Monday, October 01, 2007

More printer control

I have made a more complex application to control the printer. It is a sequencer that is made up of three layers.

The overarching layer is the SENTENCE STRUCTURE that loops. The SENTENCE STRUCTURE consists of a sequence of up to sixteen steps.

Occupying each step can be either no action (described as NO OUTPUT) or one of eight WORD STRUCTURES (labeled WORD ONE to WORD EIGHT).

The length of the SENTENCE STRUCTURE can be set as well as the speed that each step is read through.

Each WORD STRUCTURE is made up of up to sixteen bits. Each bit can have one of two states, a high state and a low state. In a low state, that point of the WORD STRUCTURE will be a space.

In a high state, that point of the WORD STRUCTURE will be the symbol typed into the HIGH BIT SYMBOL field. The length of the WORD STRUCTURE can be set.

After the contents of the bits has been sent to the printer, a line feed (ASCII number ten) is sent. This causes the printer to print out the WORD STRUCTURE in one action.

Rhythmic features of the structure of the word are present in the sound. Whichever symbol is chosen for a given word determines certain (sometimes subtle) sonic characteristics of the sound as the printer prints.


Carl said...

Hello, I am very interested in your Printer Software. Is this only software on your computer that you use to control printers, or do you have to modify the firmware of the printer you are using as well. Could you post some sound files of your work in this area? I have heard Paul Slocum's work and it is fantastic.

Interesting Blog.

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Hi Carl,
The firmware of the printer does not have to be modified. However, there is a level of "interpretation software" that has been programmed onto an Arduino board. This takes the serial data from the Max/MSP patch and passes it onto a BAS120 Picaxe printer module, that in turn then uses a parallel connection to control the printer. This Arduino sketch is very simple, and almost just takes the USB data stream and directly transfers whatever information the sequencer sends.

I am sorry, but i currently do not have time for probably the next week or so because of my work and teaching workload. But once i do get a chance, i will be sure to post some sound examples. However, it sounds much different from Slocum's work (which is absolutely brilliant - what a guy!). You can think of it more as rhythmic patterns that have the ability to change and evolve over time rather than specific melodic components as in Paul Slocum's printer music.

Riley said...

can you mail a bas 120 chip or refer me to somewhere to get in USA or a similar chip thanks

Sebastian Tomczak said...

I would say contact any picaxe resellers, they might be able to help you out.