Aleph update - BEES 0.8.x

We’ve been chipping away steadily at the aleph firmware for literally years without an official release… It’s time for that release to finally happen! (777.1 KB)

the bad news is 0.8.x will likely be totally incompatible with every previous scene, but there might be some hope if you were running a fairly recent build of monome/dev

the good news is 0.8.x allows to do many more things with the aleph than 0.7.x . Because preset system is fixed and patch-editing is more advanced now, I hope that rebuilding old scenes with the new firmware will be much faster & more fun than with the ‘classic’ firmware.

There are a few known bugs with 0.8.1 (btw thanks @yann_coppier for all your great work testing, documenting & helping debug) therefore minor-version bugfix-only releases will continue as long as bugs keep surfacing… Having said that, the plan is no more scene-breaking changes in forseeable future.

We’ve updated the BEES documentation & it lives here at the moment


great work, I have some dsyn duties for the aleph tunes compilation coming up, the timing couldn’t have been better! :slight_smile:


Awesome, there are a few things everybody should know though: for instance, all operators that didn’t have an output before (SCREEN, BIGNUM for instance) have now a dummy output, which can’t be used for anything but will for sure break scene compatibility if used before v0.8 and transferred directly. I am about to release a couple of scenes to celebrate this huge update, and I hope we will be many to do so. Compared to v0.7, the Aleph is now flying!


Thank you so much for this… As an Aleph user that is not active on this forum I greatly appreciate all the efforts people make into refining, cultivating and exploring this instrument.


install on another sd card and it loaded instantly !!

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Is there a place I can find scenes that work on BEES 0.8.x?

Is there a standard procedure for updating old scenes or do I need to just rebuild them from scratch in the new BEES?


you need to rebuild em


If there is one thing I’ve learned well, it is that when playing with a few coding environments such as pd-ext, supercollider, or even on the Aleph - when starting a project on something like the AVR ATtiny code I will start my ideas on paper.

Then I scribe the code, patch the terminal objects or connect the hardware routing (cable arrangements, values etc…). Then I write down what I am doing with that system.

I end my ideas on paper.

It makes things like this fun. It’s also a good way to grimoire/journal ideas and magic if you found a win. Documented wins like new arithmetic or logics.


I can rebuild my own simple scenes but I’m a bit out of my element when it comes to rebuilding the Bees included scenes or cool scenes I’ve downloaded made be other folks (Skitter, Space, this etc…). Do you know if these were posted somewhere with 0.8.x? I didn’t see them in the linked sdcard download.

If I wanted to move them forward to BEES 0.8.x I’d need to first load the BEES 0.7.1 firmware, dig through the scene to figure out its structure, write that down then reload the 0.8.1 firmware on Aleph and build the scene from the notes I made? I don’t have a mac or linux computer so no Beekeeper.



I haven’t looked, but you could live boot a Linux distro, and use gparted or another partitioner to format the SD card into a master boot record, FAT32, and test it out after backing up your copy.

I’m sure after digging through the scene files it might just be a small copy paste procedure.

I should go on git more often to look at this, but have been knee deep in other projects.


Basically yes. I will post some scenes for Bees v0.8 soon, was just too busy being on vacation after working too much. But the last things I made with the Aleph will most likely please you. Then if there are specific scenes you’d like to see ported to v0.8 maybe ask the people who made them first, just in case… Otherwise the people who still own an Aleph and develop for it - including me - might want to join forces and update the things that are worth updating, so indeed we don’t have a Bees version with nothing to put in it apart from what we have made on our own. I must say, I haven’t jumped on the Norns wagon yet but its release seems to have put the Aleph development down after a few months of regained activity, and I think it is a shame: lots of great stuff are still to come out of it!


That would be great Yann_Coppier. I look forward to trying them out. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with Norns recently but I believe the Aleph still offers a lot of interesting possibilities.


i just got my aleph back after 1 year of it being broken. i had a stupid schedule which prevented me from getting it fixed sooner. however, i’m still super interested in the platform though i don’t develop myself. at the least i am super excited to test out scripts as possible! i have to thank everyone for being so generous and sharing their code and keeping this alive!!!

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@sergemodular and @instantjuggler I just uploaded a complex one here: Aleph: Sniarg


i made an echo (0.8.1). perhaps someone else will enjoy it.
Aiecho.scn (256.1 KB)
edit: replaced above file… tightened up, improved.

it’s like an 8-bit space echo. fun!

sw1–randomish pitch shift (not equally tempered)
sw2–cycle predictable range adjustment
sw3–toggle all inputs through to outs
sw4–toggle all inputs into echo

enc1–echo volume


anyone have midiclk working?

Think it should be working, yes. What’s your test setup? Are you sending clock into aleph or out of it?

norns usb–>aleph device port (tried various scripts w clock out switched on)

ticks not registering, timer/time is not changing
quite probably misunderstanding something here. thanks!

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you don’t explicitly mention a USB-midi dongle in the description - that is currently the only way to get midi clock in/out of the aleph. I’m planning to make aleph talk to norns as a USB device, but it won’t be a straight-up midi thing, rather it’s an aleph-specific serial protocol.

With a little bit of norns-side work it will be possible to make the norns trigger BEES inputs directly but I don’t know when I’ll finally get round to tying up this loose end with the aleph firmware… (ie adding host-side aleph-serial support to matron)


yeah to be super-clear: neither aleph nor norns can be usb-MIDI devices. only hosts. [*]

in both cases, the device ports are hardwired to a subprocessor and show up to the main processor as plain old UART.

[*] ok, technically you could customize the sub-processor firmware, at least in the case of aleph. not easily.