We have reached a wonderful place. It’s a world where we no longer treat digital and analog as simplistically better or worse, but as techniques, as colors, a spectrum of tools for exploring sound.
Or to put it another way, we now make wild noises however we want.
And that’s very much how I feel about the direction we’ve gone with MeeBlip anode, combining digital waveforms with analog filtering, which is why I’m keen to share it here on CDM and not just via the MeeBlip site. The new 2.0 firmware comes with a selection of 16 wavetables, covering a range from glitchy to rich and sonorous – and raunchy and dirty, for sure.
I finally got to spend the weekend recording some new music with this, having played with it live, and made a little demo sequence in a free moment. (Thanks to online tool Splice for providing their office as a studio on the road here in New York.) I got to use the terrific standalone step sequencer in the Faderfox SC4. Add a USB dongle for that, and you have a terrifically-compact and mobile rig, by the way.
In the selection: single-cycle, fixed waveforms in 16-bit, covering blended saw, granular, FM, and some bit-reduced and distorted sounds.
The full list:
Wave Bank 1: Sawtooth, blended sawtooth, FM 1, distorted 1, granular 1, voice 1, voice 2
Wave Bank 2: Bit reduced 1, bit reduced 2, bit reduced 3, distorted 2, distorted 3, FM 2, FM 3, more granular.
To get at them, you now hold down the MIDI Select button on the back of the unit as you power it on. Then, instead of having the usual width and sweep controls for a rectangle wave, you turn the Width knob to select different wavetables, each with its own timbre. To access the full 16, you change bank using the Sweep switch.
I wanted to use UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A, but that would be slightly impossible. Maybe on that 8-bit instrument we saw earlier today, huh?
All anodes shipping now have the new firmware; all existing anodes can be upgraded.
The new firmware is now up on our GitHub site and as always is open source, so you can look at how this is done. If you already own anode, we’ll have instructions on how to update your model. (I’m also hoping to organize some anode owner parties!) If you don’t, you have today to take advantage of a North American holiday sale online, or you can go to fine dealers worldwide: