New App : Monolase (8-bit modulated delay/sampler)

  • So finished a new app. It's based on the ciat-lonbarde Cocolase.

    It's also incorporated as a Page in my next update of The Party Van, but here it is as a separate app.


    Two 8-bit sampler/delays being modulated by a “Sidrassi” brain, consisting of five oscillators which can be audiorate or LFO, and triangle or square. These modulation sources can be patched to different parameters (as well as each other) to create complex patterns. There are an additional three “rambrains” which are some of the oscillators sampled at the rate of other oscillators, for even more complex waveforms.

    Each delay/sampler has control over input, feedback, and pitch. You can patch the modulation sources to “flip” which controls playhead direction, “skip” which controls playhead position, and “afec” which controls playback speed.

  • trying this when i get home


  • WOW ok I have a lot to say about this, the first of which is this is awesome!

    However, there are some things here that I don't quite understand, and some design choices that I think are confusing.

    1: How exactly does modifying the oscillators work? It seems as though pushing the top row buttons cycles through preset settings for each osc, but I'd like to know what those presets are so I know exactly what I'm doing. Also, you can have the osc. modulate each other right? How do you control that, and how can you tell if it's happening? (since it's all randomized at load, it seems as though some of them are already modulating each other)

    It seems to me that it would be nice to have some kind of readout on each osc., and even if you can't modify them from the gui, just being able to tell a little more of what is going on would be helpful, I think.

    2: Some of the nomenclature is confusing, for instance "ip" and "afec"? From reading the documentation, I know what they do, but that's a very un-informative labeling for that.

    3: Under the "Info" button, the bottom paragraph is all written over itself, which might just be a weird text wrap because my monitor resolution isn't big enough, but I don't know.

    But anyway, this seems really cool so far!

  • Howdie do.

    So it was brought to my attention that the serialosc bpatcher has a little quirk I need to fix, so I'll do that and upload it. It works you may have to send a /change message to get it to go to /coco

    re: questions

    1. The buttons alternate between changing the audiorate/lfo, and then triangle/square.
    So if osc1 is an audiorate triangle, pressing the button once makes it an LFO triangle, then pressing it again makes it LFO square, then again makes it audiorate square.
    The last 3 buttons (the S&H ones) effect some of the other oscillators similarly.

    I do plan on adding control over the rate (the only thing you can't currently change) once I incorporate Arc stuff, but I didn't think to add it to the interface. I figured it's such a gnarly instrument that specific control over rate (other than audio rate or LFO) wasn't super critical.

    2. The nomenclature I know is weird but I stuck with what the actual Cocolase uses as it's what I've modelled it after. Plus, I wouldn't know what to call "ip". I guess it could be modulation multiplier, but that ends up getting wordier.
    There's also very few controls, so after reading what they do, it kind of (hopefully) makes sense.

    3. I'll take a look at the info button panel too (when I get home).

    As far as overall look/design, I made it look pretty (I really like the GUI once you get modulation going) but this was primarily built to be a Page inside my other app (The Party Van), so I figured it was cool enough to make a standalone too. That adds to the reason why it's a bare bones GUI and stuff.

    If people want the numbers, they are in the code, and I can just expose them.

  • Also occurred to me that you won't see the difference between triangle/square on non-varibrightness monomes as it will just turn on/off, but on varibrightness once, when in triangle mode, it smoothly fades in/out.

  • Ya, I like the GUI, it's really nice looking, when I said "design choices" I was mostly just talking about the nomenclature.

    Oh, the other thing I was going to ask was if there you're planning on adding global tempo control. That would really make specific oscillator rate control not as important.

    I was also wondering if you could explain the last 3 oscillators a little more, or if you could link to somewhere that explains it.

  • Well the tempos/timing of the oscillators are pretty arbitrary. If they were restricted to multiples of each other, the intermodulation would become quite limited.

    The last 3 oscillators just produce sort of weird/modulated waveforms from jump street.

    Kind of like this:

    You can see the pure waves, then the 'rambrain' ones (S&H ones) then some mixed together ones.

    Throwing audiorate oscillators in the mix changes things up as well as you can get some weird synthesis stuff happening if it's going fast enough (like an audio rate oscillator mapped to "flip" will make the waveform sort of freeze in position as it's going back/forth over and over on the same spot, reading that small section like a waveform sample).

