[SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

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Hanz
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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Hanz » Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:20 am

Thanks! I’ll be having another close look at the independent LFO (clocked) mode, esp. trying the lower ranges, later today.

Concerning the harmonic oscillator - I agree on your thought of not expanding the range (rather keeping the original behavior) and use some kind of range switching instead. Actually, against my expectations - I found for example the ‘knob wiggling’ polarity control quite easy to use (slightly easier than the button - slider range control, but hey...)

Overnight, I’ve been pondering on the appropriate range. On second thought, it seems that using the dividers 1 to 8 might be too restrictive, since a good deal of those actually just yield sub-octaves of each other (1, 2,4 and 8 - as well as 3 and 6).
Referring to the wikipedia page I linked earlier, it has this great table showing that values up to 31 still produce unique undertones. Doepfer’s original choice of 24 is also not a bad choice. Strongly prefer a range of at least 1 to 16 to get a good coverage - as this Wikipedia picture effectively shows:

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Hanz » Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am

Having spent the morning fiddling around on Stages' yet-to-be-named alternative firmware ;) - a few random notes from my side:

-Still believe that Harmonic oscillator would be a better candidate than Gated LFO for 'Trautonium-like' purposes.
Unless I'm missing something important, Gated LFO works far less intuitive due to the requirement for external multing (of the clock signal) and subsequent mixing (of resulting harmonic waveforms). Clearly, Harmonic oscillator mode already has all this built in.

-I saw you already added a few related notes on the issue #9. https://github.com/qiemem/eurorack/issues/9
Indeed these artificers introduced by multiple clocks sound cool! A bit (Hordijk) Rungler-alike... which would be a brilliant alternate mode all by itself, and very deserving of such! Thinking of it, all the basic code components are already in place...
But as you pointed out - it currently kills Gated LFO for Trautonium-like purposes (requiring typically 4 parallel channels of subdivision next to the master oscillator).

-In Gated LFO, the good news is that I found that switching polarity to bipolar really helped in reducing aliasing noise.
Still there's quite a bit of aliasing and funny stuff (sounds like a bit of quantising going on at higher clock frequencies?) esp. with square and saw waveforms, but README already points out these artefacts.

-Related to mixing - there's something that confused me in README, which I thought implied (internally sub-)mixing LFOs. But I guess that simply means that different ranges of LFO can be combined without switching to a separate mode?
This mode contains all the new features of segment generator mode. This fork applies this 8x slowdown to each of the LFO ranges, so while the default is the same as in joeSeggiola's original, much slower LFOs may be achieved (16 minutes), while also mixing with faster LFOs.
-Minor thing - in Gated LFO, there is an audible click when switching range or polarity on a *different* LFO.

-Minor thing - it seems range and polarity setting are lost upon switching modes. Would it be possible to retain these settings?

-Just a quick thought, assuming Harmonic oscillator mode - since the waveforms would heavily use subdivisions (and therefore going quite low in frequency) it might be necessary to extend (or shift) the range of the 'master' oscillator upwards?
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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Sun Oct 11, 2020 11:34 pm

Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:20 am
Overnight, I’ve been pondering on the appropriate range. On second thought, it seems that using the dividers 1 to 8 might be too restrictive, since a good deal of those actually just yield sub-octaves of each other (1, 2,4 and 8 - as well as 3 and 6).
Referring to the wikipedia page I linked earlier, it has this great table showing that values up to 31 still produce unique undertones. Doepfer’s original choice of 24 is also not a bad choice. Strongly prefer a range of at least 1 to 16 to get a good coverage - as this Wikipedia picture effectively shows:
The tricky thing is that those pots are pretty tiny, so being able to dial particular (sub)harmonics can be tough if the range is too big. 16 might be okay. I'll try it out.
Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am
-Still believe that Harmonic oscillator would be a better candidate than Gated LFO for 'Trautonium-like' purposes.
Unless I'm missing something important, Gated LFO works far less intuitive due to the requirement for external multing (of the clock signal) and subsequent mixing (of resulting harmonic waveforms). Clearly, Harmonic oscillator mode already has all this built in.
Oh, absolutely. I didn't mean it as a replacement, just something to tide you over till I have a chance to implement alternate ranges on the harmonic oscillator.
Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am
-I saw you already added a few related notes on the issue #9. https://github.com/qiemem/eurorack/issues/9
Indeed these artificers introduced by multiple clocks sound cool! A bit (Hordijk) Rungler-alike... which would be a brilliant alternate mode all by itself, and very deserving of such! Thinking of it, all the basic code components are already in place...
But as you pointed out - it currently kills Gated LFO for Trautonium-like purposes (requiring typically 4 parallel channels of subdivision next to the master oscillator).
Ha, I'd been thinking the same thing! It honestly sounds way more interesting than it has any right to. I think it basically just results from IO buffer underflow from the CPU getting bogged down. Currently in the middle of fixing it, but I'll see if I can break it more strategically later. Anyway, made some optimizations today and now I've got it so that you can use 4 gated audio-rate LFOs simultaneously, so getting there.
Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am
-In Gated LFO, the good news is that I found that switching polarity to bipolar really helped in reducing aliasing noise.
Still there's quite a bit of aliasing and funny stuff (sounds like a bit of quantising going on at higher clock frequencies?) esp. with square and saw waveforms, but README already points out these artefacts.
Great, that's good to hear. I think the quantizing effect is actually the PLL algorithm just taking a second to adjust to frequency changes. But yeah, the aliasing can be bad with hard edges at high frequencies. I'd love to improve it, and I've played around with pulling things from other oscillator code, but the variable waveforms makes it a bit tricky, and I haven't had time to wrap my head around the various interpolation and bandlimiting techniques Emilie uses.
Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am
-Related to mixing - there's something that confused me in README, which I thought implied (internally sub-)mixing LFOs. But I guess that simply means that different ranges of LFO can be combined without switching to a separate mode?
Ah, that is confusing, good catch. The point there was just that you can have both fast and slow LFOs (as opposed to previous firmwares where it was all fast or all slow). I'll re-word it.
Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am
-Minor thing - in Gated LFO, there is an audible click when switching range or polarity on a *different* LFO.
Yes, it results from the module saving the settings change. The whole module pauses. Not much I can do about it I'm afraid. This happens with basically button interaction (including in the harmonic oscillator).
Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am
-Minor thing - it seems range and polarity setting are lost upon switching modes. Would it be possible to retain these settings?
By mode do you mean module mode or segment mode? For module mode: they should be remembered. Let me know if that's not happening for you. For segment mode: That's intentional. The idea was that I wanted it to be very easy to get back to default settings. In other words, it gives you a way to quickly reset all the semi-hidden properties of a segment. I could definitely be persuaded however.
Hanz wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 9:29 am
-Just a quick thought, assuming Harmonic oscillator mode - since the waveforms would heavily use subdivisions (and therefore going quite low in frequency) it might be necessary to extend (or shift) the range of the 'master' oscillator upwards?
The module has a hard max frequency of just under 8khz. If I recall correctly, the max slider position on the harmonic oscillator gets you to ~4khz. With CV, you quickly hit the ceiling. So, unfortunately, there's not much room expand there.

Thank you so much for your in depth feedback! Really appreciate it!

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Squallaz » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:28 am

Can the LFO outs be attenuated in some way with this firmware?

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:50 am

Squallaz wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:28 am
Can the LFO outs be attenuated in some way with this firmware?
Not in one segment. However, you do have a couple of options.

Single looping yellow segments attenuate instead of slew (non-looping still slews). So you can feed your LFO into a single looping yellow segment and control amplitude with the pot. The slider still gives you offset. Setting the yellow segment to bipolar will let you attenuvert. Thus, you can have up to three LFOs with controllable amplitude, offset, and polarity.

If you're just using the module for LFOs, you can set either of the harmonic oscillator modes to work as an LFO: hold the leftmost button and move its slider to the bottom (extremely slow) or middle (normal LFO). This gives you 6 harmonically related LFOs with the first output being the mix of all 6. You can then control the amplitude of each one with the slider in mode 5 or the pot in mode 6 (I almost always use mode 6).

