I don't know how to code


Trying to teach myself how to code, I watched this awesome tutorial video “Programming the Critter and Guitari ETC” https://youtu.be/0ZRIyHOIKGo About halfway into the video, the visuals start to move too slow. Does the complex code cause latency?

I’ve also seen some great fractal graphics videos, https://youtu.be/9U0XVdvQwAI , https://youtu.be/q1OBrqtl7Yo , https://youtu.be/6WsM9ExX7Bg , https://youtu.be/oFiDcazicdk Is it possible to program fractal type math into the ETC Python code?


I just purchased a book called loadbang which is free if you download it online .its extensive at around 250 pages or more


I was able to find a version online by searching “Programming Electronic Music in Pd” I skimmed through the PDF and it seems like exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!


ETC used python not Pure Data, so this won’t help at all for ETC.

as for OP, as complexity rises frame rate will drop - this is true of any computer.
the ETC is very capable for the kind of simple geometric graphics it was designed for (and you see in demos etc), but for sure there are limits to the hardware - its got no where near the power of a desktop/laptop.

no, there’s no chance your going to get complex fractals working in real time(*) on the ETC, it no only lacks the CPU, but also there is no graphics acceleration to make use of the GPU.

where ETC excels, is providing a simple graphics engine that anyone (with time/patience) can program, that can interact with sound, has some nice hands-on control, in a small and reasonably priced package.

(*) the demos you point to are written by skilled programmer in a low level language (probably C/C++) , who also obviously has a deep background in maths - so if your good in maths, you could probably pick it up 5-10 years :wink:

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Yeah, realized Pure Data was software and not actual Data when I started reading the manual. Some cool concepts in the text, but you’re right not too much help with the ETC.

I found this video https://youtu.be/fYqBuXc12VM about How to Program: A Julia Set Fractal Generator in Python I think it’s a good start for what I’m looking for.

I also found this video https://youtu.be/g4E9iq0BixA about programming 3D graphics in Python. I have a feeling I can combine aspects from each video to create what I’m imagining.

My only worry is the GPU as you mentioned. But I do know about these micro code visualizations https://www.dwitter.net/top that might help keep the graphics simple.

I don’t know how to code, but I feel by the end of this journey I will.


I’d recommend you start small, and limit expectations initially…
e.g. iirc, numpy is not installed by default on ETC, so that’s already going to throw a spanner in the works for the first example.

anyway, try small stuff, understand the examples that C&G provide initially, and you can slowly build up until you start hitting the limits of the hardware- then you can start to learn how to optimise code, and see if you can push it a little further.

I’ll be brutally honest, from the examples your linking, I think your expectations are too high…
I think the ETC will struggle and the coding is non-trivial.
but hey, Id loved to proved wrong, push the boundaries - and it’ll still be very interesting to see what you can come up with.

have you already got the ETC? started writing any modes?

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I’ve had an ETC for about six months now and I love it!

But after six months, I am starting to see the boundaries to what it’s capable of and they are beautiful.

I’m grateful for your help, I installed Python and ran my first program! It was a version of the Spheres from this video https://youtu.be/eb4x16-VWfg

I was hoping to adapt the program for the ETC modes, but the code seems too dense to run properly and I have no experience at optimization.

def draw(screen, etc) looks like a two dimensional window to me, so does a flat sheet of paper. I can draw a three dimensional image on that sheet of paper, I know I can draw 3D images on the ETC. You’re right though, I need a deep background in maths and more programming knowledge.

Thanks again, I’ll stick to learning how to adapt the micro code from https://www.dwitter.net/ to the ETC for now. Cheers!


Kirk Kaiser - the person who made that video - also has a new book about programming:

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Great! And it’s on sale! Thanks for the info! I’ll grab one.