nanoloop FM manual

new in version 0.6

update here

- MIDI sync (receive)
- analog sync (receive)

new in version 0.5

- song
- saw wave with resonant filter
- distortion effect on L channel
- real filter for square wave
- 4-bit mode for FM
- corrected tune and tempo
- even longer battery life
- problem with occasional flicker fixed

New sound engine

CPU speed has been reduced by 2/3 while PWM output has been increased to 96 Khz. To make it work with the new frequencies, the synthesis code had to be re-written from ground up. The filtered squarewave has now a real filter (was a form of modulation before) and hence sounds different. Some curves have a slightly different shape so that envelopes, LFOs and other parameters may not be exactly the same in some cases.

new in version 0.4

- analog sync (send)

new in version 0.3

- bug fixed that caused stutter noise

new in version 0.2

- bugs fixed that caused crashes
- new sound types: high pass and half sine FM
- improved pulse width effect
- stronger click (r)
- second voice added to L channel
- illuminated sequencer grid
- slowly increasing range for randomization
- swing
- pingpong / random playback modes

New / changed functions in 0.5 are marked red.



The LED display is divided in 3 areas:

The orange rows on top show data values: bars, icons, numbers
Red dots in the middle represent the structure to edit. It is navigated with a green cursor.
On the bottom there is the green menu for parameter / channel selection and transpose functions.


There are two different views:

- In patterm view, you edit the currently playing pattern.
- In file fiew, you save and load patterns and arrange a song.

X file view,
Y pattern view

Pattern View

In pattern view, there are 3 different modes:

Sequencer, parameter menu and global menu.

Y enters paremeter menu. In the menu,
Y toggles between parameter menu and global menu,

A returns to the sequencer.

There are no "instruments", all parameters are per-step. In menu mode, all steps are edited at once and the values of the pattern are displayed in the data area.


move cursor to select step
A place note
B cut / paste note
A ❖ edit note
B ❖ edit note

Y parameter menu

Parameter Menu

Editing functions are the same as in sequencer but applied to the entire pattern.

◄► select parameter
▲▼ select channel
A ❖ edit entire pattern
B ❖ edit entire pattern

A/B + X/Y randomize parameter
(hold A/B and press X/Y to increase random range)

A sequencer
Y global menu

Global Menu

▲▼ select channel
A ❖ shift pattern
B ◄► change tempo
B ▲▼ pattern length

A + Y swing on/off
B + Y pingpong > random > normal

A+B pause > revert to 1st step > toggle 1/8 / 1/16 sync mode
X resume / start playback

Y parameter menu

(sync / MIDI functions not yet implemented)


pitchLFOvolumeFMeffects, meta
A ▲▼semitone
n: freq
amountvolumecutoff / FM amountstutter
A ◄►octave
n: phaser
frequencydecaypwm, resonance, distortion / FM freqpanning
B ▲▼interval 1lfo moder: click
fake reverb
low / high soundmeta 4th / none
B ◄►interval 2lfo destattacksynth modemeta 2nd

Channels, Polyphony / Intervals

rmonophonic, intervals play as arpeggio
ltwo voices, 2nd interval = detune
cthree voice chords
nnoise sample & hold frequency + phaser delay


LFO modes (A ▲▼):
envelope down
envelope up

LFO destintion (A ◄►):


In r channel, chords are played as arpeggio. Intervals can be up to one octave (12). When set to 13, sound is muted and arpeggio is stopped, thus functioning as a short gate.


In L channel, the second voice plays at the first interval in semitones plus the second interval in 1/16 semitones. For detune/phasing effects, set the first interval to 0 and the second to 1 or 2.

Volume Envelope

In the r channel,B ▲▼ adjusts the initial click (for drum sounds), on the other channels, there is a long low-level release for a simple reverb-like effect.

synth modes (r,l,s)

saw high pass

square high pass

FM half sine

FM half sine 4bit

saw low pass

square low pass

FM sine

FM sine 4bit

As of version 0.5, filters are actual filters that sound different from the fake modulation filters used before.

noise modes (n)

PCM high pass

noise high pass


white noise

As of version 0.5, PCM sounds more noisy, high pass PCM may be more close to noise in previous versions.

Resonance, Distortion

The filter of the new saw wave has adjustable resonance. On L channel, resonance is coupled with distortion.


Meta step allows to play a step only every 2nd or every 4th time. It's a simple but powerful way to extend the pattern beyond the 16-step grid.


Nanoloop can send and receive sync pulses via the sync port (the right one of the two upper small jack connectors) and receive MIDI clock via the MIDI IN port (left connector).

The MIDI connector is TRS type A and does not work with other types. (type A is standard and has been adopted by most manufacturers, the obsolete type B can still be found in some Arturia, Polyend and older Novation products. Converters are availabe.)

To sync it with another device, stop playback by hitting A+B in global menu so that instead of the tempo value, this icon is shown:

Stop the other device and rewind it to start position.
Press A+B again to select a sync mode as shown in the table below.
Start the other device or, to start nanoloop as sender, press A+X.

Sync Modes

By default, a clock pulse is sent/received every 2nd step (Pocket Operator and Volca compatible). To change sync mode, press A+B again before starting playback. The selected mode is shown on the right.

A+B pause
A+B stop
A+B sync mode 1/8 (default, for Pocket Operators, Volcas...)
A+B sync mode 1/16 (Monotribe, Game Boy nanoloop...)
A+B MIDI sync (receive only)
A+X (bpm) start / send

File View

File Mode (default)

◄►select file slot
▲▼ select channel

A ▼ save current channel pattern to slot
A ▲ load current channel pattern from slot
A ◄► load current channel pattern from next slot
B ▲ load all channels from slot
B ◄► load all channels from next slot
AB ▼ delete file in slot

A+X clear channel
B+X clear all channels

X song mode

Song Mode

A ▲▼ select bank
A ◄► select song page (CHANGED, was bank selection before)
B load song page
B ◄► select song page and load it
A + B + ► copy current page to next
B + X silence
B + Y jump to page 1
A + Y play song from current page
A stop playback

X file mode
A file mode, too

Song Structure

Each bank has its own song structure with up to 99 pages that play in a row, banks can not be mixed within a song. For each page, an arbitrary combiantion of patterns can be assigned. To do so, you select the page, return to file mode and simply load the desired patterns.

In song mode, the patterns of the current song page are highlighted.
In file mode, the patterns actually playing are highlighted.
Since you can flip through song pages without loading them (A ◄►), these two may not be the same. To keep both in sync, flip pages with B ◄► or load the song page with B prior to switching to file mode.

Song Playback

To play the song starting from the current page, press A+Y. Playback is indicated by the green cursor blinking and stops when an empty page is reached. Playback stops when A or B is pressed.

(file transfer functions not yet implemented)

Volume, Brighness

X + A/B brightness
Y + A/B volume

(c) 1998-2021 Oliver Wittchow