Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Chord data for jazz standards

I recently started playing jazz on bass guitar. So naturally, I also recently started writing software for facilitating jazz practice.

As a basis for a number of my projects, I needed access to chord data from a corpus of jazz standards. The best source I found was the database of user-submitted scores for the IReal mobile app: https://www.irealpro.com/main-playlists

I've been converting these to an easy-to parse json format. The current database of songs can be found here:


Here is an example score:   
  
{ "Title": "Alone Together", "Composer": "Schwartz Arthur", "Key": "D-", "Rhythm": "Medium Swing", "Sections": [ { "Label": "A", "MainSegment": { "Chords": "Dm6|Em7b5,A7b9|Dm6|Em7b5,A7b9|Dm6|Am7b5,D7b9|Gm7|Gm7|Bm7,E7|Gm7,C7|Fmaj7|Em7b5,A7b9" }, "Endings": [ { "Chords": "Dmaj7|D(Em7b5),(A7b9)" }, { "Chords": "Dmaj7|Dmaj7" } ] }, { "Label": "B", "MainSegment": { "Chords": "Am7b5|D7b9|Gm6|Gm6|Gm7b5|C7b9|Fmaj7|Em7b5,A7b9" }, "Endings": [] }, { "Label": "A", "MainSegment": { "Chords": "Dm6|Em7b5,A7b9|Dm6|Em7b5,A7b9|Dm6,Bm7b5|Bb7,A7b9|Dm6|Em7b5,A7b9" }, "Endings": [] } ] }

Friday, October 29, 2021

Arduino sketch for TFT display rendering using serial commands

I've been using a Seeed Studio Wio Terminal as an external display for a Raspberry Pi. I initially wrote an Arduino sketch that took high level, application-specific commands over serial and rendered appropriate display elements. This has the disadvantage that adding UI features required updating the Arduino code, which is more of a pain and slower to iterate on.

Instead, I'm now planning on sending rendering commands over the serial interface - turning the microcontroller into a general purpose rendering device.

I've thrown my initial code up on GitHub here:

github.com/mikeoliphant/SerialTFT

It currently only supports a small set of commands for rendering rectangles and text. I'll be adding more features as I need them.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Speeding up Arduino TFT (TFT_eSPI) writes

 I've been recently playing around with "Arduino" microcontroller stuff - specifically a Seeed Studio Wio Terminal.

Playing around with the TFT display, I noticed that drawing to it was pretty slow. After doing some research, I found out that direct TFT writes are indeed quite slow. But there is an easy way around it.

The TFT_eSPI graphics library, a modified version of which is used by the Wio Terminal, provides a Sprite class that can be used to do quick TFT writes. If you have enough memory (which the Wio Terminal *just* barely does), you can create a full screen-sized sprite.

The Sprite class supports the same drawing API as the main TFT class, so it is pretty easy to convert code that is writing directly to the TFT to use a Sprite instead.

To initialize it, do this:

TFT_eSPI tft = TFT_eSPI();
TFT_eSprite screen = TFT_eSprite(&tft);

In your setup(), after initializing the TFT, do this:

screen.createSprite(tft.width(), tft.height());

Then, use "screen" instead of "tft" for all of your drawing calls. When you want to update the TFT with the current state of your sprite, do this:

 screen.pushSprite(0, 0);

That's it! The result is a display that will update *much* faster.

One caveat is that this method uses up the vast majority of the Wio Terminal's RAM. It works fine for me, since my application is not otherwise particularly memory hungry. More complicated applications (using WiFi, for example) may run into problems. If that happens, a good (if more complicated) solution would be to use a smaller screen area sprite and do targeted writes to sub-areas of the screen.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Fixing Hotone Jogg ASIO "No devices connected" issue

I recently ordered a Hotone Jogg guitar audio interface pedal and had trouble getting the Windows 10 ASIO drivers to work. Turns out that ASIO support was added with a firmware update, and the pedal I got had the old firmware.

If you are having this problem, you need to get the updated firmware from here:

https://www.hotoneaudio.com/support/2

Scroll down until you see "Jogg firmware with Hotone ASIO driver support" and click on the link to download the firmware.

Follow the included instructions (you have to open up the unit to flip a dip switch, which is not very user friendly) and you should soon be good to go.

Hotone Jogg audio interface pedal works in Linux

 After posting a number of previous posts about guitar audio interfaces that did not work out of the box, I am pleased to report that the Hotone Jogg works right out of the box in Linux. Pleasant surprise!

I couldn't find any information on using this device with Linux, so I thought I'd do this brief post for any future people that may be looking.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

NUX MG-300 Guitar Processor under Linux and Android

 

I picked up a NUX MG-300 guitar effects unit with high hopes that it would work under Linux, since it is supposed to be a class-compliant USB audio device.

Unfortunately, it did not work out of the box. After some back and forth with the maintainer of the Linux kernel sound subsystem, we managed to get audio capture working, but never managed to get playback working. Everything seems to be operating correctly, but the device produces no audio output over USB.

I have admitted defeat and will be returning the device.

The discussion on the alsa-devel mailing list can be found here:

https://mailman.alsa-project.org/pipermail/alsa-devel/2021-January/179348.html

It at least resulted in a kernel patch to enable audio capture.

I also had no success getting it to work with Android - even with some of the apps that have their own custom USB audio implementation.

If anyone has more luck with this interface down the road, please let me know.

Update: As a last ditch effort, I gave the interface a try with the aforementioned kernel patch on my Raspberry Pi 4, which was running about a year old kernel version. And it worked. Sort of. It initially worked perfectly, but I found after more testing that it is sporadic. Sometimes it worked fine, sometimes only playback worked, and sometimes only capture worked. Not sure what needs to be done to get the interface working reliably.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Guitar amplifier and pedal simulation

I've been spending a lot of time lately playing guitar, and working on my own software for simulating guitar amplifiers and pedals. It is coming along nicely, and I have most of the important stuff covered.

I run it as a VST under Windows, but I also have a Linux version that I run on a Raspberry Pi 4. Coupled with a USB audio interface, a PA speaker, and a remote control app on my phone, it makes for a nice little portable rig.

Here is a little video of it in action (running as a VST in Reaper):