Samsara: a minimalist looper (v1.0.0)

Samsara

samsara /səmˈsärə/
the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound

Samsara is a minimalist looper that, given enough time, reaches nirvana.

Samsara-home

Inspired by Dakim, Samsara invites you to slowly layer in new material as old material fades away. Toggle recording on and off easily while the loop plays, or use one-shot record mode to precisely record a single phrase. The loop duration is set in terms of tempo & beats, making it simple to integrate into other musical contexts (it uses norns’ clock system, so you can use MIDI clock & transport messages, Ableton Link, or Crow). Tap tempo is also available via K2+K3.

You can also easily extend the loop. Say you have an awesome 1-bar drum pattern, and now you want to add harmonic content. Your harmonic phrase is probably longer than that one bar, so just hold K1 and tap K2 to double to two bars, and then again to double to four bars. Now you can layer a 4-bar harmonic phrase on top of that original 1-bar drum loop and keep everything moving.

Requirements

  • norns (update to software version 200424 or later)
  • Audio in (stereo or mono, select via params menu)

Documentation

  • E1: Number of beats
  • Hold K2+turn E1: Tempo
  • E2: Loop preserve rate
  • E3: Record mode (loop/one-shot)
  • K2: Start/pause playback
  • K3: Arm/disarm recording
  • Hold K2+tap K3: Tap tempo
  • Hold K1+tap K2: Double buffer
  • Hold K1+tap K3: Clear buffer

Roadmap

  • Beta release & bug fixing
  • Multi-mode filter
  • Click tracks
  • Param-ify recording and playing (so they can be MIDI-mapped)
  • Work on “double buffer” not introducing discontinuities (see https://github.com/monome/norns/issues/1151)
  • “Extend mode”
    • While recording, keep extending the loop by the original loop length, until “stop recording” is hit (and then it’ll stop recording at next multiple-of-original-length). Kinda like “double buffer”, but useful when you don’t know how long your new phrase is gonna be
  • Varispeed
  • Loop window slide, loop endpoint move (with wav viewer?)

Download

Current version: v1.0.0 (f709830) Available in Maiden: make sure your norns is on WiFi, visit http://norns.local/maiden/ in your browser, click the books on the left. If you haven’t installed samsara yet: click “available” at the top, click the little refresh icon next to “community”, scroll to “samsara” and click “install”. If you’ve installed before, instead click the “installed” tab at the top, scroll to “samsara”, and click “update”

If you want a direct download, here ya go! Unzip it, rename the folder to just “samsara”, and put the whole folder onto your norns inside the /home/we/dust/code folder

86 Likes

you’re about to be my best friend

thank you!

4 Likes

20 chars of gratitude!

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nice work! looking forward to giving it a spin :smile:

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thank you! is it possible to make this part of the pedal script?

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Can’t wait to put this in the send/return of my mixer, thank you for this!

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Wow. Absolutely brilliant. The UI, the implementation, the concept, the code. Amazing work.

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That’s the plan, yup :smile: I wanna get this to a good place, and also make sure it doesn’t hurt Pedalboard’s CPU too much (Pedalboard is already pretty CPU-hungry, depending on which effects you use). Also I’ll have to think about how the controls map over (E1 is reserved for page changes in Pedalboard)… but yeah hopefully soon!

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such a fantastic idea to capture another artist’s workflow which inspires you inside of a script of your own design :slight_smile:

thank you for sharing it and for working through the script out-loud for others to trace the pathways!

5 Likes

yesssss!! cant wait to use this. such a great idea. cant wait to bang out some weird drum beats by passing my SP-303 through Samsara.

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Holy SHit this is ACES! Thanks so much for sharing. WOWZA

once I remembered to restart after the install all seems good.

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first impressions are ‘wow, yay, this is great, damn, thanks!’

I’ve just been playing with loop length on a JF poly patch all evening – haven’t even gotten around to drums yet…

EDIT WOW, was unaware of pedal and it looks like much of the feedback I was looking to give (ex: fade to noise rather than silence, a mono mode with an open feedback path) is totally subsumed by the idea that this would be part of pedal. This is the Norns script I’ve been waiting for, man damn.

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oh my god, i love the m4l device, if this is anything like that. you are the man

*ah, i see it’s not. still very useful script idea. I was just attempting a similar thing with my cassette recorder and a tape loop this morning, so this will be really nice to have. thank you

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Really digging this so far…thanks!!

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Can’t wait for this to appear in maiden.

Are there going to be an option for cross-fading start and end point of the loop?

This uses softcut, so the loop naturally has a small crossfade

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Just spent about an hour with this. I love the simplicity. Really great stuff here.

One question, for Tempo adjustment, I couldn’t change via K2 + E1 and haven’t quite figured out entering tamp tempo mode either (K2 + Tap K3). Maybe I’m missing something.

Something silly but could it be set coded as to where the paused and playing could match my daw. It stops and starts with my transport but doesn’t seem to update the display on my norns. Not a big deal but helps when I’m not wanting to use a monitor

Interesting, it works just fine on my end. You’re holding down K2 while turning E1? And you have your norns clock set to “internal”? My bet is your norns clock is set to follow midi/link/crow. I’ll update the UI to make it clear when the clock is a follower.

My bad! I forgot to call the UI refresh when you use transport messages to pause/play. Should be simple enough to fix.

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Yes, it was set to Crow. Not sure why I didn’t notice that. Thanks!