Monome emulation

April 3, 2009 at 3:16 am Leave a comment

Up until a couple of days ago, the BlipBox did monome emulation in firmware by implementing the binary protocol that the monome people have generously open sourced. This however turned out to be well cumbersome since two protocols had to be supported in firmware, and you still had to have software (e.g. MonomeSerial) running between the client app and the device.

We then tried a new approach by implementing the OSC protocol that MonomeSerial speaks with user applications. This turned out to be a lot easier than expected, and yielding better results overall.

Although some wrinkles remain to be ironed out it worked a treat. So here’s a 2 minute video of us playing with flin, an extremely fun little monome program described as “a cyclic poly-rhythm MIDI music box”. Enjoy!

It works like this:
BlipBox speaks binary BlipProtocol to some Java software (available in CVS) over USB serial interface. Java software speaks Open Sound Control to Max/MSP, which is running flin. Max/MSP outputs MIDI events to Ableton Live, which sends it on to two VST plugins: B4 and Massive.
I’m sure it must be possible to cut out one or two of those steps…!

We should also mention, at every opportunity, that monome was the main inspiration for the BlipBox project both in terms of technology, diy spirit, community and probably lots more ways I can’t think of right now. Thanks people! Oh and let’s not forget we couldn’t have done it without the arduino.


Entry filed under: BlipBox, News and Updates.

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