Casio LaunchPie

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Lately I’ve been interested in combining a standalone synth running on the Raspberry Pi with a Launchapad setup in ‘grid scale’ mode – like push does – to have a small standalone synth I could quickly power to practice scales or play along tracks without the need of a dedicated computer setup.

Here’s a first step showing the Rpi booting and activating the launchpad. It doesn’t sound great right now but is a good enough proof of concept to pursue the effort.

 

15 comments

  1. Freakin’ awesome! Do you use an old original Launchpad or the new one?
    Will the software powering this hack be open sourced? I so want to give it a try :)

    1. I’m not too sure about open-sourcing it at the moment because it’s relying on a big framework I’ve been developing slowly and keep to myself. I could extract it from there tho and make a standalone code base, if there’s any interest. I might also upload an SD image that wouldn’t require recompiling

  2. Wow, this is very exiting for me. A year ago, I developed my own 16-step sequencer with Qt Framework in windows, that uses two Launchpads. It startet with a c++ reimplenetation of the original Launchpad “StepSeq” MaxMsp patch that is provided by Novation. I was excided about visual feedback and the possibility of probability sequencing.

    I went trought a lot of difficulties concerning performace and usability, “LED update speed” and so on. After the basics where finished, I expanded the novation concept
    and added alot more features like more midi tracks, pattern memory, and a pattern jaming matrix mode where you can have on the fly pattern changes while the sequences are running.

    To keep this story short.
    Now that I saw your project on Create Digital Music, I think of porting this sequencer to RPi. Also Qt seems to support RPi which iwould be just perfect in my situation (if this realy works). The problem is that I’m not a linux specialist and it would be so helpful for me to have a good starting point… a basic system… a good tool chain… maby as an sd-card image?

    Another question is:
    Is it possible to have two launchpads + one additional midi I/O device (note input, transposing patterns / sequencer output) connected to the RPi at the same time via an usb-hub?

    1. Getting things working on the rpi is pretty much the same as doing any other Linux port. In my case, I simply needed to take my linux code base and compile it. So – in order to avoid to pile up the learning steps – I would recommend you to first install a virtual/dedicated machine running some debian flavor (like ubuntu) and get everything running there. Only then, port it to the raspberry pi.

      I never really found a decent way to cross-compile (but I haven’t tried recently either) so my method is simply to install all the compiler chain on the Rpi itself and compile it there. It’s dreadfully slow but at least it works. I usually develop all the main code on a windows/osx machine and only ‘recompile’ a working set on the Rpi so it’s not such a big deal it takes time.

      Finally, I haven’t tried connecting multiple lauchpads on a rpi through a hub but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

      Hope this helps, sorry for replying so late.

  3. HI,

    I’m really interesting in your project, i must say that is really cool. do you have any plan to release the code?

    I think can be really nice to port to an arduino system (if is possible) to be able to embedded int to a “eurorack module” just with a “midi out” funtionality. to be able to use it with a modular system or with a any other synth.

    1. Hi and thanks for the interest. I wouldn’t release the code in it’s current form because it uses a lot of private code I don’t want to disseminate. However, I’d be happy to strip it somehow if a port to arduino/teensy is in view – Because I was thinking of it too. Even if the Rpi works also for spewing MIDI, a smaller footprint processor might be interesting. When I looked at it however, it didn’t seem easy to get usb host working on arduino/teensy.

      Do you have any experience with this ?

      /M

  4. hi,

    thx for your response… definitly i willl pay for a standalone launch pad scaler diveice… :)

    recently i bought a cvPal, is a midi cv convertor from mutable instrumetns. Is open source and the ocde is at github.

    http://mutable-instruments.net/modules/cvpal/build

    https://github.com/pichenettes/cvpal/tree/master/cvpal

    you can find there a usb driver to handle the usb conection, midi and cv convertion.

    is have expirience working with microcontrollers….

    is a really cool idea to have a stand alone launchpad to midi converter (even cv) keeping the scale mode.

    Let me know if you need help.

    Regards

    1. Interesting. I have somehow stopped at looking closely to what Olivier was doing since he moved to modular land but I didn’t think about this side of things. I’ll check it out and see if I can get anything worthwile out of it.

      Thanks for the tip !

  5. at the end… i have been workin with launchpad95 script and Push for more than 10 months… and i love the scale mode. And be able to have a standalone device to connect a launchpad and a button for tap tempo for clock…. definitly bad ass.

    😉

      1. Looking forward to giving this a try, if and when you release an SD image. Recently got a pi and would love to have a go with this!

  6. hey, its been a while since this post but I was wondering if you are still working on this project or have plains to release it soon i have a launchpad S and a raspberry pi b+ but no laptop good enough to run anything to play the launchpad on the go. i was wanting to make my own python program or something to play sounds off a sd card when you press the button so the idea was to have many sd cards that audio files on it so you could play a full song and also might have a text file so it could do some lights but making this got WAY to complex for me so i just gave up on it. anyways i found this post on a standalone synth and thought it was really cool.

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