New App: Isonome 128

  • I mentioned before that i was working on something to emulate the melodic functionality of the Push, and here it is! I've designed this only for my own 128 and I don't have any plans to port it to the 64 (though I'm sure it'll be fine on a 256).

    I know Myr created something similar (and arguably more attractive!) than this, but my goals were slightly different. I wanted something with a small visual footprint that communicated all the information I needed solely on my monome. so there isn't much in the way of a description on how to use this badboy. I'll have to post a video or something.

    short explanation:

    the left 64 grid is the "push" - all octaves are lit up - I think it traverses a total of 5 octaves - not entirely sure. So it's isomorphic, meaning that no matter what "shape" you play on the grid, where ever you play it, it'll be the same chord within whatever key you're in (e.g Cmaj the triangle if your root is C is going to be a major triad; if your root is d, it'll be a minor triad; G, will be a major triad, etc).

    honestly, this thing has allowed me to play very expressively, and I love it!

    so the right side, the bottom-left 16 pads are chromatic, from C1 to D#2 - this is just the default for Live's drum racks and I wanted something to trigger samples.

    the two 4x1 columns to the right of that are velocity (left side for drums, right side for the "push"). velocity can be either 127, 96, 64, or 32... i've been experimenting with this - as that's the only thing the push has over the monome - velocity sensitive pads. other than that the monome wins. just in general - it wins everything. ;)

    the lower right 2x8 grid is for changing modes. it should default at major, but then you've got minor, dorian, mixolydian, lydian, etc.. I picked 8 to keep things simple.

    on the upper right-hand 3x4 grid you've got access to all 12 keys.

    what I'm digging about this is the ability to play a melody, and then change keys while you're playing, or modes, or both - thus allowing for really expressive, instant modulations, both modally, and tonically. mess around with it - we'll call this beta testing. I really just made it for myself but if you have any problems lemme know. I've attached a pdf covering the basic functionality, as well as the max patch.

    oh yeah, I built this in max 6.1 so take that into consideration. I'm unfamiliar with compatibility issues in general.

    *seems i can't upload a .maxpat file? I'll toss up a sendspace link here in a second.

  • here's the link to the patch:

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/nrpzli

  • dope! thanks for sharing this!!!!

  • this looks great! you should throw it on the wiki

  • yeah, will do! i just wanted to get it up on here first, and (finally) get back to making music :P

    I'll throw it up on there soon!

  • alright, it's up in the wiki!

    http://monome.org/docs/app:isonome128

    lemme know if you find bugs - i hate going back to work i've considered "finished", but if there's a problem, let me know and I'd be happy to check it out.

    this is my first completed monome patch so go easy on this feller.

    oh and if you're getting "hung" MIDI notes when you're switching keys or modes, just smash the pads. I've got a poly object set to 6 notes with voice stealing at 1, so it's sort of a built-in midiflush... sort of.

    i'm sure you'll see more from me in the future. I'm already playing around with the live API... and some fun externals.

  • This is awesome!

  • This is pretty much the reason I thought I wanted a Push. How difficult (if at all possible) would it be for a noob like me to rework the patch to work with a 64?

  • i think i'd have to assign perhaps the top row to separate pages - I've been messing with this lately.

    If you've got a 64, stretta's mabalhabla (sp?) is pretty close - I just prefer all of the information visually available on the grid.

    Ideally i'd like to include a scrolling display, octave shifting, more modes (say two buttons to scroll through them) and possibly some other isomorphic keyboard layouts like a guitar fretboard and maybe janko or something.

    Janko's the best isomorphic layout i've seen that allows for a fully chromatic keyboard in the context of a grid.

    @spacelordmother glad you dig it! if you open the patch, pardon the mess :P

  • @misk -- I still dig it! In the other thread you asked for ideas, so I have a few to offer. : )

    First (and perhaps easiest) would be to give the "drum" section its own separate dropdown for midi out channel. Would make it easier to run it all side by side.

    Second (and more complex) is that I have been thinking about those poor empty buttons -- seems like it could be cool to add in a gesture/clip recorder, maybe with scenes? I did a quick mockup below. That way you could record parts and switch between them in a group. Thoughts?

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  • am going to really enjoy playing with this.

    I strongly applaud this idea / project - you're basically removing the need for a chromatic mode by letting the player 'modulate' as they play in a much faster and performance-friendly way than the push allows. Having said that, you could still include a chromatic mode in one of those empty 4 spots next to the keys - maybe.

    one initial thought is I'd like to see a version (and I'm sure I can tweak it on my own easily enough) where the sides are swapped - actually, the control side mirror-imaged on the left and the push side on the right (or you could choose which layout you preferred). as a keyboard player, I'd think I'd find it more natural to play melodically with the right hand and change keys / tonalities with the left (almost like fingered bass).

    I also think you will find functions you want to map to the other open keys without having to go looking for them. I like spacelordmother's idea about a gesture / loop recorder, although more monome style, stopping short of trying to look like Live session view (and not using all 20 keys). if you record gestures though, you'd have to decide if you're recording the key presses regardless of musical key (might be interesting) or are you recording the midi info / recording into Live (seems boring, besides you could choose to stay in the same key as the sequence if you wanted). of course if you're trying to maximize usability with Live then clips and scenes might be the way to go.

    I think your octave scroll buttons could go right next to the push half - in fact you can have one pair for the push surface above another for the drum surface in that first column next to the push above the drum pads (for the kits that go past the first octave - I guess it wouldn't be an octave then, it would be a +16 half-steps to advance to the next 16 drum sounds).

    anyway, awesome, thank you for your work!

  • I just found this app.
    looks fantastic!!!!

    +1 for pattern recorders (mlr-style! not into ableton clips)
    would be great if they could record the 'push'-keyboard as well as the drums.

    i think it would be fun to have a pattern going and then changing the modes.

    please no multiple pages-setup.
    i, too, like to have everything on one page.