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Messages - sam

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Questions / Re: Sensor size
« on: February 12, 2018, 07:47:46 PM »
Hello Rathwulf, you can always purchase a sprout or biodata kit from me at https://squareup.com/store/electricityforprogress , or perhaps the dudes are still selling their units with the iOS cables.  But i think you will need to buy online, unsure if there is anywhere besides myself and Commend in NYC who has any stock.

If you are attaching to thin leaves, i would recommend either cutting down the electrode pads or you could purchase these clamps (w/ 3.5mm plug and which need routine cleaning). The gel electrode pads used are sticky but minimally damage the plant, i've had trodes on one of my snake plants for a year, it grows under them.

Questions / Re: MidiSprout controlling 8channel Switch Relay
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:27:27 PM »
Well, after reviewing your code it all looks fine to me.  But i think that you may have cut out too much of the functioning code while removing the LED parts.  Whenever you modify an existing codebase or circuit, i very much recommend sticking with as much of the original design as possible, that way debugging can be very easy.

That is why i gave suggested pin numbers in my last post, you can avoid conflicting pins and still have the debugging/visual feedback from the LEDs. 

I think you will need to change the serial baud rate and add some debug statements to see where your code is not working.  Your relay statements look like they are all in the correct places, but there might be something that is going wrong now that there is no light show and also no MIDI data output.  The LED array is used for a few functions (like the Control Voltage output mod on controlLED) and that is likely the bug why you are not seeing the desired outcomes.  Perhaps comment out checkControl() from the main loop and setControl() in analyzeSample

Or... I'd suggest that if you added the LEDs and changed to the digital control pins i suggested, that way you get both points of feedback during your debugging and setup.  you can always turn off the led light show by setting noteLEDs = 0 (could use a toggling button or a switch polled in the main loop)

One more important thing to note here ... it seems ridiculously dangerous to attach mains voltage relays to a plant ;)  or worse yet to a human.  You will need to be extremely careful with your circuit! The magnetic relays are optically isolated on your board, and that is very good (i think you know what you are doing).  But i just didn't want to underemphasize to others who might see this project, it is very danger to deal with mains voltages!

Questions / Re: MidiSprout controlling 8channel Switch Relay
« on: January 20, 2018, 09:19:15 PM »
Send me a link to your code and I'd be happy to help.  This should be a fairly easy modification with the right digital pins.

Questions / Re: USB midi not responding
« on: January 16, 2018, 09:18:04 PM »
Alinta, what type of midi-usb cable do you have?  the cheap intefaces do not work with the Sprout (nor many MIDI devices).  I have written a couple posts about this topic on the forum, the cheapest ones just don't have the parts inside of them. Even an old casio or other keyboard should be able to give you instant results .

MIDI is the hardest part for most users of this device, as the user is expected to create and amplify sounds.  It does take a bit of work and money to get a computer based MIDI music synthesis system setup.  There are a vast number of MIDI to USB interfaces , but depending on where you are located yes $100 is a high pricen for that emu unit.  An electronic musician might spend a large amount on a high quality and versatile MIDI interface.

Questions / Re: MidiSprout controlling 8channel Switch Relay
« on: January 10, 2018, 12:14:12 PM »
Hello Julio, yes that is a great idea to control a set of relays with the sprout.  How much programming experience do you have, and is this your first electronics project?  Your modifications are very doable, but it will take a bit of solder and code!

1.) what type of relay board are you using?  Many relay boards for arduino have 8 individual digital input pins, some use SPI/I2C, and others can use Serial to trigger the relays.   I think we have 8 digital pins available on the sprout, so even the most basic or diy relay setup should be able to be 'wired' to the sprout.

