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July 27, 2017, 01:37:02 PM
The Stribe Project - ForumGeneral CategoryinfosoftwareTopic: Scalar v0.5
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vladspears
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« on: May 05, 2008, 03:35:43 AM »

Scalar v0.5 turns the Stribe into a melodic midi controller.  Josh and I used this app to demo the Stribe at Maker Faire on Saturday, May 3rd, 02008, and had great fun watching the mesmerized crowd make ambient music.

Scalar is a cousin of the forthcoming Balron 2 for the Monome devices and was written in Max 5.  You'll need either the full Max 5 or Runtime installed to use it.

Screenshot:

Scalar v0.5 interface


Basic description:

1) Each touchstrip is divided into 8 equal zones.
2) Each zone triggers a midi note, so 8 notes per touchstrip.
3) The notes in each touchstrip are conformed to a global 8 tone scale, and each touchstrip can be told to play this scale in any octave.
4) Each touchstrip can be routed to any midi out, on any channel, at any velocity.

You can play all 8 touchstrips on one midi channel as a united polyphonic controller.  Chords are made by playing more than one touchstrip simultaneously.  You can assign a different midi channel to each touchstrip and play 8 different monosynths if you want.  Or any combination between.

For the Maker Faire demo we had slow attack strings on the bottom four touchstrips, with the top four touchstrips triggering an arpeggiated, percussive synth.  Each note beneath a finger on one of these top four touchstrips defined a note in the cycling arpeggio sequence.

I generally use Scalar with the Stribe in horizontal orientation, touchstrips running left to right, low note to high note in the scale, USB port pointing upward from the top right corner.  Scalar's interface is oriented this way, with the grid representing the notes on 8 stacked touchstrips and menus to the right of the grid modifying each strip.

Some Maker Fairians preferred playing it with touchstrips vertical, low note at base, high at top.  I tried it this way and like it, too.

Scalar is known to work with Stribe firmware versions 0.4h and higher.  It *might* work with earlier revs, but I haven't extensively tested.  The zip file was made under OSX, so XP users might find some cruft in there.  I'll test the app out and do any clean up needed under XP soon, but it should work fine as is.

Known issue: Don't change settings in the application while holding down notes on the Stribe.  You may get hanging notes.  I'll try to keep track of changes like this in a later version, but for now, make sure you let go of the Stribe before changing scales, octaves, keys or channels.

Next version should make the jump to Kid Sputnik's new Stribe firmware, and reliably light up an 8th of a touchstrip with every note.

Download: scalar v0.5

Let me know what you think!  I've mentioned a few ideas for further dev under the ? in the interface... more are definitely welcome.
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soundcyst
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2008, 03:49:57 PM »

Nice!

I'm stoked to try this out in the comfort and quietness of my own home.

Also, it was great meeting you on Saturday.
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ultrajosh
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 09:28:11 AM »

Here's a li'l demo, playing with scalar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cx3UwC1yPs

I found I had to crank the poll rate up around 100 to keep the stribe from re-setting, and also had to fiddle a bit with the cursor toggle sometimes before it'd settle down.  I think it's because the 04w firmware (which is what I use primarily) is slightly different than what vlad had on his stribe when he wrote scalar.  Specifically, the new firmware constantly reads the ADCs, where-as the earlier firmware waited for a request from Max to read the ADCs.  Now both are happening aty once, so I think the extra messages are colliding - this is similar to what happens when the display messages are coming in fast, and there's also a lot of analog reads going on.  Messages get dropped and things get out of synch.
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"Well you touch it and it makes sounds."
marekbuk
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2008, 03:52:51 AM »

Nice demo! - I particularly liked the Pentdown2 one - lots of potential I feel. This application should be quite easy to add an event recorder/sequencer to it - I only wish I had the time but way to busy with work at the moment. I'll introduce the Stribe to my students next month when they return to the University so lets see what they can come up with.
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marekbuk
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2008, 03:13:31 AM »

 I've had a play with Scalar and also found that the poll needs to be up around 100ms or the unit resets itself. Also turning on the firmware cursors results in all kind of weird things - notes sticking on etc.
Anyway it sounds great using individual midi channels sending to Logic8 in Multichannel receive mode. Posted a demo here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WP1c7oxJgA

Mark
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