Saving webcam images from a website?!

Saving webcam images from a website using a bash script on your Mac (or other UNIX based system).

My wife is an artist and uses several large kilns in her studio. As the studio is not next to our house, she needed to get over to the studio every time she wanted to check the status and or temperature of the firing program of the kilns. So to spend less time and energy on traveling back and forth, I got my wife a webcam, and programmed it to send photos of the digital kiln controller to her website.

The concept of checking the kiln temperature online:

KilnpyrometerKiln computerwebcamWebsitebrowser☺Happy wife☺

The workings of checking the kiln temperature online:

  • The kiln temperature is monitored by the kiln computer via a pyrometer.
  • The kiln computer, which controls the status / temperature / firing program of the kilns, is monitored by a webcam.
  • The webcam sends a photo, every x minutes, of the kiln computer to a website.
  • My wife can check the status / temperature / firing program of the kilns, when ever she wants, with a browser. ==> ☺Happy wife☺

While chit chatting, about the advantages of having the webcam installed, the question arose whether it was possible to store the images and keep some sort of logging. This was a trigger for me to start searching for a solution, eventually I ended up with writing a bash script using wget and without using crontab (crontab is a unix based scheduler).

The concept of logging the kiln temperature:

KilnpyrometerKiln computerwebcamWebsitescriptComputer with images

The workings of logging the kiln temperature:

  • The kiln temperature is monitored by the kiln computer via a pyrometer.
  • The kiln computer, which controls the status / temperature / firing program of the kilns, is monitored by a webcam.
  • The webcam sends a photo, every x minutes, of the kiln computer to a website.
  • A script downloads every x minutes the photo of the kiln computer from a website to a computer.
  • My wife can put the firing program and kiln temperature in a timeline by reading out the stored photos on her computer.

You can download the spreadsheet here. And… she can still check the status / temperature / firing program of the kilns, when ever she wants, with a browser. ==> ☺Happy wife☺

  • There is this thingy though that you have cope with two independent cycles. One cycle uploads an image from the webcam to the website and the other cycle downloads the image from the website to the computer. To make a steady logging I choose to download more images than there were uploaded. In other words… My download cycle is shorter than my upload cycle. This results in double images (which you can remove later on).

 

wget – concept:

wget –no-check-certificate –output-document=IMAGENAME$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M:%S).jpg “URL TO YOUR IMAGE”

  • This downloads a file (in this case an image) from a website and saves it to disk while incorporating a date/time stamp in its name.

 

wget – example – I used:

wget –no-check-certificate –output-document=kilnstatus$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M:%S).jpg http://www.fleurvandenberg.nl/<secretfolder>/kilnstatus_1.jpg

  • This downloads the file kilnstatus_1.jpg from the website http://www.fleurvandenberg.nl/<secretfolder>/ and saves it to disk while incorporating a date/time stamp in its name resulting in a file called <kilnstatus2018-05-04_07/31/38.jpg>.

This is how you can do the same on your Mac:

Open a Terminal window

Make a folder to store your images in:

mkdir kilnlogging

In your Terminal window go to the folder you just created:

cd ./kilnlogging

From your applications open TextEdit and create a new file called ‘kilnlogging.sh’ in the folder kilnlogging you just created. Or download the script here.

Convert it to plain text by clicking Format > Make Plain Text

Copy, paste and save the code below, between <script> and </script>:

<script>

#!/bin/bash

while true; do

wget –no-check-certificate –output-document=IMAGENAME$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M:%S).jpg “URL_TO_YOUR_IMAGE” && echo “still in process wait another 10 min ….”

sleep 600

done

</script>

Change the values of IMAGENAME and URL_TO_YOUR_IMAGE to it’s desired values that meet your specifications.

In your Terminal window change executable status of the file you just created by typing:

sudo chmod +x ./kilnlogging.sh

This will give the terminal permission to run the file.

