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Long time….

Well, I’ve made my usual departure from programming for a while.  It has been a busy time for me doing Live sound more than usual, working for Livid, recording a folk album (!?), quitting smoking, etc. etc.  All the myriad of things that one does when one has four or five jobs and a pseudo-life.  Thank god I don’t have children or something….they would hate me. I’m still working on things, don’t worry.  I’ve definitely gotten away from the solid hours of staring at a computer screen that I’d gotten familiar with over the last year, though.

I’m afraid that most of my current programming work has centered around integrating new pieces of hardware into my Live set, and I’ve not made much progress in creating things for the “Public Domain”.  Still, the work I’m currently doing is certain to please someone out there.

I’ve recently acquired a Slim Phatty, and I’ve created/adapted an m4l device that takes care of all its parameters directly via the lh_midi plugins.  It uses sysex to communicate, which is something that was lacking in the other patches I saw.  Since Moog hasn’t published the sysex specs anywhere, this was largely a (painful) trial and error process.  When its finished, I’ll push it out into the wild.

Most of my coding time over the last several months has been spent doing things with Livid (awesome!), and trying to use my past work and techniques I’ve derived from making Monomodular to get the CNTRL:R ‘mod’ system up and running.  Now I’m turning to my own needs, and trying to tie it into Monomodular as a secondary performance controller.

Integrating the CNTRL:R into my Live rig has been…well….frustrating, to say the least.  It offers so many opportunities for expanding the nature of control I have over things.  It’s an unfamiliar arrangement of things, and its taken me a while to adapt my way of thinking in order to accomodate it.  I’ve found myself bouncing back and forth between different schemes, and I’m just now coming to conclusions about how things are going to work.  It’s made slightly more difficult by the fact that much of the programming that I’ve done for Livid over the past several months has been parallel, but slightly askew, from my own methods;  now I’m trying to integrate Monomodular with the work I’ve done already with them.   The good news is that it’s shaping up quite nicely.  The bad news is that it’s nowhere near finished.

I’ve created new ‘mods’ for the CNTRL:R that tie directly into some previously released Monomodular mods:  Binary and Knobs are both in the testing phases, but I can already see some need for major changes in what I’ve done thus far.  I’m currently adding some functionality to the main Monomodular based scripts that allow sending data out to the LCD patches/Lemur for display of data when in Monomodular mode.  I personally can’t dispense with this sort of thing, otherwise I never know what’s going on in my set.

TR256 is getting a pretty huge overhaul over the last several days.  I liked so many of the ideas that we used in the DrumStepp:r for the CNTRL:R, but I didn’t want to lose the functionality or speed (and low overhead) of the TR256, which is really the backbone of my performance rig.  So I’ve spent the last couple of days integrating all the good bits of the Stepp:r with the TR256.  This way, I can edit individual lines on the CNTRL:R, change the start/end points, mute parts, and edit all the associated instruments parameters with the soft dials.  I’ve mostly rewritten the functionality of the Livid mod completely within TR256 at this point, since the architecture of the two mods was completely different.  I finally finished the important bits tonight and gave it a little spin, and I have to say it is VERY fun.  I have it in mind to do the same thing with Polygome/SynthSteppr.  That way grid playing and editing can be done on the Ohm(or whatever grid you’ve got), and the recording/parameters can be handled with the CNTRL:R.  That one might be a ways off, though.

I’ve also spent a good amount of time writing an alternate script for the CNTRL:R that ties directly in with the MonOhm script.  Once I get the last details worked out, I hope to do some posts on the Livid forum or something explaining exactly what I did, how I did it, and how you can make your own edits.  I’ve had a lot of people asking lately “how do I get started with Python scripting in Live, what’s the easy way?”  Well, there isn’t one.  Sorry.  I stare at code until my eyes bleed.  It’s kind of painful, to be honest.  It takes some knowledge of Python, certainly, but above all it takes going over and over and over again the decompiled Live _Framework scripts until you have an understanding of what’s going on.  After that its a matter of too much time spent making trial and error.  There aren’t any short cuts that I know of, I wish there were.

Will Marshall has a nice little project he’s started to unify the Livid scripts and make understandable, modular _Framework extensions for the stuff that’s already been done.  I’d love to jump onto that train, time allowing; I’m afraid most of this stuff is going to have to wait until the fall.  In any case, it would be a better starting point than the stuff that I’ve made, since a lot of that was written when I was still getting to know what I was doing.  (please don’t misunderstand:  I still don’t know what I’m doing)

Unfortunately, time is still tight for me and I probably won’t have a lot of time to work on personal stuff after this month, but I will try to publish the material that I’ve created before I go back on the road for sound gigs at the end of the month.  I’d love to hear how you guys are doing out there, and how Monomodular is working out.  Every once in a while I hear from an excited new user, but for the most part I take the silence to mean that things are working the way they are supposed to 🙂

Thanks to all of you for the support with this thing I do…its pretty cool to get feedback from people that are using it.

I really like to hope that the next release I will make will be the kind that you listen to, not the kind you install.  But all in good time…inspiration often hits at the oddest times.

Cheers, happy sunshine and all that….



~ by amounra on June 6, 2012.


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