White Whale - Grid enabled Probabilistic Sequencer

White Whale

Curious what others on this forum think about this and using it in coordination with Mutable rack and other rack gear.

methinks: how easy will it be to code something else for this hardware platform?

Here are some thoughts on it which I posted elsewhere:

The probability model doesn’t seem very interesting. Why didn’t they implement at least a first-order Markov model, both for the rhythm and the melody? I suppose because there is no interface to train such a model from data, but it could still be specified heuristically. Or probabilistic branching? I think they missed some tricks there. I suppose it is open-source and hackable, but the requirement of a Monome Grid limits its user base and thus the number of people willing to hack on it. I’m not dissing it though - it looks good. But could be better? Linear step sequencers with are still just that, even if you sprinkle some probability pixie dust on them. I mean, I like my Tangerine Dream as much as the next sad case, but is that all there is?

Actually, at the end of the demo, the captions says “Multi-choice per step”, so perhaps there is more to it than it first seems.

Just read the manual page for it, and as I thought, the probabilistic aspects of it are rather simplistic. It seems like a competent performance-oriented step sequencer, though. I always thought that was was the Monome was, I have to admit.

The Monome was always just a control surface for whatever you had running on your computer. This looks like a cool platform, but it might be easier to write your own code for a setup that includes a computer (Pi!) and a CVpal.

@pichenettes: The firmware of white whale is open source :slight_smile:

i’m totally down for this. the thought of using my monome without a computer is just too tempting.

for those of you that haven’t actually used a monome - there is something rather great about using it that you just don’t appreciate from videos.

i’m not expecting extra firmwares to be written - but there is a bootloader set up, so maybe there will be more stuff developed.

i’d love to see this done:

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: Unless you have a gang of coders that “get it” to write software for this out of the gate to draw your average Joe in, it is DOA in my opinion. This approach has been tried before. “Look at our cool programmable platform, just write some software and it will do whatever you want” and no one writes any software, end of product.

Like the aleph…

However there are many awesome patches for monome. DOA is a bit pessimistic.

@altitude that may be - but this is just a eurorack sequencer with the extra of being a blank slate you can customize. In the same way that a lot of the MI gear could (technically) have custom firmware written for them…

ie it’s not the main selling point, any more than it is for MI modules…

Depends on the programming environment, libraries, and tools you support.

For example, the Linnstrument is going to be Arduino compatible and its firmware will be Open Source. If they structure the code nicely and provide decent documentation, then I expect a lot of people to start hacking it.

The video tutorials are online. It can do more than you might think.

"cable swapping is not a kludge. it’s a fundamental feature to this system which i investigated very seriously prior to considering this whole endeavor.

you can pull the grid from a module and it will continue running with absolutely perfect timing.

you can re-insert and it will refresh insanely fast-- again without interrupting timing.

yes, you can have multiple whales and do what you’re suggesting. for myself musically this is what i’m hoping to use… though i managed to only keep one for myself at the moment, ah.

also-- we have several new modules coming out for the grid. the next one will be ready at the end of the month. the point will be to have multiple monome “apps” in your modular, and you “change focus” with the widely-understood analogy of swapping the usb cable into whatever you want to see/control at the moment."

the fixing holes on the white whale don’t fit doepfer cases. you lose 1/2 a hp.