New (to me) Pico. Beginner issues

I got a Pico on ebay which turned up today. It is boxed, has the original (mac only) usb stick, pico, cable, breath thing and strap. I have a windows computer (or 3) and several macs, my main one is a M1 Macbook. I am a software developer and also have a Roli and a Linstrument, so a bit obsessive!

I downloaded the runtime thing from here community-2.1.7

and I downloaded the EigenD stuff from the 2.2.1 mac build that is here. It runs, all seems happy. Plugging in the Pico, its lights come on, and pressing the mode button all the lights come on, but I am at this point stuck where I go to get any sound. The pico itself is certainly sending stuff as if I open the load window and stroke the keys it goes up. pressing the metronome button goes from red to green but nothing else happens.

I assume I am missing something obvious, especially as it was supposed to be a consumer thing, but what have I missed?


Invaluable info to start here:

Then take a close look at Pico Quick Start Guide
Pico Quick Reference Guide

Happy exploring :wink:
Im here with an eye to more questions from you.

Thanks - will do.

Turned out on the PC I just hadn’t downloaded the resources, and having done that (and changed USB port) and crashed a few times, it is working.

Now just to get it working on the mac, I suspect also something to do with the resources, although it can see the soundfonts that I put in manually

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OK, turned out media on the mac as well - I put the soundfonts in manually, and loops, and now I have drums and some of the sounds, at least 1, 2, 3 and 5, so I guess that is the best i can hope for of the original sounds, and good enough to be going with, and more importantly shows me it works!


Yep! And they come “alive” under those eigenkeys :wink:
With STAGE you can have an “overview”, mix, volumes, controls…

@woodinblack welcome, hope you enjoy the pico.

so the eigend package (you linked in OP) does not include the ‘resources’ these are a separate download that you can find on the Eigenlabs website.
(this should be mentioned in the README on the page you linked - no?)

there is however a small issue on the Mac.
basically, since this resource packaged was created, Apple have changed the policy on where things get installed…
I updated the EigenD to reflect this,
however, the resource package was too large for me to host, so I have not done that.
(and frankly, I think really most players, quite quickly stop using these sound fonts etc, and move to their own)

given you have a windows machine, you could install under windows (which still works ok), and then copy these resources over to you Mac.

(alternatively you can disable SIP, and install on Mac, then move them)

you can also get the other sounds to work too… (e.g. cello), but you’ll need to get the convolution responses from the Resource package (iirc)

the only one that probably (?!) wont work on the Mac, is the ‘rig’ that used a demo version of alchemy, Im pretty sure thats 32 bit, so wont run these days.

Some general notes:
(about how we use EigenD these days)

a general point, on the Mac. you will find that EigenBrowser and EigenCommander no longer work.
this is due to the version of python installed/supported on modern macOS.

this means today, we recommend people get familiar with Workbench, which allows you to do things like load change the VST plugin installed. we can show you how if you’d like.

Windows vs Mac.
whilst, the PC is a little more complete (e.g. it does not have the Python issued mentioned above)
Generally, if you have a Mac, Id recommend you use it.
I, personally, think the performance and stability is much better… as it does not need a driver to talk to the pico - also, frankly, midi is much better implemented on macOS (compared to windows)

note: Im not going to ‘debate’ this with windows fans…is purely my opinion, ignore as you wish :wink:

Hosting (vst) plugins within EigenD.
EigenD is very cool, and very powerful… and its nice that you can host plugins within it, to make the pico a ‘complete instrument’ - include MPE capable vsts.

however, EigenD can feel a bit ‘overwhelming’ and also a bit ‘heavy’ at times.
also there are some processing limitations if you start loading mutliple cpu intensive plugins.

so, most (?) Eigenharp players instead , tend to use a ‘light setup’ (that loads very quickly), and then send midi to a daw (or performance software e.g. GigPerformer).

I, personally, do a bit of a mix.
Its nice to have just EigenD running with a simple VST to just make some sound.
(and this really suits the pico, where often we use simpler setups)

but, for if you start wanting to have effect chains, or switching plugins around etc, you might be better off using an external host, and just sending midi from the Pico (via EigenD).
frankly, this has been come so much easier these days, since may daws now support MPE :slight_smile:

anyway, hope that gives some pointers.

though the biggest tip is simple … try not to get too involved in getting it setup.
the most fun comes from the Eigenharps from just playing them…
(tinkering, just becomes a frustration/time sink, if your not careful)

anyway sorry for the wall of text,
but I hope there may be some thing of interest in here, that might help speed you on your way to enjoying the Pico, in the same way as many of us do.

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Thanks for that, very comprehensive. Well, if the resources for the cello works, I would like to get it working. i made the others work by copying the soundfonts from the resource disk to the folder that opened when you select ‘Open Library Directory’ after noticing they were in program files on windows. I copied the convolution files into Impulse Responses, but that didn’t work, however I have a really old macbook air that is tatty and bashed and I just use for gigs when I want to multitrack record (as I don’t mind it getting damaged) - I figured I could install the media on that and see where the files end up!
Fully agreed on the mac/pc - I have a PC (well, quite a few) as it is my job, I have the macs for me, the macs are what are used for music, but I installed it on windows as I assume it would be a simple install (and it was) - using the download from the eigenharp website, but originally the media was a different link that I didn’t see, and nothing actually mentioned it obviously.
Also through my stupidity, I saw the stuff about /usr/pi, and having done a lot of Raspberry Pi programming in the last few weeks, my mind automatically assumed it was something to do with that!

Ulitmately I am sure it will sound better wiht something like equator or even the Argon, but for now I would like it is close to working originally as I can. Sometime in the future I would like some single box host for it, maybe a PI or something, with a midi connection to a synth, so I could gig it without taking a laptop, but as you say, probably best to learn to play it first!