Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Volume Layer

Actually, I am not very happy with the volume-control from the tenori-on. (R4)
I do not like the vertical style and I cannot do anything else on this page.
So I decided to make a kind of mixer-page on layer8.
Layer8 is one of the Random-Layers and I am not using all 4 of them anyway.
In the moment the 2 top rows are free for new ideas, but the other led´s work as kind of volume-slider. See here how you can set volumes:

The animation of the layer doen`t matter at all, so I put the animation-style to "simple" Size1, that it doesn`t bother me.

You find the new Volume Layer in the new update 0.96, which is availible on the left side of this blog. here is how it looks:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

working with the version 0.952

Here you can see a video of working with the version 0.952.
Midi-Channel 1 is a synth-bass, controlled also by layer3 for the filter.
Layer 6 & 7 are playing the drums.
Layer 11 is for the sequenzer and Layer 15 is playing a pad.

Version 0.952

After the concert on Sunday (which went well) I made a few adjustments and here is the release of version 0.952. (you find it on the left side of this blog)
Whats new?
The Midi-engine for channel1 is much more stable now, polyphony up to 16 voices - no more midi "hangs"...
If included a slider for the note-length now, I always had problems with handling some polyphonic tasks if i put the note length on the tenori-on to high - so the patch is now doing the job, and this works much better.
I am still not happy with the remote-mode. The status of the led`s is not always the status of the patterns or samples trigered in Live, and that makes it somehow quite confusing. If I want to find a solution I have to find out, if the led`s of the Tenori-On can be triggered by Midi-massages. If anybody has a hint for me it would be appreciated !

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Version 0.95

I promised to be quick. Here we are: version 0.95 is ready.

Now I have 4 rows on layer5 for the remote-functions - this is triggering 64 samples or whatever and should be enough for the most things I do live.
Also I included the "dubdialer". The 5th row on layer5 on the tenori-on is now sending controller messages, and the value can be set on the dialer itself - great for dubs !

This version I will use on my concert on Sunday and then I decide how to get further on....

the dubdialer

Hey, thank you for your attention - I am now working on the tenori-on "dubdialer" in my application. I wanted to use some dial-function on the tenori-on, so I made a dial which stores the value and can be switches on and off - great for dubs - thats why I called it the dubdialer :-)

There will be a new version soon, because I need it on a concert on Sunday....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Version 0.94

After the concert I began working on a new version, which also enables me to use the tenori-on also as a remote control for Ableton Live.
Here is my version 0.94.

This is only work in progress, but you can control samples now in the gate-mode and there are some basic remote-functions.
The Layers are used as:

Layer1 = Midi-Notes on Midi-Channel1
Layer2 = Velocity for the notes on Midi-Channel1
Layer3 = controller on Midi-channel1 e.a. for Cutoff-Filter
Layer4 = controller on Midi-channel1 e.a. for Resonance
Layer5 = basic remote-functions

I noticed that the full polyphony is not working correctly, so in the moment Midi-Channel1 works only with up to 4 voices, but its only 0.94...:-)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Yesterday was my first live-concert with the tenori-on.
I used the Fadervox for controlling Ableton Live and with the Tenori-On and my "tenori-on helper" I programmed a few sequences on the spot and played some solos in the solo-mode.
Everything went well and I am glad that I can adjust the synchronisation of the Midi-clock!
Here are some impressions of the setup:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Some more videos

Here are some more videos about and with the tenori-on:

Old video with Toshio Iwai on the Art Futura 05

Toshio Iwai on the Ars Electronica 06

Zwei Videos auf sonicstate:

Friday, November 23, 2007

The tenori-on helper 0.9

I am using different midi-controller for a long time now. Even in the "Pre-Midi" era I played a kind of weird controller called "The Digitarre" (The Digi-Guitar), which was controlling a huge digital sequencer.
I normally play Donald Buchlas "Thunder" and "Lightning II" as my Midi-controllers I am very much into sequencing and Midi-controller, so decided to buy the Tenori-On in London.
First of all, its a great machine. It is such fun to play it!

But, and there are a few "but", if you are looking not only from the side of having fun with it - if you would like to use it as a serious tool in live-situations:

1.The way blocks can be copied and arranged is very easy. Put it would also be very helpful, if there would be a possibilty to automate the arrangement of the blocks, to create songs. I also would like a kind of arranger very much. And: It also would make perfect sense, if I could stack some of the blocks together, to create longer patterns.

2. The tenori-On puts out Midi-Notes. The velocity is always 100. To control external synthesizers it would be great to give the possibilty to assign a layer to different mode, like sending controller. I made a small program in MAX/MSP, which I will describe later on.

3.To use the Tenori-On as a tool for a DAW, the Midi-clock is not useable, because of two reasons: First it is a Midi-Clock and not a Midi-timecode, which makes it a little unstable, and second, it has a delay. I tried it on different computer-systems with 3 different Midi-Interfaces and the Midi-Clock has a delay between 50 and 65ms in tempo 120 in master, as well as in slave-mode. This is not usable for using the Tenori-on as a programmer for sequences in DAWs. But I also found a workaround.

4. It is not really handy and possible to use the tenori-on as a controller for Ableton Live. Because of the Midi-Out situation it coul only provide 16 Midi-Notes on each Layer, and also not very flexible - I have to think about a patch with Max/Msp.

First solution:
I wrote this MAX/MSP-patch called the "tenori-on helper" and i gave it the version-number 0.9, because I finished it today, and I am not sure if everything is working without mistakes.
The program does:

1. You can adjust to Midi-Clock in ms to your DAW, the only thing is, that you tenori-on has to start on the second beat - then everything works in sync - adjustable for each Midi-Channel.

2. I changed as an input for my DAW the first 4 Layers:
Layer1 = Midi-Notes on Midi-Channel1
Layer2 = Velocity for the notes on channel1
Layer3 = controller on channel1 to use it for like Cutoff-Filter
Layer4 = controller on channel1 to use it for like Resonance

If you are interested to try this out, you will find the software here:
The tenori-on helper 0.9 (6.5mb)

Feedback is welcome......

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Modes

If you are not familiar with the tenori-on - here you can find the official videos from Yamaha.

This is the score mode:

This is the random mode

This is the draw mode

This is the bounce mode

This is the push mode

This is the solo mode

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This blog is about the tenori-on, the new instrument from yamaha.
"Media artist Toshio Iwai and Yamaha have collaborated to design a new digital musical instrument for the 21st century, TENORI-ON. A 16x16 matrix of LED switches allows everyone to play music intuitively, creating a "visible music" interface."

I am one of the happy early users and would like to use it for my favourite DAW "Ableton Live".
The problem is, that the tenori-on is giving only midi-notes as the output - so I have to write a patch with Max/Msp to use it.