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My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:19 am
by yerzmyey
Hi,

well, I dunno whether it's the correct section of the forum, but there was nothing like "Music corner", heh.

Thanks to all the guys who were helping me last days, on this Forum, I was finally able to start composing something, of course on a pure/stock Raspberry Pi 2.

Just to let You know my R_Pi doesn't "collect the dust" - here is a short fragment, made today, and recorded from my RaspMachine ;)
http://yerzmyey.i-demo.pl/yerz_r_pi_music_test.mp3

Kind regards,
Yerz

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:58 pm
by yerzmyey
Hmmm, OK - it's going (slowly) forward...
Almost 2 minutes now - http://yerzmyey.i-demo.pl/yerz_r_pi_music_test2.mp3

Well, generally work with R_Pi is very comfortable, however the MilkyTracker behaves somewhat unstably. Which is disturbing. Once, it totally turned off, when I pressed SHIFT+TAB (one of the most often-used combinations) and it was rrrrrrrrrrreally scary. Luckily I had the song just saved, haha.

Another unusual thing - on PC/Windows the ALT+F4 and ALT+F5 are "copy marked field" and "paste", but in Pi version it just close after the sorrowful ;) ALT+F4. So I'm forced to use mouse for this one.
Ah well, more exercises - stronger hands, hehehe.

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:11 pm
by yerzmyey
Hello!

So, my very first song on R_Pi is ready!!!
Enjoy. ;)

YouTube:
http://youtu.be/42Yx2MSt0KI

SoundCloud:
https://soundcloud.com/yerzmyey/yerzmyey-ursula-part-2


*****INFO_TEXT*****
"Ursula (part 2)" by Yerzmyey. (C) 2015.

This song has been made entirely on Raspberry Pi 2. Also, it has been
recorded directly from the machine.
22 channels have been used.

The R_Pi's sound is being generated by the Broadcom BCM2835 chip (for
the 1st R_Pi) and by Broadcom BCM2836 chip (in the 2nd R_Pi), so it's
resolved somewhat like in ZX Spectrum: the sound is being generated by CPU.


It works with 11 bit quality. It's not an actual DAC, it is a digital
PWM module (gives a 'pulse width modulated' signal) working with
frequency around 40MHz and it is low-pass-filtered.

The funny thing is, I also rendered the song directly into harddisk and
compared it to the version recorded from real R_Pi: and I deleted the
rendered file to hell, haha. The original Pi sound is
warm'n'soft; doesn't remind thousands of razors.

Some people say R_Pi isn't good for music.
They are WRONG.

Download the MP3:
http://yerzmyey.i-demo.pl/Yerzmyey-Ursula_part_2.mp3

PS: Thx to Waldow, Skrzyp, Drygol Willy, as well as for Liz Upton and the
ppl from Raspberry Pi Forum.
************************

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:30 pm
by Douglas6
Very nicely done. A talentful showpiece of the Pi's musical abilities.

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:04 am
by Mandrewpi
Doesn't sound too bad :D

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:55 pm
by yerzmyey
Thanks mates.
Probably will do entire collection dedicated to R_Pi and made on one. ;)
Byez,
Y

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:57 pm
by yerzmyey
Another song fully made with the Raspberry Pi 2 (and recorded from it) -
http://yerzmyey.i-demo.pl/Yerzmyey-R_Pi_Zwei.mp3
On the occasion of the "Pi Day". ;)

Finally I figured out the bug in Milky Tracker:
when You mark something on tracks, You _have to_ remove the marking before You do anything else.
Even the smallest dot cannot be marked.
Then the program works perfectly well.

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:58 pm
by yerzmyey
Well, the work is continuing.
http://yerzmyey.i-demo.pl/Yerzmyey-Alien_encounter.mp3
Made on pure Raspberry Pi 2; as usual recorded from the 'jack' port.
The idea of MilkyTracker on Raspberry Pi was great.

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:04 am
by Douglas6
Amazing stuff, really, and almost hard to believe it was created on the Pi. I'd love to see any tips you would care to share regarding setting up and using MilkyTracker, your own hardware setup, workflow, etc. I don't have the musical chops to follow in your footsteps, but I know other Pi enthusiasts out there do have.

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:59 am
by toxibunny
choon!

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:01 am
by ghans
I can only agree , really nice tracks yerzmyey !


ghans

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:52 pm
by yerzmyey
Hello,

Thank You very much, although it’s rather Pi’s merit than mine, haha. :) I just glue some notes into a bunch of them. ;)

Anyway, I would never think that such a small computer can do this stuff.
On the other hand, UK computers were always based on the CPU’s power and usually had not entirely standard audio generators, so seems like everything fits very well, since 80s until today. :)

I made all the compositions on my Pi only, and actually it was very comfortable. True, I don’t have too big micro-SD card, only 16Gb, so it’s not too much to have a properly big instruments’ collection (and not to be forced to copy repeatedly the new ones from PC or Internet), but I also put there permanently a 32Gb memory-stick. I treat it as an additional hard-drive and I store there most of instruments/samples.

