Tag Archives: monome

Oct
23
2011

mlrVST: Project details

For the last few weeks I have been working away on a fun little project to recreate / expand on a great bit of software for the monome called mlr. The original patch was written in Max/MSP which is great for putting together these sort of sample juggling applications. However Max/MSP remains a proprietary language / coding evironment meaning it’s not possible to get in and hack around with the source code without owning a full copy (which unfortunately I don’t). So in response, I decided to create a VST plugin in C++ which is fully open-sourced / modifiable. While my project (unoriginally named mlrVST) borrows heavily from existing incarnations, I hope to add plenty of my own features and ideas: in particular I’ve looked at adding several granular synthesis capabilities.

mlrVST

So what stage is the project at just now? Well I have a basic VST up and running. It has a GUI, it makes sound, it responds to the monome and can play back loops at varying speeds (set internally or by the VST host). Windows builds are available but I’ve not had access to OSX to try building a Mac version (the project uses the cross-platform JUCE library so it should work!). There is lots still to do: presets, live audio recording, resampling etc, but there should also be enough working to have fun playing around with! For more information (downloads / screenshots / source code), the best place to go is the monome.org forums, although the github project page should be useful too.

I hope to write some more articles about the technical side of the project (using JUCE etc) in the future so feel free to check back now and then!

Dec
08
2010

piano run

piano

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.

Nov
21
2010

Electribome

Electribome

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)

Electribe

  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!
Download: Electribome.zip
Nov
09
2010

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

Sep
09
2010

Accord for Max

accord for max

I’ve ported my monome app accord to Max now. Should work just the same, though Windows users might find it more stable, and with better MIDI latency. It’s amazing how porting something can open your eyes to a completely new way of looking at a problem. The chord/arpeggio handler is now much neater. Puredata version has been updated too.

download

accord for max v0.2

instructions

See the accord page for more information.

Sep
09
2010

chiptune monome app: accord

accord interface

Partly inspired by this post, I decided to have a crack at writing my first app for the monome. It is called accord, due to its similarity to the left hand bass on a accordion, but that’s probably where the similarity ends. The vertical axis of the monome dictates the root of the chord, and the column number specifies the “chord” played. For example, the accordion is roughly set up like:

C | maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
G | maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
D | maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
A | maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
etc

The chords in this app aren’t restricted to the set above, rather the notes of the chord are editable – you specify the intervals from the root note in semitones, similar to tracker notation. The chord itself is played as a very fast arpeggio however, making the app ideal for chiptune type music, i.e. with basic monophonic synths. An MP3 sample of the app in action can be heard below:

[swf file=”audio/chipsample.mp3″]

requirements

download

accord for puredata v0.3

accord for max v0.2

Aug
29
2010

MK Kit Progress

After around six hours of soldering, I finally completed the first stage in building my new monome. Having not touched a soldering iron before, I’m very satisfied with how the thing came out. I still need to build an enclosure to house the electronics, but the trickiest part should be behind me.

To test it out, I made a short live jam in Ableton using the app flin, listen below:

Jul
29
2010

Androidome: Android Monome Emulator Project Begins

I’ve finally taken the plunge and gone and ordered myself a monome DIY kit. Its the cheapest way of getting your hands on one, that I’ve seen anyway, and I’ve been looking for a neat DIY project for the summer. Hopefully it should arrive sometime in August, but while I’m waiting for it to arrive, I have been busying myself trying to write an Android version. This seems like a sensible thing to do, as the phone has:

  • multi-touch capabilities
  • build-in directional sensors
  • build-in accelerometers

which all can be accessed simply from within the app. 

The project somewhat continues on from my initial ToneMatrix clone, so the basics are already there. The monome communicates via the OSC protocol, which lucky is fairly simple to get up and running in Java thanks to a neat library called JavaOSC. The difficulty is in getting the application to be responsive enough to be of any use. However, the app is currently functional with single button presses being registered correctly (no multi-touch yet). LED feedback is a little buggy/laggy so far, but essentially works. Alpha version should be up by next week.

Monome

Jan
01
2010

Accord

accord max

Partly inspired by this post, I decided to have a crack at writing my first app for the monome. It is called accord, due to its similarity to the left hand bass on a accordion, but that’s probably where the similarity ends. The vertical axis of the monome dictates the root of the chord, and the column number specifies the “chord” played. For example, the accordion is roughly set up like:

C| maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
G| maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
D| maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
A| maj | min | maj7 | min7 | aug | dim | etc |
etc

The chords in this app aren’t restricted to the set above, rather the notes of the chord are editable – you specify the intervals from the root note in semitones, similar to tracker notation. There is an internal clock, or you can sync to an external source. Pressing a button either triggers:

  • a very fast arpeggio, making the app ideal for chiptune type music, i.e. with basic monophonic synths.
  • or a single chord

An MP3 sample of the app in action (arpeggio mode) can be heard below:

[swf file=”audio/chipsample.mp3″]

requirements

download

accord for puredata v0.3
accord for max/msp v0.2

todo

  • pattern recorder
  • option to retrigger arpeggio on press

support

Any issues, leave a comment here or on the thread on the monome forums.

video

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54iY-OalJwk]