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Messages - sam

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Questions / Re: iConnectMIDI 1 not working?
« on: March 02, 2017, 11:26:18 AM »
I'm glad that you figured it out!  I was surprised when you said it doesn't light up, and I'm very happy it was just the batteries. 

I think i'll do a video of 'debugging' where i take out the battery box, reattach it, insert batteries, and test the light show using the 'electrode' pads on the circuit board.

Good luck with the iOS connection, it should work just fine once you get our iPad configured to read the midi input.

Questions / Re: Midi to IOS Converter - Which one?
« on: February 28, 2017, 07:32:38 PM »
Ah yes, almost any USB-MIDI interface should do the trick, I always recommend the Emu X MIDI.   Don't cheap out and get some $5 midi interface, it won't work reliably, but at the same time you don't need anything huge or crazy.

While there are specific iOS MIDI devices out there, the key to working with iOS devices is an adapter.  Apple's infinite wisdom for proprietary ports requires you to purchase a "USB Camera Kit" in order for the iPad or iPhone to connect to a USB device (whether a camera, memory stick, printer, or ... MIDI interface!).

I don't have one of the fancy lightning bolt iphones, but i often use my old iPad2 with a 30 pin camera kit to connect my Emu USB interface to the MIDI Sprout and the Animoog app.

Questions / Re: MIDI Sprout Tools for Windows
« on: February 25, 2017, 10:27:55 AM »
Oh sweet, i love the old clavinova's!  Yes, you can connect your sprout to the Clavinova very easily.  By default from Yamaha the MIDI channel should be set to 1, but over many years I'm sure the Clav has had its 'buttons pushed' and it may not be listening for MIDI data on channel 1 still.  You will want to connect the MIDI Sprout to the Clavinova's MIDI Input Jack.  Follow these instructions to change the MIDI Input channel on the Clav to Channel 1.

Also, yes you can use your USB-MIDI interface UM-2G with the Sprout, heck you could plug two MIDI Sprouts into the UM-2g and have yourself a 'duet'!  You will need to install the Roland drivers if you are on a Windows computer, and also have some sort of audio synthesis program like Ableton Live, Reason, Traktor, or any of the many MIDI synths and sequencer programs.

Questions / Re: MIDI Sprout Tools for Windows
« on: February 23, 2017, 05:17:42 PM »
Hello Bert, please see below

1.) There is no need to use the MIDI Sprout Tools application, this is a novelty program which I built.  If you are having trouble with using Pure Data, then avoid it and focus on getting the rest of your computer MIDI setup.  There is very little that the Tools program does which you can't do in other programs (Ableton Live, Kontakt, Reason, etc), it is just kinda fun for me to build elaborate mini-apps in PD.

2.) Connect your Sprout to a MIDI synthesizer (hardware) or to your Computer. Configure your computer software to accept the MIDI input from your USB-MIDI interface, and see the MIDI data flow from the Sprout to your software.  This is all that is needed to use your sprout with a computer.  Or plug directly into a MIDI synth which use channel 1 and it is magic!  Just forget the silly 'Tools' program.

3.)  If you really want to use the 'Tools', read this thread and download PD extended, then use the zip on the post and you can run the pure data application

Beyond the MIDI Sprout Tools, do you have experience using MIDI on your computer?  I'd be very happy to help you get setup.  What program are you using as a synth?


Questions / Re: Trying to trouble shoot
« on: February 21, 2017, 07:39:50 PM »
Thomas, just send me an email, my address is under my name.  We can and discuss.

User Submitted Sounds and Presets / Re: moog n sprout
« on: February 21, 2017, 08:27:45 AM »
Sweet enclosure!  I have some new code which adds menus for threshold, channel, scale and led brightness, just add a button to A1 and ground. GitHub

Questions / Re: No MIDI output after static charge?
« on: February 05, 2017, 08:03:03 PM »
Excellent work! I'm very glad it all works. A lower voltage 555 will yield longer battery life, and I'm sure your replacement will work perfectly!

Questions / Re: No MIDI output after static charge?
« on: February 04, 2017, 04:49:56 PM »
That's great Josh! Those 555 timers are ubiquitous and amazing! 

Be sure to identify pin 1 on the new ic by finding the half circle cut into the top end of the chip, and the little dot in the top-left showing pin 1. There is a matching divot in the 8 pin socket on the circuit board. You may need to delicately bend in the chip pins, so they fit into the socket, use a desk or table to bend all 4 pins on each side at a time. I'm quite confident you can handle it ;)
Keep me posted, I'll send a replacement if the new one doesn't work.

What's the specific model of 555? The higher voltage units are 'less sensitive'. We use the LMC555, but even the CN555 and some CMOS 555's work also. Plants are picky about their astable multivibrator.

