The latest firmware for the 880 is now available. Version 1.1.2 has the following changes:
Implements the Trigger Input Interface (TII) for use with the 880 desktop enclosure. The 881 requires 1.1.3 (not yet released).
The current Rhythm Pattern can now be changed using a MIDI Program Change message. MIDI Program Change messages can address up to 128 Rhythm Patterns so patterns 1 to 16 in banks 1 to 8 can be selected by sending a MIDI Program Change message on the 880’s receive channel.
When A/B variations are alternating, changing the pattern now forces the new pattern to play the A variation first before alternating.
Any changes to firmware can introduce bugs. The firmware has been tested but you are encouraged to update and test it before mission critical circumstances such as live performance! Please report bugs if you find them.
Since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic we’ve been getting a lot of queries about product status and availability. Our workspace is currently part of a province-wide lockdown for non-essential businesses. A gradual re-opening is currently taking place and we hope to get back to work in about a month or so. System80 has always been a part-time endeavor and with the shop closed and children home from school (I have four, aged 1 to 11), there has been very little time to do any System80-related work. However, things are still happening, just much more slowly than normal. If there’s any news it usually appears on our Facebook and Instagram profiles.
Here is a detailed update about our projects:
We were about a third of the way through the current production run of 880s when we had to shut down. We have all the parts ready to finish the run and that will be our first order of business when we reopen. For now we are offering the 880 only for direct sale. If you aren’t already on the pre-order list, you can still sign up here. At the moment there are more people on the list than we have units available, but we do find quite a few people have sober second thoughts when their nearly $1000 Eurorack 808 clone is ready to ship. We get it, it’s a big investment and there are cheaper alternatives available. So, if you want one, sign up and there’s still a good chance you’ll get it. If demand warrants it, we might do a third run.
880 Desktop Enclosure
When will the long-promised 880 desktop enclosure be ready? We get frequent queries from current 880 owners about the desktop enclosure. It is ready to go into production and the delay is entirely pandemic-related. The internal electronics are about to go to our contract assembly service and they should be back to us for hand assembly by the end of July. We may interleave production of 880s and the desktop enclosure once our shop reopens, but at the moment we can’t make any promises about when the enclosure will ship. To current 880 owners, I must apologize for the delay. I know some of you predicated your 880 purchase based on the availability of the enclosure and are anxiously awaiting it.
By far our most popular module is JOVE, a functional clone of the Roland Jupiter-6 filter. The 14 HP JOVE has been in production for 3 years now and we recently sold out of our last batch of modules. Last fall we did a limited run of an 8 HP version of JOVE called the 860 as well as a special edition CPU Records version. Since then there have been weekly inquires about the availability of the 860. Now that JOVE is sold out, we’re planning a MK2 version. It will be will be narrower than JOVE, but wider than the 860. More news about that this autumn.
A new version of the 880 firmware is now available. There are three main changes:
MIDI note data is now received in all sync modes when the sequencer is stopped. You no longer have to put the 880 into MIDI slave mode to trigger the drum sounds via MIDI.
MIDI note data with zero velocity now ignored. Some MIDI instruments send a NOTE ON event with velocity zero instead of NOTE OFF. This caused double triggering of notes with the previous firmware.
Sync follower stop/restart: while the 880 is playing as a MIDI clock follower or Sync24 follower pressing SHIFT + START/STOP will stop the sequencer independently. So long as the master clock continues to run, the 880 can be restarted in time with the master on the quarter note by pressing SHIFT + START/STOP again.
The latest firmware has been tested, but you are encouraged to update and test it in your setup before any mission critical circumstances such as live performance! Please report bugs if you find them.
The 860 is a compact 8 HP version of our flagship voltage controlled filter, JOVE. JOVE is 14 HP and we think it’s just the right size. We got into modular via 5U systems (Modcan, dotcom) and have no fondness for extremely compact modules. However, multiple requests for a slimmer version of JOVE prompted the design of a module that retains virtually all of the functionality and usability of the original 14 HP version. The name and panel graphics make the 860 part of the expanding 800-series modules (810, 820, 850, 880).