Pollen(8)

Video Demo

A full featured 8 voice polyphonic synthesizer for your Electro-smith Daisy pod !
*this product is in no way affiliated or endorsed by electro-smith

As always, this is to be used at your own risk!

A quick word...

I'm having a ton with this module, and your support really helps! If you like stuff like this and my other work, by all means feel free to contribute whatever you can to help support this!

Note! A few things you should be aware of before continuing!

  • The UI primarily comprises of the knobs and RGB LEDs on the Daisy Pod. On startup and for file error conditions, the LEDS will briefly flash at around 1.4hz, something to be aware of if your are susceptible to flashing lights, as well as the lights changing colours as you press the buttons.
  • The Daisy hardware and software are at this time very new, and something to note is currently, both using this software or the demos provided, the audio output on startup / reset will generate a loud pop. Currently there is no way around this that I am aware of at this time (the demos provided also will cause this).
  • Also note as the hardware and software are still very new and in development, you must use this at your own risk! No warranty of any kind is offered!
  • Hearing a constant 1khz buzz? This can occur when powering the Daisy pod from your PC. Try powering your Daisy pod from an isolated usb power source, such as a usb battery.
  • Still hearing some noise? If you have enabled the external input but have plugged nothing in to it, you may hear a 50hz buzz as well. Note, by default the external input is disabled to avoid this.

Programming your Daisy pod...
You can program your Daisy POD via the Web Programmer here - note, currently this requires Google Chrome version 61 or newer.

Click on "Display Requirements" and "Display Usage" for help on how to actually program your Daisy pod. It is suggested that you become familiar with downloading firmware to your Daisy pod by trying some of the examples.

Once you are comfortable and familiar with downloading firmware:

  • Connect to your Daisy pod in DFU firmware update mode
  • Using the web programmer, "Select a file from your computer" using the Browse button
  • Select the pollen8.bin file
  • Press the "Program" button. You should see progress bars appear indicating that the device is being programmed (similar to when you programmed the demo projects)

Get the .bin file for your Daisy pod here. Please ensure you have read all of the above before attempting to program your device.

This software requires a standard 5 pin MIDI to 3.5mm(1/8") TRS jack, type "A". https://www.midi.org/midi-articles/trs-specification-adopted-and-released



Running with a Daisy...

Pollen(8) is a "full featured" 8 voice 2 oscillator virtual analog synthesizer for your Daisy pod. "Full featured" includes:

  • 2 Oscillators per voice with the following features:
    • Smoothly mix from Triangle to Saw....
    • Or from Saw to Variable Pulse Width
    • Oscillator Sync
    • White Noise Generator
  • 2 LFOs
    • Currently LFOs are triangle only, this may change in the future if demand sees fit.
    • These are applicable to pitch, pulsewidth and filter cutoff.
  • Low pass filter with resonance
    • Filter Overdrive - Allows you to overdrive and clip the input to the filter
  • Four play modes supported:
    • Polyphonic - 8 voice polyphony
    • Monophonic - 1 voice only
    • Unison - All 8 voices / 16 oscillators playing at once
    • Poly-Unison - All 8 voices play at once, but the voice pitches are re-allocated as the number of keys pressed change.
    • Unison spread from 0 cents to up to 1 octave per voice!
  • Two pitchbend modes supported:
    • Standard, where the position of the pitchbend determines the pitch
    • Motion-bend - where moving the pitchbend wheel determines the speed at which the pitch bend occurs
  • Pitchbend key range
    • So you can keep bass notes in tune while pitch bending higher notes, or vice versa, etc.
  • 3 Chorus effects :
    • "Hera", my popular 80's style loguesdk chorus
    • A flanger
    • "*Buckets" (fixed 'brigade' version) - Also from my loguesdk work - a 70's string machine triple chorus
  • 2 Delay effects
    • A basic delay with up to 1.36 seconds delay, and up to infinite feedback
    • My popular "Cathedral xd" loguesdk reverb, with variable low pass filter on the reverb signal and up to infinite feedback
  • A 3 band equalizer
    • Variable low pass and high pass frequencies
    • Gains for low/mid/high levels
  • Arpeggiator
      Up / Down modes available
  • External input support
    • With support for pre-post fx routing
  • Save / load patches to SD card, with support for default patch loading on startup

All of this is controllable via two buttons, and two knobs, using the RGB leds to indicate the current menu - with the encoder serving the File read/write functions. In addition, the seed LED is used to indicate MIDI activity, and will glow inverted if you are on an unused menu.
The encoder wheel is used to control the SD card file reading and writing.