You can now execute the script from your Terminal window by typing:

./kilnlogging.sh

Of course you can stop the script at any moment by pressing:

CTRL Z

 

 

After running the kilnlogging script for several days I ended up with quite a collection of the same images. To make them unique I made a ‘kilnlog cleaning script’ called KilnLogCleaner.sh

Concept cleaner script:

md5 -r *.jpg | sort -t ‘ ‘ -k 4 -r | awk ‘BEGIN{lasthash = “”} $1 == lasthash {print $2} {lasthash = $1}’ | xargs rm

This line looks at the md5 values of all images in the folder, and in case the md5 values are the same, it removes the doubles.

From your applications open TextEdit and create a new file called ‘KilnLogCleaner.sh’ in the folder kilnlogging you just created. Or download the script here.

Convert it to plain text by clicking Format > Make Plain Text

Copy, paste and save the code below, between <script> and </script>:

<script>

#!/bin/bash

md5 -r *.jpg | sort -t ‘ ‘ -k 4 -r | awk ‘BEGIN{lasthash = “”} $1 == lasthash {print $2} {lasthash = $1}’ | xargs rm

</script>

In your Terminal window change executable status of the file you just created by typing:

sudo chmod +x ./KilnLogCleaner.sh

This will give the terminal permission to run the file.

You can now execute the script from your Terminal window by typing:

./KilnLogCleaner.sh

Connect your WiiMote to Windows using the BlueSoleil bluetooth stack

All right I received even more mail saying “my bluetooth software doesn’t look like yours” (see this article or this article)… As said before that is possible because there are several bluetooth packages around. In this article I’ll try to explain how you can connect your WiiRemote to Windows XP while using the BlueSoleil bluetooth stack.

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)
  • Software

 

Open BlueSoleil

Now press 1+2 on your WiiMote so all four of the lights blink. While the lights are blinking on your WiiReMote click on the orange sphere in the BlueSoleil program to find the WiiMote.

While the lights of your WiiReMote are still blinking double click the newly found device.

 

Right click on the newly paired WiiMote, go to Connect and select Bluetooth Human Interface Device Service.

 

Click “Next”.

 

The New Hardware Wizard will automatically install drivers for the WiiMote.

You might get asked to Continue or Stop the installation. Click “Continue Anyway”.

If all went well you’ll see a green dotted line attached from the orange sphere to your WiiMote.

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line.

 

How to connect your WiiMote using Windows XP

This weekend I received a couple of emails asking me whether it was possible to use the WiiMote in combination with MS Windows… Yes it is possible 🙂 and in this article I’ll try to explain how you could connect your Wii Remote in Windows XP.

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)

Here is a step by step explanation:

Double click on the Bluetooth icon in the lower right corner of your screen (an other place where you can find the bluetooth software is in the Control Panel). The icon should look like this

You can add a new connection by pressing the new connection button (if your pop-up windows doesn’t look like the picture below you’re probably using a different bluetooth stack. You might wanna check here ).

Press 1+2 on the WiiMote then select the fast modus and press Next.

After several seconds Windows XP should find the WiiMote, press Next to make the connection.

If all went well you’ll see you have a connected WiiMote

You can disconnect your WiiMote by either pressing the red button on your WiiMote or by right clicking your WiiMote-icon and select disconnect.

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line.

Use the Wii Nunchuck as a MIDI controller

Some weeks ago Wolfgang Gaube (a composer, musician and and sound designer) wrote me an email asking me, because I had some experience with the Wii and MIDI, whether it would be possible to use the Wii Nunchuck as a MIDI controller (hardware or software which generates and transmits MIDI data to MIDI-enabled devices). That’s how our cooperation started, we exchanged gear and setup details and started to work. Some research, scripting, trail and error resulted in a slick script for GlovePie…

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)
    • Wii Nunchuck (Its appearance when attached to the Wii Remote resembles the nunchaku, hence the name)
  • Software
    • GlovePie (is a free Programmable Input Emulator, originally for the Essential Reality P5 Virtual Reality Glove, which now supports a huge range of input devices, especially the Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote))
    • MIDI Yoke (allows you to connect the MIDI output from one program to the MIDI input of a different program)
    • MIDI-OX (is a 32 bit multi-purpose tool: it is both a diagnostic tool and a System Exclusive librarian. It can perform filtering and mapping of MIDI data streams. It displays incoming MIDI streams, and passes the data to a MIDI output driver or the MIDI Mapper.)
    • ZynAddSubFX (is a open source software synthesizer capable of making a countless number of instruments, from some common heard from expensive hardware to interesting sounds that you’ll boost to an amazing universe of sounds)
    • WiiNunChuck2Midi GlovePie script (a script that converts Nunchuck movements to MIDI controller information)

 

Let’s get going:

Where possible I provided links to the necessary download locations.

