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Messages - mario

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General Discussion / Re: Sound input issue on gecho v1??
« on: February 21, 2024, 07:13:10 PM »
Glad that this helped! 8) It's a surprising behaviour indeed but it happens because of the analog preamp, which does not operate well with lower batteries - while the rest of the circuit, which is digital, is still fine. It's designed this way, as a low power device it is trying to squeeze most from the batteries, which might still be useful when you don't need microphones. But ideally there should be a low-voltage detect and indicator.

General Discussion / Re: Sound input issue on gecho v1??
« on: February 16, 2024, 06:48:27 PM »
Hi David,
How are you powering it? Any chance there is a ground loop? I guess most likely from batteries but maybe you use ReVolt for PO and then power both devices from USB, that might cause the issue.
The hum may also be caused by low batteries in Gecho, maybe try USB power to see if anything changes.
V1 uses a separate pre-amp while in the V2 input signal goes directly into codec chip, so it's quite normal that the behaviour differs this way.
Feel free to send a short video or audio recording - I might be able to tell more by the character of the sound.

Hi Michael,
If I remember correctly there isn't such setting (might be a good idea to add it 8)), however if the inputs were set to some of the modes, which only use one channel, signal from the other one might still be leaking in. To rule this out you can check input configuration (B4 during play) or even easier, to be 100% sure just reset all settings using 4321-SET command - hopefully that should sort it out. You can also try different headphones to be sure it wasn't a faulty cable or something. If it is indeed a hardware problem, no worries, we repair everything for free, regardless if the official warranty expired or not. To arrange a return, please email me to discuss the details (we have changed the address since).

Hardware Questions / Re: 3d print enclosure for Glo V1
« on: January 12, 2023, 04:15:07 PM »
Yes, it works now - very nice, thank you! Happy to hear that you enjoy the Glo! 8)

Hardware Questions / Re: 3d print enclosure for Glo V1
« on: January 12, 2023, 11:38:56 AM »
Hi Pablo,
that sounds awesome!
there seems to be a problem with the link, maybe the design isn't public?
(I'm not familiar with how thingiverse works, just my guess)

General Discussion / Re: Newbie and update.htm small issue
« on: January 04, 2023, 06:39:36 PM »
The uploaded files and folder match the instructions in the post you've linked. I'll try again with the ready-made folder soon :)

-- ah and I also forgot to say that this #221 mellotron will not emit sound without an external MIDI keyboard, it does not use internal chord generator or stored songs, I may add that later but perhaps it is not that interesting or useful, the real fun is when you can start and stop individual samples at will. A better idea would be to: 1) control replay speed (add a pitch shifter) so you don't need to generate samples for every single note, and 2) split the keyboard into more zones, where each zone uses different rules - one or more samples with or without pitch shifting.

General Discussion / Re: Newbie and update.htm small issue
« on: January 04, 2023, 06:33:30 PM »
I have tried a few times but still B1 doesn't seem to start any song. Bu that's ok, not the end of the world, just pointing it out for feedback.

-- OK this works fine in my unit, but (as I forgot to mention) not right away after start, you need to sample a sound first (or at some point later) using sensor S2 to hear anything. Ideally you should sample a clean tone without noises and scratches, so you can hear the chords nicely. Then you can use S4 to make the sound richer.

I see, I thought the process was like the mellotron in the way that filename wasn't important. Now renaming by it rec000xx it works :)

-- cool, thank you for the update! 8)

General Discussion / Re: Newbie and update.htm small issue
« on: January 03, 2023, 08:25:05 PM »
Btw if you think config may be corrupted, then you can download a good one here:

(this should always work, even if there is no binary to download)

General Discussion / Re: Newbie and update.htm small issue
« on: January 03, 2023, 08:03:45 PM »
Hi Federico,

Welcome and thank you for your support and kind words, happy to hear that you like the little lizard synth! :)

I've added a detailed explanation to the error message, as this also happens when your unit is "too new" and already has the latest firmware. Not sure what exactly happened but if you found some other binary file from outside of that link, it is not likely to work - your unit probably just ignored it (as it does a couple of checks first) and thankfully did not try to re-flash it, as that would possibly brick it.

#31 B1 which should play pre-programmed demo songs, results in all 8 red led flashing for a couple of seconds and then going back to idle mode with RDY flashing. I suppose it can’t find the song. Also when I tried the first time the led worked but as of now none of them lights up and don't work other than RDY and PWR. I clearly remember working before.

-- i'll check the B1 function, it might be broken, or there might be a bug that causes it not working if some other channel ran previously and corrupted something in the memory (to be sure it's not this, you can do "hard reset" by holding RST for a few seconds, until the machine restarts, then run the #31 as the first thing).

I first thought the LEDs were switched off temporarily (that function is handy when using Loopsynth in the dark and you don't want too much light), glad that you later found out that 3D sensors were activated instead of proximity sensors. You can always reset everything with #4321 if not sure what's wrong.

#221 SD Mellotron does not work: steady rdy led and blue pwr show up. Sensors light up but there is complete silence. By the way I haven't connected it to a midi host+Midi keyboard, but should it work without it or is it necessary to control it?

-- did you upload samples in correct format and directory structure? there was a discussion about this here, with an example sample pack that is proven to work.

#222 This is more of a question than an issue: is there a way to use sampled sounds not directly recorded from the gecho? I tried putting in the “rec” folder some .wav files at 16bits but it would only read the ones recorded by it.

-- this should work, what are file names? they need to keep the existing format, if you can't make it work feel free to upload an example of such wav file here and I'll check it out.

Have fun! 8)

General Discussion / Re: field composition
« on: November 23, 2022, 12:39:59 PM »
Hi Pierrot,

Thank you for sharing your album, and explaining how each track was made - very cool! I'm impressed with the clarity of the sound, I guess it took a lot of care and some post-processing too.

The Clouds patches seem to be quite popular, while there is not much control over the parameters unless you add external controller - but I'm working on expanding the possibilities there (adding sensors, accelerometer and randomization), it should appear in the next update.


General Discussion / Re: Delight in a plastic box
« on: October 14, 2022, 11:55:20 AM »
Hi Adam,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback, it's what keeps us going on this (not always straightforward) journey! 8)

I'm delighted that you like our little synth and it's cool to hear how it found its place in your music setup, among the more serious gear (that I have little knowledge of) and you still find it interesting and inspiring - thank you for explaining how and why it works for you.

It's by no means a dealbreaker, but is it or will it be possible to sync multiple units via MIDI or a pulse? Basically I'm seeking the ability to start two loopers at the same time.

-- thank you for your suggestion, sounds like a useful feature and it should not be complicated to implement. It is usually harder to figure out where and how to add the new functionality into the user interface / settings and menus, than to actually make it work in the code. Here I think for the sake of simplicity, it could work this way: when you connect two Loopsynths via MIDI cable, and restart both (by holding the RST button for 2 seconds), they will establish a master-slave relation based on the position of the MIDI I/O switches, one set to "out" and the other one to "in". Later you can key in a channel number on both (it does not need to be the same channel, you can use two different kind of loopers, soundcape + looper, etc..), and once you press SET on the "master" unit, both will start at the same time. They could possibly share the tempo settings too, so they are in sync, however it might be interesting to have them running in a different tempo as well.

By the way a shimmer reverb algorithm is on my TODO list, it sounds so good - the memory and CPU power in Gecho might not be sufficient to make it work, but perhaps it's no problem in our upcoming Linux based synths, maybe Siluria will have it (we post this kind of news on Instagram). But before those larger models, we plan to release the updated Glo (Polyphonic Whale) later this year, the key components are already being manufactured.

Thanks again for your generous support, kind and motivating message!


Hi Gilbert,

Thank you for your suggestion - I think it is possible to do it the way you imagine, if the PC has the required drivers and hardware connections, the VST will surely be able to completely control the Gecho, either via serial commands over USB, or custom MIDI messages.

