Flash Midi Server – I/O version. Work in progress

A couple of days ago, a guy called Alfonso posted a comment on the Flash Midi Server page asking if the app could pass data from a midi controller to flash. FMS had always been designed to send out data – as I was originally interested in using Flash as the driving force for generative audio apps. But adding Midi input to the setup should open some more interesting possibilities.
I spent a couple of hours setting up an Input version last night – and got a demo version working.

In the image, the controller positions on the Novation Nocturn are mirrored in the swf.

I need to add the new input functions to the current FMS server app – but expect an Input / Output Flash Midi Server to come in the next few days.

Cellular Automidi – Audio App

Presenting my latest Flash Music Toy App Thing –

Cellular AutoMidi!

Cellular AutoMidi is a generative music app, making “music” based on a modified Cellular Automata algorithm.

It’s an AIR app –

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE FOR FREE!


Check it out in action in the video below, first using Flash dynamic sounds, then using Flash Midi Server to control a synth –

Cellular AutoMidi – Generative Audio Flash AIR App from Lawrie Cape on Vimeo.

According to Wikipedia –

A cellular automaton is a discrete model studied in computability theory, mathematics, physics, complexity science, theoretical biology and microstructure modeling. It consists of a regular grid of cells, each in one of a finite number of states, such as “On” and “Off” . For each cell, a set of cells called its neighborhood is defined relative to the specified cell. An initial state (time t=0) is selected by assigning a state for each cell. A new generation is created (advancing t by 1), according to some fixed rule (generally, a mathematical function) that determines the new state of each cell in terms of the current state of the cell and the states of the cells in its neighborhood. For example, the rule might be that the cell is “On” in the next generation if exactly two of the cells in the neighborhood are “On” in the current generation, otherwise the cell is “Off” in the next generation. Typically, the rule for updating the state of cells is the same for each cell and does not change over time, and is applied to the whole grid simultaneously, though exceptions are known.

…..yep! Basically – each cell can be alive or dead. Once in a generation, each cell looks at it’s surrounding cells, and dies if it is lonely or overcrowded. If a dead cell has an optimum amount of neighbors, it will come to life! Each generation, all the cells which have come to life will sound a note. The notes are assigned based on the cell’s y position, and are all in the pentatonic scale.

There’s a few controls at the bottom which change how things work too.

  • Start/Stop – Starts/Stops the automation.
  • Load – Loads a pattern from the text box.
  • Export – Exports the current pattern to the clipboard. You can send it to friends, or save it for later, then load in with the load button.
  • Clear down – Stop and clear the current pattern.
  • Law Mode – An error when coding the cell rules gave this other odd mode.
  • Skip Audio – Just show the cell animations.
  • Sing Dead – Instead of singing the recently revived notes, sing for the recently deceased.
  • Note duration – Alter the system speed.

Also, along the top there are banks of preset systems. Click play to start a saved pattern, and click assign to assign the pattern currently displayed to that button. You can also trigger each pattern with the keyboard keys 1-8.

When you press Export, your pattern is automatically copied to the clipboard, so you can save it, or share it with people. Here’s a pattern I made – you can load it by pasting it into the load box, and pressing Load!

1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,2 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1

HINT – When drawing patterns, symmetrical patterns seem to evolve nicely.

The app is fully compatible with Flash Midi Server (my Flash to MIDI audio interface app) – it checks to see if it is running when the app is launched. If it’s not, then it uses fancy Flash Player 10 dynamic audio! I’m hoping to roll this out to the Flash Midi Server class soon – so any app which tried to access the midi server and fails, will use the dynamic audio as a backup. I’ll keep you posted!

In case you missed it, you can download the app here – it weighs in at just 79kb including icons! The screenshot images above are 79k! If you don’t have Adobe Air installed, the link will prompt you to download that too.

DOWNLOAD IT HERE!

I’d love to hear what you think of it – and see any patterns you come up with, so please post them in the comments.
Have fun!
Law.

–By downloading the app, you are agreeing to the licence below —

Copyright (c) 2010, Lawrie Cape

All rights reserved.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS”
AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR
SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER
CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY,
OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE
OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

Arduino Sewing Machine Guitar Pedal

A few days ago I saw a sewing machine pedal in a charity shop, and wondered if I could turn it into a guitar effects pedal. Through a bit of re-wiring and few lines of Processing, it turns out you can. The hardest bit was getting the pedal apart!