Download MIDI Yoke and install it.

Press Close and REBOOT your computer.

 

 

Configuring MIDI ports in Windows

Configure your MIDI ports in Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Sounds and Audio Devices”.

Go to the “Audio” TAB and select “Out to MIDI Yoke: 1”  as MIDI music playback device and click “OK”.

 

Download MIDI-OX and install it.

 

Configuring MIDI-OX

Now we have to configure MIDI-OX to pass the MIDI signal from MIDI Yoke: 1 to MIDI Yoke: 2

 

What is really happening:

GlovePie converts the Wii Nunchuck movements to MIDI controller information and sends the MIDI signals via the “MIDI Yoke: 1”  to MIDI-OX, MIDI-OX on its turn sends the MIDI signals to ZynAddSubFX via “MIDI Yoke: 2”.  ZynAddSubFX converts the MIDI signal into a sound effect (Wii Nunchuck movements >> GlovePie >> MIDI Yoke: 1 >> MIDI-OX >> MIDI Yoke: 2 >> ZynAddSubFX >> Sound effect).

 

Start MIDI-OX go to “Options” and select “”MIDI devices”.

 

Now select “In From MIDI Yoke: 1” as input and select “Out To MIDI Yoke: 2” as output and click OK.

 

 

Download ZynAddSubFX and install it.

 

Configuring MIDI ports in ZynAddSubFX

Go to “File” and select “Settings”.

In the right bottom corner select “In From MIDI Yoke: 2” as MIDI-in device, and click “Close”.

 

Download GlovePie and install it. GlovePie doesn’t come with an installer so you have to create a folder and extract the zip file into the folder. In my case I created a folder called “C:\Program Files\GlovePie”. I also created a shortcut to my desktop (right click “GlovePIE.exe”, send to, shortcut to desktop).

 

 

Configuring GlovePie

After the installation of GlovePie we need a script that actually converts the Wii Nunchuck movements to MIDI controller events. So I wrote a script called Wii Nunchuck to MIDI (WiiNunChuck2MIDI), download the WiiNunChuck2MIDI GlovePie script and extract it to the “GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder (In our case the “C:\Program Files\GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder).

Check this update : Wii2MIDI including NunChuck MIDI control

 

Connecting the Wii Remote to Windows

Connect WiiMote to Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Bluetooth Devices”.

Click the “Add” button.

Select “My Device is set up and ready to be found”, press 1+2 on your WiiMote and click “Next”.

Select the found Nintendo device and click “Next”.

Select don’t use passkey and click “Next” then click “Finish”.

 

Now let’s Rock and Roll !

  • Start ZynAddSybFX select an instrument by going to “Instrument” and select “Show instrument bank” use the drop down box in the upper left corner and choose something you like (you can change instruments later while everything is up and running).
  • Start MIDI-OX
  • Connect your Wii Remote to Windows
  • Hookup your Wii Nunchuck to your Wii Remote
  • Start GlovePie
  • Load and start the WiiNunChuck2MIDI script
  • Play notes with you (virtual) keyboard and start controlling your sounds with Nunchuck movements 🙂
  • Have fun !!!

 

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line

Connect your WiiMote to Windows XP using the Microsoft bluetooth stack

All right I received a mail saying, my bluetooth software doesn’t look like yours (see this article). That’s possible because there are several bluetooth packages being used, in this article I’ll try to explain how you can connect your WiiRemote to Windows XP while using the Microsoft bluetooth stack.

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)
  • Software
    • Windows XP

 

Connect WiiMote to Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Bluetooth Devices”.

Click the “Add” button.

Select “My Device is set up and ready to be found”, now press 1+2 on your WiiMote and click “Next”.

Select the found Nintendo device and click “Next”.

Select don’t use passkey and click “Next”.

