I wrote Looching to learn how to program the Motorola 56K DSP
chip that came with NeXT machines using the NeXT MusicKit. After
posting the resulting application to a few "ftp sites" (no www back then!),
I was amazed at the distribution it received. Since then, I've returned
to the basic idea (slowly evolving ambient sound generator) to try
out new programming ideas, etc.
was also a really terrific canine.
This is from the original README file that accompanied the software:
This version of "Looching" fixes some minor strangeness that crept into
the program as NeXT OS increased in numerical value -- it compiles nicely
under 2.X systems, just in time for 3.0! I have no idea how it will behave
under 3.0, but I do know that you will need to get the MusicKit somehow to
compile it. I have included a pre-compiled version of "Looching" here for
those with no access/inclination/desire for getting the MusicKit. This
version also does the nice, slow fade-outs of notes which it was intended
to do (some machines running the earlier version had abrupt note
cute-offs). As always, send e-mail with comments, questions, etc.
This is the original README file:
"Looching" is a program which generates pseudo-NewAge (or perhaps it's the
Real McCoy!) music using the Motorola DSP chip. I wrote it because I like
to have long droning sounds going while I stare at error messages, read
news, move windows around on the screen, etc. One of the considerations
that went into the design of the program was to make it place as light a
load on the main CPU as possible, so that "Looching" can be hidden away to
do it's droning without interfering.
The sound-controlling process actually sleeps for 10-20 seconds at a time.
You may notice that there are 2 Looching procs running while the sound is
being generated. This happens so that the sound-controlling process can
sleep while returning control to the interface to accept any parameter
changes (plus allow you to "hide", "quit", etc.). I didn't use NeXT's fancy
Orchestra scheduler in order to minimize the CPU load, so this may not be
the best example in the world of how to program music stuff on the Cube.
To get "Looching" up & running, simply unpack it and try it out. There's
some help menus included.
Hope you enjoy this -- send e-mail with feedback, etc. I'm intrigued by the
idea of being able to distribute new music like this. I didn't even have to
dub a cassette!
Columbia University Music Department
email@example.com (address no longer valid)
Apparently Looching still lives on as part of the
distribution. Here is the source for Looching2.0 for
people who want to see such things: