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ContinuuMini

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:45 pm

I really fancy an EigenHarp, the Pico being the only affordable one, but at my advancing years I don't know if I could justify the time to learn to play one. Then a mate gave me one of these :-

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I like to think is might be a sort of analogue ContinuuMini, but I'm probably wrong :(
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby BJG145 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:55 pm

I haven't seen one of those before...looks like a phonofiddle without the bell...?

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Sam Spoons wrote:I really fancy an EigenHarp

(...yeah, me too...I was thinking that the EagenMatrix would be nice to play with an Alpha...)
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:57 pm

I've seen those before. I suspect it might predate the Phono Fiddle (a mate of a mate had one) I plan to learn a couple of Gypsy Jazz tunes on mine when I have rebuilt it.....
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby BobTheDog » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:12 pm

I have a Pico, the engineering of the hardware is top notch, the software left a lot to be desired though but I think this may have improved now.

Mark Harris (thetechnobear) who is a smart cookie has worked on the eigenharp software and general MPE so I am guessing there is a way there with eigenmatrix.

I cannot recommend the Linnstrument enough though.

Compared to an Alpha, not only is it much cheaper you don't need some sub-par software running on a computer to use it. Everything on the Linnstrument can be controlled/setup from the Linnstrument surface itself, it is a masterclass in design.
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby BJG145 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:28 pm

BobTheDog wrote:...I cannot recommend the Linnstrument enough though...it is a masterclass in design...

...not listening...la la la... :beamup:
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:49 am

Not really what I'm looking for though. I play flute and whistle (very badly) and can't play brass or reeds, I want an EWI of some kind to replace my old, and only occasionally used, Casio Digital Horn. The downside of the Pico is no onboard sounds (though it does share that with most EWIs).
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby BJG145 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:13 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I play flute and whistle...The downside of the Pico is no onboard sounds

Bob Bickerton was recently praising the Sylphyo, which now seems to have its own built-in sounds and is more flute/whistle like than a Pico or an EWI because it allows full airflow.

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... yo#p592690

Another thing I'd like to try out...
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:44 pm

The Aerophone does what I want and is a decent price but it does look pretty clunky as has been said. The Sylphyo looks great and the demo is lovely but it's also €800 so, sadly, too much for me. The Akai EWI USB has no sounds but is a very good price at Andertons as I type (£259, tempting). But I've just contradicted my last post and made an offer on an Eigenharp Pico, waiting to see if it's accepted (I feel a Raspberry Pi sound module coming on.......)

edit :- Offer accepted on the Pico :D

So, I can use it with a MBP, iPad/iPhone or 'droid (with the appropriate adapters) if I ever get the bottle to play it live or the MacPro in the studio but is there a way to connect a USB controller to my Model D without a computer in the middle?

edit 2 :- Oh, and sorry for the thread hijack BJG
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby BJG145 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:56 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Offer accepted on the Pico

Great, congrats...!

Sam Spoons wrote:So, I can use it with...iPad/iPhone or 'droid...but is there a way to connect a USB controller to my Model D without a computer in the middle?

...huh...?? In your dreams... :tongue:

*spoiler alert*

...this may become a long-winded self-opinionated rant. But what's new...

I have a Pico, which I'm fond of, because the sticker on it says: "Engineering sample - not for sale". Which means some hapless Eigenlabs tech swiped it and flogged it anyway. I can get behind that.

Image

Once again, BobTheDog's assessment is on point. The engineering behind the Eigenharp range is terrific, but the software is terrible.

Perhaps, in a way, it was over-ambitious. There's this idea that MIDI was inadequate - the resolution of the Eigenharp sensors exceeded the MIDI spec. So it had its own software. But beyond the first rudimentary proprietary instruments, no other ones were forthcoming. So you're bound to use MIDI anyway; but you're stuck with the cumbersome PC/Mac software as an interface.

