Teletype workflow for dummies

teletype

#1

With features like Just Type, the upcoming w/ support and ER-301 communication, Teletype seems incedibly powerful and interesting. But at the same time, I just can‘t image how the module actually behaves when making music. So I was hoping TT users could share some basic experiences not related to any specific codes etc.

How is the actual workflow? Like, how much typing is required as opposed to regular patching and simply jamming away?

Also, can you e.g. connect (and control) Just Friends and w/ at the same time is it an either/or situation?

Any tips for potential buyers that are a bit scared of the whole keyboard thing?

Thanks. :raised_hands:


#3

yes! i’ve been wondering the same thing, it’s good to see that more experienced folks are too.


#4

It’s a little bit weird to wrap your head around first and I’m still learning it myself. The thing that helped me most was the documentation page and the Teletype studies. https://monome.org/docs/modular/teletype/studies-1/. The intro video helps too.

To start understanding it, I would begin with the basic concept that the 8 trigger ins can activate 8 corresponding scripts. These scripts contain commands that can output via the 4 triggers and 4 cv outs. You can also monitor the cv param input, which could be used to affect your scripts/cv/triggers/etc. I wouldn’t worry about the i2c stuff right off the bat, just the hardware ins/outs.


#5

It depends. Mainly I find myself thinking about the objective, setting up TT accordingly, and then not touching it after that. But I do also have some scripts where I change things (Metronome rates, pattern values,…) while patching.

I’m presuming the answer is yes. I don’t have either (w/ on it’s way, and I plan to pick up JF at some point), but I do have TXo, TXi, ES, WW, AS attached. With more than a couple of modules connected to TT (see the TT threads for a lengthy discussion of this), you’ll want a tt-busboard.


#6

Yes, that’s right. You can control multiple devices simultaneously. The busboard helps with the load on the Teletype/i2c bus.


#8

Wow! Thank you all so much for the super fast and detailed insights. Much appreciated.


#9

Not much of an expert when it comes to the Teletype, still learning, but I’d still like to share two thoughts about it.
I think one of the basic things which might be gotten wrong about the TT at the beginning is what it is all about. while it is an extremely open and versatile module there are a couple of things which I find make its identity and which one should be aware of.
First of all the real fun is making it do stuff, generating material, as opposed to writing down a linear score and having the module play that. You can use the patterns to just write down a sequence of pitches and then play those in a loop (and that’s really just a couple of lines of code), but that begs the question: why do that with the TT in the first place? There’s better modules to do that I think.
This said, coding on the TT is relatively quick&easy I find (and I’m not a coder in any way). Sometimes you just need a quick thing, you can quickly type in a couple of lines and get going.
I think the “hard work” is not the coding, it’s thinking what you want to code.
There’s so much stuff you can do with the TT and there’s many ways that take you to the same result. So the work is mostly working out what you want to achieve, then working out how you’d code that, and then coding that. With a lot of trial and error and running out of characters per line in between in my case.
I wouldn’t say that it’s the kind of module you can use to just jam away, but it’s a lot more fluid than one thinks. I’ve been coding in Csound, and that’s really a different world. The TT is basically the “jamming away” version of that.

To me the only downside of the keyboard is that it’s something that resides outside of the case. You need to fit it on your desk and it can have an influence on the ergonomics of your instrument…
The other thing that you need to be aware is that due to how the panel is designed, it’s best kept in a skiff in front of you, or you’ll have cabled dangling in front of the screen a lot, which can be annoying.
You can tell that the whole Monome system is really made to work in small tabletop skiffs and not in big uright cases, which makes sense to me.


#10

My workflow is a little different because it’s mostly been focused on grid applications. But this is what I’ve evolved so far:

  1. Write out a scene in a text editor on my PC. This way I can include lots of comments, use little hashtags in place of exact variables and script numbers and arrange the real letters and numbers as I go, work on a scene while spacing out at work, &etc.
  2. Load the script into TT and find out that it completely doesn’t work. Lately I’ve started to skip this step and go right to:
  3. Create a fresh scene and start putting tiny bits of my scene into it one at a time to verify that they work the way I think they do. At this stage I’m typing live into TT, using my text document as a guide. The grid simulator is key, as is looking around the whole pattern space to be sure missing things are really missing rather than just misplaced.
  4. Iterate until done. Then I can export the scene back into text and post it.

The key thing is that this whole process is an entirely separate activity from patching - it’s module development. I find that I have to do it in a different room of the house because it feels so different. Fortunately my system is portable.


#11

I’m thinking Teletype will be my last eurorack purchase for a while, at first I had the same issue with thinking about integrating scripting into my rack (I’m a software developer professionally so I want music-making to be as far removed as possible) but after reading through the studies it seems amazing. I’m thinking it’ll basically be the central hub for my system, basically like a giant event bus. I’m wondering, has anyone used Pamela’s New Workout with it to trigger scripts? It seems like a logical pairing, with the other in my mind being Meadowphysics on Ansible running in the eight TR output mode. I have Ansible and I’m thinking about trading out my Arc for a Grid but if I’m still curious if similar functionality could be achieved with Pam’s.


