Rings and Elements with frequency locking (alt firmwares)

Hi again - I’m here to share three new alt firmwares that give Rings and Elements the ability to do frequency locking, very similar to my previous alt firmwares for Plaits (see Plaits with frequency locking and aux crossfade (alt firmware)).

Procedure

The same UI interactions you use to enter calibration in the stock firmware are how you lock or unlock frequency in the alt firmware.

Rings: long-press (2+ seconds) both buttons at once
Elements: turn all attenuverters fully counter clockwise (7 o’clock) and then long-press (3+ seconds) the button

Variants

Rings

There are two variants of the Rings alt firmware:

  1. Rings with frequency locking and octave switching. When frequency is locked, the frequency knob becomes an octave switch with 7 steps (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3).

  2. Rings with frequency locking and even/odd crossfade. When frequency is locked, the frequency knob controls crossfading between the Even and Odd components of the signal. If using this variant make sure to read the IMPORTANT NOTE below!

    • When both outputs are in use, the Even and Odd outputs will each carry a mixed signal, but as the frequency knob is swept one crossfades from Odd->Even and the other from Even->Odd. This means that at the center both have the same signal, and as you sweep the range you control the stereo spread of the two outputs, with maximum spread at either full-CW or full-CCW, and Even/Odd can be completely swapped on a single output.
    • When just the Odd output is used, it contains the sum of the Even and Odd signals as usual
    • When just the Even output is used, it sweeps from Even->Odd, same as if both outputs were in use.

    IMPORTANT NOTE ON PHASING: Due to certain limitations (that I’m 95% sure can’t be avoided because they are in the hardware layer) it’s possible to get phasing issues when using this firmware if you aren’t careful. Fortunately there is an easy solution, which I’ll get to at the end of this paragraph. First though there are two specific scenarios to be aware of. (1) When using just the Odd output with frequency locked, the summed components can phase-cancel each other, leading to total silence with the Frequency knob at noon. (2) When using both outputs, the even/odd components can be phase-inverted copies of each other - depending how you use them downstream, you could get unwanted phase cancellation. Unfortunately there’s no way to solve for both (1) and (2) at the same time in the firmware, it’s always either one or the other. Solution: Long-pressing (2+ seconds) the polyphony button while frequency is locked will invert the Even output. So if you ever think you might be having phasing issues, you can just long-press the polyphony button and they will go away.

Elements

There is just one variant of the Elements alt firmware:

  1. Elements with frequency locking, octave switching, and semitone offsets. When frequency is locked, the coarse frequency knob becomes an octave switch with 7 steps (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3). The fine frequency knob becomes a semitone offset switch with 15 steps from -7 semitones to +7 semitones (down a fifth to up a fifth).

What’s new

Things that are the same with these alt firmwares as the Plaits ones:

  • once again, the same UI interactions you use to enter calibration in the stock firmware are how you lock or unlock frequency in the alt firmware
  • meaning, should you desire to recalibrate your module for any reason, you’ll need to revert to the stock firmware first
  • the FM and V/Oct inputs and FM attenuverters are unaffected
  • lock settings are preserved across power cycles

Things that are different with these alt firmwares:

  • when you unlock frequency, any alterations made to the sound with the alt functionality (e.g. even/odd crossfading) are not preserved

Downloads

  1. Rings with frequency locking and octave switching (wav)
  2. Rings with frequency locking and even/odd crossfade (wav)
  3. Elements with frequency locking, octave switching, and semitone offset (wav)

Please let me know if you run into any issues!

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These look interesting, do you have the HEX files for them?

YESS!! :raised_hands:

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Working great on my Elements. Thanks!

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I can’t seem to get either rings firmware update to load on the links provided.

Hmm, maybe your browser is blocking the download? Here is the folder where all the firmwares live if you want to go grab it yourself: https://github.com/lylepmills/eurorack/tree/master/alt_firmwares

@Phil-Tobin I don’t have them handy but I can build those and add them to the git repo, will try to get to that later today.

I couldn’t make it download on my iPhone but managed to download it on my desktop and it works great. This is a great addition, thanks!

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