Draw waveforms directly into your modular synth with this open-source touch module

May 12, 2023

Project update 11 of 15

Production Progress and Faceplate Survey

by Robert J

Hello backers!

Here’s an update of the state of affairs at the beginning of May. First of all, we need your feedback to decide the default faceplate orientation for the module, so please fill in the survey below:

Production Underway

Production is now well underway and our contract manufacturer has confirmed that we will be receiving the materials with us in London towards the end of May – we can’t wait! We have received photos of the final production design and have a sample waiting for us in London for verification after Superbooth, before the remaining 999 will be produced. Here are some photos of the great looking sample:

Gliss faceplate
Gliss faceplate inverted

When we receive the full batch in London, we will do the final assembly work, flashing, testing and calibration as well as quality assurance before we send the modules on their way to you.

We’re afraid to say that this has all made production slip back by a few weeks. The main reason was a delay in us being able to verify the custom header length, which prevented us from giving the okay to our contract manufacturer. In terms of timeline, we are on track to send the boards to Mouser in Texas, who do all the fulfillment for Crowd Supply, by mid-June. They then need between two to four weeks to receive and sort the stock before shipping out to all of our backers. Our apologies for this delay, we promise it will be worth the wait!

In the meantime we have lots of exciting developments to share with you.

Firmware progress

Our development of the firmware gallops on and we have made great progress. We’re close to pausing all development work and moving on to thorough testing before flashing the modules. Here are some exciting new features which have made it into the firmware:

Recording loops

In the RECORD GESTURE mode, it is now possible to record whole patterns of gestures synced to an input clock. Click the button to start recording, perform on the sensor and then click the button again to stop recording. The loop will be synced to the nearest clock tick coming into the input. Change the clock speed during playback to stretch or compress the recorded gesture.

What’s more, with the slider split in two you can now record two patterns of gestures which each have their own loop length, amazing for polyrhythms. Alternatively, you can sync the second pattern to multiples of the first pattern, which makes for very musical looping. We are really proud of this feature and think it might just be the best so far!

Expressive keyboard

You can now sample an incoming voltage to set the pitch of each of the 5 virtual buttons in the EXPRESSIVE KEYBOARD mode. A triple click of the button lets you enter into this sampling mode. Then all you need to do is play a voltage in from your keyboard and touch the virtual button to save the voltage to that note. Click the button to go back to play mode and you’re ready to perform. This makes retuning on the fly a breeze.

Dual pressure-sensitive buttons

Sometimes all you need is a pressure sensitive button and position on the sensor doesn’t matter. For this reason, we have added the option to change the slider into two pressure-sensitive buttons in both DIRECT CONTROL and RECORD GESTURE mode. These are great for percussive performances and for situations in which you want to control the amplitude of your synth voice..

EMC testing passed

We are happy to say that Gliss passed EMC testing, so is ready to be sold in the EU with CE marking! We are super happy about this, it took us a couple of tries to get through. Funnily enough, on our first attempt the Eurorack PSU we were using turned out to be the biggest source of emissions, which made our unit fail the test. The second time, we went back with a linear lab-bench power supply and with improved filtering to our own design and we passed the emissions test easily. Despite the soldermask, an electrostatic discharge on the faceplate caused the module to end up in a weird state which required a manual reset. We added a firmware fix to better handle this case and now it behaves to specs even in case of ESD.

Here’s a couple of photos of Gliss in the EMC laboratory. We did the EMC testing with METECC who guided us through the process and provided expert knowledge to help us pass the testing.

EMC testing
EMC testing

Find us at Superbooth

For those of you who are in Berlin or visiting the EU come and find us at Superbooth 2023. We will be there the whole 3 days and you can find us at booth Z150 in very good company.

Gliss at Superbooth

Superbooth, for those of you who don’t know, has become one of the most important dates in the calendar of synthesizer enthusiasts. Taking place over 3 days, the event brings together hundreds of synth and Eurorack manufacturers under one roof. There are loads of new modules to try out and great live events throughout. We will have a whole stash of Gliss modules available for you to play on and we’ll be showcasing next to CHAIR (the Center for Haptic Audio Interaction Research) with whom we have been extensively collaborating over the past year, including on Gliss and on the new revisions of Trill.

Faceplate orientation survey

As you all know, Gliss ships with two interchangeable faceplates so you can choose the best orientation for your case. When assembling the modules in London we will attach one of the two faceplates so the modules are ready to use out of the box, but we are not sure which orientation to use as default. We have decided to take a community vote to see which orientation is preferred. Please let us know your preference here and we will go with the majority:

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