The Groovesizer Delta is a lo-fi granular monosynth attached to a 32-Step sequencer
The Delta firmware is based on the Auduino granular synth that Peter Knight wrote for the Arduino platform. The Auduino synth engine is also the basis of the original Groovesizer mk1. Unlike the Groovesizer Alpha which outputs sound via the onboard DAC, the Delta produces sound by means of PWM.
Want to look at the firmware code or change it? Be our guest! You’ll need the Arduino IDE to edit, compile and upload the firmware.
Download the current firmware: Groovesizer_Delta_125
See the bottom of this page for the changelog.
To compile the firmware, you will need the following libraries installed:
Download the above library files and keep them zipped. To install them from the Arduino IDE, use Sketch/Import Library/Add Library. For more detailed instructions, see this guide.
To run the Delta firmware successfully, make sure you have the jumpers on the options header configured as follows:
Groovesizer Delta – Manual v.122
The Groovesizer Delta has three operating modes: Edit Mode, Trigger Mode and Pot-shift Mode, and a Preferences Page.
On first turning on, you’ll be in
EDIT MODE (neither Shift L or Shift R is lit):
- Pot 1 – Grain 1 phase increment – similar in use to filter cutoff. With Shift R pressed, record automation for Pot 1.
- Pot 2 – Grain 1 decay – similar in use to filter resonance.
- Pot 3 – Grain 2 phase increment.
- Pot 4 – Grain 2 decay
- Pot 5 – Release time.
- Pot 6 – Pitch for selected steps.
- Step Select Page (F1 is lit – the default page when the Groovesizer is switched on) – Press any button from 1 – 32 to select the corresponding sequencer step. Selected steps are indicated with a fast blink. Change the pitch of selected steps with Pot 6. Deselect a step by pressing it again.
- Stop/Start/Rewind (F1) – If you’re already on the step select page, pressing F1 will stop playback. Pressing F1 again will restart playback from the first step. When playback is stopped, you are able play the Delta as a MIDI module via an attached MIDI keyboard, and also to enter notes into the sequencer – to do so, make sure you have the Note Entry option selected on the preferences page (see below).
- Clear All Selected (Shift L & F1) – Clear all selected steps by holding Shift L and pressing F1. This also works for mutes, ties and slides.
- Clear Step (Shift L & step) – Hold Shift L and press an active step to clear it.
- Step Mute Page (F2) – Press an active (lit) step to mute it. Muted steps are indicated with a fast blink. Clear a mute by pressing the step again.
- Step Tie Page (F3) – Active steps are lit. Press a step after an active step to tie it to the preceding step. Steps can also be tied to other tied steps. Tied steps are indicated with a fast blink. Clear a tie by pressing the step again.
- Step Slide Page (F4) – Active steps are lit. Select the first of two consecutive active steps to slide in pitch from the first to the second. If the step after a Slide step is not active, the step will slide down to a pitch value of zero. Slide steps are indicated with a fast blink. Clear a slide by pressing the step again.
- Pattern Transpose Down (Semitone) (F5) – Press F5 to transpose the whole pattern down by a semitone.
- Pattern Transpose Down (Octave) (Shift L & F5) – Holding Shift L and pressing F5 will transpose the whole pattern down by an octave.
- Pattern Transpose Up (Semitone) (F6) – Press F6 to transpose the whole pattern up by a semitone.
- Pattern Transpose Up (Octave) (Shift L & F6) – Holding Shift L and pressing F6 will transpose the whole pattern up by an octave.
- Toggle Automation On/Off (Shift R & F6) – Hold Shift R and press F6 to toggle automation on and off.
- Clear All (Shift L & Shift R) – Hold Shift L and press Shift R to clear a pattern completely – this includes notes, mutes, slides, ties and slides.
Note entry via MIDI
If you want to enter note sequences with an attached MIDI keyboard, the sequence should not be playing (stop sequence playback with F1). Incoming MIDI notes are assigned to consecutive steps in the sequencer and the led for the current step will be lit. For Note Entry, the Groovesizer will listen to incoming notes on the same MIDI channel selected in preferences for Note Out (see below – the default is channel 1). You will also hear the notes as you enter them , so you can use this setting to play the Groovesizer live.
Transpose via MIDI
Transpose the current pattern by sending notes from an attached MIDI keyboard or from sequencing software (Ableton Live, Cakewalk Sonar, etc.). Transposition is centered around C3 – so, to transpose up by a semitone, press C#3 on the keyboard. To transpose down by an octave, press C2. To return to the original key, press C3 again. The MIDI channel for transposing patterns is the same as the one selected in preferences for Note Out (see below – the default is channel 1).
