Gears, a web app to create music differently - Clement Bossut, Pierre Lambla

What is Gears, where does it come from, what could it become

Presented by: Clément Bossut, Pierre Lambla

Gears is an intuitive interface dedicated to musical composition developed by Pierre Lambla and Clément Bossut.

Its principle is based on a harmonic synchronisation of sound samples. Going backward on Pythagoras’ path who deduced the arithmetics from observing the harmonic resonances, Gears offers to establish rational relations between sound samples to harmonize them.

Thus it is possible to access the natural harmonic resonances of any sound, both melodically and rhythmically, and to synchronize sounds very easily ; making Gears an original tool to explore the field of composition for beginners as well as confirmed sound creators.

The interface consists of a sound library, a blank page where the composition takes place, and a minimal set of tools.

The sound samples, once dragged to the workplane, turn into sound wheels whose size is proportional to their duration.

Then you can basically :

– connect the wheels together with belts to have them play simultaneously ;

– change their size with the result of changing their duration and pitch – or timestretch their content ;

– harmonize them by establishing rational ratios between them ;

– freely sequence wheels together as beads collars generating bigger wheels containing the sequence.

These features make Gears a very original musical tool which drives the user directly to the natural principles of harmony, but also invites (allows) him to compose music with no metronomic constraint, nor square grids, making the genuine musical sounds and sentences the substrate of every synchronization.

Gears is currently a web application accessible from any browser.

It has been developed by L'Upito, with support from DRAC and Région Centre Val de Loire.


The major point of the talk to come will be to introduce Gears and the IRCAM Forum community to each other, in order to try and see how they could get along. The questions session will then be the best way to discover this tool according to each point of view.

However, it is necessary to explain and show the basics and fundamentals beforehand.


The talk will therefore jumpstart with a fast and furious introduction of the two artistico-scientific researchers behind Gears, in order to get quickly into the deep principles articulating this simple tool.

I will demonstrate a standard discovery usage of the software while discussing the grand ideas we want to convey by our conception.

Then, various use cases will be shown and heard, to open the way toward the diversity of creation accessible.

After an evocation of the functionalities that are in progress, we’ll close with a short piece by Pierre Lambla, saving hopefully enough time to hear as many thoughts the audience has to express.

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