I keep looking at the Ansible and thinking about getting it. I have some eurorack, norns, crow, gird, arc (I’m a little nervous that monome is overrunning my system haha!). Does Ansible add things I can’t put together with Norns + Crow?
On the surface it looks like a fun way to connect interfaces to a modular, something I’m very into because my double bass + modular stuff can be much more fluid with good human interface–not enough time or brain space to reach into the knobs and wires of a patch while playing the bass.
Other than that there are the apps in Ansible which all look fun.
But maybe all of this is reproducible with Norns+Crow? Simplifying gear setup/loadout would still be a good reason to have Ansible but I’m especially eager to hear what I’m missing in the philosophy of use around Ansible. Primarily to give myself a good reason to get it because who am I kidding it’s only a matter of time before I do haha.
For me, the real draw is Kria. If Kria was the only thing the module did, I’d still have it in my rack. I think it’s one of the most rewarding sequencers in euro. If you have a Just Friends, crow+ansible+JF is insanely powerful.
My understanding is that there needs to be a set of pull-up resistors in the chain somewhere to power the ii bus (so, ansible+JF alone won’t get it done). Those can come from either crow or teletype. From there, I suppose it’s just up to you to decide which thing you want to pair with Ansible/JF. I go back and forth in my rig.
Yes, that is definitely the case, and teletype is probably the tool of choice there. All parameters of Kria are directly accessible via TT. Ansible can also be used as a TT expander when they’re on the same ii bus.
I haven’t ever attempted to call any Kria stuff through crow, and don’t even know whether that’s possible or not.
But, assuming norns is a part of the equation here (and it sounds like it is), utilizing the gates from Kria to trigger actions on norns via crow can be quite lovely. The options are endless.
Since JF v4.0 there are some I2C pullups enabled on JF, you can connect Ansible to JF directly with no other modules as long as your firmwares are up to date. Or to W/. TXo and ER301 do not have their own pull-up resistors, so they would need an additional module or backpack to supply power to the I2C bus.
There is a lot of I2C support on Teletype, I’m not sure if Crow has all the commands wired up but it would be relatively easy to add any that are missing. Many controls are already available, e.g. see crow/kria.lua at main · monome/crow · GitHub and other files in that folder of the Crow code.
Usually it’s not too dissimilar from patching, but you can often do things you can’t do on the front panel (e.g. JF polysynth mode) and even if you can, it gives you more free modulation nodes to send control behind the panel
Also you can store / recall presets on a lot of modules!f
for a general euorack use: recently i’ve been using Kria as a drum sequencer. patch the 4 gate outputs to 4 inputs of my squid salmple (would work with any drum triggers). something that kria excels at is changing patterns on the fly while maintaining visual feedback for all 4 tracks. i have played with other sequencers that can approximate the end result (different step lengths for each track, changing patterns on the fly, etc) but there’s always something like having to switch tracks that gets in the way compared to the playability of seeing all 4 tracks on the grid plus the immediacy of the shortcuts.
also this post by @tehn resonated with me to approach the drum sequencing as a more engaged instrument, not just “set it and forget it” kind of thing.
I have a 64hp pod that houses an ansible and JF combo with a stereo/dual filter, a nearness, beads and a headphone output. There is a TON of flexibility in that small box.
I use kria & earthsea with the jf in poly mode via ii, use kria with jf per voice allocation on the first 3 voices and one to beads via cv/gate. I use earthsea to drive all kinds of oscillators in my main rack via cv/gate combos. With some creative patching one track of kria can be a synth voice and the other 3 can be percussion with modulation. I’m sure I’m forgetting something? Still haven’t really gotten deep with meadowphysics.
I originally bought a grid to pair with my norns, got hooked playing around with the islands script which has some of the kria and earthsea sequencing features. Once I picked up an ansible, I really appreciate how much awesome ui design went into programming all the cool tricks you can do and how much info can be conveyed with just a grid and no screen to tell you what is happening. The ratcheting and glides are
And not least: my norns is freed up for other things again!
Ansible Kria and JF via i2c is a hugely rewarding combo - giving you access to polysynth mode on 4 channels. I am just also starting to use w/synth with Ansible i2c which I think is a hugely underrated FM synth - it’s a bit grittier than JF. If you have Expert Sleepers EX - it also works via i2c.
For meadowphysics I use the scales preset page as a live keyboard to make melodies with JF in i2c mode. This app is so simple to create minimalistic style polyrhythms.
For earthsea - I use it to hand trigger sliced drums on the er301 - cv is multied and sent to multiple modulation points - pitch / slice / delay time - I save different patterns. This is really for asynchronous odd timing loops. I use it also for synth lines and arpeggios / live looping with w/
Kria - is killer for live performance - bulletproof pattern chaining and song mode “metasequencing” it’s been my workhorse sequencer since it was released - I use it with Just Friends i2c or load up 4 synths on the er301 via i2c. Also I use 4 channels with 2 mangroves - 2 channels per osc - 1 for cv/gate 1 as a modulation lane for each osc.
I have an Arc and also use Arc Levels sequencer with JF via i2c one in static tuned hand played mode and one as a sequencer. This app has never really changed since release but I have loads of ideas / improvements.
Arc cycles I use less but I like the triggers on it to trigger samples on the er301 and sliding through long samples turning dials - good on granular stuff.
I use my ansible to run kria 99% of the time. It’s just such a playable sequencer that can get very interesting very easily!
I have a bunch of videos on my YouTube channel that show how kria can be programmed on the fly that may give you an idea if the workflow would work for you or not. Here’s one of my favs:
I also made a tutorial video for kria last year that may also be helpful to you:
I think it would be a good choice for you if you want to focus on learning a powerful and playable sequencer. I also have norns and crow but for me find that I don’t really have much use for the different novel sequencers available on there because kria does more than enough for me already. But for others, exploring different ways to sequence notes and gates may be more interesting and rewarding. I guess it depends on what you want out of using modular and your personal preferences!
Excuse the noobing here… so if I have JF and Ansible both on latest firmwares, then I can just make one direct I2C connection and voila polysynth (via Kria)? Any thing else I’d need to pay attention to besides the grid setup?
I have a hard time making sense of the explanation on that page. Just Friends works if I enable the top led on column 6. But the documentation seems not to align with the available leds. Can anyone explain what the 3 below it and the 2 right next to it mean?
Also, can Ansible handle multiple Just Friends on the same bus when in leader mode? What will happen? The reason I’m asking is I’ll have a Teletype controlling 2 Just Friends and 1 Ansible, and want to occasionally enable Ansible leader mode to control one of the Just Friends instead of them both being controlled by Teletype.
I double-checked this list from here in the source code.
Sorry, these docs could use a bit of updating! Some more grid diagrams to illustrate what the UIs mean would be a tremendous help, I am quite out of the loop on what the current state-of-the-art is in how people are documenting grid interfaces and I have basically no experience using graphic design software.
Only the default / first address for each device is used. Assuming each JF is configured to use a different address, it will ignore commands and everything should work fine. If you have multiple followers with the same address on the bus, you might get crashes or odd behavior, no matter what leader you’re using. Having an option to select alternative addresses, so you could e.g. control TXo number 2 with Ansible, might be a nice future enhancement.