Author: wpress

The overdue newsletter: featuring ECR-1, FM-Bison, and GR-1.

It’s been a long time since we’ve written our last newsletter. We’ve not been sitting still. Hold on, this is going to be a long one!

GR-1 Dust covers

First of, a lot of GR-1 users have been asking us for custom dust covers. Initially there were no options, since for instance Decksaver supplies covers for the most popular devices, but not for the more niche and experimental devices like the GR-1. Recently, a GR-1 user showed us these covers. Nice find: https://lecover.com/proddetail.php?prod=11060.00

The dust cover and the GR-1.

GR-1 Production schedule update

Unfortunately, this summer was a bumpy one. We’ve had setbacks with a couple of our suppliers. Right now dozens of units are already finished and ready to go, but their knobs are still missing. They should finally arrive the coming week, after which we’ll send out finalization mails in bulk! All-in-all the preorder wait has grown from 2 to 3 months because of this. Keep an eye on tastychips.nl/gr1schedule for the exact time table.

FM-Bison synthesizer

Yes, we’re pushing into FM territory and making it more usable in the process. The engine is now as good as finished and supports 6-operator voices a la DX7, of course with dozens of voices of polyphony. We’ve also added proper monophonic and unison modes. Last but not least the user interface offers a better overview than any other FM-based synth available.

FM-Bison UI

ECR-1 [Eurorack convolver] Development

Our new Eurorack module is true-stereo convolution reverb, allowing you to use recorded real-life reverbs of many places like tunnels, caves, churches, basements, and resonators like bells, glasses, etc. While this is a first only in Eurorack format, it offers features to manipulate the reverbs smoothly and in real-time, which is actually a world first. It can also record responses on the spot and save them to usb stick. But we’ll not dive any further into the details here. We’ll reveal them at Dutch Modular Fest later on this month. https://www.dutchmodularfest.com/

Of course the model we’ll show there won’t be production ready, but it’ll be functionally complete, at least. The last stages of development have now begun: we’re ironing out the bugs and trying to boost the performance (signal-to-noise ratio, power usage and temperature, max length of reverbs, etc)

GR-1 Firmware

For those of you that missed it, already a couple of months ago, firmware 2.1 was released. This brought a vastly more usable multitimbral mode. Numerous small additions and bugfixes were also added. After we’ve demonstrated the ECR-1, we’ll get back to the GR-1 firmware updates, starting with the most demanded bugfixes.

That’s about it for this newsletter. We’ll probably write the next one in two months or so. See you!

New GR-1 Sound pack, New videos, ECR-1 progress

Dear all,

We’ve not been sitting still. For our GR-1 customers we decided to make video’s: a tutorial and a new teaser for 2019. The tutorial covers some of the more in-depth features that weren’t covered before, including the new multi-timbral mode. Enjoy, and watch and learn ๐Ÿ˜‰

We also produced a brand spanking new set of patches for the GR-1, 32 to be specific. We designed these patches to show how versatile the machine really is. Anything from field recordings to samples of classic bass synthesizers are usable for many musical applications. There are very lush sounding ambient tracks and pads in there, and just as many glitchy and noisy drumtracks. You can check some excerpts from this pack on Soundcloud:

The new sound pack is completely free and ready to go from our GR-1 downloads page: GR-1 downloads.

In terms of actual product development we’ve not been sitting still. We’re still updating the GR-1 firmware every month or two. And our new Eurorack Convolution Reverb module, the ECR-1, has now reached the stage where it is actually usable by a non-developer. It has a small full-color display mounted and has all the buttons, pots and audio/CV in and outs it needs.

The current prototype of our Eurorack Convolution Reverb module, the ECR-1.

You can also look at the convolution reverb thread on Muff Wiggler if you like to know more. Cheers!

GR-1 Firmware 2.0 !

Dear all,

The last 2 months we’ve been busy with a large rewrite of the GR-1 firmware. The new version 2.0 makes it multitimbral, and adds many new features and improvements. The new engine allows you to stack up to four patches, assign patches to MIDI channels and/or to play mode, record audio to one patch in real-time and play chords and solos with the others.

GR-1 firmware 2.0 running four part multitimbral.

Get the upgrade, and the new manual, from our GR-1 downloads page. Credits and thanks to the beta testers who worked to quickly track down the bugs!

In a few weeks we’ll start a new video campaign on Youtube. Of course we’ll cover all the new features.

The GRC-1 MIDI controller is still in heavy development, and we hope to have the first model ready in autumn. As said before, the GRC-1 will offer hands-on controls for everything to do with multitimbral and more. The GR-1 at this moment only offers multitimbral controls via GUI menu’s and secondary button functions.

