1-bit bitmaps and monotimbral MIDI music

by Travis Hallenbeck

I. illustrations/examples

Tiny Icon Factory, an example of a simple program to create a bitmap file

Sequencer, an example of a simple program to create a MIDI file

II. motivating influences

III. concept development

I wanted to make art that was...

1-bit bitmap and monotimbral MIDIs are perfect!

IV. problems encountered

What dimension to bitmap in?

Too small - not enough possibilities
Too large - too many possibilities - more of a finished picture/scene than a stamp

Almost infinite possibilities?

8 x 8 = 64 pixels, 264 or 1.84467441 × 1019 possible 1-bit bitmaps
16 x 16 = 256 pixels, 2256 or 1.15792089 × 1077 possible 1-bit bitmaps
32 x 32 = 1,025 pixels, 21,025 possible 1-bit bitmaps
64 x 64 = 4,096 pixels, 24,096 possible 1-bit bitmaps

How many are unique, recognizable objects?

For instance,

Scrawling/freehand drawing vs. plotting


meandering MIDIs

copy and paste or rearrange previous sections to develop features

lack of depth/dynamics

dither/shading – making drums by running notes together

how to organize thousands and thousands of bitmaps?

tagging somehow? put them all in one big file?

V. problem solving procedures

How many bitmaps have already been created?

We'll never know.

How can the ones online be found?

How can I encourage people to make more?

VI. work in progress

General MIDI,

a record of short, monotimbral MIDIs written for each of the 128 General MIDI instruments with a sleeve depicting all 128 in 1-bit bitmaps

...figure out a way to generate original bitmaps from pre-existing (or categories of) bitmaps

continue to collect and study styles in the wild

bitmaps expressed physically

my Flickr favorites