IDM 2016 Lab 0

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Lab 0: Making Sound with Satellite CCRMA

Instructions by Edgar Berdahl

The Satellite CCRMA Setup (Before Adding Arduino)

Included in your kit so far you should have

- Embedded computer unit including: Raspberry Pi 2, Arduino, five knobs, and six buttons mounted in acrylic plastic
- To power that, a black USB cable connected to a 5.25V power adapter
- A small memory card should be inserted into the Raspberry Pi 2 (please be very careful to make sure that this never falls out)
- One speaker with an audio amplifier module glued to it (including volume control/on switch)
- 12V power supply for the audio amplifier
- An LED strip
- A USB micro cable to plug the LED strip into the Raspberry Pi 2
- An IR distance sensor with cable ending in 3 small sockets
- One Ethernet cable for communication with your laptop

If you are missing something, please go get it before assembling your kit. Make sure the SD memory card is seated all of the way in its slot.

Powering Up For The First Time

  • Plug the Ethernet port of the Raspberry Pi into your laptop.
  • Then use the USB micro cable to power up the Raspberry Pi. You should see some lights turn on, flickering every now and then. This means that the Raspberry Pi is booting up.
  • Plug the audio output of the Raspberry Pi into your speaker amplifier.
  • Use the 12V power adapter to power the speaker amplifier.
  • Turn the knob on the speaker amplifier clockwise to turn it on and turn the volume up to a sufficient level.

Connect To Satellite CCRMA

In order to see what your Satellite CCRMA kit is doing and program it, you need to log in to it. To do so, follow these instructions.

When following those directions, please don't forget to

  • Wait at least one minute for the board to boot up.
  • From within the XQuartz program, run the following command to log into your kit

ssh -XY ccrma@

  • After you login, you will see the prompt ccrma@satellite:~$ This means that you are logged into a computer named "satellite" as the user "ccrma", and you are currently in the directory ~, which is the shortcut for your home directory.
  • Run the following command to start Pure Data

pd &

Starting Audio And Pd

  • To start audio, click on the Compute audio checkbox.
  • Now to test audio, go to the media pull-down menu and choose Test Audio and MIDI. Click on the box labeled 60 or 80 to increase the volume of the test patch. If you still do not here any sound, then probably you missed one of the steps so far.

Troubleshooting: If you still do not here any sound, then probably you missed one of the steps so far. If you look at the messages in the main pd window, you might find a clue.

Dive Into Pd

  • Next: Start lab 1!

If You're Looking For Something To Do Right Now, Try More Sound Synthesizer Patches

  • Try out some of the patches from Andy Farnell's book Designing Sound. These patches are installed in ~/pd/DesigningSoundBookExamples Most of the patches in there work with this version of pd, but a few patches don't! (As you try out the patches, keep in mind also that many of the patches are subpatches. That means that they are lower level patches that are used to serve some specific purpose within a higher level patch. Therefore, you may have to search around some to find the higher level patches that are easier to use to make sound.)
  • One intriguing way to synthesize sound is using physical models. A physical model is a computer program that simulates the laws of physics to create sound. Some physical models simulate traditional acoustic musical instruments, or other models simulate hypothetical situations that could be built using physical elements, but might be impractical. Try playing around with some of the physical models in ~/pd/SaM-models -- the FireFaderSimulator versions of the patches are the ones you will want to use. The process of tuning the model parameters can be useful from a compositional perspective because it can help provide you with a specific palette of sounds.

IDM 2016