DIY looper/sampler

Multi-platform modular music creation studio
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ZipSnipe
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

DIY looper/sampler

Post by ZipSnipe » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:34 pm

Hello all, A brief explanation on what got me started down this path.

I have been on a mission for the past couple of years, I got my studio set up exactly the way i want it. But I wanted a portable set up(been in the closet too long time to get out) , with small battery powered synths and samplers. I was going to get a sp404(I have two sp808's) but I got an iPad instead, I thought that it would replace the SP's but sadly it did not. While there are many many kool apps , they all seem to fall short in one area or another.

Then I said man I see these modular guys building synths, someone has had have built a sampler. Found loads of diy samplers.

Then wala !!! The Rasberry Pi, I discounted this little micro computer years ago when it first came out, really didn't know what all the hoopla was about. Then I came across SunVox http://www.warmplace.ru/soft/sunvox/ , this a great software that you can test out for free on your windows or mac and best of all it runs on Rasberry Pi . And so begins my path to the diy looper/sampler/synth all based on the Sun Vox engine which will be totally upgradeable running on the RasberryPi3 platform.With 7 inch capacitive touchscreen and 4x4 button matrix. I have received all the necessary parts .

Best of all I will document the entire process , oh by the way total cost $130

So stay tuned and heres a lil mock up I did in Paint
SamplerPart2warm.jpg
SamplerPart2warm.jpg (44.53 KiB) Viewed 828 times

ZipSnipe
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by ZipSnipe » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:39 pm

And here is the case
casewarm2.jpg
casewarm2.jpg (52.17 KiB) Viewed 826 times
Also got the Raspberry pi up and running, was not easy. First problem was I was trying to start it up with the touch screen and it wouldn't boot up. Switched to my son's pc monitor and wala , we have life. Loaded all the driver stuff(this is done by typing commands in a prompt so no easy graphical interface like we have in windows or mac)

Anyway got the touchscreen working however it is noooo iPad. In fact its about useless. So now I need to rethink the touchscreen idea, I will continue to research and see if there is code out there to give it more iPad responsiveness but if I can't find the code, I might just switch to a smaller non touch screen lcd just to have display.

Oh and then not to mention the hour and half I just wasted trying to get a pop up keyboard(like most tablets have) and you still have to use the command prompt to activate it, which means you need a mouse and keyboard to type in the command....wtf? Maybe I did something wrong I don't know or maybe I just assumed that it would pop up like most tablet soft keyboards do. ummm maybe I need to leave it up in the back ground, I don't know.....more to come

TheMonopluralist
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:40 am

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by TheMonopluralist » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:44 am

Just some thoughts and perhaps useful experience:

I have a "similar" concept in progress, in that I am reasonably successfully running sunvox on a raspberry pi 3, with another battery powered synth, using a 7 inch touchscreen, with some pad controllers and encoders, and no permanent qwerty keyboard. It is currently set up to run qjackctl then open sunvox (maximised, "undecorated", and "always on top" of other layers and the taskbar). All this stuff is crammed into a large briefcase/pilot's case.

Gear used:
-RPi3
-Official 7" touchscreen (and case)
-Behringer Uca222 (usb audio interface)
-Arturia Minilab mkii (usb-midi keyboard & controller - any class compliant usb-midi controller should work)
-Roland Um-one mkii (usb-midi interface to trigger the volca fm)
-Korg Volca FM

The main differences here are:
-my controllers are all midi controllers (in fact it is a usb-midi keyboard with pads and encoders)
-the touchscreen is the "official" 7 inch screen (which I had no problems setting up)

Keyboard thoughts:
-I set up a some shortcuts on the desktop to turn wifi on and off (so I can use SSH and dropbox when I need), and to run audacity/jack/sunvox, etc. They require a quick double-tap to activate them. You could maybe set up a similar shortcut to run florence or matchbox (please let me know if you find a better on-screen keyboard).

Audio Output (& Input) Thoughts:
-How are you getting the sound out (and in, if so)? I have struggled to find an alternative interface to the behringer which still has line inputs, line outputs, and headphone output. The alsamixer behringer settings only allow the input and output level to be adjusted together, rather than separately, which is a bit sucky, and am still struggling with clicks/pops on the line input despite playing with buffer settings quite a bit (not just a sunvox issue as it is the same when recording straight to audacity).

Further Random Thoughts:
If you think about adding other battery powered devices, something like the Modal Craftsynth (or Craftrhythm) may be worth looking at for you. I have the craftsynth, and it works as a class compliant midi device over usb, so doesn't require an adapter, can be powered over the usb from the rpi, and obviously can generate sound without requiring the pi's processor do too much work. The downside is that the line-out is fixed at full volume, and the headphone out is pretty noisy. If you have an ipad, the editor for it is very good, and is also available for android and windows and mac, but not for linux/raspbian.

TheMonopluralist
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:40 am

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by TheMonopluralist » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:48 am

Also, if you only waste an hour and a half trying to get something to work on the raspberry pi, you are a better person than I am. For the record, I have had a raspberry pi since the first model, and still largely don't really know what I'm doing.

ZipSnipe
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by ZipSnipe » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:10 am

Ok update , touchscreen is working, I had to hook the Raspberry up to another pc monitor and then download the touchscreen drivers ,installed and then switched to the touchscreen and all is good with that. I also got the DAC going and all is good with that.

I am currently stuck on the Adafruit 4x4 trellis button pad. Followed directions to the T. However the directions are old and one of the main files I need has changed and I am just stuck. Here is what the directions say

Note: For any python script you create to use Trellis, copy the Adafruit_I2C.py file from the Adafruit Raspberry Pi Python code download into the same folder as your python script. Don't skip this step--Adafruit_I2C.py needs to be in the same directory as your script or else the Trellis python library will fail to load!

The "Adafruit_I2C.py". Adafruit guy did point to the new one and I did download and install but it still says it needs the Adafruit_I2C.py file so I am lost in this vast sea of code

ZipSnipe
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by ZipSnipe » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:22 pm

TheMonopluralist wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:44 am


Audio Output (& Input) Thoughts:
-How are you getting the sound out (and in, if so)? I have struggled to find an alternative interface to the behringer which still has line inputs, line outputs, and headphone output. The alsamixer behringer settings only allow the input and output level to be adjusted together, rather than separately, which is a bit sucky, and am still struggling with clicks/pops on the line input despite playing with buffer settings quite a bit (not just a sunvox issue as it is the same when recording straight to audacity).
I currently plan to bring the sound in via wifi remote desktop and also usb thumb drives, all loops and samples will be edited in FLStudio. For sound out will of course be the DAC

ZipSnipe
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by ZipSnipe » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:17 am

We have lights !!!!!
lights.JPG
lights.JPG (27.63 KiB) Viewed 769 times
Now just to play around with the code , understand how each button is activated and then we figure out how SunVox connects to it

Twindle Jumper
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:21 am

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by Twindle Jumper » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:46 am

Post updates, I'm curious :)

ZipSnipe
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:13 pm

Re: DIY looper/sampler

Post by ZipSnipe » Thu May 10, 2018 6:12 pm

Sorry for the delay, the project has almost ground to a halt. The main problem is I run my own business and I have been busy as hell. The other problem is I cannot figure out in python how to connect my GUI with the file system, it’s beyond my learning.

So today I am heading to the local college and I will hopefully find a student programmer that is interested in electronic music and I will pay him to help me develop this, I will post updates in the next few weeks.

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