Qu-Bit Nebulae v2

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danishchairs
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Post by danishchairs » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:21 pm

aphex2000 wrote:@danishchairs thanks for your work! both the constant size and window/file swap are super useful! its great fun to use pressure points to switch samples on the neb with it.
Thanks, and welcome to Muffs!

aphex2000 wrote:do the secondary (source + ...) functions still work as before?
Yes. On the windowFileSwap05 instrument, the secondary (or alt) functions should work the same as they do on the default instrument.

aphex2000 wrote:i could be wrong but i feel like its auto panning the grains even when turned down
Hmm, this could be a complicated statement or question, so I'll say some things and hope they help.

I may not know what you mean by "auto panning." There is Qu-Bit code which makes the two channels different from each other, at least in many/most situations.

But perhaps you are referring to what Qu-Bit calls "random panning." Here is what they write about the secondary size control:
From Neb2 manual wrote:4. Size
Controls the amount of random panning applied to the generated grains.

When fully counter-clockwise, there will be no random panning of grains.

When fully clockwise, each grain will be panned to a random location between both outputs.
Your question got me to test this using the Qu-Bit's firmware and the neb2danish05 firmware, and using the default Qu-Bit instrument and windowFileSwap05. From what I could tell (using headphones and my ears) was that the two instruments performed the same in regards to the size_alt function. (It didn't matter which firmware I used.) I could increase random grain panning by adjusting the size_alt knob clockwise, and decrease (or essentially stop it) by adjusting the size_alt knob counter-clockwise.

Testing this, though, made me listen closely to a simple sound file at slow speed with low density and relatively low overlap (so that the grains were not too frequent and fairly pronounced). I thought I could detect a slow emphasis on the left channel and then the right channel. It was different than the pronounced random panning of individual grains described above. But it might be part of the code that keeps the two channels from being identical at their outputs.

I also noticed that my right channel seemed to at a lower volume/loudness/gain than the left channel. Everything seemed more balanced when I increased the gain on the right channel. It could be my module, it could be the sounds I have loaded, it could be my audio interface, it could be my ears/hearing, or some combination of these possibilities.

Anyway, hope that helps!

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Post by aphex2000 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:14 am

yes i was talking about the random panning! (source + size)

good to know that the functionality remains the same. thanks for the investigation but i didnt want to trouble you, will have to investigate the feature in general some more it seems.

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Post by 909one » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:23 pm

Hey there! Thanks for all the work on this firmware and the new variations of instruments. I installed the firmware tonight and I started getting issues where the Nebulae would stall out with all four aqua lights on after I hit reload from usb key combo or I tried switching between instruments. The inly way to get it back to working was to put the firmware back on the usb stick and restart, where it goes through the whole firmware update process.

Ill probably wipe everything and start from factory reset firmware in the time being and then update to the most recent Qubit release, so that doesnt happen again, I have a show Thursday.

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Post by synonymist » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:28 am

909one wrote:Hey there! Thanks for all the work on this firmware and the new variations of instruments. I installed the firmware tonight and I started getting issues where the Nebulae would stall out with all four aqua lights on after I hit reload from usb key combo or I tried switching between instruments. The inly way to get it back to working was to put the firmware back on the usb stick and restart, where it goes through the whole firmware update process.

Ill probably wipe everything and start from factory reset firmware in the time being and then update to the most recent Qubit release, so that doesnt happen again, I have a show Thursday.
Hello. Yesterday my Nebulae v2 was even worse. I loaded instr files that I got from the Qu-Bit website, plus some audio files, plus Qu-Bit firmware 2.1.1. During several trials, I saw that two things happened consistently:

1. trying to use a non-stock instr made the module unresponsive, and

2. after reverting to firmware 1.0 then loading firmware 2.1.1, the process never finished properly, forcing a power recycle.