Questions / Re: Trying to trouble shoot
« on: February 03, 2017, 09:52:30 PM »
1.) wow, its quite possible that the cable is bad.  here's a trick, take any stereo/mono 3.5mm cable (like from an iphone to a Red/Black RCA plug).  if you plug that into the Sprout input and touch the metal ends with your fingers it should light up .  you can even use aligator clips between a 3.5mm cable and the trode snaps.

2.) you are correct, if there is problem in the wires then you wouldn't get much of a change.

3.) Sweet MIDI an Kontakt setup!  You can use plugins in kontakt to breakup the midi notes across different channels and play multiple different instruments in kontakt.

Yes, I've logged many hundreds of hours of the changing conductivity signal.  I don't use the 'microvolts-amplification' method to gather data from the plant, i'm using electrical conductivity, this measures the amount of current the plant leaf is 'willing' to conduct over a period of time.  when the system sees a small change in conductivity, it creates a MIDI Note (and LED light) .  i've made many graphs of the data (simple 'S' shaped curves, a half dozen times per day) Sometimes sampling once per minute, per second, and (in the Sprout) every ~8 microseconds.   The nice thing about MIDI data is, you can record only the MIDI (super small) and play it back through a variety of sounds/synths.

Where are you located Thomas?  If these problems persist i'll send a replacement, or if you happen to be in philadelphia I can swing by and provide a fix.

Questions / Re: Getting started with Novation Launch Keypad
« on: February 03, 2017, 09:09:01 PM »
Hi Paul, and welcome to an exciting adventure in complex data sets and synthesizer programming!  Honestly its much easier than it all seems. 

I have bad news tho, the Launchkey25 (while a very pretty and useful controller) does not have a hardware MIDI input port and will not be able to act as an 'interface' for your MIDI Sprout.  You need a Synth, Piano, Drummachine, or USB interface with a 5 Pin DIN connector.  Your launchpad is essentially a keyboard input, and a great one at that.  Many interfaces also have a USB and MIDI input, like my roland.

The MIDI Sprout will work with ANY keyboard/synth with a hardware MIDI input, like most old casio keyboards or most any keyboard from a boot-sale.  You will need a MIDI cable to attach between the Sprout and the keyboard, but this is by far the easiest way to immediately get some sounds from your Biodata Sonification System.

If you want to bring hardware MIDI into a computer, I recommend using an EMU USB-MIDI interface, but here is a classy Australian retailer which has good interface also.  Don't cheap out and get some crappy $5 knockoff from china, its never worth it.

Ableton Live is a great program, and it comes with everything you need to make powerful sounds.  Once plugged in, the USB MIDI interface will show up as a MIDI input (enabled in Live Settings), you can drag a synth or sampler into a MIDI track, click enable/record/monitor and then listen to the MIDI data played through the synth plugin.  This is a video of my explanation of connecting a USB MIDI device to Live with the Sprout.

This is the easy way to think about your MIDI Sprout (or any MIDI keyboard/sequencer/drum machine):
MIDI Sprout produces OUTPUT --> MIDI Data brought as INPUT on Synth/USB

The sprout acts as a 'keyboard' which the plant can 'play, by plugging the MIDI Sprout OUTPUT to a synth INPUT the MIDI data triggers notes on the synth/computer.

Your Macbook already has what is called the IAC MIDI Bus - which is a system wide utility that enables MIDI data received on your mac (through USB or the network...woah) to be routed to any other MIDI device or program on your computer.  The respectable folks who use windows must apply a utility (MIDI Yoke) to route MIDI about their computer.

So, i recommend setting up your launchpad and fiddling with some sounds till you have a killer synth patch dialed in, then attach the MIDI Sprout to your computer using a USB Interface and set the synth channel in Live to pickup the MIDI input from the USB.  Sorry that you need another device in order to bring the sprout into your computer.  There are quite many USB controllers which don't have hardware MIDI inputs!

Questions / Re: Trying to trouble shoot
« on: February 02, 2017, 05:48:02 PM »
The input jack is a standard 3.5mm 'audio' style, with the tip of the jack being one electrode and the sleeve as the other electrode.  In this way, any simple audio cable can be used as a replacement or can be used to build your own electrodes. Also standard 'TENs' electrode leads should work with this system, which are available through Amazon or whatnot.

If you are getting the start up light show, and if touching the metal ends of the Electrode Leads produces an effect, then your Sprout is likely working correctly.

A few questions about your test setup:
1.) what type of plant are you using and are you attaching both electrodes to the same leaf?

2.) how long did you leave the system on once you noticed the 'single notes'?  It is quite common to not get a 'dynamic' effect when first attaching to a plant, the plant must get 'used to' having the sprout attached.

3.) What kind of synth or computer are you connected through via MIDI, and what type of interface are you using?

