Helm with Sonic Pi -- audio and midi communication


Have fun today with sonic pi and helm to extend the sound capacity.

Operating System used : Microsoft Windows 10

Goals :

install VBCable

See on VB-Audio Virtual Apps. One virtual cable is enough for now.

Audio windows settings

The windows 10 audio mixer is not as rotten as that :slight_smile: because it will memorize your settings for each software.

Helm settings

loop-midi settings


Script into sonici pi

# How to send midi notes to the synth Helm then get back the audio ?
# Softwares used :
# - https://www.tobias-erichsen.de/software/loopmidi.html
# - https://tytel.org/helm/
# - VB The virtual audio Cable

use_bpm 60

live_loop :midiToHelm, delay: 8 do
  ##| stop
  midi (scale :c4, :ritusen).tick, port: "loopmidi-_1"
  sleep 0.25

live_loop :midiToHelmItou do
  ##| stop
  use_octave 0
  midi [:c3, :f3].tick, port: "loopmidi-_1", channel: "2"
  sleep 1

live_loop :bd do
  sample :drum_bass_hard, amp: 2
  sleep 1
  sample :drum_bass_hard, amp: 2
  sample :drum_snare_hard, amp: 2
  sleep 0.5
  sample :drum_bass_hard, amp: 2
  sleep 0.5

live_loop :hihats do
  sample :drum_cymbal_open, start: 0.5, rate: 2, amp: [3, 2, 4, 1.5].tick
  sleep 0.25

  with_fx :echo, mix: 0.1, phase: 1.5 do
    live_audio :audioFromVBcable, input: 1, stereo: true

Just an example in this video to illustrate in real life.

So now you can play helm with sonic pi.
Hope it helps !

Edit : just to add that you can have fun with some audio coming from google chrome with the settings above, e.g. radio speech

ps : if you see some terrible errors in my english, please let me know :slight_smile:


Great write up! Helm is a cool synth. Also worth saying that it works well with a Mac as well and you can even run it on a Raspberry Pi with Sonic Pi 3.3.1.
I did an article using TouchOSC to select synths from Helm from Sonic Pi which you may like to read too.
EDIT Helm’s successor Vital (from vital.audio) is also superb (works on Mac and Windows but not RPi).

already read and appreciated Robin ! :slight_smile:

the idea was to set the good settings using vbcable too on windows 10.

This looks like fun, definitely going to try it soon. Thanks @nlb :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

yeah this is sick I set up it and it works. Only thing that is weird is that the audio for helm does not pipe through sonic pi. Meaning I can’t record it from helm.

You need to use a loopback device like blackhole (free) or loopback (paid for) on a Mac or I believe there is similar software available on Windows.
On Mac set blackhole as default input device (before rstarting Sonic Pi), and select blackhole as output device for vital (click the vital logo and select from output). You can then use
live_audio :vitalInput,stereo: true
in Sonic Pi to obtain the audio.


Can you @din confirm you are on windows 10 ?
Can you send a screenshot of your audio parameters ?

@robin.newman here the software is vbcable. I notice you try promote once again Vital :laughing: but helm is better to start little then go to vital but it will need more work to master the beast.


@nlb I meant to put helm not vital. The procedure is the same.