File I/O:
Once your firmware has been downloaded, on startup/reset of your Daisy pod, you should see a few led blinks, followed by a pause, and either one GREEN flash, or two RED flashes.
The green flash indicates that the sd card has been found and mounted sucessfully, wheras the two red flashes indicate that the SD card was either missing or unreadable.

At this time, it is important that the sd card MUST be sucessfully mounted (as indicated by the green flash) on startup, else you will NOT be able to save any patches to disk, even if you try to put an sd card in after starting up!

Usage:
The Encoder Wheel is used to save and load patches from the SD card. Turning the Encoder wheel to the right will load the next patch, and turning it left will load the previous patch.
On successful read / finding of a saved patch, you will see LED1 indicate the following:
  • One green flash : File Loaded Successfully
  • One Purple Flash - SD Card present, no files on the card!
  • One Blue Flash - This is the first patch
If the SD card has been sucessfully detected, you may save and load patches to the sd card. The files are saved as such :
  • patch_1.dat
  • patch_2.dat
  • patch_3.dat
  • patch_4.dat
etc. On startup, the software looks for the highest sequentially named file. So, if you delete a patch using a PC (for example patch_3.dat), on initialization with this software it will detect that the "next" filename is patch_3.dat. After saving, the software will attempt to look for the next available patch number.
In addition, if you wish the unit to start with a different sound than the default init patch, simply copy and rename any patch_x.dat to patch_init.dat . It will load this file if present on startup.

Menus

The menus are divided into colours as follows:

  • Off Not used Off - Does nothing

    This is a base unused menu that is kept free on purpose, for now.

  • White - Oscillator Menu


  • WHITE OFF OSC1 / OSC2 Coarse tuning

    Coarse semitone tuning for oscillator 1 and 2, from -1 octave to +1 octave.

  • WHITE WHITE OSC1 / OSC2 Fine tuning

    Fine tuning for oscillator 1 and 2, from -1 semitone to +1 semitone, with emphasis on finer tuning near the middle.

  • WHITE RED Oscillator 1/2 Type

    Currently not implemented. This will be for future oscillator types as space permits (FM, granular, wavetable etc)

  • WHITE CYAN Oscillator 1/2 Shape

    Rolls through the basic virtual analog shapes. From 0-halfway will mix from triangle to sawtooth, and from halfway to full will mix from sawtooth to square (pulse).

  • WHITE PURPLE Oscillator 1/2 Sub-Shape

    Currently will set the base pulse width from 0 to 50% when the pulse waveform is selected.

  • WHITE GREEN Oscillator 2 Sync / Pitch EG amount

    POT1 will enable oscillator 2 sync (oscillator 2 is synchronized to oscillator 1) when this value is more than half
    POT2 will set the amount to apply the PITCH EG envelope to oscillator 2 (+/- value with finer control near the middle - set to the centre to disable)

  • WHITE BLUE Fixed vibrato LFO amount

    Sets the 'fixed' amount of vibrato LFO to apply to oscillator 1/2. Bipolar, allows negative values. This is the same LFO that is used with the modwheel, this just allows you to set a fixed minimum amount.

  • WHITE YELLOW PWM Amount

    Sets the amount of PWM to apply via LFO1 to oscillator 1 and 2

  • Red - Filter
    Filter parameters, including filter envelopes.

  • RED OFF Filter Cutoff / Resonance

    POT1 Filter Cutoff
    POT1 Filter Resonance

  • RED WHITE Filter Overdrive / Character

    POT1: Sets the amount of hard clipping overdrive to apply to the input of the filter. Can reveal overtones that were previously quiet.
    Filter character not implemented at this time.

  • RED RED Filter Model

    Not implemented yet. This will allow different filter emulations to be selected.