POT-SHIFT MODE (Shift R is lit – Toggle with Shift R):
- Pot 1 – Random pattern note density.
- Pot 2 (Accent page) – adjust accent level.
- Pot 3 – Pattern length.
- Pot 4 – Swing.
- Pot 5 – Note duration.
- Pot 6 – Tempo.
- Random Pattern (Chromatic) (F1) – Press F1 to create a random pattern. A step can be any interval from an octave below to an octave above the preceding step.
- Random Pattern (Major) (F2) – Press F2 to create a random pattern in a major scale. Pattern generation is weighted so there’s a larger probability that the pitch of a step will be one of the major triad. The root note is the last note value that was assigned in edit mode. (To change the root note, in other words, hop back into edit mode, select a step, and assign it the desired pitch with Pot6.)
- Random Pattern (Minor) (F3) – Press F3 to create a random pattern in a major scale. Similar to pattern generation in the major scale, there’s a larger probability that a step’s pitch will be of the minor triad. The root note is the last note value that was assigned in edit mode.
- Random Pattern (Pentatonic) (F4) – Press F4 to create a random pattern in a pentatonic scale.
- Infinite Random (Shift L & F1 – F4) – The same as above, but on reaching the end of the pattern a new random pattern is generated. The LED for the appropriate scale will be lit to indicate infinite random mode.
- Transpose Selected Down (Semitone) (F5) – Press F5 to transpose any selected steps down by a semitone.
- Transpose Selected Down (Octave) (Shift L & F5) – Holding Shift L and pressing F5 will transpose selected steps down by an octave.
- Transpose Selected Up (Semitone) (F6) – Press F6 to transpose selected steps up by a semitone.
- Transpose Selected Up (Octave) (Shift L & F6) – Holding Shift L and pressing F6 will transpose selected steps up by an octave.
- Tap Tempo (F6 – no steps selected) – With no steps selected, tap F6 repeatedly to set the tempo.
- Accent Page (F5 – no steps selected) – With no steps selected, press F5 to enter the accent page. Toggle step select buttons 1 – 32 to add an accent to or remove an accent from a step. While on the accent page, use Pot2 to adjust the accent level. Press F5 again to exit the accent page.
- Tempo Nudge Slower (Shift R & F5) – With Shift R held, pressing F5 will slow the current tempo down by 1 bpm. The current bpm will be displayed. (When displaying numeric values, values over 99 are indicated with the LED for Shift L lit. Values over 199 are indicated with the LEDs for both Shift L and Step 25 lit. ) When the Groovesizer is slaved to MIDI clock, the same button combination will shift pattern playback on this unit 1 ppq (pulses per quarter) later relative to the master (the latter feature is best illustrated in this video).
- Tempo Nudge Faster (Shift R & F6) – With Shift R held, pressing F6 will speed the current tempo up by 1 bpm. The current bpm will be displayed. When the Groovesizer is slaved to MIDI clock, the same button combination will shift pattern playback on this unit 1 ppq (pulses per quarter) earlier relative to the master.
TRIGGER MODE (Shift L is lit – Toggle with Shift L):
Identical to Edit Mode, with the exception that automation can only be recorded in Edit Mode.
- Trigger Page (Shift L & F1 – F 4 ) – Select a trigger page by holding Shift L and pressing F1 to F4. Pages 1 to 3 each has 32 save locations, but on page 4 only the first 16 locations are available.
- Pattern Recall (Button 1 – 32) – The buttons from 1 – 32 represent pattern save locations (page 4 exluded – see above). If a pattern is stored in a location its LED will be lit. Cue a pattern to play next by pressing its button. The currently playing pattern will be indicated by with slow blink. The pattern cued to play next is indicated with a fast blink. Pattern selection is quantized to the closest bar – it means the pattern will only change once step 1 or step 17 is reached.
- Pattern Save (Long-press button 1 – 32) – Long-press a location to store the current pattern there. If the location is not currently occupied, the pattern will be stored immediately. Once step 1 or 17 is reached (pattern recall is quantized to the closest bar), the location will start to slow-blink to indicated that it is currently playing. If the location is already in use (ie. a pattern is already stored there), the location will fast-blink to indicate that it’s waiting for confirmation. Press the location again to overwrite the pattern stored there with the current pattern. Press any other button to cancel the save request.
- Clear Save Location (Shift L & button 1 -32) – To clear a save location and permanently delete the pattern stored there, hold Shift L and press the location. It will fast blink to show it’s waiting for confirmation. Press the location again (no shift) to confirm, or anything else to cancel.
