[chuck-users] eChucK Update

Les Hall inventor-66 at comcast.net
Wed Jun 17 08:24:29 EDT 2009

Hello again fellow ChucKists,

You may recall a while back that I posted a few times about this 
interesting eChucK project that I conjured up one day and started 
developing.  There has been some good progress and the project is 
moving along slowly but steadily.  Here are the latest updates:

eChucK is inspired by and related to ChucK.  The "e" stands for 
electronic, so it's a hardware implementation of some of ChucK's 
features in concept.  The idea is that we would like to create little 
bitty postage-stamp sized circuit boards that perform ChucK UGen, code, 
and instrument features in electronic form and then wire these boards 
up into free-standing "sculptures" that can create music on their own 
or interact with ChucK software or both.  Also ChucK can model eChucK 
sculptures, which I have done a few times.

One of the things that makes eChucK interesting to people, and perhaps 
it's most defining feature, is the interconnect method.  As you know, 
modular synthesizers are typically built into panels or other 
enclosures and interconnected with patch cords or jumper wires.  So you 
have this rigid structure with wires all over it, which is just fine as 
a way of hooking up the circuits.  eChucK, however, is the dual or 
opposite of that - the yang of the synthesizer yin, in a sense, because 
the concept is to use solid wire (not stranded) to perform the 
interconnect in such a way that the strength of the solid wire is 
sufficient to hold the little boards in a free-standing 3D "sculpture". 
  So there is no enclosure, no panel, etc.  This idea is apparently at 
least somewhat novel as I have received news from various folks who 
find it interesting.

OK, now for the updates.  I had four dsPIC-based eChucK circuit boards 
made and two of them are taken, I'm keeping one for myself, and there 
remains one board to be mailed out for free to anyone who would like to 
work on the project.  Please let me know if you would like me to send 
you this board.  In other news, the awesome folks at 
www.electro-music.com were interested enough in eChucK to create a 
forum for it right next to the ChucK forum under the DIY section.  I am 
moderator of that forum and I posted design files, hardware and 
software descriptions, and ChucK files there.

Some folks have participated in the eChucK forum threads and a few are 
working on their own vision of what eChucK should eventually become.  
We have one fellow working on a special type of processor (i forget 
which) for eChucK in England, I'm working on some Lunetta-based eChucK 
possibilities, and I just heard from someone in Brazil who is planning 
to create an Arduino-based eChucK project.  I purposely left the 
specifications of the project as open and unstructured as possible so 
that people could do things however they wanted as long as everything 
works together.

So things are moving along nicely in the eChucK realm.  To date there 
do not exist any completed projects, but momentum is growing steadily.  
I really enjoy the occasional email or post about eChucK, especially 
when someone is excited about the possibilities.  Well, anyway, I 
thought it was time to mention all of this stuff on the ChucK Users 
list to keep you posted and also to see if anyone has any thoughts 
about the project.  That's all for now.


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