Orca is an [esoteric programming language]( designed to quickly create procedural sequencers, in which every letter of the alphabet is an operation, where lowercase letters operate on bang, uppercase letters operate each frame.

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

If you need <strong>help</strong>, visit the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer" class="external ">chatroom</a> or the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer" class="external ">forum</a>.

This is the **C** implementation of the [ORCΛ]( language and tools. The livecoding environment for this C version runs in a terminal. It's designed to be power efficient. It can handle large files, even if your terminal is small.

<img src='' width='600'/>

## Quick Start for Debian/Raspbian (Raspberry Pi)

sudo apt-get install git libncurses5-dev libncursesw5-dev libportmidi-dev
git clone
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... │
│   Appearance...     │
│                     │
│   Controls...       │
│   Operators...      │
│   About ORCA...     │
│                     │
│   Quit              │

## 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:
        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` liveocding 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

- Support this project through [Patreon](
- See the [License]( file for license rights and limitations (MIT).
- Pull Requests are welcome!
Last 5 commits (shortlog)
Date Author Short message Commit hash
2021-01-13 Sigrid plan9: fix a warning on 386 fa98fbb13c368040db238eb218ed844d53642a12
2020-08-07 Sigrid plan9: nanosec: call nsec _or_ cycles e4562fa250aa010e1cab060acbe52da62454e9ce
2020-08-06 Sigrid Merge remote-tracking branch 'rabbits/master' 0927bbcd7f04299e91151dd6fd432390c203bcb2
2020-08-01 Sigrid plan9: update theming logic b390d010c5135d7bf86bb3a0657f8ed4bff2bfbc
2020-08-01 Sigrid plan9: use _tos->cyclefreq instead of reading /dev/time b70bc705d1a4ecfe686d01f11a2bdb60234f8ca5
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