Finally the new firmware is out. If you have read my previous post, you know that there were a few problems to solve. After a few weekends of intense work, I think I have ironed out all the rough edges.
What's new in this firmware?
You may already know because most of the new features were requested by you. I implemented almost all the requests; in one shape or other. The ones I didn't implemented, are safely stored in my backlog and I will work on them for a future release.
This release has a lot of UI improvements. If I did a good job, you will not notice anything, but using the module will feel good. Probably the most important is that now you can select filters backwards! If you keep the filter button pressed for about 1 second it will go to the previous model.
A silent improvement that you may not notice is that now the filters change without producing audible clicks or pops. This was a bit tricky to get right . But at the end I am very pleased with the result.
In the previous release I introduced the possibility of using "integrated VCAs" to control the filter output. In this release there are a few extra things that you can configure in your module:
Output signal range: lower the volume of the sound
Modulations voltage range: accept either 5 or 10 V
Stereo modulation: cutoff input inversely modulates the the filters
Output mix: mix the L and R channels
The first new model is Phonok: vowel resonator. Phonok consists of a pair of LP and BP filters tuned to the two main formant frequencies. This resonator changes the tone of the input signal and makes it sound like the corresponding vowel. Phonok can be use to add some nice harmonics to the sound or to make your filter scream in pain "ai-ai-ai".
Nurage gets some love in this release. I have been obsessively experimenting with vactrols in order to improve my models. My new vactrol model is nicer more nonlinear. Since simulated vactrols can be modified at will, the Nurage filter includes now three types. Basically, each model changes in a way that make it feel like it has a longer "decay".
The last addition is Nurage-VCA. Low Pass Gates usually have a mode that, for lack of a better name, it is called "both": a low pass filter and a VCA. Because this mode changes the gain, it also affects the resonance. In this case I have replaced the resonance control for a single parameter that morphs between the different vactrol models. The result is a kind of "decay" control, but with a nice and natural envelope.
This new firmware also has a lot of small optimizations that should make the module more stable. If you ever experienced your module freezing, I apologize for that. Hopefully all future releases will be rock-solid now that I have detected the root of the issue.
You can get the new firmware following the links in the main Freak page:
All the details are described in the updated User Manual.