[LAU] introducing l2ork

Carlos Sanchiavedraz csanchezgs at gmail.com
Sun Nov 8 06:37:58 EST 2009

Really fascinating project, Ico.
Congratulations to you and your team (nice people on youtube videos).

I'm looking forward to watching some video of this in action (maybe I
missed some among all the instructables).


2009/10/25, Ivica Ico Bukvic <ico at vt.edu>:
> I agree that parts of the site are incomplete, mainly because the site is
> still growing (just as we are through our maiden L2Ork voyage that began
> this fall), so some confusion is naturally warranted. That said, Alex has
> described it very well.
> L2Ork basically is a laptop orchestra that uses Linux rather than Mac
> platform (as is the case with PLOrk and SLOrk), and as such is as far as I
> know World's first laptop orchestra using Linux.
> Since we are still in early stages of development, a lot of things are up in
> the air. As of right now what I can divulge about the project is following:
> Apart from homebrew speakers, we are using MSI Wind netbooks, wiimotes and
> nunchuk as main sources of input (in addition to obviously keyboard and
> mousepad), UA-1G soundcards (basically rebranded UA-1EXs under
> Cakewalk-Edirol brand).
> The speakers have built-in preamps and allow easy exchange of discrete
> 6-channel and mono setup using two different types of cables (one is 6-pin
> XLR to 6 mono TSs, the other is 6-ping XLR to RCA). We currently do not use
> balanced audio feeds as each system is self-enclosed and requires minimal
> cable lengths. As a result, we've encountered no ground loop issues and/or
> similar major degradations in audio fidelity. Speakers have theoretical
> range of 50Hz-30KHz. That said, 50Hz sounds rather weak so we also
> supplement our setup with subs. Theoretical peak amp power of the three
> embedded amps is 15 Watts per channel, while each speaker cone peak amp
> power is 25 Watts. We've retrofitted amps to improve sound fidelity (based
> on online docs for the Dayton DTA-1 class amps). For more info on this one
> please see online videos. Regarding the actual loudness, suffice to say to
> run these at maximum possible strength without distortion for prolonged
> periods of time will undoubtedly result in hearing loss.
> We use modified version of Ubuntu 9.04. Rather than issuing tons of various
> scripts/patches, we maintain an in-house disk image of the entire HD. This
> thing should be available soon for download for those who wish to burn their
> bandwidth :-). This is mainly because we don't have enough man hours to
> actually build user-friendly patch system for the amounts of updates we
> issue on a weekly basis. At some point we may opt for a better way of
> packaging these.
> Main audio platform for the time being is a modified version of Pd. Some of
> the changes to Pd have been already shared with the Pd community, others
> will become available once we work out the kinks.
> ART:
> Currently, most of our efforts revolve around harnessing the power of hand
> gestures through wiimotes and nunchuk, in conjunction with keyboard and
> mousepad. Likewise, we are actively exploring ways of interconnecting the
> ensemble (e.g. imagine one performer generating a note and by doing so also
> altering someone else's instrument properties, etc.) through as set of
> custom-built monitoring tools (using Pd). I understand that this does not
> tell you a lot about art and this is mainly because we are still in the
> process of learning and discovering... I'll gladly share more as we reach
> new milestones.
> We will try to post more video footage as we find time to do so. Right now
> our priority is on the development/production/performance. That said, I am
> hoping to post more in the coming weeks. As of right now, footage mainly
> focuses on the toughest piece of the puzzle--the speakers. Down the road, we
> will provide more details on other, more straightforward aspects as well.
> So much for now. Thanks all for your replies. These are all very good
> comments that will help us greatly improve the site content, particularly
> FAQ section.
> Best wishes,
> Ico
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: linux-audio-user-bounces at lists.linuxaudio.org [mailto:linux-audio-
>> user-bounces at lists.linuxaudio.org] On Behalf Of alex rae
>> Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2009 12:20 AM
>> To: lau
>> Subject: Re: [LAU] introducing l2ork
