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The other day I found out about tonematrix (inspired by Tenori-On from Yamaha) and started thinking what would it take to implement something like this. It looks very simple but I have no experience with any sound stuff.

Today I watched talk Archaeopteryx: A Ruby MIDI Generator and felt like really hacking something up and I remembered the tonematrix. So I went googling for Python or Ruby libraries and this is the result:

Yeah, it doesn't look or sound as cool as tonematrix but hey, it works! :)


If you wish to try it out you'll need Linux (ALSA), Ruby, Gtk+ (with Ruby bindings) and MIDIator (just install Ruby gem).

apt-get install rubygems
gem install midiator

You will also need MIDI synthesizer – either hardware of software. I tested with TiMidity++ and FluidSynth (you will need some sound fonts files (SF2) for FluidSynth).

timidity -iAqqq -B2,8 -Os1S -s 44100
fluidsynth -m alsa_seq 2gmgsmt.sf2

After the program starts you'll need to connect the application to the correct output (usualy the last entries). You should be able to hear sound when you press connect.

If it fails on opening library, you might have to add link to in /usr/lib (or whichever directory you store libraries in):

ln -s


stuff/tonegrid.txt · Last modified: 2010/08/03 06:21 by