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by loreamon » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:50 am

First of all, big thanks to qiemem for this huge surprise and hard work, as well the others who have been involved into different forks. I must say I missed this thread during the summer, being reading more into mutable forums about stages ouroboros, which update I delayed. So yesterday I read this entire thread and finished the night with 4h in the modular with this firmware!🤯🤩🥳

Really blown out with the fourth new type of random segment, that’s a totally new aspect having six Turing machines into this already full of features module... so many new possibilities. I didn’t get quite the uniform random ungated mode, somehow nothing is produced.. and what would be triggering or defining its speed then 🤔

The quantiser option was yet another big surprise. I would suggest a future update with 2 more scales (with fast blinking colour when chosen in marbles style) such as whole tone / diminished 5th or why not a microtonal one.

Looking forward very much, Klee sequencer or whatever - it’s already pretty enough as of now :) Maybe the author should look at warps, marbles, plaits.....?

Thank you!

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by loreamon » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:04 pm

Actually there is no thread in MI forum about this firmware?

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:27 pm

loreamon wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:50 am
Really blown out with the fourth new type of random segment, that’s a totally new aspect having six Turing machines into this already full of features module... so many new possibilities. I didn’t get quite the uniform random ungated mode, somehow nothing is produced.. and what would be triggering or defining its speed then 🤔
That's great to hear! For the uniform random: slider controls frequency and pot controls slew. If pot is all the up and slider is too high, you won't get much out. Turn the pot all the way down and see if that works.
loreamon wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:50 am
The quantiser option was yet another big surprise. I would suggest a future update with 2 more scales (with fast blinking colour when chosen in marbles style) such as whole tone / diminished 5th or why not a microtonal one.
More scales would be fun, but pretty tough with the interface. I might consider something like Marbles' scale learning though.
loreamon wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:50 am
Looking forward very much, Klee sequencer or whatever - it’s already pretty enough as of now :)
Might be a bit a bit I'm afraid. Life's gotten pretty busy, so I'm pretty much just doing bug-fixes/low hanging features at the moment. Also still thinking about other modes.
loreamon wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:50 am
Maybe the author should look at warps, marbles, plaits.....?
Heh, would be fun. The parasites firmware for Warps is already pretty fantastic and I'm afraid I don't have Marbles or Plaits. Maybe someday.
loreamon wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:04 pm
Actually there is no thread in MI forum about this firmware?
Not yet I'm afraid. I was going to make one once I actually have a name for it, but :despair:

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Hanz » Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:47 pm

qiemem wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:27 pm
Not yet I'm afraid. I was going to make one once I actually have a name for it, but :despair:
Just to get the creative juices flowing, let me be the first to offer up a proposed name...
“Lampenfieber” which is the German word for stage fright (ba dum tsss...), but literally meaning ‘lights fever’ (and of course there’s plenty of lights on Stages) :party:
“...I am merely a conduit, a kind of big hairy tool. I am just a plastic funnel connected to a Moog...”

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by autopoiesis » Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:05 pm

or maybe riff on Matthias's parasite thing with 'Stages Symbiont', which besides being nicely alliterative more accurately describes these firmwares' ecological relationship :)

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Hanz » Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:51 pm

... or maybe, in keeping with Mutable’s Hindi theme, consider ‘Samsara’ which is Sanskrit for ‘turning in circles’, ‘cyclic change’, ‘wandering’ or ‘flowing on’, and refers to the never-ending cycles of life, without specific beginning or end.
Somewhat like a waveform, you could say...

Interestingly... in Buddhist interpretation of Samsara there exist 6 realms or worlds... in which rebirth happens according to Karma, as results of our actions.

In any case, I’m not much of a theologian, so the finer details are best looked up elsewhere, for example here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saṃsāra
“...I am merely a conduit, a kind of big hairy tool. I am just a plastic funnel connected to a Moog...”