2.) You can easily modify the code to turn a relay on when a note is triggered and off when an note is updated. 
   a. First you should increase the note polyphony from 5 to 8 (to match your relays). 
   b. Second, In setNote() add  some code to turn on the relay digitalWrite(relayPin[ i ],HIGH);  where relayPin[] is an array containing the pin number for each of the relay inputs and "i" is the currently available 'note' of the 8 available from polyphony
   c. Third, in checkNote() add some code to turn off the relay when the note is expired digitalWrite(relayPin[ i ],LOW);

This method will have the relays mirror the notes and durations as they turn on and off.

Good luck!  please post some more info of your build!


Questions / Re: USB midi not responding
« on: December 26, 2017, 09:55:59 AM »
Most MIDI adapters will work, it is the lower end units which do not adhere to optical isolated MIDI standard which do not work.  This topic has been covered in detail in a few other posts on the forum, I use an EMU MIDI to USB cable


Questions / Re: Midi Monitor not responding
« on: December 20, 2017, 10:34:57 PM »
Hello Stacy.  We have lots of videos and posts on the forum which should be able to give you an idea of what it takes to use the MIDI Sprout.  I recommend you go through all the posts (there aren't too many), look at the youtube page, and see what I have said to other users.

In summary, if you have never used MIDI before or do not have any synthesizer experience then that's going to be the hardest part for you.  The sprout itself is easy - attach the trodes, plug it, in turn the knob.  But then you need to know what to do with the 5 note polyphonic MIDI data and have the equipment to generate sounds

Questions / Re: midi problem
« on: December 20, 2017, 10:26:01 PM »
Hey trey i got your email, thought i'd respond here on the forum also. I'm happy to discuss with you, but you will need to reach out to Data Garden if you need a replacement.

There have been many users who report the sprout 'banging out a string of C notes'.  Please clarify tho, do you ever get different notes (when squeezing the electrodes with your fingers really tightly) or is it always just a C?  Can you view the data on your computer using a MIDI Monitor, or record the MIDI data to view the notes?  Remember that the Sprout is limited to 5 note polyphonic, so your mono mother will only be pushing a quarter of the notes. 

I explain this phenomena in two ways:

1. It is very common when using the sprout to have the notes centered around a 'root', while many users report the root note being C it varies based on the type of plant and activity level.  By turning the threshold knob clockwise, the density of notes will reduce and the root become apparent.  I have also found a training period is often needed with plants when first starting to use a plant, allow the biodata system to run for a couple hours and then check back on the sounds.

2. It is possible that there is an error in manufacturing or programing.  I have had only a few early kickstarter sprouts returned with 'single note' issue, and out of those only 1 genuinely had a programming issue.  Other possible hardware issues include a bad LMC555 timer, burning out the electrode input by plugging-in/touching other electronic devices, or a user error when managing the MIDI data.

So, in short, root note triggering is a part of normal biodata measurement (a repeated fluctuation in conductivity over the same delta/change amount), but if you put the trodes in your hand and squeeze and you only get a single pitch then you may need hardware support.


Questions / Re: Midi-USB-Galaxy s8 phone?
« on: December 04, 2017, 01:35:03 PM »
Hello Melanie.   Yes 'most' usb-MIDI devices will work with this setup.  It is very easy with a USB OTG (on the go) cable to attach any USB device to your android phone.  Don't cheap out and get some $4 USB-midi device as they are electronically crap ;)!!!

And most android MIDI enabled apps will work.  Its fairly easy, and has nothing to do with the Sprout (it is all MIDI capable USB devices and compatibility with apps).

I'd suggest focusing your research on USB MIDI devices and OTG cables which work specifically with phone, I'm certain the sprout will work fine!  Stay tuned for my BlueTooth BLE devices!

