Archive for the ‘tools’ Category

Tools: Alesis IODock for iPad

Haptic Synapses | July 2, 2011 in how its done,tools | Comments (0)

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I just got my Alesis IODock for iPad. It solves some serious live performance problems for me!! Here they are:

1. Playing my iPad live is awesome, but keeping it powered up is a decision between power and midi data. Previously, I would plug in the camera connection kit for midi or a power plug. No more. The IODock has power to keep my iPad charging while in use, and a square style USB port.

2. Speaking of midi… Previously I’d have to connect a midi out usb device from my computer to a midisport UNO connected by the camera connection kit to the ipad. Giant hassles! Now with the IODock, I just go directly from the computer to the dock. No midi devices whatsoever between the computer and the iPad. Sweet!!

3. Flexible outputs… Since there are quarter inch output jacks and a headphone jack, I can use whichever I need to. Sometimes playing live, I can experience the iPad being too quiet… The headphone jack on the IODock gets *crazy* loud. So I have options for different mixing environments.

4. Looks professional. Always helps. Ima cover up this giant Alesis logo post haste, guys. (Sorry Alesis.) But the case looks good, the tilt is nice. A definite plus.

And I guess there are a bunch of other things that are in this box, but the items above cover the price of admission for me! Well done Alesis. This seems like it’s going to be a great product.

-steve


Midi CC oscillators from Quartz Composer

admin | November 11, 2009 in tools | Comments (0)

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Hey there, it’s Steve Cooley from Haptic Synapses and Beatseqr.com.

Here’s a trick that I’ve been playing around with using quartz composer to generate curve data and send it out to osculator, and then from there you can send it out as midi cc to whatever music app you want that will accept that data to control various things. It’s pretty neat, and there’s a lot of room for exploration here. As required by the Rules of Ideas Being Spread On the Internet, we have to have a silly name for this, so let’s call this a “quartzillator”.

Load up quartz composer. I think even 10.4 had the OSC sender patch, so it should work that far back. 10.5, 10.6, and presumably every version after should be able to do this.

In a blank composition, place an “interpolation” patch and an “OSC Sender” patch. The options of these patches are ok at the default, just find out what port quartz composer is going to be using to send the OSC data out on so you can tell Osculator to listen on that port.  Add a new float OSC argument with whatever name you want.. I called mine “/oscillator”.

The OSC sender patch with its options

listen to the port sent from QC in osculator and set it up as MIDI CC

Connect the interpolation patch’s Result output port to the OSC argument’s input port. Quartz Composer is now sending curve data out on that udp port with that argument.

Connecting the interpolation patch to the OSC send patch

Connecting the interpolation patch to the OSC send patch

Launch Osculator and set the OSC Input Port to whatever the output port number was in the OSC Sender patch in quartz composer.   The argument that you made (in my case “/oscillator”) in QC should show up automagically.  Set the event type to be a “MIDI CC” output and set the value to be zero (for now.. there may be some conflicts on some numbers you choose.. most seem to be ok).

listen to the port sent from QC in osculator and set it up as MIDI CC

listen to the port sent from QC in osculator and set it up as MIDI CC

Ok, so if everything is working correctly, you should be able to go to your music app of choice that will accept MIDI CC messages, and assign the new “quartzillator” to whatever parameter you like.  Here’s a video of the effect in Propellerhead Reason… again, this should work in logic, live, reason, VSTs with midi learn, AU’s… pretty much anywhere that will accept midi cc.

ENJOY! Happy exploring!

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Russian drum audio interface.

stevecooley | June 22, 2009 in sonic limits,tools | Comments (0)

In the “edison” drum sort of sense. I’m totally amazed!


Музыкальный девайс

thanks, jono!!

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Dear propellerhead software, regarding redrum and hardware controllers

stevecooley | April 27, 2009 in tools | Comments (2)

Dear propellerhead.se. Ego stroke, love you, etc. Now then, here’s a bit of wish listing for you. Can you please add remote overrides for the redrum module’s step buttons?

Observe… here’s the redrum module. Notice the step buttons highlighted in red.

