The Snazzy FX ARDCORE module is built around an Arduino compatible chipset and includes a USB port, a clock input, 4 10bit analog inputs, 2 1bit outputs, and an 8bit analog output.

I use the Arduino IDE to program the onboard microprocessor. Open source software is available here. I modify the Template Sketch from 20 Objects, LCC.


A basic template, doesn’t do much except monitor CLK in, send out control voltage, DAC out, and pulses, D0 and D1 out. What it does do is count interrupts. This will allow the artist to write a sketch or “score” for the AVSynth based on frame count, actually field count.

One unexpected and immediate benefit is that switching modes on the Jones MVIP, based on the interrupt, occurs during “vertical blanking.” The switch from effect to effect becomes seamless. A second unexpected result occurs when I patch D0 and D1 into the Mixer. D0 is a buzz, but D! is audible as a regular pulse, locked to the interrupt. After a little experimentation I realize that by counting down vertical drive, VD, I can generate simple rhythms that sync to video.

My first sketch is a simple random number generator. I divide down VD, and on zero output a random control voltage 0-255, or 0-5V. The count for dividing is preset in the sketch. The result is the predictable “blips and bleeps” characteristic of electronic music, sampling “white noise.” I use A0 and A1, two of the analog inputs, to divide down VD and on zero output two pulses, on D0 and D1. This simple sketch works well. The video responds the changes in the audio. I play out using this patch on Memorial Day at the Firehouse, Worcester MA. I play a short set with Stephanie Marie. Joe Bastardo patches his modular into my system, the resulting video responds to both synths. Quick changes, triggered by his 4MS Pingable Envelope Generator, are visible as horizontal bars and “noise” in the image.

Back in Lowell, I update the sketch to generate a “fractal” number. The result is a more organic sound as small pitch changes occur more often than large “jumps.” I use the sketch in a new patch for an Egregoros gig at the Aviary Gallery, Jamaica Plain MA.

Here’s the sketch –

One Response to “ARDCORE”

  1. Signal Culture, May 7-21, 2015 | Noh TV Says:

    […] create an Ardcore page on my blog and spend the rest of the day researching programming for the Ardcore module. I clean up […]

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