Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

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Fedor
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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by Fedor » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:49 pm

nuttymad wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:34 pm
Is the slicer supposed to be a text file?
Its supposed to be "slice_looper.instr" file. I just uploaded it to CSound folder on Nebulae via wi-fi, restarted my modular and it works great so far.

Obviously you gotta know how to load a different instrument on neb - which is holding Speed encoder until leds turn green, then going to the CSound bank by turning Speed to the left, pressing one of the five buttons to load the desired instrument.

That last bit is a bit tricky, but for me Slicer ended up on the forth slot.

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by nuttymad » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:07 pm

Fedor wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:49 pm
nuttymad wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:34 pm
Is the slicer supposed to be a text file?
Its supposed to be "slice_looper.instr" file. I just uploaded it to CSound folder on Nebulae via wi-fi, restarted my modular and it works great so far.

Obviously you gotta know how to load a different instrument on neb - which is holding Speed encoder until leds turn green, then going to the CSound bank by turning Speed to the left, pressing one of the five buttons to load the desired instrument.

That last bit is a bit tricky, but for me Slicer ended up on the forth slot.
I know how to access the instruments on the nebulae, that has never been a problem. I didn’t know the file was supposed to go in the Csound folder. I’ll try that. Thanks.

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by zerodivide » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:30 pm

Sorry for the dumb question but im trying to compare this to Morphagene. Can you record a live input into the sd card easily like on the Morph? Or is it only reading prearranged samples?

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by Fedor » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:59 pm

You can record incoming audio and save the recorded buffer onto usb drive by pressing file + freeze.
But overall its quite different from Morphagene, both have strenghts and weaknesses.

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:53 pm

Today, I managed to get Neb2 upgraded to the latest version of the OS and Csound :)

for most users, this is not that interesting (yet) , but the implications are:

a) we can potentially create a new sdcard image with latest OS, and with new tools that are very difficult to provide on current OS

b) for development purposes, we can upgrade Neb2 to get some newer dev tools to ease the testing/dev process
(this was my primary aim for today !)

the rest, is really a kind of 'log' (not a complete guide!) of how I achieve this, and learnt as i went along,
mainly as 'documentation' so it can be repeated by myself or others in the future.


-------
if your not a developer, you can probably stop here....

warning: do not enter any of the following commands, unless you know linux - you WILL make your Neb 2 un-bootable.


background: Neb2 uses Arch Linux as a distro, which is pretty cool.
but has one painful part.. only the most current software is available, including dependancies meaning you can't 'partially' upgrade a system, its all or nothing :(
so today, I wanted to install a vncserver (tigervnc), but to do so means updating all software on Neb2 to the latest version available on arch linux.
(there are some very painful workarounds to avoid this, but Im not going to go into that... as I wanted to see if I could upgrade Neb2 anyway)

so the basic plan was, upgrade Neb2 (via pacman -Syu), install tignervnc , get neb to launch pd in graphics mode for debugging etc.

of course, its never quite that simple...
so here is what you actually need to do ;)
(this assumes you already have it connected to network, and the internet)

pacman upgrade will fail first because the SD card is not big enough to download all the new packages!

so:
transfer image to a larger sdcard (i used 16gb)
boot neb2 with new sdcard,
use fdisk and resize2fs to resize root partition to max size (e.g. 16gb)
mount /boot as rw
start upgrade with pacman -Syu (select all defaults options)
its about 560MB of packages, took me about 30 mins to download
you might need to run a few times if the packages download times out.

I got an error about python-setup tools, so before main upgrade would work, I had to force that to be upgraded, then I could redo the upgrade

upgrade worked, and then i could reboot...

yay - success checkpoint # 1 - nice fresh software, latest kernel :) (this took about one hour to this point)



however, nebulae.py fails to start,
this is because numpy has been upgrade and doesn't like the old csound python interface ctcsound.py

so we need to upgrade csound... but why was it not upgraded ? because csound and pd were not installed via pacman !

my first thought was to install csound via pacman, but the one on pacman distro has a build issue so cannot be used.
so instead I downloaded csound source (latest release = 6.14) and built it, and installed it
(this takes a while, but main thing is to make sure you enable NEON, as per rPI build instructions, and also disable JAVA interface which failed to build for me)

then copied ctcsound.py from csound6.14 to QB_Nebuale/Code/Nebulae/nebulae/ctcsound.py

yay - success checkpoint # 2 - nebulae software working ... but all on latest software.


