hardware and software for electronic music 

mcgreave's Recent Posts

Sun, Dec 25, 2016, 10:49

Simple controller, communicating with Kaivo


I have a simple music controller I built using a grid of FSRs. In my software each FSR press is represented by a frequency value in Hz (corresponding to which FSR was pressed) and a relative intensity/pressure value (corresponding to how hard the FSR is being pressed). Would I be able to send this info easily to Kaivo and have Kaivo synthesize sounds based on frequency and intensity?


Thu, Jan 05, 2017, 16:46

Cool, thanks. And continuously sending the velocity values will give continuous volume control?

Wed, Jan 04, 2017, 18:00

The frequencies are not the standard midi notes, they are from alternate tunings, that is why I have based them on frequency instead of midi number. Is there an easy way to transpose the message so Kaivo knows what to play the non-standard frequency?

Sun, Dec 25, 2016, 09:16

16 lane capacitive antennas

Hi Randy,

I am thinking of starting a Soundplane DIY project. Do you sell, or is there somewhere I can buy, those nice 16-lane capacitive antennas you use in the Soundplane?

My plan is to create a sensor surface using two antennas stacked on either end of a dielectric, one arranged as rows and one as columns: the same way you do in the Soundplane, but 1/4 the size and with no wooden keys on top.

I imagine these would be reasonable easy to have fabricated if they are not sold, correct? They are just copper strips essentially?


Fri, Nov 13, 2015, 13:58

Thanks! Makes sense.

Mon, Sep 07, 2015, 10:16

Defining note layouts

Hi Guys,

Is there anywhere I can get a look at the process/interface for defining note layouts? I'm wondering how this works and what the limitations are?



Fri, Nov 13, 2015, 11:19

Ah, cool. So the speed of the slide would be different in different areas if you define unequally spaced notes for the grid?

Thu, Nov 12, 2015, 12:53

Hey all,

Ran into another question on the note layouts. If I define subsequent squares in a row to be unevenly spaced notes, how will the note bending work? Will the bend stay linear (meaning the bent pitch will no longer line up with the notes defined for the grid layout) or will the bend try to adjust to match the grid notes? Seems like the first option is probably preferable.


Tue, Sep 08, 2015, 08:09

Thanks technobear! Those sound like good options. I will try them out and post anything I come up with that works well.

Mon, Sep 07, 2015, 19:01

Yeah, might be above my skill level. I'm only a beginner in C++. I do know Max / MSP pretty well though, so if I could accomplish it in Max, that'd be great. Can Max receive the raw XYZ position values form the Soundplane?

Basically, I want to fit two notes within a single square on the board. For example, the left half of the square would play one frequency and the right half would play another. I play microtonal music, so sometimes having one note per square will space out the notes too much. Also, I have small hands :)

Mon, Sep 07, 2015, 16:31

Very cool, thanks Randy! I should be able to interpret most of what I need from looking at those examples.

If I wanted to delve into the code and try to define notes based on raw position values instead of grid values, how difficult would you estimate that would be? Anyone out there tried this?

Fri, Sep 04, 2015, 10:31

Hi Guys,

I've been planning some note layouts for the Soundplane and ran across another question.

Is it possible to place two note-rounding positions within the same grid square? For microtonal stuff some notes are really close together, so I might like to do this rather than use two separate columns, which would space out all the notes a lot more. Would this require some custom code, or is it easy to accomplish in the software? Is there anywhere I could get a look at what the interface/process is like for defining note maps?

Thanks for all your help!

  • Steven
Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 12:40

Note rounding vs. continuity


I am considering buying a Soundplane and am wondering how "note rounding" works when you slide between notes. For instance, say I start on one square then slide up 2 squares to a new note. When I land on the new note, will the software round the frequency to the note specified for that individual square, or will I need to land on a very particular part of that square? Alternatively, when I am sliding continuously across multiple squares, will I hear little bumps in the tone because of the rounding (like when you do slides on a guitar), or will the frequency change be truly continuous? Also, is the rounding for the x-axis the same as the rounding for the y-axis? are they both truly continuous?

It seems like it must be very hard to handle this and I am wondering what type of solution the Soundplane offers vs. what type of solution an instrument like the Continuum offers.


Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 12:32

Soundplane vs. Continuum


I am considering buying either a Soundplane or a Continuum. I love the Soundplane's hardware: its simplicity, the beautiful wood, the grid of keys. The hardware is exactly what I would want in an instrument and I love the sustainability and thoughtfulness in the manufacturing process. The Soundplane's grid seems to offer more layout options than the Continuum's hardware, which is important to me (sometimes I like to stack different notes in a column).

However, based on the YouTubes videos I have watched (which is not a completely fair comparison because there are much more Continuum videos than Soundplane ones), I much prefer the sound of the Continuum. The internal synthesizer in the Continuum can produce very beautiful, haunting sounds, which sound so accurate to real instruments.

I am wondering if the Soundplane works smoothly with other synths, would it even be possible to use the same Synths employed by the Continuum? Does anyone have or know of any videos of the Soundplane controlling other synths? I would like to hear this to get a more fair comparison between the instruments.


Fri, Jun 12, 2015, 15:40

Awesome! Great to know, thanks Randy!

Fri, Jun 12, 2015, 13:34

Ah, this makes a lot of sense, thanks you two! Here's what I gather, let me know if I am mistaking:

1) Pitch sliding in x is truly continuous. Quantizing only effects the beginning and ending pitch (it would not round at intermittent points during the slide unless you stopped on a square).
2) Y is quantized into the rows and continuous within each row. Randy, if I define two adjacent cells within a column to be the same note, would the timbre shift be continuous over the two cells together or each one separately? Could I basically turn the Y quantizing off by setting each cell in a column to be the same note? Then it would effectively function the same as the Continuum fingerboard.

The ability to quantize the Y-axis into rows is something I really like and definitely an advantage over the Continuum for my music. It offers a lot of flexibility for note layouts, which I like to experiment with :)

Thanks again! I hope I can get my hands on one of these soon.


Fri, Jun 12, 2015, 12:20

Thanks Technobear!

It really makes sense what you say about the Eagen Matrix presets. I imagine with some time and development in the Soundplane community we will see some similar presets for the Soundplane, or hopefully even presets that are easily used on either instrument. Really funny that you can actually plug the Soundplane into the Continuum too. I'd try that solution if not for, as you mentioned, the cost :)

I also agree with you about the look and slim profile of the Soundplane. The portability and ability to leave it on my desk would be major pluses and I love the wood. I also see what you and Randy mean about the feel. Smooth and wooden with a short bounce vs. soft and rubbery with a deeper compression. I'll have to think about which would be better for my playing technique.

Randy, when do you anticipate the next batch of Soundplanes being available?