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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Alesis Andromeda
Andromeda editor for iPad
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scd



Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 44
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject: Andromeda editor for iPad Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Would anyone be interested in that? I am working on one for myself for quite some time now, and it really changed the great synth into a GREAT synth Wink
If there are enough interested people I might consider a (not free, but cheap) public release to earn a little back for the many many hours I have put into it.

It is an editor that uses mixed NRPNs and Sysex messages (that was quite a trip by the way, to "back engineer" how things are done on the Andro) and probably will capture each and every parameter that has to do with sound editing (which are a lot as you all know) and some global stuff.

My main problem with the A6 interface is the tiny LCD in combination with the *way* to sensitive knobs... I *hate* that really on the Andro. But I *love* the character of this synth and possibilities. That's why I started this for my own pleasure.

This editor has for instance have sliders and knobs with which you can change values much more more comfortably than on the A6 itself.
Some parameters (like the level knobs in the 47 modulation pages) wil even have a knob and two sliders for the same parameter, so you can choose with which resolution you want to change the values. It makes sound design SO much easier!
For instance, try to add a little pitch modulation to an oscillator with an LFO... you'll get the idea.

Touching a knob on the iPad will call up the appropriate LCD screen on the Andro.

I am almost done with all synth engine parameters, except for the digital FXs. Those will all get an iPad page of there own.

It is builded up out of pages with a navigation bar at the bottom to reach the various sections.
This is the list of iPad screens that are dedicated to a part:

Modulations (with 47 sub pages for the 47 mod slots on the Andromeda)
Oscillator 1 (with all parameters on one page, including links to the mod pages)
Oscillator 2 (like Osc1)
Pre-Mixer
Filter
Post Mixer
Envelope 1 (with 1 sub page for Looping and Dynamics parameters)
Envelope 2 (with 1 sub page for Looping and Dynamics parameters)
Envelope 3 (with 1 sub page for Looping and Dynamics parameters)
LFO1
LFO2
LFO3
S+H
Effects (with 29 sub pages for each digital effect)
Arpeggiator
Sequencer
Clock
Global (to be determined what will be in there: at least the CRoutes stuff, and the Tracking Generator, plus the Portamento, patch select and some more)

The number of pages will run into the 100+ Smile But navigation will be easy and quick.

What this editor is NOT:
- It's *not* a Librarian and it will not become one.

What this editor is/has:
– a *very* handy tool to design sounds on the Andro! Trust me. It has become a completely new synth to me, since working with it.
- an editor that captures *every* sound editing parameter of the Andro that has a NRPN/sysex control attached (unless a bug prevents one. There are a few on the Andro, but not many).
- a "fix" for the 50% PW bug Wink (a button sets it for you to 52%)
- controls that do right to the values you want to fine tune
- bi-directional (but some restrictions, certainly when using WIFI, due to an Apple bug)

And it is not ready yet, so it will take me some more months probably. I will post some screen shots in the near future.

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HrastProgrammer



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: Re: Andromeda editor for iPad Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is really a great work! Congratulations! I was planning to do an Windows A6 editor for a few years, but never found enough time and energy to start.

So, count me in! Although I don't own iPad, and never planned to buy it, I will probably buy one just for this editor ...

BTW, as I am not really into iPad etc. ... How do you connect iPad to MIDI?

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scd



Joined: Dec 26, 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

you can connect the ipad through the camera connection kit (= usb) to a whole range of MIDI interfaces. Or you connect it through WIFI.
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scd



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The filter page as it is now


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scd



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Oscillator 1 page (as it is now).

Things can change and things will be added in the future on pages that have room left.
I am thinking of presets for sections of the synth, extra navigation stuff etc.

By the way: colors have meaning in this editor Smile


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HrastProgrammer



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Looks great!
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scd



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks. But much more important: it works great Cool
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HrastProgrammer



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Then ... well ... great Very Happy
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Mefistophelees



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If it works on the iPad1 you can count me in.
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purpurkatten



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Awesome! Very nice to see! Very Happy

The A6 really needs a decent librarian, though, so please reconsider including that.

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chowderdoof



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Saw this awhile ago put didn't get to post until now. This would be excellent and I would buy without thought! Very Happy

I have only had my Andromeda for just over a year now and but I'm still learning and programming as I'm sure I will be in years to come! I don't think its just me but the knobs and button sensitivity are sometimes frustrating when fine tuning (I have done the soft reset many times but now I just live with its moodiness) so the ipad would give greater control when the knobs and buttons aren't playing friendly.

