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Then I found my old VL-1 MIDIfier kit!

VL1 MIDIfier kit
VL1 MIDIfier kit

I was looking for something else when I found this! I knew, or at least I seemed to remember that I’d bought one of these ages ago. Well I’ve found it and I’m planning to get it going soon(-ish). Ideally I’d like to get it running so that I can get it to work with my VL1 bot. We’ll see about that.

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MIDI Thing is coming

You may have heard from PalmSounds that MIDI thing is now actually a thing. In fact it’s now in test and there’s even a Facebook page and everything!

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Using Conductive Ink Proximity Pads with Ableton

Conductive Ink Proximity Pads controlling Ableton
Conductive Ink Proximity Pads controlling Ableton
Jo setting up the Conductive Ink Proximity Pads
Jo setting up the Conductive Ink Proximity Pads

One of the technologies we had on show at the SoundLab Play Space was Bare Conductive’s Conductive Ink and TouchBoard. We used these to connect to Ableton Live and control a variety of parameters in a set. It took quite a lot of tinkering around to get the pads and the board to work as we wanted, and a lot of time to calibrate the pads to get them sensing and sending MIDI CCs.

Hopefully I’ll be able to release to arduino code for the set we used soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some videos too to show how to get it done.

I think that that the TouchBoard is a really cheap and simple way to create effective gestural control via MIDI.

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More on making conductive ink pads for proximity sensing

Drawing up proximity pads
Drawing up proximity pads

After experimenting with my previous cards I decided to try a larger and denser pad for use as a proximity sensor.

There was a very good little tutorial on the Bare Conductive site so I used that. As you can see above it very sensibly suggests the use of masking tape to make these pads. I followed the instructions and made 4 pads in the end.

Proximity pads drying out
Proximity pads drying out

Whilst the tape removal wasn’t an entire success it was ok and didn’t stop the pads from working which was good.

Conductive ink
Conductive ink

I’m planning to post a much larger post around how to get these pads to work for music and how best to get the code up and running too. It might take a little while to get that going though, so hopefully it’ll be in a week or two.

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Getting a Philip Rees V3 MIDI thru unit

Philip Rees V3
Philip Rees V3

I used to have one of these ages ago and it was incredibly useful. But sadly I got rid of it. Why? Good question, I’m not even sure now. But I needed a new one even though I had the V4 as well. The big difference with the V3 is that it has its own power from a little PP3 (9v) battery inside. That means that it can power devices that draw vampiric MIDI power, such as the two MIDI vampires I’ve got.

All in all a very useful device indeed.