But indeed this is not the path I'd want to take, the reason is simple - once you have the VST or software application, what's the purpose of our custom hardware? The PC already has a sound card, so you could do everything that Gecho does, with a lot more power and memory, completely in the PC. Can't think of any issues apart from that there might be a little bit more latency.

Anyway, building a VST plugin or a stand-alone app (with the need of supporting multiple operation systems) sounds like a lot more than I could possibly do on my own.

Looks like over the years Gecho strayed into the territory which we should better have avoided; adding the hardware (like MIDI or analog I/O) was a lot easier than making a good use of it in the firmware. We are keeping this in mind, and trying to not over-complicate our next products the same way 8) (for example the Wingdrum, it has MIDI-out so it can work as a simple controller, but all it does is that it transmits what is played, plus accelerometer data as cc messages. It has no MIDI-in or SD card - if it was there, the more advanced owners would naturally want to get more from it, e.g. use it as an externally controlled synth, ask about how to load custom samples, etc.).

While the majority of people say it already does a lot more than they expected (plus there are updates, albeit infrequent, that make it better over time), there are also users for whom the lack of certain features (more often assumed than promised) is a showstopper - I guess we simply need to do a better job of clarifying these things in our marketing.


Hardware Questions / Re: MIDI jack standard?
« on: July 14, 2022, 07:11:16 PM »
Hi Michael, can't help you with the OP-Z but noticed that you have Chip Pro, what are you using it for? I've got it too, bought it when it came out, with a vague idea to turn it into a synth (everything that has a CPU can be a synth, right? 8) ) but I never figured what to do with it. The specs looked very promising back then, and the price too, pity that it was discontinued.

Thank you for your great feedback, and apologies for slow reply - we're in the middle of moving home (and the company) so I have been neglecting correspondence and the forum...

I could finally find use my Minilab MKII (no 5-pin midi output) and Ableton plus a legacy midi-usb cable to test Channel 34 - works well, you can add that to the list.

Cool!  8)

1. I have the same issue as jluc in - I would plead for relative by default (suggestion for next release).

It will be there, also some new cool effects that I am working on.

2. While playing around with Channel 34, I noticed that the key were having an effect : the "keyboard leds" on the LoopSynth shows correctly which key is pressed, and mostly the sound/processing that outputs from the channel is very different. For the sake of completion, Line input only, some sort of gate effect (on-sustain-off) can be heard, with a slight pitch change related to the key press, as expected. Could you tell us what exactly is the effect (nothing in the doc).

This is the MI Clouds in the default, "granular" mode. If you attach a MIDI keyboard, the keys will control "pitch" parameters, and the knobs (if present), can control all parameters (in following order: texture, reverb, density, pitch, position, size, feedback, stereo spread, dry/wet, post gain) when configured in the "learning mode" as explained here in the "How to set up MIDI controls" paragraph.

There is also "freeze" parameter that is linked to sensor S3, you can get a nice sound from ne mic or line input, freeze it, then play it with the keyboard. Or you can set up a MIDI sequencer at input, then feed monotonous sound into the line input, and the pitch-shifter will create a melody from it.

3. I tried playing the Minilab on various other channels ; it is somehow recognised by Channel 33, 34, 42, and maybe others.

Yes I think that by now it should be recognized in all channels that use the concept of pitch or chords.

4. Finally, I believe that an up-to-date MIDI section in the manual would help. Not talking about a long term wish: midi for controlling buttons B1-B4.

That can be done, now that we have the learning mode, not only you can assign knobs, but also pads. From my experience, many controllers that have pads simply send out note on-off events from them, like if they were regular keys. It is not ideal, but on the other hand if you have a controller without pads, only with keys, and you want to control Gecho's buttons remotely, you can train it to recognize some keys that you rarely use (the lowest 6 keys) for that purpose.

Many midi controllers have a 4x4 pads ; two rows could be dedicated to the short and long presses of buttons.

Maybe this would be handier than relying on note on/off, which can also be understood as long and short press of a button. But the training mode for pads currently only support 8 pads, that is not enough to cover 12 possible short/long presses of Gecho's 6 buttons. Ideally we would rather have a function per pad, covering also combination shortcuts, like SET+B1, RST+B4 etc... And to make it work for many different controllers, more complex configuration needs to be implemented, maybe in the form of config file on the SD card (much easier than adding another menu to configure it using buttons in Gecho.

I don't know enough about midi implementation by vendors, but would guess there is some sort of standard for assigning Midi messages to these buttons

There does not seem to be one standard but on the other hand there is not not too many ways how an engineer can approach this problem, so I believe if we have 2-3 cases implemented that would cover 95% of all controllers out there.

big picture: the Loopsynth could be a multi-function effect box that could integrate nicely with a studio

My original idea for Gecho (in 2018) was to make an amusing meditative box, weird and random, main motivation was for me to learn a completely new thing - how to build a DSP capable board, and teach it to process sound. There was no clearly defined roadmap of features... Thanks to all the feedback, it drifted to the more serious side over the years. But many things are implemented in a cumbersome way and it is very hard (and probably pointless) to redo everything at this stage, to have a better thought-out user interface. Also, the lack of display is a major problem, decoding those LED lights certainly is not fun for everyone. The potential to turn it into what you are imagining is there but indeed it all takes so much time (for the programmer) and I am afraid that it would only be used by 10 out of the 1000 people who bought it... Also from the economical perspective, for us to survive as a company we need to invent new things instead. Not saying that this will be left unfinished - but at some point we will need to draw a line for Gecho to not cross, and move all those new ideas to some stronger, faster platform with more memory - such as raspberry pi kind of Linux powered boards. For example Monome Norns is very versatile and in the shield version also quite affordable for all that it can do, plus working with custom scripts is easy enough to attract large community. That never happened with this project, perhaps as the low-level c/c++ is just too impractical to work with in a collaborative way, besides there is not really much headroom in the CPU or enough memory for all the ideas...

Hire someone?

That would indeed be great, not something we can afford now but if we had extra hands helping to build the synths, or even to test, pack and ship them (which has always been unbelievably time consuming) we could focus on the software more. Finding a programmer to help with expanding the functionality would be good too, but even less likely to happen given the costs of such work, and also all the overhead and complications of managing the development effort remotely. Sometimes it is faster and easier to just do something instead of explaining how to do it to someone else. Maybe I'm just too sceptical about it, coming from the IT background. Of course for someone for whom the coding for DSP is a passion and who is used to work independently, and is not afraid to dig into other people's code, could be a good fit - but such people usually have stable jobs or own projects to work on full time (this is a company of 2 and a lot would need to change in the world / amount of sales / cost of material, before we can generate a 3rd salary).

Thank you for all suggestions, and I hope to have the update ready later in the summer.

General Discussion / Re: Help with mellotron (channel 221)
« on: March 07, 2022, 10:28:46 AM »
Now it works, however only with one note at a time ; playing two or three creates some artefacts

The reason is that there is no automatic level normalization, or any control over their mixing volume, data is simply added together. If the samples are loud enough, even mixing two of them will likely overshoot the headroom. This requires better preparing the samples. For example, normalizing by peak to -10dB will make sure that no sample is beyond 33% of the dynamic range, mixing 3 voices will then never cause clipping. Normalizing by RMS / loudness perhaps makes more sense, but I'm not sure how to choose the levels, may require experimenting to find out where will they sound balanced. Or maybe just adjust the volume of each sample by 50-60%, chance is that the clipping will be gone.

Also, contrarily to the doc, I can play more than 3 notes at a time (I believe 10? Have no more fingers).

If you play more than 3, the newer voices will be replacing older, there is a limit to how many files on the SD card can be open and read from at the same time. It is probably hard to notice what happens now that it all sounds distorted.

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