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Motivation and goals

The goal of the sinkapater is to make it easy and fun to experiment with syncopated rhythms by untethering the beats from the usual constraints found in drum machines. The word syncopation became a metaphor for this project. The concept is that you are in control of a bunch of leaky faucets. You can individually change their height (loop rate) number of droplets (number of beats in a loop) and which beats are enabled for each faucet.

What does that mean?

Most drum machines loop over a set number of beats. Each channel can be enabled on any given beat. But what if you want to create tuplets or use compound meters? The sinkapater allows each channel in a loop contain an arbitrary number of beats. Additionally, each channel can loop over a different time period.

That sounds crazy, how is there going to be any cohesion?

I'm glad you asked. The sinkapater is not completely without bounds. There is a master track, to which all other tracks must follow. That is, the loop rate of all the other tracks must be an integer number of master beats. Also, feedback is given on a per track basis to inform you of how many master beats the track is looping over and how many beats it has per master beat.

What's next?

I have a lot of ideas but I think there are two things that would make this a viable instrument.

- An interface to load new samples; currently the samples used in the sinkapater are loaded at compile time based on what wav files are stored in the samples folder.

- The ability to sub-divide individual beats. As currently designed a channel uses the same beat rate throughout the loop. How cool would it be to be able to sub-divide each master beat in to arbitrary numbers so a triplet could follow a sixteenth note pattern for example.