CompMe: A "Metronome Plus" For Modal Practice

I've been practicing quartal voicings today and ended up knocking together a little tool to help me do so. It's a kind of "modal metronome" and I thought it might be worth sharing here.

The idea is that as well as providing a steady pulse like an ordinary metronome it plays notes from the mode, creating a kind of impressionistic texture that's distinctly different for different modes. It will play any mode it supports in any key at (pretty much) any speed you like. It can do anything from slow progressions of notes to wall-of-sound stuff at around 2000ish BPM.

I'm not sure it's very musical but I found it useful for hearing how chord voicings sound against melody lines played using the mode. That was the reason I made it -- to give me something bland and repetitive to comp, hence the name "CompMe".

This is all very low-tech I'm afraid. You need to download the class file into a folder on your computer. Then open a command prompt and type "java CompMe". You'll get about a screen of stuff telling you what to do and providing the names and spellings of all the modes it supports. I couldn't be bothered to make the spellings "nice", so I'm afraid you get things like the Lydian spelled as "1 2 3 b5 5 6 7". If that freaks you out just hold onto something until you get your balance back.

NOTE: Someone asked about this so, to clarify, when the output says something like

SuperLocrianbb7 (1 b2 b3 3 b5 b6 6 )

the scale name is "SuperLocrianbb7" -- the part in brackets is for information only, not part of the name! So if I want CompMe to play this scale in Eb at 60bpm for 10 minutes I'd type

java CompMe Eb SuperLocrianbb7 60 10

You'll get the most out of it if you know a tiny bit of programming and download the source code so you can tinker with it, add your own scales etc.

You can have it for free, and do as you like with it under the terms of this creative commons license, but I don't have time to help you if you run into difficulties. Make sure your system has the latest version of java and it's in your path. If you don't know what I'm talking about ask your local geek for help.