PLOrk Rep

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Instructions on how to configure a laptop for LOrk activities, software to download and configure, and a collection of now standard LOrk repertory pieces.

Machine Setup and Software Repository Download

PLOrk software, with some documentation on how to configure a laptop for PLOrk-insanity!

Machine Configuration

First off, we work with MacBooks. Much of the ChucK code will probably work under Windows or LINUX, but you are on your own. This code and configuration has worked for us successfully under both Tiger and Leopard. If you know what you are doing, you can of course set things up differently, but don't yell at us if it doesn't work (please)!

==== 1. Install RCEnvironment. ==== This allows you to create environmental variables that both Terminal apps (ChucK) and normal GUI apps (Max/MSP, miniAudicle, etc...) can access. We've found it important to be able to define a couple environmental variables for networking and other stuff.

RCEnvironment-1.3.X.dmg or at rubicode

Download this program and save it to the desktop. Open the disk image and double-click on the RCEnvironment.prefPane. It will prompt you to install the preferences pane, which you should do. Now open your system preferences and open the Environment Variables pane.

2. Define two important environmental variables.

Your Environmental Variables Control Panel will initially be empty of actual variables.

  • Click on the + button in the lower left corner, and a new variable will appear in the list. For KEY, type NET_NAME. The VALUE field should be the same as your Sharing:Computer Name (e.g. "your_name"). Hit Save.
  • Again, click on the + button, and define a second variable; for KEY, type LOrk_PATH, and for VALUE, put the path for wherever you want to store the PLOrk Repository directory. We keep it at the top of the main user directory, so the path would be /Users/[yourusername]/PLOrk. You can, of course, put it elsewhere, and name the folder after your most awesome LOrk, as long as this variable contains the proper pathname (if you are unclear how to find the pathname for wherever you put this folder, simply click on it in the finder and hit command-i; the info panel will include a "Where" line, showing where the folder is located). Again, hit save, otherwise it won't, uh, get saved.

Your Environmental Variables control panel should look something like this. And your Network:Sharing control panel should like something like this (most important is that the top Computer Name be *exactly* the same thing as the NET_NAME environmental variable, and that it be a word without spaces).

==== 3. Logout and then log back in ==== (or reboot); this is necessary for these new variables to actually be initialized.

==== 4. Do some Stuff in the Terminal application ==== (in /Applications/Utilities). Type the following command:

  • echo 'export PATH=$PATH:'$LOrk_PATH'/bin' >> ~/.bash_profile

(hit return), then

  • echo 'export PATH=$PATH:'$LOrk_PATH'/autoget' >> ~/.bash_profile

(and again, hit return) then try the command:

  • more ~/.bash_profile

and make sure you see these lines (with your own user name, of course):

  export PATH=$PATH:/Users/dan/PLOrk/bin
  export PATH=$PATH:/Users/dan/PLOrk/autoget

this shows the Terminal where to find Important PLOrk Thingies.

close the terminal (when reopened, these paths will be active) now, reopen the terminal and type:

  • printenv

and you should see a bunch of stuff, including lines something like:

  LOrk_PATH=/Users/[your user name]/PLOrk
  NET_NAME=[your network sharing name]

done! this may seem like a pain, but it only has to do this once, per machine, and it makes MANY PLOrk endeavors much easier. we know. we've suffered. oh, how we've suffered.

if you are unsuccessful with this, it would probably be best to get some help from someone with UNIX experience; the PLOrk software needs these configuration specifications to work properly.

oh, i lied, there is one more thing:

==== 5. Open the System Preferences:Sound control panel. ==== Select "Output" and choose the audio device that you want PLOrk sounds to come from. Maybe just the Internal Speakers, but maybe a nifty 6-channel audio interface that goes to an awesome hemispherical speaker that you built, maybe out of aluminum, or a salad bowl, or some other oddly shaped thingy. Probably should go ahead and set "Input" properly as well.

Downloading and Configuring the Repository

The PLOrk Repository is a collection of oft-performed PLOrk pieces and accessory files that we use regularly to maintain sanity. This is all minimally documented; we are working on improving documentation, but users of this software are encouraged to add documentation to these wiki pages.

  • download the main repository
  • download the Network Cycler, an additional piece that is not included in the main repository because it is kinda big (116mbytes).
  • download the soundfonts directory, which includes a bunch of soundfonts (sample collections) that are used in the Network Cycler and will be in other pieces. you can, of course, add other soundfonts or create your own and add them as well. this is also big (286mbytes), which is why it is kept separate.

to configure this all, do the following:

  • put the main PLOrk directory in exactly where you specified for the LOrk_PATH variable (above); how about at the top of your main users directory? (/Users/[you]/PLOrk, or rename it after your own LOrk if you choose).
  • put the NetworkCycler folder inside the "pieces" folder
  • put the sfonts directory in the main PLOrk directory.

now, open the Terminal, and type the following command:

  • cd $LOrk_PATH

this will change your directory (cd) to the LOrk directory. If you get an error, then something isn't setup correctly.

now type:

  • ls

and you should see the following:

  autoget	data		examples	misc		sfonts
  bin		doc		lib		pieces

which is a list of all the directories in the PLOrk Repository.

these are UNIX commands; if you aren't familiar with some basic UNIX, it would be good to get used to it. see this unix tutorial.

Now, if you have previously installed Chuck, it is a good idea to remove that so you are sure you are using the most current Chuck, or, if you think your Chuck is cooler and more current than ours, go ahead and remove the Chuck binary in the PLOrk/bin directory. to remove the old Chuck, type:

  • sudo rm /usr/bin/chuck

and type in your user password. now, type:

  • which chuck

and it will show you which version of chuck will be used. it should be in the PLOrk/bin directory, unless you are cooler than we are and have it elsewhere.

The Pieces

getting started; droning away!

Let's start with the very first piece PLOrk EVER played, in our very first rehearsal, the Droner.

in the terminal, type:

  • droner.2 [your name]

which will start the stereo droner. if you are attached to a multichannel audio interface and an awesome 6-channel hemisphere, you can use the multichannel version of the Droner:

  • droner [your name]

you should see something like this:

  ~/PLOrk ~/PLOrk/bin
  number of output channels:  6 
  hello  dan 
  mouse ' Trackpad ' ready 
  keyboard ' Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad ' ready 
  "initial pitch <= [6]" : (string)

if not, then something probably wasn't configured correctly. aaahhhhhhhhhhrrrrgrgrgrgrgrhhhhh.

To get some sound, press the spacebar, move the cursor to the upper left hand corner, and start tilting the laptop. Improvise with tilting the laptop in various ways, and moving the cursor about. Listen.

you should hear a (surprise!)... DRONE. maybe not so interesting, but if you are near someone else also playing the Droner, then interesting things should start to happen; beating patterns and so on.

try pressing the number keys as well. if you are on a network with others playing the droner, they should see which key you pressed in the Terminal window.

when you are done, hit control-c (control and C keys together) in the Terminal to quit the droner.

and now, explore some other pieces (coming soon!):


On The Floor

Take it for Granite



the Network Cycler

A Breeze Brings...

Timber is a Timbre

and, of course


these pieces are a subset of the over 40 pieces so far written for PLOrk. these are among the simpler pieces to put together, out of necessity, and don't represent some of the more adventurous (and dangerous) pieces we've tried, but they are an excellent starting point for any LOrk. other pieces will be added as time goes on. if you have a particularly successful LOrk piece and would like to have it included in this repository, contact us {dtrueman at princeton dot edu}