Untitled-1

And here’s what the redrum module looks like in “remote override edit” mode. Notice the severe lack of blue arrow assignment indicators:

Untitled-2-1

Here’s one of the newest members of the Reason family, Thor. It has, somewhat awesomely, a step sequencer built right in! Notice the step buttons highlighted in red:

Untitled-3

And now we look at what Thor looks like in “remote override edit” mode. Notice a perplexing surplus of blue assignment arrow indicators on the step buttons. Wtf?

Untitled-4

Ok, but now notice that there’s no way to attach the swing settings to Thor’s sequencer. Wtf again? A double Thor whammy. And hey, excellent work on Thor, overall. Awesome stuff. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. I like how the sequencer spits out CV. Really cool.

ok, so in theory, I could attach buttons from, say, a monome, to the step sequencer buttons on Thor, and use the CV out to control one channel on redrum. So I could, in theory, use 10 Thors to fully control step sequencing in redrum with a monome, but I lose all of my swing. Boohoo. :-( In fact, I’d be happy with this setup because I can easily assign buttons to specific drum sounds using the CV out from Thor. I just can’t in regular practice do this because I’ll lose swing, and honestly, swing is the most important feature to me. I can sequence beats all day long on any number of platforms, but none really nail swing and the simplicity of assigning samples to the various channels in redrum like you do.

While you’re at it, can you please re-add the voice selector to redrum like in rebirth’s 808 module?

Rebirth.Jpg (Jpeg Image, 628X399 Pixels)

Then i could use a slider and a button matrix to control rebirth. That would be ridiculously awesome. Or hey, make general step sequencer that spits out multiple CV channels. That’d work for me.

Love, your paying customer,
-steve

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Guitar Rising

stevecooley | February 7, 2008 in tools | Comments (0)

YES. NOW. WANT.


GuitarRising
by jakeparks
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Lily Turntable b2

stevecooley | January 28, 2008 in tools | Comments (4)

Lily Turntable is a Lily implementation of the aforementioned QT Turntable of old. It’s main function in life is to give you fine pitch control over audio file playback… which can be any kind of time that quicktime understands. Short audio loops seem to work ok. Long audio clips are great. It’s *possible* to use this to DJ with as a standin for a turntable. You’ll still need a mixer and another audio source, but that’s how QTTurntable came into existence, so maybe you will use it for that, or maybe you will use it for something weirder.

And I realize how “0.2 beta” this looks at this time. :) My intention is to dive more into Lily and make this patch do more…

Firefoxscreensnapz008

Download Lily Turntable Version 0.2b

Installation instructions:

short and sweet

* download the lily app
* drag the file into firefox
* restart firefox once it’s done installing
* look for the new app in the Tools -> menu.

Longer, but still super easy

  • Download the .XPI file to your desktop or where ever you normally would. Just make sure you can locate the file once it’s downloaded.
  • Make sure Firefox is running. If not, launch it.
  • Make sure Firefox has a browser window open. If not, open a new one.
  • Find the .XPI file you downloaded on your computer.
  • Drag the .XPI file into the open Firefox browser window.
  • There will be an unusual prompt asking if it’s OK to install the file you dragged into the browser window. Hit yes and it will do it’s job.
  • Once the file is installed, it will tell you that you need to restart Firefox. Go ahead and hit the “restart” button.
  • Now that Firefox is restarted, look for the new application in the Tools-> menu.
  • Done! Enjoy!

Known issues:

  • there’s another slider below what I’m showing you in this screenshot. It doesn’t do anything yet. I’m working on it.
  • the loop button doesn’t reset when you load a new file. I think I know how to fix that.
  • the pitch sliders work. they’re compounding on themselves, so for instance if you have the +-10 slider at the top, it’s set to be -10% of the pitch speed. Then you can add an additional -2% by setting the other slider to the top. I think the +-2 pitch slider should reset to the center if you change the main pitch speed at all. I’m working on that too.

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DIY electronic drum triggers, part 3: the control box

stevecooley | January 10, 2008 in tools | Comments (4)

I had a much smaller box that I was working with, originally, and then I discovered how insane it was to try to cram all the stuff in there I needed to… I found these project boxes at Halted for $0.25 each. Ha ha! Normally these kinds of cases are somewhere in an unreasonable $12-25 range. So what if they have a few extra holes in them that I won’t be using. Meh. I know a bargain when I see one.

