Quantcast
Has anyone tried MIDI Sprout? (plants playing synths) - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Has anyone tried MIDI Sprout? (plants playing synths)
Old 11th February 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
Has anyone tried MIDI Sprout? (plants playing synths)

Hey everyone, I heard about this product on a podcast I listen to (Joe Rogan w/Duncan Trussel) called MIDI Sprout, which converts the electric impulses in plants into MIDI, allowing it to play VSTs (pretty much, I may have phrased it wrong).

This concept seems so intriguing... but also could be a gimmick.. so I came over to gearslutz, my go-to authority on finding out the real deal on any audio equipment, and didn't see much about it when I searched.

Has anyone tried it or know anyone who has? Here's a quick video of someone talking about it, if you're interested:

YouTube
Old 12th February 2018
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
i would like to know too...
Old 12th February 2018
  #3
Sounds like a Portlandia sketch

“This fern is named Doug and for some reason he only plays major 7 chords”
Old 13th February 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
YouTube
Old 14th July 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
 
I recieved my sprout two qeeks ago and from what Ive experienced...it is a gimmick.
When my app is running it constantly says that it doesnt have a midi signal. But it will still make "music". If i touch the very leafs that the pads are attached to, i will get a change. But touch anywhere else and nothing. But this is where I see the gimmick.... If i sit and do nothing the device will go silent. But if i tap the screen the music will start again. I can change the sound of the plant by tappng the app screen and if i move my finger around it makes the most beautiful noise...but put the phone down and you get nothing. If you touch the device box you can also make it seem as though the plant is reacting to stimuli. I will admit, after investing $700 ( device+iphone+external speaker) I was embarrassed and when my friends werent looking I ran my finger all over the app screen ( they were mind blown).
Ive emailed the company but theve not unanswered, so i have asked them in one of their facebook posts if they can explain why this is happening. Maybe its just me and Im doing something wrong...but I really am very sure this is nothing more than a $300 gimmick in cardboard housing

Last edited by Blowfish19; 14th July 2018 at 08:48 PM.. Reason: Typos
Old 21st August 2018
  #6
Here for the gear
 
Hi,

the MIDI Sprout's hardware and firmware is open-source:

GitHub - electricityforprogress/MIDIsprout

So you can verify if it's a gimmick. I actually did and can confirm: it's not.

It's just a pretty simple conductance measurement circuit.
But the analysis and processing of those fluctuations to calculate MIDI notes (and control commands) is amazingly complex.

From your description, I'd first recommend trying another plant, as this one doesn't seem to be very conductive. Maybe try watering it or exposing it to more light (the plant, not your device!).

Also try playing around with the knob to set a different threshold.
Having it set to the very low end (just after it clicked for power-on) is highest sensitivity - and should produce lots of "random" notes.
From there - raise the knob to a level that sounds good.

Note that my comment is not independent, as I sell my own version of the MIDI Sprout on Tindie. But I have no association with DataGarden.

With some help and inspiration from Sam Cusumano, - the original hardware designer - I actually developed a firmware upgrade - featuring a menu to allow some more configuration (threshold, note scale, midi channel, led's brightness).

You you can also get 3D printed enclosures instead of the cardboard. There are many designs out there, I also published one very recently.

The firmware as well as the enclosure fits for both hardware revisions. The major difference is the presence of a button (which can be connected to the original MIDI Sprouts via the ISP header). You can find instructions for upgrading original MIDI Sprouts on my website (hidden in the following link ;-))

GitHub - 13-37-org/MIDIsprout

Note that there's also a unpopulated header for analog CV Out (on both versions).

Last edited by manueldomke; 22nd August 2018 at 07:45 PM.. Reason: unmentioned wrong product
Old 15th January 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
 
Brand new midisprout not working

Hey... I’m pretty annoyed with midisprout. I received my brand new midisprout after waiting almost 6 weeks and followed all their instructions to set it up, inserted new batteries which resulted in nothing. No lights, power or signal detected. Still waiting on a reply from them and becoming increasingly more pissed off.
Old 14th April 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
 
Hi heavynettle,

I hope your issues have been resolved already.

If not - and IF you ordered from me, please get in touch via PM on this forum.
Usually I reply to all support requests within a day.

Also if you still have problems, maybe I can help, no matter where you bought it

ps: the version I sell is just called "MIDI Biodata Sonifcation Device", so you can distinguish it.

Best,
Manuel
Old 14th April 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
The phenomenon of measuring a plant’s response to stimuli is discussed at length in the book “The Secret Life of Plants”. A very interesting read that I highly recommend. The question of whether plants have nervous systems was not unanimously regarded as some scientists were unable to repeat results. The initial researcher discovered that plants would go “comatose” if threatened, exhausted, or not trusting of certain persons present. Apparently plants develop relationships with humans; those scientists whom cared for and talked to their plants achieved repeatable results. In other words, you gotta have a green thumb!

Don’t know if the theory would apply to this product ...
Old 14th April 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Not interested, but when they devise something that allows my pet rock to play kazoo, let me know.
Old 14th April 2019
  #11
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Don’t get me started on what my pet rocks can do. heh
Old 6th February 2021
  #12
Here for the gear
 
Hi manueldomke,

I've just built a biodata sonification device following the instructions on Github and it works a treat. However, for some reason, it will only play C notes (across 6 octaves). Do you know why this would be?
Old 6th February 2021
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
What do you expect from something with an IQ of a carrot...at least that's what my teachers used to say to my parents. Just lower your expectations like they did and you too can be happy.

g

Last edited by gramps; 6th February 2021 at 07:06 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 6th February 2021
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Rob Coates's Avatar
 
19 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Well, hook it up to the nearest cannabis plant. Then you'll hear some good music.
Old 6th February 2021
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe that explains their/me carrot reference...hmm, food for thought.
📝 Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump