Sonic Pi random sequencing

I bought a Raspberry Pi when they first came out, with plans to turn it into a MIDI arpeggiator or something similar. Like many of my ideas though, I never actually got around to doing anything about it so the Pi has sat in a drawer for the last couple of years, never once being powered on.

I then read a post on lifehacker.com about adding a mini touchscreen to it. A few days later, and I became the proud owner of an Adafruit PiTFT which has given the abandoned Pi a new lease of life!

This evening, I’ve been dabbling with Sonic Pi, a simple audio programming language that comes pre-installed on Raspbian.

With very little effort, I managed to get a nice, random sequence generator up and running in 5 lines of code:-

with_tempo 240
with_synth "dull_bell"
loop do
play_pattern [45, 50, 60, 72, 79, 84].shuffle
end

Version 2.0 of Sonic Pi is currently in Beta and promises to do a lot more than simple pattern playback including sample manipulation, more synthesis models and some effects processing too. Definitely worth checking out if you already have a Raspberry Pi and maybe an excuse to get one if you don’t!

Follow Sonic Pi’s twitter feed for more info about Version 2.0

Eurorack Lunchbox

My latest project, just so I have some modular fun close to hand when it’s too cold to sit up in my shed 🙂

Really pleased with the Spectre iPad sequencer too. Works great with the CV Pal module and allows me an easy way to program accents for the VCF303 via the second gate output.

Lunchbox 1

Lunchbox 2

Have some DIY modules lined up to build in the new year including an Alex & June filter and a Music Thing Modular Spring Reverb. Planning to mount the phono sockets on the side of the case so that the tank can be positioned away from the power supply.

Modular Update 2

Well, it’s getting there! The case is all finished and I’ve started filling up with the new modules.

I’ve got an MFB Seq 01 on back order from Thomann and will hopefully get my ModSeq soon which will finish the bottom row off. Then it’s just a case of getting some Tip Top drum modules and an intellijel mixer for the middle row.

I’ve also started building a mini passive expansion rack which will sit on the top of the main unit. Still a work in progress, but here’s what it looks like so far…

Modular Drums

Have been spending the last couple of evenings having a play with various new layouts for my modular synthesizer, so that I can incorporate some drum modules and sequencing. Will mean adding an extra row to the rack (time for my woodworking skills) but should be great once it’s all finished and will give me a really flexible sound making machine at the end of it.

I’m also looking to add a few sound shaping modules too for good measure including a ring modulator, spring reverb and wave shaper.

You can see which modules I’m looking to buy on the above chart. ‘White’ are modules I already have, ‘Blue’ are modules I bought this evening and ‘Yellow’ are the modules I intend to buy over the coming months. ‘Green’ is a little DIY action in the shape of a switched multiple I’m building to compliment the Decade Counter.

To pay for all this, I am going to have to sell some of my unused studio equipment which will be going up on ebay soon. (Will post once it’s up!)

Modular madness

Just taking my first steps into the world of modular synthesis as an early present to myself for my up and coming 40th birthday (yes, I really am that old!)

Have started small with some basic doepfer modules including their Noise generator and Sample and Hold modules which are great for random filtered madness, and augmented them with a lovely TipTop Audio Z3000 oscillator which sounds lush! I also got a V’amp VCA from Post Modular which is pretty special and doubles as a ring modulator.

The Novation Launchpad is used as a step sequencer for the modular synth, running a Max for Live patch. The Dark Energy acts as a MIDI to CV convertor as well as providing LFO’s and envelope duties until I buy dedicated modules for these.

Can see how this can get addictive (not to mention expensive!)

Hours of fun 🙂

modular synth

Dark Energy editor

Just created a new max for live device to edit my Doepfer Dark Energy synth. This let’s you get easy access to the goodies in the ‘learn mode’ including the arpeggiator. It goes without saying (hopefully) that you’ll need a copy of Ableton Live and Max for Live to make use of this. Enjoy!

You can download it now from www.maxforlive.com where you’ll also find the editor I wrote for for the MeeBlip micro