next to the whole point of this task, getting vnc working so I can start PD as a graphics display for dev and testing :)

plain sailing from here, as everything is nice and new... so no surprises
install tigervnc
install jwm (simple window manager)
install xterm and xhost
install fonts (xorg-fonts-75dpi)
edit .vnc/xstartup, to launch jwm


yay - success checkpoint # 3 - we have vnc and X working, and PD can be used graphical

final step, is actually using these new features to actually be able to develop/test on the nebulae.

so we need to get nebulae.py, to launch pd as guy,
so for 'testing' purposes, weo edit nebulae.py, and remove -nogui from pd options
the launch nebulae.py manually (ie. stop service and use python2 nebulae.py)

viola, we have our Pure Data patch running in graphics mode so we can do real time editing and debugging.

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by zerodivide » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:38 pm

sorry for million questions but somehow I can't find the dimensions of the Nebulae anywhere. Does it fit in a 4ms pod? (the non-x versions)

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by zerodivide » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:39 pm

repost plz delete
Last edited by zerodivide on Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by zerodivide » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:39 pm

repost plz delete

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Fedor
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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by Fedor » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:10 pm

zerodivide wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:38 pm
sorry for million questions but somehow I can't find the dimensions of the Nebulae anywhere. Does it fit in a 4ms pod? (the non-x versions)
You can always find stuff like that on modulargrid and/or in the official manual, Nebulae is 34mm deep.

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by drikbreit » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:33 pm

thetechnobear wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:53 pm
Today, I managed to get Neb2 upgraded to the latest version of the OS and Csound :)
..
@thetechnobear
Quite a journey you are on,
thank you for taking us on a wild ride :-)

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by zerodivide » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:14 pm

Fedor wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:10 pm

You can always find stuff like that on modulargrid and/or in the official manual, Nebulae is 34mm deep.
and the pod is 34. so its very close. curious if anybody's tried it
ps: somehow checked modulargrid but couldnt find dimensions I must be blind

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by jpizzo » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:52 pm

@thetechnobear, whoa the concept of running Pd graphically is awesome. So you mean you can in real time change the pd patch while the neb is running? That seems like it could be really cool for live programming/prototyping on the neb.

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by mariusbl » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:53 am

zerodivide wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:14 pm
Fedor wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:10 pm

You can always find stuff like that on modulargrid and/or in the official manual, Nebulae is 34mm deep.
and the pod is 34. so its very close. curious if anybody's tried it
ps: somehow checked modulargrid but couldnt find dimensions I must be blind
Nebula v2 fits perfetly in 4ms pods :tu: I bought a 20 HP pod and a Nebula 1 year ago, now I have 208 HP of eurorack :zombie:

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:11 am

nuttymad wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:34 pm
Is the slicer supposed to be a text file? Cos that’s what I get when I download it.
.txt extension on .instr - yeah this needs to be removed - I've mentioned to developers at patchstorage.com perhaps they can fix this.

EDIT: this is now fixed
tested for macOS/Safari and Windows/Edge which had issues, Firefox/Chrome were working fine before.
if you have issues on other OS/browsers, let me know and will pass it on)

jpizzo wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:52 pm
@thetechnobear, whoa the concept of running Pd graphically is awesome. So you mean you can in real time change the pd patch while the neb is running? That seems like it could be really cool for live programming/prototyping on the neb.
yes, you can edit it whilst running - this is very useful for development and testing....
but obviously the overhead for running a GUI has to be considered.

personally for live coding, I think things like supercollider are a bit better , as they dont really have the overhead.
but yeah, live coding with modular is a lot of fun :)

(this is why Im going to merge in the supercollider stuff into my firmware :) )

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:13 pm

k, Ive added supercollider support in my latest firmware,
also you can some 'getting started' in supercollider patches on my repo - https://github.com/TheTechnobear/NebulaePatches (sc directory)

next steps are to do some interest SC patches, supercollider has some interesting granular ugens.

also, there is a lot of fun to be had with SC doing live coding from your laptop to nebulae in your rack :)


(Ive also, fixed a small bug which i think may have been causing issues with some pure data patches)

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by closedLoop » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:01 pm

thetechnobear wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:13 pm
k, Ive added supercollider support in my latest firmware,
also you can some 'getting started' in supercollider patches on my repo - https://github.com/TheTechnobear/NebulaePatches (sc directory)

next steps are to do some interest SC patches, supercollider has some interesting granular ugens.

also, there is a lot of fun to be had with SC doing live coding from your laptop to nebulae in your rack :)
Which SC programs have you tried? All I saw on Github was a simple synth voice.

I've been hoping someone would do the heavy lifting to get SC running on Nebulae... It would be particularly useful to know how to grab and use the CV inputs, open audio files, and maybe even record from the audio ins...

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:53 am

closedLoop wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:01 pm
Which SC programs have you tried? All I saw on Github was a simple synth voice.

I've been hoping someone would do the heavy lifting to get SC running on Nebulae... It would be particularly useful to know how to grab and use the CV inputs, open audio files, and maybe even record from the audio ins...
how familiar are you with supercollider?

cv inputs - have a look at the default template, you will see the cv values are all coming in via the OSCdef
record audio in - nebulae audio input is available via standard SC methods e.g. soundIn
open files - again its standard supercollider, use Buffer.read

none of the above requires (imho) 'heavy lifting' in supercollider. ( * )

actually this is a good time, to mention to one and all... if you are interested in Supercollider,
check out Eli Feildsteels youtube tutorials, they are nothing short of amazing!

so whilst I don't have time to go into depths about how to use SC , the above should tell you all you need to know.

Im also working on a few SC patches that are going to be doing things like granular effects using files from the Nebulae, and reading its audio inputs.
so others could use these as starting points
I also believe Stefano Catena is working on some... which hopefully he will release as well.



--------------------
( * ) heavy lifting in supercollider

actually this is an interesting discussion about 'approach', which I've been having with Stefano Catena.

there are two approaches to 'the default patch'

a) basic
have the basics in them, they do no have any 'predefined' behaviour.
the idea is they give you enough to then start using standard supercollider functions to build your patches.
it really just shows you the 'interface' to the nebulae

b) extended, make it simple approach
the default patch do some of the 'normal' things you want,
e.g. it could store the cv/knob values in global variables, load the audio files into SC audio buffers

(b) looks very attractive initially, but there are a few issues... (which is why Ive gone for (a) )
these are:

you build a kind of 'api' that users have to use and know.. e.g. what are global vars called, when are they updated... what order are the files loaded into the audio buffer - how many?, how much memory is used?
all these 'assumptions' tend to trip up new users that use your app.
also to simplify you have to make assumptions (e.g. you cannot load every file in the audio directory into the audio buffers regardless of size)
these will not ALWAYS be relevant.

so using (a) whilst meaning you need a bit more supercollider experience means things are much more flexible.
(also supercolliders documentation is fantastic, much better than anything I could create for my 'pseudo api')


does this mean we can't have any more examples?
of course, not... the default template is supposed to be the absolute minimum, it does not mean we could not have alternative templates that have more in them. also in reality, because supercollider is text based, its very easy to take code from other patches that do something you want and copy n' paste it into your patch.
(thats why im working on some more full featured patches :) )

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by StefanoCatena » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:28 am

Hi, yes I'm making a couple of patches to see how far it goes with potential as a standalone synthesizer.

I think one's approach is determined by how you work, not on how much stuff you have available. Just loading the soundfiles from the Nebulae automatically inside Buffers and leaving them there available to use do not affect what you are going to do, imho (it may make you patch more featured actually, and Buffers do not take up memory from the real-time pool).
So the soundfiles are just for convenience: you don't have to load them manually everytime you want to use the .wav you already have on the Nebulae.

Also: the commands that are in the repository files like "s = Server.default; s.options.memSize = 131072;" etc.. should be moved to the startup.scd file located in ~/.config/SuperCollider/startup.scd. They can be pretty much confusing and should be set there so that everytime sclang fires up they are evaluated --> this is where I would load up the buffers from the Nebulae and all the standard configuration stuff.

I think that a small manual on how to interact with SC on the Nebulae could be very useful and not so complicated to make!

Stefano

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:58 am

yeah, I agree server options can be placed in startup.scd, as these can all be overwritten in your patch, as long as you do prior to server booting.

I disagree with loading audio files automatically for a few related reasons
its opaque, you have to know where they have been loaded, and in what order.
also whilst csound is forced to use ~/home/alarm/audio to load audio from, Supercollider is not... you can use other locations e.g patch sub directory if you wish.
the current nebulae approach of using one audio pool is very limiting, as often depending on what patch your running you want to use different samples!
(this already something Im considering addressing, when moving to patches being in their own directories!)

I get that at first glance it seems easier, but really we are talking 2 lines of supercollider code!

Code: Select all

~path="/home/alarm/audio/*";~audio_files= List.new;
SoundFile.collect(~path).do { |f| ~audio_files.add(Buffer.read(s,f.path));}
and the advantage of this approach, is its explicit, and you can tailor it to your needs...

don't get me wrong, I think having a few example patches where these kinds of 'tricks' are shown would be very useful.
though, in fairness, you are not going to be able to write a supercollider patch without knowing some basics of SC, and this kind of stuff is pretty elementary - its not specific to the nebulae at all.

btw: as a side note... and kind of shows why I want to keep this flexible.
Ive just updated the live coding template, so that it informs the client of what files are available in /home/alarm/audio..
though now thanks to this discussion - I think I'll change it so the client can request files list from any directory ;)


anyway, (for me at least) its a learning process Im sure we will refine whats needed and best way to write SC patches for Nebulae in next few days/weeks - and I can reflect that in another firmware release if needed - so feedback is very useful.

one other thought Ive had, is I might compile/distribute sc3-plugins in next firmware...
got a bit confused this morning, when I developed a test patch on my laptop this morning, only to find it didnt work on nebulae due to me using an 'extended' ugen ;)


documentation - yeah agreed, but seems to make sense after we have stabilised things (see above)
I have put more comments in default and livecoding templates to explain a little more whats going on

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by StefanoCatena » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:16 am

That's cool, no problem with that. I get your point! :D
thetechnobear wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:58 am
the current nebulae approach of using one audio pool is very limiting, as often depending on what patch your running you want to use different samples!

Agreed. But this is related to the patch you're making, and I think that the file management should be changed pretty much before allowing the use of custom folders for audio.
thetechnobear wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:58 am
I get that at first glance it seems easier, but really we are talking 2 lines of supercollider code!

Code: Select all

~path="/home/alarm/audio/*";~audio_files= List.new;
SoundFile.collect(~path).do { |f| ~audio_files.add(Buffer.read(s,f.path));}
and the advantage of this approach, is its explicit, and you can tailor it to your needs...
Agreed again. The only problem with the current OS is that.. you can't have different needs :D All the audio files are there, so the code you use will always be this two lines.
thetechnobear wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:58 am
one other thought Ive had, is I might compile/distribute sc3-plugins in next firmware...
Yes! I feel this need as well. With sc3plugins it would be a completely different game..

Stefano

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:55 pm

StefanoCatena wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:16 am

Agreed again. The only problem with the current OS is that.. you can't have different needs :D All the audio files are there, so the code you use will always be this two lines.
its not to do with the 'current OS' , supercollider and pure data, can read from anywhere they want to... I already store samples in a different place for orac (pure data)
the only thing that hardcodes audio into ~/audio is csound and the copying of files from usb.
csound is a moot point, and usb is with my firmware not the only way to get audio files onto the Neb, you can also use the wifi web tool to upload audio files - which frankly is a much better approach (as the sync'ing from a usb stick is VERY primitive... read thru this MW thread and see how many beginners have got confused by it!

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by StefanoCatena » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:07 pm

Good points!
I still have to try all that wifi actually :doh:
Virtually you could get all the audio files you want with the Freesound quark. I definitely should try that..

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:02 pm

Ive had an oddity thats taken me quite a while to track down, so I'll mention it here...
for some reason on my desktop GrainBuf works fine with stereo files, but nebulae is only working on mono files,
(why Im not quite sure, perhaps bug in linux version? some oddity im not sure of... I'm using 3.10.4 on both, and its not memory related)

anyway, im now using readChannels, rather than Buffer.read.

Code: Select all

a=Buffer.readChannel(s,~audio_files[0], channels:[0]);
of course, you can still do stereo processing - you'd just read and process them separately
(not a bad thing to do anyway, so you can process grains differently for L/R)

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by thetechnobear » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:48 am

ok, Ive released firmware 2.2.2 (see here for download details)
changes:
- defaults the server options for supercollider (so not needed in your patch, Ive update my examples appropriately)
- install the supercollider sc3_plugins extensions

the sc3_plugins contains some really interesting ugens, including refined ugens for granular, and also ugens based on stk and faust, so could provide some interesting opportunities :)

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Re: Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

Post by autopilote » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:33 pm

can anyone tell me how the flash drive for the nebulae is supposed to be organized (files/folders)? i was going to try a few of the alternate instruments, and realized that my drive has no instruments anywhere on it. just samples in the root directory. i wasnt sure where to put the .instr and .pd files

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