Saturday, June 24, 2006

SynthCart midi control... it begins

Being the lovely saturday morning that it is, I have started to work on a project long overdue: a SynthCart midi interface... of sorts. This is something I have always wanted, but never really had the time, money or patience at a high enough priority to purchase a midi to relay device or anything like that.

How does it work? Well...
  • A very simple max/msp patch controls squares on a second monitor.
  • There are twenty-four squares, in four rows of six.
  • Whether each square is black or white is controlled by midi.
  • A velocity of zero makes the square black. A non-zero changes it to white.
  • Each sqaure has its own midi note, which is calculated simply as being a modulos of twenty four. Thus, every second C, for example, will control the very first square. The alternate C's will control the twelfth square.
  • Attached to each square on the monitor would be twenty-four LDR's (left over from Black Dog White Dog).
  • The LDR's would be re-wired to each act as a keypad button on an Atari 2600.
  • The bottom line: each midi note controls a square that controls an LDR that acts as a button that controls a note on the 2600 via Slocum's SynthCart. That was a mouthful, huh?
  • This opens the door for: sequencing, algorithmic music, chance music blah blah blah via the SynthCart / 2600.
The squares are layed out int he following fashion:
KP1: 1 2 3 4 5 6
KP1: 7 8 9 * 0 #
KP2: 1 2 3 4 5 6
KP2: 7 8 9 * 0 #

No actual tests yet involving the 2600 (because the gear is not at my place at the moment), but I will post again about this once I run a simple test.

Many thanks to Damian West for the monitor.