#13

Works pretty well, but meadowphysics is the perfect pairing since you can stop/start each of the triggers with ease. You could also pair it with a clock divider or have the metro script trigger the 8 scripts using the EVERY command, but this is all assuming you want those scripts to execute periodically.


#14

as @Kel mentions, setting up Teletype to be a simple looping step-sequencer is really easy (mentioned this one yesterday in the modular beginners thread).

First of all the real fun is making it do stuff, generating material, as opposed to writing down a linear score and having the module play that. You can use the patterns to just write down a sequence of pitches and then play those in a loop (and that’s really just a couple of lines of code), but that begs the question: why do that with the TT in the first place? There’s better modules to do that I think.

I agree. What I typically do is I start from looping through a simple pattern and then see what interesting things I can do to switch things up, make it somehow performative/generative/moving (much like I would by patching in modulation to a sound source)

For example, I might start with:

SCRIPT 1

CV 1 N PN.NEXT 0

Maybe the pattern is 5 notes and I wonder what it’d sound like if every 3rd note was a fifth higher that what it normally is, that’d be two more lines in script 1:

SCRIPT 1

CV 1 N PN.NEXT 0
CV.OFF 1 N 0
EVERY 3: CV.OFF 1 N 5

Then maybe I want to have that pitch CV pull from several different looping sequences. That’d just be copying the code that we had on Script 1, into scripts 2, 3, and 4 to target a different pattern*. Also maybe I’ll explore different intervalic relationships when each of these scripts gets triggered.

SCRIPT 1

CV 1 N PN.NEXT 0
CV.OFF 1 N 0
EVERY 3: CV.OFF 1 N 5
SCRIPT 2

CV 1 N PN.NEXT 1
CV.OFF 1 N 0
EVERY 3: CV.OFF 1 N 7
SCRIPT 3

CV 1 N PN.NEXT 2
CV.OFF 1 N 0
EVERY 3: CV.OFF 1 N 9
SCRIPT 4

CV 1 N PN.NEXT 3
CV.OFF 1 N 0
EVERY 3: CV.OFF 1 N 11

So I can then plug in different triggers to 1, 2, 3, 4 and explore the relationship there, but what if I want to explore having just a single trigger to have a more stable rhythm to my sequence. I might set things up so I can pick which sequences is being sent to CV 1 instead through turning the param knob.

INIT SCRIPT:
PARAM.SCALE 1 4
SCRIPT 5

SCRIPT PARAM

Basically, probably a lot of the “what if I tried this?” experimentation stuff you do when you patch up things in your system using cables. I really like building up a fairly simple sequencing system, then explore it with the larger system, usually within the same music-making session (I do save things but I find myself rarely going back to em).


#15

yes pretty much what I do as well.
I also sometimes use some channels to replace a utility (eg. to act as a quantizer, clock divider, random LFO, etc.), these things are also usually pretty quick&easy to do.


#16

I’ve had my Teletype for a month or so and it definitely deserves all the praise being heaped on it.

This is very true. The coding itself is pretty simple. If you see what appears to be complex code in a listing here on Lines or elsewhere, it is probably just that a lot of abbreviations are being used. The majority of functions are easy to understand and implement and the syntax is simple once you get your head around Polish notation (eg “X + 10 2” results in X=12)

I did become stuck when trying to complete the Teletype Studies because they were written for a much earlier firmware (I forget which study exactly caused me to give up). One solution to this would be to attempt the studies with v1.0 before upgrading.

Also, the keyboard would occasionally miss a keypress. I found an excellent £30/$35, small (60%) mechanical keyboard on Amazon - which is much better.

Other than that, it is one of the best modules I’ve ever used and definitely in my desert island skiff!


#17

Teletype has been one of my favorite modules since shortly after its release but I feel the GridOps have made it into an infintely more musical module for me. And I don’t even own a grid (yet)! I’ve been jamming on the same ‘GridOps’ patch for weeks now (with small incremental code changes) and having a blast. As mentioned above, ergonomics is an issue. Finding somewhere to place the keyboard is a pain but when I finally get a grid I guess I’ll make a permanent home for it and the keyboard in front of my skiff.


#18

Simple utility scripts really make TT shine in a small system.
Teletype is whatever you need it to be, with a little imagination.


#19

Gotcha yeah and Meadowphysics also seems to provide a more enjoyable and improvisational interface. With the metro script how do you call all right scripts though? I thought scripts were only six lines, can you combine multiple commands on a single line?


#20

You can combine commands on one line, yes, but there are other ways to do it.

Eg. L 1 TO 8: SCRIPT I

This would run Scripts 1 through 8.

You could also call Script 1 from M and then 2 from 1, then 3 from 2 and so on.


#22

Yes, you can load a Scene from within a Script. If you make the new Scene load the first Scene, you can effectively have MANY more scripts!

And because it is just a normal operation, you can do things like:

PROB 5: SCENE 2


#24

Scripts can be called well into audio rate speed. I haven’t tested Scenes to see how fast they load but there’s no dialog box or anything, it just Loads. So, make sure you save your current Scene before you test it!


#25

This is pretty much my approach. I start with one Script and let the Scene grow organically like a Patch, where you respond to the sound.

I hadn’t thought to use PARAM to select a script - that’s a nice idea!