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Quatschmacher

Future Impact owners’ resource page

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At the behest of @Al Krow I’m going to start a page which should hopefully serve as a helpful resource for understanding and using the FI and for sharing patches. For the moment, I’ll include an explanation of some of the features in the editor, which I wrote as a PM to @GisserD, I’ll add to this in due course. There is a new editor due out after April so I’ll amend once I’ve had chance to familiarise myself with its enhanced features.

If anyone would like me to explain a particular feature then please comment and I’ll do my best to add it below as quickly as possible.

I’ll also include a link to patches I’ve created and will add to this as I create new ones.

Likewise, if you have useful tips or patches to share then please do!

Please give me a “like” or comment if you’ve found this useful. It’ll encourage me to do more!

Thanks.

__________________________________________

Editor tips: 

In the VCF/MODULATION section, “Freq Vintage” is the cutoff of the original Deep Impact filter (with its imperfect scaling). “Freq New” is the cutoff of the new, perfectly-scaled FI filter. You can only engage either one or the other. Switching has to be done by the Vintage one though. Set its slider to “off” and it will engage the New one; turn it up and it disables the new one.

After reading the manual again, it appears that the number that “freq new” is set to corresponds to the MIDI note number of the same value. That is to say, each increase of 1 corresponds to a semitone. Note 36 (min) is C (65.4Hz), note 122 (max) is D (9397.27Hz).

”Freq 2nd” is the cutoff off a second (bandpass) filter running in parallel. Turning its slider up engages it.  You can then space the two filters to create dual-peak, vocal formant- type sounds. An increment increase of 1 provides a one-semitone offset from the main filter. Oddly, this second filter still reacts to envelopes and LFO even if you turn off the main filter with the dial in the top right of the screen. This can yield some interesting results.

 In the VCF/ENVELOPE section, “attack” sets how quickly the filter(s) open(s) from cutoff to maximum. “Decay” sets how quickly the filter(s) close(s) from maximum back to the cutoff point.

Back to the VCF/MODULATION section, “AD” sets how much the VCF AD envelope will affect the filter cutoff - higher values will open the filter further. “Env. Follower” sets how much your plucking dynamics (bass’s volume envelope) will affect the filter cutoff - again higher values cause the filter to open further.

You need to be judicious in balancing the “AD” and “Env. follower” sliders in the above section. If you want a regular, always-the-same-shape, keyboard-style envelope then only use the AD slider. Adding too much of the envelope follower can override the shape of the AD envelope you’ve chosen. A bass’s volume envelope has a reasonably quick rise to maximum and then a longish decay as the note dies out. If you’re trying to program a slow upward filter sweep on the AD, the envelope follower will swamp that. Likewise, if you’re trying to program a very snappy decay on the AD (like acid-type bass sounds), the long decay of the bass’s volume envelope will ruin that if you apply too much envelope follower.

“Resonance” controls how much a portion of the signal is fed back into the filter. This boosts the frequencies around the selected cutoff point, thus creating a resonant peak.

Turning the resonance to maximum on 24dB mode will cause the filter to self-oscillate, yielding a pure sine wave oscillator. When using a bass guitar, you’ll need to have “bass” turned up in the VCF INPUT section (it needs a trigger and pitch reference). It probably works better when plugging in a keyboard instead as you’ll probably be able to hear just the sine wave. It doesn’t seem to behave at all like it does on analogue synths - changing the cutoff didn’t really enable me to tune it very well. Weirdly it seems to be best in tune when the “freq. vintage” was set to 0. After reading the manual it looks like the new filter will behave correctly (see above under explanation of “freq new”). I’ll have another go and update this page accordingly.

The “Slope” knob switches between a 2-pole (12dB per octave) slope and 4-pole (24dB per octave) slope. The latter cuts off the higher frequencies above the cutoff point more rapidly than the former.

LFO can be used to control the filter, either on its own or in conjunction with the envelope(s). (LFO can also be used to modulate the oscillators’ pitch.) I like that it has a delay slider too so that the LFO fades in over time. I’ve used that on one of the patches I shared. The LFO can be controlled by MIDI CC #1 and so a foot pedal can be used to bring modulation in and out as desired.

What is really cool is that the noise has its own AD envelope (next to the VCF AD envelope sliders). This means you can program a short burst of noise to create a percussive attack even when you’ve programmed a long decaying filter sweep. (Normally noise just goes through the same filter as the other sources so that if you program a long decaying filter sweep, you can hear the noise all the way through. On the FI, you can get the noise to just be present right at the moment of attack and quickly disappear, or conversely, have it silent at the start and then slowly fade in.)

I’ve finally figured out how the harmoniser section works! It’s part of the distortion circuit. You need to turn up the “distortion” slider in the INPUT section and (at least one of) the voices in the MIXER section (next to HARMONIZER) in order to hear it.

