Axon 2

Axon 2 is a drum synth driven by artificial intelligence. (Well, “intelligence” might be a strong word. Artificial something-or-other.) An experimental instrument, Axon uses a modified artificial neural network as a sequencer, and features seven FM-based percussion voices, that are really a single 18-operator FM voice.

If that sounds weird, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It is surprisingly intuitive once you get the knack of it, and is capable of all-new, complex rhythms that repeat in surprising ways. It often gets referenced as a “random sequence generator,” but there is nothing random in Axon; it is entirely determinative.

The sequencer features seven “neurons” that trigger a voice and send a pulse when they have received a predetermined number of pulses. You can wire the output of any neuron to the input of any other (with built-in loop detection to prevent runaway feedback), and in this manner pre-program the artificial neural network without having to go through a “learning” phase.

The seven individual drum voices, each triggered by its attendant neuron, are 2-operator FM voices in a configuration to best make percussion sounds, with additional FM and AM busses that all voices send to and receive from. Each voice has a HPF, distortion circuit, and white noise generator to provide a full range of percussion-oriented voicing individually, while interacting with each other in new and unique ways.

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