Squarp Instruments Hermod Modular Brain

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justin3am
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Post by justin3am » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:52 pm

Just got my Hermod setup over the weekend. What can I say? It's an awesome device! So much utility in such a small space. I've mostly been using it as a USB host for controllers and for manipulating MIDI note data but I can see this being indispensable in a large euro setup which also incorporates a lot of MIDI devices.

I'm successfully using Hermod as a USB host for my Nektar MIDI controllers. I can't wait to see what kind of wackyness I can get up to once it's talking to my Octatrack or Beatstep Pro.
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Nelson Baboon
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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:06 am

i bought one of these, and I've spent a couple of hours at it thus far.

the documentation is pretty fucking horrible.

in my couple of hours, I've figured out....nothing. for some reason, i decided to output midi first. I got nothing out of the usb device midi port, then read some comment w/o much context saying that midi hubs won't work. that seemed odd, but maybe it's true (i was getting clock out, but nothing else), so tonight i decided to try the din port. Same thing. midi clock, but nothing else. I see notes on the grid. my midi monitor application shows only....clock. For that, the channel shouldn't matter, though i'm pretty sure I have it set to channel 1.

this must be user error, but how the fucking bloody hell do you successfully send out midi notes from this blasted thing?

and for that matter, how the fuck do you get it to stop sending out midi clock? I want to turn that off, but thus far - no luck. maybe if I burn this stupid manual, I'll get somewhere.

Edit - finally. I still haven't figured out how to turn off the goddamn midi clock, but can someone correct me if I'm wrong...to send out midi notes, you have to configure it in the midi out EFFECT. That is just fucking bizarre. And what is even more bizarre is that I didn't change anything at all. I just chose a midi output effect, and went into the various parameters, but kept them as they were (pretty simple and correct) but then midi notes starting coming out of it. The first time the piece of shit froze up, so I turned it off and on, and went through the same process. No midi notes until I 'selected' the same parameters that were already in there.

I mean, is that intuitive? That you'd NEED to set up a midi effect to send out midi, and have to do it the way I'm doing it? I MUST be missing something.

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Post by soundslikejoe » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:57 am

Nelson Baboon wrote:i bought one of these, and I've spent a couple of hours at it thus far.

the documentation is pretty fucking horrible.

in my couple of hours, I've figured out....nothing. for some reason, i decided to output midi first. I got nothing out of the usb device midi port, then read some comment w/o much context saying that midi hubs won't work. that seemed odd, but maybe it's true (i was getting clock out, but nothing else), so tonight i decided to try the din port. Same thing. midi clock, but nothing else. I see notes on the grid. my midi monitor application shows only....clock. For that, the channel shouldn't matter, though i'm pretty sure I have it set to channel 1.

this must be user error, but how the fucking bloody hell do you successfully send out midi notes from this blasted thing?

and for that matter, how the fuck do you get it to stop sending out midi clock? I want to turn that off, but thus far - no luck. maybe if I burn this stupid manual, I'll get somewhere.

Edit - finally. I still haven't figured out how to turn off the goddamn midi clock, but can someone correct me if I'm wrong...to send out midi notes, you have to configure it in the midi out EFFECT. That is just fucking bizarre. And what is even more bizarre is that I didn't change anything at all. I just chose a midi output effect, and went into the various parameters, but kept them as they were (pretty simple and correct) but then midi notes starting coming out of it. The first time the piece of shit froze up, so I turned it off and on, and went through the same process. No midi notes until I 'selected' the same parameters that were already in there.

I mean, is that intuitive? That you'd NEED to set up a midi effect to send out midi, and have to do it the way I'm doing it? I MUST be missing something.
I also dislike the documentation. Just give me a searchable PDF over this website any day.

Aside from that... Had a similar problem to this yesterday. I was using Keystep plugged directly into Hermod. After engaging ARP/Seq and starting the clock, Hermod stopped receiving on any MIDI channel. Rebooting Hermod and Keystep didn't fix the problem. No notes were being sent.

I reinstalled the Hermod firmware, and the problem went away. Now the Keystep is working normally again. Maybe you should try that? Hope it helps...

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:34 am

soundslikejoe wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:i bought one of these, and I've spent a couple of hours at it thus far.

the documentation is pretty fucking horrible.

in my couple of hours, I've figured out....nothing. for some reason, i decided to output midi first. I got nothing out of the usb device midi port, then read some comment w/o much context saying that midi hubs won't work. that seemed odd, but maybe it's true (i was getting clock out, but nothing else), so tonight i decided to try the din port. Same thing. midi clock, but nothing else. I see notes on the grid. my midi monitor application shows only....clock. For that, the channel shouldn't matter, though i'm pretty sure I have it set to channel 1.

this must be user error, but how the fucking bloody hell do you successfully send out midi notes from this blasted thing?

and for that matter, how the fuck do you get it to stop sending out midi clock? I want to turn that off, but thus far - no luck. maybe if I burn this stupid manual, I'll get somewhere.

Edit - finally. I still haven't figured out how to turn off the goddamn midi clock, but can someone correct me if I'm wrong...to send out midi notes, you have to configure it in the midi out EFFECT. That is just fucking bizarre. And what is even more bizarre is that I didn't change anything at all. I just chose a midi output effect, and went into the various parameters, but kept them as they were (pretty simple and correct) but then midi notes starting coming out of it. The first time the piece of shit froze up, so I turned it off and on, and went through the same process. No midi notes until I 'selected' the same parameters that were already in there.

I mean, is that intuitive? That you'd NEED to set up a midi effect to send out midi, and have to do it the way I'm doing it? I MUST be missing something.
I also dislike the documentation. Just give me a searchable PDF over this website any day.

Aside from that... Had a similar problem to this yesterday. I was using Keystep plugged directly into Hermod. After engaging ARP/Seq and starting the clock, Hermod stopped receiving on any MIDI channel. Rebooting Hermod and Keystep didn't fix the problem. No notes were being sent.

I reinstalled the Hermod firmware, and the problem went away. Now the Keystep is working normally again. Maybe you should try that? Hope it helps...
well, i added an edit explaining how it seems to work. it's just something that I had to stumble on, pretty much. as I recall, it wasn't in the getting started manual at all, and pretty much almost mentioned matter of factly towards the end. But it still didn't emphasize that you wouldn't get midi notes out unless you set it up as a midi out effect.

but that fucking midi clock. how do you turn off the fucking midi clock? that might be worth an email to their support, or a post to their forum, if I can't figure it out. I don't want to spend hours on that. (can probably filter it out at the midi interface, but sometimes I might do direct connections, and much prefer to turn it off at the source)

why did I buy this accursed thing? (I am being facetious because I think that it will be a very valuable tool once I learn it).

I don't want to get into building a eurorack system. I love Numerology, so I bought the Vector + expander, and a cheap, small, case (one of the smaller arturia cases), but just wanted to file up the big gap at the end. I figured that anything that made sounds would fit into the whole psychology of building up a system, etc, so I figured that picking up a second, complementary sequencer, might be the way to go. And the fact that it (like the Vector) does both midi and cv would be a plus. And the size is perfect. And I really do like the Pyramid.....

in my researching of it, the complaints I heard didn't seem like they would be a big problem for me, and I really like its feature set, especially in conjunction with another sequencer right next to it. Actually the one complaint that registered was about the manual, and I did see several complaints about that. But I figured that once I figured the thing out, the manual would be less of a concern.

btw - there is a searchable pdf version of the manual that a user put up, but it's for 1.0, I believe. but the new features don't seem change the machine significantly, so I just printed out the updates also, which I guess is about as one is going to get. I don't know why they don't make pdf manuals. I remember that as being an issue with the pyramid also - it took them a couple of years (?) before they finally did that.

in any case, this weekend I'll explore what is probably more straightforward on this machine - the cv ins and outs. and then get to introducing it to the Vector...

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Post by soundslikejoe » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:24 am

New user question...

I have programmed a step sequence, and some of the notes don't fire. For example... I have four 8x steps without note overlap. The first one plays... the others are silent. I can mute some of the four, and cause them all to play individually... but can't make it fire quickly enough for all 4 notes to sound.

Why? What's up with this? I've checked the outputs via scope... and these gates just aren't firing.

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Post by OHEXOH » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:36 am

I dunno, I found the Hermod very simple to figure out. The midi out effect isn’t that odd when you consider how it is then configured at the track level... and allows for unique midi settings per sequence. Think about that for a second.

Also here’s a pdf manual (google is your friend): http://sunshine-jones.com/wp-content/up ... ual-v1.pdf
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Post by Warpus » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:39 am

I have a Hermod on the way and looking forward digging into its features. I also a Disting FH-2, do any of folks think the MIDI-USB hosting features of the Hermod make the FH-2 redundant?

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Post by ckwjr » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:11 am

Hermod forum is also a great place to go to figure out what Hermod can and can't do before purchasing. The wishlist is extensive, for example I'd love to be able to link some effects parameters (like transposition) across tracks.

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Post by slentthndr » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:17 am

Hi Hermies,

Just want to double check.. you can get polyrhythms simply by setting your sequence on one track to a given length and your sequence on a different track to a different length, right?

So, I could have track 1 running on an 11 step loop and track 2 running on a 40 step loop, right? And then I can change the sequence and have track 1 running on a 13 step loop and track 2 running on a 34 step loop?

Random examples but I just want to be super clear.

I sold my Hermod a while back and I'm missing him, just wanted to double check that my recollections are correct before buying him back (and hoping he still loves me).

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Post by mikmanner » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:45 am

slentthndr wrote:Hi Hermies,

Just want to double check.. you can get polyrhythms simply by setting your sequence on one track to a given length and your sequence on a different track to a different length, right?

So, I could have track 1 running on an 11 step loop and track 2 running on a 40 step loop, right? And then I can change the sequence and have track 1 running on a 13 step loop and track 2 running on a 34 step loop?

Random examples but I just want to be super clear.

I sold my Hermod a while back and I'm missing him, just wanted to double check that my recollections are correct before buying him back (and hoping he still loves me).
What you're describing is polymeter and yeah the Hermod supports this. I don't know off the top of my head of you can run tracks off different clock divisions/multiplications to create polyrhythms though.

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Post by ckwjr » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:37 am

Yes each track's length can be set independently. You can divide incoming clock from 1/4 to 1/32 but not per track as far as I can tell. You can pick one gate to send divided clock out.

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Post by ckwjr » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:41 am

Sorry - double post

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Post by what gives? » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:45 am

I've been looking at the Hermod for a while, but can't seem to find info on the following:

- Is it possible to randomize gates alone?
- Can i randomize a track once, and then loop it (As an alternative to continuous probability)?

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Post by ckwjr » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:59 pm

You can randomize a track once and loop it, yes. When you randomize a track you can choose to randomize only gate length, but I think you already have to have a pattern in the track and then rerandomize note length.

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Post by what gives? » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:00 am

ckwjr wrote:You can randomize a track once and loop it, yes. When you randomize a track you can choose to randomize only gate length, but I think you already have to have a pattern in the track and then rerandomize note length.
Oh awesome! Is it also possible to randomize more than one track at once?

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Post by tomnicholson » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:17 am

what gives? wrote: Oh awesome! Is it also possible to randomize more than one track at once?
No, one track at a time. Parameters allow you control randomization of pitch, velocity (which can be routed to anything in your modular, of course) and note length.

There's also the Random effect that allows an amount of randomization of pitch, velocity and octave, with percentages to control the amount of randomization for each parameter.

There's also the Chance effect which randomly mutes notes, with options to vary randomness according to velocity or note position.

Random and Chance are real-time / non-destructive effects.

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CV in problems

Post by tomnicholson » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:57 am

CV to MIDI conversion not working for me. Quite a basic feature to leave not working in version 1.0 let alone version 1.21. When I made this vid I was still wondering if it was just my unit, but this forum and Squarp's forum both suggest that others are having problems too.

Disappointing, though it's a great module for me other than this (and minor stuff like occasional glitchy buttons)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIUN6AJFY-o

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Re: CV in problems

Post by soundslikejoe » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:28 pm

tomnicholson wrote:CV to MIDI conversion not working for me. Quite a basic feature to leave not working in version 1.0 let alone version 1.21. When I made this vid I was still wondering if it was just my unit, but this forum and Squarp's forum both suggest that others are having problems too.

Disappointing, though it's a great module for me other than this (and minor stuff like occasional glitchy buttons)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIUN6AJFY-o
Woah... solid documentation and explainer of the problem though.

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Re: CV in problems

Post by funqpatrol » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:15 pm

tomnicholson wrote: (and minor stuff like occasional glitchy buttons)
Yeah I've got these too. ;(

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Post by base615 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:21 am

It took a while for them to fix up some of the basic bugs in Pyramid but it's a great sequencer now. I'm sure they'll have the Hermod issues fixed up pretty soon.

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Post by ckwjr » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:21 am

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but my bottom line on the Hermod:

- Truly great for sending MIDI out through its CV/gate out tracks. I use it extensively with my Digitone MIDI tracks.

- Great for distributing its 2 pairs of CV/gate inputs to multiple tracks.

- Great for adding an impressive array of effects to tracks

- Cumbersome and not at all intuitive to use as a sequencer. To me it doesn't feel like a "eurorack solution" for sequencing. There are so many other and better ways to go about it.

But it pairs well with any off-rack sequencer with MIDI outs. It pairs well with another sequencer with CV/gate outs like the beatstep pro or SQ-1 or Keystep.

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Post by bodydouble » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:13 pm

Hi ckwjr,

Just out of curiosity, what do you think distinguishes the Hermod from some of the smaller MIDI-to-CV modules like FH-1 and Mutant Brain?

I'm considering picking a Hermod up for unquantized MIDI recording/looping and the Squarp MIDI effects, but if it's best use case is a MIDI-to-CV converter, I might just stick with my Digitakt and a CV.OCD...

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Post by ckwjr » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:32 pm

bodydouble wrote:Hi ckwjr,

Just out of curiosity, what do you think distinguishes the Hermod from some of the smaller MIDI-to-CV modules like FH-1 and Mutant Brain?

I'm considering picking a Hermod up for unquantized MIDI recording/looping and the Squarp MIDI effects, but if it's best use case is a MIDI-to-CV converter, I might just stick with my Digitakt and a CV.OCD...
I haven't used them, so I can't make a comparison. I have used the Polyend Poly. - no menus makes the Poly very straightforward. It's great for polyphonic config or three outs per midi channel. Hermod is only 8x2 out, but can be configured with fewer tracks with velocity and mod, so very flexible. Mostly it's the LFO and effects options that make Hermod useful for me, eg harmonizing a one-voice sequence.

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Post by djd_oz » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:30 am

Can someone confirm any of the below controllers work with the Hermod?

1) Akai LPK
2) Korg NanoKey2
3) Arturia KeyStep

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Post by soundslikejoe » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:20 am

I've used Keystep with Hermod. Works fine. Also have used Linnstrument, Nectar P6, Trigger Finger, and Cubase. No problems with anything powering or sending MIDI via Hermod.

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