But wait, there's more:

Then, after playing Nebulae v2 with the latest firmware (I guess... I mean, how could I know, right?) for a while, and not trying any instr except the stock granular one, it seemed to be stable. Four hours into a deep patch with two 208 hp cases, Nebulae v2 froze. It played zizzing garbage (which was correctly in stereo at least) and became unresponsive. Luckily the case it was in could be power cycled without affecting other modules.

Though now it sounded quite different, I salvaged the patch and recorded some music. Also I swore not to trust Nebulae v2 again and to sell it.

This is a shame. I respect Qu-Bit Electronix's work: creative thinking applied to rational product designs. Mixology is a cornerstone of my modular setup. But Nebulae v2 is an immature product that they released too soon, at the expense of their customers.

Open architecture is fine, but open vs. closed is not the same as mature vs. immature. I think there is a risk of Nebulae v2's openness allowing an excuse for its immaturity. That I know, Qu-Bit never asserted this; but I think it's there.

Nebulae v2 was supposed to be my replacement for Morphagene. That's my deal, not Qu-Bit's responsibility. But I'm not waiting around to learn whether Nebulae v2 will become a solid commercial-grade product anytime soon. Maybe the Instruō arbhar will come to market and prove to be reliable. If so, I will try it next.

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Post by danishchairs » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:24 am

909one wrote:Hey there! Thanks for all the work on this firmware and the new variations of instruments.
You're welcome!

909one wrote:I installed the firmware tonight and I started getting issues where the Nebulae would stall out with all four aqua lights on after I hit reload from usb key combo or I tried switching between instruments. The inly way to get it back to working was to put the firmware back on the usb stick and restart, where it goes through the whole firmware update process.
Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. I've also experienced the module stall with all four aqua lights on, but I was usually able to log into the module to see what was going on. (Often, the underlying Raspberry Pi is running fine even when the module or instrument has crashed. (I realize that won't help if you don't have access to its inner workings.)) I'm hoping the problems you're describing are not due to my firmware, but I'll want to fix them if they are.

I've done a lot of testing, pairing my firmware with the instruments that come with the factory bank, as well as with the instruments I've recently updated. I can reliably update my module with my firmware, and I can switch instruments without crashing. Of course, there may be cases that I haven't investigated, so it's possible something has been missed.

I know there are a lot of issues with instruments ported from the Neb v1, so I've stayed away from them. (I downloaded and installed one from Qu-Bit's GitHub repository. It didn't work on my Neb2, so I deleted it.)

909one wrote:Ill probably wipe everything and start from factory reset firmware in the time being and then update to the most recent Qubit release, so that doesnt happen again, I have a show Thursday.
That sounds like a good plan, especially since you have a show tomorrow. Hopefully, that will solve the crashing problems.

Best wishes!

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Post by 909one » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:43 am

@danishchairs , one of the things I'm thinking is that perhaps an error was introduced because I made an edit to one of your instrument files that has the window change, I removed the dry signal from the path when in live source mode, which is also what I had done with the original granular instrument. I'm pretty new to this stuff, but what is the correct way to edit these instruments? I installed the instrument testing software from Qubit and with that installed my Mac is able to open the .instr file in text editor when I merely click on it from the desktop, and I can make changes to that, and then resave. Is that a correct way to do it? Is there a better way to make changes?

Thanks!

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Qu-Bit firmware versions

Post by danishchairs » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:10 am

Dear 909one and synonymist and everyone else!

Hearing about problems that sound possibly related to Neb2 firmware, I did a little investigation. What I found is this:

Qu-Bit has two different versions of firmware available for download at two different sites.

---------------------
A) One version is available on their company website. This version is labeled "NEBULAE V2.1.1". It claims to have fixed the "source switching glitch in v2.1".

I downloaded this version and looked at the code. It does NOT fix the source switching glitch.
danishchairs wrote:07 Jul 2019: After re-reading some of the pages of this thread from the past few months, I realized that the 2.1.1 version of Qu-Bit's firmware DOES fix the source switching glitch.

