With firmware 1.7 the Expert Sleepers Disting EX multi-function module is a fully MIDI controllable stereo granular Synthesizer & audio processor.
Andrew Ostler or as I like to call him “Magic Os” from Expert Sleepers writes product care very big. No other manufacturer publishes new firmware updates for its products so constantly. This is especially for the multi-functional modules Disting Mk4 or Disting EX. For both, I should delete the news articles, as they no longer show the current status.
The disting EX, which was only presented last year on the Superbooth 20 Home Edition, has now grown with a large number of new algorithms. The biggest new addition so far was in the December update that introduced a polyphonic wavetable Synthesizer. And now there is one more. Firmware 1.7 adds a polyphonic granular synth that will arouse the interest of many granular synthesis lovers.
Expert Sleepers Disting EX 1.7
The star of the new Disting EX 1.7 firmware is the new granulator. It’s stereo (in/out), can be used as an instrument or live audio processor. You can either feed the internal buffer with live audio or load it in from the microSD card. The engine is huge: it has over 50 parameters, offers classic granular parameters but also new ones like a crossfade loop functionality.
If you control the granulator as an instrument via MIDI, it will have up to 8 times polyphonic. Thus you get a full-featured granular Synthesizer for the Eurorack system. This algorithm is a late or early Christmas present for any owner. After the complete wavetable synthesizer in December 2020 now a powerful granular synth. The module offers more options than any other. But this will also drive up the demand for it again, pretty sure. Andrew Ostler (Os), head of Expert Sleepers has published numerous videos that show what is possible with the algorithm.
New Features & Improvements
In addition to the fabulous granulator, there are numerous other new features. The new version 1.7 incorporates the disting mk4 firmware versions 4.18 and 4.19 that introduce features from the little 4HP brother/sister. Then it adds new dual-mode algorithms equivalent to the disting mk4’s stereo clockable SD delay algorithm with the same functionality, but without using the microSD card. The SD Multisample and Poly Wavetable algorithms now support MTS (MIDI tuning standard). Further, you can now send MIDI CCs when changing parameters or loading presets (to update controllers or editors). That is far from all.
- Output mode’ parameter to the SD Multisample algorithm.
- LFO retrigger’ and ‘LFO spread’ parameters to the Poly Wavetable algorithm
- When a preset is loaded or saved, the top line of the display now shows the preset name instead of the algorithm name, until the preset is edited.
- the option of using the ‘L’ and ‘R’ buttons to step between presets for the current algorithm.
- functions to save all presets as individual files to a folder on the SD card, and to load presets files from a folder and install them in flash.
- erase a preset in flash is now possible
- MIDI activity indicators to the default single-mode display.
- an ‘output key’ display to complement the existing ‘input key’ (when holding ‘V’).
- Gate CV threshold’ setting.
- a setting so that when a parameter is mapped using MIDI learn, any other mappings using that CC are disabled.
- dual-mode algorithms with Tap Tempo (the Clockable LFO, Delays, and Envelopes) now store the tapped tempo in presets (including the autosaved state).
- the MIDI Playback algorithms no longer output MIDI if the MIDI transmit channel is set to zero.
Plus a variety of algorithm fixes.
A fascinating update. Andrew Oostler (Os) managed to bring the module once again further. But we would be super happy if the available units are as fast as the updates. I have the feeling that new firmware updates are released faster than units are available in stores.
Expert Sleepers Disting EX 1.7 update is available as a free download.
More information here: Expert Sleepers