Over the last year, I have been slowly putting together a firmware update for the DEGREE to deal with some reported bugs discovered after its initial release, as well as some features / enhancements that were suggested by users 👌.
- After recording a sequence, ratcheting would prevent any recorded gate signals from triggering
- When using a really low frequency LFO as CV input for quantizing, the quantizer would not latch the input to any new notes
- CV input hysteresis (rapid triggering of the gate output). This was kind of a cool effect at times, but its gone now...
- Sending a +10V signal to the CV input would randomly crash the system 😬
- Allow pitch bend below lowest degree / note
- Disabled certain menu actions when record is enabled for stability
- smoother transition of bender from idle position to active position 👌
Features / Enhancements:
- Sequencing octave touch pads (mono + quantizer mode). This was by popular demand... I am still not super sold on this yet because I do miss being able to jump a sequence up and down an octave, but it does allow for some more interesting melodies...
- Saving sequences between power cycles (check the manual to see how this works)
- Holding a channel select pad in quantizer mode will let you override the incoming CV when touching the touch pads. Really minor enhancement, but a nice thing to have while improvising / performing.
ALT firmware summary:
- Sequencing is now based on a time signature / beats per bar
- The LENGTH button no longer sets a sequences length, but sets the active time signature (options are 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, or 7/4)
- Each sequence can have its own time signiature. The sequence time signature is determined by whatever time signature is set using the LENGTH button
- The FREEZE LED will indicate beat 1 of the bar
- Enabling and disabling sequence record always happens on beat 1 of the bar
- Pressing the RECORD button will "arm" sequence recording (REC LED will Flash / blink). Recording only gets enabled (and disabled) once beat 1 of the bar rolls over.
- This means each sequence will either be 1 bar long, 2 bars long, 3 bars long, etc.
- Reset will reset all sequences to beat 1, as well as the current bar to beat 1
- Progress of a channels sequence is now displayed like a clock face (much like ableton does it with their clip looping)
If this isn't clear, I basically took the clip looping / recording from the Ableton Live Session View 🙂.
Make sure to check out the manual as well, I updated it.
You can also check a video of me demoing this firmware here:
Whats to come next for the firmware?
I have been considering the idea of reducing the "resolution" of the sequencer in order to increase the length of a possible sequence. At times, I find the max length of a sequence tends to be half of what I would like it to be.
So, currently there are 96 sub-steps for every step in a sequence. If I reduce the amount of sub-steps down to 24, then the max sequence length would be 4 times longer than it currently is. (note: this is all due to the memory constraints of the microcontroller).
This technically would reduce the resolution of the bender movements / touch inputs, but the thing is I don't actually think it would be that noticeable (and lets be honest, we are all quantizing our sequences after we record them anyways 😅).
24 PPQN is still a solid resolution for the touch events, but for the bender events I would have to simulate a smoothing effect for the spots between the sub-steps, but I am already kinda doing that so this also might not be that big of a difference... anyways, not for a while. I want to program the step sequencer now 😃