MIDI Merlin History and Development

MIDI Merlin 2 was designed by Randy George entirely in Cycling’74 Max visual programming environment. The real-time tracking is made possible by sigmund~, the powerful and accurate pitch/amplitude tracking algorithm designed by Miller S. Puckette for Max’s open source cousin development platform, Pure Data (Pd). With the exception of sigmund, MIDI Merlin was built entirely with vanilla external objects in Max version 6.1.9.

MIDI Merlin was incepted in 2011 in the apartment of an inspired music hardware technologist friend in Berlin-Mitte, Germany during the designer’s mid-thirties escape-from-reality European excursion. The original goal of the software was to augment the capabilities of the space controlled musical instrument known as the theremin, by employing a pitch and amplitude tracking device, and re-routing and programming the data into something new, either as a performance or sound enhancement. It evolved over the course of six years. In its intermediate stages of development it worked exceptionally well for the theremin and the designer saw no reason why it could not be used with other instruments. In 2014. the quest began to build the software into a robust performance workhorse application. In 2018, it is finally able to enter the world of live performance, education, and interaction design.