Abstract

Music information retrieval (MIR) has a great potential in musical live coding because it can help the musician–programmer to make musical decisions based on audio content analysis and explore new sonorities by means of MIR techniques. The use of real-time MIR techniques can be computationally demanding and thus they have been rarely used in live coding; when they have been used, it has been with a focus on low-level feature extraction. This article surveys and discusses the potential of MIR applied to live coding at a higher musical level. We propose a conceptual framework of three categories: (1) audio repurposing, (2) audio rewiring, and (3) audio remixing. We explored the three categories in live performance through an application programming interface library written in SuperCollider, MIRLC. We found that it is still a technical challenge to use high-level features in real time, yet using rhythmic and tonal properties (midlevel features) in combination with text-based information (e.g., tags) helps to achieve a closer perceptual level centered on pitch and rhythm when using MIR in live coding. We discuss challenges and future directions of utilizing MIR approaches in the computer music field.

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