Particle 2.0.1 Firmware, Manual, and Web Editor

Particle firmware update 2.0.1 and the full Owner’s Manual are available for download. 2.0.1 fixes some bugs and exposes new features via MIDI.

The manual describes some features that are not obvious. Holding down the ON/[DIV] footswitch allows you to set independent tap tempo divisions for the delay time, grain size, density, and LFO rate. The FDBK knob also adjusts the lowpass filter frequency in the feedback loop, for darker repeats.

The web editor (or MIDI) allows you to flip a switch (“modeless”) and combine all eight of the Particle’s modes. The mode knob simply reassigns the delay/pitch and param knobs. This gives you access to all of the granular synthesis parameters, so you can adjust the grain size, density, pitch, and delay, while randomizing pitch and using the LFO for modulation. It’s easy to get lost, so the default setting is to reset other parameters when the mode is changed. You can save a preset with this setting, and switching to the next preset will reset all of the parameters.

You can access the hidden features using our Touch OSC template or our new web-based editor (requires Google Chrome browser):

The editor is currently in beta. It works, but is incomplete and ugly. In addition to configuration settings, it allows you to load and save presets to the pedal’s internal memory, see what version of firmware is installed, and even displays diagnostic error information that can help us troubleshoot problems. We’ll have a similar editor for the Tensor in the future.

If you want to roll your own editor or program a MIDI controller to control the Particle, the details are in the user manual. The web editor prints all of the System Exclusive messages it sends to the JavaScript console, so you can use the web editor and then copy/paste the SysEx into your controller’s editor.

The Tensor uses System Exclusive messages to set configuration settings. Shortly after the Tensor’s release, the MIDI Manufacturer’s Association (MMA) published the MIDI Capability Inquiry (MIDI-CI) specification (CA-035), a standard mechanism for expanding MIDI with new features while maintaining backward compatibility. MIDI-CI defines the protocol for getting and setting properties or state of a device, but it does not define Property Data semantics or identify standard properties. Those many be defined in future documents, but nothing has been published as of this writing. The Particle SysEx format is very similar to MIDI-CI Property Exchange, and we will keep an eye on MIDI 2.0 and MIDI-CI as they evole.

The 2.1.0 firmware update will add new features, including MIDI clock.