The MilkyTracker – I admit – has been installed for me by a friend, who is a Linux user.
The program’s site is here http://milkytracker.org/ and the Debian’s port is here: http://packages.debian.org/sid/milkytracker (although I’m not entirely sure whether the friend used this one or maybe took the program from Repository, while he was making his “Linux magic” on my R_Pi2).

The program works almost perfectly well on the Pi, excluding marking/selecting music areas with mouse. Finally I found the exact moment of the bug: the selected area cannot “leave” the screen while one moves left/right. So I just select some things to copy; then I copy them and just make sure I _liquidate_ the selection entirely. Then I can “paste” the previously selected area anywhere I want and the program works normally.

Another technical problem (that we resolved with my friend but with a big help of the raspberrypi.org Forum) was a resolution of the tracker.
R_Pi2 has a HUUUUUUGE resolution. It seems to be very good but because of that - some programs are being displayed in very small windows (and they remain microscopic even on fullscreen, having a gigantic black border :) ).
I would say, the best would be to leave the huge R_Pi resolution but enter the MilkyTracker and then go into Config/Layout. Then, on the right-hand side there are sizes to choose. One can select there a resolution the best for him, and if the letters are still too small, there is also a “Scale” section, where I’ve chosen “x2” option – and all pixels became bigger, so the screen is very clear now.

This is the main screen of the program http://yerzmyey.republika.pl/milkytracker.png and this is exactly how it looks on my R_Pi2.
I suspect it can generate sound both: through the ‘jack’ port as well as from the HDMI (supposedly the mixer program from the Pi-Store can force it. If not – then a proper text in the Pi’s CONFIG file should do the trick, I imagine).
We can assume that the HDMI will have better quality, as it’s – as far as I know – a fully digital signal. But – in case of recording from HDMI, one would must have of course a proper cable from HDMI to audio.

The program can play old-style Amiga music (4 channels, 8 bit quality) but most of all, it’s a powerful editor for modern machines, so You can use as many samples as You want, even veeeeeery long ones, and of course with full 16 bit quality.
Although it goes in 11 bit quality from R_Pi, that’s another matter. :) But I like this sound because it’s more “soft”.
You can use also maaaaaaany many channels; in the last song I used 26 of them and I’m sure with the powerful Broadcom one can use many more, if required.
When the samples (instruments) are stereo, the program asks – while loading samples – whether to use left channel, right channel or whether to mix them. I always use the “mix both channels” option of course.

If any of You have the MilkyTracker successfully installed, I can upload somewhere my songs in the “source” form of the *.XM files, I imagine it would be far more informative, to check them out, listen separate channels to check out how they are built, or listen to them with slower tempo (in the same purpose). Right CTRL is “play entire song from the current position” and right ALT is play a single (current) pattern. SPACE is stop (and switching EDIT on/off, by the way).

One thing that could be strange for MIDI users and synthesizers’ users would be a fact, that tracker editors – within one and the same channel – end a note instantly when the next note comes. It gives a very dry/raw sound: to avoid it we have to make delays/echoes “manually” by copying the track into the next one and move it – let’s say – 3 lines lower (and of course put much more silent volumes). Et voila.

Also, if required, I can upload some sets of my samples/instruments (into the SendSpace for example) that I generated or recorded from various synthesizers.

Best wishes,
Yerz

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:02 pm
by toxibunny
Hey Yerzmyey, could you answer a question for me please?

Ages ago (mid-1990s) , I used to make music using an atari ST, an akai S20 sampler, and a Yamaha MU5.

Now, although I went mental once and sold all my gear, the musicmaking urge has never quite left me - and I'm figuring as a fellow musical person, with both the artistic sensibility and enough technical knowledge you can probably/hopefully answer this...

In your opinion, can I make an akai s20 replacement out of a model A, a usb sound card, and some buttons?

Failing that, can I make a decent sample looper/player?


I really loved my akai S20 - it was the bottom-of-the-range sampler, in an age when PCs didn't sample. And crazily, PCs never caught up. There was alway so much lag!

TBH, it always surprises me that you can't do it with an arduino...

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:40 pm
by yerzmyey
Toxibunny:

Hello there,
I have to admit I am not sure I understand what You need.
It's a question of English language.

> In your opinion, can I make an akai s20 replacement out of a model A, a usb sound card, and some buttons?
-------------------------
Do You mean, whether can You use Pi (model A) instead of the Akai S20 sampler?
If that's the question, then I took a look (a hear? ;) ) on the machine's audio clip:
http://www.vintagesynth.com/audio/akais20.mp3
Sounds to me like Pi can play the same (and even more, 'cause it has more channels - but I use Pi2, so dunno how many channels earlier models can achieve with BCM2835 chip, although I assume - still many).
Also the Akai had only 1Mb for samples. So You will have muuuuuuuuuch more RAM for it, on Pi. ;P
Akai's polyphony - 8 voices. You can get far more from the Pi. I get 26 from Pi2 last times and I'm sure I could go for more but...... I don't need it. :)
Akai's resolution of sound - 16bit. That's what I don't have with stock/pure Pi, 'cause they say it's only 11bit quality. But You've mentioned using the USB soundcard, so You could eliminate this problem.
Also, on the Pi with MilkyTracker You'd have no restrictions of the Akai's on-board sequencer.

But on the other hand - I have no idea what would be the situation of MIDI / keys / playing live.
Surely You'd have to ask AutoStatic about it, he's the master of the subject-matter. :)

And btw I was searching for some sample-sets takes from the Akai (sometimes people do this stuff to re-use samples on other hardware, PC and so on, and not to be forced to buy the actual machine/s/), but sadly didn't find anything like it. Ah well.

Finally - does Pi have any possibilities of recording sound? Nothing that I know of, anyway. So You'd have to use the USB card indeed, I imagine. There's Audacity prog on Linux and I installed it on the Pi2. It _seems_ to work. So You could record required samples on it, export them into 16bit WAV and later use in the MilkyTracker's sequencer. I mean - just an idea anyway.

> Failing that, can I make a decent sample looper/player?
---------------------------
Of the Pi, I gather. Player - yes. As You can hear in the MP3 files above.
Situation with recording sound, as I understand, would require an external soundcard and the Audacity prog (is there any better utility for Linux? Anybody knows anything about it?).
Then - to export samples into WAVs and load them into MilkyTracker. And use there. It has BPM tempos, so You should have no troubles with loops.

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:16 pm
by tvjon
yerzmyey wrote:Hello,

Thank You very much, although it’s rather Pi’s merit than mine, haha. :) I just glue some notes into a bunch of them. ;)

Anyway, I would never think that such a small computer can do this stuff.
...

If any of You have the MilkyTracker successfully installed, I can upload somewhere my songs in the “source” form of the *.XM files, I imagine it would be far more informative, to check them out, listen separate channels to check out how they are built, or listen to them with slower tempo (in the same purpose). Right CTRL is “play entire song from the current position” and right ALT is play a single (current) pattern. SPACE is stop (and switching EDIT on/off, by the way).

...
Also, if required, I can upload some sets of my samples/instruments (into the SendSpace for example) that I generated or recorded from various synthesizers.

Best wishes,
Yerz
Yerz,

thank you very much for posting this thread.

I have just built & installed milkytracker from its Github repository, so on this 1920 * 1080 screen, your hint about resolution & scaling has come in handy :)

Can you kindly do some uploads then please?

I'll be attending an informal Raspberry jam in a couple of weeks, & milkytracker plus some files to work with would be very nice for people attending & wondering what RPi can do. I'll have mainly graphics/ video stuff, so music would be a nice complement. RPi is indeed a terrific device, especially for people keen to learn.

Thank you.

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:14 pm
by yerzmyey
Hello,

yes, by all means.

So here are samples that I took from my Yamaha E-423. Several days of work but I think they might be really useful.
https://www.sendspace.com/file/9vowp4

If You take a look on the http://yerzmyey.republika.pl/milkytracker.png picture, You can see the instruments/samples corner in the right/upper side of the screen. You have to use Samples/Load option.
And then press "MIX BOTH CHANNELS" of course.

To load another sample, just press another (free) place in the "Ins" (instrument) section. And again - Samples/Load.


F1 - F8: OCTAVES.


Here are sources of two first songs I made with my Pi2:
https://www.sendspace.com/file/nmov22
You can analyse them to check out commands like vibrato, slide up, slide down, volume, tempo and others.

I do hope it will be useful for people who would like to make music with the Raspberry Pi computer.


Best regards,
Y

Re: My first tests of music-composing on R_Pi

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:17 pm
by yerzmyey
Ah, and one more thing -
tvjon wrote: I'll be attending an informal Raspberry jam in a couple of weeks, & milkytracker plus some files to work with would be very nice for people attending & wondering what RPi can do.
You guys make some videos from the meeting and put them into YouTube or something, I'd be interested to see it at least, if I cannot come in person, hahaha.