It’s finally time to roll out firmware 1.0 right ahead of the long awaited 2nd batch of ConVertor E1’s. Existing ConVertor E1 owners can download and flash the new firmware, and enjoy a plethora of new improvements & features, some of them are promised and some might surprise you 😉 Here’s the list:
- Improved pitch detection with 3 selectable “stickiness” which can match your type of audio source. Easier (less harmonics) audio sources can enjoy more agile / zippy detection, while more complex audio sources (more harmonics), which may be harder to detect, can choose the more “sluggish” / sticky option. The sluggish option can actually latch on to the bass of a full strummed chord! So you are going to enjoy better tracking regardless.
- ENV dynamics effects selection. As promised, we now expanded the digital-ENV-compression ratios to 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 and 8:1, as well as 1:2 expansion. Mind you those are not your typical compression with two slops, a set threshold and a knee in between them, but rather a beautiful rounded dynamics curve, more typical to vari-mu compressors.
- 2 extra synth sounds. On top of the existing true-sinewave, saw, square and triangle, we have now added a 50%-50% mix of saw and square as well as a PWM with a set LFO. Those were my own favorites in the Squaver P1 and I’m happy to have them imported into the world of the E1 system <3
- 2-pole low pass VCF-effect modulated by the ENV and pitch. This is more of a preview to give you instant gratification. This way each ConVertor E1 will get it’s VCF built-in and the only setting currently is the on/off button. For now the ENV slope which modulate the VCF is 1:1 but a last tweak to the firmware will make this slope 3:1, just for a bit slower decay.
- Calibrated FM input with Quantization. Missing from ver. 0.9 was the FM 1V/oct input. Now it can shift the pitch of the synth across 8 octaves in either a smooth, continuous manner or in quantized semi-tones. We still don’t have the full musical scale options that are promised, but the rest of the scales will have to wait to the next free firmware update, expected by the end of this year.
- Higher dynamic range with lower gate. Now, both the gain is enhanced to +54 db and the minimum gate went down from -50db to -65db. This helps with exploiting more sustain from your lower noise sources. This is especially valuable if you (like me) get addicted to playing with our internal compressor, significantly amplifying the lower signals which may cause the gate shutoff moment become too obvious.
- VCO mode which separates the preamp from the oscillator. In that mode we can enjoy the ConVertor E1 just like it was two separate modules. The preamp will continue to act as a regular preamp with its pitch tracking and ENV follower still working as usual, but the oscillator will act as a regular VCO and the only pitch control over it (in addition to the P SHIFT encoder) is via its FM input as a 1V/oct pitch CV input, with or without it’s quantization.
- All settings will now be saved automatically so the next time you power up your ConVertor E1, it will be loaded up as you left it!
That’s it. Those were most of the changes, minus some UI behavior changes which you can see in the new 1.0 user guide. (edit 10th Oct 2023: uploaded a new firm 1.0) and For now just enjoy this current 1.0 ver. because it almost feels like a new unit!
Download the 1.0 user guide on the ConVertor E1 product page.
I hope the long wait for this update, will be sweetened by the extra features and the sheer quality of their implementation. My commitment to the development of the E1 system is as strong as ever and I expect to ship the MIDVertors, and hence, Duo Packs and Polypacks by the end of this year so there is yet a lot to wait for!