Aeros firmware 2.12.2 -- BETA Freeform

This is a beta release of the firmware, so we are not uploading it to the Wifi.

If you want to test this, you will need to use the SD card update method. To update through the SD card, download this file, rename the downloaded file (currently named aeros-2.12.2.bin) to aeros.bin and then place it on an SD card and into your Aeros before turning it on.

To go back to the previous firmware, use the same method to install firmware 2.11.1

Firmware 2.12.2 Changelog:

  • Added Freefrom mode (see known bug below)
  • Re-sync system: Aeros now follows BB midi clock. This corrects any ‘wavers’ in the master MIDI clock to resync the beginning of the Aeros loop playback to the begining of the measure. See it in action here:
  • Made recording measure count number in track clock bigger for easier visibility
  • Added Line-in impedance setting. Sets the input sensitivity: Instrument level (1M Ohms impedance) vs Line level (50k Ohms impedance) Instrument level is about 10% more sensitive than Line level.
  • Added more WiFi statuses in the home screen to indicate if internet and server connection are successful.

Fixes

  • Fixed signature 2/4 not accepted
  • Fixed info box message for “click after recording first track”
    Fixed recording count starting at 1 during a cue of recording.

KNOWN BUG: When using freeform, all the startpoints of the loops get aligned, even if they were not aligned in the first place.


We need your feedback

What is the ideal way for freeform to function:

  1. Should the start points of all tracks be forced to be at the same time – a track won’t begin recording until it reaches the ‘loop seam’ of the previous track. Or should it start immediately whenever you hit the next track button (the way it is now).

  2. Should tracks be kept as multiples of each other (each track can only be exactly as long as the previous track, or 2x or 3x etc as long)? This would keep the tracks from going out of sync with each other. Or should they be any length (the way it is now).

  3. Should song part changes only happen at the end of the track or immediately (the way it is now)?

  4. Any other improvements to this mode?

We will be adding small (4~ ms) cross fades to loop seams and when changing song parts to remove the ‘popping’ noise as the track ends are crossed. This is not present in this version.

Please post any bugs or suggestions below. Thank you! :smiley:

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Will be updating shortly. First off, thanks for going the distance with this and enduring all of the negative feedback and criticism. I tried to keep mine optimistic but you probably understand.

1: I think this would be ideal. I cant even imagine its use if I were to stop and start loops arbitrarily without hitting on a beat or bar. Maybe there is some use for that but not in my experience.

2: being as though i havent updated yet (just anxious to respond), I’d model it after the Boss rc 505. I’m saying this since im using it as a desktop looper rather than a foot pedal but “2” would work for both. Having the ability to set your own tempo based on your first loop is ideal for any live looping performance. As for the other loops, multiples is the way to go so everything stays in sync. Maybe down the line there could be an option to go super-freeform and have all loops do whatever but I’d cross that bridge later.

A quantize function would be awesome as well. This way after setting your first loop, lets say 2 bars at 100bpm, maybe every other track will quantize to multiples of 2 bars and stop on its own rather than relying on a pedal tap. I remember just setting my quantize to 2x. So if I started with a 2 bar loop, and for my next track wanted a 2 bar loop again, since its 4X, I’d just play whatever twice to avoid recording the first loop, then going into the setting to set quantize to whatever multiple i wanted (which was possible). Hope this makes sense. Would be awesome to have a trigger for 1x, 2x, 3, etc after recording the first loop in freeform mode. Maybe the wheel can set this? So everything happens on the fly.

3: I think song parts should stay the way it is now but maybe “immediately” could be a later option.

4: Will update in like a few minutes and see.

2 Likes

Thanks for nice surprise today!

I think the way you say you have it working is the desired free form mode: Truly free form, start a track and part recording at any point, no multiples, no sync.

The other options you describe are already achievable the way Aeros has been working all along, except that the initial loop length isn’t equal to a measure. I own a device that has a multiples sync option like that, but it also can’t do things like start recording a new track at the beginning of any measure within the loop. Setting the multiples is a way to add a little flexible to a rigid design, but for Aeros, adding this feature would be more like adding rigidity to a more flexible design. Some people may want that, for convenience sake, I suppose. I think you can learn to get the same result without it, at least on the measured grid. If you do make a feature like this, I wouldn’t associate it with free form mode alone, it’s more like a song pattern or architecture that can apply to either sync mode or free form mode.

Thanks again. Excited again for more progress.

2 Likes

Really nice! Just tried it…
(This is for 1 and 2) I think would be good having the two options, a full free-form (as it is now) and also a measured free-form that use the first loop stem as a measure unit, so the next loops are gonna be multiples of the first loop. With this way we have a non bpm-already-measured loop, but keeping the sync with the rest of the loops.
Would be possible having this two options, the full free-form and this measured free-form?

3: I think that for this would be better having the two options as well (change “immediately” and change at the end of the first loop)

4: As an extra suggestion, in the currently full free-mode, since there is no measure at all, would be possible locking more freely different tracks for different song parts?

3 Likes

In this update, if the Beat Buddy is running and the Aeros is stopped and blank, will it start recording on the beginning of the next measure in sync?

