— SPEAK OF THE DEVIN

For the homework assignment this week, I worked off of the sample Processing code shown in class and continued to use the Midibus library. My main goal was to create an interface that would allow for controlling the steps in a 16-step sequence.

In my prototype, I used boolean statements to program whether a particular step would play. Each step would play a randomly chosen note from an array containing the midi values within the C-Major scale. I sent the midi signal into a Logic soft synth for playback. In the GUI, which I created using Processing’s 2-D primitives (and featuring a color scheme that references the classic Roland TR-808 drum machine), an active step “button” is lit up when it is going to play.

808melodicseqwk03

I have a several goals to take this project further. I want to add mouse functionality so that each step can be turned on and off with a click of the mouse on its respective button graphic. I would also like to implement the beads library for a more reliable clock and for added tempo controls. Lastly, I’d like to clean up my code by using object oriented programming and making each button its own class.

The code as currently constructed is available on my Github:

https://github.com/devincurry/TheCodeOfMusic/blob/master/MelodicSequencer03/MelodicSequencer03.pde

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https://github.com/devincurry/NetworkedMedia/tree/master/Week%202%20Homework

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My first Unity animation. The Space Meat and starfighters were created in Maya. I added textures from flat images in Unity. The starfighters’ exhaust was accomplished using Unity’s Particle System. The animation and camera movements were done in Unity using scripting only. Finally, the planet was created in Unity using a Sphere object and with a nice planet texture I found in Google Images, which were already designed to be mapped over a sphere.

3-D model of the Space Meat, which I created from a cube by using Extrude and Poke Face mesh editing:

Space Meat Maya

3-D model of the starfighters, which were also created from cubes using Extrude and Poke Face mesh editing (with the addition of a small pipe for the engine port).

Starfighter 1 Starfighter 2

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Doc - Sep 15, 2014, 2-19 PM http://renderstuff.com/publication-files/0094/big-image05-a.jpg

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In the first in-class exercise, my group chose to explore the alcohol side of the luxury giant Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. Per the constraints of the exercise, we explored designs for shirt buttons of .4 inches in diameter. I struggled with the very basics of using the Rhino software for the first time, but my fellow group member Michael Oneppo was able to parlay his experience into a pretty cool design for one of LVMH’s most iconic brands, Dom Perignon champagne. In this design, he took the Dom Perignon shield and star imagery to create a shield-shaped button. While this would be great for larger piece such as a peacoat button, we realized that for the homework of reworking the button design on our own, we would need to rethink the design to work at a smaller scale.

DomPerignon-main-image

My first design was to try my hand at a different brand within the LVMH family: Moët Et Chandon. For this design, I employed its crown logo as the main design element in a circular, two-hole button.

moetchandonLogo

 

ABOVE: The original logo.

BELOW: The button.

Moet Button Final 01 Moet Button Final 02 Moet Button Final 03

While I felt the 3D model looked interesting, my attempt to 3D print the design was an utter failure. I couldn’t find the print to document (it was so small and I misplaced it), but the scale of the button meant that none of the details were visible. Suffice it to say, the print looked like a dried glob of hot glue. I think this design, much like Michael’s in-class Dom Perignon shield, would work better as a big peacoat button than a .4″ shirt button.

 

So, in keeping with the spirit of the assignment, I also attempted to create a new Dom Perignon button in response to the design Michael mocked up in class.

I felt that the instinct to use the iconic shield was the most effective way to convey the brand, so I also went in that direction. However, after my experience trying to print the crown at such a small scale, I felt that using only the most minimal forms would be best this time around. For my design, I took the shield icon outline and raised it on a two-hole button. I feel that it is recognizable as Dom Perignon even at a small size.

DP Button Final DP Button Final 02

 

Finally, I’ve included some Rhino outtakes/growing pains and rejected designs, which can be seen below:

Moet Button Oops v01Moet Button Oops v02Moet Button v03Moet Button Final 03

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In the first meeting of Code of Music class, we explored different kinds of step sequencers available on the internet. My partner Hellyn and I chose to try out the Online Step Sequencer, which apparently was modeled after the step sequencer in the old Fruity Loops DAW. I’ve had quite a bit of experience programming similar 16-step hardware drum machines so, on the surface, the interface was familiar. However, using the software was actually quite frustrating because of some poor user interface design.

A few gripes:

  • Loading sounds into the sequencer was not intuitive.
  • Nothing was labeled, so it was unclear which knobs did what.
  • The BPM was inaccurate.
  • There was no obvious way to adjust the swing/shuffle factor.
  • The program would erase your sequence when you’d change the number of steps.

Regardless, I made a little beat on there.

Web Sequencer

The next phase of the exercise was to take inspiration from this cool web-based generator of oblique strategies; choose two strategies and then design a new sequencer based on them.

Hellyn and I chose the following two strategies:

  • “Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics.”
  • “Balance the consistency principle with the inconsistency principle.”

Hellyn and I are both drum machine and sequencer enthusiasts, so we decided to create a very specific drum sequencer that would only handle a kick drum. Here is the schematic we came up with:

Hellyn Devin sequencer

Our main intention was to clear up the confusion that we experienced with the soft sequencer we tried earlier. Functions on our drum machine are clearly labeled. The programming is accomplished by having one motorized volume fader for each step in the sequencer. The tempo control is located at the top and also includes a Tap Tempo function. The “Glitch” button randomizes a sequence to help get the user started quickly.

Below the faders are toggle switches that allow the user to switch between two different programmable EQ’s, allowing the programmer to use different EQ’s for different steps in the sequence. There is also a knob for adjusting the swing factor of the rhythm.

On the bottom left side are controls to craft the kick drum sound you want. A volume envelope has knobs for Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. Filter controls for Cutoff Frequency and Resonance are also provided. The Cutoff Frequency can be set to a specific value by a knob, but control can be switched to a ribbon expression controller by toggling a switch.

This device will be a fully analog piece of hardware with MIDI and CV control capabilities. They are available made to order from Hellyn and myself for an MSRP of $6000 (price subject to change). Allow 12 months for delivery.

 

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