thetechnobear's Recent Posts

to my total surprise, it appears I'm not the only one interested in Eurorack and the Soundplane - as @timoka posted yesterday he also has Bela Salt and a Soundplane.....

so whilst we await the official Madrona Labs Soundplane module, I thought I'd post about how Ive been using Soundplane with Eurorack, and how you can make it happen...
(and also to discuss any issues with my software to do this :) )

an admission to start with... as I thought I was largely alone in this area, the software Ive created is aimed at developers, i.e. no fancy installers
but I'll help people move forward, and if there are enough interested, then I will better document, and also make some installers.

so, what Soundplane options can I provide on eurorack :)

they are all really derived off using ARM based microcomputers, so Raspberry PIs or Beaglebone - but these come in quite a few forms, and options :)

I'll give the basics here, but will expand if people are interested...

a) Bela Salt or Bela Pepper
this is the most interesting, as its a flexible platform
Salt is bought off the shelf , and is a bit expensive (and you'll want the expander too)
Pepper less flexible, is an easy DIY project and is much cheaper.

my repo:

the ScLite project gives you cv and gate outputs, using the available hardware, there are different modes - so you can treat the soundplane as a (chromatic) playing surface, or a bunch of xyz pads.

b) Terminal Tedium
this does not have any cv outputs, but instead you can run your own patches e.g. Ive just released Orac for it.
so you can plug in your Soundplane, and directly drive a synth, or use it to control an FX.

this is based on my MEC project, which incorporates SCLite

Orac supports MPE and OSC which MEC can produce.
or you can write your own PD patches...

c) QuBit Nebulae
another Eurorack module that is based on the rPI. again no cv output,
but again we could run my MEC project for Soundplane integration.
Ive also released Orac, so you can use that

but perhaps more interesting is using MEC with csound using osc (from mec/soundplane)

what could be fun here, is to integrate it with the factory Qubit Granular patch,
so use the soundplane to start controlling grains!

d) Standalone soundplane to interface with Eurorack
so this is not really eurorack specific... but is still fun :)
you can the mec soundplane stuff on other 'portable' hardware, some of it is relatively cheap.

with something like the raspberryPI or Organelle, not only could you control synths on the box, but connect them to something like an Expert Sleepers ES-8 (or ES-9 untested) to get CV into your eurorack.

Alternatively, you can again use Bela, which can 8 analog cv (0..5v) and 8 digital.
so a small DIY project to connect to your Eurorack.

so whilst Im really looking forward to Randy's Madrona Labs Soundplane Module, we do have quite a few choices, where we can still liberate ourselves from the laptop and get the soundplane interfacing to eurorack simply.

I don’t have a norns to test on
( I do have a fates, but that’s slightly different )

My code is open source, so you could try yourself.

Bela - If your in the EU, I actually have a of (built) Bela pepper for sale

I've started using Bitwig on Linux (laptop), so add another person interested in a Linux port of madrona labs plugins.

oh, and and if someone can get Sean of ValhallaDSPs attention, id love those as well... ML/Vahalla are pretty much my 'go to' when in the DAW on the laptop.

fyi: timoka is up n' running with bela salt + soundplane
thanks to his patience, the instructions are now complete and improved, so easier for next person.

if anyone has the Nebulae or Terminal Tedium (and Soundplane), then give me a shout, i can help get orac/mec setup.

also anyone with experience of pd/csound/supercollider? (or c++ ;) )

we could perhaps collaborate on something.

id quite like to focus on building some kind on instrument, but time is was always lacking.... but might have a small window of opportunity before Bela Trill ships in April ;)

yeah, nearly there...
Ive updated the BelaPatches repo with better build instructions.
but for the future what Im going to do is to reorganise it so that 'end-users' don't have to build all the libraries - this'll make it much simpler.

wow, small world... Id never imagine there would be another person with both Salt and a Soundplane!
perhaps its just us 'Soundplaners' are adventurous type, who like to experiment!?

received your email and replied, but code is
(you'll want dev branch)

Lets start a new topic to discuss... so we don't hijack this one.

whilst I doubt any others have a Salt+Soundplane, its also relevant to anyone wanting to use a Bela or BelaPepper +Soundplane which is actually a cheap option for standalone soundplane use.
Also, others might just find the project interesting...
e.g. we can talk about the 'modes' ive implemented, and perhaps alternatives and that might prove interesting to @randy for this soundplane module to see how we are using the soundplane with eurorack.