Click “Finish”

If all went well your WiiRemote is now connected.

 

You can disconnect your WiiMote by either pressing the red button on your WiiMote or by right clicking your WiiMote-icon and select disconnect.

 

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line.

Combining the WiiMote with GlovePie to make MIDI music

After the first article on using the Wii Remote in Windows XP I tried to take it one step further, taking it to the next level using the WiiMote to make MIDI music.

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)
  • Software
    • GlovePie(is a free Programmable Input Emulator, originally for the Essential Reality P5 Virtual Reality Glove, which now supports a huge range of input devices, especially the Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote))
    • MIDI Yoke (allows you to connect the MIDI output from one program to the MIDI input of a different program)
    • MIDI-OX (is a 32 bit multi-purpose tool: it is both a diagnostic tool and a System Exclusive librarian. It can perform filtering and mapping of MIDI data streams. It displays incoming MIDI streams, and passes the data to a MIDI output driver or the MIDI Mapper.)
    • ZynAddSubFX (is a open source software synthesizer capable of making a countless number of instruments, from some common heard from expensive hardware to interesting sounds that you’ll boost to an amazing universe of sounds)
    • Wii2MIDI GlovePie script (a script that converts buttons being pressed on the Wii Remote to MIDI note on / off information (there are multiple GlovePie scripts for download in this article))

 

Let’s get going:

Where possible I provided links to the necessary download locations.

Download MIDI Yoke and install it.

Press Close and REBOOT your computer.

 

 

Configuring MIDI ports in Windows

Configure your MIDI ports in Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Sounds and Audio Devices”.

Go to the “Audio” TAB and select “Out to MIDI Yoke: 1”  as MIDI music playback device and click “OK”.

 

Download MIDI-OX and install it.

 

 

Configuring MIDI-OX

Now we have to configure MIDI-OX to pass the MIDI signal from MIDI Yoke: 1 to MIDI Yoke: 2

 

What is really happening:

GlovePie converts buttons being pressed on the Wii Remote to MIDI note on / off information and sends the MIDI note on/off signal via the “MIDI Yoke: 1”  to MIDI-OX, MIDI-OX on its turn sends the MIDI note on/off signals to ZynAddSubFX via “MIDI Yoke: 2”.  ZynAddSubFX converts the MIDI signal into a sound (Buttons pressed on WiiMote >> GlovePie >> MIDI Yoke: 1 >> MIDI-OX >> MIDI Yoke: 2 >> ZynAddSubFX >> Sound).

 

Start MIDI-OX go to “Options” and select “”MIDI devices”.

 

Now select “In From MIDI Yoke: 1” as input and select “Out To MIDI Yoke: 2” as output and click OK.

 

 

Download ZynAddSubFX and install it.

 

Configuring MIDI ports in ZynAddSubFX

Go to “File” and select “Settings”.

In the right bottom corner select “In From MIDI Yoke: 2” as MIDI-in device, and click “Close”.

 

Download GlovePie and install it. GlovePie doesn’t come with an installer so you have to create a folder and extract the zip file into the folder. In my case I created a folder called “C:\Program Files\GlovePie”. I also created a shortcut to my desktop (right click “GlovePIE.exe”, send to, shortcut to desktop).

 

 

Configuring GlovePie

After the installation of GlovePie we need a script that actually converts the buttons that are being pressed on the WiiMote to MIDI note on/off events. So I wrote a script called Wii to MIDI (Wii2MIDI), download the Wii2MIDI GlovePie script (or the newer script v1.1) and extract it to the “GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder (In our case the “C:\Program Files\GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder). OK, I’ve just updated the Wii to MIDI script (again) so it can play the whole range of MIDI notes (octave 1 till octave 8), basically it sets you of with having a full blown MIDI keyboard within your reach (download Wii2MIDI v1.3 here). If you want to use your WiiMotes as drumsticks you could also try this GlovePie script called Wii to MIDI whacker, it triggers MIDI notes while whacking your WiiMote and pressing buttons. Like the Wii to MIDI script version 1.3 it also enables octave scaling using the plus and minus buttons on your Wii Remote (you can actually scale octaves for each separate WiiRemote).

