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mTroll: Open source PC-based MIDI controller

sean.e

Inspired
mTroll is a software-based MIDI controller that I run on a little ASUS eee pc netbook. It can be used with a DIY foot controlled input but that is optional. I've added native Axe-Fx support to it. More info at http://www.creepingfog.com/mTroll/.

mTroll is written in C++ and uses Qt for the UI. The source code repository is available via Mercurial from SourceForge:
[noparse]hg clone http://mtroll.hg.sourceforge.net:8000/hgroot/mtroll/mTroll[/noparse]
(The SourceForge project is http://sourceforge.net/projects/mtroll/ but nothing there except the source code repo.) You can browse the source at http://mtroll.hg.sourceforge.net/hgweb/mtroll/ without installing Mercurial.
 

vAmp

Fractal Fanatic
TYVM. A summer well spent! :mrgreen

Since this is configurable per preset, I guess it would be ideal if one had a touch-screen?
And if you had, does that automatically work, or do you need to support that in the software?
(I have no idea if it exists much in laptop/netbook form?)
It might not be as precise I guess, except if you could pick how long the sliders were. Can you?)

If you'd always use the same parameters, do/can you also use this with a hardware controller pad that plugs into it and translates this to Axe commands?
Do such controllers exist in 1-rackspace format? (like a unit with say 20 sliders on it?)
 

miketheman

Experienced
TYVM. A summer well spent! :mrgreen

Since this is configurable per preset, I guess it would be ideal if one had a touch-screen?
And if you had, does that automatically work, or do you need to support that in the software?
(I have no idea if it exists much in laptop/netbook form?)
It might not be as precise I guess, except if you could pick how long the sliders were. Can you?)

If you'd always use the same parameters, do/can you also use this with a hardware controller pad that plugs into it and translates this to Axe commands?
Do such controllers exist in 1-rackspace format? (like a unit with say 20 sliders on it?)
Never seen such controllers in 1 rackspace format. Interesting idea though. DIY seems to be the route to go...

/Mike
 

sean.e

Inspired
Since this is configurable per preset, I guess it would be ideal if one had a touch-screen?
Well, I don't normally touch the machine it's running on; I do have a board with footswitches. But yes, touch-screen would be good. I don't follow the connection between it being configurable per preset and suitability for touch-screen though.

And if you had, does that automatically work, or do you need to support that in the software?
(I have no idea if it exists much in laptop/netbook form?)
It might not be as precise I guess, except if you could pick how long the sliders were. Can you?)
I would imagine that the buttons would work on a touch-screen but I haven't tried so don't know for sure. The size, color and placement of all of the elements in the UI are end-user customizable.

If you'd always use the same parameters, do/can you also use this with a hardware controller pad that plugs into it and translates this to Axe commands?
The app has native support for the monome controller - my foot board has a monome inside of it. So in a way I guess, it takes output from the monome and translates it into Axe commands. But Axe commands are just MIDI - nothing particularly special there.

Do such controllers exist in 1-rackspace format? (like a unit with say 20 sliders on it?)
Sounds like a DIY project as miketheman noted.
 

vAmp

Fractal Fanatic
I don't follow the connection between it being configurable per preset and suitability for touch-screen though.
Well, "easy" to remember global controls, but if you want these controls to be different per preset, "no way" to remember that.
You would be obliged to look at the screen and then it might be ideal if you had a touch screen and use it like that.


Sounds like a DIY project as miketheman noted.
Easy for up to 8 pots wit stereo outs, but for MIDI, I wouldn't have a clue. Anyway, it was more a theoretical question. I'm not *that* much of a power user. The touch screen might still be handy though, but normally you can get away with the 8 controllers we already have.
 

sean.e

Inspired
Easy for up to 8 pots wit stereo outs, but for MIDI, I wouldn't have a clue. Anyway, it was more a theoretical question. I'm not *that* much of a power user. The touch screen might still be handy though, but normally you can get away with the 8 controllers we already have.
Oh! I wrote mTroll before I had an Axe-Fx and it was based on the monome hardware which only has 4 analog inputs (for controllers). When adding Axe support, I completely overlooked the 8 ext controllers that the Axe is set up for by default. Room for improvement. The Axe-Fx specific features are outline at http://www.creepingfog.com/mTroll/axe.html.
 

sean.e

Inspired
Well, "easy" to remember global controls, but if you want these controls to be different per preset, "no way" to remember that.
You would be obliged to look at the screen and then it might be ideal if you had a touch screen and use it like that.
I see - very true.
 

PALYGAP

Experienced
sean.e, I was wondering If you had thought of migrating mtroll to environnement like the new ARM boards : Rasberry Pi or BeagleBoard Black ? I am currently thinking of using on of these two as the new platform for the MidyAX project.

Checking SourceForge it looks like you're still improving the program ?

Like I've said before, when I started the MidyAX project I first checked the code of mtroll and I was very impressed by the quality of the code. Great job.:encouragement:
 

sean.e

Inspired
palygap, I used to obsessively follow the forum but it was eating up too much time - sorry for the delay in response.

No, I haven't considered migrating mtroll. I recently picked up an inexpensive windows tablet (Dell Venue 8 Pro Buy Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet - 32GB - Microsoft Store ). Decent screen with touch. For 250USD - no need to port any code at all.

Yes, I continue to update the software every once in awhile.
 

PALYGAP

Experienced
No prob. for responce time. Tout viens a point à qui sait attendre ( All things come to him who waits )

You've got a point, these cheap tablets (Win, Android and some old iPad) are great value for the money. One could even get cheap notebooks second hand or even new.

I have started to build a program with Qt and RTMidi library on the Raspberry Pi. First tests work quite well. I wonder if you had considered RTMidi or another cross-platform Library for the MIDI functions. It would make the Qt mTroll cross-platform.

I tryed to find out what the monome serial interface was about but it seems the link on the mTroll page is outdated.
 

sean.e

Inspired
I just updated all the bad links I found. The device I used is now a much older generation - much of the monome site has changed in the last 7 years. At any rate, here are the relevant pages for the device I used, but they aren't applicable in the current world:
the kit: tech:kits:40h_kit [monome]
source: tech:source_files:40h [monome]
serial protocol: tech:serial:40h [monome]

Wow - I hadn't heard of RTMidi - looks like a good library. Thanks for the tip.
PortMidi is another one I've heard of: PortMedia
 
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