nanoloop FM manual

new in version 0.4

update here

- analog sync (master only)

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 0.4 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
amountvolumeFM amountstutter
A ◄►octave
n: phaser
frequencydecayFM freqpanning
B ▲▼interval 1lfo moder: click
fake reverb
high/low pass
FM sine/halfsine
meta 4th / none
B ◄►interval 2lfo destattackFM 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.

FM modes

    "filtered" square wave with low / high pass
    normal FM with sine / half sine

Technically, the square is generated by sine wave modulation, too and FM amount controls the "filter cutoff". FM frequency corresponds to pulse width.


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 sends sync pulses to the sync port (the right one of the two upper small jack connectors). To sync it with another device, stop playback by hitting A+B twice in global menu so that instead of the tempo value, this icon is shown:
Now set the other device to slave mode, rewind it to the start of the sequence and set it to playback if necessary. To start nanoloop again, press X.

Sync Modes

By default, a clock pulse is sent every 2nd step (Pocket Operator and Volca compatible). To change this to every step, 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 1/16 (Monotribe, Game Boy nanoloop...)
A+B (default) sync mode 1/8 (Pocket Operators, Volcas...)
X (bpm) start

Slave mode is not yet implemented, it's therefore not possible to sync two nanoloop FM units. Slave modes and MIDI clock will follow in future updates.

File View

◄►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 bank mode on/off

In bank mode:

A ◄► select bank

(song functions and file transfer functions not yet implemented)

Volume, Brighness

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

(c) 1998-2021 Oliver Wittchow