Within the context of the novel, this is presented first as an addiction, and later as a means of transcending the limitations of this mortal coil.
In practice, it’d look like a little transistor radio, but play at least partially generative ambient music, with a knob that would widely vary the output.
In my head, it sounds like C64 era, or SNES era chiptunes. Sparse notes, sweeping tones, lots of arpeggios.
I want one.
I used to work in algorithmic music in the seventies. Since then I have moved on to real people playing real instruments aka old school.
I had a concept I called the dance box. An algorithmic music generator with motion detection that would optimize the music on how much people liked to dance to it.
A dangerous concept. Also might be difficult to implement. But probably possible.
Also I think I read about some projects that used cosmic rays or some other signals from space to aid in the algorithmic music generation.
I don't think what you describe would require input from outer space but it would add a certain element to it.
I still do algorithmic composition but I output scores instead of synth noise.
@ajroach42 Sounds like a white noise generator with specialized filtering, much like some of the more complex sleep machines.
@ajroach42 it might not be quite as hard as you expect.
puts me somewhat in mind of a couple things from my sparkfun days. my (often brilliant) friend todd did this:
it was great and i still have my record. also, for the giveaway where the traffic's recorded on one side of that 7", we used a geiger counter for a source of randomness, which was a lot of fun (if probably not for the people trying to get the free stuff):
@ajroach42 You may also want to do a search for Magenta - Google folks have been using deep learning to develop generative music tools.
A social network for the 19A0s.