Reflashing firmware

Before even thinking about reflashing firmware over MIDI make sure you have a decent MIDI cable and MIDI on your computer is configured properly. MIDI implementation in Windows is a disaster anyway, but USB-over-MIDI (an unfortunate consequence of everyone using a laptop) only makes things worse. In case you have one of those dirt cheap Chinese USB to MIDI cables based on CH345 chip with the optocoupler shaven off to cut the costs by a few cents then you might be out of luck. Those cables are good enough for the simplest MIDI messages (NOTE ON, NOTE OFF) but fail with any messages longer than 3-4 bytes.The reasons why they fail have been discussed here: cheap-usb-midi-cable-some-self-assembly-may-be-required To check your computer’s MIDI connection send/transmit this DEVICE INQUIRY MESSAGE REQUEST Sysex message to your device. In MIDI-OX tool the dialog should look similar to this: DEVICE INQUIRY MESSAGE REQUEST Here, 09 means the Electribe device is listening on MIDI Channel 10, so change this according to your settings. Even better, set your Electribe to listen on MIDI channel 10. The response should be 15 bytes long, some digits could differ due to a different firmware version. Naturally any other MIDI monitoring tool can be used as well. Once MIDI connectivity has been set up you can proceed with downloading and installing firmware update. Everything required for this is handled by Electribe ER-1/ER-1mkII Flash Utility:
erflash.exe  ER-1 Firmware Flash Utility for 64-bit Windows
This is a command line utility that has to be executed in Windows command window (press Win + R keys, type cmd, press Enter). Always make sure that you do not have any other MIDI utility (eg. MIDI-OX) running at the same time, as MIDI ports cannot be shared. Navigate to the directory where you downloaded erflash.exe. Type  erflash /firmware. The screen will look like this:
er1flash /firmware screenshot
1. Press Enter to continue, Ctrl-C to cancel.
2. Enter the number from the range that corresponds to the MIDI IN port connected to the Electribe.
3. Enter the number from the range that corresponds to the MIDI OUT port connected to the Electribe.
4. Select the type of your device: 1 for an original ER-1, 2 for ER-1mkII.
5. Enter the serial number (6 digits) from the label, license number (8 characters) sent to you and version number (3 digits) of the firmware update: 999 to get the latest, 000 to restore the original.
6. Press Enter to continue, Ctrl-C to cancel.
7. Last chance to back off. Press Enter to continue, Ctrl-C to cancel. Reflashing starts.
8. Cross your fingers and wait. Reflashing takes about one minute. While the process runs, BEAT and SELECT LEDs indicate the progress. After the WRITE button has blinked 16 times GLOBAL button lits up. Now it’s time to restart your device.
To validate successful reflashing turn your Electribe on while pressing and holding SHIFT button. Factory firmware version is displayed. Turn off the device and turn it on while pressing and holding PATTERN SET button. Now, Electribe Shaman Firmware update version is displayed. In case the display reads 3-F you still have the factory firmware. Pressing STEP16 resumes normal operation.

Loading Custom Samples

Before you start, turn Memory Protect OFF on your Electribe (GLOBAL > PROTECT > oFF). In Windows command window navigate to the directory where you downloaded erflash.exe. Type  erflash /samples. The screen will look like this:
er1flash /samples screenshot
1. Press Enter to continue, Ctrl-C to cancel.
2. Enter the number from the range that corresponds to the MIDI IN port connected to the Electribe.
3. Enter the number from the range that corresponds to the MIDI OUT port connected to the Electribe.
4. Select the type of your device: 1 for an original ER-1, 2 for ER-1mkII.
5. Enter the names of .wav files with or without relative directory. Simply pressing Enter defaults to 00.wav, 01.wav, 02.wav and 03.wav in the current directory. Note that the sample files can have arbitrary names but the order of the samples is important as Electribe allocates them to predefined parts. If allocating samples fails, a sample is not available or not in proper format, or the total size exceeds the limits simply start the process again.
6. Press Enter to continue, Ctrl-C to cancel. Reflashing starts,
7. Electribe displays the ‘spinning wheel’ while reflashing and restarts automatically when done. Reflashing samples takes about 80 seconds.

Reporting An Issue

Electribe ER-1/ER-1mkII Flash Utility has been tested and found working on several laptop and desktop computers running Windows 10 and 8 (but 64-bit only!) with different USB-to-MIDi cables. Due to some idiosyncrasies in Windows MIDI implementation (limited buffer size etc.) as well as crippled USB cables, MIDI operations might occasionally fail. In those cases press Ctrl-C to cancel and repeat the whole procedure. Be extra careful during reflashing, those situations are clearly identified by CAUTION! prompts. However, in the unlikely event that something unexpected occurs, please report this immediately via email. Please prepare the following information:
  1. Date and time of the incident (helps to link this with logs on server);
  2. Windows version and type of the computer;
  3. MIDI cable type (direct MIDI cable, USB-to-MIDI cable; for the latter, a snapshot of the cable would help);
  4. Serial number of the device (license number is NOT required);
  5. Screenshot of the command window (similar to the one above) or the session copy-pasted from the window;
  6. ER-1 Flash utility log file (erflash.log) that is created and stored in the working directory (the one where erflash.exe resides);
  7. Snapshot of the Electribe device showing the state of the display, LEDs and buttons after failure.
Additional narrative about the circumstances, what else was running on the computer etc. would also help.  shaman@electribe.cc