Nothing replaces hands on control but this would help with the perfect tweek to build monster patches - its like an extension of the andy software! GREAT!! I think it would be amazing to have the flexibility to use the ipad for setting lots of things which the software lacks - fine control of settings which I haven't really mastered in the hardware - lfos, tempo sync, fx and delay settings etc. (might be getting to far ahead on myself here but if you could input numbers and such for all this that would be amazing). Not sure if the librarian is possible but that could be helpful to - or perhaps even just a way to rename patches and finally organise banks - hardware sucks here big-time!



I'm really excited when I saw this and I thought many people would have jumped on board - I was slow to reply but I for 1 can't wait for you to take my ca$h. Wink


I was looking forward to the rekon audio editior (if it ever eventuates) but I think this with the new iconnectivity ipad midi control and the andy would be a killer! Please can I buy now? I recently brought the enchord (modular harmony controller for linne) from an ebay store which is what I think you should do! Please set this up so we can buy ASAP - don't wait to stuff around on iTunes app bollocks.


I'll support it as I'm sure many will - then you can fine tune and update it with better features later - it can't be any worse then the current temperamental andy software - right? maybe start a kickstarter funding project to get you motivated?? couldn't hurt! Ok - better calm down Laughing Good Luck and Keep me posted!!!
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Helge Kautz



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That looks fantastic and incredibly useful! I'd buy the app in an instant!

Helge
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scd



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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the replies so far folks!
I am nearly finished with a version V1 so to speak. Please consider that I am doing this pure out of personal joy (since I do hate that A6s interface...), not to make money. And please do not start making requests now Smile I want to have the sound editing parameters all working first. Then, we'll see...

The good news: you will get my 5 months work, the editor templates, for free. You only need to spent 4,49 € on an iPad app (TB MIDI Stuff) to be able to open the editor.
The developer of that app, a French guy named Fabien Manchec (he worked for Jarre!), needs to get the most credits for making this whole project possible in the first place. So I hope you will rate his app out of gratitude later on in the iTunes store.

He for instance made it possible to use special 2 and a half byte sys-ex messages and also created a lot of extra needed functions to have such a big editor running on an iPad in the first place (the trouble lies in the huge amount of controls).

There is a lot, and I mean A LOT to say about the Andromeda. Since I investigated every sound editing parameter on such a low level, I discovered quite some interesting stuff (and bugs).
I plan to go through each section of the Andromeda on this forum once the editor has been released. To share the insight I gained, but also to ask questions about stuff I am still(!) not sure about Razz

There are also quite some restrictions (partly for V1) to discuss. I'll give you an overview of some of those now.

I wanted to create a one-way editor with knobs, sliders and buttons with which you can fine-tune a parameter on the Adromeda, which to my opinion is not possible in a normal way on the hardware. The sensitivity of most knobs is way to rough for that.
I also wanted to organize parameters in groups that make sense and having them on a big iPad screen instead of the tiny LCD helps a lot too.
Since bi-drectional communication would make the project more complex I focussed on iPad -> Andro communication for now.

Restrictions:

1. The editor is a one-way editor.
This might change in a next release after V1. One of the reasons is that I used a mix of NRPNs and sys-ex messages for the parameters. For instance, all LCD screens and a lot of tabs on the Andromeda can only be selected with system exclusive messages. And since the Andro does not send out panel sysex messages, bi-directional communication is not possible for those parameters.
I also used sys-ex for various sound editing parameters because it gives much higher tweaking resolution for such a parameter: NRPNs go up to 4094 values (12 bit), many parameters can have up to 17 bit values (131.072 values) though. Practise should learn if that was a wise decision Smile If needed I could change all parameters (except LCD screens and tabs and some bug related ones) to NRPNs. Which could make it a two-way editor. But that has no priority for me. I just want to do sound design on the Andro with a helping iPad editor.

2. NRPN communication with WIFI on a Mac is complex!
There is a bug, a nasty bug, in Apple's Audio/MIDI Utility since OSX 10.3 or 10.4: NRPNS are not coming through the right way there. And you need that utility to have this editor working over WIFI... However, there are work-arounds although I have not a total clear vision of it yet. I will come back to it later.

3. The editor template pages (102 at this moment...) can not communicate with each other.
To be able to have all parameters captured in a working editor, bigger templates need to be split into pages. Only one page can be loaded at the same time in the app, causing the mentioned drawback. Not a big one to me, but you might feel different.
Example: I have the filter routing parameters both on the Pre Filter Mixing page as on the Filter page itself. Changing those parameters on one page, will not touch the same parameters on the other page and vice versa. You need to live with that.

