[chuck-users] eChucK Update

Les Hall inventor-66 at comcast.net
Thu Dec 10 18:31:18 EST 2009

Hey fellow ChucKists,

In the last eChucK update I made a joking reference to ChucK and eChucK 
going out on a date together because I was interfacing the first 
working eChucK prototype to ChucK.  Dropping the silly personification 
here, I am happy to report that the experiment was a success.  I added 
code to an existing Boolean Sequencer program so that it sent control 
signals to the eChucK board via the left and right channels of the 
headphones out jack.  With a little bit of added circuitry, the eChucK 
board properly responded to the ChucK output signals.

The result was nice enough that I injected vocals into the eChucK board 
and controlled the buttons and sliders to create guitar and percussion 
sounds with interesting musical qualities.  I then did a couple of 
one-hour internet radio shows (called "Inventor's Inventions) on the 
electro-music station.  These two shows are available for listening in 
the electro-music radio archives which reside in the "Streaming Radio 
Station" sub-forum of www.electro-music.com (nearby where the ChucK 
forum is).

The very latest news is that the board house (E-TekNet) has 
manufactured the first run of eChucK Karplus Strong circuit boards and 
UPS is scheduled to deliver them to my door tomorrow.  Nine of the ten 
boards are spoken for and I expect to sell the last remaining one 
sometime soon.  Some of the boards are sold bare, and some are to be 
assembled by myself for the customers at a reasonable cost.  The bare 
boards sold for $21 + shipping ($5 US, $10 International) each.

Also in the works is the companion circuit board, a Boolean Sequencing 
board which creates complex musical sequences from a simple logic 
matrix of 6x8 DIP switches.  The designs are such that the BS board 
attaches to the top of the KS board with standoffs, forming a 
battery-powered eChucK "brick" suitable for use by a performing artist 
or studio artist.  In addition to the stand-alone brick-style 
operation, both boards are designed to be used in a modular synthesizer 
either separately or in conjunction.

Overall, the response from the community has been quite positive.  One 
modular synthesizer customer said that it would require three to five 
modules to do the job of a single KS board, so if you want to do guitar 
or percussion sounds via Karplus Strong on a modular synthesizer the 
value is significant.  Some people have voiced interest in eventually 
(as the design evolves) purchasing four or more KS boards or BS+KS 
board pairs so that they can create songs with multiple voices (ie:  2 
guitars and 2 drum types).  Another person would like to create guitar 
chords by using a few KS boards, one for each string of a chord.

So anyway, that's the update.  Progress continues and it's a really fun 
thing for me to be doing, so I'll keep at it.  Your comments, 
suggestions, and questions are welcome as always.


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