Firmware update for v2 (1.0.119)

Firmware update for the v2 model

This update brings new features that people asked for, and 3 new channels. It is only for the v2 model because it is related to MIDI and MI Clouds channels, which does not exist in the v1. Many thanks to everyone who sent us their ideas about what was missing!

What's new in v1.0.119

  • New channel #131: Karplus-Strong playable by MIDI.
  • New channel #132: SuperSaw (stereophonic, with polyphony up to 5 notes), playable by MIDI (CC and PB wheels control waveshaping and detune). Delay setting (controlled by B3) works here, if delay is active, polyphony is reduced to 4 notes to prevent CPU overload.
  • New channel #133: Wavetable synth, playable by MIDI. Waveforms are randomly generated. Buttons B1 and B2 control amount of waveforms mixed together (1-16), buttons B3 and B4 adjust level of filtering (smoothness of the waveform). The level of these parameters are indicated by red and orange LEDs.
  • Infinite loopers (#22, #23 and #24) updated: if MIDI clock is present, these channels react to it by adjusting the timing of the loop accordingly. In case of channel #22, all 3 loops are synced with MIDI clock, with basic loop wrapped at every 24 pulses (quarter note), octave-up shifted loop at every 12 pulses, and octave-down shifted loop at every 48 pulses.
  • MI Clouds (#34, #342 and #343) updated: All parameters can now be controlled manually using buttons. After pressing SET once, you will see all orange LED lights glowing, then use buttons B1 & B2 to browse through the parameters, and B3 & B4 to adjust the value. Order of parameters is: texture, reverb, density, pitch, position, size, feedback, stereo spread, dry/wet and post gain. Red LEDs indicate which parameter are you editing (9 and 10 is represented by 2 LEDs instead of 1). White and blue LEDs indicate the value of a parameter, coding units by white LEDs and tens by blue LEDs (a detailed explanation with examples will be published in the manual). The same limits/ranges apply as if the parameters are adjusted by an external MIDI controller.

How to update your unit

You need a micro-SD card. There are two variants of v2 model, the SD card slot is "flipped" in the newer one - your printed manual shows the correct orientation. Also, in the wooden boxed model, or older DIY kits that don't necessarily have the wooden box but are enclosed in the PCB case (as opposed to plastic shell or acrylic sandwich) it may be hard to remove the SD card as the slot is quite deep, check out this simple trick. Only 32GB cards or smaller have been proved to work (they need to use SDHC format, not SDXC). A discussion relevant to SD cards and updating is going on here, feel free to ask questions if needed.

To avoid damage, please always power the unit OFF while inserting or removing the card. After you put the SD card in Gecho and power it on at least once, there will be file "update.htm" created on the card. Open it in your browser and follow the instructions displayed on screen. It is very simple, just download both files (firmware and config) and run the channel #44112233 (key in these numbers and press SET).

If something goes wrong, you can revert back to the original firmware at any time using B3 in service menu, as the old FW does not get erased immediately (you don't need to get the older config.txt back, as the new one is just an extension of it).

To find your current firmware you can run channel #4112.

After the update, this channels list applies. Also it may be helpful to consult the settings leaflet explained in detail.

What's next?

I still want to improve the Mellotron (#221) and add a sequencer for it, this will solve the older idea of a "drum sequencer" channel as you can simply put drum samples and loops on the SD card.

Also, the Euclidean Drums generator that is very popular in the Loopstyler is lightweight enough to run in the Gecho, so it could be added as an extension to the channel #121 (Simple Drum Kit), and also to the Mellotron above, but only for shorter samples that fit into the available memory. It would need to use less precise controls than in the Loopstyler (anything that can be done with 4 buttons and 4 sensors), and more things may be left to randomization, which is quite a fun feature to use.

I am not sure anymore about the sync function between the contents of the SD card and the PC which was mentioned in the previous update (so you do not need to take the card out when downloading & uploading samples), it does not seem like a too useful feature as it would be indeed too slow. Instead I would like to finally add external controls using analog voltages, to channels where it makes sense (apart from MIDI, this model can receive and even transmit 2 analog signals over the same connector, a hardware feature that was not yet utilized).

Thanks to everyone for supporting our projects, it means a world to us!