4. No librarian, saving and other non-sound parameter stuff
Main reason: the app needs major changes for that. For now I am not counting on Fabien to be willing to invest such an amount of work in a 4,49 euros app. Can't blame hime for that, specially thinking of all the time he already did put in it just for this crazy Dutchman.

I first had a look at Lemur, another professional controller building app for iOS, but even that app can for instance not handle big sysex messages correctly due to update refreshing timing issues. Don't ask...

5. No Mix Mode
This is a prize paid to get sys-ex working in the app. To explain a little:
Alesis uses 3 bytes for the editing parameters.
Each byte has one bit as a status bit, leaving 7 bits per byte. So a total of 21 bits are left for the sound parameters, but they use only a maximum of 17 bits. The leftovers, 4 bits (16 values) are used to set... the Mix channel.
Our software has those 4 bits fixed on channel 1. I have no idea if Fabien will/can address that in a future update of TB MIDI Stuff. Don't count on it.

If you made it to here, we can finally talk about the GOOD stuff! Cool

I've been sound designing for Waldorf, XILS, Arturia and other companies.
I have seen and used about every old mono and poly analog synth in my studio through the years. Some time ago I decided to let go the history synths and keep very few. As of today I have an Andromeda, a Moog Voyager XL and a Moog Voager RME.
I chose the Andromeda because it is the most versatile poly analog I know. It can do incredible sounds and it can do incredidable modulations!
But ohh.... that user interface... Rolling Eyes

Since I am playing with this editor it can do those same incredible sounds (and more!) in a MUCH faster and more pleasant way than ever before! I rediscovered the synthesizer and it is more rewarding than ever. Believe me. Cool

Well, this message is already way to long, so I leave it for now. Hope to get back soon to you all to anounce the release of the editor. I need to test some stuff, do some small adjustments and have it "approved" by Fabien.

Boele

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pollux



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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm glad someone is working on something similar as me! I had a lot of the same ideas, except I'm developing an Andromeda GUI/VST for the PC =]
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scd



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, although the response does not seem to be that earth shattering... Confused
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pollux



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, personally I think, just make things for yourself, and make them to the best of your ability, and at some point, you will be rewarded for all your hard work. Someone will come along, and be like, hey this is amazing, I use it everyday, and then It will all be worth it :]
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Helge Kautz



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

scd wrote:
Yes, although the response does not seem to be that earth shattering... Confused


It's probably because not too many folks know about it yet.

Also, I imagine, most Andromeda owners don't expect anything new happening for the synth anymore. They've probably "given up" on the search for an editor -- they would find your iPad editor only by chance when looking for something else. This is probably the majority...

How about setting up a simple website when the editor is done? And spreading the word in the relevant forums?

Helge
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scd



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Helge,

Yes, you are probably right. By now I do fully understand why there has been no editor in the last 10 years... Confused
Setting up a (simple) website for it is not something I can do myself unfortunately but is a good idea.

I know from a very reliable source that around 3500 Andromeda's were made.

I am actually on the brink of releasing the editor, but there needs to come a "manual" too since there is a lot to say about how to set things (MIDI) up as well: another good reason for a small website.

Then again: a forum is a good thing too, since there is lots to discuss, to ask and to answer.

Mmm....

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Helge Kautz



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi scd,

wow, I would have assumed there were substantially more than 3500 units...

Setting up a website perhaps using some free cms, e.g. WordPress, shouldn't be too difficult. Mabye someone around here can help putting it together? Maybe some synth-related site would even host it?

In any case, I think releasing the first-ever editor for the A6 is a big thing. It should not be swept under the rug. I can only imagine how much work went into this project...

Helge
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

VERY interested. Great work.
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matrix



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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Count me in! I posted this on MATRIXSYNTH as well:

http://m.matrixsynth.com/2013/05/alesis-andromeda-a6-editor-for-ipad.html

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tomoe97



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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Fantastic work! Just heard about this on Matrixsynth. Can't wait to give it a try. This has the potential to greatly expand the programmability of the A6. Many thanks!
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mee3d



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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Excellent, I'm in... my A6 has a number of overly sensitive knobs so this would be a great fix! I'm sure like the Rhodes Chroma (.com) the Andro will eventually have more development from third parties... shame the firmware cant be open sourced!!!
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Shoontz



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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I would LOVE to have that, but please just make it look a little more slick. Maybe something more JazzMutant Lemur/TRON like this:
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.
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Infrablue



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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I love how it already looks. You are doing great work!
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