Friendly Type Conversion

we had this discussion a couple of times concerning type conversion in gamma, something that is kinda a flow stop (my view), especially in a simple example like this …


there was the argument, one has to learn about types and type conversion and learn to live with a user-software dialog like shown above.

while using unreal blueprints, i learned there is a more friendly way aka automatic type conversion. i bet this doesn’t always work but i’m sure in many cases it works. you want to connect an int to a float input, let me add the conversion node automatically.
this improves patching flow and teaches beginners about types and conversion. it feels a lot more welcoming instead of red nodes and error messages.

maybe gamma can learn here from blueprints.



Yes, something like this. I have shared my frustrations with type conversion elsewhere so no point repeating here.

I am adding my vote to something like this

I and my colleagues also find this very annoying!

Yes, auto-conversion in link, if possible, is planned.


hurra ! this will really help teaching and playing with gamma.

for the record, during the “mastering teaching gamma course” i tried changing the piano sound with a program change. the node was quickly found but then came the pain connecting it to midiout. the most obvious thing you want to do.


F1 helppatch solved the riddle but this was the last thing i tried since most of the times this doesn’t work.

Intelligent node filtering doesn’t work here, too many things.

the input of MidiOut gave a hint concerning ToObservable but the Types are called different MidiMessage / Channelmessage. So kinda confusing the whole business.

I guess again, automatic type conversion would really help in such cases. There is currently too much trial and error involved to get the simplest thing working.

Alternatives are much friendlier here

All the shiny possibilies with gamma are less worth if the interface doesn’t communicate well enough to be an approachable IDE.

this topic is as urgent as the nodebrowser improvements and the missing inspector.

but thumbs up for the help patch, at least there was some hope to find a solution.


Yes, we heard that already and that’s a trade-off we took. These “simple solutions”, also the one we had in vvvv beta, are quantized by the main loop, which often is not precise enough for music because the temporal resolution of the ear is much better than the eye. Or in worse cases, messages are not seen or not sent, and that can lead to hanging notes and such things.

So in that sense, you have to see the vvvv gamma implementation as an evolution from these simple solutions, it is build upon the experience of many years of doing media projects.

But yes, this “professional” approach will often collide with simple beginner patches and needs more explanation, as it has to account for all technical details and pitfalls people run into when designing large media systems. But as a result, it allows to make applications like this:

This is the case for many areas of vvvv gamma and there are a few possible improvements to this beginner vs. pro dilemma:

We can add simple wrappers around the “pro” nodes, we did that in a few places, but this will clutter the node browser and in the end those nodes might only be used by beginners, or falsely used by advanced users who never learned about the proper way to do it…

Another way is the above, if possible, find the node that would fit in between and just add it, that would solve the problem and also explains what needs to happen.

And/or it needs good documentation and teachers who understand the system well and can explain why it is a tiny bit more complex and what the huge benefit of that is.

Probably a mix of 2 and 3 would be the best…

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thanks for the thorough answer. i totally understand the technical reason since i’m coming from the sound field in the first place.

but if gamma wants to be attractive to total beginners , the IDE needs to help here. teachers can’t solve the IDE problems. from my teaching experience i have to explain what midi is, what a program change is. then you want to test the theory. if you then also need to explain obscure additional nodes and programming concepts , its simply too much to grasp. this might have to do with our university focus, which is design, not programming.

so beta was fitting but gamma not so much (yet)


the competition never sleeps. they just posted that :)

That’s very funny indeed! :-) The learn to make a node is a cool feature. The node configuration on learn we have for the OSC nodes too, i think… But it never made it into Midi, as it haven’t been refreshed for a while.

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