K-Stereo inspired Stereo Enhancer device for Live, free download

Posted in DIY, Software with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by nezoomie

The Stereo Enhancer device

EDIT (March 2014): this blog is no longer active and the previous download link is dead. Get the latest version of the effect rack here: http://nezoomie.com/software/stereo-enhancer

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last post here. I spend my days mainly coding Python stuff e writing in LaTeX for my graduation’s thesis, so I got little free time for my fancy things. By the way here it is a little gift for all you Live people.

Months ago I found the patent behind the K-Stereo, a ridiculously priced virtual instruments made by the famous mastering engineer Bob Katz aimed to enhance stereo’s perception of audio materials, even if mono, making use of psychoacoustics, basically Haas effect. I don’t own the rights to publish the original material, by the way you can find it here. So once you had a look at the schematics you can see how the process is quite easy and straightforward to implement inside your favourite modular tool. So I made it in Reaktor and had a great time as it can really make the difference with some tracks. But today, walking back home from university, I asked myself if it wasn’t possible to make it out of Live’s effects directly. After 10 minutes of work, here it is:

Free download the device

I do not guarantee any fidelity to the original software, and sincerely I don’t care. It simply works fine for me. So enjoy it and take some time to have a look at the building blocks ( no more than a couple of delays and equalizers ). Can you believe that something similar can cost you 790 €?

EDIT: if you don’t use Live you can downlaod SHEPPi, a free VST implementation ( it’s made in SynthMaker, so Windows only I guess ). There is also a good explaination of the acoustics principles around this effect and valid arguments about the controversy of the patent behind this algorithm.

More MaxForLive: Clip Mapper makes your controller intelligent

Posted in DIY, Software with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2010 by nezoomie

The Covert Operators made this useful app for MaxForLive. It allows you to map 16 midi controls ( like knobs, faders or buttons ) to devices and vst’s parameters dinamically using clips. This means that depending on the clip you’re playing you’ll have control over choosen parameters of the device in that track. This can be really useful for big live sets, when you often want to have control of few-but-useful parameters at once. Free download here:

Download MaxForLive Clip Mapper – The Covert Operators

The app is on 0.8 version, and has know issues, but it’s worth a look! Must be noted how these days we’re experiencing a lot of new features of Live thanks to Max4Live, even superior to some proprietary features, which probably we’ll never seens if they were just lying inside a wishlist in a forum.

MLR style beat slicing inside Live, with MaxForLive

Posted in DIY, Software with tags , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2010 by nezoomie

MLR is a wonderful application. Many monome users know it, think about Daedelus just to name one. But sometimes you need something more flexible to make your tracks, like Ableton Live for example. So are we forced to use two different applications? That’s no longer true!

Nonagon made a MaxForLive patch which automatically takes loops ( both audio and midi ) playing from your live set and slices them on your monome ( or a launchpad using an emulator ) so you can trigger parts of them in the way which made MLR famous! See the discussion on monome’s forum to get the latest version:

[M4L app] MLR-style chopping of Live clips – monome.org forum

It misses some features of MLR, but if you are an hardcore Live user you can finally handle your creative flow inside just one application. You can slice midi track on the fly too and use Live’s effects to make the performance fits more your style.

Many users are working on it, included Myralfur ( who made some terrific work for Korg nanoSeries Ableton control surfaces). The app seems quite mature and more features are under development. You still need to buy MaxForLive, but as time goes on it seems even more a great deal!

Korg nanoPad + Live BeatRepeater tutorial

Posted in DIY, Software with tags , , , , , , on December 10, 2009 by nezoomie

Quick tutorial to show how to configure the nanoPad to drive a BeatRepeater in Ableton Live.

First set up the nanoPad.

Open the Korg Kontrol Editor, select a Scene and set up all the buttons to have the same CC, behavior set to Momentary and Off value to 0. Then set the On value for the first button to 1 and for each button set the On value to be the value of the previous button + 10. For example:

Pad 1 – 1

Pad 2 – 10

Pad 3 – 20

and so on. What we’re doing here is to treat the buttons as a quantized knob. Save the scene data set if you want ( backups are good ), then write it to your nanoPad with “Communication/Write Scene Data”. Let’s setup Live.

Open Live. In “Preferences/MIDI Sync” ensure you have the “Remote” button set to ON for the Input of Korg nanoPad. Put a BeatRepeater on a Track and set:

  • Chance: 0%
  • Gate: 1 Bar
  • Mix type: Ins

Start the MIDI mapping, assign the buttons to “Grid” and “Repeat”. For added fun assign “Decay” to an axis of the X/Y pad or to a knob you have around. Then set up the ranges as follow:

Exit from MIDI Map mode and have fun!

Arduino RGB mood lamp, touch + tiltable potentiometers

Posted in DIY, electronics with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by nezoomie

I decided to spend some time building a RGB mood lamp as an unique gift for my girlfriend’s birthday. I wanted it to have a touch potentiometer to choose the color ( like the Philips LivingColors ), a normal potentiometer to change luminosity/speed and a button to switch between modes. To keep the design minimal I decided to make a custom tiltable potentiometer, so tilting it you can switch between them: off, choose color and luminosity, fade between colors choosing velocity. Special thanks to my girlfriend for the videos and the photos!

This is my first electronic project, so please don’t mind if the work is not perfectly clear. I choosed Arduino because it’s a nice and cheap environment which it’s simple to program, it was a nice experience indeed! The parts’ list:

Everything but the HotPot, the  leds and the Arduino was bought at local stores. If you live in Italy keep in mind that we have a seriously unpredictable way to tax products coming from outside the EU. Sparkfun did a nice job writing  the value of the products they sent to me outside the box, which can be easily checked online once you open the package. In spite of this, I had to pay 18 EUROS extra fee, which is almost FOUR TIME  the 20% VAT of 36$ ( around 25 euros ) which must be applyed! Thank you, Italy!

I simply soldered everything on the drilled board which fits on the Arduino: 470 ohm resistors are connected on the PWM outputs, then all the leds are soldered in parallel in two rows. The rotary potentiometer and the pushbutton are soldered to connect to an analog and a digital input respectively, then the touch potentiometer is connected with connectors soldered on the board, because it is glued on the lamp’s wall, so I can’t unmount it. Must be noted that I had problems with the behaviour of the HotPot when using power from the pc through USB only,  maybe I was using too much power. For the tilt potentiometer I take advantage of the flexibility of the lamp’s wall, making a small slice of  curved polypropylene which press the pushbutton once tilted. I used a self-adhesive rubber feet lying around my room to make it more effective. I must thank HackADay blog for reporting the push potentiometer hack, which inspired me this solution!

How the tilt potentiometer works!

Finally I found some code to convert HUE-to-RGB on this nice post on the Arduino forum!

Here you are a gallery with more photos of lamp’s details + in-the-making shoots!

Launchpad mixed goodies: apps, videos, codes…

Posted in Audio gears, Software with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by nezoomie

novation

So my launchpad is not here yet. It seems it’s in store worldwide from 2 Nov, except Italy. Maybe Italy it’s not part of the world, or Novation is not from this world. By the way, I’m so excited about this device that I can’t stop my compulsive need to look around for it and its applications. So, here we go with my favourites!

Nonome, the Monome emulator

With all the protocol under the sun, it was just a matter of days. And infact Peter at Create Digital Music informs us that Piclae made ( and it’s currently updating quite often ) a cool Monome emulator for the Launchpad. It seems most apps run smootly ( the major problem seems to be 7up ), and you can choose your favourite colour too! And if you’re guessing it, yes, you can keep your Ableton modes while using it!

via Create Digital Music

Download Nonome application and updates’ log, monome.org forum

Below a video of Piclae showing us a Launchpad running Flin, and Sunup, a song performed in mlr by Thomas Piper

OSC Wrapper, programming made easy

launchpadmax

This is my favourite one! It’s a simple app by Will Crossland which translates the MIDI communication with the Launchpad into OSC. So, the 12 pages of  the protocol are reduced to 2 simple messages, /press and /led! The program lets you use 8 different “layers” to address 8 applications for each Launchpad. And yes, yes… you keep your out-of-the-box Ableton modes too! The application is made in Max/MSP, but only for the communication’s buses. All the code is placed inside a Javascript file, which everyone can modify to his needs. Cool stuff, cool stuff.

via Create Digital Music

Free download Wac.Launchpad handler

The nice part is that Will decided to use the approach of monome’s protocol due to its logical simplicity:

“The Monome OSC protocol is clearly well thought and well suited to addressing a 2D grid so why reinvent the wheel?”

I can’t agree more. And it would be cool to have a unified protocol for every grid controller! It seems like Monome’s users don’t like the Launchpad too much, but I think that both devices ( and think of Livid Instruments’ Block and Ohm64, too ) are simply different forms of the same concept. Monome’s succesful work is about faith in a concept that big names rejected at first. I personally don’t think a grid of back-lit buttons is any kind of invenction you can patent, and that talking about “stolen ideas” is inappropriate in this context. Concepts belong to people who are using that stuff, the wonderful community behind Monome for example. Now the family is extended, and I’ll be happy to see a common language, and people sharing their work, in the name of a common evolution. Will’s choice seems a good start in this direction!

Custom Max controller and Max4Live porting of  Monome’s apps is ispiring

Surfin’ around YouTube brought me to this Max/MSP application which makes the Launchpad a custom controller! I can’t understand exactly the features, I don’t understand the language, but it seems he made pages of presets’ grids mixed with slider controllers, which makes sense in many ways, like if your using it with your favourite synthesizer or for some kind of experimental generative application!

And you know, Max4Live public beta is started and people are having fun! So check out these Max4Live ports of Polygome and StepFilter by Stretta! It will not be difficult to adapt these to the Launchpad, expecially now that we have our OSC wrapper!

via max for live blog by nick rothwell

and

So, what can I say… Maybe it’s better I come back to my wavelet’s book, waiting for the time I can press some buttons!

Novation released Launchpad Programming Guide, and Protocol.

Posted in Audio gears, Software with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by nezoomie

Launchpad Programmer's Reference

A powerful step into (hacking) openess. As Novation promised it, they published a 12 pages well detailed pdf describing how to update and communicate with and from the launchpad. Led’s states, notes’ arrangment, grid’s update system, midi/decimal/hexadecimal values for every CC and Note. Everything you need to write and hack applications for the Launchpad. Without Live, if you want. Must we expect a monome 40h/64 emulator soon?

Download the pdf for free here:

http://www.novationmusic.com/support/launchpad/

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