How to use AudioCubes to control your Hardware Synths, Analog Synths and Modulars

2012-04-01

Most of you maybe wondering whether it is possible to send MIDI data from the AudioCubes to your hardware synthesizers? This is easy to do. There are several applications for the AudioCubes you can use to do this, two of the most recent apps being Improvisor and Evolvor (see http://land.percussa.com/audiocubes-improvisor and http://land.percussa.com/audiocubes-evolvor)

If your hardware synth supports MIDI Input (such as an Access Virus or Waldorf Blofeld), you will need a USB to MIDI interface (Such as the M-Audio MidiSport 2x2). If it's an analog synth, perhaps even an analog modular (such as the Doepfer A-100), you will also need a MIDI to CV interface (Such as the Kenton USB Solo). This will convert MIDI messages coming from your computer (and the Improvisor or Evolvor software) into control voltages which your analog synth can deal with.

How to connect Percussa AudioCube to Hardware Synths

Note that although in the diagram there is a line between the AudioCubes, the AudioCubes actually communicate wirelessly via high-speed infrared!

In Improvisor and Evolvor, there are MIDI Output ports which you can choose. All you need to do is choose the MIDI output port of your USB To MIDI interface, after you've connected it to your computer. You then hook up this MIDI port with a MIDI cable to your hardware synth (MIDI OUT on your USB to MIDI interface to MIDI IN on your hardware synth or MIDI to CV interface).

AudioCubes Improvisor Screenshot

With Improvisor, you can do generative music composition. Improvisor is basically a special step sequencer in which several sequences can interact which each other, add up to each other, ... they can play back at different speeds, and each sequence can be linked to an AudioCube, letting you experiment with melodies and rhythms simply by putting the AudioCubes together. When you put the AudioCubes next to each other, they will each play back their own sequences, outputting MIDI messages to your hardware synth, which will play back the melodies (in the case of your analog synth the MIDI is converted to control voltages which then drive your analog synth). Read more about Improvisor at http://land.percussa.com/audiocubes-improvisor

EVOLVOR - Percussa AudioCubes

With Evolvor, you can generate complex curves for controling sound parameters. You can start with drawing several of these curves, which can then be looped continuously. The curves can be added up to each other, generating completely new curves. With Evolvor, you can continously modulate many sound parameters, more than you could by turning knobs using your hands. The beauty of the software is that it is try interactive envelope generation, not preprogrammed automation: each AudioCube can be linked to a different control envelope, and when you put the cubes next to each other, the envelopes will magically add up. This lets you very easily experiment with different types of sound modulation simply by placing cubes and changing their orientation in the "cube network". Read more about Evolvor at http://land.percussa.com/audiocubes-evolvor

MIDIBridge for AudioCubes

And of course, if you just want to control sound parameters of your synth using your hands and gestures, you can use our MIDIBridge software. MIDIBridge is our mapping powerhouse which lets you connect the four sensors of the AudioCube to 4 parameters of a sound processor or synthesizer. This way, with one AudioCube and two hands you can easily shape and control sounds, and basically "turn" 4 knobs simultaneously! Read more about MIDIBridge on our Live Performance page at http://land.percussa.com/live-start/

What hardware setup do you have and what do you want to control using the AudioCubes, Evolvor and Improvisor? Post your ideas below in the comments for discussion!