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Seisiuneer

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 #1 
Here's a little something I've been cooking in the lab for a while, should be out around July 10th:

http://www.tradlessons.com/CyborgGCF.html

Here's a couple of demo videos showing the app wirelessly controlling a Roland JV-1080 hardware synth module:





What's amazing is you can be anywhere in the house and play the synth module as long as you have a strong WiFi connection to your iPad.

I'm a beginning B/C Irish box player and don't play GCF, so the first video is just me playing some scales using different MIDI channels on the Roland JV-1080, but it can keep up with pretty much whatever you can throw at it as shown in the second video.

The note guide and default button-to-MIDI note number map is based on a standard GCF instrument, but the entire range can be transposed up or down one octave in semi-tone increments. So for FBbEb, set the transpose for -2 semitones, EAD -3 semitones, ADG +2 semitones, BbEbAb +3 semitones, etc.  Alternatively, you can use a global transpose on your synth module.

You can play with a single MIDI velocity or expressively by selecting either X or Y direction based velocity mapping. When either of these modes, where you touch or slide your finger in the bellows area sets the velocity for subsequent notes. You can set the min and maximum values to map or even reverse the mapping direction.

The app talks via WiFi over your home network via a small server app (available from Google Code) called "DSMIDIWiFi" that runs on your PC or Mac. That app sends the MIDI data along to a software or hardware synth module, depending on your system configuration. Several wireless MIDI iOS apps use this same infrastructure.  In my case, I'm using it to play a rack-mounted Roland JV-1080 synth module.

I've released several of these in the past for both English and Anglo concertina as well as two-row Melodeon, figured I might as well add a 3-row version for the iPad.

Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the whole system setup, it's an app that really isn't for a the casual user. It really for someone who has a lot of experience and is comfortable with MIDI interfaces, signal routing, and wireless network configuration and understands the various factors related to latency and reliability on both MIDI and WiFi.

I highly suggest that you make sure your setup and iPad work well with one or more of the other free WiFi DSMIDIWifi based wireless controller apps available on the iTunes App Store before buying Cyborg GCF.

Here's a screen shot with the MIDI controls enabled (the MIDI icon at the upper left toggles the controls on/off):



The red bar on the left is on during a push, alternates with a green bar on the right during a pull.

Of course, you can turn off the display of the MIDI controls and note names for a clean look if you want:



Touch the 'i' to bring up the help screen:



You can set it so that where you touch in the bellows area varies the MIDI velocity on the notes between a min and max, set the MIDI volume and modulation controls, play on any of 8 different MIDI channels. It's a lot of fun.

Again, please visit the app website for the full details:

http://www.tradlessons.com/CyborgGCF.html


Cheers and many thanks!


Michael


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 #2 
Thanks Michael... I'll definitely give this a shot.  Sounds like it's basically an inexpensive MIDI accordion.  I have a Korg X50 and a bunch of soft synths, so I should be able to get something going with this.  I'll let you know.
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Aaron

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"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
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Seisiuneer

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 #3 
Yep, that's exactly what it's for! 

It's going to be priced at $4.99, a bit higher than the acoustic SqueezeBox apps mostly to limit the sales to people who are pretty sure they know what they are doing and spend the time reading the instructions and caveats and are comfortable dealing with the complexities of this kind of thing.

While it's in review with Apple see if you can try out any other DSMIDIWifi based apps for the iPad and make sure they work in your setup. I've sent you a code for a free copy of my two-row "MIDI Melodeon" app to try since it is based on essentially the same code base and uses the same server setup.

If anyone else would like a free copy of the 2-row iPad app to try with their MIDI setup, please drop me a note and let me know your system and synth configuration and I'll send you a code.  Again, I'm looking for people who are comfortable with MIDI signal routing, hardware and VST software synths, WiFi ad-hoc networks, etc.

The key is to have a very clean and strong WiFi connection to your wireless router, and the router and PC or Mac need to be on the same network, ideally with little or no other traffic on the network that could cause data loss.

I've used these apps previously with very good results on even slower Windows based laptops running Native Instruments Kontakt so I'll be interested in hearing how it goes.
Skweezboxmaniac

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 #4 
Hi Michael,

Thanks! I've been under the radar (camping), but just checking in for a bit.  When I get back home, I'll check out the Melodeon app.

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Aaron

"I must be willing to give up what I am so that I may become what I will be"
-- Albert Einstein

"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
-Zen Proverb
altavista

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 #5 
IS THERE ANY CHANCE
YOU AREA GOING TO PUT THIS
APPLICATION INTO A REAL ACCORDION
LIKE THE ROLAND FR18
Seisiuneer

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 #6 
I'm not sure I understand the question...

Cyborg GCF is a generic MIDI controller app the runs on the iPad. It can control any MIDI synth device connected to or running as a soft-synth on a Mac or PC.  In the demo videos, the iPad is talking to my Windows system via WiFi, and the Windows system is sending the MIDI data to a Roland JV-1080 MIDI sound module via a hardware MIDI interface plugged into the Windows box.

If, for example an existing MIDI accordion that has its own sounds built-in could be used as a sound module and played from a PC or Mac, then in theory, you could hook the computer up to the real accordion and play it from the iPad wirelessly.

Now, that would be something to see.

Want to be a rockstar?  Once this app is out, I could really use a cool demo video of someone really showing what is possible. I'm a much better programmer than accordion player, particularly on three-row box.  I'll happily feature any videos anyone sends me on the app website, like I did for the Grupo Delirio videos for the acoustic SqueezeBox apps.  More than happy to give out free copies to anyone who would like to give it a try.



