Braids firmware update - v1.8 - release candidate

Hooray! A new firmware update for Braids. This one doesn’t look impressive in terms of features (if you want features there’s Bees-in-the-Trees!), but a lot has changed under the hood.

File here

Changes:

  • Rewrote from scratch the band-limited waveform synthesis code used in the analog waveform models (CS-80 saw, waveform morphing, square-saw morphing, sync square, triple saw, triple square). As a result, the sound quality of these models has been improved. The generated waveforms are crisper, with a more consistent amplitude, and less aliasing.
  • Increased the range of the TIMBRE and COLOR settings on the CSAW model. It is still possible to synthesize the CS-80 “sawtooth with a notch” waveform of the previous revisions, but this model now covers a larger range of saw/square hybrid tones.
  • Renamed the SYNC model SYN__, and introduced a new model, SYN/| similar to SYNC but using two synchronized sawtooth waves.
  • Added a new synthesis model, HARM, which generates a mixture of sine harmonics. COLOR modifies the distribution of the amplitudes of each harmonics, around a central frequency set by TIMBRE.
  • Improved the quality of the Z?PF models when they are played with fast envelopes, by adding linear interpolation to the TIMBRE parameter.
  • Changed the behavior of the VFOF model at high frequencies. Indeed, the FOF algorithm is not designed to generate tones at very high frequencies. To prevent glitchy results, the output crossfades to a plain sine wave when the frequency is above the range of VFOF.
  • Removed some of the “clickiness” of the built-in VCA.
  • Improved the DRFT setting, which generates analog-style frequency drifting and detuning. The random process generating the noise has a more realistic behavior; and the amount of frequency drifting can be adjusted (instead of a plain on/off switch).
  • Reworked the SIGN setting, which was designed to give each module a unique tone coloration, and glitches, generated from its serial number. The generated curves are now more “fuzzy” and “organic”; and the amount of coloration can be adjusted (instead of a plain on/off switch).
  • Removed the silly preset envelope shapes (BONG, YIFF…). Instead, the attack and decay rate of the internal AD generator can be individually edited with the TATT and TDEC settings. Warning! After the upgrade, these two parameters will be initialized to 0.

Technical notes:

A side-effect of some of these changes (particularly the new band-limited waveform synthesis code) is that Braids’ code is leaner in terms of CPU and flash memory use. A specific, antiquated, version of gcc is no longer required to build the code, and there is now more room for hacks and new synthesis models!

There are really great news!

Thank you :slight_smile:

Seems a lot of new stuff for what you consider a small upgrade.

when was this pushed to git? Sounds like a good time to try out the STlink on the VM

Not yet, waiting for some more feedback.

This is just fab! I don’t own a Braids (yet) but will in a few months, am very excited about these new and improved features :slight_smile:

From here on, will all Braids modules come pre-loaded with the new firmware?

It’s a release candidate, so unless there’s major problems it will get loaded onto new modules.

Well done! Can’t wait to try this (but I’m gonna have to buy a Braids before that…).

Is it possible to downgrade to beez-in-trees?

Yes.

I raised this over at Muffs but I fear it’s about to turn into a raging debate about microtonal scales…

With the update, I’m getting what feels like far less range of sound with CSAW, when turning either knob, all I can really hear is the subtlest rippling, a little like a passive lpf just taking the very top frequencies off. I feel like there was a broader range of sound available before. Is this an intentional change or has something gone awry with my upgrade (although I reverted to 1.7 and back to 1.8 just to make sure).

Thanks.

> Is this an intentional change or has something gone awry with my upgrade

Can you post a recording? It has a wider range than in the previous firmware - the waveform sweeps from a saw to something like a saw + 25% pulse hybrid.

Can you post an example?

http://picosong.com/J9gT/

This is me sweeping through the full range of both knobs and then back. I guess I can hear it as saw plus a skinny pulse, it just feels a little like there was more variation before, I’m probably mixing it up with one of the other models that I use more.

That’s how it’s supposed to be - like a saw in a flanger. Try modulating TIMBRE with COLOR to either extremes. I suspect you have SIGN enabled and it’s distorting/compressing some of the subtlety.

I think I’ll make it go up to 33% instead of 25% of the width.

Yep, as ever, you’re right on the money. Turning SIGN off made a more noticeable change.

Is there any chance you would integrate the extended quantisation scales that BennylongBicyclist has in bees in trees? Seeing as we are not at the final RC.

This would be the killer facility for me. Reducing the need for an additional module. Big ask I know.

On the rest hats off to you once more!

I’ll see what I can do. But it’s kind of pointless to make a quantizer without microtunings/scala support, and I know this would take too much space!

Thanks, that would be fantastic. I know it would be nice to have the whole gamut in there, but every little helps :slight_smile: Plus peaks dead man’s catch plus a braids becomes a scarily small and powerful travel box!