  • This app looks crazy and amazing, btw. Thanks for sharing. Although it's doing something altogether different the sounds it makes reminds me of this old chuck app called Grain (

    Here's a little video I did a while back playing around with grain.

    planning on making the jump to serialosc soon.

  • ohhh shit, ciat lombarde app..


  • @egon

    Yeah that sounds great. I think I saw that vid a while ago.

    I'll probably add some very slight declicking at some point too as it can get really clickity (which I prefer, to it sounding smooth) but when jumping around at audio rate, it turns into a different sound.


    ayep. I love the stuff. I was a pretty much strictly hardware guy before moving onto the monome. I plan on doing a Sidrassi/Tetrazzi inspired app at some point too.

  • Swoon this reminds me of my PD days...
    So much fun to play with and I haven't even messed with a mic yet.

    It would be neat to incorporate a function (unless I am not understanding) for the sound/silence while in sample mode
    For instance adding for as long as the button is held down an injection of whatever audio is currently playing at the playhead.

    Not only is this app very wonderful but it sure is pretty too.

  • aaah, I think I'm starting to get this, it's meant to be a lot more random and exploratory(?) than I was thinking.

  • Yeah, it's meant to be gritty and a bit unpredictable

  • a mangling cellar dweller for sure

    i posted this over on the madrona labs soundplane forum but i thought it may interest you as well

    i was thinking wouldn't it be wonderful to still use the monome as and indicator of connections made and a portion of the soundplane to act as the body contacts, but to take it a step further then the amount of pressure (either summed and averaged or from only one of the presses) would change how much the speed or playhead movement are effected. Im thinking this may be harder said then done but i will have to take a look at your patch (oh thanks by the way for filling my jump-soot with cold water in order to persuede me to hop on the max 6 lint rider, i'll be riding her for months now)

    on the other hand a simpler mod might be to use a smaller bit of soundplane to act the same way the monome does. unlike the previous idea you would just press a single button and the pressure would then only change how much modulation was applied to that parameter.

    maybe a mod for the monome could be as long as there is one button pressed per row it would indicate the summed modulation sources so if two were pressed only the one would show its modulation level. every time a button per row was turned off it would have to be polled and another led (if it was the one currently being used for indication) would have to be assigned the led output. this would just be an icicle cake for me as it would mean less compustarin'

    also i have a question pertaining to the GUI. what are the four (im assuming level indicators) directly to the right of [/sys/prefix/coco]

    thank you for the bottom of my sole to the top of my whole soul hole, this app reminds me.

    again thank you so much what a wonderful gift to the community (and i will be trying out party van today)


  • Hmm that's interesting. I don't have a soundplane so I can't really build/test stuff. I did try to make the patch as easy to mod/understand with nearly everything annotated and stuff. If there are any questions regarding the guts I'll be happy to help/chat.

    In terms of taking sensor/dynamic input, modeling after the Cocostuber would be the way I would go. It lets you modulated on pressure input or sampling one sensor via the other etc...

    I was originally gonna try to do something like that but went with just Monome (and soon Arc) control.

    The meters are for the first 4 inputs on your sound card. So if it's mono 1/2 will display. It's not adjustable (which inputs you use) unless you get into the code, but I figured if I made it generic like that it would be useful enough.

  • oh yeah the soundplane stuff i will be trying to make on its arrival. I am just trying to get my juices flowing.

    i havent spelunked the code-heart of monolapse just yet but knowing its been annotated is good news.

    i had never even heard of this hardware so you sort of sent me down that particular rabbit hole as well. I will try to recreate the cocostuber as i really feel the soundplanes over 1000 samples per second can handle the slightest nuances required for it.

    oh the arc would be a great addition to this app, i myself am hoping for an eventul setup of a smaller monome than my 256 the soundplane and an arc.

    if you don't mind me asking how long have you been working with object oriented programming?

    have you seen any of the folktek instruments? these instrument makers remind me of eachother to a small degree

    thank you for your reply i will certainly let you know what comes of this.

    edit: hmm i have a 3 octave marimba that i really only use the sharp/flat side of much (an example of what i do with it and the monome is here if you are interested that according to this link ( i bet i could make some kind actual barres.

    ok i am trying to wrap myself around the cocostuber you are saying to recreate the entire instrument or just the stuber module in combination with the monolapse?

  • Dig the tunes. I love that gritty/lofi kind of vibe.

