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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » ChucK programming language
Introduction of me and my project
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n2000



Joined: May 08, 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Hamburg / Germany

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:05 pm    Post subject:  Introduction of me and my project
Subject description: New to the Board
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Hello all together beer ,

I am Nils from Hamburg Germany, 25. I can not remember how I stumbled across Chuck but I am glad it happened. So far I just played around with Chuck a few times but I think it really has potential and I want to learn more about it.

I have some programming experience in HTML, PHP and Pascal/Delphi. I can teach things myself pretty easy. That's it about me... so now to the project I want to do. At first, for those who don't like reading long posts: the main points/questions:

- Plan to build palm sized instrument based on Chuck and Verdex/Gumstix computers (600 MHz 128MB) (Fun project)
- should play 2-4 loops and a few additional sounds (live and playback)
- What system resources does Chuck require?
- Is networking (more instruments with less functions) the way?

And now comes the story:

I am thinking of some palm-sized (or slightly bigger) sort of extended drum-machine that is controlled by a combo of trackpad, buttons and a joystick. The thing should be able to create/play 2 or 4 loops and play additional sounds upon input (synth or audio-file). A midi in and output would be a cool add-on but is not required.

The whole thing is currently nothing more than an idea... and I also don't want to spent to much (>1000€) on the instrument as it is really just a fun project to fresh up my programming and electronics knowledge and to hopefully create cool music.

I though of using the verdex platform (gumstix.com) but as I've heard so far, Chuck is comparatively CPU intensive. And these are just shipped with a 600MHz Marvell® PXA270 XScale in their fastest systems. (128MB Ram).

I could use an old laptop or something like that or a PDA, but a laptop would be way too big and a pda would also run into performance issues (I would also have to bring Linux on it and such...).

The good thing about gumstix (400MHz but smaller)/verdex is their networking ability. So I could go with a networked system of gumstix/verdex (they roughly have the size of an pack of gums/ipod nano), increase CPU power by giving each function an own verdex and have them work together hidden in the instruments case.

Or build more instruments with fewer capabilities operated by more people that can interconnect (wireless?) and form a big chuck Smile.

So, the essence is:

Would Chuck perform on such a Verdex plattform (600MHz 128MB) and perform smotth or would the instrument work better with several verdexes networking?

Do you have experience with chuck on mobile devices, mini-computers or other "unusual" chuck setups? Or do you know of any small computer systems that have enough power?

So. That was the basic idea of the instrument. I hope you can give me some feedback on this.

Greetings
Nils
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow! That sounds nice!

I think Spencer would be the one to ask, he's the guy who does the miniAudicle and seems to know most about this sort of thing.

600MHz with 128MB should be enough for at least some ChucKian fun but right now it's not the most eficient of languages, I also think this might be a large-ish project but it does sound like a lovely idea. More networking options should be on the way but then again; our wishlist is quite large.

On the birght side; I myself developed my own sequencing instrument in ChucK (based on a laptop with game controlers in my case) and I'd say that's definately a very worthwhile project. It's wonderfull to be free of depending on software upgrades only to find that the feature you lusted after isn't quite what you'd hoped for.

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n2000



Joined: May 08, 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Hamburg / Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mhh... ok. So after I slept over the idea and considering the CPU usage, I think I go with the "smaller" instruments. This way, the instruments stay simpler and I have the positive side-effect of giving the project a social perspective as well.

Now I have to figure out, how I arrange the single instruments.

The basic idea I have now, is to create rather generic instruments based on a verdex computer, which apart from their input device are basically identical and have a ComactFlash drive which contains the actual instruments/sounds. Let's call these slave instruments.

These slaves send their played melodies (tune index and snyth input) to the master and listen for such parameters as main mood, bpm and time.
Pings will be used to sync the timelines (little difference is alright)

The master instrument controls the group of slaves and is able to create baselines/-drums/loops based on the melodies recieved or by free input.

Luckily, the verdex boards are available with bluetooth, so I think of using bluetooth to build up the network. But they can also be used with a wifi usb dongle.

The actual sound will be collected from each item via a regular sound output to reduce network traffic. I thought of an audio hub with a simple mixer/equalizer combo.

Unfortunatly, my spare time is rather limited, but I hope to get one of the boards this month and begin with one of the slave instruments to familiarize myself with the whole matter.

I must say, so far I haven't been much of a musician, but I love electronic music and technology stuff and hope to be able to combine the two hobbies.

What do you think of the idea? Do you see any hard obstacles I might come across?

Greetings
Nils
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sound good to me.

In my own experience; you can get away with very simple instruments provided you make sure you use a good and expressive interface. It might be controversial here but I feel many acoustical musicians do have a point when they complain much electronic msuic sounds lifeless. I blame that not on it being electronic but on the lack of expressive interfaces.

If your project is to work as a social thing I think you need to develop a idea for a good and expressive interface. If you can cook that up then I think the end result will be quite popular and a lot of fun; I for one would love to be involved in a jam-session of those!

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