[VIDEO] GTZ first vids

  • featuring dual 128s, and a whole lot of max4live craziness.


    Full explanation will come later, as I'm running late myself. But here's the short version:

    * The two keyboards are velcro'd onto the music stand. The two monomes are just held in place by gravity.

    * I'm using a hacked version of obo (funkyobo64) to support Ableton's groove clips, and I'm abusing that feature in interesting ways to create the stuttering playheads you see there. Neither pattern is moving at a steady 16 beats per bar, nor at the same rate as each other.

    * Monome brightness is toggled based on MIDI activity.

    * Percussion is from MCRP4, with a simple Beat Repeat effect for variety. Percussion is silent when no keys are held on the keyboards.

    * Each light triggers the notes from my keyboard to play, and each row is a different instrument. In this case, they're mostly the same electronic piano, at different octaves or with additional effects added. This is made possible by a handful of Max4Live patches that I'm planning to release, just as soon as I can figure out how to explain 'em.


    * June 1: second vid posted below.

    * July 15: the first of two "explanation" vids posted. link below.

  • Also just noticed, I don't actually press any monome buttons in this video. That's funny.

    The obo patterns are left over from an earlier try that didn't come out as well. So technically, this one could have been done with no monomes rather than two.

    ...but it wouldn't have been nearly as exciting. =)

  • Fun fact: that's FingerTappin's old Arduinome in the bottom-left corner.

  • reminds me a bit of the Miami Vice era ;)

    nice tune :)

  • @rud,

    I wasn't thinking about it, but you're totally right.

    Interestingly enough, Jan Hammer's video resolution wasn't that much higher than this. I've got 256x64 pixels on the monomes, he had 512x256 on his Fairlight CMI.

  • this is great! fun looking setup.

    BTW, am i hearing the "twinkly bitz" effect from ableton?

  • @iamanalog,

    fun: definitely. it's hard to leave the house!

    twinkly bitz: possibly something like it. The instruments and audio effects are all presets that ship with Ableton Suite, with little to no modification. There's a lot of ping-pong delay, octave transposition, some overdrive, a flanger, and two of the rows are running through arpeggiators.

    The short notes are mostly "Keys-Pop Rock Clavinet", with one row of "Mallets-Vibraphone".

    Ther long notes that come in at 1:00 or so are layers of "lead-dirty pulse" and "lead-techyometer". And you're hearing a second copy of those for the other hand (because those sounds have limited polyphony).

    This wasn't the best demo of my setup, because:

    1) I haven't explained at all how it works yet.
    2) I never adjusted the patterns, and the tempo's too fast for you to really perceive them.
    3) I didn't span a wide range of instruments.
    4) some other reason I remember thinking a second ago but am blanking on now.

    Also, I'm using the computer keyboard to toggle various things, which makes transitions awkward. I need to invest in a foot pedal.

    Still, I can't stop watching my own video. =)

  • thanks for posting GTZ. loving the tune and loving seeing my app in your videos. i didn't think any one was using it!

  • @triss,

    It's profoundly useful, but there is a small learning curve. I think a lot of people give up too early on this one.

    Anyway, here's something you might not have tried:


    Put an instance of that before funkyobo64 in the chain. It will change how you think about your app. =)

  • Second video posted!

    Same idea, mostly the same configuration. Much shorter, hopefully clearer example.

    The instruments on the left have been replaced for contrast.

    Also, the playheads are handled differently. One moves at a steady pace, the other stops and waits when you take your hand off the keyboard, giving you that control and encouraging more of a light show. But I think I enjoyed playing more the other way.

  • Huh. No comments at all on that second video. Let's try a third. =)


    This one aims to explain the other two.

  • how did i miss that first vid? it's fantastic!

  • You're a busy guy. =)

  • What a cool patch! +1 On the shout out to my arduinome also. Eagerly awaiting explanation 2.

  • Explanation 2 is still pending. I suck.

    I got this, though:


  • Anybody got a download link? totally up my alley. want to mess around with this one but can't seem to find it anywhere.

  • http://sadfactory.com/category/inventions/782

    great stuff GTZ!!!!! missed this one because of holydays :/

    gonna have a look on the patch too...

  • i can not wait to try this out with noatikl

  • Eep!

    I managed to miss that people were asking about this back in November, myself. Sorry about that.

    That download link is good. And I posted the beginnings of a "how do you use it / how does it work" in the vimeo comments here:

    ...but I really need to formalize those and make it easy to follow.

    By all means, ask questions here (or there) and I'll do my best to assist!

    re: noatikl,

    Just had to search the forums for that:

    Managed to miss that one as well. But it definitely sounds like these ideas will compliment each other nicely.

