Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

Alexa Turn on the TV

December 20th, 2016 No comments


Turn your regular old TV into a Smart TV with this script that emulates a Wemo smartplug called “Fauxmo,” an IR led circuit hooked up to a GPIO pin and a Raspberry pi! This is a walkthrough for getting it setup on your raspberry pi on your home network and making it callable by your Alexa Smart Home assistant.



Install LIRC:

sudo apt-get install lirc

Add this to your /etc/modules file:

lirc_rpi gpio_in_pin=23 gpio_out_pin=22
Change your /etc/lirc/hardware.conf file to:
# /etc/lirc/hardware.conf
# Arguments which will be used when launching lircd

# Don’t start lircmd even if there seems to be a good config file

# Don’t start irexec, even if a good config file seems to exist.

# Try to load appropriate kernel modules

# Run “lircd –driver=help” for a list of supported drivers.
# usually /dev/lirc0 is the correct setting for systems using udev

# Default configuration files for your hardware if any
Now restart lircd so it picks up these changes:
sudo /etc/init.d/lirc stop
sudo /etc/init.d/lirc start

In the 3.18.x RaspberryPi firmware you must modify one additional file for the lirc-rpi kernel extension to be loaded:
Edit your /boot/config.txt file and add:
Reboot your RaspberryPi after making this change.




Here is my schematic for the IR LED











Get a TV Config File for LIRC:
# Copy over your new configuration file
sudo cp ~/lircd.conf /etc/lirc/lircd.conf

# Send the KEY_POWER command once from the shell


Install Fauxmo as a network switch for your TV:

Install the requirements: Python 2.7, pip and required Python modules
sudo apt-get install python-pip ; sudo pip install requests

Download the fauxmo files and the and Fauxmo script Here:

wget “”

Extract the zip file
unzip -d echo

Move to the newly created echo folder
cd echo/echo-master

Start the server – you should see some debugging text indicating the server has started polling.

Modify this line in the python script to have your IR command that you wish to issue on voice command:
os.system(“irsend SEND_ONCE Vizio_VX37L KEY_POWER”)


The Echo integrates with the WeMo home automation protocol – simply say “Alexa, discover my devices” and it’ll search the local network for WeMo devices. So let’s give it a device to discover!

Say to your Echo “Alexa: discover my devices”. She’ll take a few seconds to find the new device. If she doesn’t find it the first time, try killing and restarting the process and discovering devices again.

Say, “Alexa: turn off TV”, or “Alexa, TV on”. You’ll see an echo of the output Philips TV On/Off command from: IP of alexa.

Alternatively you could always think of other ways issue the IR commands through SSH to the raspberry pi from the command line. I have had some fun setting timers for volume mutes during commercial breaks.

Hope you have fun making this one





Categories: alexa, Android, Raspberry Pi Tags:

Android App Music Favorites 2

December 4th, 2011 2 comments

It’s been awhile but its time for another round of android music making app favorites and it has recently come to my attention that there is currently a fundamental flaw with android in the respect of live performance.  Some of you may have already noticed this while playing around with some of the multi-touch keyboards and synthesizers with surprisingly long attach and release times while switching keys and notes…oh the horrors of latency.

I wont delve into the exact figures released in this article for lack of more specific data on which phones performed best, but the article still states that the more sophisticated android handsets still have almost twenty times the latency to IOS devices.

I always hate starting off on a bad note, so here’s some good news. Android is still open source and developers are working on integrating API’s like OPENSL_ES into their applications which will further cut the latency so we can rock our android tablets and phones live. One of my favorites which I reviewed last time Mikrosonic SPC has already implemented this in their newest update. I can only hope that developers will continue to optimize and cook this into their music applications.

Now then…on to the music favorite picks.

1.Su-Preme MPA

Ever since I’ve acquired an android tablet I have been Su-premely jealous of Ipad owners applications like the Beat Maker series. I love pads and buttons and was absolutely ecstatic to see someone finally emulate an MPC in the android environment.

The application runs great and with a dual core tegra 2 tablet, I cannot say the same for my dated Nexus One 1ghz snapdragon, but I almost forget about the aforementioned “latency” issues while messing around with it on my overclocked G Tablet.

I highly recommend trying the lite version first to make sure that your device will run the application smoothly.

– Analog UI emulating the classic devices
– 12 low-latency pads for drum/one-shot sounds
– A piano keyboard (the number of keys depends on your screen size)
– A basic sample editor that allows you to cut your MP3s and WAVs
– A Song Editor to build full songs from sequences
– Ability to record tracks with 1/8, 1/16 or 1/32 quantization and swing


Nanoloop is another cross platform favorite of mine available on IOS, Android and even your gameboy, and I must say it easily became one of my favorites. This sequencing application has a very easy learning curve and could easily be one of the most fluid options for those of us stuck with smaller screen real estate, not to mention it doesn’t require a whole lot of processing power so it can run smooth as butter on your mid to low end devices as well.