Seisiuneer

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 #7 
Cyborg GCF is now available on the iTunes App Store!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cyborg-gcf-wireless-midi-button/id447940617?ls=1&mt=8

Cheers,

Michael


Skweezboxmaniac

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 #8 
I haven't had a lot of time to play with Cyborg, but once I got it going and had a chance to dig in, it was a lot of fun.

It was cool hearing how songs sounded with the same phrasing and inversions used on a button accordion, but with a different sound!

I used Xpand2 as a tone generator.  It's a soft synth that comes with Pro Tools LE 8.  I probably played two or three Ramon Ayala songs with distorted synth sounds, horns, marimbas, etc..etc... Some sounds are just hilarious to hear and more of a novelty, others I think with some thought could actually be useful in a production of some sort.

For the Norteno guys that play with a sax player... you could use this app to trigger a sax from the accordion app to accompany you on a recording...and other sounds too.

The DSMIDIWIFI app this this is built around worked fairly well.  I didn't have any dropouts while I was playing it, but that's big variable.  People need to have a good robust WIFI connection at home for this to work well.

The only suggestion I have is instead of a slider for a MIDI channel selection, up and down arrows would be more precise.  I set up a Multi-timbral mode with several sounds responding to several MIDI channels in Xpand2.  I wanted to switch quickly between them, but changing the MIDI channel on Cyborg required me to do the switching very carefully because I would overshoot and unintentionally choose the wrong channel.

All in all a great app and very unique... totally worth the money if you like experimenting with new sounds. 

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Aaron

"I must be willing to give up what I am so that I may become what I will be"
-- Albert Einstein

"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
-Zen Proverb
Seisiuneer

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 #9 
That's fantastic!  You're the first to give me any feedback on it. Glad you're having fun with it.

A small favor, would you please post a review of Cyborg on the iTunes App Store (if you haven't already done so)?  I look at making any requested changes in the next update.

Skweezboxmaniac

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 #10 
Hi Michael,

I've tried rating it on iTunes, but for some reason it will not let me.  Even though it clearly says "Downloaded" where I would normally click to buy an app, on the bottom it tells me that I must download it to rate it. 

Conflicting statements on the very same screen.  Very weird.


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Aaron

"I must be willing to give up what I am so that I may become what I will be"
-- Albert Einstein

"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
-Zen Proverb
Skweezboxmaniac

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 #11 
Well.... I just found out that Apple put a stop to allowing people to rate an app when they downloaded it with a promo code.

It seems certain developers were using the promo codes to cheat the system and over-inflate their own app ratings in the store.  That's unfortunate... but common.  A few ruin it for the many.

Thanks again for your generosity with the promo codes though, Michael.  At least we can rate them here. 

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Aaron

"I must be willing to give up what I am so that I may become what I will be"
-- Albert Einstein

"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
-Zen Proverb
Seisiuneer

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 #12 
That's just surreal, considering that they make the promo codes available to developers primarily to allow people to review the apps. How odd...
Seisiuneer

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 #13 
Aaron,

I've just submitted an update to the app that changes the MIDI channel selector from a small slider to a big selector just above the button board.

3

Should be pushed out as a free update by Apple in a week or so after they review and approve it:

Cheers,

Michael


Skweezboxmaniac

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 #14 
That looks great, Michael!  Can't wait to try it.
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Aaron

"I must be willing to give up what I am so that I may become what I will be"
-- Albert Einstein

"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
-Zen Proverb
conjuntojam

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 #15 

man this app is awesome makes me want to buy an ipad

Seisiuneer

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 #16 
Hi y'all!

Just got word that the update was approved by Apple so look for it as a free update if you already have the app some time on Thursday, Nov 10th.

Cheers,

Michael
Sprunk123

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 #17 
Hi! Can you made this button accordion for android?)
Skweezboxmaniac

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 #18 
Hi Michael,

It took awhile, but I finally started playing around with Cyborg again.  The update definitely did the trick.  It's much easier now to switch sounds on the fly.  I have some time this weekend too, and I'm planning to take a more extended look.

Thanks again!

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Aaron

"I must be willing to give up what I am so that I may become what I will be"
-- Albert Einstein

"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
-Zen Proverb
squiz1box

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 #19 

By switching sounds on the fly, do you mean this thing can be used as a syntesizer?  I hope I can get a hold of an Ipad one of these days.

Skweezboxmaniac

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 #20 
It certainly can.  As long as your synthesizer, sound module, soft synth, etc... has a Multi-Timbral mode where you can assign different sounds to different MIDI channels within one patch, you can basically use the MIDI channel switches to "switch sounds" on the fly.

Again, I see this as a good tool for someone who's better at playing diatonic accordion than keyboards, but still wants to play synth/sampled sounds.  Basically like a wireless "MIDI accordion".

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Aaron

"I must be willing to give up what I am so that I may become what I will be"
-- Albert Einstein

"Knowledge is learning something everyday. Wisdom is letting go of something everyday."
-Zen Proverb
Seisiuneer

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 #21 
Just to be clear, the iPad itself doesn't produce the sound with Cyborg, you have to have a PC based software synthesizer or a hardware synth hooked up to PC via a MIDI interface.  The iPad sends the MIDI data to the PC via WiFi and the PC then sends the data to the software or hardware synth.
squiz1box

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 #22 

Thanx Sqweexboxmaniac and Seisiuneer. That clears up my curiosity.

vicomposer

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 #23 
I plan on buying an iPad soon, and this looks like a very helpful app, both for practice and controlling MIDI peripherals. Can't wait to try it out.
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