PlantWave logo
PlantWave logo

All articles

Getting the most out of your MIDI synth with PlantWaveUpdated a year ago

Scaling, MIDI routing, CC mapping and polyphony settings can take your plant music to the next level. Let's dive in a little deeper.

About MIDI Notes and CC

PlantWave's firmware allows you to change MIDI settings on your device, including the channel you're sending MIDI notes as well as the Control Number of CC messages. Factory settings have notes coming on Channel 1 and Control Number set to 80.

MIDI notes on a PlantWave are generated by changes in conductivity of your plant. MIDI CC messages are generated by the velocity of those changes. While MIDI note messages determine the note sent to your synthesizer, MIDI CC messages can be used to allow a plant to make timbral changes to the expression of those notes.

For instance, if you had a Roland Juno 106, you could set the MIDI CC value of your PlantWave to control the Attack Envelope by changing the Control Number on your device to CC20. This means, that, while a plant may generate a note message of C4, it's activity level will determine the attack of that note. This allows for more expression in the music played by your plant and also gives you more information to tune into through monitoring your plant with a synthesizer.

Different synths have different Control Number configurations, so getting the most out of your synth will require getting to know what parameters can be controlled by MIDI CC message and then changing the output of your PlantWave accordingly. Please proceed with caution when giving a plant control of CC parameters of your synth. It's best to stick to more subtle effects. We do not recommend giving a plant control of volume or low pass filters with high resonance, for instance.

About Scaling and Polyphony

PlantWave's firmware comes with a variety of Scaling and Polyphony options, allowing you to scale your plant's data to a specific key and decide how many notes will be sent to your synthesizer at one time. While the device ships with Chromatic tuning, we recommend Pentatonic scales for their ability to be played in any order and maintain harmony. That said, some users of our previous device (MIDI Sprout) report their plants coming into harmony with singing over time, even with the device set to Chromatic. Surely there is some experimentation to be had here.

Was this article helpful?