I'm eager for this as well :)

@timoka what ive been doing whilst waiting is to get the soundplane working on a Bela Salt - it's a bit expensive,
BUT I can also get the same software working on the Bela Pepper albeit with a reduced voltage range (0-5v, rather than 0-10v) - but its a cheap DIY option!

the disadvantage compared to Randy's module, is they only have 8 outputs (salt has an additional 4 gate outputs), so reduce number of touches or axis.

but, whats nice is... once the madrone labs Soundplane Module becomes available, I will be able to re-program the Belas to do something different :)

another interesting side of using Bela is I've been able to explore how I want to use the soundplane with modular - I do enjoy playing the surface, but I'm also finding it really nice for modulation inputs - e.g. using the surface as 3 or 4 x/y pads (a bit like intellijel planar)

I see it :)

this was a lot of fun... look mum no computer yet a Soundplane ! :)

any news on further development on the Soundplane software, in particular the touch tracker? are you likely to be looking over that code base any time soon?

Ive been doing some more work on MEC, my project which provides a standalone solution for the Soundplane (and Eigenharp), basically turning things like rPI/BBB into 'intelligent dongles' , so the Soundplane can be more like 'a standalone instrument' rather than a computer controller.

currently works with Eigenharps and Soundplane, and connecting too MPE devices (im using the Axoloti to make it computer independent :))

if your back into 'Soundplane' mode, it'd be great to discuss a few thoughts i have. as Im getting a little bit too much latency with the Soundplane due to the CPU requirements of the touch tracker.

so not sure if I can get some performance gains, or really need to move to something more powerful, the O-Driod C2 is quite a tempting candidate, given the rPI3 wont work.

anyway, I know, not much point in discussing unless your actively looking at the Soundplane software... since I think its quite a while since you were look at that code base.

Finally, I've got it finished..... and wow, it was worth the effort!

I use the Bela Salt as a means to allow the Soundplane to be connected to decode its protocol...
Ive made it so that there are custom layouts, and options like playing in fourths, quantised fully and partial, or none.

I was also inspired by the Intellijel Planar, so Im using the CV inputs to you can directly modulate the soundplane touch position.....
also as the Bela has audio in/out, Im using it as a kind of VCA controlled directly by touch (using Z, but also a mode where it can do x/y cross fade :) )

anyway, here's me playing it for the first time....
youtube link

I'll probably do a follow up video that goes into a bit of details, as its really shows how the soundplane could be the 'ultimate' eurorack control surface :)

my software is my Github for those interested, it could be no doubt adapted for other platforms).

I hope Randy does not mind me posting this here,
I think its very relevant to the Soundplane community,
as a small community I hope Soundplane musicians will appreciate being part of a broader community.

If you have Soundplane, or other expressive controller/instrument.
please come and join us, and help spread the word so we can form a community around these wonderful instruments.

Today, we are launching a new community forum for musicians interested in expressive electronic instruments and controllers.

PolyExpression's aim is to form a community of all musicians using the wide variety of expressive electronic instruments that exist today (and tomorrow).

Excellent communities exist already for each instrument, maintained by the manufacture, these are perfect for support.
This community differs as it is independent from instrument / manufacturer, a place where all these musicians can come together in one place, to share their enthusiasm for adding expression to electronic music using this uniquely wonderful instruments.

Whilst these instruments are each unique, and we want to celebrate this too, there are also many topics, issues and inspiration that are shared between them. These range from their goals, workflows, sound design and to more “mundane” topics like software and hardware issues.

Together we hope we can share these experiences with a broader range of musicians, and learn and be inspired by each other.

Please come and join us, help us build a community that shares its love for Polyphonic Expression in electronic music.


this video was a challenge for the AE modular,
but I use Aalto for both the Eigenharp part, and also the Soundplane, so lots of Madrona Labs work in this :)

Journey thru Space]

(click on image to play, if my markdown-fu is correct ;) ... dont think this forum supports embedded videos?)

any news on this? release at superbooth ? ... my rack is waiting for this now :)

lol - just noticed, first post on this was nearly 4 years ago... doesn't time fly!

yes, Ive had it working in various forms on Linux, both desktop and rPI, and yeah on the mac it was under VMware.

this was the libusb implementation in the madronalabs repo.

Ive not done much recently with it, as I was waiting for Randy to complete the 'reworked' tracker, but now that's done and released - I do plan to come back to it asap.

all plugins updated , and soundplane release too, feels like xmas - hope to get to play with it all over the weekend :)

thank you for your hard work, and continued developments... looking forward to sumu

btw: is the all the code for the soundplane release in GitHub... as its now released/stable, I could look to doing my small derivatives :)

perhaps an interesting market for rPI3 :) (so ARM)
particularly, if you make it standalone... Im increasingly using rPI headless.

recently did a port of monome norns to rPI + Push2, feels like a complete instrument

something along these lines with Aalto, and soundplane support, would be tremendous.

ok, Push2 is not going to entice many, but we could be creative in this area... my Orac 1.1 for example is going to support remote display, so use your iPhone/iPad , or anything that you can create a UI in that uses OSC.

so this is a direction im heading anyway...

but still, Id probably even buy a Norns, if you basically used if as a hardware platform for your Synths and Soundplane support :)

@rsdio , agreed, I tend to mostly use Z straight into a vca , so you can play the envelope.

