Link search Menu Expand Document

lfo

lfo provides a single-clock framework for generating movement (beat-synced or free) inside of a script, using a syntax similar to pattern_time and params. It also includes easy methods to generate PARAMETER UI menu controls for any of the registered LFOs. This library is only accessible by a script – since it uses a lattice structure, it cannot currently be invoked in a mod.

sections

functions

Syntax Description
my_lfo = lfo:add{args} Assign a variable to construct an LFO that adheres to the provided table of arguments
my_lfo = lfo.new(args) Alternative to :add, generic LFO constructor
my_lfo:start() Start an assigned LFO
my_lfo:stop() Stop an assigned LFO
my_lfo:set(var, val) Set a specified LFO variable
my_lfo:get(var) Get a specified LFO variable
my_lfo:reset_phase() Reset an assigned LFO’s phase
my_lfo:add_params(id, separator_name, group_name) Generate a parameters menu for an assigned LFO, with optional separator and group invocations

LFO attributes + defaults

Before we dive into code examples, let’s cover the attributes associated with the LFO object, as well as its default values.

An LFO is made of the following attributes:

  • shape: the shape of the LFO. options are sine, saw, square, random (default sine)

  • min: number which represents the lowest value the LFO will reach at full depth (default 0)

  • max: number which represents the highest value the LFO will reach at full depth (default 1)

  • depth: number, 0.0 to 1.0, which affects the depth of the LFO’s modulation between the min and max (default 1)

  • offset: number, -1.0 to 1.0, which will offset the LFO’s values between full min (-1.0) or full max (1.0) (default 0)

  • mode: how the LFO’s period is synced, either clocked (connected to the norns clock) or free (default clocked)

  • period: number, which in clocked mode represents beats or in free mode represents seconds (default 4, assuming clocked mode by default)

  • baseline: string which represents the base value from which the LFO’s movement is calculated. options are min, center, or max (default min)

  • reset_target: string which determines the LFO reset behavior. options are floor or ceiling, which determine whether the reset will return the LFO to its lowest or highest point (default floor)

  • ppqn: number which represents the resolution of the LFO. defaults to 96 but can be brought down (ideally in equal divisions of 96) to reduce CPU consumption / sample rate

  • action: function which is called with the LFO. this function receives both the scaled value (accounting for min, max, depth, and offset) and the raw value of the LFO before the scaling (returns values 0 to 1). defaults to an empty function.

invoking an LFO

There are two approaches to constructing an LFO, depending on your scripting style.

The first is a table-based format (note the colon operator!), similar to the params:add format, where we can cherry-pick which arguments we’re assigning values.

nb. the LFO library is only accessible by a script – since it uses a lattice structure, it cannot currently be invoked in a mod

_lfos = require 'lfo'
engine.name = 'PolyPerc'
s = require 'sequins'

function init()
  engine.gain(2.7)
  engine.release(1)
  hz_vals = s{400,600,200,350}
  sync_vals = s{1,1/3,1/2,1/6,2}
  clock.run(iter)
  
  -- establish an LFO variable for a specific purpose:
  cutoff_lfo = _lfos:add{
    shape = 'saw', -- shape
    min = 200, -- min
    max = 3200, -- max
    depth = 1, -- depth (0 to 1)
    mode = 'clocked', -- mode
    period = 6, -- period (in 'clocked' mode, represents beats)
    -- pass our 'scaled' value (bounded by min/max and depth) to the engine:
    action = function(scaled, raw) engine.cutoff(scaled) end -- action, always passes scaled and raw values
  }
  
  cutoff_lfo:start() -- start our LFO, complements ':stop()'
end

function iter()
  while true do
    clock.sync(sync_vals())
    hertz = hz_vals()
    engine.hz(hertz)
  end
end

The alternative dot operator format requires a specific order to arguments:

LFO.new(shape, min, max, depth, mode, period, action)

Any value can always be nil if you’d like to use the default, eg:

