November 26, 2014

Movin' Right Along...

by Chris Randall

I won't lie to you. The main point of this post is to roll that Doctorow photo below the fold so I don't have to see his stupid face when I check the site. However, I will use this opportunity to provide a general update as to the State Of Things here at the Audio Damage Logistics And Research Facility. In no particular order.

1) My personal experiment time of late has largely revolved around C. Elegans, pictured above. This lowly nematode is unique inasmuch as it is the only living creature to have its brain entirely mapped, neuron-for-neuron. This intrigued me for a number of reasons, and I've spent the last few weeks tinkering with the brain model, trying to come up with musically useful applications of a fully functioning nematode brain. Believe me when I say this isn't as easy as it sounds. (And since it doesn't sound easy at all, well, you get the idea.) I've been using a Python script developed by this fellow running on a Raspberry Pi, but that's mainly served to teach me two things: first, that Python is stupid for this sort of thing, and second, the Raspberry Pi might be a fun piece of equipment to tinker with, but for the kind of shit we do, it is retarded. Especially when it is weighted down by Raspbian. So I've moved my experiments back to C++11 (via Cinder) and a real computer, and we shall see what we shall see.

2) We are currently out-of-stock of DubJr, and are running low on Sequencer 1. I re-ordered panels for DubJr some time ago, but due to a communication error on Metalphoto's part, they weren't actually ordered until today. I have two units left currently, and they are in our Amazon store. If you want a DubJr, long story short, either get it at Amazon, or via one of our retail partners. Vis-a-vis Sequencer 1, we're not going to do a second run of these for a while, so if you want one, best get on it, either direct or via one of the retailers that stock it. We'll have the first major software update for it here in a week or thereabouts, which will add the most-requested features.

3) Not next week, but the following week, we will have an addition to the small modules line, ADM07. For this, we're not announcing anything until we have units here shipping, but suffice to say you didn't know you needed it, but once you see it, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it. Yeah, one of those.

4) And finally, I've been asked to give a seminar/talk at UC Santa Barbara on March 2nd of next year. Other than "music tech" I have a pretty broad palette to choose from for the subject matter. I was thinking of a brief overview of what it is I do and have done, then a talk about massive design failures and why failing matters and is useful (both my own and other peoples'.) Unless I'm still interested in nematodes by then, of course.


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Dec.06.2014 @ 11:22 AM
beauty pill
"Photo still looks like Doctorow" is one of the funniest things I've ever read.

- c

Dec.07.2014 @ 12:33 PM
Uses I've found for raspberry pi:
Artnet > DMX interface: Pi hosts Enttec DMX interface (or cheaper supported unit) off USB port directly or powered hub), you can use ethernet or USB wifi dongle for Artnet interface. OLA is the translation layer on the Pi... Now I can have the DMX dongle ANYWHERE on the stage, shorter DMX cable runs and the laptop running Artnet software (Vezer etc) synced to ableton and resolume or Touchdesigner 088 etc etc...

Custom RTA for $140, including the $100 7" Lilliputing 1280x800 screen. Ok an older netbook can be found for $100 these days (even the newer Asus was $100 on sale), and I still use this solution at home along with PG-AM (pinguin audio meter non-pricey version). But since I have a few 7" LCD's with me at shows anyway (to monitor resolume etc) using an extra unit or toggling between inputs to see an RTA isn't hard...

Part of my arduino/pi based home halloween 'show'. Daughter was 3 this year, will probably expand for the next few years =] I'd do christmas but halloween is so much more fun, especially with the half dozen projectors & dozens of cheap LED strands I usually have on hand...

Dec.07.2014 @ 6:53 PM
Chris Randall
In all three of those instances, the dedicated device for the use case is a far better solution (cost not being an object, of course), and I think that is undeniable. You basically are using the R-Pi because you can, it sounds like.

Specifically in the ArtNET->DMX application, I call shenanigans. There are plenty of dedicated ArtNET heads that are not expensive that are far more robust than what you have going on. I mean, you're already at $100 with the Enttec head plus the R-Pi. Another $50 gets you a unit that doesn't need the R-Pi, and is use-tested in that environment.

That said, it's nice you've found a use for the little fuckers (despite the "solution in search of a problem" uses you bring up). That's more than I can say.

(I will leave aside my general curmudgeonly view that having wi-fi anything on stage is a really bad idea, and leave it at that.)


Dec.08.2014 @ 2:21 AM
You're right about this being a "solution in search of a problem", to be sure. However at least I did find a few uses for something I already had lying around.

As for the Artnet>DMX solution, it's actually rather handy as I needed something for smaller shows. Wifi is good enough for 50-150 head crowd shows, ethernet for slightly larger (a few hundred to double that). And for the large summer shows, well if we're using $700k in 12mil LED screens, again that in lighting and digging a trench for all cabling, there's no need for my little solution to be sure. In that case the Enttec hooks to the resolume arena media server to get cues from the lighting director.

Still happy I found a use, as gaming is nowhere near as fun on the Pi as a Win desktop and there's already several USB keys out there that will do media playback. Now if only we'd get actual programmable devices in THAT format without having to buy overseas devices to avoid the locked down US USB sized ARM offerings...

Dec.22.2014 @ 10:17 AM
imo sunvox makes it damn easy to interface raspberry pi w/ music hardware while keeping in a "music headspace", not getting bogged down so much as programmer or engineer. quick to whip up a lot of useful utility kinda stuff for cv/midi - once you take the time to wire up a jack field. :) if i wasn't busy making music i'd probably sell a premade i/o thing at a big markup.

i'm not sure of anything like that available for osx + windows computers?

link []

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