And I don’t see that changing in eurorack :)

it might be nice if Z could be switched between pressure and (note on)velocity

will the firmware be user upgradeable, handy if any bugs become apparent etc.
(and open sourced?!)

really looking forward to this, if you need early adopters/testers, Id love to help out.

(im definitely going to need more oscillators/filters and vcas :) )

cool... look forward to meeting you, Im Berlin bound tomorrow :)

Ive now booked my tickets for superbooth too... so will see you there :)

the issue with VCV rack is that they should have diverged from the 'physical world' for polyphony... i.e. where modules and cables could be polyphonic.. like they can in Reaktor (not blocks) and a few other software modulars (e.g. P900)

having used Reaktor Blocks with MPE, the novelty of wiring up multiple voices soon becomes pretty tedious.

one of those times, where the software version should be not restricted in the same way as eurorack.

(anyway this is why I didn't bother creating a T3D or MPE module, like I did for Blocks/Reaktor)

I checked Kaivo 1.3.2 with L10 , and it was fine too

when you lose the sound - does the little oscilloscope show anything?

Kaivo working fine for me in Live 10.
Im using Live 10.0.1b10, macOS 10.13.2, both VST and AU (64bit), latest kaivo (1.3.0 ?)

cool, much better :)

had a play over the last few days, and the tracker does feel better and in particular the top and bottom rows are much more reliable... i can now use them, before I found them too likely to trigger the row above - so this is excellent.

a couple of small bugs:

first, now only 3123 works , if you select another port (e.g. 3) in aalto etc, then SP app shows the new port (aalto(3) , but when you select it, you dont get any sound, and in fact its still sending OSC messages on 3123

second, i think your sending empty osc packets continuously?
(or the frame bundle has a bunch of empty messages)

if you do an oscdump you will see

  /t3d/frm ii 10209708 65590
  /t3d/frm ii 10209724 65590
  /t3d/frm ii 10209740 65590


ok, the OSC kind of works ;)

but you have something odd going on with the port offset....
the default for t3d is 3123, but you seem to be using 3125?

anyway the upshot is, is you need to set the osc offset in Aalto to 2 to work.
(using aalto 1.8.0, Kaivo 1.3.0)

from logs, look like you are connecting from 3125 onwards, and created an inbound socket for 3124... not looked for why this is yet :)

(also default in the dropdown appears to use 3125)

perhaps a simple change to move 0 back to 3123, and perhaps move your input port if required to 3122.

Starting Soundplane...
SoundplaneModel: listening for OSC on port 3124...
MLOSCListener: trying listen on port 3124...
MLOSCListener::listenToOSC: created receive socket on port 3124.
initializing pthread attributes...
creating listener thread...
MLOSCListener running socket. 
SoundplaneOSCOutput: trying connect to ports starting at 3125 
                 connected to port 3125
                 connected to port 3126
                 connected to port 3127
                 connected to port 3128
                 connected to port 3129
                 connected to port 3130
                 connected to port 3131
                 connected to port 3132
                 connected to port 3133
                 connected to port 3134
                 connected to port 3135
                 connected to port 3136
                 connected to port 3137
                 connected to port 3138
                 connected to port 3139
                 connected to port 3140

btw: any chance you could move the forum software over to Discourse, it really is much better forum software... and formatting options (for code) are much better ;)

anyway, this was just a quick sanity check... will hopefully have time to sit down for some quality time with the soundplane (on 1.7.0) later today :)

he he, i know how that goes ;)

what was the issue with the kernel panics? when i looked at this (on eigend) it was due to completion events being returned to a process that had been stopped/killed ... so all i could do was to ensure the process closed cleanly.
did you find another fix?

Have you had a chance to fix1.6 yet? I’d love to move to it, and also look at porting my code to it.
Thanks Mark

ah, those are the pesky kind of bugs...
hope the fix is not too difficult.

oops, bad news... the OSC t3d output seems to be broken...

its not working with Aalto properly, and when i look at the underlying osc message I can see its hanging on to notes that have been released, and its transmitting all 16 touches on every update.

ive tried resetting to factory defaults , recalibating, changing touches, rotate - all make no difference.

note: the touches display looks absolutely fine, so seems to be OSC.
note2: though ive not tested MPE... so could be interface between the touch model and the outputs.

Im going to have to rollback, or rather reinstall 1.5 for now :(

ooh, great news, can't wait to try this...
thanks for the continued development.

look forward to digging into the source again in the new year.