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Squallaz » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:40 am


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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:23 pm

Thanks for suggestions guys!
Hanz wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:47 pm
qiemem wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:27 pm
Not yet I'm afraid. I was going to make one once I actually have a name for it, but :despair:
Just to get the creative juices flowing, let me be the first to offer up a proposed name...
“Lampenfieber” which is the German word for stage fright (ba dum tsss...), but literally meaning ‘lights fever’ (and of course there’s plenty of lights on Stages) :party:
Ooo this is pretty good.

Part of me feels a little funny going with a non-English name since I can only evaluate the name as an English speaker and this is a very international community. For instance, I also really liked the name "Tout le Monde" from several pages ago, but kept wondering if it would sound dumb to French speakers ("everybody" would not be a particularly good name in English... and my French speaking friends kind of confirmed that it probably wouldn't be appreciated).

But I'm also a pretty big fan of multi-lingual puns.
autopoiesis wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:05 pm
or maybe riff on Matthias's parasite thing with 'Stages Symbiont', which besides being nicely alliterative more accurately describes these firmwares' ecological relationship :)
I actually thought about some stuff along this line, but don't really want to step on Matthias's toes :razz:
Hanz wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:51 pm
... or maybe, in keeping with Mutable’s Hindi theme, consider ‘Samsara’ which is Sanskrit for ‘turning in circles’, ‘cyclic change’, ‘wandering’ or ‘flowing on’, and refers to the never-ending cycles of life, without specific beginning or end.
Funny enough, I was in a band called "Samsara" in high school. Hadn't known about the 6 realms things; that's pretty cool!

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:31 pm

Squallaz wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:40 am
New official firmware update: https://forum.mutable-instruments.net/t ... ware/17493
Oh wow, thanks for heads up! I might've missed this otherwise. Luckily, your notification let me know in time to for the next release... which is now! https://github.com/qiemem/eurorack/releases/latest

This is just a bug fix release, but also merges in the extended sequencer!

Here's the changelog for v1.0.1:
  • Merge in extended sequencer from latest official firmware!
  • Ensure that 16 steps is reachable with the pot in TM mode. See #10.
  • Add support for voltage below 0v and above 8v to alt. harmonic oscillator mode. Previously the given segment would just output a constant voltage. (This does not add any new (sub)harmonies, but I am planning on implementing that still)
  • Significantly improve performance enabling more simultaneous clocked LFOs. See #9. Work in progress.
Edit: there's a bug in this one. Fix is on gh and below. Sorry about that!
Last edited by qiemem on Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by pelang » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:06 pm

nice. That was fast. changing uni/bipolar is so much easier, as well LFO range is very handy
As the module gets more complex, a simple manual /cheet could be useful to memorize all the new modes. I do think more visually than in text...
Anyhow, thanks again for your work !

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by saiteron » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 pm

love this firmware! if you're still taking suggestions for future features... i skimmed the thread and saw a few mentions of attenuation/offset. would it be possible to add an attenuation/offset page that would offer built-in per-step attenuation/offset in relevant modes? that way you wouldn't have to sacrifice a spare channel to attenuate an LFO. wouldn't make sense for some of the modes but would be super useful for LFOs, slew limiter, random modes, turing machine, etc. could maybe make it accessible through some button combination that wouldn't get used normally - perhaps pressing buttons 1, 3 and 5 at the same time, or pressing button 1 while wiggling knob 6.

not that this multi-mode (Samsara?) firmware isn't enough already! blows my mind that one module can do so many things... kinda makes me wanna sell off all my other modulators and get more Stages 😅

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by R_bot » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:55 pm

Hello, thanks so much for the amazing work on this firmware!

I love Stages and was worried it might be a bit overwhelming - it feels very intuitive though!! Well done! Adds so much great functionality to a module that’s already ‘centre stage’ in a lil portable rig.

Thanks for adding the new mutable sequencer so quickly, excited to try it without loosing all the work you’ve done!!

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Squallaz » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:05 pm

saiteron wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 pm
love this firmware! if you're still taking suggestions for future features... i skimmed the thread and saw a few mentions of attenuation/offset. would it be possible to add an attenuation/offset page that would offer built-in per-step attenuation/offset in relevant modes? that way you wouldn't have to sacrifice a spare channel to attenuate an LFO. wouldn't make sense for some of the modes but would be super useful for LFOs, slew limiter, random modes, turing machine, etc. could maybe make it accessible through some button combination that wouldn't get used normally - perhaps pressing buttons 1, 3 and 5 at the same time, or pressing button 1 while wiggling knob 6.

not that this multi-mode (Samsara?) firmware isn't enough already! blows my mind that one module can do so many things... kinda makes me wanna sell off all my other modulators and get more Stages 😅
+1 for the single segment lfo attenuation.

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:35 pm

A user in the MI thread spotted a bug. Fixed version is now up (v1.0.2). Sorry to everyone who already updated! Latest version will always be available here: https://github.com/qiemem/eurorack/releases/latest
Attachments
stages-bipolar-v1.0.2.wav
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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Lokua » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:46 pm

qiemem wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:31 pm
Ensure that 16 steps is reachable with the pot in TM mode. See #10.
Thank you very much for this. If you're ever in Chicago while there isn't a pandemic going on look me up I got you on a beer or two.

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by loreamon » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:17 am

+1 on Samsara as a name

+1 on LFO attenuation (doesn't need to be CVable, though nice ofc!) - hard to imagine more button combos, maybe something with holding the button while inserting the jack etc

Thanks for quick updates, didn't even manage to do 1.0.0 :)

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Squallaz » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:37 am

loreamon wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:17 am
+1 on LFO attenuation (doesn't need to be CVable, though nice ofc!) - hard to imagine more button combos, maybe something with holding the button while inserting the jack etc
Maybe holding the segment button for a long time?

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by Silentnotes » Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:24 am

Amazing firmware :) I am having a lot of fun.

One thing I noticed though.. Single looping gated yellow segments are not attenuating? When not gated, everything is fine and the pot is behaving like an attenuator, but when I put the gate in, pot is not responding. Can someone confirm this?

edit: one more thing.. in the previous versions, when you hold the button and want to make it looping, while you are holding the button it starts flashing after two seconds...now you have to let it go to see it flash.. I think that the previous option was better because you could immidiately see that you switched the behavior, now its not that obvious until you let go of the button..

fuck..third thing :) ... before, when in green non looping mode, leds were turned off, now they are always on.. also think that is better if they are off because you can better see the beahaviour of the mode and the overall view of the moules state is more clear.

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:19 pm

saiteron wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:39 pm
love this firmware! if you're still taking suggestions for future features... i skimmed the thread and saw a few mentions of attenuation/offset. would it be possible to add an attenuation/offset page that would offer built-in per-step attenuation/offset in relevant modes? that way you wouldn't have to sacrifice a spare channel to attenuate an LFO. wouldn't make sense for some of the modes but would be super useful for LFOs, slew limiter, random modes, turing machine, etc. could maybe make it accessible through some button combination that wouldn't get used normally - perhaps pressing buttons 1, 3 and 5 at the same time, or pressing button 1 while wiggling knob 6.

not that this multi-mode (Samsara?) firmware isn't enough already! blows my mind that one module can do so many things... kinda makes me wanna sell off all my other modulators and get more Stages 😅
Glad you're enjoying it!

I've created an issue to track the attenuator suggestion: https://github.com/qiemem/eurorack/issues/16. As I mention there, the UI difficulties (as well as some technical) make me inclined to not add it, especially given the presence of attenuating segments. It would be nice to not eat a segment for this, but given that that is an option, and the popularity of utility modules for this kind of thing :despair: Sorry to disappoint. If anyone can think of a way of representing the attenuation level of a segment in a clear way, I'm might be open to it though.

Also:

:vcas:

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Re: [SPLIT] Alternative Firmware(s) for Mutable Instruments Stages

Post by qiemem » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:22 pm

Lokua wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:46 pm
qiemem wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:31 pm
Ensure that 16 steps is reachable with the pot in TM mode. See #10.
Thank you very much for this. If you're ever in Chicago while there isn't a pandemic going on look me up I got you on a beer or two.

:chug: For sure! Thank you again for catching it! It was a silly bug that I only missed because one of my cases seems to make pot read a little high...

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