From the intrepid grid-playing monome producers comes a whole bundle of goodness: a free album, and along with it, a nice video that illustrates what’s happening on some of the tracks, some reflections on how 15-second samples can bind together a community of music makers, and even, as a bonus, some tips on running Windows software in Linux under WINE. (Whew!)

Via Joshua Saddler, who illustrates his music creation techniques in the video at top, we learn of the monome Community Remix Project album, available as a free download via Bandcamp. (Full track lineup embedded below.)

MCRPv10: MCRP​-​RP, by monome community [Bandcamp]

Josh explains how the “meta-remix” came about — by limiting to 15-second samples, and pooling results, an entire community of producers was able to work collaboratively:

I admit that this is slightly in my own interest, since I’m on this album (as “ioflow”). But even though this is the first album I’ve ever appeared on, being new to the world of electronic music production, what’s really newsworthy is that it’s another outstanding effort by all the monome artists. these guys are super-talented.

This MCRP theme: the meta-remix project. Each participant grabbed a 15-second sample from a previous MCRP track, and submitted the unaltered clip to the pool. the participants then used the pool to craft their own original tracks.

Man, what they did is crazy. I had access to the samples and I still can’t tell how they got those sounds. they’re a fine buncha talented
folks, so maybe this is a news item of interest: monomers around the world coming together to create a free album, created at least in part
with free software (i even used Windows software on Linux), using tracks previously made freely-available on other MCRP albums.

Thanks, and happy listening!

Here’s Josh’s track, too, via SoundCloud:

lines and angles by ioflow

Linux + WINE Tips

Josh also, after my prompting, shares some tips on how he works with Linux and, for Windows compatibility inside Linux, WINE:

I ran Max/MSP under Wine. I ran the “Ricochet” performance patch for the monome, which was tied to Linux-native Renoise via JACK (WineASIO transports audio/midi from Wine to the system JACK daemon). Renoise hosted the samples as sliced instruments, with some more open-source software DSSI plugins loaded (Calf Vintage Delay, etc.)

Ricochet is based on the Otomata website that’s been covered on CDM previously. You can actually see how it translates to the monome on my video for “lines and angles.” Press a button to place an initial “token,” with each subsequent press indicating direction: [seen at top]

More details here:

(and more monome/controllerism/software/music-related stuff on the “music” tag!)

The Max/MSP stuff, especially MIDI-outputting patches, generally works on Linux exactly the way it does on Mac or Windows. Occasionally I have to do some hacking to get audio/sample-based patches to cooperate, but only rarely do I find something that doesn’t work at all. mlrv1 and mlrv2 are the only ones so far. Most of the challenges stem from the fact that Wine’s handling of Bonjour is broken. The zeroconf layer that’s used by serialosc poses the most problems. For zeroconf-based apps, I got the man himself, tehn, to create a “static” serialosc.maxpat, for which I use a plain text editor to manually specify ports, then copy that .maxpat into each serialosc-based Max patch I intend to use. serialosc itself is developed on Linux, but it uses Avahi there, whereas other platforms use Apple Bonjour. Can’t have two DNS stacks on one machine, so I’m forever hacking on and around Wine to get it to cooperate with the system DNS responder. So far, there’s no way to bridge the app’s zeroconf transport and use it unmodified on Linux.

Workarounds like customized .maxpats are a small price to pay, though, for the pleasure of being able to run monome performance patches. I’m not a coder, so I have to work with what’s available right now. Maybe in the future I’ll try porting some of these things to Python.

I recently got Aalto running under Wine — I posted that to the CDM article a week or so ago. Rules of the MCRP being what they were, though, no external sounds allowed, so I couldn’t hook that in, much as I wanted to. I had a lot of fun learning how to make music with samples for the first time, anyway.

Good to know, I think! For more on WINE, see:

But personally, I’m delighted just to have some nice music to listen to – and the price is right. Thanks, monome community!