  • RED CYAN Filter EG / LFO Amount

    POT1 Filter EG Amount (+/-). Amount to apply the filter eg to the cutoff
    POT2 Filter LFO2 Amount. Amount to apply LFO2 to the filter

  • RED PURPLE Filter Envelope Attack / Decay

    POT1 Filter EG Attack Rate
    POT2 Filter EG Decay Rate

  • RED GREEN Filter EG Sustain / Release

    POT1 Filter EG Sustain level
    POT2 Filter EG Decay rate

  • RED BLUE Filter Mode

    Currently not implemented, but will be for base modes for the filter (LP/HP/BP/Notch etc)

  • RED YELLOW Filter Pitch Tracking

    POT1 Filter cutoff pich tracking amount, centred around middle C.
    POT2 Not used

  • CYAN - Mixer / Amplitude
    Oscillator / noise / Amplitude envelope generator.

  • CYAN OFF Osc 1 / 2 Level / Overdrive

    Sets the oscillator 1 / 2 levels. Note, setting the oscillator levels beyond halfway will overdrive (and clip) the input to the filter, allowing you to realize some pre-filter overdrive.

  • CYAN WHITE Noise Level

    POT1 Sets the white noise level
    POT1 Currently not used

  • CYAN RED External input level / routing

    • POT1 : Sets the external input level. Note, setting this to 0 will mute the external input, and setting to 100% will add 6db (tbd) gain.
    • POT2 : < 50% = External input is dry / eq. >50% External input routed through fx.

  • CYAN CYAN Unused

    Unused, as I wanted all of the EG parameters to reside on the same sub-page (e.g. same colours for attack/decay etc regardless for oscillator, amp or filter)

  • CYAN PURPLE AMP EG Attack / Decay

    POT1 AMP EG Attack Rate
    POT1 AMP EG Decay Rate

  • CYAN GREEN AMP EG Sustain / Release

    POT1 AMP EG Sustain Level
    POT1 AMP EG Release Rate

  • CYAN BLUE Unused

    Unused

  • CYAN YELLOW Unused

    Unused

  • Purple - Modulation
    LFOs and Pitch modulation envelope.

  • PURPLE OFF LFO Rates

    POT1 LFO1 (PWM) Rate
    POT2 LFO2 (Filter) Rate

  • PURPLE WHITE Unused

    Unused

  • PURPLE RED Unused

    Unused

  • PURPLE CYAN Unused

    Unused

  • PURPLE PURPLE Pitch EG

    POT1 Pitch EG Attack Rate
    POT1 Pitch EG Decay Rate

  • PURPLE GREEN Pitch EG

    POT1 Pitch EG Sustain Level
    POT1 Pitch EG Release Rate

  • PURPLE BLUE Unused

    Unused

  • PURPLE YELLOW Unused

    Unused

  • Green - Performance


  • GREEN OFF Synth Mode / Portamento Rate

    POT1 Sets the overall synthesizer mode from the following settings:
    • Polyphonic - Round robin 8 voice polyphony
    • Monophonic - 1 Voice high note priority monophonic
    • Unison
    • - 8 Voice (16 oscillator) Unison mode
    • Poly-Unison
    • - Polyphonic Mono-mode Unison. Like unison, but will re-allocate the voices as more notes are played.
    POT2 Portamento Rate. Sets the Portamento Rate

  • GREEN WHITE Portamento Rate / Unison Spread

    POT1 Sets the portamento rate. This was duplicated here as it is useful to use with the unison spread.
    POT2 Sets the amount of spread for the unison modes,with emphasis on finer control.

  • GREEN RED Portamento Type / Pitchbend Type

    POT1 Sets the portamento type:
    • Exponential : Similar to modular synthesizers
    • Linear : Similar to 'mini' synthesizers

    POT2 Sets the pitchbend type:
    • Normal : Pitch bend behaves as normal
    • Rate : The pitch will smoothly "sweep" at the rate specified by the pitchbend knob, returning to 0 when released
    See other menus for +/- pitch bend amounts