>> The "What is L2ork?" link on their website has some more explanation.
>> The most succinct explanation is in their faq:
>> [quote]
>> What is L2Ork?
>> L2Ork stands for Virginia Tech DISIS Linux Laptop Orchestra, World’s
>> first orchestra of its kind built on Linux.
>> [/quote]
>> Though I agree that to those who've never heard of a laptop orchestra,
>> that may not be so illuminating.  For that, the PLOrk (Princeton
>> Laptop Orchestra) site (http://plork.cs.princeton.edu/bio.html) has a
>> bit more of an explanation.  Basically, the idea is to develop the
>> technologies (hardware + software), skills, repertoire, etc to enable
>> an ensemble of laptops/players to perform together, coordinating and
>> interacting with each other with both networking tech and
>> musician-type skills.
>> For generating sound, PLOrk (the first laptop orchestra) i believe
>> mainly uses ChucK (Ge Wang developed ChucK with Perry Cook at the
>> Princeton Sound Lab, the same group that started PLOrk).  I saw
>> somewhere on the L2Ork site that they are starting out by using Pd.
>> It would be interesting to see more behind-the-scenes info on the
>> whole setup.
>> Basically the reason that there's all the stuff about hardware and
>> also linux is just that they are doing both -- setting up a bunch of
>> computers with linux audio tuned to their needs, and building a bunch
>> of hardware to go with it (e.g. the special speakers (each computer
>> has its own speaker unit).
>> -Alex
>> On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 11:18 PM, Guru Prasad B. R.
>> <prasadbrg at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Robin wrote:
>> >> 2009/10/23  <hollunder at gmx.at>:
>> >>
>> >>> On Fri, 23 Oct 2009 14:52:26 -0400
>> >>> "Ivica Ico Bukvic" <ico at vt.edu> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>> Greetings all,
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I wanted to share with you my latest Linux-based and
>> >>>> Linuxaudio.org-related project that has been sucking up most of
>> my
>> >>>> time over the past year or so to the point it seemed as if I have
>> >>>> disappeared off the face of the Earth. Needless to mention it
>> >>>> continues to alter my sleeping/eating patterns with unprecedented
>> >>>> aptitude and with no end in sight ;-).
>> >>>>
>> >>>> http://l2ork.music.vt.edu/
>> >>>>
>> >>> It would be real nice if you could say in a few sentences what it is.
>> >>> The about page on the website reads more like a personal history
>> than
>> >>> anything else, and I haven't found anything that tells me what l2ork
>> or
>> >>> disis is.
>> >>>
>> >>> Philipp
>> >>> _______________________________________________
>> >>> Linux-audio-user mailing list
>> >>> Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
>> >>> http://lists.linuxaudio.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-audio-user
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >> http://disis.music.vt.edu/main/index.html has some info.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> > I'm sorry, Ico,  but I'd have to agree with Philipp on this. After
>> > spending quite some time going through the links that you've sent us,
>> > I'm still clueless about what L2Ork is.
>> > Here's the problem: The videos are essentially about speakers, which
>> are
>> > hardware, but 1 of the 'L's in L2Ork stands for Linux, which is an OS.
>> > What I'm interested in (and I assume others on this list, too) is, what
>> > applications are used to generate the instrument sounds in Linux? Are
>> > these existing applications? Samplers? Synths? Or have you come up
>> with
>> > something entirely new? Does it run on Jack? If so, how do you ensure
>> > robustness? These are just the first few of the pressing questions which
>> > remain unanswered after going through your links.
>> >
>> > It's possible that all this info is there, but I've somehow missed it
>> > (and so has Philipp). If so, I'd request you to take our limited
>> > info-gleaning abilities into account while providing more detailed
>> > information.
>> > Wishing L2Ork all the best!
>> > Cheers,
>> >
>> > Guru
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> > Linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org
>> > http://lists.linuxaudio.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-audio-user
>> >
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Carlos "sanchiavedraz"
* Musix GNU+Linux

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