M 2.6 from Cycling 74 is a software application for Mac OS X that turns a computer into an interactive composing and performing environment. Instead of merely playing back what's been already composed, the software becomes a part of the actual process of composition.
The user enters the basic musical ideas and materials as melodies, chords and rhythms, and then works with M to transform those ideas into finished compositions. The included powerful tools and musical controls allow for working so quickly and interactively, that the line between composing and performing becomes blurred.
The music can be controlled by clicking and dragging the mouse on the computer screen, by "conducting" in the Conducting Grid, by pressing keys on the computer keyboard, or by playing specific notes on a MIDI keyboard. When working with M, the musical result of every control gesture is heard while performing it, virtually without dropping a beat, allowing the user to try new things and explore musical ideas quickly and efficiently.
- Stand-alone software application that turns a computer into an interactive composing and performing environment
- Melodies, chords and rhythms are entered and then the user can work with M to transform those ideas into finished compositions
- The software's main window displays six control panels, each with a particular grouping of controls
- The controls in all of the windows are interrelated as different parts of the same musical process
- The control panels include Patterns, Conducting, Snapshot, Variables, Cyclic Variables and MIDI