I need practice.
...but this video gives a brief demonstration of the Ghetto Drum System that I built several years ago, and I just recently added MIDI over USB.
The sounds you hear are from a pretty sizable collection of samples ripped from (mostly commodity) synthesizers and played horribly by me in real time.
The Ghetto Drum is triggering MIDI into Pure Data (Pd) in order to play the samples, and the Dickhole Keypiss controller sitting on top of it is used to do bank programming and selection. Audio is routed out of the cheap-o netbook and into an even cheaper guitar amplifier.
Sometimes when I'm prototyping patches in Pd and working at a computer keyboard (without an external controller), I like to be able to quickly map keyboard keys to trigger events.
The vanilla key objects are fine ([key], [keyup], and [keyname]), but [keyname], in particular, likes to send redundant events when a key is held (due to key repeats). As a result, I created [keyonoff]:
This abstraction will take a given key (and an optional timeout duration) and will map a keypress onto a simple 1 or 0, while eliminating duplicates. In other words, when your desired key is pressed, it will output a 1 and will output a 0 iff a zero has been seen from [keyname] and no 1 has been seen within the filtering period. The default timeout period is 50ms, which is suitable for command-like actions, but will need tweaking for time-sensitive rhythmic work.
So I picked up this nice USB foot pedal at Goodwill on the cheap:
I wrote some C code that allows it to act as an "external" (plug-in library if you will) for Pd. Click the above link and you can read all the gory details about how I turned it into a controller for Pd. Demo video is forthcoming.
There's been a fair amount of talk on the pd list lately about doing a new batch of shirts and since I've long thought it might be nice to have a pd shirt, I decided to bang out a design:
Now it's up to the community to decide how much they love it!
This is what the internet is really all about -- collaboration! A really generous German guy named Stefan fixed a deficiency (bug?!) in my NRPN abstractions. Thanks Stefan!
Previous versions wouldn't allow for controller numbers greater than 127...which is like half the point of even having NRPN (the other half being data values > 127). In any case, his modifications were somewhat simple and necessary and I incorporated them into and updated my pd abstractions page.
In order for me to confirm that the abstractions do what they claim, I used my BCR2000 control surface. I stumbled for quite some time with the nrpn_out.pd code, because the BCR200 was just absolutely refusing to recognize NRPN for a controller above 127. I hooked up a software midi dump (amidi -p hw:2,0 -d) to confirm that the bytes coming out of pd were as expected, and they were.
I feared that my controller was maybe shot or in a funky mode (everything else was working fine tho), and I tracked down a firmware update on the Behringer website. As is usual with this kind of firmware upgrade, it is a miserable Windows-only application, and I ended up resorting to using my wife's laptop to run it. Just once I'd like a manufacturer to properly support Linux...and if that's asking too much, just release the source and let people know how they can write their own. Trust me, given the code or at least a description of how to get the bytes into the device (protocol anyone!), the community will friggin build it for you!
Once the firmware was upgraded, the BCR2000 instantly started recognizing its incoming NRPN messages for controllers above 127. Goodie!
Thanks again for Stefan for helping out and contributing back to a community. It's exactly that kind of thing that helps make things better for us all.
This little abstract recording is a 22 minute trek into the insufferable human psyche. It was composed mostly for several pure data (pd) patches and instruments (like the cracklebox and atari punk console) that I built earlier this year. The foldout covers are printed in full color, and the CD labels were each individually hand drawn and painted.
All things considered, I'm pleased with the final recording product. I do wish I would have spent more time on the final mix (the sound/range is a bit low, so crank it up loud!) and made things a bit louder, but the end result is a rich dynamic range balanced on a lofi string of radio and electromush.
I've been banging around on another pd abstraction that's turning into a nice sound generation tool. As with most pd interfaces, it's not much to look at, but it's being called "caradisio" and it looks something like this:
I'm posting prematurely and apologize for not having sample audio yet.
Although the number of controls is smallish, this thing can sound like an epileptic seizure in a field of cold mud, rusted metal, and broken glass. The concept is pretty straightforward: Take a wavetable synth and evolve the waveform in nasty ways (in this case, pin, lin, and sin). With some reverb, it starts to sound nice and thick...and sometimes there are secret eerie voices that creep in from the muck.
When I finish and clean it up more, I'll post it to my pd page.
(Aside: I think that if pd ever gets antialiasing [for both fonts and controls] and gets more/enhanced drawing primitives for data structures [hello...arc or circle!], we could start to generate some decent interfaces.)
Oh, and I've recently started associating with the newly started dorkbot pdx collective. It's still in its infancy, but the people seem smart and interesting, and I'm sure we can turn the group into something wonderful.