apple rejected it on the grounds it needed “more features” resulting in Lucky Frame abandoning the submission and releasing it as open source. You can read more about the submission on their website including some thoughts and opinions about the process.
..how we evaluate creative output, and it’s a problem that could be applied to any number of situations, from apps to music interfaces. An unfortunate byproduct of consumer-focused digital media is that perhaps more than ever it prioritises adding “stuff” rather than trying to really explore and experiment with specific interactions, reactions, and interfaces.
We couldn’t agree more with Lucky Frame.
In any case, the team has made the app open source, available at the link below. If you are registered as iOS developer you can deploy it to your iOS device. Alternatively, you can have a play in the iOS Simulator but for this you need latest version of xCode available from MacAppStore and 0.7 version of oF.