The greatest firmware upgrades of all time

I don’t have great answers for this, but we are in the age of the big, transformative firmware upgrade…what are some of biggest, most surprising, most useful, or most responsive to user requests? The two that spring to mind for me are the Micro Freak and MPC Live…not specific updates I can remember but generally strong iteration over time.


I don’t remember the specifics but the OT update tens years later was pretty cool!

Others that come to mind:
MPC getting Synth plug ins
404 getting a step sequencer
AR getting DVCO


This thread comes right on time for the release of FW 4.0 of the Twisted Electron BlastBeats, which went from a clunky, bug-ridden instrument (that still sounded good already) to quite a beast indeed.

The list of features added over time, some of them quite innovative, is impressive.


Justin Valer’s Labour of love hacked firmware (and MCL) in bringing the Machinedrum back from the dead has to be one of the most surprising ones, with twists, turns and revolutions. Couldn’t guess the man hours it has taken in evolving from the old Ruin and Wessen MiniCommand, which was already very cool.

If the Octatrack (which also has had a big evolution: didn’t even have midi on release let alone conditional trigs) ever gets discontinued, secretly wishing it can get the same treatment.


ZOIA firmware 2.0 – added ~20-25% more CPU headroom through extensive optimization. In a virtual patching environment, that sort of change opens a host of new doors.


Hapax OS 2.0, 16 Patterns, Midi file import /export, made me jump onboard - good support is something which provides value - it was the deciding factor for me. (over the oxi, which has good support also.) (just upgraded to 2.0.2 bug fix release - not that i noticed them - but still cool that its getting even more stable /usable.)


No one wants to talk about JJOS for the MPC 1000? I get chills thinking about it.

Second best is the Waveboy floppies for the EPS16+


The big OT updates from whenever they happened.
That BS2 update that made me regret selling it.
Fitting the Tubutec CPU in my SH101, best update ever.
The last koala update.


Dirtywave M8 has had a number of big firmware updates, but 3.0 felt really special


–Added Hypersynth (a stereo hypersaw engine with six-voices-plus-sub per track)
–Added External Instrument (Dedicated instrument to send midi and process external audio through M8)
–Added envelope types for adsr, drum (fishbone shape), trigger following, and tracking
–Added Auxillary Tables that can affect a whole pattern instead of just an instrument
–Upgrade from 2 LFOs and 2 Envelopes to being able to choose any combo of 4 LFOs and Env types
–RMX command added for syncing up chains
–More visual feedback for parameter settings while playing


What did they add to the BS2?

richard james (aphex twin, AFX) collaborated with Novation and turned the BSII into a monster.

here’s a history. scroll to the AFX section


Oh, gotcha. Yeah I was aware of this but I thought @Microtribe was talking about an update for the BS2 without calling it a new product. This definitely was a big firmware update though.

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This is the absolute greatest of all time.


Oh! I just remembered one, from the mists of the past. Typhoon, for the Yamaha TX16W

I wonder if anyone involved with this has ended up at Elektron?


OS 1.0 introduced midi sequencing. The OT originally was released with 0.9x firmwares and there was hype/mystery/frustration around when the Midi button would finally become functional.


A relatively small update that transformed the way I can use a synth was when Audiothingies recently added a keyboard mode to the Micromonsta 2. Now I can use it standalone for various tasks (sound design, ambient, samples creation, and pure playing pleasure) and given the size of this little gem it’s really a game changing workflow switch to not have to hook it up a midi controller to play with it.

On a side note, the Microfreak fw upgrade path is one if not the biggest reason I finally jumped on it. So much added value through the years to that plastic box, I felt like I needed to reward Arturia for the effort


The recent 4.04 firmware for the 404 mk2 deserves a mention. That was pure fan service and delivered many of the most-requested community features. Looper, fixed length recording, detailed step sequence editing, expanded midi implementation, formal integration with Koala Sampler… they even added a verrry basic waveform generator.

It’s still a quirky device, but the level of support that it has received over the years has left me very satisfied.


rytm 1.70

the improved tuning is bonkers, but imo the most impressive thing about this update is that it’s fully compatible with mk1.
a 10yo device gets new machines and updates a decade later… I think it’s very impressive.


Synthstrom Deluge going open source and proving that going open source doesn’t have to mean lost sales or that someone is going to just come around and clone your product.

But even more than that, proving that you can attract an insanely passionate development team that can take that open source codebase to the next level, driven by their desire to make the product they love better.


Akai force plugins, disk streaming, class compliant (ish) audio interface support

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