Audio effects for guitar with Pure Data | Guitar Extended

It seems I need to look at Pure Data for a new exciting time-waster!

Pure Data is an easy to use and powerful audio programming language which allows anybody with basic programming skills to create simple effects for guitar.

Below is a list of all the effects that can be found on this blog. Some of them simply mimic classic guitar stompboxes ([wah-wah], fuzz/overdrive, delay, etc.) while others are meant to demonstrate how Pd can be used to create entirely new and [original] effects.

via Audio effects for guitar with Pure Data | Guitar Extended


Raspberry Pi Guitar Effect Box – YouTube

All the audio processing is done by Pure Data, a free [alternative] to Max MSP. A python script that I wrote takes input from four pots (connected to a MCP3008 (not MCP2003) ADC chip, which is in turn connected to the pi through SPI) that change effect parameters and three pushbuttons that cycle through the effects and allow you to enter ‘Edit Mode’.

via Raspberry Pi Guitar Effect Box – YouTube

MPC Maid

MPC Maid:

MPC Maid (“MM”) is a software editor for the Akai MPC 1000, MPC 2500, and MPC 500:
Works on Mac, PC, and other platforms (Java) and makes the edition of MPC programs files easy.
Switch between the MPC 500 12-pads layout or the MPC 1000 16-pads layout (also takes care of the correct number of filters and sliders thanks to the built-in machine profiles).
Simply drag and drop your samples files onto the pads, and it automatically assigns them, one on each pad or one on each sample layer.
Export the full program and every related sample file together to the target location of your choice.
Also features a semi-automatic slicing tool: drop your loop file to have it chopped into slices based on a beat detection mechanism.
Direct export of the chopped slices as multiple .WAV files, one corresponding .PGM program file and one MIDI groove .MID file.
Multiple window, one window for one program, simply drag and drop a .PGM program file will open a new window for this program.

It doesn’t look half bad. Now if I only had an MPC to try it out… but I just bought a Maschine MK2 on ebay… oh well.

orDrumbox – Drum Machine Software for Windows, OSX, Linux

Seems simple but fun. I wonder how it compares against Hydrogen.

The orDrumbox is a free drum machine software, designed to be as creative as possible with unusual features : auto-composition, polyrythmes, unusual arpeggiator, automatic sounds/track matching , custom softsynths, lowfi rendering, etc.
This tools can compose bass line and complete songs using included drum kits with the audio sequencer functions.

via orDrumbox – Drum Machine Software for Windows, OSX, Linux

State of 2016 – Part 1, explored software

In April last year, in my first post of this blog, I offered a list of free-ish, sometimes open-source audio programs I had installed over the course of a few weeks of looking for open-source alternatives for some better-known applications. 8 months later, they’re all still here, and both my experiences with them as well as my interests have evolved; some of the applications I looked at once and never again; others I’ve grown to like very much. The ones I spent decent amounts of time with at this point are:

  • Audacity: Well, there’s no GoldWave on OSX ☺, so I record and edit most things with Audacity. I’d like it much more if it supported the trackpad better (I have horizontal scrolling nightmares), but I’m patient and am learning my moves with it.
  • BeatCleaver: I still use the trial to play around chopping larger samples into smaller ones. To me it’s very intuitive and lets me focus on playing with the sample rather than figuring out how I make it do what I had in mind. It’s still an application that does one thing well, and a clear indicator on how much work must’ve gone into the details. Nicely priced for €59, if your mission isn’t to ride open source alternatives to death first.
  • Mixxx: Shortly after the first post, Mixxx released the first new minor version in 2 years. Having felt the pain of abandonware various times in the last few years, I got quite excited by the update, and there has been a lot more work since then, with version 2.0 of the DJ software having come out just before New Year’s Eve 2015.
    I have since then written a mapping for a DJ controller (it’s not entirely finished yet, but close), and found that there’s an active and supportive community behind the development of it. I’d love it if someone made a video introduction to it such as this Traktor one from Digital DJ Tips.
  • Melodics: I don’t remember where I learnt about Melodics; it’s a commercial, closed-source application that teaches pad drumming, a bit in the style of Guitar Hero: You get a beat you’re meant to follow, and the closer you are to the intended beat, the more points you get. It’s so much fun! A few dozen beats are free, and you can subscribe to it to unlock everything else. With US$9.99/month it’s a tad too pricy for me (I’m not a friend of subscriptions, I should add), but it may be totally fine for you.

In the next post I’ll talk more about the applications that are on my list to be explored more, and why.

Belated Christmas web-based fun

With Christmas having been a great success in this household, kids and cats are happy and I had some time to dabble with a few audio toys. Sweet! I saw this little Ableton diddy a few weeks ago, and am enjoying it much.


A few days earlier, I started playing with the HTML-909, by Teemu Kallio. It is also awesome.

More, More!

Trading decay knobs and accents for 4 sets of drum sounds and an audio export function, I was surprised by how the different drum sets on the HTML5 Drummachine lead me to different results.

More! More! More!

While talking to my friend Pascal about how many exciting things the Web Audio API had produced, he pointed out the Victor NV-1 synthesizer, another fine example of what can be done with HTML, Javascript and CSS these days.

I should really record and share when I play with these machines…

An exciting Mixxx 2.0

I’ve just read on the Mixxx blog (via DJTechTools and the ever-busy Phil Morse of Digital DJ Tips) that the next version of Mixxx will be 2.0.

I’ve pretty much said the same thing in the comments, I’m excited about this, as my trawl for open-source audio software often yields a lot of things that are either abandoned and not actually open source (but downloads on personal websites of people who lost the will to develop their idea further), or so damn hard to get into, often due to a hard-to-understand user interface. Mixxx is a breath of fresh air regarding this: Clearly fully under development, with a easy-to-understand interface, it’s a product that isn’t lacking anything to compete with its pay-for siblings.

Sadly I can’t help with translations, as both English and German are completed (and nobody would want me to start translating into anything else), but I’ve forked the source code repository to develop a mapping for my most recent toy, the Hercules DJControl Compact. Let’s see how it goes, contributions welcome!

samples, free as in speech

In open source software, the makers and general caretakers of the movement have left a long trail of articles and blog posts, describing many times the different facets of “free” and “open”.

A common rhetoric thrown about is whether the thing at hand is free “as in beer”, or free “as in speech”. I found this nice distinction explained using the words gratis vs libre. In software there is a large gap between the two: Can you only download and run the application, or can you also legally download the source, change it to your liking, and build or even share the changed end result?

One site making use of it, that was recommended to me years ago, which I only now fully started to appreciate, is the Free Music Archive: I keep listening and listening to Tha Silent Partner‘s music. He writes on his twitter page “I make beats(as Tha Silent Partner) and live my life”, so, following that thought, I’m a bit sad that all his music that I checked on FMA is licensed as NonCommercial-NoDerivatives, meaning you can listen to and play it, while you don’t make any money, but you may not, well, sample it for something else. Isn’t it counter-productive to make beats but not let people use them in their songs? I must ask him, maybe he’ll reply; maybe there’s some sense in it that I haven’t seen.

Back to samples, one site that I found more recently, which isn’t centered around free music, but actually free pre-produced samples, is the Converse Sample Library. The awesome part about it is that it’s nearly no-strings attached, you can browse the library, download samples, make your music and sell it as you wish. Hurrah!