Production: at one point production was going so well we were almost 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Then problems with component stock and a mistake with PCB assembly hit us.. and now we’re delayed a week again. In any case, you can keep track of the progress in our GR-1 production schedule. We try to update it weekly.

New year – new multi-timbral GR-1

Hi guys,

It’s been a while since we wrote a news update. First of all: Happy new year!

GR-1 production:

Due to a miscalculation on our side, we’re a good week behind, and we took a week off during the holidays. But the good news is the production is still running full steam. We’ll update the time table @ tastychips.nl/gr1schedule accordingly. We expect to build up the first stock late March..

ECR-1:

Our Eurorack Convolution Reverb (code name: ECR-1) is still in the pipes. You may have recognized it from our previous update. So far the software is largely finished, but we may want to add various bits and bobs, where you can cross-fade from one impulse response to the next. The mechanical stuff like the front plate, the right knobs, and getting the whole assembly line in order will probably take a few months more. We’re still thinking 400 EUR retail price.

Multi-timbral GR-1:

The GR-1 is being prepared for version 2.0. This will effectively make it multi-timbral! A lot of users and people interested in the GR-1 expressed their interest in this feature, so we decided just to go for it. For those of you who want to know: yes, this allows you to stack several patches (timbres) on top of each other. It will also allow you to record a sample into one patch and play the others simultaneously!

Below you can see the first impression of the main screen. It displays 8 parts, while the engine is running all of them in real-time. LFO’s, scanning and effects are now separate per part.

Multi-timbral GR-1

Now there’s something special to mention here. While the GR-1 itself allows you to use the new engine, the controls are quite limited. And we didn’t want to have any deeper or longer menus. So, to make the best of it we are designing a new USB-MIDI controller especially for this purpose. It can also do a lot more than just unlock the multi-timbral potential. Stay tuned.

Lastly, we’re considering a “drop-in” replacement of the GR-1’s Raspberry Pi computer. Since multi-timbrality requires it do some heavy lifting, more processing power is very welcome. We’ll probably announce this in a news update or two. See you then! ๐Ÿ™‚

GR-1 production update // The old ‘bench & something new

Dear all,

Just a post to inform you of what’s going on in the world of Tasty Chips.

First of all, the GR-1 production schedule. We’ve been on time for the last 5 months. We’re still good, but we’re 1 week behind now. We’ve identified some of the slowdowns in the assembly&test program, and solved them. We should be able to produce unhindered for the rest of the year at least.

We’ve open sourced the old Sawbench hardware! Since it was always a DIY project, a schematic is welcome. We’re still selling the DIY kits, if you’d like to try. In a way this is our thank you to the open source community that fed us, and helped us to grow. Sawbench github is the place to visit of your DIYing this or perhaps making a clone.

One more thing: feel free to visit our forum to ask for help with these. Just know that we ourselves cannot supply information indefinitely to people wanting to clone parts of it. We have a business to run. Which brings us to our next topic:

Innovation! We’re producing a new Eurorack module. It’s the first of its kind: A true-stereo convolution reverb with display. On the photo you can see a prototype, of course based on the Raspberry Pi (although we may switch to another Single Board Computer later on).

ECR-1 prototype: the first Eurorack convolution reverb!

Some features:

  • Load your own responses from USB stick
  • RECORD your own responses from the inputs, and SAVE to USB stick
  • Up to 40s impulse response
  • 128×128 full color display
    • up to 4 responses
    • envelope shape
    • parameter read-out
    • WAV name
  • Separate Dry and Wet controls
  • Attack and Release controls
  • Input gain control
  • Stereowidth control
  • Predelay control
  • Audition feature to replay your responses

The software is about 90% finished. The hardware does still need a bit of work, but prototype on the photo does actually record and replay at HIFI 48 kHz quality.

Release date: March 2019, price TBA.

GR-1 production schedule and additional information

Dear customers,

After a few months of silence in the mailing list, here’s an update.

You may have been aware of our GR-1 production schedule tastychips.nl/gr1schedule. On this page our GR-1 production schedule can be found along with all additional information concerning payment and delivery. The good news is that we we’re very much on track and didn’t have to change it for almost 4 months. We’ve received a large amount of casings and foresee no obstacles for the rest of the year.

IMPORTANT: if you have pre-ordered the GR-1 and your unit is ready, you’ll be mailed by us with a payment request. If the payment is not received within 30 days your unit will go on to the next in line. We’ve made exceptions in the past, but really cannot do so anymore since the waiting list is quite large. We expect it to shrink from 6 months down to 4 months, in the future, though.

GR-1 Firmware 1.5.2.2 has been out for a while now. This is a stable version of 1.5 and can be found on our downloads page tastychips.nl/downloads/. 1.5 includes grain window modulation and note pile-up, to get the best out of the engine’s polyphony: truly a very useful feature for which a lot of users had been waiting. Loads of improvements were made as well: MPE and MIDI clocking support is more complete, the menu’s are more user-friendly, LFO’s can be quantized, slowed down to periods of many hours with a high degree of accuracy (ambient overlay galore).

