I recorded this video with me talking over it, explaining things, but I liked it better without the voiceover, so I left it out.
I've always loved step sequencers and I see the monome as an opportunity to address some of the grey area between the one-knob-per-function analog step sequencer and step sequencers with memory. The idea is to increase the available note range without sacrificing precision and increase the available sequence length range, without sacrificing direct manipulation and feedback. So, when the arc came around it seemed like a useful navigational tool to manipulate a large plane of data.
I've been referring to plane as a platform because there are a number of variations I want to implement using the underlying development. This version is optimized to serve as a control voltage source. As such, it produces a lot of outputs. The top row is step enable/disable which is typically used to fire off envelopes. Plane is generating control voltages directly. There are no intermediate bits of software or virtual instruments in-between plane and the end of the patch cords controlling the modular.
The row underneath it the playback loop ruler. Pressing anywhere in the ruler area moves the playback loop to that location. A chorded gesture changes the loop size. One section of the sequence can be edited while playback is occurring elsewhere.When the loop ruler goes off the visible edge of the grid, it lets you know in which direction the active stuff is happening.
Included is a very nice saw cloud simulation of multiple detuned oscillators with adjustable fatness which you can plug directly into your modular.
Also included is direct, accurate CV control of an oscillator via a closed-loop calibration procedure. Of course, MIDI output is also available.
This version of plane uses scale degrees and passes though my modal scale quantizer, so you can switch scales on the fly. You can also use a MIDI keyboard to transpose.
Or, it can also follow a programmed chord progression score, allowing you to improvise with a step sequencer within the harmonic framework of a lead sheet.
The bottom two encoders on the arc are serving as looping automated CV sources.
You don't have to use an arc with plane, you can navigate with the mouse or keyboard or powermate. Also, you don't need a 512 monome. All monome sizes are directly supported and can be hot swapped.
Here are a couple plane diaries I recorded during development.
I haven't released plane yet, so it isn't downloadable.