Orca - Livecoding Tool

Last night’s set for Algorave’s 10 years anniversary

I’ve pushed a new Orca(Uxn) with a few improvements that makes it faster and smaller, the whole thing is now only 10kb.

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Well, I tried for 90 minutes or so, with no success. Followed the instructions, watched youtube videos, etc. Is there some simpler way to use Orca, e.g., through a browser? I’m pretty sure that I have seen this option mentioned during my chaotic travels.

Yeah, but that won’t solve your operating system’s midi problems :confused:

There are a few versions of Orca for the web:

Thanks! Perhaps weirdly, I can hear Enfer just fine at the LEARN ORCA site. So I suspect that there’s just some setting that I am missing, as far as running Orca + Enfer on my own. Or maybe I’ve got stuff installed in the wrong places. I wish there were a step by step process that didn’t require me to (a) google a bunch of stuff, and (b) wonder 100% of the time whether the problem is me or something else.

I’ll see if I can run my course just using LEARN ORCA. I don’t see why not!

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Hello, fellow Mac user.

I just spent some time getting shim working on Linux, so I figured I’d try it on the Mac.

On my system I was able to build it after using homebrew to install portmidi. It was actually easier than it was on Manjaro Linux. The only thing that’s a bit odd is that there are 2 instances of the IAC Driver Bus that are visible to it. Using the second one (device 3) resulted in a working link between Orca and VCV:

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Has anyone had any luck using Orca on Chrome for iPad with midi out? I’m using a usb->midi cable adapter and Chrome doesn’t seem to be able to find it as an output device. It works fine on dedicated midi apps, as well as on Chrome on a laptop. Is Chrome midi support different on iOS? I also noticed that the ctrl+… commands (changing the bpm or switching between midi devices) don’t seem to respond, so it’s possible that it’s just this. Did anyone run into a similar situation and was able to solve it?

Web MIDI isn’t terribly well supported on iOS (or any iOS browsers anyway) at all, I’m not sure there’s anything that actually works. Might have better luck with Android.

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I appreciate you trying to help me, but I have no idea what most of what I’m seeing in that screenshot means, I’m afraid.

Hey there!
I assisted to NSDOS’ workshop on ORCA in Rennes, France (2022.03.22) and had much fun with random generation of sounds.
Paste this on learn-orca and have fun!

#o.midi.channel....octave.....note....velocity##.XY.coords.....o#
##.Rc..............R8.........R8............Rz##..Y.0R..3R.....##
##.3dT0123456789abc48T0123456758TABCDEFGc.vVi.##...xVd.yV5.....##
##.mV3.............oV4........nVF.............#o.randomize.bpm.o#
#o.random.beats.................##..kick......o#...R2.R9.R9....##
##..D54Km.nv....D74Km.nv........##..D2........##.aV1bV1cV0.....##
##...Y.:38Fi.....Y.:30Fi........##............##...............##
##..............................##..J.Vm.Vv...#o.remove.the....o#
##..D34Km.nv....D94Km.nv........##...:30Ci....#o.*.under.V.....o#
##..*Y*:34Fi.....Y.:3.Fi........##............#o.for.fixed.bpm.o#
#o.generators...................o#..D3........##...aC.#V#......##
##.#...beat...#...#.notes....#..##..*.........##....78T*.......##
##.2Kxy...4Km.nv..2Kxy...4Kmonv.##..J.Vm.Vv...##.Y.......3Kabc.##
##...d56GDR:30Fi....d56GDR:34Fi.##..*:302i....##......$APM:110.##
##......DR:50B.........DR:50B...##............##...............##
#o..............................##......lying.dalai.2022.03.24.o#

Future updates:

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Hey all, Ive been trying for hours to find a way to get some tempo swing going in ORCA. I am on the mac version. I’ve heard people talk of a few different ways but none seem to be working for me.

The way that seems most reasonable would be to sync ORCA to ableton master clock, and then modulate abletons clock around slightly, causing small tempo shifts. But alas, I cannot for the life of me get ORCA to accept outside clock.

Is there any way to do what I want with shuffle? I’m so into this software but I am just not a 100% on-the-beat person and I don’t think I will be able to use ORCA if this is the only way to create in it. Please help!

sync in, especially on the macos version, is not really supported. the macos version has largely been abandoned, so tempo out to another source is your best bet. I went back and tried to work the tempo control I mentioned and I couldn’t find the operator on the page but it is $. so maybe as below where V1 cycles between 0 and 2.

d1      V1
*$bpm:110

It would probably have to be implemented in javascript, doing tempo swing via $bpm hacking is a bit clumsy. I don’t know how swing works, it’s not something I use in my sets, so it’ll have to be someone else implementing it into Orca.

You could send run-frame event to Orca from a source with swing tho. That’s probably what I would do :slight_smile: If you can send bang events from something like PureData, with swing, you could send those as commands to Orca and let it control the tempo.

2 Likes

Ah word yeah that text you posted is working at least in general for what I was talking about! Im putting an R command where your V and limiting the range between 1 and 4. So my tempo is randomly going between 121 and 124 right now every frame. Which is cool. Definitely enough to give the tempo a little bit of variation and vibe away from straight on the beat. Also interesting to put a C function there too and let the tempo varying in a consistent way, interesting sound.

