Pollen(8) VA+FM 2.0 Field Edition available now

Hi there;
Available at http://hammondeggsmusic.ca/daisy/pollen8_vafm_2.html - is an updated version of Pollen(8) - my virtual analog synth for the Daisy Pod.

This new version adds some new features to the VA synth, and as well, adds a 6-operator FM synth (plus “brightness” operator) as well plus programmable CC control for every parameter.

Currently this is built for the Daisy Field, but I am going to port it to the Patch next, the 4 knobs + the encoder are likely going to be OK for the UI… I have it working for the Pod, but a companion app for a PC is currently required - as 2 knobs / 2 buttons / 2 leds, are admittedly a bit insufficient for this synth - there are more than 20 menus - each with 8 items. That said, you could use the app to program the synth and set up your CC parameters and then not need it…

Note! This software uses the first 516K (not 512 - 516) of the SPI FLASH - so any data you have stored here will be erased if you load the preset pack and/or save any patches. Sorry, the fatFS file support is great but there just wasn’t enough room - in fact, I have exactly 0 bytes free for the binary file. On that note, any major changes will likely see me split the virtual analog and FM synth up so long as I keep it to just the single 128K flash image…

Also included is a preset pack that you’ll have to load and run first - this programs the internal FLASH with some presets to get you started (note, this will erase anything you’ve already saved if you didn’t load this before, so I’d do this first… load the preset pack bin file and follow the instructions (simply hold SW1 + SW2 to confirm))

A short demo video is up at https://youtu.be/Sz5q9FvNLhI - the song in that video is all using this synth (except the drums and guitar).

I’ll put up a demo video of the presets and some basic programming - there’s plenty of documentation on my site, but demoing each and every feature in a video would be a very long video!



So cool! Please don’t forget the pod :slight_smile:

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No, it’s running on the pod already - a small companion app on a pc is required to (at least initially) configure / control it (this is how I got the screenshots for the manual :grinning:). Just need to do the FM and configuration portion.

Right now I just wanted to get the field out first instead of waiting for all 3. Now that it’s “done overall” this should come together pretty quick for the rest.

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Can’t wait to see your results and release on Patch as it will make Daisy to another level of professionalism in the eurorack composing world.


I received my Patch today and cannot wait until I can use your awesome synth! :smiley:


Really want to have your Patch version. Willing to pay as you worth it. Plus your Pollen will be one of the top Eurorack Synth to use in the synth music world! For sure!

No worries - it’s on the list and will be available as soon as possible! The patch and pod releases are definitely on the way!

Do you have plans open-sourcing the firmware?

I can imagine the amount of work you’ve put into the project, so I can totally understand if you won’t. But I think this is a great real-world example of a fully featured daisy project. It would be beneficial for all the folks who just getting started with daisy/C++ programming to explore how things are done.

Having a strict open-source license will protect it from commercial use, in case you worry about it.

I’ve considered it. To be fair, this… admittedly isn’t the sort of project you’d want to start with. I had to modify the daisy library to reduce some code space, I also had to employ other tricks to squish everything in to exactly 128K! There are 68 source files with the project alone.

As for how “things are done” - well that’s always debatable :grinning:

My experience with some open source stuff in the past wasn’t positive, people tend to do what they want and next thing you know there’s a new version out by someone else and yet I’m the one getting complaints when they’ve broken that version.

Who knows, maybe things are better now.

To be fair, this… admittedly isn’t the sort of project you’d want to start with

Yeah, definitely. I just find the daisy examples really basic, which definitely great for beginners, but when it comes to building something more advanced, there are not many resources available.

Having a reference to some real-world project would be definitely helpful at least to me since all the embedded/DSP world is new to me.

I think the beauty of the open-source is that everyone can read & propose fixes/improvements. And I don’t think it makes any sense for an author to be responsible for any modifications of the original code.

I find libDaisy is a great example of a healthy open source community. For the last few months, there were quite a few contributions, which I think keep the project alive.

Yeah true. Like I said I’m not adverse to it, I will be opening some stuff up for sure - for example I was able to get the libdaisy oscillators to run about 2-3x faster and also add pwm, plus I reworked the oled font stuff to support variable width and make the 8x8 character set 8 bit only to save codespace etc. All stuff I’m sure someone could find useful, will have to see how I’d do that, as I don’t want to just fork the existing library as its continuously being updated etc.

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