Step and Funny Talk for the OLPC

I spent my spare time last week developing two audio-based activity prototypes for the OLPC: Step and Funny Talk. The whole process was surprisingly quick and easy. I attribute this to Victor Lazzarini’s Csound Sugar GUI toolkit. I do a lot of Csound programming, but I’ve never actually done any GUI work for it. Using the toolkit was as simple as defining widgets and mapping them in Csound.

Step

OLPC Step Activity

Flickr photo be me

Step is the first activitiy I’m developing for the XO. It’s a straight forward eight note step sequencer with synth notes, snare and kick parts. So far, I’ve probably put in about 8 hours on this. Once a user has a pattern they like, they can render the loop to an audio file, which can then be loaded in other activities. It still needs a lot of work, especially the synth engine. Though you can still take a listen if you would like: StepDemo1.mp3.

Funny Talk

OLPC Funny Talk Activity

Flickr photo be me

This is my favorite of the two, as my inspiration for this activity comes from my childhood memories of the Yamaha VSS-30 keyboard. My friends and I used to spend hours playing with that keyboard. Often in a very juvenile manner. I figured if we had such a great time playing with our voices, then perhaps the target audience of the OLPC will as well. Here is “the sound of my voice” being processed with Funny Talk: FunnyTalkDemo1.mp3.

The Amazing Circuit Bending Worm

Following a gruelling audition process, one solo worm was hand selected to perform its own music, without proviso, upon a specially adapted and destabilised FM synthesis circuit disembowelled from a Yamaha PSS-470. For one day, this worm was treated like royalty; whisked around London’s swankiest mud spas and hermaphrodite clubs, before spending an evening at the very best hotel (whatever it’s called, I dunno). Ah, what a star…

Posted to YouTube by ashfordaisyak. Thanks to PAgent of PAgent’s Progress for the link.