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Offline trowa02

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Working in Tiny Bursts
« on: March 10, 2017, 03:28:20 AM »
Just got my new MIDI Sprout, popped in some batteries, connected the electrodes, and connected it to my computer.

The light show comes on when I turn it on, but for the most part it doesn't seem responsive when I touch the electrodes - LEDs don't come on, no midi info received by the MIDI Sprout Tools app. However, occasionally (maybe 10% of the time), I'll try turning it on and for 1 second after the light show it responds to touch - LEDs come on, midi information received - but then it cuts out. Any idea what could be going on?

Thanks!

Offline sam

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Re: Working in Tiny Bursts
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 09:29:08 AM »
Hi, here are a few things to try:

1.) When turning on the sprout, you turn the knob clockwise to the right.  Directly after the 'click' and power turns on, that is the 'most sensitive' setting, as the knob turns further clockwise the sensitivity is reduced.  Try testing the sprout with the knob positioned right after the switch 'on' position.

2.) Unplug from the computer MIDI connector and see if that makes a difference with sensitivity.  If you have a macbook or other metal frame computer and touch both electrodes while also touching the computer frame, you might not get very good signal.  I have implemented a 'ground lift' such that the MIDI ground is not attached inside the sprout, this should avoid some of the grounding issues from the first version.

3.) Use different 'grip' on the electrodes when touching with your fingers.  The sprout only reacts to 'changes' in conductivity, try squeezing and releasing the trodes repeated - this should definitely cause the sprout to trigger.

4.) Use a plant!  snap on the sticky electrodes to the leads and gently attach the two electrodes to the leaf of a plant.  Again use the highest sensitivity knob position.

I've had one other person with a similar issue, and they suggest an issue may exist with the electrode leads.  If it is lighting up briefly when touching the trodes, the Sprout should be working fine.

Also note, MIDI Sprout Tools is just a novelty application, but i'm glad it is working for you.  The Tools app can be used to convert the MIDI channel and other data parameters, but I suggest using a simple MIDI monitor to review the data.

Let me know how it goes, and I can provide support if you can't get it working.  It sounds like everything is functional, you probably just need to do a full setup with a plant and give it a couple hours to settle down.

cheers
-sam

Offline trowa02

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Re: Working in Tiny Bursts
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 05:06:31 PM »
Hi Sam,

Sorry it's taken me so long to make any progress on this. I experimented some more and I think I'm still having problems.

Here's what I did:
- Connected the electrodes to my aloe vera
- Connected the midi sprout to my macbook pro running Ableton Live via a USB/MIDI interface
- Turned the knob just past the click, to the highest sensitivity setting.

Each time I did this the light show would happen, then nothing. Fiddling with the electrodes didn't have any effect. What did have an effect a large percentage of the time was wiggling the MIDI connection into the sprout - if I wiggled it or applied pressure to it, suddenly I'd get feedback. Then, after a few seconds of this, or if I let go, the feedback would stop. I thought maybe this meant there is a weak connection in the MIDI port, but actually it seems like the whole sprout freezes, as the the LEDs would freeze in whatever state they were in. At that point, nothing I did to the midi connection or the electrodes had any effect; it would stay frozen until I turned it off and turned it back on again.

I tried this both with the Macbook Pro plugged into the wall and on battery power. I did notice that this had an effect on the signal, but didn't have an effect on whether or not it froze. I also tried leaving it on over the course of a day without fiddling with it, and when I came back and checked it it was frozen.

Finally, I tried testing the USB/MIDI interface with a regular keyboard and confirmed that it's working as expected.

Offline trowa02

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Re: Working in Tiny Bursts
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 04:24:45 PM »
Hey, I just realized that I never got a reply on this. I never had any further luck getting it to work - crashes/freezes almost right away any time I turn it on. Is there anything else to try, or is there any possibility of returning it at this point?

Offline sam

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Re: Working in Tiny Bursts
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 09:50:11 PM »
I'll send you an email and we can get you all fixed up!

Sorry it has taken so long to get your issue remedied.

-Sam