Handxl preview


I think i’ve learned my lesson by now about posting my stuff in the general forum all the time, so i thought i’d post this here!

This is a preview of my latest plugin (in standalone form with many features missing). It generates MIDI notes and controllers based on the user’s interactions with a single 2D visual control surface. You can position notes and CC XY pads on the area (at any size, and they can overlap), each with their own settings. You interact with these by dragging around the ‘handxl’ in the main area. The notes will play when they are entered, and the XY pads will track the handxl’s movement with adjustable motion options.

You can store layouts of triggers (notes) and trackers (xy pads) to a memory bank, allowing you to switch between sets of notes and CC configurations. The memory slots are displayed with a preview so you can see which layout you’re restoring. The memory panel (and selection-aware properties panel) can be collapsed into the interface. Also, the GUI colour can be changed by clicking the coloured button in the top left.

Download (Windows only)

The final version will have additional controls for the handxl - it will move by itself. You can record movements across the area, and have them played back looped and in sync, with adjustable speed controls (X and Y axes separately or linked). You can also generate geometric paths using a factory (e.g. circle, square etc.). The state of the handxl can also be stored to the same type of memory bank as the trigger and tracker layers.

The memory slots can be assigned MIDI notes, and they will be selected when the program recieves the corresponding note. This allows note, modulation and movement changes to be sequenced on a timeline, or controlled live via MIDI keyboard. Changing handxl movements will follow an adjustable morph time.

The final version will of course be VST (and AU if i can find someone to compile it for me). Presets can be saved, storing all layout, handxl and memory data, effectively saving a performance.


Neat. It’s an interesting way to arrange notes. What kind of stuff do you think it’d be best suited for playing?


Well it’s fun for any kind of note playing really. It takes a while to get used to moving the handxl precisely at any speed (it’s a lot easier with a tablet, or i’d imagine especially with a touchscreen), but it’s possible to play many different types of sequence. Layering the notes makes it easy to have chords (and chord modulations by moving the handxl across carefully arranged overlapping notes).

One thing that it really excels in though is with pads. Because of how easy it is to create chords and chord movements (by having the overlapping notes gradually describe visually how they will change), and the fact that you have as many XY trackers as you like following your movements, it’s very easy to generate massively complex modulated pad progressions.

When the recording feature is added, this will multiply its usefulness for such a purpose.

But indeed, if you’re used to it, you can play all sorts of things with it. When recording is in, you’ll be able to record a movement (and have it play back to you looped). While it’s playing, you can move the blocks around (to adjust timing, etc), and you’ll be able to hear and see your changes. I’d quite like to also put up a translucent guide for the assigned handxl movement shape, which shows markers at regular time divisions to help you visually quantise the performance.

It should be very flexible and, hopefully, inspiring.


very very interesting. could open up lots of midi possibilities… could be possible to intercept midi inputs to trigger x-y movements instead of the mouse ? i sure wouldn’t use my mouse for playing livesets no more… having an external midi control could be a good new way of playing notes and control synth parameters.

anyway is a gr8 idea haydxn.

i’m with you, compliments :wink:


Sure, the handxl could be set to respond to incoming MIDI cc values, so you could control it with an actual XY pad (or just two sliders/knobs!). Wow, that’s pretty mental really, it allows you to put a MIDI performance (with modulation and note sequences) under the total control of two individual variable faders (and optionally note switches).


ah, i wasn’t sure before… but i’ve already seen this before… handxl reminded me of something… http://www.cycling74.com/products/lemur

keep up the good work :wink:


yes :wink:
i was thinking about playing notes with an external fader (X axis), while controlling 6 or 7 synth parameters with another knob or fader (Y axis), and maybe do both with both (so having triggers around top/right edge while trackers on the other sides…) could be really funny…


i’ll say! i might try to hook that up tonight so we can have a play with the idea.


any chance to have it compiled for linux/jack also ?
i can send you my latest jack juce wrapper… the same as using the filter streamer :wink:


well it’s all juce based code, no OS dependant stuff here - i’m surely hoping to get it built on all formats when it’s ready.


nice… only a thing i’ve found confusing, why you treating presets for trackers and triggers differently ? switching between complete snapshots could be better and less clicking involved … just a penny in here :smiley:


because you may want to keep a single modulation setup and just change the notes that will be played. Or keep the same note arrangement, but just change the modulation that will be generated.

The memory locations can be assigned to MIDI notes, and it’s perfectly acceptable to map both a Trigger and Tracker memory to the same note, thus changing both at once. You just can’t do that at the moment :slight_smile: