// aleph i2c ideas /

  • in the aleph launch thread, Yorke voiced a desire for "a small group of early adopters who want to contribute to aleph's growth" to band together

    this may be especially beneficial for those of us who, as he put it, "lack the prior knowledge to [contribute] independently"

    its a great idea...but someone has to spark
    so i'll get the ball rolling with ideas for the ii port

    anyone with ideas can chime in
    tehn zebra & goose may speak on whats feasible (if they choose to)
    others may critique/suggest features for a project and collaborate to make it reality

    eventually, users can post results of their experiments

  • my first idea is a light sensitive array as a control mechanism

    i'm not sure whether i want to use photocells or something based on IR
    this is just a seed of an idea

    has anyone built something similar? any experience with photocell/infrared in a musical context?

  • some kind of pin matrix patch bay ala the synthi aks would be good for a wheeze i bet.

  • Shameless me : what is i2c ?

  • @chapelier_fou no worries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I²C

    i didnt know what it was either until a month ago
    but apparently i'd used devices that take advantage of its capabilities (including cellphones & monome grids iirc)

    on the rear panel, pictured below, the jack labelled "ii"
    (between the host-usb slot and the first 1/4-inch out)
    allows aleph to send & recieve data at high speed

    to quote the aleph-details page:

    "ii is a digital communication protocol. we plan on co-designing with anyone interested. it is a 3.5mm stereo jack (for easy cabling) that uses the i2c bus. the bus is addressable (multiple devices on a chain), fast (400k), and easy to implement on various platforms (ie, an arduino).

    in the immediate future we will use ii for inter-aleph communication while continuing to develop a simple kit and framework for creating hardware extensions."

    860 x 512 - 88K
  • Those pin matrices are nuttily expensive, and made in Switzerland or somewhere. I'm sort of building a Synthi clone (on hold whilst moving house & having offspring) and that matrix is by far the most expensive part.

  • Roughly how long can a i2c cable be?

  • @oootini @pfi patch matrices would be all kinds of fun...are there any cheaper options that could be implemented?

    @kotdot if i understand properly, any standard cable of any length with 3.5mm connectors will work

    the only tricky part is building a device that will send ii info instead of audio thru the wiring

  • cable length will be an issue, we're going to do some tests. it's not going to be good for long cable runs.

    almost done with the ii-dev board

  • sweet

    that shouldnt be a problem for me as i'll have both machines in close proximity on a table

  • Cable length gets iffy for the clock signal. Very long cables act as a resistor and then all of a sudden your clock speed slows down and nothing works.

    Two things I think could be really cool for i2c would be a dmx controller, which should actually be rather simple considering it already exists and all that would need to be written is an interface


    Another thing that could be neat for i2c would be little autonomous a2d's for plug and play sensors... this could probably be done with arduino's (maybe even the micro or nano)

  • great ideas

    even tho its not the stated purpose
    i'm interested in seeing how aleph could be used to control/trigger lights and visuals

  • @thealphanerd: Very long cables act as a capacitor and after a some length your square wave clock turns into some sine..

    The "then nothing works." part is right though :)

  • image

    all the years real osc faders were missing for my setup.
    Right now I am working on the Symbiont1, a monome inspired 3d printed DIY OSC controller that should be able to communicate with the aleph over I2C.
    We will propably produce a limited edition and sell some kits beginning of next year.

    I am right now following very interested the aleph discussions. I was proposing a computer with no typical OS but only for DSP since a long time and its great to see it happen in my favourite community.
    I am also seeing arduino releasing a mini computer just within these days. And I am wondering how open the hardware of the aleph will be? Is a DIY version an option or is it too complicated at all?

  • How about a bluetooth 4 to i2c port? or if the ether is not a friendly place, you could transfer to a longer cable length tech like Ethernet?

    i2c is screaming controllers to me.

  • @tekcor

    Tehn and Ezra mentioned in the Aleph thread that the hardware is not going to be open, and that a kit is not going to happen. There's simply not any extra room for things in the enclosure, and that the components are too complex / expensive to make a kit practical.

    Anyone wanting to comment about i2c should read the whole aleph thread first.

  • Regarding I2c, I feel like many of the ideas we will have about possible I2c connections will be already achievable with the Aleph. When i thought about a photocell / generic expression controller, my first thought was that it could be easily achieved by running a CV out to a resister, then to the CV in. Turing a volume pedal into an expression pedal, for example.

    I think a lot more ground will be covered once we get the aleph and BEES into our work flows, and after a while of using it think "man it would be really cool if I could do this, but I can't" and that's where I2c possibilities would come in.

  • @yorke: this is the right way to think about it all!

  • @tekor, looking forward to seeing this. the code will all be open-source, and we aim to help facilitate extending the aleph.

  • @tekor nice work! would like to see more pics/video of the symbiont1 in action...

    @yorke i agree...using a koma kommander is part of what made me want a custom controller based on the same idea

    but i can just plug the kommander into aleph CV jacks so i dont *need* anything else right away

  • @gli - re: light sensitive array as a control mechanism ...

    I like that idea, thought I should mention that leafcutterjohn put together something along those lines using an arduino and max...


    - the arco / bowed style expressions possible are cool as well as really quick scattered attack/decays..
    -also mentions planning to share the patch/sketch at some stage...

  • (sorry for being a bit off-topic but...)


    thanks for that link!

    mindblowin music!

  • Well I kinda warming myself up for the aleph so that I can maybe contribute some code and have been working on some other projects when I came across this, basically an I2C chip that gives extra ports, and since it's memory addressable, can be chained together. Could make for some really crazy and expansive projects.....


  • @MCDELTAT check microchip directly... you may be able to snag these for free as a sample. They are good that way.

  • I'm so excited about the i2c possibilites. It really opens up a world of possibilities and encourages the user to use his/her imagination.
    I used the i2c port of an arduino for an mcp23016 port expander, and it worked like a charm. The were a few timing issues though, but it just turned out I had to make sure there was no "delaying" in the code, and instead I had to do time-counting procedures and if statements to check if a certain time had passed. I think this was because the host needs to be listening to the i2c port all the time in order to work. I'm not sure how this procedure would be done on the aleph .. solely with bees modules, or in code as well?

    I totally agree with you Yorke! It can be a bit daunting to take in all the possibilites at this moment, but when you get hands on, things will make much more sense.