Babbitt Engine Version 2

A synthesizer for generating serial electronic music

(8 Votes)
Mark Smart
2 (Updated 2 years ago)
August 26, 2017
Reaktor 6


Milton Babbitt was a composer of serial atonal music whose passion was to use serial permutations to affect not just the pitch of each note (like other serial composers), but also other parameters like amplitude, envelope, and timbre. This synth, which has approximately the same structure as the RCA Mark II Synthesizer Babbitt used, can be played from the keyboard in real time, and serial permutations are applied to the notes as you play them.

This is version 2, which has the counters moved to the Matrix instrument, and now any counter can be used to modulate any parameter. I added octave-shifting to the oscillators and a Tone Cluster instrument that allows building up of thick clusters of notes from the Master Tone Row.

Have fun!

--Mark Smart


Mark Smart
8 months ago
In May 2019 I used variations on this device to compose serial music for a multi-channel sound dome at the Immersion Festival in Urbana, IL USA: One version was controlled by the Haken Continuum Fingerboard for live performance along with prerecorderd material. A recording is here:
Mark Smart
1 year ago
Did you use it for a class?
Markus Burger
1 year ago
Great Teaching Tool. It makes students be able to get a hands on approach to his tools and music. Thanks, Markus
2 years ago
Great work Mark. Would it be possible to add midi output of the notes played by the RCA? This would allow other instruments to be used as well.
2 years ago
wow - well done very interesting Ensemble and Snapshots
2 years ago
Thanks Mark