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Found a bug in the firmware concerning negative numbers. This resulted in wrong parameter settings in the area of [-127..0] and the whole patch could not be transmitted to the VL1, as the Sysex data contained an “FF”.

File operations (Save, Move) improved. Fixed firmware now uploaded to the server.


Autotuning procedures are totally reworked and newest firmware is available for download. Tuning mode lines are dependent of the absorption parameter, to be implemented in the next version.


Reworked the user manual concerning auto tuning. Now reverse-engineering the autotune procedure from Yamahas Expert Editor for the next firmware version to come.


Fixed some issues with Key Scalings and Renaming. Added overdub, clock and statistics to Looper. New firmware is uploaded to server. Reworked User Manual.

I am still not satisfied with the Tuning Page. Thanks to Manny’s advice, I have now ordered an old Desktop PowerMac G3 to finally crack the weird messages of the autotuning process of Yamaha’s Expert Editor. Also found the MIDI adapter, borrowed from Ake. I am hunting for decades now to get the right Yamaha set-up.


Changed the looper using clock interrupt, now runs smoothly also when changing pages and sending parameter changes. Second MIDI out now echoes MIDI notes all the time, so it can be used as a MIDI splitter. Voice renaming implemented.

Working now on the last device. Not sure if I shall continue with a second batch.


Firmware updated for a simple MIDI looper (record, play, tempo) with CC and pitch bend support.


Rework of firmware finished. Now includes the experimental feature of morphing between two patches by MIDI CC controls, similar to the morph fader of the VP1. The sheer number of parameters is difficult to transfer without choking the MIDI interface. I am using an intelligent strategy to reduce the CC events. Many other improvements, along with a better automatic poly expansion support. Future devices will also get the example patches from Manny’s VL1-editor examples on the SD card, folder location 20. User manual updated for morphing feature.

Today finished the remaining PVC shells of the first batch.


#6 finished. Now there is some time to improve the firmware a bit. Some minor issues were removed. Working on the new feature “morphing between element 1 and 2”.


Finishing #4 and #5 for shipment. Starting #6.

Unsuccessful attempt to update the firmware by a customer who erased the program memory completely. Not sure how this happened, but I suggest to plug in the micro USB cable into the device carefully and unpowered.


First feedback received from Ake, reworked the firmware based on his findings. The controller is becoming better and better.


Devices #1 to #3 are being shipped, starting to build #4 and #5. Redesigned the front panels a bit to avoid spacing issues with the case.


Now preparing two devices #2 and #3 in parallel.

These are the rotary encoders with switches from Alps, a bit more expensive but durable.

These are the rotary encoders with switches from Alps, a bit more expensive but durable.


Now the case is ready and final testing before shipping the first device.

The MIDI cables are now on the back side for easier rack mount, the power supply as well.

On top is the USB connector for firmware updates or alternative power supply.


Wiring in progress using wirewrap technique, faster and more reliable than soldering.

First device function test.


See the marriage between the front PCBs and the front panel:


All printed circuit boards arrived from the factory (eurocircuits.com)

Finally these are all PCBs for the first controller #1 together.


The plexiglass windows for all displays are milled by the CNC. First test samples:

and inserted into the front panel:


First front panel milled in black and with final new design, it is really beautiful. All letters are engraved by the CNC as well and precision of <0.1 mm is important for a good result. The panel is really densely packed.


Here is some info how the 4 MIDI ports of the controller can be connected:


The build is now starting after enough people ordered for the first batch. On 4th August I ordered the material. Some parts already arrived, but the TFT displays will arrive in some weeks.

In the meantime the front panel has got its final design:

The PCBs got reworked as well. There is one for the OLED displays and the encoders. One for the 4 MIDI ports and 7 for the LEDs and buttons.

7 thoughts on “Build Diary and News”
  1. Hallo Robert,

    ich habe einen Yamaha VL1 Version 2,
    meine Frage ist dein Controller dafür ausgelegt
    oder nur die erste Version?

    Falls ja, setze mich bitte auf deine Liste, ich bin dabei 🙂

    Musikgrüße aus Hamburg,
    Hardy Kukuk

    Hello Robert,

    I have a Yamaha VL1 Version 2,
    My question is your controller is designed for this
    or just the first version?

    If so, please put me on your list, I’ll be there 🙂

    Musical greetings from Hamburg,
    Hardy Kukuk

    1. Hi Hardy,
      The controller is designed for VL1 Version 2. I am not aware that someone on this planet still has a VL1 with Version 1 🙂
      I will send you a PM soon.
      Regards, Robert

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