4.) The Threshold knob does have a significant effect on the algorithm which detects changes.  At its farthest left value the Sensitivity is highest (threshold is low) and with the knob turned fully clockwise the system is at its lowest sensitivity (threshold is high).

5.) Attaching to a person - The MIDI Sprout is setup both electronically and programmatically to detect very small changes in conductivity in a relatively high impedance (resistive) system - this means Plants!  Attaching the sticky trodes both to one person (usually is a very low impedance system, people conduct very well) makes it harder to read changes since the base level of conductivity is so high.  Here's a fun way to do it, attach one electrode to yourself and the other electrode to a friend; here your touch and proximity will activate the Sprout - its really kinda crazy.

Please follow these steps for using your Sprout with a Plant:
1.) turn off the MIDI Sprout by turning the knob counter clockwise until it clicks
2.) plug in the electrode leads to the MIDI Sprout
3.) plug in a MIDI cable to the MIDI Sprout, attach the other end to a synth or computer
4.) attach the snap electrode pads to the electrode leads
5.) apply the two electrodes to the leaf of a plant
    a. choose a large leafy plant, a succulent, philodendron, snakeplant, or other charismatic macroflora
    b. attach both electrode pads to the same leaf, on the top side of the leaf
6.) slowly turn the MIDI Sprout knob in the clockwise direction, it will click to turn the power On
    a. do not turn  the knob any farther from the 'switch on point' - this is the 'highest' sensitivity value.  Turning the knob further clockwise makes a 'lower' sensitivity value.  Leave the knob at the 'highest' point, right next to the power on position
7.) Leave the system on for a while, and note the time of day. Plants are sensitive and sticking the electrodes onto them and handling them tends to be a bit unusual.  Give the plant a few minutes to calm down, it could also take hours.  Try not to stare down your plant until it becomes more comfortable playing the synth ;)

Remember, you are not dictating to the plant when it should 'make music' or when the plant will exhibit 'activity', we are simply observers.  Depending on the type of plant, history, time of day, and season there may be many hours out of the day when there will be little to no activity (slow periodic repeating notes), this repeating note may slowly (over hours) increase in pitch, then for 20 minutes the thing goes wild with flourishes and notes, and then back to hours of silence... that's the story with palms and the winter. 

It has taken many weeks before I became confident that I could recognize the cycles in my houseplants and could experiment during those highly active times (highly active philodendron 3 hours before sunset, but right at sunset there is silence, always, like it sees the sun set through the walls).  And while taking a snakeplant out to the bar at 1am for a late night jam might sound like a neat idea, make sure that the plant is 'trained' for late night parties or it might just sleep the party out.

Let me know how it goes!

Questions / Re: What happens if we loose the captors with jelly?
« on: February 02, 2017, 05:08:23 PM »
Yes, they are commonly know as TENs Electrodes, these are 'snap' variety.  See this post in the forum for links: http://support.midisprout.com/index.php?topic=27.msg52#msg52

I just bought a couple hundred from a shady website the other day!

You also can wash the trodes and reuse, but that mostly works for skin-oils and not as well for dirt or stuck leaves.

Questions / Re: No MIDI output after static charge?
« on: February 01, 2017, 11:04:57 PM »
If you saw a high voltage pulse (normal winter static) across the probes, then it is quite likely that fried the 555 Timer.  The good new is, this is a common, cheap, and easy part to replace!

The 555 Timer is the 8 pin DIP (dual inline package) microchip, stuck in a socket.  observe the direction that the chip was inserted by noting the small cut out on one end of the chip. The end with the small circle/divot is the 'top' side.   Source a 555 timer from radioshack, or any electronics retailer (i use an lmc555 timer, but any 555 should do).  Pop out the existing, likely toasted, 555 timer and replace the new chip in the same orientation.

If you are getting the intro light show, the main program is probably intact.  It should be possible to revive your sprout.

After standing up from a sofa, always try to discharge against a radiator, light switch, or other grounded circuit.  Static discharge like this can fry a phone, and really upsets my cat. 

It is very common for a plant to 'flat line' when first attaching the electrodes. Consider, what would you do if someone walked up and put sticky pads on your face ;)

It takes some time and 'training' to get a plant to relax. Consider the single notes to be a protest of invasion. You must then establish trust. I know you can do it.

But this 'collaboration' with one trode on the plant and the other on your skin is a great experiment!

Glad you are having fun!

User Submitted Sounds and Presets / Re: "Spooky" experiences?
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:07:35 PM »
Thomas, I suggest you read over all of the threads in the forum, there aren't too many.  We touch upon many of the key points for getting started, and there are many links and videos. 

If you are interested, perhaps you could host a Biodata Sonification Live Hangout, and I am sure that I as well as others from the community would attend the discussion.


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