The software was made open source, and fortunately experts like Mark Harris ("The Technobear") have since made many improvements to it. Mark is into his Linux devices, and has got it working on hardware platforms such as the Raspberry Pi, but it's quite hard work. There's certainly no way to use the Pico directly with an iPad or MIDI device.

The good news is that the software is quite deep and powerful, if you have the time to figure it out. There's a component called "FIngerer" which allows you to configure any fingering you like, and that's its salvation IMHO.

In the default settings for the the Pico, you're confined to note-per-button systems which usually leave people noodling badly on pentatonic scales. But Fingerer makes things much more interesting.

Fingering is all. I'm a big fan of the system developed by Nyle Steiner for the "EVI" which I talked about here. It's very efficient and economical, providing chromatic playing over several octaves, and can still be dialled up on subsequent EWI models right up to the current Akai EWI 5000.

OK, so the trumpet was my first instrument, but...it just works. The underlying concept is to have chromatic half-octave fingering on three right-hand keys, while the left hand moves upwards in half-octaves using some method. On the original EVI, the left-hand control was this curious rotating cylinder...

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On a modern Akai EWI, it's an "octave roller"...

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On the Morrison Digital Trumpet I posted about here, it's this pattern of left-hand buttons...

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...they all do the same thing. Before I got hold of the Morrison Trumpet and discovered that system, I configured the same pattern on my Eigenharp Pico, because it's just a natural way to implement Steiner EVI fingering with a row of buttons.

Image

I posted up this example at the old Eigenharp Google Group (Pico through Papen Blue with EVI fingering), and...I'm simply bragging here, but the Eigenharp's inventor John Lambert seemed quite impressed. You'll have to take my word for it, because Google Groups has been discontinued now.

There's a post on the old original Eigenharp forum here with links to an archive of some of the old Google Groups material and their new home in a subsection of a group devoted to Midi Polyphonic Expression.

My ramblings about an EVI implementation for Fingerer can be found here:

http://www.eigenlabs.com/forum/threads/ ... _post12420

It's gotta be better than someone else's suggestion of Gray Code... :headbang:
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:32 pm

Ah, interesting, thanks BJG, you might get the odd PM from me for your pains (sorry in advance). TBH I'll probably only use the Pico for basic melody playing and brass/string section stuff, anything live would be unlikely so the lack of 'normal' midi probably is not going to be a real problem. We'll see, but at the price I paid I shouldn't lose much if I decide to move it on and buy the Akai EWI USB instead. Maybe I can configure it as a sort of 'super melodica' ;) I could probably cope with that.....
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:48 pm

Have EigenLabs stopped developing the software? They still appear to be selling the hardware but the only version of the "EigenD-Runtime" is 1.0.0 from 2014. I have tried this but El Capitan refuses to install it and, on High Sierra, it gives a "This package is not compatible" message so I have declined to install it in the HS (my main) MBP.
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:38 pm

Sorted (to a point :x ), disable SIP and it has installed. Still not very impressed that EL are still selling these products but specifying that the latest compatible OSX is 10.9 (from 2013) or Win7. Your average punter would have a real struggle to get the instrument working (and, indeed, it may turn out that I have a real struggle too :frown: ).

I'm beginning to wonder if I've done the right thing........
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby BobTheDog » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:04 am

Have a look here: https://github.com/TheTechnobear/EigenD/releases

Looks like you still have to disable SIP but you will at least get some bug fixes!
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby BobTheDog » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:07 am

Also Eigenlabs are basically dead, it all went down the pan a few years ago.
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Re: ContinuuMini

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:05 am

They still have an active website and all the EigenHarp versions are available for sale with 2019 delivery dates?

Thanks for the link, I had found 'The Technobear's' offerings but haven't looked into it properly yet (I don't have the Pico yet, an ebay purchase and I'm awaiting delivery). He does do a Linux build (apparently he is a Linux aficionado) so a dedicated Raspberry Pi VSTi host looks a real possibility (which would be great, I do prefer my instruments stand alone).
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