Mythos Synthscribe Remix: DEUS IN MACHINA (2023)



  • All synth patch presets (including for each drum sound) were generated by inputting text prompts to Synthscribe, a machine learning system by Stephen Brade et al (2023).
  • All MIDI content was composed by Daniel Oore and Andrew Staniland (a MIDI notation excerpted from Staniland’s “Mythos” suite for solo guitar, movement 3 “Chorale: Es gibt wahrscheinlich keinen Gott, aber die Welt ist trotzdem schön”).
  • All MIDI and resulting audio was orchestrated, arranged, edited, and processed by Daniel Oore.


Every different synth patch heard here —including each drum/percussion sound— is a Diva synthesizer patch preset suggestion generated by the machine-learning system Synthscribe.

This was my first time ever using Diva synth, so Synthscribe provided a helpful and orienting introduction. It took me 70 (unhuried) minutes to compose and lay the piece from beginning to end, and then another few hours of detailed refining.

For simplicity I’ll briefly explain the composition in sequence of entry (rather than by sequence in which I composed the material, which was different).

The chords heard at the outset of this piece use MIDI data excerpted from the ‘Chorale’ movement of Andrew Staniland’s solo guitar composition entitled ‘Mythos’ …a composition inspired by a Bach Lute suite. Because I actually discovered this excerpt would fit later in the compositional process, I transposed it to fit the rest of the material I’d already composed.

Here is the opening using Andrew Staniland’s MIDI notation for his guitar composition to trigger the preset patch generated by Synthscribe (in response to my text prompt “the sound of classical nylon guitar with lots of reverb”):


After this opening, enter the violin and flute–like patches which Synthscribe suggested in response to the prompt “the sound of a baroque instrument,” which in turn inspired me to compose something that reminds me of Bach’s double violin concerto. The next synth patches to enter the mix were generated by Synthscribe in response to text prompts imagining electronic and abstract concepts music (e.g. “the sound of a metal hanger” and “the sound of a vampire” the preset responses which are both featured in the drums throughout the piece).

Here is a screenshot of the entire piece labeled by instrument, organized by order of entrances from top to bottom (with thin red lines indicating added volume envelopes):

dani oore deus in machina mythos synthscribe remix project screenshot
deus in machina : mythos synthscribe remix live project screenshot


Synthscribe prompts & DIVA patches used… (Nb. Synthscribe outputs a long list of patches, which for this composition process I would audition the first few, and usually picked several potential from among the top five or so of Synthscribe’s generated list. Diva has nearly 4000 free presets available.)

    • Prompt: “the sound of classical nylon guitar with lots of reverb”
      • Synthscribe [Diva synth preset suggestion]= KEY Bonsai, and later KEY Tasmanian Walk [and ARP Emerald Icicles from next prompt]
    • Prompt: “the sound of a baroque instrument”
      • Synthscribe= HS High StraDIVAri [for violin], HS Key Flutes [for flute], Emerald Icicles [used at end for chorale]
  • DRUMS:
    • Prompt: “the sound of a harsh bass wobbler pumping with a fast attack”
      • Synthscribe= RD Drums – Kick #4 – more old funky
    • Prompt: “the sound of plucking a hair”
      • Synthscribe= HS Sleigh Ting
    • Prompt: “the sound of a vampire”
      • Synthscribe= Shaker DG
    • Prompt: “the sound of plucking a hair”
      • Synthscribe= DR Electro Perc 1
  • BASS:
    • Prompt: “the sound of a harsh bass wobbler pumping with a fast attack”
      • Synthscribe= Wobbler and RD Drums – Kick #4 – more old funky
  • SOLO:
    • Prompt: “the sound of a soft airy lead” 
      • Synthscribe= MK Saw Soft
  • PAD:
    • Prompt: “the sound of a pad that is slow airy soft ethereal evolving”
      • Synthscribe= ATM Extinct