Newbie - with newbie questions...

  • Hi there,

    I'm new to all things monome and already I'm hooked. I currently run things on an Akai MPC1000 which is much better than previously with the JJ OS and the suggestion of a pad fix to the unit. Anyway, what attracts me to the monome is the flexibility of the approach to software and the apps, something missing in most other tools.

    Before I invest in one of the new monomes, I've got a few questions (probably very familiar to the experienced members here);

    1. Laptop compatibility: Are there any checks I can do on my laptop to ensure it will work when acquired? I guess I can't install the ftdi driver until I can plug the hardware in, and I'm guessing I can't run anything else either, until the monome is plugged in and recognised by the driver!

    2. Coding Requirement: Despite having a programming background (and career) I don't really want to delve too deeply into coding to produce any sounds with the monome.

    3. Cost: As always it's an issue! I'd like to check if it's possible to run the monome using the max/msp apps and not have to purchase something like Reaktor or Ableton. Apart from the momome and a pc/laptop to connect to is there anything else I should purchase?

    Sorry for the questions, but I've looked through the site and I'm not sure of the answers yet.

    Hopefully I'll place an order for one of the lovely 256's soon!


    DJ Hombre

  • 1. no worries, the FTDI driver is used in a LOT of common commercial devices, I talked to those guys at a trade show a few months back, LOTS of huge electronics companies use their chips.

    2, 3. Chuck is free and reads like a common high level programming language. you can study a Chuck patch and start coding in no time. Pd is also free. max/msp is maybe the most obvious one to write code with and the monomes are a GREAT companion to learning max/msp. you don't need to buy or program anything to use the monome apps already available.

  • 1 - you can install the ftdi drivers without the monome, they just won't do anything. but as far as i know, there's no reason why it shouldn't work with your computer if those drivers work. i've never heard anyone on here saying it absolutely wouldn't work with their machine. unless you're running a really old machine, i guess.

    2 - you don't need to program to use a monome. there's plenty of interesting projects that you can get a lot out of. you'll probably mainly be using the max/msp, pd and chuck projects since those are all free. but check the resource page to see what's out there. (and if you watch the 40h videos, every app shown is available from this site for free.) plenty of apps are available and new ones come out pretty often too.

    3 - i think i kinda addressed this in 2. but to clarify: reaktor, ableton and max/msp cost money. you can, however, get a max/msp runtime for free. this will let you run any max/msp patches, you just can't repatch them. reaktor's not like this; there's no free runtime. pd (pure data) and chuck are free to run, repatch, etc..

    welcome to the world of monome. you're about to fall deeply in love...

  • short/annoying answers that might be of interest also:

  • Excellent stuff...thanks for responding with useful info! I've finally managed to get Max/MSP installed & running OK on my laptop seems the runtime doesn't quite work, unless you've downloaded the full program.
    Anyway, now I can see how 64Step, mlr etc work (in conjunction with the _fake_40h patch) I feel a bit more confident....I've yet to work out what to do in order to get the actual sound of the wav file playing out through the laptop speakers though when using 64step. I expect it's a setting somewhere I'm missing.

    Thanks again though, you've been a great help. I think I'll have a play for a little longer before making the decision between 256 and 128!

  • There's an options panel in mlr. In that there's an audio button. I found using ASIO drivers (available for free on the net as asio4free, I believe) worked fine. Just make sure you select asio instead of your original sound driver and that channels 1 and 2 are on.