Using astyle with Visual Studio

Just a quick tip about how to set up the code formatting tool astyle as an external tool for Visual Studio 2010. First download astyle for Windows and extract somewhere sensible (I chose C:\Program Files\AStyle\).

Then navigate to Tools -> External Tools…, you should see a dialog like the one below. Simply fill out the setting as appropriate, remembering you can set various style options using commandline flags (as described on the official site). The variables $(ItemPath) and $(ItemDir) are important – this lets astyle know which file to apply to. Then to use the tool, simply select astyle from the Tools menu (you will be prompted to reload the file).

astyle configuration


Scipy Weave: Compilation Error

New users of the python library Scipy may be having difficulty using the weave library which allows on the fly C++ compilation of python code. While trying to get this to work on Ubuntu, I was prompted with the following error:

scipy.weave.build_tools.CompileError: error: Command "g++ ..." failed with exit status 1

To fix this, I realised that I didn’t have the python header files required (specifically Python.h). These can easily be installed on ubuntu by installing the python dev package:

sudo apt-get install python-dev

piano run

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Had a fun jam on the monome this evening. Experimenting with the inner loop function of mlrV. It ended up slightly longer than hoped, but it does have 3 or 4 distinct sections/movements which I’m happy about. Also using the tweakbench vst breadown, re-sampling live, then using the inner loop function again. You can get some lush minimal techno sounds from just a simple piano loop!

I’m keen to start posting stuff like this a bit more. I know it’s not particularly ground-breaking stuff, but it’s a good way to learn. You/I will hopefully see an improvement over the coming months.


Caribou & Four Tet & Nathan Fake & James Holden

Last night I witnessed possibly the best gig of the year for me so far. I would have been happy to see any of the four acts in their own right – the combination was unbelievable!

Nathan Fake

First up with a amazing live setup of various bits of electronics is Nathan Fake. The set is mostly in a similar vein to his more recent Hard Islands EP, playing synth-heavy, techno grooves though a few samples from his more ambient first album drop in here and there. He manages to make his performance feel pretty “live”, with plenty of tweaking and glitching on the fly – not just hiding behind his laptop. Too many electronic acts seem to use the phase “live” a little too liberally, playing essentially glorified DJ sets, but this felt genuinely fresh.

Next on the bill is label-mate James Holden with one of his much respected DJ sets. I am normally a little wary of heaping praise on DJs, but you can tell that Holden treats it as an art. At first not much seems to happen, but you start to realise that you are subconsciously starting to dance. It’s a slow build, but done to perfection. He has a confidence too, not a TiĆ«sto superstar DJ preening, but the look of someone who knows what they’re doing.

Four Tet

It would have been pretty difficult for Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet to follow two deep techno sets with the glitchy, folky electronics of his first few albums, and he doesn’t. Opening with a techno reworked version of live favourite Spirit Fingers works brilliantly though, sending the crowd into a frenzy. This is followed by plenty of tracks from his amazing new album There Is Love In You, which is a much more danceable affair. There’s a great moment during Love Cry when Hebden teases the crowd with just the opening snare hit of the main beat. With Pavlovian obediency, the crowd is tricked into a fleeting post-“drop” high. This is clearly an audience that knows his music inside out!

Finishing off the night is Canadian musician Caribou, complete with backing band. As with Four Tet, Caribou also sticks mostly to songs from his excellent new dance-orientated album Swim, though early classic Melody Day is much welcomed by fans. The drumming is superb throughout, occasionally with two drummers playing simultaneously. The synth parts are fantastic too, sounding very unique, intriguing and other-worldly. The only let down is the bass guitar which seems to sit far too high in the mix. This is a problem I’ve found at a few gigs recently, bass guitar so loud it distorts the air making it impossible to discern any sort of pitch, just a low rumble. But overall their set is very tight, and topped off with hypnotic visuals it’s the perfect end to the night.

All the acts are supposedly close friends and that definitely comes out in the music. Both Caribou and Four Tet’s sets have a similar groove to them, which also borrows from the much more techno driven music Holden and Nathan Fake are currently making. If you get the chance to see any of these guys, jump on it straight away. I cannot recommend them highly enough.




Just another fun little monome emulator type thing. I was getting curious about how much better a monome 128 would be. Using the MIDI keyboard on the Korg Electribe you can get 16 columns horizontally, and 9 rows vertically using the drum parts (ESX) or 5 rows from the keyboard parts (EMX).

Instructions (Korg ESX)


  1. Select Keyboard Part 1 and make sure the octave setting is on the lowest setting:
  2. Select the MIDI device that the Electribe is connected to.
  3. Set the row by choosing a drum part. Remember that afterwards you will have to reselect Keyboard Part 1.
  4. Play!

Instructions (Korg EMX)

  1. Press one of the keyboard parts (1-5) to select a row.
  2. Make sure it’s on the lowest octave setting (see above)
  3. Play!
Note: You don’t need anything else running (monomeserial etc). It also makes sense not to have the volume on!

Monome kit completed!

I finally got around to finishing my monome kit (with considerable help from my Dad on the woodworking side). It feels very sturdy, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. It’s great to be finally able to play properly with the thing – more monome inspired music to come soon!

mk monome kitfinished mk kit
finished mk kit