Cristyn Magnus composer

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This page provides a cursory introduction to genetic algorithms and a brief overview of an algorithm for using genetic algorithms to directly manipulate waveforms. For a more info, please see my results page.

Abstract: The goal of this research is to explore the use of genetic algorithms to evolve waveforms. Genetic algorithms are introduced with a simple application. Past research involving the application of genetic algorithms to musical situations is reviewed. An algorithm is defined that applies genetic algorithms directly to waveforms, rather than to abstract parameters that must be mapped onto some domain. The results of this algorithm are described. A compositional framework that creates global structure by stochastically altering the environment in which the waveforms evolve is described. The success of this project is not in this algorithm's ability to make a population of sounds sound more like their environment, but rather in its ability to create novel sounds that are intimately tied to the process of their creation.

What are genetic algorithms?

Genetic algorithms use an evolutionary metaphor to evolve solutions to problems or model the evolutionary process.


Algorithm for evolving waveforms:


Fitness Function



Selection of parents:




Follow this link for the results of this research.