Irregular Circle

An in-browser drum machine which uses irregularity.

Draw a circle, make a beat. Draw a weird circle, make a weird beat.

Image from Irregular Circle

The source is available here.


Beats with an irregular swing are used in a few contemporary genres including R&B, jazz, and hip hop. These beats are sometimes described as “drunk beats”. My idea in creating this visualization was that just as nobody can draw a perfect circle, nobody can play a perfectly in time beat.

I showed this project to a colleague who went to art school. They said it was kind of like an instrument that took a shape as input. It made them think about what other things could be input into an instrument.

It was interesting to me that his take was so different from mine. He told me that it’s actually one of the most important things you learn in art school: the ability to critique. It’s a little muscle in your brain that learns to have something to say about others' art, and eventually it starts to guide you in your own art as well.