Yeah, this is true freeform mode. Not really what I expected since some quantization was to be expected for the sake of keeping a loop a loop. But I see the benefits of just having a loop pedal loop whatever. I was triggering some drums from a sampler in freeform mode, starting with some hats, then laying down a kick and snare on another track. This is where that quantization comes in, starting on the measure.
I guess I wanted less of a freeform mode and more of a mode to set my own tempo with my first track but subsequent loops match up, 2x, 3x, etc. Whatever mode that is called, id be happy to have it just so I don’t have to play to preset tempo and catch that natural swing/inspiration.

3 Likes

Hi.

FWIW, this is not a question of right/wrong, or even good/better or ideal/not-ideal.

You have described different use-cases, and different users will have different needs and desires, either permanently, or at any given time.

Tough to hear perhaps (because it’s alot of effort to DO IT ALL), but the answers are yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

A better question I think would be “Which of these are more important to you FIRST?”.

Unless of course the memory in the unit is too small to allow the firmware necessary to offer all the options, or SS is punting on the programming effort to create the software to function both(all) ways. If the former is the case, then please let’s hear that unf. truth. I suppose the same would apply to the latter as well.

I applaud the reaching out for community involvement here, but the terms of the discussion have been artificially bounded, and if there are truths that drive this they have not yet been stated (so it seems).

In the simplest reduction (forced to live in a limited world!) I would say that it MUST ALWAYS be possible to have the unit “auto-magically” align everything to loop seams (measures) which remain perfectly in sync. That’s the most basic use-case that very few, I think, would be content to be without.

3 Likes

In my opinion there needs to be a ‘true freeform’ mode for ambient players, but also the option for a quantised one so that it largely works the same as the non-freeform mode but without requiring to sync to another device or to play to a click.

The ditto x4 and boomerang allow you to do this, record a loop of any length and then the second loop will be a multiple.

I would be pretty disappointed if I had to program in a time signature and BPM in advance rather than just record a loop and go from there.

Really think the functionality of the Ditto X4 nails it (with the various options) and should be the template for many of the options

3 Likes
  • Added Line-in impedance setting. Sets the input sensitivity: Instrument level (1M Ohms impedance) vs Line level (50k Ohms impedance) Instrument level is about 10% more sensitive than Line level.
    Would it be possible to separate the adjustment of the right and left level of the main entry (instrument/main right line/main left)? Would not it be easier to adjust the levels (0-100) per input?

1.The start points of all tracks be forced to be at the same time – a track won’t begin recording until it reaches the ‘loop seam’ of the previous track.
2. Tracks be kept as multiples of each other (each track can only be exactly as long as the previous track, or 2x or 3x etc as long)? This would keep the tracks from going out of sync with each other.
3. Song part changes only happen at the end of the track.
4. Any other improvements to this mode? In the setting mode of the freeform loop, been able to configure the time signature to calculates the tempo and transmit it to midi out.

\\\\REALLY GREAT UPDATE THANK YOU/////////
[/quote]

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My 2 cents:

I planned on using the Aeros to store backing tracks for complete songs with more than just a verse chorus - but intros, outros, and bridge(s). For this to be most functional in a gig situation:

  1. Start point of all tracks at same time – this seems straightforward – if I want piano on one track and bass on another, and it’s a “complete” song part, it makes sense this should happen “together.”
  2. If we’re talking tracks (within one song part), keeping each as a multiple also seems ot make sense. If the piano is 4 bars long, then limiting the bass to either 2 or 4 bars seems to make sense.
  1. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT, IMHO, for the device to serve as a complete song backing track I need more than just one measure to have to hit the exact right button to switch from verse to chorus or any other part. It would be best if when I knew the chorus was coming up, I could switch to it at a convenient time for me as the player, but not have the part switch until the end of the current verse.
  2. I have to play with it this weekend to provide more comments.

Thank you for all you hard work!

3 Likes

Thank you guys for all of the valuable feedback and the kind words :slight_smile:

@martythebassplayer no, currently that feature (Aeros starting at end of measure of BB) is not complete in this version. However it is our top priority (along with freeform and SD card storage), and we do expect to get it done next week. We thought we’d have it finished a few weeks ago, but it turned out to be a bit more complex than we thought to implement. But we’re feeling confident that it’s almost finished. I apologize for not responding to your other thread yet. I have read it and I do want to address all of your concerns.

@Thovy64 this is an interesting idea. FYI: The Aux in can also be used for recording, it is Line level.

@sharifkerbage I’m not sure what you mean by this:

From everyone else feedback it seems like there are use cases for each of the options I laid out. And we DO plan to build them all. What I really wanted to know was which options are most commonly used. But I’m not sure we have enough people responding to this thread to get an accurate estimate.

This will probably be the order that we build the options for freeform:

  1. True freeform, record any length of track, starting whenever. Relative positions of tracks will be kept after you stop the Aeros (we are working on the bug in this version that aligns the tracks after stop). Song part changes will happen immediately.