  • Side note:

    (no download link, just text and video)

    I've been trying (off and on) forever to adapt that into an accessory for GTZ Hydra (so that, rather than trigger all the notes from the other MIDI stream, you can assign buttons to trigger only the highest or lowest note, or some percentage thereof).

    My first version (with instances of that for every button) worked beautifully, but ate ridiculous CPU cycles. Ableton was idling at about 50% power, and choked up pretty hard when you were actually using it.

    Second version (a dedicated monome app which mapped whole rows out to different instruments) was very efficient, but not nearly as modular, and it introduced a world of usability problems.

    I figured out the right solution recently, and I'm planning to demo that at the next SCUM meeting.

    Related side note:

    I wasn't happy with the TouchOSC version because, when you try to run two or three instruments, the wifi bottleneck makes everything horrible. Ideally, you'd have visual feedback to show you where note dividers are (as they move when you have more or less notes in play), and the device wouldn't transmit continuous data -- just the notes when it crosses those lines. Having that intelligence on the device side would eliminate the bottleneck and make everything perform better.

    It might be possible to rebuild the interface as a JS based web app. I'm not sure about bidirectional control, though. ie, having something on the server side refresh the client screen when new MIDI data arrives. There are challenges.

    It's definitely possible to rebuild the interface as a dedicated iOS app and address those problems, but I can't afford to upgrade my Mac any time soon, and the PowerPC based ones aren't allowed to make iPhone apps.

    Anyway... there'll be an arc version.

  • i just got done for a bit messing around with strum and fret along with noatikl it was a lot of fun, i can't believe i never saw this. i got everything set up pretty quickly and your instructions made perfect since, thank you.

  • Fantastic!

    I will still make a video walk-through, 'cause I've been promising one for about a year, but I'm so glad the "text description workaround" actually served someone. =)

    (I should copy and paste from vimeo to the sadfactory page as well...)

  • here is a quick phone recording of a bit of the messing around with presets and no audio effects noatikl had 5 voices running. I didn't have an actual keyboard plugged in (laaaazy) so i was using the computer keyboard. the picture is of what i think would be the interface for an arc/modulator app for the monome that i am still trying to describe to myself before i post it on the forum


  • hey, just seeing all this for the first time. Very cool! Seeing your setup reminds me how much i would enjoy having an 8x32 256...

  • +1 amazing!

  • You guys must check out the Velcro video, hilarious

  • great bump, this is really cool stuff!

    @gtz going to experiment with funkyobo, would you mind sharing that 128 mod? =)

  • @dean
    i find myself at this very moment thinking of all the various things i can do with the beloved sticky-removable awesomeness....

    ...you think my monitor on the wall would work :)

  • Thanks, everybody!


    FunkyObo128 attached. But I should warn you, it's a bit horrifying. You're looking at some of my earliest max work, hacking someone else's early max work, hacking a third guy's early max work hacking obo (which was already sort of a rats nest going in). But the embarrassment doesn't stop there!

    Here's the thing. A bunch of monome apps use this custom matrixcontrol graphic that I guess they baked into the file by knowing how to use max or something? I... don't know how that works. So when I save those apps after making even the simplest change, the nice clean grid in the interface explodes into what you see here.

    If you have any idea how to put the graphic back, the grid should fit nicely on screen. Otherwise, just remove that graphic from presentation view.

  • I should clean that up. A lot. And make a SerialOSC version.

    Anyway... the "MIDI-In" dropdown -- when that's set to "Clip Groove" (which I may have forced it to default to), passing a note into the device (by playing a MIDI clip on that track, or by generating notes through other apps like press cafe or conway's game of life) will bump the counter forward one step.

    Try making two or three clips with different rhythms. And more importantly, with different amounts of notes per measure. That's where your repeating pattern gets much less repetitive.

    (Also, I think I forced pitch values on you that you probably won't want. For my use, it was more important that those be consistent than versatile.)


    In my defense, I wasn't planning to ever distribute this.

  • thanks gtz for sharing + for explaining! I was expecting something WIP so don't worry...

    That's odd with the matrixctl... I remember that from another mod... I mean I could care less if it works but would be interesting to know why that's the case.

  • It was a problem of freezing and unfreezing patches, I think. If two things we were playing with happened to reuse the same file, they'd create conflicting dependencies in the "unfrozen max assets" directory.

    I remember fixing a problem in one of my mods by deleting everything in that folder, and then discovering that everything else I had ever opened before was now ruined.

    So, that's probably what happened to this one. 'cause I can't figure out for the life of me why I would have left it like this if I'd known that it was.

  • yeah, just needed to load background and cell images to make it prettier...

    thanks again! going to have some fun later..

  • I can't correct the link in l00p's post, but that's over here now:

    (drop the "category," it seems)