Mec and Kontrol

so… ive briefly mentioned this before, but I’m working on a couple of projects that I’m going to be bringing too pisound soon… (details below)


the two projectts are related, one called MEC (Micro expression control) and Kontrol.
basically they provide a flexible way to use expressive controllers with ‘microcomputers’ (like pisound), and also control patches (and there parameters), its is purposely designed to work on ‘headless’ configurations.

yesterday, I released an initial version for the Organelle on PatchStorage along with a short demo.

in this video, you can see the connectivity, and also patches which are based on my port of Mutable Instruments modules (Braids and Reverb here, but i have the others too :wink: )

mec and control are cross-platform, so can not only work on pisound, but also Organelle, and Bela (and macOS) :wink: … and of course the real advantage to end users is - the patches produced using Kontrol are also cross platform… so yes, these brds, eBrds PD patches , work out of the box on PiSound :slight_smile:

Bringing to PiSound

So bringing this back to PiSound… which is what you want to hear about :slight_smile: - where am I?

well all the code shown works, expressive control via eigenharps/soundplane, push 2 control of parameters, and also general control via OSC, parameters can also be controlled via midi with built in midi learn, and also preset saving.
(ok, to manage expectations, this works, but I still consider it pre-release, as its in active development)

so the reason I’m posting here, is I’m considering in what form to bring this to PiSound…

so the goal of this project for me is headless operation (ironic, as i have an lcd panel connects :wink: ), including no X running, to allow maximum resources for patches. this is all easy enough, and given i have midi/push 2 control, ive got the headless control covered…

so the bit I’ve not decided on is patch launching…
the button is nice, but frankly is not enough for me - i don’t just want to launch A patch, i want to be able to select what patch to launch … I’m also not sure I want to rely on having an iPhone or similar around (I think blokas have this covered on Android currently but not iOS) , - i want to do it from a midi controller.

my current thoughts are:

  • patch selection from Push2
    ok, this is a ‘given’, its so natural, and easy to use … the only drawback, is not every one has a Push 2, and i might at times not want to use the push for this (e.g. i might be using it for Ableton at the same time as using PiSound)
  • midi - program change message
    this would allow, a user to directly select a patch from any midi controller

this actually, leads me down a route of having something similar to the Organelle ‘mother’ application, something that is always running, and then launches patches (well Pure Data and Supercollider etc with patch files).
The most logical place for this is MEC, which I want running anyway and also links into the previous option with Push 2.

so this is where I’m at… basically i want to come up with something a bit more sophisticated than ‘the button’ for launching.

have i missed something? e.g. is there something already do patch launching by midi program control?

anyway, i hope to tackle this soon, so i can start using my PiSound more…

as an aside some other ‘mother functionality’ , I might consider - though lower priority

  • easy patch installation
  • patch parameters (e.g. pure data options)
  • favourites
  • midi mapping

thoughts? have others been tackling these issues? other thoughts on what’s needed for headless operation?
(sorry, not following all the discussions here)

p.s. Organelle users, don’t worry, that’s not going to see any less development… I see PiSound as entirely complementary to an Organelle :slight_smile: (same with Bela, which i hope to do more with in 2018)

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This looks great, looking forward to trying it out. :slight_smile:

The solution we’ll have for this from our side soon will be the Pisound app with browsable patches, so you may launch the patch you want. The iOS app will come out too at some point, but first we’ll have a full feedback cycle on the Android one.

A thought on using MIDI program changes - some patches may already be using that for switching presets, so it could interfere with such patches…

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yeah, i thought id make the midi channel for the pgm change configurable, so that your patch might use midi channels 1-15, and you setup mec to receive its program changes on 16 (and also from a particular device?)

(its quite nice to see mec has having its own midi channel, then i could also implement other cc’s for things like patch up/down, preset up/down, scale changes)

perhaps i might also make if configurable between pgm change and bank change?

I quite like the concept of the bank being the ‘patch selector’ and the program being the preset - seems from a user standpoint a natural hierarchy. (within the limitations of midi :wink: ) , but i don’t see bank control used as frequently as program change.

… this is probably what i’ll do for kontrol, since i want its preset selection to be possible via program change as well.

at the end, given a patch can interpret midi in anyway it likes, and on any channel, its possible any configuration might conflict with a particular patch, so i guess all i can do is give a few options, then from there, in ‘rare’ cases the user might have to edit a patch.

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