One oddity I’ve found with the FI is as follows: if you’ve edited and saved any of your patch parameters on the actual pedal and you subsequently load new patches into those slots, then the new patches will take on those tweaked values.

If that’s not clear what I mean: on the pedal a parameter setting of 5 is the default, i.e. if all parameters are set to 5, the patch will sound exactly like it did when you created it in the editor. Say you make an edit to a patch on the pedal and set its resonance to 9 and save the change by clicking the edit knob; when you load a new patch into that slot, its resonance will be set to 9 also.

I realised this quirk when my first patch sounded nothing like it should have sounded. Luckily, setting each parameter back to 5 sorts it out. You can do this for all patches at once from one of the power-on menu settings.

__________________________________________

Patch transferring

Here’s a little pointer that is an answer to a query about how to actually load patches on to the pedal. I know a few people have struggled with this. This is a cut and paste of a reply I wrote on TB:

You need to find out which patches you want to load onto the pedal and which slot number in the pedal you want to have it.

If you just want to replace one individual patch with another then first find a patch on the pedal that you want to overwrite. Then find the file on your PC of the patch you wish to write to the pedal. Rename this file so that it starts with the two-digit prefix of the slot into which you wish to load it. Open the renamed file again via the editor then click “write single file to pedal” and it will get loaded into that slot.

If you want to load multiple files at once onto the pedal then it’s best to create a folder, copy in the PC files you want to load onto the pedal. Then rename each file with the slot numbers you want them to go, choose that folder via the editor then click “write all”. Any blanks will be skipped over and left untouched in the pedal.

I’ve gone a step further and have all patches I like in one folder (unnumbered). I then have a different folder into which I placed the 99 patches I want on my pedal at any given time and I number these with the two-digit prefix and write these all at once. If ever I swap any out, I delete the old file from this folder, add the new file and number it and then write all again.

Or you could simply have one big folder with all patches you like and then just number the 99 that you want and click write all. Any unnumbered patches will be ignored in the write process.

______________________________________

Patch sharing:

(I’ll see if I can create a shared drive like the one on Talkbass)

My patches:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1C7ZYqsyXkyNuasuuwLrQlICboSsGfXMp

 

TB shared patches (including mine):

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zto20lpne0dnent/AAC6W_8BHeYLrBTjkcoJBzCza?dl=0

Edited by Quatschmacher
Added new information
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Before serfdom beckons for the rest of us mere mortals, my initial contribution to the thread (and thanks to our Overlord for getting it started) is this excellent review by Zach which provides a great intro to the FI for anyone new to the pedal.

As an aside, for the money IMO there is no better bass synth pedal available on the market today than the FI. There I've said it! 😀

 

Edited by Al Krow

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As a general tip to improve tracking: Motown-style foam under the bridge. The “Ain’t Nobody” patches I attempted have poor tracking but are vastly improved by the addition of a foam mute under the bridge!

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43 minutes ago, Quatschmacher said:

Does that mean if I get enough I become a Basschat Overlord?

yes. but you will have to overtake @Al Krow before that happens :biggrin:

20 minutes ago, Quatschmacher said:

As a general tip to improve tracking: Motown-style foam under the bridge. The “Ain’t Nobody” patches I attempted have poor tracking but are vastly improved by the addition of a foam mute under the bridge!

i find my FI tracks noticeably better with my P with flats, than a jazz with rounds. I attribute that to there being less overtones/ more fundamental for the tracking to lock onto.

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4 hours ago, Quatschmacher said:

Does that mean if I get enough I become a Basschat Overlord?

No. You get access to BC Gold. Apparently. 

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I'm interested to hear there's a new editor on the horizon - any info on this? Something a bit simpler to use/understand would be a real bonus!

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1 hour ago, King Tut said:

I'm interested to hear there's a new editor on the horizon - any info on this? Something a bit simpler to use/understand would be a real bonus!

If anything it’ll be more complex as there’ll be a mod matrix, which will be amazing!

If by “simpler to use” you mean having drag-and-drop interface for transferring patches then I totally agree with you. 

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I’ve just uploaded 8 new patches I’ve made to the folder. I made these at the keyboard so have yet to see how we’ll they work on bass. My reason behind this was that I wanted to get them to sound like proper keyboard patches and that is best achieved at the keyboard. Also, these were all made using the new (as opposed to the vintage) filter.

Edit - they work just fine on bass. 

Edited by Quatschmacher

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9 hours ago, Quatschmacher said:

If anything it’ll be more complex as there’ll be a mod matrix, which will be amazing!

If by “simpler to use” you mean having drag-and-drop interface for transferring patches then I totally agree with you. 