2 Likes

yeah, been playing with it this morning and it’s doing something, right?? seems swing-ish for sure, although the clunkiness devine was alluding to is certainly there. I tried a fast alternating number and it doesn’t seem to change it much whether I’m doing 180-181 or 180-189, might be that just the alternation itself is causing the “swing.” but I like it! it seems to halve the tempo when it’s on so I got it going pretty fast.

Summary
.......................................................................
.......1C2.............................................................
..D1....12T09..........................................................
..*$bpm:269............................................................
.......................................................................
.......................................................................
.......................................................................
.......................................................................
...........2C8...............D8........................................
..........1V6B7...............;c1c.....................................
...........2V1.........................................................
.......................................................................
..............V2..................V2.................V2................
..............1F7.........4C3.....1F7................1F7...............
................d8.........23T241...d8.................d8..............
.................i2........eV1.......i2.................i2.............
.................02T21.............Ve12T21..............12T21..........
..................V2............3.X1..V1.................V1............
................D418TcdeFgabc.......D168TabcdeFga......D468TgabcdeFg...
.................;12d...............*;03g...............;23F...........
.......................................................................
.......................................................................
.............4Cw.......................................................
............D2bwTa..c.gb.g.arc..gb.aedg....cbd.........................
.............;74r8.....................................................
.......................................................................
.......................................................................

edit: check out what the feel does when you add one of these

D6......
.$skip:3
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How about throttling the CPU, rhythmically sending suspend and resume signals, or running science in the background to get wonkier clock? Or really pushing a software synthesizer from Orca but at inaudible volumes to make the computer slower?

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@okyeron Hey there, it’s April 2022 now and reading your post about this here. I can’t get this to work at all. I have ORCA set to receive MIDI from IAC Driver Bus 2, and my Ableton Prefs to IAC Drive 2 output with SYNC checked. Nothin. Any suggestions?

Alternatively I would also love to get ORCA to send it’s clock to Ableton and I’m having zero luck with that too even though I know how to do it…

__

@fourhoarder Yeah it’s weird how it slows down the tempo overall huh? Like even if I am just affecting the bpm to change from say 120-125 with the operator script we’ve been messing with it seems like it drops down to like 115-120 or something. Odd. But, still cool to get some shufflies in there. That last script you posted, is it just the “D6 $skip 3” part I should be pasting or the entire dropdown summary you have there?

@neauoire word thanks! Would you mind elaborating a little on the run-frame events with Orca? I think I’m getting in a littlllee over my head in terms of my extremely limited programming knowledge but I think I can figure it out with a little more info and guidance.

Curious to know what’s everyone’s experience running Orca on low resolution screens, say 480x320 and less? I was just looking for a large-ish screen case for the Raspbery Pi and after running into your post here @neauoire, I have to say the idea of a smaller compact Raspberry Pi setup is quite appealing.

I’m so used to Orca on a full computer screen that it’s difficult to tell how limiting it would feel on this kind of low resolution, but I have the feeling 480x320 would still allow for plenty of fun - and I’m mostly using Orca with my modular and my M8 when I’m not on the computer, so it’s limited anyway. Has anyone found those resolutions limiting? Any tips on how to tailor Pi OS’ terminal appearance and font size to maximize space?

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@akaye.world you can just drop that skip in any script, but also try it in combination with the BPM adjuster and without, and try different numbers for the 3.

@tttttom I’ve tried a few screens, this one was cute but too small, and unlike the norns screen, does not scroll easily when you’re in the window. I am currently trying to get a 7” screen to work, so far I haven’t actually so I can’t tell you if 7” is enough for me yet.

don’t tell anybody, but I actually don’t super enjoy using orca on norns and only do it because of the Timber, Softcut, W/, JF and crow integration. the main problem I have with it, and small screens in general, is that my patterns turn out a total mess. I just scroll to empty space and dump my next operator section there, and when I need more room I have to cut and paste it 5 over and 5 down or whatever. I have a hard time getting the sense of the pattern as a whole and forget where elements are, and then have to comment everything and squeeze the comments into an already messy situation.

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I find that I need at least 96 characters wide and something like half that, vertically, to be comfortable.

The tiny screen on top of my polivoks is actually too small to be useful, even in 2x zoom, it’s pretty hard to use.

The 7" official RPi screen is pretty good for that, it’s 800x480 and the text remains readable without zooming in.

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Thanks for the useful responses, @neauoire & @fourhoarder. For the sake of things being easy I just went for the official Pi screen and case - the pixel kawaiiness can wait for another project - hopefully the size should be more than enough. And it will be easier to bring around in a backpack than some other screen options with no case. Excited to try out Orca like this! While I’m here, I’ve noticed the Alt key doesn’t seem to work on Orca for Pi, is it something some people have ran into by any chance? I suspect some conflicts with other uses of Alt in the Pi (like maybe the windows auto-resize), but on the other hand Alt registers fine on the Pi’s default terminal, so I’m not sure what’s going on.