 

 

Connecting the Wii Remote to Windows

Connect WiiMote to Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Bluetooth Devices”.

Click the “Add” button.

Select “My Device is set up and ready to be found”, press 1+2 on your WiiMote and click “Next”.

Select the found Nintendo device and click “Next”.

Select don’t use passkey and click “Next” then click “Finish”.

 

Now let’s Rock and Roll !

  • Start ZynAddSybFX select an instrument by going to “Instrument” and select “Show instrument bank” use the drop down box in the upper left corner and choose something you like (you can change instruments later while everything is up and running).
  • Start MIDI-OX
  • Connect Wii
  • Start GlovePie
  • Load and start the Wii2MIDI script.
  • Have fun !!!

 

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line !

How to use the WiiMote with Wiinstrument

Wiinstrument is a small and easy to use program that shows you some possibilities of how you can use your WiiMote to make music in Windows. In this article I’ll try to explain how you could easily connect the Wii Remote (and your Wii Nunchuck) to this program called Wiinstrument.

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)
    • Wii Nunchuck(Like the Wii Remote, the Nunchuk also provides a three-axis accelerometer for motion-sensing and tilting, but without a speaker, a rumble function, or a pointer function)
  • Software

 

Here is a step by step explanation:

First you’ll have to connect your Wii Remote to your computer. If you don’t know how to, read this article on my website.

 

Now let’s start using the Wii Remote (and the Wii Nunchuck) with Wiinstrument (which you can download here).

Download the software and extract is into a folder you prefer. Wiinstrument doesn’t come with an installer so you have to create a folder yourself and extract the zip-file into the empty folder. In my case I created a folder called “C:\Program Files\Wiinstrument”. I also created a shortcut to my desktop (right click “The Wiinstrument.exe”, send to, shortcut to desktop).

 

Hookup your Nunchuck to your WiiMote.

If you haven’t got your Wii mote connected already, now is the time to do so!

After you’ve got your WiiMote connected start the executable called “The Wiinstrument.exe” (or double click the icon you created on your desktop). You should see something similar as the following screenshot. You can test your connectivity and the working of your WiiMote and Nunchuck by shaking them. Shaking them should result into sinusoid like graphics in the accelerometers window.

Now let’s start drumming by pressing the “home” button on your WiiMote. You can select which note to play by pressing the plus and minus buttons.

 

Now, that ain’t all… You can also use the program as a Wii Remote triggered sampler (press the “home” button again).

 

This is pretty amazing isn’t!? But we ain’t finished yet! Press the “home” button one more time… And you’ve got yourself a Wiimote Kiiboard

 

By pressing the “home” button again you’re back at the first page of Wiinstrument.

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line.

Guitar Hero World Tour Drums to MIDI

Last month I received a couple of e-mails from readers asking me whether I had a script to hook up their Guitar Hero World Tour Drums (GHWT) to MIDI. Although willing to help, I wasn’t able to pull this one of myself as I don’t own (such) a drum kit. So I wrote them back that I was willing to help, but that I needed their help as well. Happily someone called Fonz replied to my request, willing to help me write a script. So I wrote several scripts and Fonz would test the scripts whether they were working or not. This collaboration payed of… Although the scripts are not completely finished (work in progress), the results are MIDI recordable :-))

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)
    • Guitar Hero World Tour Drums (GHWT) (compatible) drum kit
  • Software
    • GlovePie version 0.30 !!! (is a free Programmable Input Emulator, originally for the Essential Reality P5 Virtual Reality Glove, which now supports a huge range of input devices, especially the Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote))
    • MIDI Yoke (allows you to connect the MIDI output from one program to the MIDI input of a different program)
    • MIDI-OX (is a 32 bit multi-purpose tool: it is both a diagnostic tool and a System Exclusive librarian. It can perform filtering and mapping of MIDI data streams. It displays incoming MIDI streams, and passes the data to a MIDI output driver or the MIDI Mapper.)
    • ZynAddSubFX (is a open source software synthesizer capable of making a countless number of instruments, from some common heard from expensive hardware to interesting sounds that you’ll boost to an amazing universe of sounds)
    • WiiDrums2MIDIZynAdd GlovePie script (or the General MIDI version WiiDrums2GMMIDI script) (a script that converts drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit to MIDI note on / off information)

 

Let’s get going:

Where possible I provided links to the necessary download locations.

