Firmware development priorities

There are some things that need to be improved in the Striso board firmware. What should have priority according to you?

  • Improve the internal sound (it’s working but there’s much more potential)
  • Implement MIDI TRS output
  • Implement pedal input (sustain or expression pedal)
  • Implement a configuration tool for editing tunings and other persistent settings
  • Other - please specify in a reaction

0 voters

I would value the ability to transpose by notes (in addition to the octave transposition).
I envision being able to learn the board by ‘mode shapes’, and then using transposition to change the tonic.
e.g.:

  • a transposition of 3 semitones up, means that you are playing the E-flat Ionian major scale by playing the 3 white notes and 4 white notes in order.

@eddiehebert, That one already exists. You can do it by holding down the Settings button and pressing the Octave Up/Octave Down button at the same time.

-Frank

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@pierstitus Really enjoying playing my Striso boards and hoping to post some first impressions soon. Was just wondering whether you have any rough timescale for these developments - particularly implementing the MIDI TRS out. No rush, by any means - appreciate that you’ve just successfully got all of these out the door and probably need a bit of a break from this! I’m happy to buy a USB MIDI host to make the connection, I just don’t want to spend the money if the TRS MIDI out implementation is only a short time away. I like the internal synth and really appreciate that it’s there, but I’m also itching to connect up some hardware synths and I currently don’t have any way to do so via USB.

Knowing that you’re waiting for it definitely motivates me to implement it quicker! The first step is a version that sends normal (single channel) MIDI. The message rate of the MPE data is currently a bit high for serial MIDI, so that’s probably a bit more work to get working fluently.

However I don’t think many hardware synths support MPE anyway. What kind of MIDI would you prefer? Just note on and off messages, or also polyphonic aftertouch/channel aftertouch, pitch bend, motion sensor data, or even full MPE data?

Right. Not a programmer by any means so was unsure whether this would be a simple update or something more involved. I’ve found a Pi based USB host solution that seems simple enough for me to manage that I can put together for about £30, so might go for that for the time being - solves most of my issues without putting any additional pressure on you. Seems like people are more interested in hearing where the development of the onboard synth goes, which I’m obviously interested in too. I really appreciate that TRS MIDI is there as an option for the future as it is - really good of you too include it.

The synth I currently have that I wanted to use is a Novation Peak, which has poly aftertouch but not full MPE. Was also looking at a Modal Cobalt 8 or one of the MicroMonstas, both of which I believe have a full MPE implementation - I’m really enjoying having fingertip control over detuning oscillators an octave apart and it sounds like if MPE over serial is going to be complicated then the best way of accessing this will be USB MIDI anyway. These all have MIDI device ports so will be accessible with a USB MIDI host. I also have a cv.OCD that I picked up in anticipation before the announcement that the TRS MIDI wouldn’t be implemented yet, which I’d love to be able try evetually - happy to wait on using that though!

Anyway, like I say - no rush! Got plenty of learning to do and between the internal synth and a USB host I’ve got more than enough to be playing with at the moment. Seem to remember that you live on a farm - if it’s anything like our allotment there’ll be way too much outside work at this time of year to be spending long hours in front of a computer!

If you wanted an off-the-shelf USB MIDI host, it looks like you can pick up a DOREMiDi UMH-10 for not much more than £30. Haven’t tried one though.

Thanks. I did see that, but not a single review anywhere, and I have two Striso boards so I’d have had to get a separate hub to connect into it anyway because it only has one USB port. Looks like it could be a good option though. The Pi-based option detailed here has all the USB ports I need and testimonials to its reliability. Have ordered the parts and will update here if I can get it working.

The Pi-based option detailed here has all the USB ports I need and testimonials to it reliability. Have ordered the parts and will update here if I can get it working.

I’ve done exactly that from (an earlier version of) that page, and it works great.

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MIDI TRS output is very important to me and I ordered a Striso with the understanding that this was going to be supported, since that is what it stated on the spec sheet. One of the reasons I bought a Striso was because I wanted a controller that was extremely small and playable for my other outboard gear, especially rack gear and Eurorack. MPE is a nice bonus. Linnstrument is nice, but very bulky compared to Striso.

I hope to be able to use Striso to control my other gear including my Electron devices and Eurorack!

“However I don’t think many hardware synths support MPE anyway”

I wouldnt say that is so true these days. Hardware synths that support MPE include:

Cobalt8, Argon8, Deckards Dream, Kijimi, Xerxes, Hydrasynth, OB-6, Prophet 6, Modor NF-1 & NF-1m, Micromonsta, Micromonsta 2, Tasty Chips GR1, Kodamo EssenceFM.

There are probably a few others I missed too. The Waldorf Quantum & Iridium support MPE if you have access to the latest version 3 firmware beta. The UDO Super 6 is due to support MPE but as of the time of writing its not been implemented in that synths firmware yet.

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Picked up a Cobalt8 on Wednesday evening but spent 18 hours yesterday working our local elections so haven’t had a chance to hook it up yet!

To add more details about the MIDI I’d like to see:

  • MIDI notes on/off, obviously.
  • Pitch bend side-to-side.
  • Up-down modulation mappable to some CC parameter. On Linnstrument, the up-down is mapped by default to Mod wheel, but many synths assume that their “default” playing is at 0, and striking the Linnstrument in the middle of the pad often puts the parameter “in the middle” and it sounds bad as a result. Being able to map that to a custom CC would be helpful.
  • While I’d like to see full MPE, it would be good to have an option for 1-channel MIDI output. The Striso seems to already have this according to the settings. As mentioned, a lot of hardware doesn’t handle MPE yet, so having a 1-channel solution is helpful.

As I mentioned, Striso is very small but playable and expressive, which is an advantage compared to many other MPE controllers or other controllers in general. It’s not like a mini-keys controller which feels like a shadow of the “real thing” and the buttons are very soft and appealing to touch in a way that you do not get with most other grid controllers. I used to go to hardware-only meetups frequently, so having ways to control my other synths with Striso (without other intermediate devices) is a high priority.

@SteveElbows Good to hear that MPE support is so well spread!

I’m working on TRS MIDI now, I hope to finish it this week, though for configuration I still need to get the config system in place. What would be good default CC?

TRS MIDI is implemented, the new firmware can be found on Releases · striso/striso-control-firmware · GitHub.

The default settings are now:

  • Key pressure on channel aftertouch (MPE mode) and polyphonic aftertouch in normal mode
  • Key bend (left-right) on pitch bend (with ±24 semitones in MPE mode)
  • Key tilt (up-down) on CC 74

For now I’ve disabled the motion sensor data over TRS MIDI to save some bandwidth.

The settings are changeable via USB MIDI, but they’re not persistent so need to be set after each power on.
To select how you want pres, bend or tilt to be sent, send a MIDI message to CC 70 for pres, CC 71 for bend or CC 74 for tilt, with a value 1-119 to select a CC, 120 for poly aftertouch, 121 for channel aftertouch or 122 for pitch bend. (not all combinations are working).

Next I’ll be looking into the configuration system.

If you have better defaults for normal mode let me know. I’m looking forward to hear how it works out.