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ULTOMATON is a generative effects processor built to provide live electronic accompaniment for any acoustic improviser. It uses John Conway's Game of Life to trigger events. These events are reflected in changes of Ultomaton's effect parameters.

Although the Game of Life is at the very core of this application, Ultomaton feels very much like a game of chance, which can be controlled by the performer to a great extent. As different settings have a considerable influence on the auditory result, Ultomaton provides a myriad of electronic backdrops to improvise with.

Quick start:

  • Set up your audio input and output in the 'audio configuration' menu.
  • Set up the routing matrix to create an effect chain.
  • Activate the 'R''s in the effect modules specified in the routing matrix. This will allow it to receive events from the Game of Life
  • Spawn life in the Game of Life (manually or by enabling 'attack detection')
  • Improvise


Almost all parameters are available for MIDI- and Key-mapping. Use shortcuts 'm' for MIDI-mapping and 'k' for Key-mapping to enable mapping mode. Select the parameter you want to map and touch the control you want to map it to. To exit mapping mode, hit 'esc'. Mappings can be saved and loaded in the mapping window.


Hover the cursor over any button or section of the application to reveal hints on how to use ULTOMATON

created by Benjamin Van Esser - 2019


ULTOMATON is an effects generator built to accompany any acoustic instrumentalist while improvising.



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