Beacons Screenshot

Beacons is somewhere between a musical instrument and a video game; see here for more information.

There is a precompiled version that should work on newer Macintosh computers (warning: large file), however it is pretty finicky; in case of problems, or if you are on another kind of computer, you should install python and run it from source code. Download links are on the right.

Macintosh computers come with python preinstalled; however, if you have problems you may want to reinstall python.

Installing python should automatically install a package-manager called pip. To run it open a Terminal window on the Macintosh (search "Terminal") or a command window on PC.

1. Install kivy by typing: "pip install kivy" (you may need to type "sudo pip install kivy" and enter a password).

2. Install python-rtmidi by typing: "pip install python-rtmidi" (you may need to install some other tools to do this; follow the prompt if so; you may also need a "sudo pip install python-rtmidi").

3. Place "" on your desktop.

4. Change the directory to your desktop. (Mac: "cd Desktop"; Windows: google this)

5. Connect a MIDI device or enable virtual midi ports. On Mac: you can enable the inter-application ports by opening "Audio Midi Setup", going to "Show Midi Studio" in the Windo menu, clicking on "IAC Driver" and checking "Device is Online." On PC you need to install a virtual-MIDI utility like rtpmidi.


7. Type "python"

Note: to use Beacons, most people will find it useful to install some sort of free sampler like Independence. You will need to configure it to receive MIDI messages from Beacons ("Midi Preferences" in Independence).

Some version of these steps, coupled with patience and Googling (both for any error messages and for general goals like "install python Windows"), should work. If you get really stuck I will try to provide tech support to the extent that I can; just email me.