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Thread: Sneak Peek - Introducing Maxwell - A software laser synth (analogish)

  1. #1
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    Default Introducing Maxwell - A software laser synth (Release 1.4)

    Maxwell Laser Synth

    The Maxwell 1.4 update IS HERE!

    - Adds support for Syphon which allows users to export the OpenGL output to any Syphon capable VDJ app (Resolume, VDMX, Virtual DJ, etc)
    - Adds support for the Helios DAC

    Maxwell 1.4

    Updates can be downloaded from itch.io for all owners of Maxwell

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is a little promo video showing off new features of the latest update:




    Features:

    • 6 independent oscillators broken up into 2 discrete 3D waveform generators
    • Full hardware accelerated OpenGL preview window (can also route output to separate window for use in Video Projector/VJ setups)
    • Native support for Ether Dream DAC & LaserDock
    • LFOs which can be routed to modulate amplitude of each oscillator
    • Solid color output or modulatable color with HSL modulation (Hue, Saturation, Lightness)
    • FX section, including a translator, rotator, and duplicator, and scaler.
    • Points FX - Overlays shape with colored points. Point color is independent of line color
    • User adjustable blanking and dwell optimization
    • Record to ILDA file
    • MIDI Controller support with fully integrated MIDI learn capability



    Minimum System Requirements:
    Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 64bit only
    OS X - Mountain Lion (10.8) and above
    Ether Dream DAC for direct control of Laser - ILDA file output also supported

    What's new in Maxwell 1.2

    Tutorials!

    There are now some basic integrated tutorials included under the “Documentation” menu.

    New Features in Maxwell 1.2

    • Support for LaserDock USB interface & projector
    • Oscillator frequency no longer limited to integer cycles + a new range selector to adjust range of the frequency for each osc.
    • Scale X & Y in DAC output section
    • Offset (position) X & Y in DAC output section
    • All settings in DAC section are now saved and recalled automatically
    • Option to disable Maxwell point optimizations when saving to ILDA files - this is very useful for import into other apps that have their own optimizations built-in.
    Last edited by BlueFang; 12-11-2016 at 21:18.

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    Let me be the first to say WOW!! Its really cool to see your intersection of genius and creativity.

    Before you even had the chance to get to Alpha and share, may I make two requests?

    1. The ability to record output to ILDA (I know, I know) so the results can be incorporated into larger lasershows
    2. Windows OS support would make it much more accessible

    Can't wait to see where this goes!

    -David
    Last edited by dkumpula; 02-02-2015 at 04:11.
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    That is awesome! I'm going to be watching this with a great amount of interest!

    I agree with David, a Windows port would be awesome for us MS guys and ILDA output would be a must. Also, any thoughts to adding MIDI support?

    Again, awesome work. I never cease to be amazed by some of the stuff by the members of this forum. When I see threads like this, I know I am home.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

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    I think for something like this the best way to get to some kind of points optimization would be to just limit the distance between points. They are already in the best order.

    Is there any concept of frames? Or is this a continuous function kind of thing?

    Looks like fun!

    James.
    Last edited by james; 02-01-2015 at 11:48.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkumpula View Post
    Let me be the first to say WOW!! Its really cool to see your intersection of genius and creativity.

    Before you even had the chance to get to Alpha and share, may I make two requests?

    1. The ability to record output to ILDA (I know, I know) and
    2. Windows OS support would make it much more accessible and the results

    Can't wait to see where this goes!

    -David
    Thanks.

    As far as ILDA support goes, it is certainly possible - however it is not high on my priority list of things to implement. There are tons of other apps that do nothing other than generate ILDA files - but very few that you can hook up to a laser and generate real-time output. I know that the support of only one DAC is limiting - but hey, it's the only DAC I own and already had a driver implemented for GCC.

    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    That is awesome! I'm going to be watching this with a great amount of interest!

    I agree with David, a Windows port would be awesome for us MS guys and ILDA output would be a must. Also, any thoughts to adding MIDI support?