However, it does NOT fix the 'user instrument power-off' glitch. At the present time (early July 2019), the fix for the 'user instrument power-off' glitch is available from the Qu-Bit firmware from GitHub, or from the alternative firmware from the link in my signature. More information below.
If you are using version 2.1.1 of the Qu-Bit firmware, AND you power off your module when an instrument from the user bank is running, then your module will not boot up correctly then next time you power it on. The only way to get your module to boot up again is to reinstall the firmware.

---------------------
B) The other version of firmware from Qu-Bit is available on their GitHub repository.

This version of the firmware includes the fix for the source switching glitch. It also fixes the the 'user instrument power-off' glitch.

Note that the GitHub version of the firmware also has updated code in their default granular looper instrument. (I don't know any changes in the instrument code would produce different results than you might expect after using the older code, but be aware that they are not identical.)

If you are using (or going to use) instruments from the user bank (this would be any instruments that you write yourself or download and then install on your module), and if you want to use an official version of the firmware, then use the firmware from Qu-Bit's GitHub repository (at least until they update the version on their company website).

---------------------
NOTE - you can also use the alternative firmware that I developed. It was built on the GitHub version.

---------------------
Edit: This note was edited for corrections.
Last edited by danishchairs on Sun Jul 07, 2019 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by danishchairs » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:59 am

909one wrote:@danishchairs , one of the things I'm thinking is that perhaps an error was introduced because I made an edit to one of your instrument files that has the window change, I removed the dry signal from the path when in live source mode, which is also what I had done with the original granular instrument. I'm pretty new to this stuff, but what is the correct way to edit these instruments? I installed the instrument testing software from Qubit and with that installed my Mac is able to open the .instr file in text editor when I merely click on it from the desktop, and I can make changes to that, and then resave. Is that a correct way to do it? Is there a better way to make changes?

Thanks!
I have never successfully gotten Qu-Bit's instrument tester software to work on my Mac. So, I have been editing the files using a text editor. Mostly, I've been using Atom.

You'll want to make sure that your code editor doesn't introduce any unwanted characters into your code.

I'm not sure about this, but Qu-Bit made substantial changes to their default instrument between the version on their company site and the version on GitHub. (The default instrument comes bundled with the firmware.) It is possible that the code is different enough that the older version of the default instrument doesn't work well with the newer firmwares (Qu-Bit's and mine).

The upshot of this, at least as of today, is:

A) get your firmware from Qu-Bit's GitHub repository and modify the default instrument that comes with that firmware, or

B) get your firmware from my site (link below in my signature) and modify the newSize05danish file.

Choice A) may be a safer bet, considering you're about to play a show tomorrow. (You just won't have the red recording or eol LEDs.)

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Post by 909one » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:41 pm

danishchairs wrote:
I'm not sure about this, but Qu-Bit made substantial changes to their default instrument between the version on their company site and the version on GitHub. (The default instrument comes bundled with the firmware.) It is possible that the code is different enough that the older version of the default instrument doesn't work well with the newer firmwares (Qu-Bit's and mine).

The upshot of this, at least as of today, is:

A) get your firmware from Qu-Bit's GitHub repository and modify the default instrument that comes with that firmware, or

B) get your firmware from my site (link below in my signature) and modify the newSize05danish file.

Choice A) may be a safer bet, considering you're about to play a show tomorrow. (You just won't have the red recording or eol LEDs.)
So I'm at point A now again. Seems to be working ok. One thing I noticed is that even with the factory firmware resinstall, the Neb doesn't erase user instruments. Do you know how to get rid of these?

Basically I'm at point A, but with those other user instruments installed still I'm hesitant to do what I was doing that caused the freezing last night, which was a force reload of the USB stick. Every time I did that it froze. However, my goal is to save sounds onto the Neb from the live input, so I kinda need that function. I know I could record to my computer and then load sounds, but that's kind of annoying and adds a ton of other steps.