The pedal is basically a spring loaded potentiometer, so I wired it to send the values, through an Arduino to a Processing App, and from there, to the virtual guitar effects software – Guitar Rig.

It’s not a bad start, but it might take me a while to make a full copy of one of these –

New game – PuzzBox

I’ve finally got all the contract details sorted with one of my new games – PuzzBox, a stylish little Simon-esque puzzle game – sponsored by the guys over at BubbleDevil.

It’s a basic “copy the number pattern as it gets longer” memory puzzle game – but I’ve jazzed it up with some PV3D, particle effects and some displacement maps which give a nice glitchy effect.

Give it a play and let me know what you think.


OpenCV thoughts and Flash BitmapData fun

Following on from my first post about my new generative audio project, I’ve been delving deeper into some of the libraries avaliable for Processing. One that sounded really interesting and powerful was OpenCV (Computer Vision). Peter Kirn over at Create Digtal Motion had this to say about it –

It’s a relatively easy thing for computers to “see” video, but “computer vision” goes a step further, applying a wide range of techniques by which computers can begin to understand and process the content of a video input. These techniques tend toward the primitive, but they can also produce aesthetically beautiful results. The best place to start with computer vision has long been the standard library, OpenCV. A free (as in beer and freedom) library developed by Intel and with ongoing use in a variety of applications, OpenCV is a terrific, C/C++-based tool not just for things like motion tracking, but video processing in general. OpenCV gets a lot of support in the C++-based OpenFrameWorks, but that doesn’t mean Java and Processing have to be left out of the fun.

With loads of ideas for how to implement this into my generative audio project floating around, I started following Andy Best’s great tutorial here.

I had a few issues setting up the library – so let me offer a word of warning – Make sure you download version 1.0 if you want to use OpenCV with Processing, and not the feautred download – which is a later build.

Among the fun things I got running, was this terrifying image difference threshold thing –

It reminded me of a great bit of Code Zevan posted over at ActionSnippet – AS3 Frame Differencing. Which then in turn reminded me of a couple of BitmapData experiments I never put up on here. So here they are!

I’ve wrapped them up into 1 block of code, as they are essentially very similar. The code will produce pictures like those below, by drawing sections of the webcam image into a Bitmap – either in random rectangles, or in sequential lines. These produce different, interesting effects.

//Boolean var to draw either random rectangles, or consecutive lines
var drawRandom:Boolean = false;
//Differing framerate for each type.
if (drawRandom) {
	stage.frameRate = 120;
} else {
	stage.frameRate = 50;
}
//Set up the Camera
var camera:Camera = Camera.getCamera();
camera.setMode(550,400,60);
var video = new Video(camera.width, camera.height);
video.attachCamera(camera);
addChild(video);
//Determine the maximum dimensions of the random rectangles
var drawWidth:int  = 25;
var drawHeight:int = 25;
//Boolean var for if app is currently drawing
var drawIt:Boolean = false;
//Counter to make lines sequential.
var lineCount:int = 0;

var BMD:BitmapData = new BitmapData(550,400);
var B:Bitmap = new Bitmap(BMD);
addChild(B);
B.x=550;
//Start and pause the drawing on any keypress
stage.addEventListener(KeyboardEvent.KEY_UP, toggleSnap);

function snap(e:Event):void {

	var r1:int;
	var r2:int;
	var r3:int;
	var r4:int;

	if (drawRandom) {

		//Start X and Y
		r1 = Math.round(Math.random()*(550-drawWidth));
		r2 = Math.round(Math.random()*(400-drawHeight));
		//Width and height of clip
		r3 = Math.round(Math.random()*drawWidth);
		r4 = Math.round(Math.random()*drawHeight);

	} else {
		lineCount+=1;
		if (lineCount==stage.stageHeight) {
			toggleSnap(null);
		}
		r1 = 0;
		r2 = lineCount;
		r3 = 550;
		r4 = 1;
	}
	BMD.draw(video, null, null, null, new Rectangle( r1, r2, r3, r4 ), true );
}

function toggleSnap(e:KeyboardEvent):void {
	if (drawIt) {
		drawIt = false;
		removeEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, snap);
	} else {
		drawIt = true;
		addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, snap);
	}
}

Cheers.