Questions about Waaave Pool

Hi there my name is Sebastian and I’m an artist based in California. I recently just bought a Waaave Pool capture edition and can’t wait for it to get here! I was just wondering if there is any equipment recommendations anybody has before it comes. I currently just have a capture card from El Gato and a adapter for RCA cables. My main use for the Waaave Pool would be for making music videos either through the camera or using footage I already have. I have been watching all of Andrei Jays videos and have found them helpful but I get confused at times with the wording of the technical stuff because I am still very new with all of this. I’ve been watching the exploring the ecosphere and was mind blown that you can get the Waaavepool to run the programs for the other devices. This was my main concern for this post cause I was little confused on how to swap each program. I know it involves plugging in the keyboard and mouse but I’m not to sure if it comes with the programs already installed. I appreciate any help or recommendations you have to offer, sorry if the post was vague but I’m just looking for a place to start. Thank You!

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Welcome Sebastian! We have a designated #video-waaaves area in this forum for all things waaaves so I moved your post here, I’m sure someone will help you soon.

Feel free to introduce yourself and share your work here: Introduce yourself!


Thank you!

howdy! the best place to start and also find a lot of answer to questions you have here is by reading all the manuals, documentation, and FAQs available over here
andrei_jay_creative_coding! The main thing to keep in mind is that folks tend to assume that everything will be far more difficult than it actually turns out to be, if you’ve ordered anything that comes with controllers and video inputs from our shop then you have everything you need to just plug shit in and get started right off the bat.

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Hello Andrei!! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond it means the world to me. I have been reading the manual a lot and watching the videos on your YouTube and I find it very helpful. I think I might be over complicating things a bit. The only question I have is if I need anything specific to be able to switch between the softwares of the Video Synthesis Ecosphere. I’m sorry if the wording is weird but I’m still new to this terminology. For reference, I want to be able to do what you do in episode 7 of your YouTube series. I guess the better question is does the sd card in the Waaave pool already come with all the hardware on it? I appreciate any help I can get you are the best! Thanks for you the time.

Diving in to hopefully give a bit of help, though I’m fairly new to the Ecosphere.

Unless you have something different, my understanding is that each application is stored and loaded from a single microSD card. When you boot up the Pi, it auto-boots into the particular app that’s on that card. To switch between them, you need to have different microSD cards which have the application flashed onto them. That’s dead easy to do, and you can get 16GB cards for dirt cheap which work fine. The hardware remains the same for everything - but you need to swap the cards. Andrei’s site describes it as being like playing an old console (I’m paraphrasing), where each SD card is like a game cartridge - holding the relevant app.

That’s how I’ve got mine set up anyway. It might be possible to store them all on the one SD card, but then you wouldn’t be able to have the same slick auto-boot stuff happening, and it would be extra fiddly.

I hope that helps!

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I got that idea from reading the manual as well but in the most recent video on andreis YouTube talks about a master boot.
The video: Exploring the Video Synthesis Ecosphere RPI episode 7: The Mystery and Myth of Master Boot - YouTube
Is there a difference between the programs if I use this master boot? I do want to have access to the full programs so would it better to buy a mircosd card or just use this master boot. I also wanted to know what kind of hardware I would need to burn the data onto the mircoSD card, I am very new to this. Thank you so much for you time and I really appreciate it.

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Oh that video is only a couple of weeks old! I hadn’t seen it before.

If I understand correctly, then all you should have to do with your existing setup is to plug in a USB keyboard and mouse to your device… then press Escape on the keyboard. That will take you to a desktop like on your PC, and you’ll then go into the folder they talk about in the video… click on the relevant file to execute it, and it will then boot up whatever application. It seems like these are the full versions of the apps, so you don’t need to have them on different SD cards. That might not be as useful if you want to boot straight up into a particular app, but for switching between them at home that would be a great way to experiment. I haven’t tried this myself personally but it seems very straightforward!

Hope that helps.


Thank you so much this really helped I appreciate your time!

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Just wanted to hop in here to say welcome to the VSERPI! These days Andrei includes all of the programs on the one MicroSD card, and just sets one of them to automatically open on boot. When you hit ESC on the keyboard it exits out of the app and takes you to the desktop of the Raspberry Pis Operating System. There are shortcuts on the Desktop to to launch all of the other apps. Select the “Execute in Terminal” option when you double click it. They are all the full versions.

A couple things tips and recommendations:

  • Because of the way that openFrameworks (the underlying C++ framework/library that all the VSERPI apps are built on top of) treats USB keyboards, the keyboard needs to be plugged in before the app is opened for the key presses to be detected, and for you to be able to exit by hitting ESC. This also means that you should make sure the keyboard is plugged in before you turn on the Pi if you want to be able exit from the app starts on boot.
  • Depending on your setup, it may or may not be practical to keep a full sized keyboard and mouse next to your Pi. I’ve been using one of these mini wireless keyboards with a built in trackpad for my VSERPI Master Boot and I’d highly something along those lines. I wouldn’t write a novel on it, but for just hitting ESC and double clicking a shortcut on the Desktop it’s perfect.