Img 0220

so I have a few things going on here… I have two rocker switches. One is for power, and one is for a persistent toggle. I’m not even sure what I’ll end up using the black rocker switch for yet, I figured it would be a good idea. Maybe I’ll use it to toggle between two different sets of midi notes to send out from the pads. Something useful like that.

Next to the black rocker in the back are 4 pushbuttons. Like the black rocker, those red buttons are all hooked to digital-in pins on the arduino. This will let me trigger drum sounds from directly on the box if I like…

I left all 6 of the PWM pins unattached to anything at this time. I think I’ll probably put an LED on each one to correspond to each of the 6 analog in pins… sort of a visual feedback for each of the possible drum pads.

There’s a hole towards the left side of the front side of the box. This is open for FTDI Serial->USB cable pins on the freeduino board I’m using from Modern Devices..

The silver port in the foreground is the midi port, which I figured out and have fully functional now. (woot)…

the 8-port bank of RCA jacks are what I’ll be plugging the drum pad sensors in to. That leaves two ports empty, so I’m planning on wiring up an LED to an RCA jack, then using one to indicate power, and the other to indicate MIDI data being sent from the box (from the TX pin).

And theeeen we open up the box.

Img 0221
Oof. And I’m not even done getting everything wired up yet. Now I can see where those flat-flex cables (FFC) would come in handy. I guess I should trim down the midi port cable, now that I know where it’s going to live. Then I suppose I can use some cable ties to organize things once everything is wired and verified to be working. I’m putting in one of my two 3V->5V battery packs to power the box, so that means I’ll need to get into this box to replace batteries, so having the cables tidy and repeatably positionable is important.

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DIY drum pad kick pedal

stevecooley | December 20, 2007 in tools | Comments (0)

Diy Drum Kick Pedal

here are two ideas I’m working on for a DIY electronic drum kit kick pedal. I just looked yesterday at how much a “real” one would cost, and it’s $345!! Ha, I laugh in the face of this craziness. Mine will require a laptop for sound, but will cost a fraction of what a “real” set costs, and will arguably sound pretty awesome because I can use all kinds of onboard effects through garageband and/or Main Stage/Logic Pro.

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DJ'ing triangle of skills

stevecooley | December 18, 2007 in tools | Comments (0)

This concept has been knocking around in my head for about 10 years. I don’t know why it took me so long to make a graphic for it.

Triangle Of Skills

Basically, the triangle of skills represents the three things you need to be doing if you want to be DJing properly.

* Beatmatching : if you’re not on beat, you’re going to drive everyone nuts with your trainwreck.
* Timing : If you come in at the wrong point of the outgoing song, even if on beat, it’s going to structurally sound weird.
* Selection : knowing what songs go together is definitely an equally important skill as the other two. Creating a flow of tracks that mesh together well is critical.

If you fall down on any one of these three skills, you fall down as a DJ.

This doesn’t even pertain to any particular style of music. Try it against your favorite style of music: Hip hop, drum and bass, house, techno, minimal, Reggae, dub, rocksteady, dancehall, or any of the other subgenres that have sprung from these main branches…
And I’m certainly no perfect DJ. I’m far from it. I just have an appreciation for people who rock all three skills at once. :)

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howto: guitar hero to guitar player

stevecooley | December 4, 2007 in tools | Comments (4)

One of the first things many people say about guitar hero is “this is cool, but it would be so much better if it actually taught you how to play guitar.” Well, I think it’s sort of like algebra. You need to prepare your brain for increasingly complex tasks, and I think guitar hero does that for guitar playing the way algebra does for advanced math.

I’m hoping to put this to the real test soon. After beating 40/40 songs on the hard setting in guitar hero 2, I’ll be making the jump to a real guitar with the help of http://www.guitarvision.com/

My interest in playing guitar have not too much to do with the genres they’re focused on, but I’m hoping to get my head around the guitar with their tools so I’ll have enough experience to explore the genres I *am* interested in.

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