_lfos = require 'lfo'
engine.name = 'PolyPerc'
s = require 'sequins'

function init()
  engine.gain(2.7)
  engine.release(1)
  hz_vals = s{400,600,200,350}
  sync_vals = s{1,1/3,1/2,1/6,2}
  clock.run(iter)
  
  -- establish an LFO variable:
  -- LFO.new(shape, min, max, depth, mode, period, action)
  cutoff_lfo = _lfos.new(
    nil, -- shape will default to 'sine'
    200, -- min
    3200, -- max
    nil, -- depth will default to 1
    'free', -- mode
    2.4, -- period (in 'free' mode, represents seconds)
    -- pass our 'scaled' value (bounded by min/max and depth) to the engine:
    function(scaled, raw) engine.cutoff(scaled) end -- action, always passes scaled and raw values
  )
  
  cutoff_lfo:start() -- start our LFO, complements ':stop()'
end

function iter()
  while true do
    clock.sync(sync_vals())
    hertz = hz_vals()
    engine.hz(hertz)
  end
end

advanced use

To go further, there are additional :set and :get methods, which connect to the individual LFO’s current state.

:set and :get options:

  • enabled: number 1 or 0 for on/off state
  • shape: string sine, saw, square, random
  • min: number for established minimum value
  • max: number for established maximum value
  • depth: number 0.0 to 1.0 for depth
  • offset: number -1.0 to 1.0 for offset
  • mode: string clocked or free
  • period: number; if mode is ‘clocked’ then number represents beats; if mode is ‘free’ then number represents seconds
  • baseline: string min, center, max
  • reset_target: string floor or ceiling, determines whether the LFO returns to bottom or top of the shape
  • ppqn: number representing the resolution of the LFO
  • action: function for callback, which receives both the scaled (between min and max, adjusted by depth and offset) and raw value (0 to 1)

special :get options:

  • scaled: returns number representing the scaled value of the LFO (scaled to min and max, adjusted by depth and offset)
  • raw: returns the 0 to 1 raw value of the LFO, without considering the other adjustments

example

In this example, we’ll use :set and :get to build out a more complex LFO interaction. Press K3 to engage or disengage the LFO.

_lfos = require 'lfo' -- assign the library to a general variable
engine.name = 'PolyPerc'
s = require 'sequins'

function init()
  hz_vals = s{400,600,200,350}
  sync_vals = s{1,1/3,1/2,1/6,2}
  clock.run(iter)
  
  screen_dirty = true
  
  -- establish an LFO variable for a specific purpose:
  cutoff_lfo = _lfos.new()
  cutoff_lfo:set('shape', 'sine')
  cutoff_lfo:set('min', 200)
  cutoff_lfo:set('max', 5000)
  cutoff_lfo:set('depth', 0.3)
  cutoff_lfo:set('mode', 'free')
  cutoff_lfo:set('period', 2)
  cutoff_lfo:set('action', function(scaled,raw) engine.cutoff(scaled) screen_dirty = true end)
  
  redraw_screen = metro.init(check_dirty,1/15,-1)
  redraw_screen:start()
end

function iter()
  while true do
    clock.sync(sync_vals())
    hertz = hz_vals()
    engine.hz(hertz)
    cutoff_lfo:set('depth', math.random())
  end
end

function check_dirty()
  if screen_dirty then
    redraw()
    screen_dirty = false
  end
end

function redraw()
   screen.clear()
   screen.level(15)
   screen.move(64,40)
   screen.font_size(20)
   screen.text_center(util.round(cutoff_lfo:get('scaled'),0.01)..'hz')
   screen.update()
end

-- press K3 to start/stop:
function key(n,z)
  if n == 3 and z == 1 then
    if cutoff_lfo:get('enabled') == 1 then
      cutoff_lfo:stop()
    else
      cutoff_lfo:start()
    end
  end
end

-- turn E3 to adjust cutoff when LFO is inactive:
function enc(n,d)
  if n == 3 and cutoff_lfo:get('enabled') == 0 then
    local current = cutoff_lfo:get('scaled')
    local change = util.clamp(current + d*100, cutoff_lfo:get('min'), cutoff_lfo:get('max'))
    cutoff_lfo:set('scaled', change)
    engine.cutoff(cutoff_lfo:get('scaled'))
    screen_dirty = true
  end
end

parameter UI

To simplify the process of changing variables during play, you can also instantiate a parameter menu entry for any of the LFOs you construct. In order for the parameter menu to scale appropriately, it simply needs the min and max bounds for the LFO set ahead of executing :add_params.

:add_params requires a parameter ID, but it can also instantiate its own separator and group, as demonstrated in the example below:

_lfos = require 'lfo' -- assign the library to a general variable
engine.name = 'PolyPerc'
s = require 'sequins'

function init()
  hz_vals = s{400,600,200,350}
  sync_vals = s{1,1/3,1/2,1/6,2}
  clock.run(iter)
  
  screen_dirty = true
  
  -- IMPORTANT! set your LFO's 'min' and 'max' *before* adding params, so they can scale appropriately:
  cutoff_lfo = _lfos:add{min = 200, max = 5000}
  -- now we can add params:
  cutoff_lfo:add_params('cutoff_lfo', 'cutoff', 'LFOs')
  
  cutoff_lfo:set('action', function(scaled, raw) engine.cutoff(scaled) end)
  
  redraw_screen = metro.init(check_dirty,1/15,-1)
  redraw_screen:start()
end

function iter()
  while true do
    clock.sync(sync_vals())
    hertz = hz_vals()
    engine.hz(hertz)
  end
end

function check_dirty()
  if screen_dirty then
    redraw()
    screen_dirty = false
  end
end

function redraw()
   screen.clear()
   screen.move(64,40)
   screen.font_size(20)
   screen.text_center(util.round(cutoff_lfo:get('scaled'),0.01)..'hz')
   screen.update()
end

many LFOs

In this example, we’ll establish two LFOs for our engine and house their parameter UIs under a group:

_lfos = require 'lfo' -- assign the library to a general variable
engine.name = 'PolyPerc'
s = require 'sequins'

function init()
  hz_vals = s{400,600,200,350}
  sync_vals = s{1,1/3,1/2,1/6,2}
  clock.run(iter)
  
  screen_dirty = true
  
  -- IMPORTANT! set your LFO's 'min' and 'max' *before* adding params, so they can scale appropriately:
  cutoff_lfo = _lfos:add{min = 200, max = 5000}
  -- 14 parameters for LFOs + 1 separator for each:
  params:add_group('LFOs',30)
  -- now we can add our params
  cutoff_lfo:add_params('cutoff_lfo', 'cutoff')
  cutoff_lfo:set('action', function(scaled, raw) engine.cutoff(scaled) screen_dirty = true end)
  
  release_lfo = _lfos:add{min = 0.03, max = 2}
  release_lfo:add_params('release_lfo', 'release')
  release_lfo:set('action', function(s,r) engine.release(s) screen_dirty = true end)
  
  redraw_screen = metro.init(check_dirty,1/15,-1)
  redraw_screen:start()
end

function iter()
  while true do
    clock.sync(sync_vals())
    hertz = hz_vals()
    engine.hz(hertz)
  end
end

function check_dirty()
  if screen_dirty then
    redraw()
    screen_dirty = false
  end
end

function redraw()
   screen.clear()
   screen.move(64,30)
   screen.font_size(8)
   local text_to_display = "cutoff lfo: "..(cutoff_lfo:get('depth') > 0 and (util.round(cutoff_lfo:get('scaled'),0.01)..'hz') or ("-"))
   screen.text_center(text_to_display)
   screen.move(64,50)
   screen.font_size(8)
   text_to_display = "release lfo: "..(release_lfo:get('depth') > 0 and (util.round(release_lfo:get('scaled'),0.01)..'s') or ("-"))
   screen.text_center(text_to_display)
   screen.update()
end