Questions / Re: Breadboard or Prebuilt?
« on: December 04, 2017, 01:26:33 PM »
Hi Martin, yes kits are available directly from me at my store:  https://squareup.com/store/electricityforprogress

Also everything is open source, so you can spin your own boards and source parts as needed.

feel free to send me an email if you want to discuss kits further:  samuel (dot) cusumano (at) gmail (dot) com

Questions / Re: How to open MidiSprout Tools in Mac OSx
« on: November 23, 2017, 01:35:02 PM »
Cajak, sorry you are having trouble.   Basically, don't bother with the MIDI Sprout Tools application, it is a novelty toy app and doesn't do anything important for your Sprout.  It's a PD app and i just built it cause i was having fun teaching students about Pure Data and visual programming.  If you have trouble setting up PDextended on your computer, just avoid it. 

You should spend your energy focusing on using MIDI and moving that data around your computer, which is a significant challenge in itself!


Questions / Re: Intermittent Midi Sprout
« on: November 23, 2017, 01:32:21 PM »
I've done a bit more research (some of which was fun and destructive ;) and I'm thinking that an entirely new change algorithm and note mapping is probably appropriate at this point.  The MIDI Sprout runs the most basic application of my Biodata Sonification codebase and there are huge areas of growth and improvement which I have been pursuing over the past couple years following the Kickstarter.  I have a newer 'wifi' enabled biodata module which does not have this 'C' note avoidance nor does it 'constantly bang one note', all of which required a significantly more intelligent algorithm which can provide a 'human' observer with a better sonic experience.  I've also noticed how mishandling of the electrodes (touching things which would obviously destroy an electronic device - like a toaster) can cause many problems which can only be fixed by replacing the 555 timer... honestly i'm amazed that anyone can blow out a 555 timer, but its exciting that our MIDI Sprout community has explored deep enough to surprise even the engineer!

Of course I always come back to the fact that "Plants don't perform on demand" and "all of our greatest expectations are based on fragile human senses and sensibilities".

I'm very proud of Jon from Data Garden as he has pushed to develop an application to play the MIDI Sprout on an iphone. This app takes all of the scaling and annoying notes out of the picture and utilizes an additional algorithm to play pleasant tones using samples and synthesis.  It is only for iphones (hey don't complain i'm an android user too) and it is a great step forward for Data Garden.  I suggest grabbing an iPhone to USB 'camera connection kit' and trying out the app! 


Questions / Re: DAWless use of MIDIsprout ?
« on: November 23, 2017, 01:22:15 PM »
Randolf, it is easy to modify the code, but with that said it does take some skill and hardware to be able to 'easily' reprogram the board.

I have made some significant improvements to the code, and have added a tactile button which enables multiple scales to be chosen, but even my newest code doesn't yet 'save' selections like scale or midi channel to the eeprom.  It would only take a couple tests to get this up and running, though.  So if you are a programmer or have the hacking-bug then i'm sure you can get it all up and running on your Sprout by popping in a pushbutton attached to pin A1 and using the 'arduino shield' code which has a few extra modes like scaling and channel selection!

Questions / Re: Kit Construction Question: Component Voltages
« on: November 23, 2017, 01:17:40 PM »
The capacitors can mostly be any value, since we are only dealing with low voltages (~5v).  essentially you want to have caps rated for at least double the operating voltage, so 16v would be file.  But I'd say "any caps from your junk bin should be able to build the galvanometer with a 100k resistor and the magical 555 timer IC".

For your second question, yes it is very easy to use an Arduino Uno (or any arduino) to run the Biodata code and attach to the 555 galvanometer circuit.  I have instructions to build a 'Biodata Arduino Shield' on my github site here. I also have kits for the Arduino Shield with solderable circuit board (kit or assembled by request) available in my Electricity for Progress Store.

Development / Re: Error while uploading midi sprout code
« on: November 08, 2017, 02:59:08 PM »
I'm very glad that you have 'rolled your own' biodata sonification system. 

Your compiling issue in the Arduino IDE can be easily solved by changing the 'board' to 'Arduino Uno'.  You likely have a board profile for a 'Naked 328p on a breadboard', which would need the battery code to appear above the setup() function.  Change the board and recompile!


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