Week 20: Coding

Back to coding this last week, where I wrote Python code for a Ninjam/Slack chat bot:

ninjam-slack-bot on github

Monitors a Ninjam server and sends notifications to a Slack channel everytime someone logs in. Also reports the count and list of currently logged in users.

I used Errbot as the chat framework. It’s also my first project with Python 3!

I got to revisit the use of the theading library, and learned several new things along the way, the most useful of which is Queue() - indispensable as it provided a very convenient means for the Ninjam-side and Slack-side processes to send messages to each other.

For now, the bot is up and running in my otherwise-gathering-dust Raspberry Pi 3. I’ll have to find a more suitable server to host it in for the long term.

Week 19: DIY, Jams

Last week, I started and completed building the Temps Utile. It was a quick and pleasant build - my second one involving surface-mount components, which I now enjoy soldering! To think that I was terrified of it a few months ago.

Some more photos:

Starting a new project.

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Think I'm getting the hang of soldering surface mount components. Still messy but I can work faster now!

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Uploading the firmware next.

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Also last week, joined another couple of Ninjam sessions with the regular Disquiet Junto group. This time we attempted playing Terry Riley’s “In C”. The first jam was last Friday night which served as a rehearsal for the session yesterday afternoon, where there were a few more participants. Here is the result of the latter jam session:

Week 18: Track, Modular Jams

First, I started working on the actual track for “Puzzle Girl” - the song I was patching the modular for the past couple of weeks. It’s far from finished, but I managed to record a lot, and layout a rough arrangement for the first half of the song. I think I’ll leave it at that state and just come back to it after a few weeks.

I also recorded a new version of my modular jam from last week. After posting the video, I realized that one of the voices was out of tune! I almost let it go but just really wasn’t content, hence the new version. This version has a better arrangement, too. (Though, I did mess up a bit toward the end.)

Last night I hosted a Ninjam jam, where I live-patched my modular (and played bass) with four other people from the Disquiet Junto Slack group. The participants were playing from different parts of the US, and one from the UK. It was the first ever jam for the group, and everyone had great fun. As a testament to that, it lasted some 3 hours! I recorded the entire session, and one of the participants was kind enough to upload it to his Soundcloud:

Week 17: Modular Jam

Recorded a live jam of the patch I was working on from 2 weeks back. The main synth loops and bass are from the Aalto softsynth, and the rest are modular.

This set is a combination of hardware and loops in Ableton, so I had the idea of hooking up my trusty old Akai LPD8 so I can mute/unmute tracks. A lot of processing is also done in Ableton - some reverb, lots of compression.