Orca’s Heart

Ah sorry! Didn’t even think a MIDI keyboard could be used - i was thinking of the teletype grid emulation, using a qwerty keyboard.

is there some typical way to switch latch using just the keyboard itself? it’d be nice to just use a keyboard by itself without having to swap with grid for configuration etc. although not sure how to handle presets in this case, perhaps just one preset saved by the long press of the module button…

it’s doable but without visual feedback it would be difficult to control parameters.

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I’m not aware of any standard for an arpeggiator latch CC, but perhaps it makes sense to use CC64 (Sustain) or something similar? Then it could be easily pedal controlled…

And of course, now my brain is going to MPE (+latch) for arpeggiating/sequencing modulation…

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yeah that sounds like a good solution.

re: MPE - i might port it to linnstrument at some point, mostly because i want to play with using gestures/pressure for controlling the algorithm.


That would be so absolutely amazing for me and my workflow. Might become my main instrument. Especially if there were a way to quickly “go back” (and forth) to (from) normal linnstrument behavior.

Oh oh oh! A split. one side orca’s heart on channels 1-8, the other side normal linnstrument on channels 9-16

It could be a novel feature to simply toggle on and off, performative swells across a stereo field sounds pretty cool!

i used the user mode when i did game of life, will do the same for this, so you’ll be able to switch between normal operation and orca’s heart at any moment. not sure about splits! )

yeah i’ll add a switch for this.

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I often like to play improvised melodies over sequenced backing. Having the ability to quickly manipulate the sequenced parts mid-improv is super helpful, but the challenge if it’s all on the linnstrument and all using the same channels, is directing each part to different sets of voices. But a split isn’t necessarily the only solution. If there’s a way to constrain the channels in user mode, then I can do the same in default mode, and just switch between the two.

yeah i think i would just limit it to a selected MIDI channel or something like that.

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Will this find it’s way over to the VCV module at some point? A polyphonic ‘Scale Input’ jack could work nicely

putting CV control over scale buttons is one of the planned expanders. is there a way to map MIDI notes to switches? i know you could map CCs so you could in theory use a grid controller like launchpad for this, but not sure if the existing MIDI modules allow you to map notes this way.

edit: just tried it, and yeah looks like MIDI-MAP doesn’t allow you to map notes, just CCs. for notes you could use MIDI-GATE but that requires having CV control over the scale buttons. so, not possible at the moment (although there might be some other existing modules that will allow this!) but will be possible in the future. and since MIDI modules support QWERTY keyboard as well it could be possible to also control it this way (and then would make sense to add similar support to the multipass version).

edit2: it is indeed possible! use MIDI-GATE to map MIDI notes to gate outputs, and then use stoermelder CV-MAP to map them to the scale buttons:

edit3: you can also achieve this by using stoermelder’s MIDI CAT - this way you don’t need to use MIDI-MAP module at all.

I have one more spot left in my rack to add another monome module. I currently have a teletype, Ansible, txo, and Txi. Which one do you think would work best for the upcoming multipass version of orcas heart?

hard to answer this question at this point as things can still change, but my thinking at the moment for the multipass version is:

  • all parameters except speed will be controlled from grid. was thinking of using TXi but using grid will make smaller setups like ansible+just friends+txb possible. only speed will be controlled by the module knob, except ansible which doesn’t have knobs, instead you’ll control speed with the buttons. extra knobs available (like on earthsea) won’t be used.

  • there will be the ability to configure orca’s heart to control telexo/er-301/just friends directly over i2c, this way the physical outputs can be freed for other duties and you can get 6 or even 8 voices.

  • physical outputs will be switchable between Notes and Mods CV/gate groups (so you could configure it to control just friends over i2c, for instance, and then switch outputs to Mod CV/gates and use them to control JF parameters / filter cutoff etc etc). another option will be to switch gate outputs to output clock and reset.

  • if you don’t use i2c then you could just switch outputs to Notes CV/gates. in this case you will be limited by what actual physical outputs are available - you’ll get 2 CVs and 4 gates on white whale, 4 CVs and 1 gate on earthsea etc etc. teletype and ansible will be able to provide a full set of 4 CVs and 4 gates.

  • all modules will support a clock input except earthsea which doesn’t have one. teletype and ansible will additionally support a reset input.

for your specific case you could use either teletype or ansible. the difference will be minimal (knob vs buttons for speed, easier to see values on teletype but i will also add the ability to see them on grid). one thing to remember - if you’re planning to use i2c you can only have 1 leader on the i2c bus. so if you run orca’s heart on ansible, you will have to make sure you don’t use i2c on both ansible and teletype at the same time.


So, made a track using Orca’s Heart. Titiled it such. Hah. All melodic sounds are generated through Orca’s Heart. Only addition is rhytmic work done using Maschine through VCV Host. This sequencer is my JAM!

Wow! The bass comes through way too strong on this recording! I guess I’ll leave this up for now, but will most likely rework it some.


added a little section on tips & tricks: https://github.com/scanner-darkly/vcv-collection-one/wiki/Orca’s-Heart#tips--tricks

will continue expanding it with some patch examples as well.


one way to make longer sequences is by using another sequencer clocked at a lower rate (reset output is a good candidate for this) and then summing its output with orca’s heart’s outputs using something like Unity mixer:

you could also use transpose input on OH itself, but it’s not scaled 1V/Oct (it maps -2…+2 oct range to 0…10V), so it would be more difficult to dial in exact pitch.

still working on the multipass eurorack version, and while playing with transpose i realized it would be handy to have a simple built in sequencer for transpose so you could easily do the above without having to use extra modules:

here is an example of a longer recording created using the transpose sequencer. the only changes are from manually tweaking various parameters on just friends (the only sound source), roland filter and roland delay. no changes to the sequence itself other than turning mod matrixes on and off.


Again into the the heart of Orca. Nice and mellow afternoon vibe.


these tracks sound fantastic @scanner_darkly :star:


thank you! i should do a proper release thread for it.
hoping to post the multipass version of orca’s heart soon, and norns version hopefully soon after.

edit: created a dedicated thread for the release with some technical notes.


multipass version is now available for download: Orca's Heart Multipass