  • GREEN CYAN Modwheel LFO1 Pitch / Filter

    POT1 LFO1 Amount
    POT2 Filter Amount

  • GREEN PURPLE Arpeggio mode / Arpeggio Rate

    POT1 Sets the arpeggio mode (off/up/down)
    POT2 Sets the arpeggio rate

  • GREEN GREEN Arpeggio Dwell time / Rate

    POT1 Sets the arpeggio dwell time (gate length)
    POT2 Sets the arpeggio rate

  • GREEN BLUE Pitchbend Note Range

    POT1 Global detune -/+ 1 octave
    POT2 Global detune -/+ 1 semitone

  • GREEN YELLOW GLOBAL DETUNE

    POT1 Global detune -/+ 1 octave
    POT2 Global detune -/+ 1 semitone

  • Blue - FX


  • BLUE OFF Chorus Effect Selection

    POT1 Selects the chorus effect
    • Chorus - My popular loguesdk Hera 80's style chorus in your Daisy Pod!
    • Flanger - A basic flanger
    • Brigade - My also popular loguesdk "Brigade" chorus, that emulates a 1970's string machine type triple-chorus. Note, this chorus does not support wet/dry levels, as the effect is pretty much on or off.
    POT2 Unused

  • BLUE WHITE Chorus Effect Parameters

    Parameters for your selected chorus effect.
    • Chorus : Mirrors my "Hera" logue sdk chorus. So...:
      • POT1 : Sets the chorus rate from 0 to 10hz
      • POT2 : From 0-50% sets the chorus depth from 0 to full, dry signal IN phase
      • POT2 : From 50-100% sets the chorus depth from full to 0, dry signal OUT of phase
    • Flanger : Sets Rate and LFO Depth :
      • POT1 : Sets the flanger LFO Rate
      • POT2 : Sets the flanger LFO Depth
    • Brigade : My "Brigade" (part of "Buckets") loguesdk chorus that logueEmulates a 1970's string machine type triple chorus. There are no parameters for this, and the wet/dry ratio will do nothing, as a: this effect tradtionally is an on/off only effect, and b: the effect really only works "properly" with the correct mixture

  • BLUE RED Delay / Reverb Effect Type

    POT1 Selects the delay / reverb effect
    • Basic Delay - A standard dual channel delay
    • Cathedral - My popular loguesdk "Cathedral-xd" reverb
    POT2 Unused

  • BLUE CYAN Delay / Reverb Effect Parameters

    POT1
    • Basic Delay : Sets the delay rate (lower values = longer delays)
    • Cathedral Reverb : Sets the reverb filter frequency (lower values = more filtering)
    POT2
    • Basic Delay : Delay Feedback (0-100%)
    • Cathedral Reverb : Reverb Feedback (0-100%, note at 100% it will reverbate indefinitely)

  • BLUE PURPLE Unused

    Unused

  • BLUE GREEN Unused

    Unused

  • BLUE BLUE FX Wet / Dry Ratios

    POT1 Modulation effect dry/wet ratio (full left = full dry, full right = full wet)
    POT2 Delay/Reverb effect dry/wet ratio (full left = full dry, full right = full wet)

  • BLUE YELLOW Reverb Level / Feedback

    Duplicated somewhat for convenience.
    POT1 Reverb (only) dry/wet ratio (full left = full dry, full right = full wet)
    POT2 Reverb (only) feedback

  • Yellow

    EQ / External Input / Misc

  • YELLOW OFF EQ Low / High Level

    3 Band Equalizer - Low / High levels POT1 EQ Low Level
    POT2 EQ High Level

  • YELLOW WHITE EQ Mid Level / Enable

    3 Band Equalizer - Mid Level / overall enable POT1 EQ Mid Level
    POT2 EQ Enable (>= 50% to enable)

  • YELLOW RED EQ Low / High Frequencies

    POT1 EQ Low Frequency 100 -1080 Hz
    POT2 EQ High Frequency 1K-5K hz

  • YELLOW CYAN External Input Enable / Routing

    POT1 External Input Enable (>= 50% to enable). By default this is disabled, as an unconnected external input can cause noise.
    POT2 External Input Routing (>= 50% external input routed through fx). By default this is enabled.

  • YELLOW PURPLE Click Level

    POT1 For values that are not continuous, a slight 'click' is heard when the value changes. The click level is adjustable here.

  • YELLOW GREEN Unused

    Unused

  • YELLOW BLUE Unused

    Unused

  • YELLOW YELLOW Unused

    Unused