I feel like I should get a Morphagene, it seems like there'd be way less issues with that and its suited to what I want to do. The UI just seems a little goofy.

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Post by 909one » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:07 pm

Oh never mind, I just took the main instrument from QuBit's 2.1.2 firmware update on Github, updated that version for my change, added that to the QuBit and it wiped the other instruments except that one on load. I tried loading a live sample to the USB stick and it seems to work now. I bet it was the instrument I was using to make my changes on, it was old and prob causing issues. Being that its working now, I'll wait to try to your firmware until after the show. It'd be nice to have the red lights function, but its' not a deal breaker. I got used to not having them on anyway.

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Post by danishchairs » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:41 pm

909one wrote:Oh never mind, I just took the main instrument from QuBit's 2.1.2 firmware update on Github, updated that version for my change, added that to the QuBit and it wiped the other instruments except that one on load. I tried loading a live sample to the USB stick and it seems to work now. I bet it was the instrument I was using to make my changes on, it was old and prob causing issues. Being that its working now, I'll wait to try to your firmware until after the show. It'd be nice to have the red lights function, but its' not a deal breaker. I got used to not having them on anyway.
Excellent. Congrats on getting everything working. I’m sorry that my software won’t be part of your show, but I’m glad the suggestions were good and your module is working well.

Best wishes for a great performance!

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Re: Qu-Bit firmware versions

Post by synonymist » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:47 pm

danishchairs wrote:Dear 909one and synonymist and everyone else!

Hearing about problems that sound possibly related to Neb2 firmware, I did a little investigation. What I found is this:

Qu-Bit has two different versions of firmware available for download at two different sites...
Hello and thank you, danishchairs. Almost certainly I will divest my Nebulae v2. But I might try the current GitHub version of the firmware first.

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Re: Qu-Bit firmware versions

Post by 909one » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:50 am

synonymist wrote:
danishchairs wrote:Dear 909one and synonymist and everyone else!

Hearing about problems that sound possibly related to Neb2 firmware, I did a little investigation. What I found is this:

Qu-Bit has two different versions of firmware available for download at two different sites...
Hello and thank you, danishchairs. Almost certainly I will divest my Nebulae v2. But I might try the current GitHub version of the firmware first.
Did you say you had the Morphagene first? What made you go from that to the Nebulae.

Also, I wouldn't give up on it too quickly, its a computer, open source, so inherently when you start to factor in all these people writing code its going to have issues. I think that's what the cool appeal is for me, potential for expansion.

Mine is now humming along fine with the most recent Github 2.1.2 firmware. You need to wipe it with the factory firmware before you install everything again.

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Post by 909one » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:56 am

danishchairs wrote:
909one wrote:Oh never mind, I just took the main instrument from QuBit's 2.1.2 firmware update on Github, updated that version for my change, added that to the QuBit and it wiped the other instruments except that one on load. I tried loading a live sample to the USB stick and it seems to work now. I bet it was the instrument I was using to make my changes on, it was old and prob causing issues. Being that its working now, I'll wait to try to your firmware until after the show. It'd be nice to have the red lights function, but its' not a deal breaker. I got used to not having them on anyway.
Excellent. Congrats on getting everything working. I’m sorry that my software won’t be part of your show, but I’m glad the suggestions were good and your module is working well.

Best wishes for a great performance!
Thanks! Yeah I'll def try yours out after tonight. Its working really well right now, but I know how to get it back to where it was if it doesn't keep working that way after you firmware. Thanks for all your work.

I think it was definitely the instrument I modified taken from the older main instrument that caused the issue. Also, I downloaded Atom and used that text editor instead of Text Edit, to be safe, so I wasn't inserting any extra characters by mistake.

Also, Can you explain again the difference in what your modified instrument does with the Start and Size controls? When it was it working, I was using it but I couldn't really tell the difference.