    Again, awesome work. I never cease to be amazed by some of the stuff by the members of this forum. When I see threads like this, I know I am home.
    As long as this remains a little night-time - lets make pretty lights - project, it will probably remain Mac OS only - there are too many other little features I want to add before even thinking about diving into the murky world of Windows drivers and installation issues. Also adding ILDA file support breaks the cross-platform nature of the app because of the idiotic way Windows deals with path names - but that is a relatively easy issue to deal with. Mac Minis can be had for $200-$300 - which is about the same price us Mac guys have to shell out on Windows licensing fees whenever we want to run a Windows program. I am not saying a Windows version is not gonna happen, it is just not my priority at the moment.

    MIDI support is going to be a MUST. Max/MSP has really good built-in support for both MIDI and OSC - however one thing it doesn't have is support for out-of-the-box MIDI learn capabilities. So that is something I plan on adding, but will require a good bit of work. I want it to work like in Ableton Live, where you hit a button to go into MIDI learn mode, and touch a knob on the screen, and then fiddle a knob on your MIDI controller, and the mapping is auto generated and saved.

    I have also been browsing around the web looking for the best MIDI controller for an app like this. So far, the best two contenders are the Vestax VCM-600 (which is unfortunately not being made anymore) and the Livid Cntrl:r. The APC-40 is possible, but doesn't really have enough knobs and faders believe it or not.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by james View Post
    I think for something like this the best way to get to some kind of points optimization would be to just limit the distance between points. They are already in the best order.

    Is there any concept of frames? Or is this a continuous function kind of thing?

    Looks like fun!

    James.
    I agree - point optimization is not needed until the user starts getting wild with the phase multiplier - which generates crazy complex images usually with large distances between points.

    With regard to frames, there is definitely a concept of frames. A matrix of points is generated every *frame* and sent to Ether Dream driver. The Ether Dream output loop is running in its own thread - and is constantly sending data to the DAC whenever the DAC announces that it is ready for more points. So the output to the DAC is more-or-less streaming, while the updating of the point data is frame based.

    Currently the program is set up for a 30fps matrix generation loop. It looks nice and smooth. Not sure if it is needed to go much faster than that - but I might add the option as a global parameter.

  6. #6
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    GCC is a nice thing.

    If you add Boost C++ to that, you can get through a lot of the weird differences in file system navigation.

    If you ever wanted to be able to save your output to a fixed file, you could easily save it as wave.

    You don't even need to write a header on it. You could just save the stream as raw binary and open it in Audacity as a 6 channel wave. Then you can export that with a proper header.

    I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the EtherDream can play waves.

    James.
    Last edited by james; 02-01-2015 at 21:24.
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    Very cool!

    +1 request for a Windows version if you get the opportunity to port it.
    Last edited by Grix; 02-02-2015 at 08:33.

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    I would second James' idea of outputting to wave or flac. You wouldn't have to muck around with .ild.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

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    Wave is nice because it is not compressed. It's just interleaved samples.

    X, Y, r, g, b, other

    You take your 8 bit r g b values and push them up 7 bits to become positive signed 16 bit short ints.

    You can use the logical or operator to put r g and b together into one byte and push that up 7 bits for the other channel or you can put Z information there if you have it.

    If you play the wave into a projector, you will find that the colors are about 5 samples ahead of the scanners at 48KHz.

    You can compensate for this by shifting the color channels back 5 samples in time.

    If you want to go all out and save LaserBoy Formatted Waves, I'd be glad to help you with that.

    James.
    Creator of LaserBoy!
    LaserBoy is free and runs in Windows, MacOS and Linux (including Raspberry Pi!).
    Download LaserBoy!
    YouTube Tutorials
    Ask me about my LaserBoy Correction Amp Kit for sale!
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  10. #10
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    Not to sound like a broken record here, but ILDA out and windows support would have my full support...

    Other things are on the immediate horizon for me but this project looks very interesting and promising...

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