The LDB-1 Analog Drum Machine Firmware Upgrade
Firmware is the program that is built into a piece of hardware.
The version 1.2 firmware upgrade adds support for more MIDI hardware and software.
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Zero Velocity Note-on Messages
MIDI messages consist of note-on and note-off messages. Note-off messages are meaningless for percussion instruments, and are ignored by the LDB-1. Some sequencers (hardware or software) send a note-on message with zero velocity (volume) instead of a note-off message. That second note-on message can result in double triggering of drums. Firmware version 1.1 ignores zero velocity note-on messages.
Running Status Messages
A MIDI note-on message is three bytes: the status byte that includes the note-on command and the channel, followed by the note number, then the velocity. There is a trick that some sequencers use to save bandwidth called "running status" messages. They send one status byte followed by multiple note plus velocity pairs, without sending another status byte. That can result in missed messages, or the inability to trigger simultaneous drums. Firmware version 1.1 adds support for running status messages.
It can be difficult to determine if your sequencer is sending zero velocity note-on messages or running status messages because MIDI monitoring software reformats incoming messages into properly formatted MIDI commands. However, if you are experiencing any of the above issues, then that is probably the case.
There was an issue that occured when the LDB-1 received MIDI start, stop, and continue messages. It would work the first time, then after a stop and restart, it would be out of sync. This is corrected in firmware version 1.2.
The firmware upgrade is optional and is only useful if you are experiencing one of the above issues.
To find out what version firmware is inside your LDB-1, look at the inside of the battery cover for the firmware version number. If there is no version number, then you have version 1.0.
Upgrading the controller chip in the LDB-1 is very easy. Please refer to these instructions.
If you have a PIC programmer, and know how to use it, contact us, and we will send you the updated hex file at no charge.