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Post by danishchairs » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:42 pm

909one wrote:
danishchairs wrote: ... Excellent. Congrats on getting everything working. I’m sorry that my software won’t be part of your show, but I’m glad the suggestions were good and your module is working well.
Thanks! Yeah I'll def try yours out after tonight. Its working really well right now, but I know how to get it back to where it was if it doesn't keep working that way after you firmware. Thanks for all your work.
You’re welcome!
909one wrote:I think it was definitely the instrument I modified taken from the older main instrument that caused the issue. Also, I downloaded Atom and used that text editor instead of Text Edit, to be safe, so I wasn't inserting any extra characters by mistake.
I think that’s a good move. Text Edit is a good app, but its default mode is RTF, not plain text. RTF mode would include non-plain-text characters.
909one wrote:Also, Can you explain again the difference in what your modified instrument does with the Start and Size controls? When it was it working, I was using it but I couldn't really tell the difference.
My code disassociates the Start controls from the size or length of the playing time of the loop.

In Qu-Bit’s default instrument, under certain circumstances, the Start controls change the loop playing time. In my newSize instruments (and their offspring), the Start control has no effect the playing time of the loop.

The easiest way to hear it is to remove all cables except the output cables, and then turn only the Start control slowly from fully CCW to fully CW.

A) When using the default instrument, the loop playing time will get progressively shorter and the eol LED will turn on at a progressively faster rate.

B) When using my newSize instrument, the loop plying time will not change and the eol LED will keep blinking at the same rate.

There are one or two other differences that you can read about here.

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Re: Qu-Bit firmware versions

Post by synonymist » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:57 pm

909one wrote:
synonymist wrote:Hello and thank you, danishchairs. Almost certainly I will divest my Nebulae v2. But I might try the current GitHub version of the firmware first.
Did you say you had the Morphagene first? What made you go from that to the Nebulae.
Hello. This did.
909one wrote:Also, I wouldn't give up on it too quickly, its a computer, open source, so inherently when you start to factor in all these people writing code its going to have issues. I think that's what the cool appeal is for me, potential for expansion.

Mine is now humming along fine with the most recent Github 2.1.2 firmware. You need to wipe it with the factory firmware before you install everything again.
Thanks. I know that it's [based on] a computer. But I didn't think I was buying a device whose firmware was written by an open source community (with all due respect); rather that its firmware was written only by the OEM, Qu-Bit Electronix. Even the instr files I installed were from Qu-Bit.

The basic appeal for me is the solid, reliable performance of its primary feature set. If it cannot do that, then what do add-ons matter?

Whatever critique I may have of Make Noise, I give them full credit for consistently rendering super-tight hardware designs and nearly flawless firmware. Light weight, very shallow depth, low energy draw, and robust firmware (in their modules with digital aspects) are earmarks of Make Noise synth modules.

I'm sure that Qu-Bit and similar makers aspire to the same. But even beyond the money cost to me is the lost music and time: I cannot afford it. So "once bitten, twice shy" wins in this case.

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Re: Qu-Bit firmware versions

Post by scragz » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:19 pm

synonymist wrote:
909one wrote:Also, I wouldn't give up on it too quickly, its a computer, open source, so inherently when you start to factor in all these people writing code its going to have issues. I think that's what the cool appeal is for me, potential for expansion.
Thanks. I know that it's [based on] a computer. But I didn't think I was buying a device whose firmware was written by an open source community (with all due respect); rather that its firmware was written only by the OEM, Qu-Bit Electronix. Even the instr files I installed were from Qu-Bit.
The OEM firmware is good! You don't have to install any of the third party open source developed firmware. The one on Github is 100% written by Qubit, I don't think they have merged in a single line of community written code.

Weren't others saying that the problem is the code on Github has bug fixes that haven't made it into the code on their website? That's a bungle on their part for sure but just install the code off Github.

