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orca

Orca is a two-dimensional esoteric programming language in which every letter of the alphabet is an operator, where lowercase letters operate on bang, uppercase letters operate each frame.

The application is not a synthesiser, but a flexible livecoding environment capable of sending MIDI, OSC & UDP to your audio interface, like Ableton, Renoise, VCV Rack or SuperCollider.

Versions

Operators

The base operators are present in every version of Orca, no matter the platform:

The special operators make use of a platform's devices, here are the suggested special operators:

An introduction to basic operations

Basics

This section will teach the basics of playing a note and a sequence of notes.

Send a midi note:

D8...
.:03C

Play a random note:

aRG, will output a random value between A & G, the rightside uppercase letter indicates an uppercase output.

D8.aRG.
.:03D..

Make a melody

04TCAFE, will create a track of 4 notes, and output its first value.

D814TCAFE
.:03A....

Play the melody

8C4, will count from 0 to 3, at 1/8th speed.

.8C4.....
D804TCAFE
.:03C....

Logic

This section will teach the basics of automating logic decisions and changing the values of operators dynamically.

Play every second note.

2I6, will increment to 6 at a rate of 2.

.2I6.......
D646TCAFEDG
.:03D......

Play a note with an offset

1AC, will add 1 to C, to output D. To get D#, use the lowercase d, like 1Ac.

D8.1AC.
.:03D..

Play a sequence back and forth

The combination of the output of C6 into B3 will bounce a value between 0 and 3 over 6 frames.

4C6......
.4B3.....
D414TCAFE
.:03A....

Play a note at a specific interval

I4.....
3F2.1AC
..:03D.

Projectors

This section will teach the basics of creating new operators procedurally.

Halt a moving operator

..H
E..

Read an operator at position

22O, will get the operator E at the offset 2,2.

22O...
..E..H
.....E
/

Write an operator at position

22X, will output the operator E at the offset 2,2.

22XE.
.....
.....
....E

Animate a projector

B8, will bounce between 0 and 8.

C...........
.B4.........
.1XE........
........:03C
........:03D
........:03E
........:03F
........:03G

Variables

This section will teach the basics of storing accessing and combining that stored data.

Write a variable

aV5, will store 5 in the variable a.

aV5

Read a variable

Va, will output the value of the variable a. Notice how variables always have to be written above where they are read.

.
....Va
.......
aV5..Va
.....5.
.......
aV6..Va
.....6.

Read 3 variables

3Kion, will output the values of i, o & n, side-by-side.

iV0.oV3.nVC
...........
3Kion......
.:03C......

Carry a value horizontally and vertically

3..
J..
3Y3

Carry a bang

This method will allow you to bring bangs into tight spots.

D43Ka...
.Y.:03C.

We hope the abive tutorial was enlightening, if you have questions or suggestions, please visit the forum, or the chatroom.

Base 36 table

Orca operates on a base of 36 increments. Operators using numeric values will typically also operate on letters and convert them into values as per the following table. For instance Do will bang every 24th frame.

0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   A   B
0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  11
C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N
12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23
O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z
24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35

Golf

Here are a few interesting snippets to achieve various arithmetic operations.

1X..    Modulo
6I4.    Will output the modulo of 6 % 4.    

cA1.    Uppercase
.dAZ    Will output uppercase C.

H...    Lowercase
CM1.    Will output lowercase C.

.L0.    Not Null
..F0    Will bang if L free input is not null.
De-evolved Orcabit

license

The license applies to all the documented projects, the projects themselves and their assets. The source code of this website and our apps are under the MIT License, but the assets and text content of this website and of our apps are under the BY-NC-SA4.0 License. We are happy to pass knowledge, and that others can learn from our projects, improve on them, or make them into something else that is useful, but please, do not try to sell our projects as is under a different name. Doing so is very lazy, and disrespectful to us.

DO NOT resell or mint our work.

You can find our more recent projects on Sourcehut.

pull request

See the Github and Sourcehut repositories. Pull Requests are welcome, but please read our design philosophy first.