2019-03-16 (Sa) Weekly Summary

Recalling Body Hacking Con was fun with Tim. He was excited by the people I met and the things I experienced. My newest implant also made him a bit envious since I got a VivoKey Spark first. The live episode went relatively long for us.

Here is our unedited video recording (55:45) and here is the show page for the edited podcast with episode 059.
Brian - Left _____ Tim - Right

The project got off to a strong start. Generating pseudo-random, prandom, notes on a pentatonic scale worked. A six-second clip was recorded to demonstrate the sound of these prandom notes. Thankfully, none of them seem to land poorly, but they were not musical.
(0:06) Demonstration of some prandom notes

Earlier, this project write-up mentioned that it uses the pentatonic scale, but it would be more accurate to say that it uses one of the pentatonic scales, but there are five different pentatonic scales. A button was programmed to cycle through them.
(0:41) Scale selection

The very first program played notes that went from the lower limit of human perception to the upper limit. My hearing at the upper limit is limited compared to most people my age, so a couple of listeners have said that it is unnecessarily ear-piercing. Reigning those limits in seemed like a good idea to me too since the notes could bounce from low sounds up to high sounds alarmingly fast. Two potentiometers were programmed to deal with this. One determined the lowest note possible while the second determined how many notes above it that could be played.
(0:41) Demonstration of LOWER LIMIT and RANGE

In the programming sense, chords and scales were similar. In this program anyhow since they both used named arrays with a series of numbers corresponding to the root notes. Sadly, chords played like this sounded like every single one was stumbling over the previous.
(0:52) Demonstration of chords

Learning about a new field, like music, is difficult even when things go well. It would be like taking a foreign language class which you have never spoken and a few sessions in, the teacher is replaced with someone who doesn't understand the curriculum. That is what happened with this. Hardware failures became overwhelming. The biggest problem was reading the potentiometers. Changing one would significantly mess up the readings on other channels. No amount of filtering could correct it. Without significant investigation, it seemed the problem was with the cheap hardware, and it would be better to move on to bigger and better equipment. An expansion was already on the menu, and things would be moving to modular system. The final verdict was to use an Arduino Mega instead of a Micro Pro and a handful of Arduino Pro Minis.
Next hardware choices

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