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Alternate Firmwares Addendum


We’ve already seen some alternate firmwares in the article Open Modules for Open Minds Pt.3, but in the meantime I was able to discover even more. Some of them are open source, some of them aren’t and some others are even reverse-engineered attempts to extend a module’s functionality. This is a quick update, just because I know you’d like it.

Pamela’s Workout Alternate Euclidean ‘Toy’ Firmware

Euclidean rhythms seem to be a popular way to create percussive parts by playing with math. The already excellent Pamela’s Workout module by ALM can be turned into such a geometrical beat generator by using this alternate firmware developed by the guys at ALM themselves:

Euclidean “Toy” Firmware (on Muff Wiggler)

ALM want to let you know that:

Please note, this firmware is not actively developed or supported in any way. It just meant as a nice little bonus. Have fun.

In case you’re wondering, ALM’s module is not open source, nor is this alternate firmware. Still it seems like a nice little extra thing to play with if you have a Pamela’ Workout.

There’s only a couple of videos on-line that showcase the firmware’s functionality, but if you know a better ,one let me know!

Microbe Meta Wavetable LFO

The Meta by Microbe Modular is an open source, minimalistic, digital sequencer. Recently I’ve discovered this alternate firmware that will turn the module into an interesting LFO:

Meta LFO (Muff Wiggler)

ThisThing for the Expert Sleepers Disting

Squinky Labs are offering an alternate firmware for the ES Disting (currently beta, as I write this)

My old friend Bruce Frazer (Voyetra, Sequencer Plus, etc) and I have teamed up to create alternative firmware for Expert Sleepers Disting. We’re calling ourselves Squinky Labs. I design and test. Bruce codes. Our initial offering will be a suite of 16 CV Utilities called ThisThing.

Not open source, though they will send you the source if you want to mod/hack it.

update: Bruce Frazer just informed me that it is fully open source (MIT license) and available here: github.com/squinkylabs/thisthing

More info here on Muff Wiggler

Zorlon Cannon MKII – Firmware rewrite work

Kind of a special mention: apparently a guy who goes under the name Jamis Nemo on Muff Wiggler has been reverse engineering the Harvestman Zorlon Cannon MKII. If you go through the thread you’ll see that he actually was in contact with Harvestman’s Scott Jaeger, asking for approval for most “milestone” steps in the development and received some official, technical info about the module.

He initially even released some info about the module’s inner workings, later taking a step back and only releasing a .hex file for his alternate firmware.

Well, I just got word back from Scott saying that he’s okay with me releasing the final hex file for this work!

He’s not okay with the rest of the hardware specifications being shared, however.

You can read the whole story here:

Zorlon Cannon MKII – Firmware rewrite work

The project doesn’t seem to be on-line anymore, but I find this to be an interesting story, which shows that there is a high degree of openness in the modular world, which might also explain why so many makers decided to go completely open source.


Graphic designer, illustrator and soundmangler. He makes music as kurodama and as part of the electronic music duo kvsu. Together with his wife Elizabeth he runs Papernoise, a small design studio located in northern Italy, specialised in graphic design for the world of music.