Tonome is an matrix style sample player in the same vein as Tonematrix and Monome. This version is the result of a lot of attempts to get something which is usable. I think this is close but not quite there yet but I’m going to release the code as I’m tired of playing around with it and want to leave it for a while.
Source code here.
You can get a flavour of what’s involved from these screenshots below.
- Multiple panels with a nice sliding transition between them including a new diagonal transition.
- Matrix buttons with a toggle action so that as you slide over the buttons you are either setting or clearing. The buttons will also flash as the assigned sound is being played.
- Bar display to show which bar is currently being played.
- Touch buttons to navigate between panels which are animated to flash along to the bar display.
I couldn’t decided on how to present the settings for volume and BPM so I have placed them into a fairly boring setting view for the moment. There should be some kind of slide in panel which has these on the main interface but I’ll put that off for the moment. You can exit the touch panels by ESC on PC and the ‘back’ key on the phone.
The assigned samples are fixed for the moment as this is still technically a demo/prototype. You can see in the code where they are inserted if you want to change them.
I have only tried this in the emulator for the moment as my Nexus phone won’t talk to my PC anymore 🙁 The android project is bundled with the source. The emulator gives me a laughable 4fps which is unusable so there may be an issue with running it on a real phone. If it works can someone tell me.
I studied tonematrix to see what notes the application used as they have been chosen specifically to go together. These are A3,B3,D3,E3,G3,A4,B4,D4..and so on.
I spent ages trawling freesound to try and get some decent samples that sounded good together. I can’t say I have succeeded. This stuff is hard. I went through a ton of them before selecting the final choice. I’m still unhappy with how they sound. A future plan is to forego samples altogether and instead have OSC support but in the meantime the samples demonstrate the intention of how to build up a composition from the different panels. There are two panels with ‘lead’ type sounds, one bass panel and one drum machine panel with some nice samples from a TR909.
There is a subtlety in the sample choice which I should point out as you are bound to notice it. The samples on the second (right) panel appear to play together in polyphony okay. There is always going to be a slight delay in the launching of each sample but if your lucky it shouldn’t be noticeable. The samples on the first panel, on the other hand, don’t seem to sit so well together once you start to bunch them up on the same bar. For the first 4 notes on my PC it plays fine but thereafter increasing the number of simultaneous notes makes a scratching sound appear. I am convinced this is something to do with the sample itself as the other samples don’t exhibit this behaviour. If I get a chance I will try and fix this somehow. You can always insert your own samples. If you get some decent ones and want to share then drop me a line.
I think there the core of a nice control panel for audio here. It would require proper message support for OSC messages but should be doable. I haven’t managed to find a suitable OSC library (with the appropriate license) yet but I will keep looking.
Re-pitching Audio Samples
I tried to use SoundTouch to re-pitch a selected audio sample but could only get it to work on the desktop version as I put together a kind of hacky solution.
- Loading the base sample and re-pitching.
- Creating a WAV file sample image with the re-pitched data in memory.
- Creating a Sound class but hi-jacking the file load to pull the data from my in-memory WAV file image.
This actually worked really well but only for the Desktop since Android uses SoundPool to manage audio samples. You can find the code in a class called “AudioHelper”. As I say it never made the final cut but might prove useful if you are targeting a desktop application only.
Source code here. As usual Apache 2.0 license.
I am in the process of implementing OSC support. When I get this working the plan is to show how to hook the panel up to MIDI. I’ll probably drop the sample playing aspect if this as well as make the UI look a bit nicer.