I programmed a small sequencer to control the interface i made for the parallel port.
The sequencer is pattern based, and heavily inspired by the way some of the old Roland drum machines (707 / 727 and others) were programmed.
The sequencer controls 8 switches via the parallel port. It also controls the pitch of the attached device via a photo resistor in front of the computer monitor. Each switch can be given a name, in the screen shot the names are the animals from the Habitat Intercom device, a.k.a. the infamous Creatoy animal bus toy.
Every sequence is build of a number of patterns, each consisting of 4 bars of 4/4. The patterns are shown in a grid with one line for each of the 8 switches, and three lines are used for pitch control. For each switch you can turn on or off every beat by clicking the beat in the grid, as indicated by the light blue squares. The pitch is represented by different greyscale values, ranging from black to white. As playback of the pattern progresses the color of each beat is then copied to the larger grey square at the right, where the photo resister is mounted in front of the monitor.
The last line is used for programmed tempo changes
The grid has 16 lines, that's because it's actually possible to control 12 switches from the parallel port, and i plan to make a hardware interface that will allow this.
You can download a copy of the BendControl sequencer here
If you do so, please mail me here, so i can inform you of updates, and bug you with questions of how you use it :-)
The program will run on everything from Windows 95 and up. There are no special hardware requirements, except a working parallel port of course. I run it on a very old Compaq laptop that was going to be thrown out at my job. It only has 32MB of RAM and is running Windows 98, but it works fine.
The current version is 2.0. and it's very stable.
NEW IN VERSION 2.0
Poly mode with complete on / off control of each individual switch.
Mono mode works like version 1.0 (only one switch on at a time).
All 3 pitch control windows now enabled.
Programmable tempo changes.
Tracks can be looped.
Better user interface.
Many bugs and limitations in version 1.0 fixed / removed.
Manual in PDF format included with download.
If you use the program and come up with a great idea, or find bugs please mail me.