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Revision as of 12:13, 23 September 2023 by Rjt (talk | contribs) (→‎Post-Flash: Sequence8)
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Release date: 2009
Made by: André Michelle
Runs on: Browser (Flash)
Imports: N/A
Exports: N/A

A simple, web-based, music making tool, inspired by Yu Nishibori and Toshio Iwai's Tenori-on instrument.

Users mark squares on a 16×16 grid. A mark's vertical position determines the note, and its horizontal the time. After 16 steps the sequence loops back to the start. Tunes can't be exported (output is easy enough to record with something like Audacity), though compositions can be copied to the clipboard as strings of numbers, and pasted back into the application or shared. The ability to make by drawing (free hand, reproducing sprites, etc.) makes it a fun way to generate small melodies, stings, and probably other things!

It also works well as an improvisation instrument. With a line out to an amp, or using something to record output, longer songs can be improvised by modifying the patterns to be played in the current and the following loop. A text file with a list of prepared loops to paste into the application can also be a good tool. See ToneMatrix Improvisation 001 for an example I made — rjt (talk).


Unfortunately, ToneMatrix was made in Flash, which is no longer supported by web browsers. I can't find any stuff on an official port to another language, but there are a few projects on Github by other people.

Here are notes on ones I've tested:

  • Harmonium - A Wii homebrew version.
  • ToneMatrix | Github - Open-source port. You can hit a button to generate a random bunch of notes, hare/load songs via text strings, and change the number of cells on the board.
  • ToneMatrix Redux | Github - This one works online, includes shareable song URLs. No additional features. Less features, but feels a bit nicer that the version above.
  • Sequence8 - Similar grid-based music making tool in Pico8. You get multiple tracks/instruments. Can also share songs with codes.

Here're some others that have some work done, but can't speak to how usable they are:

See Also