Loading custom samples

Probably the most hated feature of Electribe ER-1 is those four boring samples. Everybody has complained about them and the permanent nature of those. Actually, the samples are stored in Flash memory so there’s nothing sacred about them and it was simply a choice of the designers to make them look permanent.  Electribe Shaman Firmware update 1.0.5 exposes a new MIDI System Exclusive Message (ALL SAMPLE DATA DUMP) that makes loading custom samples in place of the factory ones possible.

Caveats? All four samples have to be loaded together. The total size of samples must not exceed 250 KBytes. And Shamen Firmware update has to be installed for this to work.

The samples have to be in a specific format – 16-bit .WAV. 32 KHz. Mono. Linear PCM, no compression. Aside from that they can contain anything. Electribe ER-1 assumes that the samples are in predefined order: Close Hi-Hat, Open Hi-Hat, then Crash, then Hand Clap. Of course it is up to anyone’s imagination what he/she wants to hear in place of Hand Clap. The samples have to be crafted into a special Sysex message in predefined format and compressed with Electribe dump data 8×7 compression. The ER-1 Flashing utility downloadable from this site does it for you if used with /samples option. The exact format of this message is described at the bottom of this page for those who simply insist on knowing every detail.

Can the original samples be restored after reflashing with custom ones? Absolutely. The process is exactly the same, You provide the four original samples (for your convenience the original, authentic samples are made downloadable on this page), let the conversion utility assemble them into the Sysex format and send it over MIDI. The message takes approximately 80 seconds to transmit. The samples on both of my ER-1 and ER-1mkII are exactly the same. Besides, according to data sheet, the minimum guaranteed erase/program cycle count for this particular Flash memory device is 100,000 so you have plenty of time to experiment.

Electribe ER-1 Close Hi-Hat Sample
Electribe ER-1 Open Hi-Hat Sample
Electribe ER-1 Crash Sample
 Electribe ER-1 Hand Clap Sample

Here is the complete SysEx message restoring the original samples that can be transmitted with any SysEx capable MIDI utility. I prefer  C6 Sysex Tool by Elektron. Configure the Delay to 900 ms and you are good to go.

ER-1 Factory Samples 2.1 SysEx file

(18) ALL SAMPLE DATA DUMP                                  R/T
|     Byte       |             Description                    |
| F0,42,3c,51    | EXCLUSIVE HEADER                           |
| 0101 0010 (52) | ALL SAMPLE DATA DUMP            52H        |
| 0ddd dddd (dd) | Data                       [NOTE2][TABLE14]|
|     :          |  :                                         |
| 1111 0111 (F7) | EOX                                        |
When this message is received, a DATA LOAD COMPLETED
(Function:23h) message or a DATA LOAD ERROR(Function:24h)
message will be transmitted.

|  0~  3| Sample 1 offset (MSB first)                         |
|  4~  7| Sample 2 offset (MSB first)                         |
|  8~ 11| Sample 3 offset (MSB first)                         |
| 12~ 15| Sample 4 offset (MSB first)                         |
| 16~ 19| Sample 1 size  (MSB first)                          |
| 20~ 23| Sample 2 size  (MSB first)                          |
| 24~ 27| Sample 3 size  (MSB first)                          |
| 28~ 31| Sample 4 size  (MSB first)                          |
|  32   |                                                     |
|   :   | Sample data (255308 max)                            |
| 255339|                                                     |

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *