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Messages - mario

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Hi and welcome!

Thank you for sharing your work, Nyarlathotep is surely pleased too :D

In the recent update there are another two variations of Clouds (#342, #343) but I think the first one is a bit broken, it stretches the sound too much (some of its controls don't react, I guess). Still creates interesting textures after a while so I decided to leave it there.

You may also like the new polyphonic reverb, #322, which creates effect closer to a vocoder (as opposed to the monophonic Clouds). There is no true vocoder in Gecho - maybe there will be some day, however its requirements on the CPU are presumably higher, so we'll see. The basic soundscapes are playable by midi too, and if you turn down the background sample (i.e. water or forest) then only the incoming signal will be filtered by resonant filters, which creates something remotely similar to vocoder too. I see you tried granular already, perhaps it's harder to use that way, will probably not work well with speech but with monotonous singing, it should be possible to turin the voice into chords as well.

About the noise - can we rule out a ground loop? not sure if you meant "different powering" as trying various sources, or that every machine has separate and isolated power. From my experience, Volcas may have faint inherent buzzing, it depends on the power too. Maybe the auto-gain function in Gecho is amplifying it too much when nothing else plays (sounds like the buzzing is buried under the signal later?) Try to disable it, here is a searchable guide for all those options: (check the "input levels" paragraph that explains how to switch it off).

Hope this helps! :)

Feature Requests and Feedback / Re: midi control with relative message
« on: January 27, 2022, 09:53:49 PM »
Ah sorry you're completely right, I haven't noticed that the encoder is not working properly in the 3-byte message mode because the controller which I used has 14 potentiometers and only one encoder so maybe I just never assigned a function to it where it was obvious that it only goes between min and max values.

So the logic needs to be expanded as currently Gecho cannot tell a difference between 3-byte message from potentiometer, which can also returns the same max and min value, and 3-byte message from encoder. But it is easy to make this work, we simply need to look at whether any other values are transmitted in between; if yes, it's a potentiometer and we will parse the values as absolute, and if not, it's an encoder and we will parse the messages as increments by 1.

For now you'd need to send 6-byte messages to make this work, but looks like your controller does not support it?

I'll make sure that this is fixed in the next fw update, thank you for reporting the problem!

Feature Requests and Feedback / Re: midi control with relative message
« on: January 27, 2022, 03:46:39 PM »
Hi Jean-Luc,

For the infinite encoders the recognized format can be 3 or 6 bytes, if your controller sends 3 byte messages then you can use this for increment/decrement:

b0-xx-01 / b0-xx-7f

and in the case of 6-byte messages, it is:

b0-xx-40-b0-xx-3f / b0-xx-40-b0-xx-41

(xx = knob number).

I have two controllers with infinite encoders - Traktorino and Worlde Mini (which looks like a clone of Arturia Minilab, not sure if it sends the same messages). So Gecho was only tested with these two. I hope you can configure it to work well with your controller! 8)


Feature Requests and Feedback / Re: firmware 1.0.118
« on: January 21, 2022, 10:04:44 AM »
Hi Jean-Luc,
Thank you for your kind words!  8)
Glad to hear you figured it out, and that you like the new functions, enjoy!

Hardware Questions / Re: MIDI jack standard?
« on: November 02, 2021, 01:25:31 PM »
Thank you for your kind words, glad you like the loopsynth!

And that's an interesting question, we do not have such temperatures here so I do not have any experience with this. Most commercial components are rated at 0 to 70 degrees (as opposed to industrial or military components that can work at wider range), this does not mean that everything stops below zero but I think you may see the functionality slowly falling apart as the temperature goes down. Since it can survive water, it should be fine even if some condensation accumulates inside when temperatures change quickly (although it may stop working until completely dried up).

Components like regulators, CPU and sound chip produce a little heat but it is probably not much to keep them warm enough for long, maybe to make a difference of a degree or two (just guessing). Basically as in any device, nearly all input power is dissipated as heat (with exception of a tiny fraction that is transformed to the light or mechanical energy), the whole device takes less than 100mA, so at 5V that's below 0.5W which is almost nothing (good for batteries, not so good for low temperatures)... Please keep me informed if it froze or not :)

Hardware Questions / Re: MIDI jack standard?
« on: October 14, 2021, 12:16:37 PM »
Hi Paul,

Sorry about the slow reply, the notifications were not set up correctly so I missed your post.

Just wondering if the Gecholoop's 3.5mm MIDI jack is wired to the "A" or "B" standard. I'm assuming it's Type-A, but don't want to damage anything...

Yes you're right it is "A" standard, like used by Korg, IKMultimedia, Make Noise and others (I followed the specification here and decided for that group of devices, so for example the Uno synth can be connected directly with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm Jack cable).

Of course better safe than sorry but the risk of damage should be very low, Gecho definitely won't get damaged even if the other device short-circuited its output. The other way around, if the incoming signal was reversed, it will just do nothing, next to the octocoupler there is a protective diode and a current-limiting resistor. Quite often I mistakenly connected one device's output to another, forgetting changing the I/O selector switch, but nothing happened - the voltages and currents involved are very low.

