As of today both the ECR-1, our convolver module, and our GR-1 granular synth are back in stock. If you order from our webshop we can ship the same day (weekends excepted). On top of that we also offer express shipping.
More about shipping: it seems that COVID-19 is still somewhat affecting transit times, but it’s very sporadic now. And mostly it seems that overseas shipping (outside of Europe) is 1 to 3 weeks. Express overseas shipping seems 2-3 days.
The GR-1 has seen a bunch of small but important firmware updates. We’re now at v2.3.3 and this seems like the most stable version to date. If you are a GR-1 user you are highly encouraged to upgrade. See the chapter “Firmware updates” in the manual for more information.
A lot has happened since the last post. Here we’ll summarize, and we’ve also saved up a juicy firmware update for the GR-1. Read on.
The Corona crisis has influenced some shipping times and shipping costs. Overseas transit times (Europe to Americas, or to East Asia) are about 6 weeks because almost everything is moving as sea freight now instead of via passenger flights. Shipping inside Europe seems to have remained nearly the same. The postal service has also started charging extra for overseas shipping. However, we will not charge you extra for the standard postal service.
Furthermore, we’re producing at full speed again. We hope to eliminate the waiting line for the GR-1 early in the summer. Later on in summer the ECR-1 will follow and will ship directly in the week your order is placed.
We’ve added sound demos for the ECR-1, see below. These show what the ECR-1 can do in a conventional sense, but also in more creative ways. The ECR-1 downloads page was added too. On this page you’ll find resources for reverb responses.
GR-1 Firmware 2.3 adds many features to improve workflow. Editing presets, and making your own performances is now much quicker. Browsing through sample libraries and menus is now also much more zappy. It adds better hands-on controls to fine tune parameters directly, and also to change the matrix without menu diving. Last but not least grains can now be up to 5s, which is why we threw in some free grain stealing! Check the full release notes here. See the new 2.3.1 manual, as always, in the GR-1 downloads section. At the bottom you’ll also find a bunch of new GR-1 patches, kindly donated by a new user.
As usual, the GR-1 update procedure works with downloading the firmware file to USB stick or by hooking your GR-1 onto your router with a LAN cable.
Much has happened in the recent weeks. Almost too much to summarize in such a news post. Here it goes..
Corona & scams
First, the bad news. The ongoing Corona pandemic has now had its effects on almost everyone and everything. We went through significant delays with respect to purchasing parts, but they seem over (!). Yes! For now.. For our own work force, here in The Netherlands, we’ve decided to send everybody home who’s even feeling mild symptoms, and to work extra hygienically. All design and administrative work is to be done from home, preferably. We expect to keep shipping at a moderate rate for the coming month at least. We’re reducing the estimated lead time on GR-1 units from 4 weeks to a conservative 2 weeks.
Scammers had advertized the GR-1 for a whopping 28 USD, lol. Thanks to our efforts, and that of our users, these guys have now given up. Once again, you can only buy the GR-1 from us, PCA, KMR and Schneiders. No one else!
The ECR-1 Convolver module is in production now. Our beta testers have reported back. We’ve fixed the problems they encountered and made the controls even more responsive than they were, adjusted audio input levels and added a few more “Shift” functions like previewing the processed sample including envelope and pitch bend, and fast forwarding when turning the encoder. Expect to see it in the webshop early April, priced 499 EUR including VAT.
GR-1 Firmware 2.2, new video, and sound packs
The GR-1 has just received a major update last week. Firmware 2.2 adds new tape mode that allows you to do vinyl scratching. It has new modes of cloud generation (more “punch” when triggering notes), and it has proper multi-timbral MIDI support, and much much more.
It’s the biggest update in over a year, and this version has been tested to destruction and back for the best possible user experience. Check the release notes, it’s quite the list: RELEASE_FW_2.2.0.txt. We’ve also done a bit of work on the GR-1 manual and added mini tutorials on how to easily modify and save performances and patches: User-manual-GR-1-v2.2.0.pdf.
We believe this firmware turns the GR-1 into more than the machine we always wanted it to be. We thank everyone for their patience and suggestions, and of course the beta testers!
The new famous Youtube synth reviewer Loopop has also done a new video on the GR-1 as well. This shows some of the 2.2 features too.
Loopop gives a solid hands-on overview of the GR-1 basics, but for GR-1 users that want to know know how to get the most of our machine’s functions, check out the latest sound packs here (firmware v2.2 required):
SpringPack2020.zip : Spring 2020 sound pack, from our in-house sound designer, including creative sample work, granular glide, and slightly detuned LFO modulations
OneCell-2.zip : Sound pack from user Sef Spee, including creative use of scan mode and LFO quantization
In the last months there have been a couple more sound pack uploads too. You can always have a upload to and download from our patch sharing page: gr-1-downloads/ , near the end of the page.
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 😉
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.
It’s been a while since we wrote a news update. First of all: Happy new year!
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..
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.
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.
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! 🙂