Drag and drop would be good. By 'simpler' I meant something that would help those of us who aren't that competent in synth programming to tailor patches. Parameters (off the top of my head) such as wobble, thickness, wah etc would be good. I understand the basics - adsr's, vco's, vca's etc but I tend to get a bit bogged down with so many parameters. I'm absolutely not knocking what we've got, it's an amazing bit of kit, but for me a simpler way of programming to complement what we have would be fab!

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12 minutes ago, King Tut said:

Drag and drop would be good. By 'simpler' I meant something that would help those of us who aren't that competent in synth programming to tailor patches. Parameters (off the top of my head) such as wobble, thickness, wah etc would be good. I understand the basics - adsr's, vco's, vca's etc but I tend to get a bit bogged down with so many parameters. I'm absolutely not knocking what we've got, it's an amazing bit of kit, but for me a simpler way of programming to complement what we have would be fab!

I’d suggest playing with the parameters on the pedal itself to hear what effect they have on any given sound. That’ll help with things like cutoff, resonance, attack, decay, envelope depth etc. Have a play with some of the patches which only use a single oscillator and a single waveform first (some of mine are of this type and labelled as such).

If you have an iOS device then I’d highly recommend getting the Moog Model D app and having a play with that. The Model D is a great, easy-to-understand interface from which you can quickly learn more about synthesis. I’m certainly no master synthesist but a little knowledge can go a long way.

Better still would be to pick up a cheap hardware monosynth. We are spoiled for choice these days and for the cost of a pedal or two you can get something really powerful and easy to learn on.

Also, check out the old SOS Synth Secrets column - collated into one PDF file here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_mpRWF7AYVw03MxhDMls9HGJBwNv4h6J/view?usp=drivesdk

 

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@mr zed, now that you’ve joined the club, make sure you have the means to hook up to your PC by the time it arrives so you can try out all the great shared patches, either via an audio interface with MIDI ports or via a dedicated USB-MIDI adapter (there’s a list of ones already tested for compatibility on the Panda site). 

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I’ve just uploaded a few new FI patches. I’ve tweaked a couple of the first ones I made to use the new filter instead of vintage one. I’ve also managed two more FM-type bass sounds using the foldover distortion when overloading the mixer. 

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On 16/12/2018 at 16:34, Quatschmacher said:

As a general tip to improve tracking: Motown-style foam under the bridge. The “Ain’t Nobody” patches I attempted have poor tracking but are vastly improved by the addition of a foam mute under the bridge!

Part of the poor tracking is down to where on the neck this line is played. It’s on Eb at the 11th fret of the E string. I’m using really heavy flats with a medium action. What I’m finding is that those things are causing the string to play a harmonic if muting with only my LH index finger. I’m other words, it’s partly a technique issue. I found that using more LH fingers and my RH thumb to mute the E string when skipping octaves improved things a lot. It’s pretty tricky to keep moving my thumb back and forth at speed. When playing octaves on E and D strings without effects, I generally anchor my thumb on the pickup and it’s fine. It’s going to take some concerted practice to adapt. 

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Anyone got any ideas about cheap means of connecting the FI to my laptop? I've got an Alessis midi-usb interface that doesn't work at all... Or do I need to upgrade my Scarlett 2i2 to 8i6 or more?

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just copied this from the Panda Midi website...

Future Impact patch editor - MIDI interfaces we tested

Panda-Audio midiBeam - works perfectly
Steinberg UR22 - works perfectly
Roland UM-ONE MK2 - works perfectly
RME Fireface UC - works perfectly
M-Audio Fasttrack-Pro - works perfectly
M-Audio Midisport 4x4 - works perfectly
M-Audio Firewire 1814 - works perfectly
Behringer UMC404HD - works perfectly
Presonus Firepod - works perfectly
Bespeco BM USB100 - works perfectly
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 - works perfectly
Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 - works perfectly
Audiobox USB - works perfectly
RME UFX - works perfectly
ESI M4U XL - works perfectly


Edirol UM-1S - works in 90%, sometimes errors experienced, but useable

Alesis USB MIDI cable - does not work
any unbranded USB MIDI cable - does not work
Akai EIE, EIE-PRO - does not work
Miditech Midilink-mini - no sysex implementation at all, not useable

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Another nugget of info in case you missed it:

To save any changes made to parameters on the pedal using the encoder, press the encoder.

The last saved patch becomes the patch which is loaded at power-on. So if you want a particular patch to be loaded but want it to be in its original, unedited state, turn the encoder to changes parameter’s value, flip it back and then save it. 

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On ‎13‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 12:02, GisserD said:

Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 - works perfectly

Found one of these on ebay for £notverymuch...

And it works perfectly! Not only that but now I've got lots more inputs available into Ableton.

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