    The Party van is definitely better annotated and contains the same module, so take a peek in there while you're at stuff. The nonpresentation view of this patch isn't as tidy as it could be as I just copy/pasted it from the main patch and adjusted it to work on it's own (The Party Van uses the very top row as "pages" so I needed to change things around for that).

    As far as programming. It's a funky answer as it's 7ish years, but that's brutally misleading. I've started from scratch three times over that period (I'm currently on my fourth "go" at Max). In the past I'd do about 6-8 months, then quit for about 2 years etc... I always wanted to do the stuff I'm doing now (live sampling/manipulation) but I never learned enough to actually do it, so I'd lose interest after a bit. This last time around (started around August last year) I decided to jump into the deep end and build the core modules for The Party Van, and I learned a ton doing that. I'm nothing if not resourceful, so I'd figure out how to make things work, even though I'm sure most of my patch(es) are probably "doing things the wrong way".

    You learn as you go though I guess.

    I have seen folktek before. I've always seen them as the shittier, waay more expensive, closed source version of ciat-lonbarde. What I love about the ciat-lonbarde stuff is that most of the schematics are on the webpage, and he's made a ton of "paper circuit" designs that are super easy to DIY. The prices for his stuff have gone up (most in the $1000+ range at the moment, where as my cocolase was $600 when I bought it), they are hand crafted, and he knows what the fuck he is doing.

    The soundplane does seem interesting but I'm not sure it's for me because of how I use stuff/electronics. 90% of the time it's in conjunction with an instrument (generally drums, though not exclusively), so my interface is an extension of the instrument I'm playing, and not a separate instrument onto itself. I like the monome/arc for they're simplicity, and limited nature. Having to program for the Arc is perfect for what I want as even though it's tricky as shit to figure out how to do everything I want with only two knobs, I really only have 2 knobs worth of "time/headspace" in terms of playing something else. This is also why The Party Van has tons of buffer analysis/artificial intelligence/automation stuff. (It will have more as it grows too).

  • taking a short break from doing some live sampling and editing with this killer app. driving a Grendel Drone Commander through this thing is wild. all i can say is that this is a lot of fun to use! thank you for this.

    also ++++ on folktek. was reminded of them as well while i was using monolase. i have yet to recieve my order from them.

    edit: had to document this cool drone and pretty waveform i got with your creation :)

  • Hah, that's a great display on the GUI. I love how much that part varies. I honestly didn't put much thought/work into that part, but am super pleased with how the display part came out.

    It's just some creative use/implementation of 5 [scope~] objects.

  • again an incrdible app,THANK YOU!

  • WhEEEEEEEE!! Thanks boss for a great App. I just got my Monome and this
    is the first thing I got up and running. I have a real Cocolace for a few years
    and this is the real deal-but cleaner and no ally-gator clips! THANKS!

  • I recognize that user name. How's it going man? (I'm 'kriista' on youtube)

    I've got an updated version that I plan on putting up as soon as I finish getting the Party Van update out (which includes the updated version of this too).

    It's not very different, but just has some overall treatment to the sound quality, mainly on the output side.

  • I just started playing with monolase, and love it. On my spring 2010-era gs128, the top row never lights up at all, although it sounds like pressing the buttons cycles through the different oscillator settings. The row works fine generally; I get the same result with the Max5 and Max6 runtimes; I *think* I have varibrightness (at least I can vary brightness with monome_test), though I may be misunderstanding the notion. Any thoughts? I'm guessing my monome predates "real" varibrightness. Thanks!

  • It's only the 2011+ ones that do varibrightness (per button), so yours won't have that.

    I do plan on changing the way I handle backward compatibility so that you at least see some binary on/off (won't be able to tell triangle from square wave though).

  • Ah, got it. Thanks, Rodrigo. Thanks also for the tip about ciat-lonbarde. I'm about to build an old Mr. Grassi -- just waiting for parts to arrive.

  • Good stuff.

    If you get into more of them this guy that I've been in talks with has started making PCB versions of a bunch of the paper circuits. Much easier to build and most have lazer cut acrylic enclosures, for extra class.

  • that url seems to be not found, too bad...

  • Weird, it comes up for me.

    Here's the etsy directly.

  • I wish I could tun this little thing on my eeepc and use the monome and the arc...

    and the midi message "matrix"

    Any idea ?

    Party Van is too big for this little computer...