Ensemble: Implementing a Musical Multiagent System Framework

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


SMC Conference 2011 (2011)


Multiagent systems can be used in a myriad of musical applications, including electro-acoustic composition, automatic musical accompaniment and the study of emergent musical societies. Previous works in this field were usually concerned with solving very specific musical problems and focused on symbolic processing, which limited their widespread use, specially when audio exchange and spatial information were needed. To address this shortcoming, Ensemble, a generic framework for building musical multiagent systems was implemented, based on a previously defined taxonomy and architecture. The present paper discusses some implementation details and framework features, including event exchange between agents, agent motion in a virtual world, realistic 3D sound propagation simulation, and interfacing with other systems, such as Pd and audio processing libraries. A musical application based on Steve Reich’s Clapping Music was conceived and implemented using the framework as a case study to validate the aforementioned features. Finally, we discuss some performance results and corresponding implementation challenges, and the solutions we adopted to address these issues.

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