white whale!

  • so a quick overview of my personal power situation...

    i currently have two 6u/104hp cases. i am moving from a monorocket to an enclave case mostly because of the size and weight. the monorocket is quite a bit deeper and heavier than the enclave in large part to it's very robust power supply. the particular version that i have came with a 5 amp power supply at no extra charge.

    when i tried the white whale in the monorocket with all of my modules (many of them being digital. see picture below) it was fine. super solid. but the other night i moved the whole thing over to the enclave 6u and it's a very different story.

    the main thing that i noticed was that my LED screen on my Braids module would dim slightly when it was being pinged and that the internal clock on the white whale module would start to fluctuate. if i clocked it from an external clock the timing was solid again. when i unplug my monome braids goes back to full brightness and WW's clock becomes stable again.

    the enclave comes with the make noise power but i'm thinking of seeing if i can shoehorn the synthrotek power into that slim case.

    anyway, that's just my personal experience.

  • @mapmap: the latter situation is pushing the 5v rail to its limit. i'd externally power the grid and you won't see this issue.

  • @tehn.
    Yeah that's what I figured. I'll order the parts to externally power the 128

  • Wait.. What about a 40h?

  • @c1t1zen that's just greedy :)

  • 40h works. tested.

  • @c1t1zen: whoooa! i haven't even gotten to do this yet...

  • I still have to learn the scales and series settings next. But really 4 CV and 8 Triggers is awesome under 128x2 control.

  • scales = instant music

  • Admitting to being just a bit jealous. I've got some more mk control boards, maybe I need to mock up some more button pads now.

  • Wasn't expecting that, very cool! Ready for the next monome module ^^

  • Tehn: if you had the choice between a power bus board with 1.5A going to the 5v rail, or using the DIY aux power solution you provide, which would you recommend? WWTD?

    I know you mentioned that using main bus board power may cause fluctuations or interference throughout the system, but my question is whether this will be the case if there is ample power, 1.5A @ 5v.

  • @dudadiius: That exact topic has been on my mind as well. At the moment, I have a TipTop Audio Uzeus which definitely doesn't have enough juice on the 5v rail (70ma at +5v) so I have the ext5 to get me around the problem for the time being.

    However, ideally, I would absolutley prefer not having to worry about an additional power supply. That being said, I'll be looking into another power solution to power everything adequately so I can just plug in the dang USB and not worry about it.

  • Guys, I posted this earlier, but just to reiterate: I have been using the Whale without the extenal wall wart supply, and so far did not notice any issues. Tehn mentioned that there was some noise introduced in his case, but I do not hear it in mine. Maybe I am not as critical about it, but really. No issues whatsoever.
    Here is a picture of the case I am using it with. The whale is in the bottom left corner.


    1600 x 1600 - 1M
  • @laborcamp

    Cool. I have a feeling your power supply is significantly more beefy than mine though :)

    Last night I definitely noticed some weird behavior consistent with power fluctuations in my 3U of modules fed by the uZues PSU.

  • @laborcamp how much power on the 5v?

  • I am removing the 5v ic on my make noise busboard and using a 5v adapter, the total drain of all 16 modules and grid 128 leaves me with ~ 500ma +12v spare I think if I've done the math correctly..

  • @dudadius am not sure tbh... the monorocket mx104 specs say:
    3500ma Universal Switching PSU (120 - 240v)
    2 Monorocket 2.0 Distro board (base - 5v supplied on base top row only)
    and i have the Whale plugged in on the rail that requires a 5V adapter, for which I am using the Flight Of Harmony one:
    and the specs on that one say: Supplies up to 500mA of +5VDC voltage from the +12V rail.
    ... which seems a bit short of the "up to 600mA" requirement for the WW... so, I expected problems, but am not experiencing them...

  • @dudadius "if you had the choice between a power bus board with 1.5A going to the 5v rail, or using the DIY aux power solution you provide..."

    one data point: i'm using the ww with a 1.5A 5V rail, no problems. can't give any details on the board yet as it's not mine and has not been announced, but it should be somewhat soon.

  • Thanks, Goiks.

    i got mine working with the DIY kit...after some trial and error :)

  • hi all,

    I had another look at the 5v board for the grid ( as it seems likely I'll need one ) and I was thinking why not build a little "dynamic" usb switcher along side to swap focus on the grid between white whale and the computer -and/or down the road a bit,.. between other monome modules ( or aleph ) … -when finished I guess it'd look like a small usb hub with a row of switches to select the active port…

    Wouldn't be everyones cup of tea, needless to say… - especially as leaving the computer out of the equation is in large part the actual point.

    -can't see why some kind of passive switch wouldn't work ? - or even adapt a 3 or 4 way rca selector from the twodollar shop ( there's a thought )

    why I't be cool: ( at least in light of the live gig/project thing I'm working on )
    -which, in a nutshell is: From scratch to gather and sequence ( via the whale ) an evolving set from the airwaves ( radio, tv stations, shortwave interference etc.. ) along with using photocells and cheap wireless cctv feeds to gather lights and sounds from the surrounding small town urban environment to generate various continuous cv modulation sources.. (a little hit and miss and a real wandering learning curve though thus far a surprisingly rewarding / and interesting one… )

    without going into too much detail, I was thinking I could run the outs from the little modular / mixer into a mac running party van -with luck the 128 version by then )… and switch focus on the fly from whale to van, from arrange and compose to sample and effect.. ( roughly speaking ) -If memory serves, the latest serial osc is happy with monome's being disconnected / reconnected on the fly..? -need to test again.