Also, any update on the CV input capability? I've just got my hands on a Teenage Engineering OP-Z, and hope to start exploring the pair.

It is on the TODO list, I definitely don't want to leave this bit unfinished therefore it's still printed on the front panel, next to that switch. But for the next update I want to finish everything around the MIDI first, and that is almost done. I don't have the OP-Z, but if it has a MIDI output then there is plenty of things you could already do with this combination.

Happy to hear you enjoy the loopsynth, if you record something to share with us, please do not hesitate to do so!  :)


General Discussion / Re: New user, maybe dumb question about line-in...
« on: September 23, 2021, 12:01:41 PM »
Hi Guys, sorry for delay - we were moving home...

I recently bought A loopsynth, and I really love playing with it, it's a great, meditational tool that I can get lost in for hours, the creator is super friendly and was very nice to me even though I bought a second-hand device.

Thank you for your kind words! Of course, the support & warranty applies to 2nd hand too!  8)

I do have a question though, is it possible to set line in as a default setting over the mics for when setting a channel to add effects to other synths and stuff? I guess that this is somewhat going against the ethos?

Not at all, only it's a bit confusing - at some earlier version it used to permanently remember this setting once changed, but I was receiving too many emails about "my microphones stopped working" when someone accidentally pressed B4 and haven't realized what happened. Perhaps it should be a configurable thing, whether this is persistent setting or not... I guess it at least keeps the setting until powered off or reset, if I remember correctly.

Also channel 31 and 34 are great fun with line in.

Happy to hear that! :) By the way, patch manipulation controls in 34 are cumbersome, that's going to be improved in the next update.

Feature Requests and Feedback / Re: updating ?
« on: September 21, 2021, 11:11:49 AM »
Hi Jean-Luc,

Yes the update should come out soon but not sure yet how much of the sync functionality will be there - I'll try to add the analog tempo detection (useful with Pocket Operators) and MIDI clock parsing (e.g. from Keystep), which almost worked last time, but in its current implementation it is not a true "sync" yet, meaning that it only sets up the tempo while the unit is idle, but once you start playing, it does not update the tempo dynamically. So the timing might drift off after a while. In some channels it will be easy to add continuous syncing, but in some others there might not be enough CPU time left for this task. Anyway, in some channels - e.g. the basic soundscapes - it is perhaps not as useful anyway but I will try to add it to reverb, granular, and other more universal "effect" channels.

The next update will also bring some cool new upgrades to existing channels, for example the reverb now has polyphonic variant, controllable via MIDI, and it sounds very cool with external sound from some other device (for example mmxx t-ape).

I know it takes ages, but I'm still the only developer working here :) And have to switch between prototyping of new things, arranging production and building the units too. And because of elements shortages, time consuming redesigns are often needed when some chip disappears from stock globally... it happens often that we have something ready to manufacture but suddenly it is not possible anymore.

Also recently I've been distracted by moving home and company, which meant that for over a month not much was done except for bare minimum required to ship orders - but we're getting there.

Thank you for your patience and support!


Software (PC and Mobile Apps) / Re: V2 PC Connectivity
« on: August 07, 2021, 08:16:12 AM »
The problem is probably with "multiple target patterns". If you google that error message you get many examples what to try. Maybe it is incorrectly set path to the IDE:

Would I be better off using my Apple Mac to do this build and so on with rather than the PC I am using at the moment?

I don't know much about Mac, Espressif have a good forum where you can ask all questions: and there is setup guide available too:

But personally I believe that if you stick to PC it will be easier simply because more people use the ESP-IDF on PC and there is more advice available online.

Software (PC and Mobile Apps) / Re: V2 PC Connectivity
« on: August 03, 2021, 10:18:19 AM »
That's cool :) Yes I remember Delphi, or earlier Pascal in DOS which was the first language we used at school.

things like the key combinations of RST-B1 and so on driving me nuts (since RST turns the program off if you don't get the exact timing)

Yes that's an unfortunate combination, I've put it only for presumably less important / less often required settings, which one in particular do you use more often? It could be changed everywhere to more handy way where SET invokes a sub-menu, just like it's in the Dekrispator.

starting programs with line input mode too

At some point this setting was remembered in Flash, but I've been receiving a mail a day about "my microphones do not work anymore". :D But makes sense to allow it again, maybe add an option somewhere in config file if it should be remembered - the same with all input levels, for example when using Gecho + T-ape it's quite annoying to have to set them every time as the signal from T-ape is too strong.

I am right that if I totally brick it it is restorable just using the service menu B3 ?

There is only one binary handling everything so if it is missing or corrupted then it can't restore its own backup or flash an update from SD, you'd need to use USB to restore it.

trying to run the target 'flash'  (gecho not connected but would expect compile first then some kind of timeout)

That's correct expectation, but it looks your IDE does not issue the build command, just tries to flash the result? make flash is the last step, for the compile / build to happen you first need to run something like this:

Code: [Select]
python C:/bin/esp-idf-v4.0.3/tools/windows/ -j6 all
If you press Ctrl+B it should rebuilt all that's necessary, I don't use IDE to flash it as it will flash bootloader + partitions + code every time, and possibly at the wrong address, so instead I just do this in a separate MinGW window:

Code: [Select]
python C:/path/to/esptool/ --chip esp32 --port COM2 --baud 1500000 --before default_reset --after hard_reset write_flash -u --flash_mode dio --flash_freq 40m --flash_size detect 0x30000 C:/path/to/workspace/whale-v150/build/app-template.bin
Of course you could also modify the settings in IDE to match these parameters.

Software (PC and Mobile Apps) / Re: V2 PC Connectivity
« on: July 20, 2021, 02:01:01 PM »
Updating the Flash memory where config, firmware and background samples are stored can be done over the USB too, and is perhaps a lot handier. It requires a python script, which is part of the official IDE - you can find more info here.

Depending on what edition of v2 you have, you may or may not need to install drivers. Units with serial number below 1000 use FTDI chip and no drivers are needed, units above 1000 use CH340G and may need drivers (e.g. in Windows), here the same applies as for the v1 Gecho (but the app is not compatible).

If you need any help or advice I'm here 8)

Feature Requests and Feedback / Re: granular sampler
« on: May 18, 2021, 11:28:44 AM »
Hi Jean-Luc, no I was not aware of this problem, thanks for reporting it!

Indeed there is a bug and I was able to repeat it, in my case it restarts and sometimes indicates an error by blinking the whole row of red LEDs. This looks like pressing of B2 may be misinterpreted for "load custom chord progression" (e.g. what you can put in via channel 111) while there is none. When I had a chord progression defined, the B2 could be used to leave recording open. This should be easy to fix.

Pressing the B2 to "lock" recording again ruined the clean sample as the sound of the button was heard. Sensor would work better here. I wonder if it makes more sense to make it work in the same way as in #34 Clouds, where recording of new sound is enabled / disabled by triggering the S3 sensor repeatedly (and in Clouds that should be changed to S2 for more consistency).

General Discussion / Re: Video reviews / user demos
« on: April 24, 2021, 10:13:49 AM »
Thanks for sharing - please keep them coming! :D

It's brilliant how you support and continue enhancing the little lizard... it's so great that you are so dedicated and passionate about the amazing products you've created for us to enjoy.

Thank you for your kind words! Well I am not much of a musician, this whole project started in effort to create a "magic music box full of shiny lights" and since then I am only learning from what people do with it - a lot of what's there right now was suggested by owners. For example the infinite looper, which, in retrospect, should perhaps have been the first thing this machine did, was only added very recently. And it helps to see what you do in your videos, it's inspiring to know for what kind of effect you'd want to use in the song - or just how you use it in general and what could be improved in regards to connectivity with other gear - this is what keeps me motivated to continue with updating the firmware.

If you don't like my singing, you might want to skip before you get to 1min 18sec ;-)

No, I think it was great 8)

General Discussion / Re: Video reviews / user demos
« on: April 22, 2021, 09:14:01 PM »
Thanks a lot for sharing your song! It is very cool to see the little lizard used alongside the more serious gear (which I do not have so double thanks for showcasing it 8) ) and a good example what it might be used for: background textures. By the way channel Dekrispator (#33) has many more patches that could be used this way, it's possible to modulate them by voice as well, and the effects - e.g. delay - can be turned off when not needed.

I've added your video to the reviews page. There is no formal process for this, only that whenever I see a cool demo on YT or IG, I ask people if it's fine to embed it on the website. But thanks for starting this thread too, it's a good idea and hopefully it will inspire others to share their content here.

This also reminds me that the Clouds channel needs an update. It was ported over from the Mutable Instruments open source code base as a quick test, but never finished at my side - it has more parameters internally than bound to Gecho's controls. I did not have a more complex MIDI controller than Keystep before but now I have one with 16 knobs so it will allow to control everything at once.

And please feel free to post link to your album when it's out. We need to start a thread / a website page for that too, there already have been a handful of people who actually used it in a music production... And that's super cool!  ;D

Thanks for the explanation. I am not sure to understand all the explanations and reasoning about the reasons why a soundsscape is necessary (don't explain again, I get the gist, not the details).

OK then, but a better analogy came to my mind now, which I should have used in the first place: this method of shaping the sound is like cutting something out of wood, first you need a chunk of wood and then it's shaped by removing the material (subtractive synthesis, where the "wood" is incoming signal). Other types of synthesis work rather like when you get raw malleable material (e.g. wires or strings) and shape something out of it, by adding it together.

I believe I could do that indeed... IF you were to point me to a (even vague) manual. It seems that the website has secret entries, e.g., pages that are not accessible through a chain of pointers from the home. I have seen things about the config file, firmware updates, etc. But I would not know how to access or replace the config file. "Programming" it would be another story.

Yes I need to document all this, it's just that almost nobody was asking about this so instead I've focused on things that I knew people care about more. The whole process of manipulating the config is unnecessarily complicated, it will require some changes in the fw (hence another update) to make this simpler. But I'll surely do it as some new channels that make more extensive use of sampled material stored on SD card (e.g. a kind of "mellotron" channel similar to #222 but with possibility of loading custom samples) will benefit from it.

Thanks again for your questions and suggestions!  :)

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