demcanulty wrote:I was proposing in January starting a Quneo open source thread to talk about what to make open source and how to best serve people. ... I think there's a lot of room for open sourcing, but for all of us it's not clear how much actual users want to mess around with the hard work of low level stuff.
I'm quite glad to have the sysex specs for the patches now. I'll also say that because of the very good decision you guys made to use JSON format, parsing the patch files was trivial and enabled me to do the editing I wanted and still take advantage of the graphical interface without having to reinvent the wheel.
However, the really important work is in fixing the interpretation of sensor data to MIDI data. There's a bunch of issues here, and the only way to work on the problem is access to the firmware dev kit. For example, currently the aftertouch and note on interpretations are not compatible with each other in the way normal aftertouch sensitive instruments work. If you modulate aftertouch at all (z controller) you end up toggling the note on and off. I suspect that I can fix this by placing the full range of the z well above the note release threshhold. There needs to be a big gap there of 0 level z values, so basically something like pressure values 40-128 map to 0-127 pressure and then everything below 40 is a 0 for z axis, without sending duplicate values. But when using a pad with xyz and no note on though the full range should be used, the way it works currently. It's just when the note is added that pressure control stops making sense since this was left out. Having access to the firmware I can experiment with sensor values and probably fix this.
Another issue is the inconsistent pressure response in different parts of the pads. Middle is full range, sides are not. This is likely due to the underlying sensors being round as can be seen in the board photos. But then in the 4-corner mode, it is really weird and seems to not be full range. But the velocity response is OK which means that some effort went into figuring that out for different parts of the pad, but the same attention to the math that compensates the nonlinearity and makes it all consistent and linear again hasn't been given to the pressure interpretation. This one is probably harder to fix.
Then there's also the ability to add features. I am super glad to see a high level added to the pressure control to facilitate the momentary and toggle. But the low value is 0 and can't be edited. It is much better to have both a specifiable low and high per controller. Novation controllers have both low and high for every control, and even high < low is possible for reversed controls. There's toggle and momentary, and continuous is scaled to be between the two things. Every control really needs both high and low. It should totally be added. But let's say you don't, and have to go work on some other thing and the product is no longer actively maintained. Well then there is at least some hope we can add that feature.
It's possible that some management might object despite previous promises of open access. Here's why that argument is misguided should it be brought up. The firmware is probably extractable by monitoring the sysex transmissions and then disassembling for the particular processor, so it's not like there's an issue of code getting out, it's already out since we can update the firmware which means we can see it. That's not a problem or anything to fear though since you guys have got the supply chain figured out and it being manufactured in a reliable factory, the cost for users to make their own would be a lot more than the manufactured cost. Having access to the code though means that we can improve it. There's this whole scene out there where people write their own firmware for routers, with the more hackable models selling a lot better. In music the DX7 was a famous music example where some guys reverse engineered the firmware and started selling "Grey Matter E!" expansion boards that added all sorts of amazing new features, greatly extending the market life and value of the synth.
There's two big economic upsides to this. One is that you get features added, and engineering work done for free. The other is that the value of the device massively increases because it is hackable, resulting in a longer market life and sales. It's truly win win for everyone.