    Anyways… it'd be really cool to hear thoughts from anyone… I don't know much about about part selection and sourcing .. and usually just tinker along with trial and error as my guide… -perhaps not the best approach in this case.

    one last thing:
    would setting the greyscales led brightness to a low level be helpful in light of over drawing the 5v rails ? -which won't even exist until post makenoise 5v adapter thing..?

    two last things:
    @tehn.. -graphical docs for the whale would be great especially if written with navigation via older devices in mind as well.. ( written and illustrated docs for tintinabulome and grainstorm -for example… were invaluable at the time )
    peace out.

  • OK, finally got everything up and running and spent some time with the tutorials...very clever device, but will require some practice to really make some music with it. Awesome stuff.

    One question:

    Is there another way to totally clear out a pattern, or even the entire state? (Other than copying a blank pattern over the pattern in question, for the former?)

  • @leaflitter

    Since Tehn has stated that this is the first in a series...yes a switching USB hub that provides the 5v power to the Grid would be ideal. So you could have your computer, then whatever Monome modules you have all selectable with a switch. Neat.

  • I am having hard time making this work:

    holding alt, keys from rightmost edge: forward, reverse, drunk, random
    holding alt, keys from leftmost edge: skip back, skip ahead, jump random

    can anyone shed a bit more light on exactly which keys to press, and in which screen view?
    If I understand this correctly this is to control the behavior of the "playback head", right? I pressed the bottom 4 keys on the right edge of the grid, while holding alt, but that had no effect on the direction of playback... What am i missing here?

  • Why not a little eurorack module that switches USB channels via CV. ;D Call and response, have it switch every fourth bar or so.

    @laborcamp I think you hold ALT (top right) and the row right below it the four buttons on the far right are the direction playback. Love that there is drunk & random.

  • @c1t1zen yup: you are spot on. "keys from rightmost edge" didn't quite do it for me... :-) but I understand now.
    And yes: DRUNK mode is super cool!
    Thank you!

  • even with tons of 5V available, you'll still be fluctuating the ground path which will cause some minor disturbances. there are instance where this doesn't matter, others where it might be annoying. i have the rowpower so 1.5A of 5V and use the grid w/o external power often, but if i want to make a recording, i'll definitely hook up the external power.

    the external power really isn't much trouble.

  • graphical charts on the way, they're looking great.

    we'll be refining the text manual as well. don't hesitate to edit the manual (it's a wiki) by the way-- if you find something really annoying.

  • less LEDs/brightness always means less power/noise

  • no quick-key at this point for blanking a pattern, will consider a good option-- any suggestions?

  • a usb "hub" (better called a switcher) with power would be interesting. keep in mind this would be exactly equivalent to pulling and inserting the cable, which i personally think is a very nice analogy to patching 3.5mm cables-- you visually SEE exactly what the grid is plugged into rather than adding another abstract layer (via switches). no reason you can't jack between the computer and modular on the fly, other than the ergonomics of usb jack positions on the computer.

    maybe just a simple panel with a usb jack A and B linked together-- the B would connect to the computer, and you could then panel-jack into the computer without reaching towards the computer. ah, this is a good idea perhaps.

  • yay. mine arrived.

  • had a bug report, so the issue github is officially open:


    feel free to add feature requests and we'll consider them.

  • also-- fear not-- firmware updates are easy. we won't charge you for a new chip etc. process is described here: http://monome.org/docs/modular:toolchain but we'll do a more in-depth tutorial soon (when a real update comes out.)

  • @tehn I also posted some notes for you in the direct message. should I post that to the bug report?

  • i did see that message but haven't had time to process it. i will add issues if needed when i review it, thanks!

  • @tehn: would it be possible to alter firmware for older, non-varibright monomes to show the triggers in the top left corner? they would just need to be on/off instead of variable. as it is right now, they are on all the time.

  • first button mash complete. white whale blows! so much... techno.

    I'll have a bash at tweaking firmware to suit my 2011 64 I think.

  • Hi oootini, how is it working/looking on the 2011 64?
    I'll be in the same situation really soon!

  • it's totally fine.

    I'll have a go at tweaking the firmware to make the LED contrast better - the difference between the higher and lower states could be made better I think.

  • How's the mk firmware update coming? Seriously thinking about this as a way to use my mk that would work without a hitch.

  • spent too many hours on the mk firmware today but just now had the breakthrough. needs a little more whale code, so there will need to be a whale update (easy to do) with the mk firmware update.

  • You are a beast! Thanks for all the hard work!

  • where would i start looking to play around with the set led functions?

    is this line:

    // show play position
    monomeLedBuffer[64+pos] = 7;

    setting the Led brightness for the playhead, for example.


  • whitewhale/main.c is the entire application. skeleton is the framework, i wouldn't suggest modifying much there.

    what's your first modification attempt?

  • oh nothing. i'm just fishing. i'll play with the thing first i think :)

    i have a bunch of c notes that i'll look at before trying anything.

  • ^^
    awesomeness indeed.