Liine Lemur for iPad

main mixer interface

main mixer interface

I’ve spent the past week learning the lemur workflow and working on templates, and made a template to control Numerology, Audiomulch, and Reaktor.  I replaced two midi controllers with Lemur, and now control everything with my iPad and Novation Launchpad, which i’ve found to be an elegant and flexible solution.  I can do all my sequencing from the launchpad, and the tweaking with Lemur.

Learning Lemur and implementing my live template for it was difficult at first.  Lemur is a beast of a program, with the depth that comes from software that has been around since 2005.  It has the flexibility and power to do almost anything imaginable short of making sounds.  The flexibility comes at the cost of ease of use, but I’m finding it to worth the effort.  Any interface object can send and receive an arbitrary number of different kinds of OSC or MIDI messages, execute its own scripts, use global or local variables, and reference and control other objects, including the visual elements, making very dynamic interface work possible.

editor for my drum effects and the delay effect

editor for my drum effects and the delay effect

Scripting in lemur is fairly straightforward, and   Learning how to use it is essential to doing anything interesting with lemur, and somewhat necessary for some of the basic stuff.  Simple, static templates (like in touchOSC) can be made without any scripting, but the power of the scripting is what makes Lemur interesting, but difficult.  It took me about a week of using it a little each day to get a feel for it and get reasonably fast at using it.   Working on lemur templates needs to be done on a computer.  The iPad only editing is fairly good, but crashes, and is much more limited than the desktop editor.  Also, setup can be a hassle.  Entering the IP address of a new computer each session is annoying, especially if you are using an ad-hoc IP that changes every time you reboot.

Here are a few tips for anyone else jumping in and getting started.  I’m not an expert coder, but hopefully this is helpful for some of you.  I usually avoid reading manuals except for quick reference, but using Lemur requires a good cup of coffee and a couple hours for reading. Here’s some tips if you’re just getting started with lemur–some basics to get the interface working and using the multi-objects and arrays.

my metasurface control panel for audiomulch

my metasurface control panel for audiomulch

The almighty X

every object has its own variables, and the default variable for any single interface object is x.  Some objects have more variables.  For instance, creating a variable called “exponential” for a knob, and defining it as  x*x will give you an exponential curve.  pow(x,2) will return the same result.

the firstof(x) function.  This function is essential for using the ‘switches’ object in radio mode, and returns the index number of the most recently pressed switch button.

“multi” labels and colors.

Using the multi label function requires writing a script for your object, and using the setattribute function.  For instance, to label a switches object, I would create a script called names() and use this line of code:

setattribute(muteSwitches,’labels’,{‘Drum1′,’Drum2′,’KikBass’,'SynBass’,'SynMel’,'PadSyn’});

note the use of quotation marks around the name of the attribute to be set from the muteSwitches object, as well as the individual titles for the switches.  Also, make sure to turn the ‘multi labels’ parameter is switched on in the object properties panel.

using the multi colors option is easier: enable the multi color option in the object properties dialog, and in the ‘light=‘ field, enter an array, formatted like so:

{0.25,0.5,0.1}

multiColor

Vectors and Arrays

Some lemur objects output an array of values, including the “multi” objects and others.  Arrays of values can also be stored in almost any object and modified with scripts.  This is handy from a programming perspective but not all OSC clients (Numerology and Reaktor, in my case) can handle these array messages easily.  These arrays are easy to handle when making MIDI assignments, because a range of CC values can be set in the MIDI assignment dialog:

midipanel

However, for an array of OSC values, sometimes an individual variable needs to be made for each element and then connected in the OSC mapping dialog.  You can see in the following picture how each variable is assigned to an index from the x array, such as x[0], x[1] etc.  The same idea applies to multi slider objects and others as well.

 

arraySettings

Expressions in Lemur can hold single values or multiple values.   For instance, to store a few values in an array, here is some example code.  First, I made an expression called scene1Array, then wrote the script ‘storeScene1().’ This script stores the firstof() value of 5 different switches objects set to radio mode, which I use to store scene presets for Numerology.

scene1Array[0] = firstof(Presets1.x);

scene1Array[1] = firstof(Presets2.x);

scene1Array[2] = firstof(Presets3.x);

scene1Array[3] = firstof(Presets4.x);

scene1Array[4] = firstof(Presets5.x);

scene1Array[5] = firstof(Presets6.x);

 

I would recall the values to the switches objects by using this code:

Presets1.x[scene1Array[0]] = 1;

Presets2.x[scene1Array[1]] = 1;

Presets3.x[scene1Array[2]] = 1;

Presets4.x[scene1Array[3]] = 1;

Presets5.x[scene1Array[4]] = 1;

Presets6.x[scene1Array[5]] = 1;

 

Scripting Examples

A few examples of scripts should be helpful; It took me a little while to figure out the proper syntax for some simple things.

This is a script called ‘resetParams()’ that I use to reset a few values.

 

//set the values for two different sliders

Feed.x = 0;

HPF.x = 0.2;

//set the values for two different multi slider objects.

FiltLfo.x[0] = 0.15;

FiltLfo.x[1] = 0;

FiltLfo2.x[0] = 0.15;

FiltLfo2.x[1] = 0;

 

This is a script I use to set random values for all the sliders in a multi slider object named ‘probabilities’, and also unmute all my drum channels:

decl i;

decl r;

for(i=0; i<8; i++){

r = rand();

probabilities.x[i] = r;

drumMutes.x[i] = 0;

}

 

This script sets the values in a multi fader individually, while adding a random amount to each one, and then turns off all the buttons in a switches object called ‘drumMutes.’

probabilities.x[0] = 0.8 + rand()*0.2;

probabilities.x[1] = 0.6 + rand()*0.2;

probabilities.x[2] = 0.4 + rand()*0.2;

probabilities.x[3] = 0.4 + rand()*0.2;

probabilities.x[4] = 0.2 + rand()*0.2;

probabilities.x[5] = 0.2 + rand()*0.2;

probabilities.x[6] = 0.5 + rand()*0.2;

probabilities.x[7] = 0.4 + rand()*0.2;

 

decl i;

for(i=0;i<8;i++){

drumMutes.x[i] = 0;

}

 

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