Changes to Bass Firmware (Rev. 16) 05 Feb 2016

by Industrial Radio


In this post we are going to point out the most significant changes that have been implemented in the Fretsense™ bass firmware from revision number 2 through to 16. These changes are shared by both 4-string and 5-string midi basses running the latest revision 16.

Summary of Changes

Below is a list of the most significant changes (in no particular order).

  • COMPRESS parameter introduced as a replacement for HIGHPASS
  • HIGHPASS reintroduced with 'Rumble Filter' settings
  • PATCH # now has an 'Off' setting so that performance preset changes on the bass don't always force a MIDI patch change
  • CC KNOB parameter means user can configure MIDI volume knob to control virtually anything
  • PEDAL gets new 'Freeze' setting to allow the user to freeze aspects of performance and play electric bass over the top without triggering new MIDI notes
  • MIDI SEND parameter undergoes a major overhaul including the removal of extraneous/redundant modes and the introduction of the new Imprint modes


The new COMPRESS parameter has been added to help eliminate possible double triggers which can occur with very hard right-hand technique. The COMPRESS parameter monitors the energy in each string and when it sees energy above a defined level it will compess the trigger sensitivity for that string by -6dB (ie. 50%). COMPRESS can be set to 'Off' or between 1 and 20 with a higher value meaning the compression is less likely to occur. The best way to set this parameter is to start at 20 and work your down until double triggers do not occur.

HIGHPASS Now Has 'Rumble Filter' Settings

The HIGHPASS parameter was temporarily abandoned and replaced with the COMPRESS parameter. It has since been re-introduced with additional 'Rumble Filter' settings. HIGHPASS controls the amount of low frequencies that are passed to the triggering algorithm. The original HIGHPASS settings that range from 0.01Hz to 120Hz attenuate the low frequencies by passing the signal through a 2-pole filter. The new 'Rumble Filter' settings, identifiable by the affix +RU, pass the signal through a 6-pole filter designed to more acutely filter out low frequencies below 30Hz, ie. fequencies below 30Hz are noise.

The main point of reducing the low frequency content of the signal being passed to the triggering algorithm is to avoid unwanted triggers caused by inaudible low frequency content that is picked up by the piezo bridge pickups. We have received positive feedback from beta testers using the 'Rumble Filter' settings.

PATCH # Can Now Be Set to 'Off'

Every performance preset on the bass has the PATCH # (Patch Number) setting. Originally, the default behaviour of the bass was to send a MIDI patch change command whenever the performance preset was changed on the bass. However, some customers requested the option to change the performance preset on the bass without forcing a MIDI patch change. This can be useful with sophisticated MIDI setups where the user wishes to control patch changes with an auxiliary device but wants to change other bass setting, eg. octave, in real-time by switching between performance presets with PATCH # set to 'OFF'.


The new CC KNOB (Continuous Controller Knob) parameter lets the user assign the MIDI volume knob on the bass to any continuous controller number. Originally the MIDI volume knob was hardwired to CC#7 (MIDI volume). This allows the user to configure the MIDI volume knob to control virtually any parameter on a synth. This is especially useful with setups where the user prefers to control the MIDI volume using another auxiliary device, eg. expression pedal, and yet wants the option to tweak other synth parameters from the bass.

PEDAL Gets New 'Freeze' Setting

This is another user-requested change. Now users can set PEDAL to 'Freeze' mode so that notes played before depressing the footswitch are frozen and MIDI triggering is disabled until the footswitch is released. This gives users the ability to freeze an aspect of a MIDI performance and accompany it with an electric bass performance without triggering new MIDI notes.

Major Overhaul of MIDI SEND Modes

Finally, we have drastically changed the MIDI SEND modes. Apart from introducing the finalised Imprint modes, the goal is to rationalise the MIDI SEND modes down to only those that are essential. By doing this we hope we can reduce some confusion surrounding these settings and give ourselves the clearest focus point for further explanation.

Here is the list of the original MIDI SEND options for the 4-string / 5-string (with a strike through those that have been dropped).

  • Mono.1
  • Mono.1.L
  • Mono.4.L / Mono.5.L
  • Mono.16.L / Mono.15.L
  • Poly.1
  • Poly.4.L / Poly.5.L
  • Poly.16.L / Poly.15.L

Below is the list of the new MIDI SEND options for the 4-string / 5-string (including the new Imprint modes).

  • Mono.1.L
  • Poly.1
  • Poly.4.L / Poly.5.L
  • Imprint 1
  • Imprint 2
  • Imprint 3

We aren't going to go into the details here about the differences between these modes but shortly we will be uploading posts in the blog about using these different modes correclty.