Download MIDI Yoke and install it.

Press Close and REBOOT your computer.

 

Configuring MIDI ports in Windows

Configure your MIDI ports in Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Sounds and Audio Devices”.

 

Go to the “Audio” TAB and select “Out to MIDI Yoke: 1”  as MIDI music playback device and click “OK”.

 

Download MIDI-OX and install it.

 

Configuring MIDI-OX

Now we have to configure MIDI-OX to pass the MIDI signal from MIDI Yoke: 1 to MIDI Yoke: 2

 

What is really happening:

GlovePie converts drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit to MIDI note on / off information and sends the MIDI note on/off signal via the “MIDI Yoke: 1”  to MIDI-OX, MIDI-OX on its turn sends the MIDI note on/off signals to ZynAddSubFX via “MIDI Yoke: 2”.  ZynAddSubFX converts the MIDI signal into a sound (Drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit >> GlovePie >> MIDI Yoke: 1 >> MIDI-OX >> MIDI Yoke: 2 >> ZynAddSubFX >> Sound).

 

Start MIDI-OX go to “Options” and select “”MIDI devices”.

 

Now select “In From MIDI Yoke: 1” as input and select “Out To MIDI Yoke: 2” as output and click OK.

 

Download ZynAddSubFX and install it.

 

Configuring MIDI ports in ZynAddSubFX

Go to “File” and select “Settings”.

In the right bottom corner select “In From MIDI Yoke: 2” as MIDI-in device, and click “Close”.

 

Download GlovePie version 0.30 and install it (it’s very important to use version 0.30 !!!). GlovePie doesn’t come with an installer so you have to create a folder and extract the zip file into the folder. In my case I created a folder called “C:\Program Files\GlovePie”. I also created a shortcut to my desktop (right click “GlovePIE.exe”, send to, shortcut to desktop).

Configuring GlovePie

After the installation of GlovePie we need a script that actually converts drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit to MIDI note on/off events. So I wrote a script called Wii Drums to MIDI for ZynAddSubFX (WiiDrums2MIDIZynAdd), download the WiiDrums2MIDIZynAddGlovePie script (or the General MIDI version WiiDrums2GMMIDI script) and extract it to the “GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder (In our case the “C:\Program Files\GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder).

 

 

Connecting the Wii Remote to Windows

Connect WiiMote to Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Bluetooth Devices”.

Click the “Add” button.

Select “My Device is set up and ready to be found”, press 1+2 on your WiiMote and click “Next”.

Select the found Nintendo device and click “Next”.

Select don’t use passkey and click “Next” then click “Finish”.

 

Now let’s Rock and Roll !

  • Start ZynAddSybFX select an instrument by going to “Instrument” and select “Show instrument bank” use the drop down box in the upper left corner and choose “Drums” and select “1. Drums Kit1”.
  • Start MIDI-OX
  • Connect Wii
  • Start GlovePie
  • Load and start the Wii Drums to MIDI (WiiDrums2MIDIZynAdd.PIE) script.
  • Have fun !!!

 

A big word of THANKS for Fonz as I couldn’t do this without him!!!

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line !

Using the KORG nanoKONTROL 2 in Qtractor

As a musician and part time audio engineer I recently bought myself a bright white KORG nanoKONTROL 2 USB controller as an addition to my mobile Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) setup. Setting it up and running it within OSX went smoothly, but I prefer Ubuntu Studio as Qtractor is my DAW of choice. So I connected the nanoKONTROL to Qtractor using Jack. I clearly saw midi events coming in, but nothing happened. This is where I started my search for enabling the nanoKONTROL in Qtractor. After reading many articles and blogs (special thanks to Jeremy!) I was able to reconstruct a working Qtractor control file (a .qtc file :-).