The sounds you can make with this nifty little application are pretty diverse using just the microphone sampler and sequencer to pump beats and sounds out of your handheld. I only have one gripe about it and that is GIVE US LONGER PATTERNS and DIFFERENT METERS! 4/4 is great but I like having options…also I wouldn’t mind some filters and effects overlays.

– Six channels, each can be synth or sampler
– Load samples from SD-card
– Sample via microphone
– Re-sample, export samples
– FM-, noise- and filtered wave synthesizer
– Fast and easy to use step sequencer
– 8 patterns and 2 instruments per channel
– Song editor with loop function
– Send and receive projects via e-mail
– Files compatible with the iPhone version (via iTunes only)
– Export songs to device’s music library (Ogg Vorbis format)

Nanoloop Market Link


Categories: Android Tags:

Android App Music Favorites

April 15th, 2011 No comments

Since Android’s initial release in late 2008 the android devices, software and market have

evolved to something much greater with a more diverse selection of applications. One

category the mobile linux OS has been lacking is in the music making department. Armed with

a new compiler, GPL, and an army of developers, 2011 is finally starting to make some

headway to compete with iOS’s music producing libraries. Unfortunately a publicly published

market is a double edged sword which sometimes forces users to sift through the garbage to

find the gems, which…can be…..taxing.

After purchasing, testing, and more often than not refunding applications, the best of the

best android music making applications:

1.Mikrosonic Sketchpad

This application quickly became my favorite as I found how versatile it is with

manipulating loops and sequences.

The color/light coding make mixing simple with a long press on the selected pad you

can set the volumes. Clicking each pad starts or stops the loop or sequence, and the edit

button allows you to set the sequencers. You edit ‘scenes’, a saved framework of your

imported/saved settings for the 16-pads, which are easily exported to .wav format for your

sharing needs. My only complaint about this application is it lacks a swing setting, but for

$5.50 its a steal.

Musical Features:

-16-pad screen mixes loops and sequences
-Edit feature with 4 variations for each loop pad
-Slicer for recombining loop elements
-Waveform display
-Up to 8-bar long loops
-Samples and sequencer
-4-bar sequencer for each sample pad
-Keyboard for setting note information for each step
-Waveform display
-Gain, pan and tuning knobs
-Envelope control with attack and decay

Technical Features:

-Multi-touch control
-Sample/loop load in .wav format up to 24 bit 96 kHz
-Recording of performances in exportable .wav format
-Direct integration of RD3 – Groovebox loops
-File sharing capability

For those wanting to try the app out:
Demo Version:

SPC – Music Sketchpad

Full version:
2.RD3 Groovebox

Groovebox is made by the same entity as the Sketchpad(SPC) and seemlesly imports any beats

made with this nifty little app into mikrosonics SPC. With eight different drumkits to

choose from it makes beat production less of a headache in SPC.


•realtime step sequencing
•realtime processing synth
•high quality filter mode for powerful devices
•multitouch control
•drum machine with 8 drum kits
•4 patterns per instrument
•3 play modes: solo, loop or random
•load/save sessions
•cut/copy/paste pattern

Demo Version:

Full version:

(sorry couldn’t find an official demo video)

Uloops gets an honorable mention but I cant help but cringe at the fact that you must have

an active internet connection to even render a single midi note on top of having to create

an account. Still, the application is reminiscent of FLstudio in its sequencer and options.

12-channels loop-oriented sequencer:
• Mix up to 4-bar length recordings, synths, drums and modulators
• Apply effects including delay, flanger, chorus, tube distortion, compressor among others.
• 3-band parametric equalizer with configurable frecuency, amplitude and Q factor for each

• Dynamic Pan and Vol, Solo-Mute toggle
• Mixer with vumeters and dB faders
• Export to mp3 or ringtones

Sound Recorder:
• Use built-in mic for live recording
• Metronome during performance
• Apply noise reduction, normalization & effects

Polyphonic synthesizer:
• 7-octave piano roll
• 125 instruments available
• Vcf Cutoff, Vcf Res and LFO effects

Drum Machine:
• 35 drumkits available
• Every drumkit has 17 components, including bass drum, snare, hi-hat, crash, tom-tom, among

• Independent volume, pitch, pan and reverb control for every component

• Analog-like modular synthesizer patched up as an interesting oscillation lab
• Filters: VCO Freq, LFO, VCF Cutoff, VCF Res and VCA
• Modulate your bends using 6 different functions including sample & hold

Song Sequencer:
• Create a song putting together your loops
• Change song tempo, from 60 to 250 bpm
• Mastering Toolbox
• Publish your songs with different licences (creative commons and private ones)
• Receive a full rendered copy by mail

Demo Version:

Uloops Studio Lite for Android on

Full Version:
Categories: Android Tags: