~rabbits/orca

Programming language, written in C99
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#ORCΛ

Orca is an esoteric programming language and live editor designed to quickly create procedural sequencers. Every letter of the alphabet is an operation, lowercase letters execute on *bang*, and uppercase letters execute each frame.

This is the C implementation of the ORCΛ language and terminal livecoding environment. It's designed to be power efficient. It can handle large files, even if your terminal is small.

Orca is not a synthesizer, but a flexible livecoding environment capable of sending MIDI, OSC, and UDP to your audio/visual interfaces like Ableton, Renoise, VCV Rack, or SuperCollider.

Main git repo GitHub mirror
git.sr.ht/~rabbits/orca github.com/hundredrabbits/Orca-c

#Quick Start for Debian/Raspbian (Raspberry Pi)

sudo apt-get install git libncurses5-dev libncursesw5-dev libportmidi-dev
git clone https://github.com/hundredrabbits/Orca-c.git
cd Orca-c
make          # Compile orca
build/orca    # Run orca

To choose your MIDI output device, press F1 (or Ctrl+D) to open the main menu, and then select MIDI Output...

┌ ORCA ───────────────┐┌ PortMidi Device Selection ─────┐
│   New               ││ > (*) #0 - Midi Through Port-0 │
│   Open...           ││   ( ) #2 - ES1371              │
│   Save              │└────────────────────────────────┘
│   Save As...        │
│                     │
│   Set BPM...        │
│   Set Grid Size...  │
│   Auto-fit Grid     │
│                     │
│   OSC Output...     │
│ > MIDI Output...    │
│                     │
│   Clock & Timing... │
│.....................│

#Prerequisites

Core library: A C99 compiler (no VLAs required), plus enough libc for malloc, realloc, free, memcpy, memset, and memmove. (Also, #pragma once must be supported.)

Command-line interpreter: The above, plus POSIX, and enough libc for the common string operations (strlen, strcmp, etc.)

Livecoding terminal UI: The above, plus ncurses (or compatible curses library), and floating point support (for timing.) Optionally, PortMidi can be used to enable direct MIDI output.

#Build

The build script, called simply tool, is written in bash. It should work with gcc (including the musl-gcc wrapper), tcc, and clang, and will automatically detect your compiler. You can manually specify a compiler with the -c option.

Currently known to build on macOS (gcc, clang, tcc) and Linux (gcc, musl-gcc, tcc, and clang, optionally with LLD), and Windows via cygwin or WSL (gcc or clang, tcc untested).

There is a fire-and-forget make wrapper around the build script.

PortMidi is an optional dependency. It can be enabled by adding the option --portmidi when running the tool build script.

Mouse awareness can be disabled by adding the --no-mouse option.

#Build using the tool build script

Run ./tool help to see usage info. Examples:

./tool build -c clang-7 --portmidi orca
    # Build the livecoding environment with a compiler
    # named clang-7, with optimizations enabled, and
    # with PortMidi enabled for MIDI output.
    # Binary placed at build/orca

./tool build -d orca
    # Debug build of the livecoding environment.
    # Binary placed at build/debug/orca

./tool build -d cli
    # Debug build of the headless CLI interpreter.
    # Binary placed at build/debug/cli

./tool clean
    # Same as make clean. Removes build/

#Build using the make wrapper

make release    # optimized build, binary placed at build/orca
make debug      # debugging build, binary placed at build/debug/orca
make clean      # removes build/

The make wrapper will enable --portmidi by default. If you run the tool build script on its own, --portmidi is not enabled by default.

#orca Livecoding Environment Usage

Usage: orca [options] [file]

General options:
    --undo-limit <number>  Set the maximum number of undo steps.
                           If you plan to work with large files,
                           set this to a low number.
                           Default: 100
    --initial-size <nxn>   When creating a new grid file, use these
                           starting dimensions.
    --bpm <number>         Set the tempo (beats per minute).
                           Default: 120
    --seed <number>        Set the seed for the random function.
                           Default: 1
    -h or --help           Print this message and exit.

OSC/MIDI options:
    --strict-timing
        Reduce the timing jitter of outgoing MIDI and OSC messages.
        Uses more CPU time.

    --osc-midi-bidule <path>
        Set MIDI to be sent via OSC formatted for Plogue Bidule.
        The path argument is the path of the Plogue OSC MIDI device.
        Example: /OSC_MIDI_0/MIDI

#Example: build and run orca livecoding environment with MIDI output

$ ./tool build --portmidi orca           # compile orca using build script
$ build/orca                             # run orca

#orca Livecoding Environment Controls

┌ Controls ───────────────────────────────────────────┐
│           Ctrl+Q  Quit                              │
│       Arrow Keys  Move Cursor                       │
│     Ctrl+D or F1  Open Main Menu                    │
│   0-9, A-Z, a-z,  Insert Character                  │
│    ! : % / = # *                                    │
│         Spacebar  Play/Pause                        │
│ Ctrl+Z or Ctrl+U  Undo                              │
│           Ctrl+X  Cut                               │
│           Ctrl+C  Copy                              │
│           Ctrl+V  Paste                             │
│           Ctrl+S  Save                              │
│           Ctrl+F  Frame Step Forward                │
│           Ctrl+R  Reset Frame Number                │
│ Ctrl+I or Insert  Append/Overwrite Mode             │
│        ' (quote)  Rectangle Selection Mode          │
│ Shift+Arrow Keys  Adjust Rectangle Selection        │
│   Alt+Arrow Keys  Slide Selection                   │
│   ` (grave) or ~  Slide Selection Mode              │
│           Escape  Return to Normal Mode or Deselect │
│  ( ) _ + [ ] { }  Adjust Grid Size and Rulers       │
│          < and >  Adjust BPM                        │
│                ?  Controls (this message)           │
└─────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘

#cli command-line interface interpreter

The CLI (cli binary) reads from a file and runs the orca simulation for 1 timestep (default) or a specified number (-t option) and writes the resulting state of the grid to stdout.

cli [-t timesteps] infile

You can also make cli read from stdin:

echo -e "...\na34\n..." | cli /dev/stdin

#Extras

  • Discuss and get help in the forum thread.
  • Support this project through Patreon.
  • See the License (MIT) file for license rights and limitations.