- Play Mode (F1) – Press F1 to step through the available play modes. The play modes are:
- Forward – from step 1 to 16 and jump back to 1. When returning to Forward, the playback position will jump to the true step.
- Reverse – from step 16 to 1 and jump back to 16.
- Pendulum – from step 1 to 16, and down again from 16 to 1.
- Random interval – play, for example, every 3rd step (1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 3, 6, etc) until step 1 is reached again, then choose a new interval (between 1 and 16).
- Drunk – decide at random whether the next step will be the one after or the one before this one.
- Random – the next step will be randomly chosen (from 1 to 16)
- Step Repeat (F2) – The current step will be repeated as long as F2 is held down. When F2 is released, the playback position will jump to the true step.
- Random Step (F3) – The following step will be randomly selected as long as F3 is held. When F3 is released, the playback position will jump to the true step.
- Pattern Chaining: Return To Head (Shift L & F5) – Use this to mark the last pattern in a chain. When F5 is lit, the pattern marked as the head of a pattern chain will be loaded and played once playback reaches the end of the current pattern. The last pattern selected is marked as the head of the chain. The pattern has to be re-saved before pattern chaining takes effect. After saving, the pattern will continue to loop until a preceding pattern is selected as the head of the pattern chain.
- Pattern Chaining: Next Pattern (Shift L & F6) – When F6 is lit, the following pattern will be loaded and played once playback reaches the end of the current pattern. The pattern has to be re-saved before pattern chaining takes effect. If the following pattern location is empty, the current pattern will loop instead.
- True Step (F6) – When using functions like Pattern Reverse and Step Repeat, the sequencer deviates from the actual current step. For example, if the Groovesizer is synced to another device and both are on the same step, pressing Step Repeat once will cause the Groovesizer to lag behind the synced device by a step. To realign the Groovesizer and make it snap back to the true step, press F6.
PREFERENCES PAGE (Shift L and Shift R are lit – enter by holding Shift R and pressing Shift L – exit with either Shift L or Shift R):
- Sync Out (F1) – With the F1 led lit, the Groovesizer sends out MIDI timing clock messages (also known as MIDI beat clock) at 24ppq (pulses per quarter). Enable this option if you want to slave other MIDI devices (eg. more Groovesizers) to this unit.
- Automation Out (F2) – If the F2 led is lit, any recorded automation is sent out via MIDI as control change messages when the sequence is playing. Automation is sent at 24ppq (pulses per quarter note). By default, Automation is sent on MIDI channel 1 and on MIDI cc16 (General Purpose Controller 1). Select a different MIDI channel by holding F2 and adjusting the channel with Pot 6 – when the value is set to 00, Automation Out will follow the channel set for Note Out (see below). Select a different MIDI cc by holding F2 and selecting the desired cc with Pot 5.
- Note Out (F3) – With this option selected (F3 led is lit), sequencer notes are sent out via MIDI during playback. You may want to switch this off if you are chaining Groovesizers and only want notes from one unit to be sent out by the last unit in the chain (by default, the Groovesizer echoes all MIDI messages it receives at its input). By default, notes are sent out on MIDI channel 1. To change the MIDI channel, hold F3 and select the desired channel with Pot 6.
- Thru On (F4) – This option controls which MIDI messages received at the Delta’s MIDI input will be echoed at the MIDI output. When if F4 is not lit, no incoming messages will be passed to the output. If this option is set to 1, all incoming messages will be passed to the output. With the option set to 2, only system messages such as Clock, Stop and Start will be echoed, but any note messages will be filtered out and not passed to the output. Press and hold F4 to see whether 1 or 2 is selected – this works better when Notify (F6) is off.
- Trigger Out (F5) – With F5 lit, the Groovesizer sends out pattern change messages. When the user changes a pattern in Trigger Mode on this device, any slaved Groovesizers will also change to the corresponding pattern (provided the slave has a pattern stored in that slot). The default MIDI channel for sending and receiving pattern trigger messages is 10. Change this to your desired channel by holding F5 and selecting the channel with Pot 6.
- Notify (F6) – With the F6 led lit, the Groovesizer will send notifications via scrolling text when turning on the device, as well as to identify options on the preferences page. (Turn this off if you don’t want to see the firmware message every time you turn the Groovesizer on.)
Here’s a demo of the Delta V111 firmware.
V125 2015-03-13 Groovesizer_Delta_125
- slide notes are sent as overlapping MIDI events to enable slide with portamento on the receiving synth
V123 2015-03-08 Groovesizer_Delta_123
- updated for compatibility Arduino IDE 1.6.0
- updated for compatibility with Arduino MIDI Library v4.2
V122 2014-10-10 Groovesizer_Delta_122