In this article I’ll try to explain the steps I took, what works, and what I still need to figure out… Reading the articles and blogs I learned that it is possible to assign Midi Machine Control (MMC) and MIDI Control Change (MIDI CC) messages to certain functions within Qtractor. The “only thing” I had to do is, connect the right CC messages to the right functions (knobs and sliders) in Qtractor. That sounds simple, but it took me some trail and error before I had it working! So the first thing I needed to do was figuring out what my nanoKONTROL was sending (in other words – how it was configured).

 

 

So, first of all I headed over to the Korg Kontrol Editor to figure out, how the nanoKONTROL was configured (It’s nice to know that you can run the Korg Kontrol Editor within Linux using Wine!).

And even more important…

 

After that I figured I had to write a Qtractor control file, so I started to analyze its logic (Jeremy you are the man, thanks!). Using gedit I had the first knobs and sliders working in no-time 🙂 The only problem I had was that my buttons for soloing, muting and recording tracks only worked as long as I kept them pressed. So I headed back to my Korg Kontrol Editor and changed the function of those knobs to “Toggle” mode.

You can download my Qtractor control file here.

You can download my tutorial control file here.

 

And you can configure / import the Qtractor control file by starting up Qtractor, go to “View”, select “Controllers”.

 

There you’ll find an “Import” button with which you can import the Qtractor control file.

 

So what is working and what needs to be fixed? Currently working are TrackSolo, TrackMute, TrackRecord, TrackPanning and TrackGain buttons and sliders. What I still need to figure out, are all the other knobs like the transport functions (play, record, rewind, fast forward, etc.). So if you happen to know how that works, then please send me an email!

 

PS. Don’t forget to link your KORG nanoKONTROL 2 to Qtractor, because otherwise it won’t work!!!

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line .

Improving readability of worksheet data in Excel

It can be a big help if your data in Excel is easy to read (avoiding errors in calculations and or data analysis). I know there are more ways than one to achieve that goal, in this article I’ll show you some code that handles the solution without using conditional formatting. It’s a rough and simple solution…

To address the problem visually look at the differences between the images below…

The original layout above.

The new and improved layout below 😉

 

For those of you that are not familiar with VBA / macro’s use the steps below…

  • If you use the latest version of Excel make sure you’ve got the “Developer” tab in Excel
  • Next press the button “Record Macro”
  • Then press the button “Stop Recording”
  • Press ALT + F8
  • Choose “Edit”
  • Copy and paste the code below (or download a text file containing the code here…)
  • Save your Excel !!!
  • Press ALT + F8 and Run the Macro

 

Sub ImproveReadability()

‘ ImproveReadability Macro

‘ Developer: Winko Erades van den Berg
‘ E-mail : winko at winko-erades.nl
‘ Developed: 10-10-2011
‘ Modified: 10-10-2011
‘ Version: 1.0

‘ Description: Improve the readability of your Excel worksheet data by using colors’Declare variables
Dim iRow As Long
Dim iCol As Long
Dim HeaderRow as Integer’Constant values
HeaderRow = InputBox(“Specify the row that contains the header information:”) ‘Create Input Box to ask the user where the header starts
iCol = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Columns.Count ‘Determine how many columns are in use

‘Change de header lay-out
ActiveSheet.Range(ActiveSheet.Cells(HeaderRow, 1), ActiveSheet.Cells(HeaderRow, iCol)).Select
With Selection.Interior ‘Fill Color
.Pattern = xlSolid
.PatternColorIndex = xlAutomatic
.ThemeColor = xlThemeColorLight2
.TintAndShade = 0
.PatternTintAndShade = 0
End With

With Selection.Font ‘Font Color
.ThemeColor = xlThemeColorDark1
.TintAndShade = 0
End With
Selection.Font.Bold = True ‘Font Bold

‘Start highlighting alternate rows
For iRow = HeaderRow + 2 To ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Rows.Count Step 2
ActiveSheet.Range(ActiveSheet.Cells(iRow, 1), ActiveSheet.Cells(iRow, iCol)).Select
With Selection.Interior ‘Fill Color
.Pattern = xlSolid
.PatternColorIndex = xlAutomatic
.ThemeColor = xlThemeColorLight2
.TintAndShade = 0.75
.PatternTintAndShade = 0
End With
Next iRow

End Sub

 

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line.