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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Orca

ORC/\

Useful things to download: MIDI Monitor will allow you to snoop into the MIDI stream.

General concepts

Parameters

Let's use the T (tracker) operator for this example. When we type T on a cell, immediately we see it takes two parameters on the left and at least one on the right.

..T.
....

One of the parameters on the left can be used to indicate how many positions to the right can be used as parameters. This is weird to explain but actually easy to understand when you try it out.

08T........
...........

The 8 indicates that the T will track, the 8 notes on the right hand of the T. And the 0 indicates.

Let's make a little tracked synth with this construction.

..C8.........
.D38TADBFHD6A
..:AFF51.....
.J..J........
..:8FA54.....
.J..J........
..:1FF54.....

Or perhaps a bass line:

.........C.....
...68TCFG7CFE..
..C..E.........
.D7..J.........
.*:32Ef5.......

MIDI in ORCA

:A2F51

where:

A is the channel 2 is octave F a note value 5 velocity 1 duration

Time

D - delay C - clock

Count to 8:

.C8

Count to 8 more slowly (every 2 beats):

2C8
..C.....
.D..aRf.
..:03cf5
........
........
.D2.aRf.
..:02cf5

Comparisons

#.IF.#..............
....................
#.COMPARE.2.VALUES.#
....................
aFb.aFa.1F0.1F1.....
.....*.......*......
....................
#.INVERT.BANGS.#....
....................
....D4..............
.....F..............
.....*..............

Let's make some beats

Put on your shit Kickers (tm) and kick some shit:

#..kick..#
..........
..C.......
..6F6.....
...*:30cff

Let's get some snare drums in there:

#..snare...#
............
..C.........
..1F2.......
....:10eff..

Some hi-hats:

#..hat..#
.........
..0R4....
...3B2...
..fC1....
.2B0.....
2D2......
..:10hff.

Moving stuff around

Because programs in ORCA rely on the organization of letters in space, things can sometimes get jammed together in space in ways that makes it hard to organize your sound-making machine.

The Y operator moves the value in it's left to the right.

The J operator moves the value above to the spot below.

The X operator 'writes' a value and the Q operator fetches the written value. Think of X and Q as ways to store and retrieve variables.

Playing a chord with jumpers

#.Play.a.chord.#...............................
...............................................
#.J.allows.you.to.move.data.around............#
...............................................
...............................................
........8C4....................................
.......D814TCAFE...............................
........:03A...................................
.......J...J...................................
........:04A...................................

Channeling MIDI out to other apps

One great thing about ORCA is that in itself it doesn't produce any audio. All that ORCA does is create a machine that makes MIDI output. You can think of it as a robot that plays a keyboard, but doesn't care which keyboard it plays. So if you change the keyboard from under its hands it can make different sounds.

One way of "changing the keyboard" is to channel the MIDI commands to another software that can make sounds using MIDI input.

Funky stuff

This one is cool, makes the bang move around using the X operator and a clock.

.Cg.......
.dB8......
..5X*.....
..........
....:03B31
....:03C31
....:02B31
....:03B31
....:03C31
....:02B31
....:03B31
....:03A31

Experimenting with SunVox

SunVox is an amazing software tracker and synthesizer, writen by Alexander Zolotov (aka NightRadio). It's free and it runs on many platforms including tablets.

It's a wonderfully strange piece of software, so it fits well in the Esoteric Codes ecosystem.

You can download it for free here.

Now let's take the default sound "modules" (or instruments) from SunVox and map them to some MIDI channels.

sunvox midi

Each of these boxes is a sound generator, you can thing of them as instruments in an orchestra.

sunvox midi

Right clicking on an instrument, pulls up this menu, choose Module Options.

sunvox midi

Set the MIDI trigger to be "any" and the input channel (in the middle) to a number that you can then use from ORCA. Remember that ORCA starts counting from 0, so instrument #1 in SunVox is 0 in ORCA. It's a bit confusing but you get used to it.