Connor Schmidt posted these wonderful control scheme guides on the Video_Waaaves Facebook group, which I will re-share here. I would tag him, but I don’t know if he’s here on Scanlines. That FB group used to be the main place for VSERPI discussion but I feel like a lot of that conversation has moved here. I found it helpful to print these out and keep them nearby for reference while I was learning. These are slightly outdated, a couple of the buttons all the way on the left side now control Parameter Locking and global reset, but everything else should still be the same. You can refer to the manuals on Andrei’s site for the most up to date controls.


Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to this, your post was extremely helpful. Thank you so much for answering all my questions and adding more information. I’m really excited to learn all about the VSERPI.

One question I have now is if the mircosd has all of them saved, will it always boot the hardware I bought or will it save the last used program. For example, I bought a Waaave Pool and let’s say I switched to artificial life and booted the machine off. Would it boot up WP or AL?

Thank you so much I appreciate any help you can provide!

My understanding is that it would boot WP as that’ll be the one the config script is set to run on boot. But… I don’t know that for definite. Worth trying out!

@clovis thanks a lot for those crib sheets!

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Thank you for taking the time to reply @amfas. Another quick question I have for you and @clovis is if unplugging the keyboard while the machine is on is harmful. @clovis suggested that a mini keyboard might be useful, is this because when I switch programs I need to have the keyboard and mouse plugged in the whole time? Or is it ok to unplug the keyboard and mouse once I get my desired program. I’m only asking cause I only have one keyboard and mouse but I’m open to saving up for a mini keyboard if it’s necessary.

Thank you both for your help you guys are a blessing!

Full sized keyboard would be fine. It’s just a bit of a pain to have a giant keyboard next to your tiny raspberry pi just to switch applications. No need to get one specially unless you want to save space.

I’m not 100% sure how the Pi deals with peripherals. I doubt unplugging it after you’ve loaded up the app would cause any real problems though.

One question I have now is if the mircosd has all of them saved, will it always boot the hardware I bought or will it save the last used program. For example, I bought a Waaave Pool and let’s say I switched to artificial life and booted the machine off. Would it boot up WP or AL?

@Sebas925 In the example you gave, it will open Waaave_Pool every time you turn it on. There are ways in Linux to change this behavior, but that’s an advanced topic and I don’t think you need to worry about it for now. I just wanted you to know that it’s possible.

Another quick question I have for you and @clovis is if unplugging the keyboard while the machine is on is harmful.

Unplugging the keyboard while it’s running won’t cause any problems. However, you will need to turn the Pi off before you can change the application again, since the keyboard won’t be recognized by the application if you try to plug it in again. (Note: this is called hot swapping and the same rules apply for the MIDI controller and your USB webcam/capture card).

A mini keyboard is not necessary or required by any means, a full sized keyboard would work just fine. I only recommended the mini one because I’ve found it to be convenient in my own use.

A lot of this can feel really abstract and complicated while we’re talking about it here now, but I promise that it makes a lot more sense and is much more intuitive when you’ve got it in front of you.


@clovis you are amazing thank you so much that really helped. You and @amfas have answered all my questions and I truly appreciate it. I definitely feel way more prepared and super excited for my Waaave pool to arrive. I definitely know I’ll learn more once I get it but I’m also very thankful to get some background knowledge. This will really help me utilize the Waaave pool to its max.

Y’all are the best!

So I have a question more in regards to the naming of the software. Is Waaave_Pool just the raspberry pi version of video_waaaves? I’ve been running the source code for video_waaaves on my windows machine but am about to hook up a raspberry pi and was wondering if I should expect the same program or something different. As far as I can tell video_waaaves is the naming convention of the COLLECTION of video apps but then its somewhat confusing because in the list of apps in the windows visual studio folder you have artifical life, etc and then one named video_waaaves which makes it seem like video_waaaves is a dedicated program

Any help would be great!

yes you are correct it is confusing, mostly because some of these things got named as mainly just personal projects before anyone else ever really got started using, and partially b/c once things took off to the point where there was significant number of folks using things it seemed like it would be equally difficult/confusing/link breaking to pull a hard stop on one set of names and replace them with another. but here is some potentially more or less confusing information

-Video_Waaaves was the original program I wrote that everything else kinda sprouted off from. video_waaaves is a 2 channel video mixer + fx that has a 4 tap video delay line. video_waaaves is only for desktops/pcs.

-Waaave_Pool is similar to video_waaves but minus any of the video mixer/fx stuff and is only for raspberry pis.

-VSERPI is the name for all of the raspberry pi based video synths/processors (artificial life, temporal vortex etc)

-Video_Waaaves Suite is the the name for all of the desktop based video synths/processors

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Gotcha. That last part made it make sense for me so thanks!