Furthermore, we’re proud to say we’ve started work on an hardware expansion for the GR-1. The features will have to remain secret for a while, but we can already say that some features from the menus will be directly accessible through this device. This will function to make the GR-1 experience even more intuitive and prolong its market life.

To our patient and loyal customers we’d like to extend our gratitude, also for their suggested features and bug reports.

Cheers,

Tasty Chips Electronics

GR-1 Firmware 1.4.2

Dear GR-1 users,

Today we’ve released GR-1 firmware version 1.4.2. This is primarily a bugfix release.

New features:
* 6 dB output boost

Bugfixes:
– buffer wrap crackle fixed
– power/cpu usage lowered
– resonance storage bug fixed
– grain window crackles minimized
– internal root directory accessible again when loading performances
– sub-osc balance crackles fixed
– density interfering with grain clock sync fixed

Download the firmware and the latest manual from our GR-1 Downloads page.

In other news, it’s now possible to share your patches and performances to this same page! If you choose to upload, we’ll verify your work and will put it up for download, with due credit, of course.

Firmware 1.5 is scheduled for September. Beta testers are always welcome. Mail us at info@tastychips.nl.

Summer update

It’s been a while since we did an update here. So here it goes.

First off: we’ve now shipped practically all of the GR-1 pre-orders from last year. The last of the December pre-orders are now waiting for their future owners. If you are one of these guys, and haven’t received your unit yet, please check your mail box for our “finalization” email. Inside are payment instructions and a request for your postal address. Once the parcel is sent you’ll receive a track & trace email.

Secondly, and not unimportant… Many of our users have said to be very happy with their new machines, praising the GR-1’s power and ease-of-use! Thank you guys. It’s so good to hear we have lived up to expectations and have correctly realized our vision.

You may have noticed in our schedule, that we’ve got a quiet summer. Indeed we’ve been set back a good month due to one of our suppliers moving their factory to a new address during these summer months, and another supplier suffering their own set of delays. Please rest assured that we are _totally_ committed to the GR-1 project and to improving both this synth itself, and our service. Hence, we are professionalizing and building up as many new supplier relations as we have to, in order to streamline future production. Demand for the GR-1 remains high, and we’ll be busy with fulfilment of preorders for the remainder of 2018. We’ll keep the schedule updated regularly.

In case you haven’t noticed, in the last months we’ve released several GR-1 instruction videos, and a new one today. More will be coming up, we still haven’t explained all the features of the latest 1.4 firmware..

You can subscribe to our Youtube channel if you haven’t already: youtube.com/tastychips.

40 casings in the house – Production continues!

After a long silence, we have some good news and some more good news.

We received 40 sets of casings from our Dutch anodization printing partner. They look absolutely splendid. See the attached picture.

40 sets of casings!

 

As mentioned earlier we have a production schedule up at:ย https://www.tastychips.nl/?page_id=2514ย Please watch this space for any updates on the production and shipping process. As can be seen on that page, we have just shipped out some more Kickstarter units, and will now go on to send out the remaining ones. This will take up to half May. Then, all Kickstarter rewards will be done! ๐Ÿ™‚

Casings and the assembled electronics ready to built in.

We’ve also not been sitting still in terms of firmware. Today we’re releasing v1.2.2, which is a bugfix release : https://tastychips.nl//downloads/gr1_firmware_v1.2.2_4e6877b.tgz. But more importantly: v1.3 is coming up!

Version 1.3 features

  • Full support for MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE), including mapping of MPE Timbre and aftertouch to the MOD matrix. In practice that means support for controllers like Roli Seabord, Haken Continuum, and the LinnStrument.
  • Record position slider movement to LFO waves.
  • Numerical display for all parameters.
  • LFO DIV/MUL on knobs when synced to MIDI clock.
  • MIDI clock -> density sync.
  • Resampling loaded samples to native 44.1 (can be turned on and off).
  • Shift+Sides, Shift+Curve sliders controls loop start, end.
  • Save path remembered separately per type (sample, patch, performance).
  • LFO -> Delay time sync.
  • Custom scales for voice sliders.

Version 1.3 bugfixes

  • Filter instability solved. (happened at high cutoffs)
  • Pressing shift caused pitch changes when playing MIDI notes.
  • Better note hold.
  • Sub-oscillator crackles fixed.

We’ll be at superbooth 2018, Berlin in two weeks. There we’ll demonstrate the 1.3 beta, along with a Roli Seaboard. After this we’re open for beta testing. Drop us a line at info@tastychips.nl and we’ll send you the beta upgrade.

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