  2. Freeform with Synced tracks: This will keep all track as multiples of each other.

  3. Option for song part changes and stop command to happen at end of longest loop.

  4. Option to force all tracks to begin at same place

  5. Auto quantize: Tempo detection of first loop (this turns freeform into quantized mode - you will probably have to choose the time signature in advance because that is harder to detect).

Thanks again for all of your feedback. It is very helpful to us. We hope to have a new version out very soon.

3 Likes

@DavidPackouz: i mean, when the Locking Tracks feature is available, maybe would be possible to lock any of the tracks and not necessary in order (always speaking about the truly free-form)

  1. Of course, the option for either would be best, but I’d leave as is, if not an option. I think, at least for soundscapes, I’m just as likely to have a loop start in the middle of another as not.

  2. Again, if we’re talking for drones and such, multiples aren’t necessary.

  3. This is tricky. If all tracks don’t have the same ending (as is possible in freeform), which track do you wait to end?

  4. First off, thanks for looking for the feedback. I’d say this, Dave… first off, gonna be honest, I have a hard time thinking of freeform outside of soundscapes, because if I’m going beat/loop type conventional stuff, generally, everything’'s gonna sync up. But that’s my own mindset, so not applicable. I think, what you should really make sure is you try to have options. Droners and soundscapers have different needs, I’m guessing, than more straight ahead types that just want freeform. This machine can be a soundscaper’s best tool, once all this stuff is implemented, optimally. And there are quite a few of us out there.

I know this has been mentioned, elsewhere, but something to think about, at least with soundscapers, is how you deal with:

A) The beginning of the loop, once it’s been recorded/overdubbed, and then stopped. When you go to press play again, it’s gonna sound abrupt, because there’s likely an overdub in it, so it’s not starting from zero, anymore. Option for a fade in on play would take care of that, maybe a 1 to 10 second option. Probably have an option for the end, as well.

B) What about, if you’re doing a seamless drone and you go to the next song part part? If you have a track locked, you could have an option to have a little crossfade, so when it goes to the next song part, you won’t hear a click.

This is a lot to ask, I’m sure, but that would really be the optimal way of handling this, for seamless soundscapes.

You could just have a menu page for freeform that has a bunch of check boxes to turn on/off the various things I mentioned, above.

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HIHO …

From a Singer Songwriter point of few the Freeform with Synced Tracks is most important to build up Songs and control them along the way.
At least it is what I think and need :wink:

Best Regards

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Had a just a few minutes to try the BETA 2.12.2 firmware and I am quite happy with it so far. Freeform works largely the way I would expect. It very was fun to play with, if only for a few minutes. I don’t have any criticisms yet but I will give it a good work out this weekend. I may attempt a gig with it. With every firmware release I fall more in love with my Aeros! Thanks once again to @DavidPackouz and the crew at SS for all the hard work, absorbing the hate, and continuing to improve their entire product line.

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Thank you @Scamper that’s very kind of you :slight_smile:

@sharifkerbage thank you for clarifying. We will try to build the lock track features with as much flexibility as possible. However, the way the architecture of the Aeros was built, with 6x6 it does currently require all tracks to be recorded in order (you can’t record track 3 before recording track 1 and 2) so locking track 2 and not locking track 1 can cause problems when moving to a new song part that doesn’t have track 1 recorded yet. This can be overcome, but it may take a little while to build this flexibility into the system. We’re currently working on making the features in their basic form work properly before we build a lot of flexibility into it. But we are making notes of everybody’s requests and will build as much of it as possible.

@LordRadish as far as ending/changing song parts at the end of a track, we figured we would use the longest track. For example, in a more conventional song, you could have 2 measure rhythm section and an 8 measure solo over it, so it makes sense to wait until the solo is over before stopping/changing.

As I mentioned earlier, we will be adding small crossfades to all track seams and between song parts to get rid of the ‘popping’ noise. This will include a very short fade in when starting the tracks in case there was an overdub that crossed the track seam. This won’t be a gradual fade in, but it will prevent the pop sound as you start it. If you want a gradual fade in you can use the volume wheel… would that be sufficient?

Thanks for responding, Dave, it seems like you have the crossfade thing down, and going with the longest track makes perfect sense - that’s not an obstacle that a soundscaper can’t work around, very easily, just by figuring out proper placement of this and that.

As to the fade in with the volume wheel, that is an option, of course, although often, when I’m starting a loop, I’m also trying to focus on several other things, so to have it be automatic would certainly be more optimal… just a checkbox with a slider from 0-10 seconds. And also, again, an option to fade out when pressing stop would be better than manually fading out, with the same adjustable slider. These are both not deal-breakers, obviously, but give the player one less thing to have to pay attention to, so they can just focus on the music.

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@LordRadish understood. We’ll put it on the development list. I can’t give you an estimate of when it will be done right now, though it doesn’t sound (at this point) very difficult to do since it will be built on top of the automatic cross fade that we will be building - we’ll just have to make that adjustable.

Awesome, David! Thank you. I certainly agree with what you’ve stated elsewhere, recently… get the promised stuff done first, then the goodies!