FIRMWARE OS016 FOR NF-1 / OS009 FOR NF-1m

WHAT'S NEW?

A new upgrade for the NF-1 (OS016) and NF-1m (OS009) is ready for download at our download page! What's it about this time?

  • You can now select multiple OSCs or ENVs for editing also in SafetyMode on the NF-1m.
  • Parameter representation on screen under SafetyMode is improved on both NF-1 and NF-1m.
  • Also, the parameter inspection on screen is a bit improved. The button combo has been changed on the NF-1 to OSC1+knob, to show it's value without altering it. Formerly, this function was on the DEST/NO button but...
  • On the NF-1 you can now directly select a destination for the modulation wires, by keeping DEST(/NO) down while turning the parameter you want to modulate.
  • LFO1/2 and ENV1/2/3/4 can also be directly selected as a source for the modulation wires by keeping SRC(/YES) down while pushing an LFO wave or ENV selection button.
  • We added an extra microtonal scale: a regular equal temperament scale, but with a certain stretch factor. 12 Equal Divisions of an 'almost Octave'... Just like a not entirely well tuned V/Oct vintage or modular machine.

  • All buttons without a dedicated Midi control change now transmit sysex messages when changed. For a better cooperation with the (also slightly updated) editor, or 3rd party editors.
  • And finally, invisible but not unimportant, both the MIDI MTS reception and the MIDI MPE implementation have been improved, to make the NF-1(m) cooperate better with new live retuning microtonality applications MTS-ESP and Infinitone DMT.

COOPERATION WITH MTS-ESP AND INFINITONE DMT

A little extra word on that last part... In recent days, a new standard showed up that helps musicians with microtonal retuning, by taking master control of the microtuning of all synths and plugins in a song or project: MTS-ESP, developed by Oddsound and Richard D. James (Aphex Twin).

MTS-ESP Suite by Oddsound includes a Master Plugin, that can build, load and store microtonal setups. A Client Plugin translates the tuning data for MIDI transmission to a hardware synth.

Also Infinitone DMT is an application to build microtonal scales, that can use the MTS-ESP standard.

Globally, there are 2 ways to retune a hardware synth:

  • The Midi Tuning Standard messages can be used in cases where a microtuning is relatively static. You load up a project, send a tuning table to the hardware synth, and get playing. The Modor NF-1(m) supports both Bulk Tuning Dumps and Single Note Tunings via the MTS standard.
  • However, a few years ago, the Midi Polyphonic Expression standard came up. This allows single notes to be retuned on-the-fly, with pitchbend instructions per-note. So this also allows a more dynamic, constantly retuning form of microtonal music.

The Modor NF-1(m) has now received some MPE improvements under the hood that allow it to cooperate with both MTS-ESP and Infinitone DMT, using both MTS messages or MPE pitchbends.

HOW TO USE THE NF-1(m) WITH MTS-ESP / INFINITONE DMT?

If you want to use the NF-1(m) with one of these applications using MTS, just make sure Sysex Reception (SysexRx) is enabled in the SYSTEM SETTINGS menu. To work with MPE, set up MPE-mode in the SYSTEM SETTINGS menu, and, very important, give your patches a 12-EDO tonescale.

A 12-EDO tonescale.. ? The classic Equal Temperament, that is? Isn't that the standard default? Time for a little secret...

A LITTLE MODOR SECRET...

At the time, when we were implementing the first microtonal options on the NF-1(m) for OS13, we discovered a bug in one of the oldest central core parts of the DSP code. This invoked some imprecise calculations that led to the NF-1(m) always being slightly out of tune. Even up to a few cents on certain notes. Wow! 😮

Of course, we could just simply have fixed this bug, thereby theoretically improving the tuning of our machines. But we didn't! Why not? Because beauty isn't always in perfection. Probably many people would have remarked the NF-1(m) getting 'cleaner' or more 'polished' after installing such bugfix upgrade, and some wouldn't like it without really knowing why. The little tuning imperfections indoubtedly became a part of the Modor Sound through the years.

And so, we didn't fix the imperfections. Of course, for those users who need a *perfectly perfect* equal temperament tuning, just choose 12-EDO from the TONESCALE menu. It's there. But the Modor default tuning still is -and stays- the slightly imperfect Modor Scale.

This means that 12-EDO is not the standard tuning on the NF-1(m). However, you need to use 12-EDO when working together with an application like Infinitone DMT or MTS-ESP when using the MPE tuning method. Because these apps suppose that your machine is tuned entirely correct, and sends individual pitchbends per note, relative to a theoretical 12-EDO pitch.

 

           
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