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Re: Qu-Bit firmware versions

Post by danishchairs » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:46 pm

scragz wrote:The OEM firmware is good! You don't have to install any of the third party open source developed firmware. The one on Github is 100% written by Qubit, I don't think they have merged in a single line of community written code.
Qu-Bit deserves a lot of credit for their firmware, but it does contain a little community-written code, including the fix for the bug that prevents the module from rebooting correctly after powering off with a user bank instrument loaded. (More details are available on GitHub, as well as throughout this thread.)

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Post by Zymos » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:57 pm

Totally misguided to diss this module because you somehow got the idea that the firmware is half baked due to being open source.
I can't speak for any of the additional instruments, but the basic granular sampler has been totally solid for me during months of use.

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Re: Qu-Bit firmware versions

Post by scragz » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:09 am

danishchairs wrote:
scragz wrote:The OEM firmware is good! You don't have to install any of the third party open source developed firmware. The one on Github is 100% written by Qubit, I don't think they have merged in a single line of community written code.
Qu-Bit deserves a lot of credit for their firmware, but it does contain a little community-written code, including the fix for the bug that prevents the module from rebooting correctly after powering off with a user bank instrument loaded. (More details are available on GitHub, as well as throughout this thread.)
Oh! Yeah, sorry I was kind of exaggerating but I didn't realize that fix came from the community. This thread is so long!

What I mostly meant was what 909one was saying about it being mostly cobbled together from community developed like an OSS project wasn't quite correct.

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Post by ersatzplanet » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:48 am

I really don't want to derail this thread any so answer via PM or email, but this thread seems to have a lot of folks in it that know the inner workings of the modules, and programming of them, that I don't. It is about the Nebulae v1 though. I still have a pair of them and love one feature not readily available on the pair of v2 ones I also have - the MIDI input. I would love to be able to re-program them so that they respond to only one MIDI channel instead of the default omni mode they currently reside in. I don't need to change this all the time, I would dedicate them to a separate channel each and leave them to it. If there is an easy way to change the main program on them, and one of you folk can figure out an easy way of doing it, PM me with any info you can. Thanks!
-James

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Post by 909one » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:27 pm

Out of curiosity, has anyone tried this on the Neb at all?

https://patchstorage.com/quclouds/

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Post by yrn1 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:45 pm

909one wrote:Out of curiosity, has anyone tried this on the Neb at all?

https://patchstorage.com/quclouds/
Yes, i’ve run it for a couple of performances. Did map the controls differently though. Sound quality seemed better than on the real clouds, though that’s of course subjective.

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Post by 909one » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:34 pm

yrn1 wrote:
909one wrote:Out of curiosity, has anyone tried this on the Neb at all?

https://patchstorage.com/quclouds/
Yes, i’ve run it for a couple of performances. Did map the controls differently though. Sound quality seemed better than on the real clouds, though that’s of course subjective.
Is installation indeed as simple as putting the 'clouds~.pd_linux' on the SD Card and then loading the 'qclouds.pd' onto the USB stick?

Also, that was my big gripe with Clouds, I thought it sounded kinda bad. It would be cool to have a better version of that.

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Post by yrn1 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:50 am

909one wrote: Is installation indeed as simple as putting the 'clouds~.pd_linux' on the SD Card and then loading the 'qclouds.pd' onto the USB stick?

Also, that was my big gripe with Clouds, I thought it sounded kinda bad. It would be cool to have a better version of that.
I ssh’ed into the module to put the pd_linux on the card, but essentially, yes, it was that simple. At first I thought it didn’t work, but after pressing some buttons, it did. I can’t remember which ones I needed to press, because I changed the mapping of the knobs and buttons to something that suited me better.

I’m currently trying to create a PD patch that behaves like clouds, but is native to the nebulae (so without clouds~.pd_linux). That sounds even better. But it’s far from finished. I’ll share it when done...

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